Skip to content

Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Apr 15 / Matthew Fredericks

SLIS Students Digitize Unique Detroit Historical Society Materials

SLIS students in Professor Kim Schroeder’s Digital Imaging course are digitizing a wide array of materials for the Detroit Historical Society, making fascinating bits of history available online. They have written blog posts discussing the unique items they have have digitized. Check them out!

Stay tuned, there are more student blog posts uncovering the treasures of Detroit to come!

pingree-desk-new-logo1 (1)

Mar 28 / Laventra Ellis-Danquah

Shiffman Medical Library Sponsors Caregivers Conference

Conversations for Caregivers | April 16, 2014, 9:30 AM-3:00 PM | Charles H. Wright Museum,  315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI. | Hear from a panel of legal, healthcare, and research specialists. Attend breakout sessions and more.  Admission to the conference and the museum is FREE with RSVP. Full schedule & RSVP available on the Shiffman Library Outreach Services website:


Mar 26 / Roxanne Brazell

Highlights of the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) Conference – Professional Development Opportunity

3021614731-1I attended the 2014 Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) conference in Austin, TX. If you are interested in this niche area of the profession, then this is the conference to attend. Digital, Online and Electronic Resource Librarians discussed the trends and challenges of managing e-Resources and data.

Attending the conference gave me a chance to learn about the core culture and values of my future colleagues. Although the conference did not have a subtheme, “Librarians as change agents, collaborators and leaders,” whirls in my head each time I think about this event. Electronic Resource Librarians are looking for ways to solve e-Resource management problems in their libraries, collaborate with other librarians and share their successes and challenges. There are Techniques for Electronic Resource Management (TERMS), which are evolving as the demand for e-Resources continues.

There was a day of user experience (UX) events to facilitate user design processes, but librarians seem to have an innate grasp of user experience. During their presentations many of them talked about how they are addressing e-Resource issues within their departmental team and across other areas of their libraries. A few of the presentations with question and answer sessions inspired a research topic I hope to pursue this summer.

The other 2014 Taylor and Francis Student Award Winner and I received a warm welcome from everyone we met and were able to connect with librarians at every level from career entry to Directors. A few of them took the time to get to know us over lunch and dinner. This is where I was able to learn about upcoming internships and a distance practicum that will enhance my skills in e-Resources next summer.

It was nice to meet my future colleagues in a casual atmosphere where I had no idea what their role was initially, until I connected with them. Several librarians provided me with cards and asked me to keep in touch. Of course, I asked for cards, too. But, having a Library Director ask you to stay in touch is worth gold in our profession.

The most important take away is that conferences and association meetings are a vital tool for developing a network of colleagues, identifying library roles that interest you, and allows you to gain advice from your future colleagues on what skills you need and how to build or enhance them. Longstanding friendships and mentee roles can be a natural extension of making connections at these types of events, as long as you periodically continue the conversation long after the conference ends.

Think about attending next year’s conference from February 22 – 24, 2015 in Austin, Texas. The 2015 Taylor and Francis Student Travel Award can make it happen for you. Look out for the student travel application in the next few months. Don’t have the travel time in you plans then consider the 2015 ER&L Online Conference next year. I hope to see you there virtually or in-person.

Mar 3 / Matthew Fredericks

Alternate Spring Break at the National Archives and Smithsonian for SLIS Students!

SLIS Lecturer and Career Advisor  Kim Schroeder will again take a group of SLIS students to the National Archives and Smithsonian during WSU’s Spring Break.  national archives and records administration logoFrom March 10 – 14 the students will work as unpaid interns at iconic American institutions, in the process gaining valuable experience. Interest in this alternate Spring Break opportunity was so great that students have also been placed in other National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) offices in Chicago and Kansas City and in the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas. See the full list of students below with their placements and the types of projects they will be working on.

  • Julia Teran – Archives of American Art, Smithsonian, EAD Conversion
  • Aubrey Maynard – NARA Kansas City Offices, Citizen Archivist Project
  • Laura Gentry – NARA Kansas City Offices, Citizen Archivist Project
  • Wendi Mekins – Textual Records Processing Unit, NARA, College Park, Maryland, Descriptive Standards
  • Katy Schroeder – Textual Records Processing Unit, NARA, College Park, Maryland, Descriptive Standards
  • Justine Bailey – Department of Justice, NARA, College Park, Maryland, Over-sized Processing
  • Adam Mosseri – Agency Services, NARA, College Park, MD, Increased Web Presence Project
  • Steven Wejroch – George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dallas, Texas, FOIA Project
  • Sean McConnell – George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dallas, Texas, FOIA Project
  • Lura Smith – NARA Chicago Office, Reference and Processing, Maritime Project
  • Elizabeth Nicholson – NARA Chicago Office, Reference and Processing, Maritime Project

Congratulations in advance to these hardworking students! While others catch up on sleep, binge watch “House of Cards” and, of course, head to beaches in Florida, these aspiring information professionals will have their noses to the proverbial grindstone, helping to ensure that America’s history and records are organized and accessible to its citizens!

Julia Teran, on her Alternative Spring Break internship in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Julia Teran, on her Alternative Spring Break internship in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

SLIS students Wendi Mekins, Katy Schroeder, and Justine Bailey on their Alternative Spring Break internship at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.

SLIS students Wendi Mekins, Katy Schroeder, and Justine Bailey on their Alternative Spring Break internship at the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland.

Feb 26 / Roxanne Brazell

Take Advantage of Opportunities for Professional Development

ProfDev_logo_CMYK-FHow are you addressing your professional development during your LIS graduate studies? Professional development is usually seen as a step that we take at the end of our graduate studies in a practicum, internship or in a paraprofessional position. While these experiences help us build some skills in the profession, we each need to complement them with professional activities throughout our LIS studies to gain competitive skills in the profession.

One of the most meaningful ways to gain experience and a competitive advantage is through participation in SLIS student groups, professional association monthly meetings and annual conferences. These events provide us with opportunities to engage with our future colleagues, network and learn first hand about trends in the field. Many of the association conference announcements are distributed through our SLIS LIST serv and some include travel awards to offset student expenses.

Like many students, I cannot afford the conference expenses, so I applied for a travel grant. A contest essay was part of the application process, which many of us are familiar with and are pretty good at writing. I am excited and surprised that I was nominated to receive the Taylor and Francis Travel Award to attend the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) conference in Austin, Texas next month. So, take advantage of these opportunities and apply for travel awards to enhance the unique abilities that you bring to the profession. Stay tuned for my post in April on my experiences at the ER&L Conference.


Feb 24 / Matthew Fredericks

Project Increasing Diversity of Libraries (IDOL) Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2014!

final-slis-idol-logotext-greenThe School of Library and Information Science is now accepting applications for its Project Increasing Diversity of Librarians (IDOL) Fall 2014 cohort. Applications will be accepted from February 1 – June 1. Project IDOL Fellows will receive full tuition for their MLIS degree, to be completed online within 2 years, as well as the advisory support of individual mentors, and additional funds for books, conference travel and a personal computer. The School encourages applicants from anywhere in North America, as the MLIS degree can be completed entirely online.

Project IDOL is a collaboration between the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Library AllianceWSU SLIS and the HBCU Library Alliance have received funding from the IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program to increase the diversity of the library profession.  In this 3-year project, the two partner organizations will recruit, mentor, and offer an online Master of Library and Information Science degree to 10 students from historically underrepresented groups in order to achieve greater diversity among practicing library professionals. SLIS will provide the education with its online MLIS format and the HBCU library alliance will assist with recruitment and retention through mentorship of the selected students by library professionals with senior level experience and prior mentorship training.

Interested Project IDOL applicants must first be accepted into the WSU MLIS program before being considered for Project IDOL funding. Further details about Project IDOL and full application requirements can be found at 

Questions? Please contact SLIS Academic Services Officer, Matt Fredericks,


Jan 29 / Courtney Whitmore

WSU NDSA: Converge and Ingest: Call for Speakers and Poster Submissions!

If you have not already heard, we are gearing up for our second colloquium and are now accepting submissions for speakers and posters. We are excited to be able to organize this event again and are looking forward to another great opportunity to share experiences and ideas.


Wayne State University National Digital Stewardship Alliance Student Chapter’s 2nd Colloquium

“Converge and Ingest: Building a Toolbox”
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Purdy Kresge Library
5265 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48202

TARGETED PRESENTERS | We are looking for students, alumni, and professionals to speak or present a poster on digital preservation.   This year’s theme is “Building a Toolbox”, which involves any topic related to skills and tools needed to begin and grow in the digital preservation field.

RESEARCH FOCUS | Topics of interest include the changing nature of the digital preservation job market, new tools and technologies in digital preservation, creative problem-solving for digital preservation, identifying preservation issues on an individual institutional level,  marketing digital preservation, and digital preservation case studies.

Speakers – We are looking for speakers to present research, case studies, or processes about digital preservation.   Each speaker will be given a 15-25 minute time frame to speak, as well as a question and answer period.

Poster Submissions – Poster submissions are an excellent way to showcase your research interests, interact with students and professionals in your field, and build your resume.  We accept digital poster submissions for those that want to submit but cannot attend.   Students are strongly encouraged to participate.  We want to showcase your projects, ideas and research related to digital preservation.

DEADLINE | The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2014

SUBMISSION PROCESS | Submit to the following information:

Your name, email, and phone number

Brief background/bio relevant to your presentation

Title of your presentation. Indicate if it is for a talk or poster.

Description of your presentation (250 words) or for posters (150 words)

*Accepted presenters will be notified after February 22nd.*

COLLOQUIUM DETAILS | The tentative format includes a professional panel session, research presentations, and a poster session with informal conversations to close. If you have other topics that you may want to introduce or other research questions, please contact our faculty advisor, Kim Schroeder at

Presenter at Converge and Ingest 2012

Speaker at NDSA Converge and Ingest 2012

Presenter at NDSA 2012 Converge and Ingest

Speaker at NDSA 2012 Converge and Ingest 2012

Jan 24 / Roxanne Brazell

Connect the Distance with New Friends and Colleagues

ALA at WayneAs a distance learner, I was concerned that I would feel disconnected, but the WSU School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) program does a really great job of helping you feel comfortable from the time you are admitted. The faculty and staff welcome you at the SLIS Orientation and facilitate discussion topics among various groups of students throughout the day with lunch provided. What a nice perk. After spending the better part of the day with your fellow SLIS classmates you have pretty much made your introductions to more than half the students there and end up finding team members for most of your group projects in your first foundation courses before the day is over.  It’s networking without having to think about it.

Take that one step further, and look into the SLIS student organizations and start networking with your fellow students. The WSU SLIS student organizations promote collaboration on library-related projects and activities. Not sure which one is right for you? Then start today and make a goal to attend a SLIS student organization monthly meeting until you find the group that suits you. If you are studying at a distance like me, then join the live monthly webcasts and stay connected to your fellow SLIS classmates. You can link to a student organization’s blog or wiki from the SLIS Student Organizations site at

Find your calling!

Jan 8 / Nichole Manlove

Looking Back at 2013

In 2011 if anyone had asked me a few years back where I saw myself in 2013, I would have quickly shrugged my shoulders and given them a look of uncertainty. Before I realized my interest and talents lay in librarianship and archival studies, I had no clear vision of what I wanted or where my life should go.

Fast forward two years, and I find myself as a newly hired Graduate Student Assistant with Wayne’s School of Library & Information Science. The opportunity came as a surprise as I never envisioned myself engaged in any academic endeavor outside of the classroom. So the fact that I had been accepted as the new Diversity GSA was a bit surreal, 3 days passed before the brevity of my situation sank in.
After realizing that part of my responsibilities would include traveling to and presenting at conferences, school fairs, and other events… fear began to ease its way into my self-conscious. Traveling was easy, the idea of presenting or communicating with others ON A MASSIVE SCALE was what frightened me. I trembled at the thought of me, holding THE source of information that could make or break someone’s decision to start our program and ultimately change their future. Well, I’ve overcome that hump, sort of!

Presentations still send chills up my spine; the difference is that with each presentation, my knowledge base and confidence levels increase. This leads me to believe that while I may never write speeches for the White House, I’ve developed enough eloquence, gall and know-how to get a solid point across. I also had to overcome my insecurities and learn to trust myself enough to develop solid ideas and initiatives that would bring attention to the program and the field. I also had to focus on ways to increase diversity. For me that meant reaching out to other professionals and students for ideas, opinions and experiences; conducting research related to diversity issues within LIS; getting more involved with student organizations; blogging; assisting professors with projects surrounding diversity and so on.My experience up to this point has been a whirlwind of positive challenges that have helped me to develop as an individual as well as a professional. Of all the academic and professional experiences I have had, my position as the DGSA has proven to be the most profound.

As we move into 2014, my intention is to continue reaching out to prospective students by hosting more information sessions and making myself and the program more visible on and around Wayne’s campus. I also plan to delve more into research surrounding issues of diversity within librarianship. One of my major goals is to put more energy and time into establishing FLID (Future Librarians for Inclusivity and Diversity) as one of the premier student organizations on Wayne’s campus. A tough task but not impossible, as I will be collaborating with the student chapter of ALA in bringing more attention to FLID (by increasing diversity in membership, hosting meetings, events and other functions that will bring more awareness to the field of LIS.)

It seems as if I have busy, challenging, and interesting year ahead of me, all of which I look forward to. In the end this will make my goal of leaving a positive mark on the university, the program, my peers and of course myself more possible.

Thank you all, for such en enriching semester! Until next time…..

Dec 23 / Kevin Barton

Introducing the School’s Newest Star!

Workstation in SLIS Digital Media Projects Lab

Workstation in SLIS Digital Media Projects Lab

It’s the Wayne State University School of Library and Information Science Digital Media Projects Lab, or WSU SLIS DMPL for short. Opened late 2012, the lab is located on the third floor of the Kresge Library on Wayne State’s Detroit campus. You can find out more specific details about the lab HERE. The lab represents a serious change in the professional requirements of library, archive and information science students. It is designed in response to the transition of media and information resources from an analog environment to a digital one. Helping students develop the skills to both manage and lead in this transition is the reason this lab, and the programs and projects it supports, has been developed. The lab is utilized in both classroom instruction and individual student and group projects.

The great analog and digital debate, of course, is which format is “better.” I put that in quotes because there are any number of different quality standards, and in the digital and analog arena, each has their strengths and weaknesses. The point to be made, however, is that in digitizing material, we can get the best of both worlds. We have an analog item that we can continue to preserve, and a digital item that, while it may not have the form of the original, has all of the information. The more interesting debate is, when we digitize an item, what exactly is it that we are trying to capture? For example, a black and white photograph from the 1940’s. Let’s say, in this example, that the photo is of a library, and the photograph has some creases and worn areas. This image has three distinct reference points: 1) How the library actually looked when the photograph was taken 2) How the photograph looked when it was first developed and 3) How the photograph looks now. Which of these three states are we hoping to preserve? The digital media project lab gives us an opportunity to capture all three. The lab provides the hardware tools to capture the original data, as well as sophisticated software tools to post process and digitally restore lost or damaged information.

ATR 100 Series, 2 track reel-to-reel reproducer

ATR 100 Series, 2 track reel-to-reel reproducer

Over the summer of 2013, the school’s National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) worked on a project involving the digitization of the Detroit Sunday Journal. The Journal was a weekly paper published by striking workers from The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News in the mid to late 90’s. The project served several purposes: It helped students become familiar with the process of digitization, it provided digital material for the creation of a digital archive, and it provided material for use in the upcoming anniversary of the Journal’s Publication.  One of the more recent additions to the lab is the ATR 100 Series, 2 track reel-to-reel reproducer.  This reel-to-reel playback device allows us to digitally capture audio from reel-to-reel tapes. It is currently being used in a student led project, digitizing aural histories from the American Folklore Collection at Wayne State Universities Ruther Library.

The ability to digitize materials is only half of the equation. Accurately ingesting them into a repository, cataloging and supplying metadata, and making the material accessible is also part of the process. Both of the projects listed above involve these tasks, and students are using tools such as Cindex, Dspace and Fedora Commons to accurately and efficiently create fully functional repositories for the information they have digitized. Text based objects can be made fully searchable using industry leading software platforms such as ABBYY Finereader. All of the work can be done in the lab, and all of the information generated by these projects is stored on the school’s dedicated servers. Most if not all of these student’s begin work on these projects with little or no experience. The dedicated members of the school’s faculty and staff have both the technical background and the education skills to introduce students to this technology and help them create professional grade collections. The lab provides students with the ability to develop real world skills in a comfortable environment.

Audio Workstation in SLIS Digital Media Projects Lab

Audio Workstation in SLIS Digital Media Projects Lab