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Apr 11 / Christine Illichmann

Support SIS Scholarships on Giving Day – April 12, 2018

Wayne State University Giving Day is today! This annual event gives Warriors and the entire Wayne State University community a chance to Inspire Opportunity through charitable donations to scholarships and other student-support funds.

You can make a donation in honor or memory of a colleague, friend, or family member. You can also direct your contribution to a specific scholarship that supports students in a particular field of study related to library and information science.

Visit the Giving Day website to make your contribution. Be sure to select “School of Information Sciences” from the Designation drop-down menu. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to indicate a specific scholarship fund that you would like to support.

The full list of SIS Scholarship opportunities can be viewed on the SIS website. Our scholarships cover many types of student need and academic focus. Here are four scholarships that are an excellent example of the variety of support provided to students:

Robert P. Holley Endowed Scholarship
This award gives preference to students who have worked in or been involved with libraries serving urban communities in the 50 largest American cities by population.

Margery A. Long Scholarship for Archival Administration
Named after longtime Audiovisual Archivist Marge Long, who began her career in 1972 at Wayne State University’s Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs. This scholarship fund recognizes scholastic achievement and encourages continued academic progress. The award provides assistance to students in financing their education in the field of Archival Administration at Wayne State University.

Joseph J. Mika and Marianne Hartzell-Mika Endowed Scholarship

The Joseph J. Mika and Marianne Hartzell-Mika Endowed Scholarship is open to any graduate student enrolled in the School of Library and Information Science with a minimum 3.5 GPA. This scholarship was established by long-time SLIS Professor and former Director Joseph Mika and his wife, Marianne Hartzell-Mika, to recognize high scholastic achievement and to assist students currently working in a library.

Cymbrie Pratt Trepczynski Scholarship for Archival Administration
This scholarship was established in honor of Cymbrie Pratt Trepczynski who graduated with her MLIS and Archival Administration certificate from Wayne State in 1993 and pursued a career as an archivist working on projects for GM, Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at WSU. The award recognizes scholastic achievement and provides assistance to students in the archival administration graduate certificate program.





Apr 11 / Christine Illichmann

Alternative Spring Break 2018 – Smithsonian Institute

Colleen Cirocco at the Smithsonian

Colleen Cirocco at work for the Smithsonian Institute.

Alternative Spring Break offers students at the Wayne State School of Information Sciences unique, one-week internship opportunities in real-world settings. This guest post is by student Colleen Cirocco, who spent her Spring Break at the Smithsonian.

It’s hard not to feel a bit of imposter syndrome when walking into an internship at the Smithsonian. The name itself invokes images of marble columns, long hallways, deep recesses of history and heritage. I had a hard time reminding myself that I would be able to offer much to this prestigious institution. I had to remember that I was selected for a reason, to spend one week offering my fledgling skills as an information professional. I arrived in Washington DC on Sunday, March 11 to much colder weather than I had packed for.

The next morning I clumsily found myself at the corner of 12th St and Constitution Avenue. Of course, I was nervous, but felt very reassured by Alison Oswald, our conscientious guide for the week. We walked through the empty museum, on our way to the back room of the archives center.

Alison explained that I would be going through as many boxes of their LGBT collection as possible in order to select images for an upcoming publication on LBGT history. There was a cart, about ten boxes, a Xerox machine, a log sheet, a pencil, and that’s all I would need. From examining a collection of One Magazine, an LGBT periodical dating back to the 1950s, I quickly realized I wouldn’t run out of work to do. I could have spent an hour looking at each magazine, reading the text and images, absorbing the sense of history that they carried. The cover illustrations were beautiful, with mid-century modern designs and provocative titles. I selected almost the entire box for scanning, not wanting to leave anything behind.

When choosing the images, I felt like history’s gatekeeper. I wanted to take my time to let each object have its say, and in selecting one, I felt like I was voting. As an intern, I did not have a final say as to which of the thousands of images would become one of the 50 chosen for the book. But if I took the time to log and Xerox an image, it was a vote for it to be taken out of hiding and given a voice. I wondered, if I don’t pick the image, who will ever see it? It’s almost as good as not even existing. I wondered, how are my own biases affecting which images I’m selecting? Am I being objective or just selecting what I think is interesting or beautiful? Does this mean that history is really just shaped by those who compile it and the biases that influence their selection?

I began to just trust my own judgment, thanks to the feedback and guidance of archivist Franklin Robinson, head of the book project. By the end of the week, I had gone through 25 boxes, selected 70 images, and digitized and uploaded dozens to their virtual archives. It was incredible to see an image go from inside a box on a shelf to a searchable image file because of my vote. I had a part in ushering these people, these events, these voices back into the world.

Apr 6 / Christine Illichmann

Alternative Spring Break 2018 – MIT Libraries

Today’s post has been submitted by SIS student Rebecca Roper. Rebecca is sharing her 2018 Alternative Spring Break experience at the Institute Archives and Special Collections, part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries.

SIS Student Rebecca Roper at work, surrounded by VHS and U-Matic tapes

For my alternate spring break, I had the opportunity to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries to work in their Institute Archives and Special Collections (IASC). I was incredibly excited to visit Boston and gain experience at a larger academic library and archives, since these are the areas I’m focusing on in my Master’s program at SIS.

My primary project was creating an inventory of a collection from MIT’s Office of Digital Learning (ODL). The Office had sent over plastic tubs full of a variety of media from early projects at MIT focused on media for instruction and learning. Many of the materials were from programs for foreign

language instruction, where others were filmed lectures on topics from economics to engineering. These dated to the 1980s to the early 2000s, and included a bunch of different media formats, including U-Matic and VHS tapes, videodiscs, open reel tapes, and floppy discs. My job was to figure out what was in the tubs and describe them in an inventory. I entered descriptive information into a spreadsheet as well as assigned an identifying number to each item, which I wrote on the label or exterior packaging of the media items in pencil. I took photographs of each item to create a visual inventory to go along with the spreadsheet. This process was tedious but the end result is very useful when multiple people are working on processing a collection, since it makes it clear which item is which.


A processed tub of open reel tapes and videodiscs.


Alongside my inventory project, I learned a lot about digital preservation from Nancy McGovern. We discussed issues surrounding digital preservation and how it differs from digital archives, and the projects she and MIT Libraries are working on to further digital preservation of their collections. I also worked with Kari Smith and Joe Carrano on digital forensics in the Digital Sustainability Lab. I learned how to use BitCurator and we were able to get information off of floppy discs, something I haven’t done since I was in elementary school! We also talked about web archiving and a few tools to use for that purpose. Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to meet with librarians and archivists from different areas of MIT Libraries to learn about the work they do, which was invaluable.

This was a wonderful experience (even with an unexpected snow day), and it came at the perfect moment as I prepare to graduate from SIS and enter the job market. I was able to gain practical experience working with audio-visual materials, as well as learn about different roles within university library and archives.





Apr 5 / Christine Illichmann

Alternative Spring Break 2018 – Maryland State Archives

Today’s post is written by SIS student Erin Zimmerman. Erin was a 2018 Alternative Spring Break Participant and spent the week at the Maryland State Archives.

Erin Zimmerman

Erin Zimmerman stands in front of the Maryland State Archives building.

My Alternative Spring Break assignment took me to the Maryland State Archives Imaging Services Department.  Having only touched on the topic of digitization in my coursework, I was very interested in seeing it put into practice.  I had participated over a decade ago in a project digitizing student records at the local university.  That experience had given me some idea as to what might be involved – feeding boxes of paper into a multi-feed scanner and looking at the results for imperfections.  Of course, I had romantic notions of handling brittle yellowed paper and preserving the handwritten documents for everyone to see, but as state archives are more of the official record keepers for the state, I wasn’t holding my breath.

I must admit that my week-long experience was better than I could have imagined.  We were given the opportunity to spend the week sampling several different job responsibilities and pieces of equipment.  We began by digitizing card catalog cards and marriage licenses from the 1950s.  This process was as I had envisioned – multi-feed scanners, checking the images for problems, renaming files, and uploading to the server.  I worked with 2 different scanners and picked up a lot of ideas for how to troubleshoot scanner issues.   We also went to a webinar with the staff and sat in on a lively conversation about quarantine procedures for newly acquired born-digital materials and the pros and cons of developing all software in-house as opposed to going with other vendors. Later, we got to use the Scan Master book scanner, which was roughly the size of a ping-pong table.  There we scanned a series of ledgers, a book, and even some letters from the special collections department.

We then spent some time with microfilm.  We saw how it was digitized, but spend more time looking at the resulting images of newspapers from the 60s and a series of cards from agency responsible for movie censorship, checking them for quality and adjusting the auto framing as needed.  We also saw how all the plats, land development maps, for the state of Maryland are processed and scanned.  Finally, we did some checked a collection of old photographs that had been digitized for contrast and added metadata to the images.  I suppose one of the most interesting aspect of the trip for me was my new respect for microfilm.  I had sort of categorized it as an outdated medium and given no thought to digitizing it.  Also, after a discussion in which one staff member referred to it as “the true archival medium”, have given it some thought and am inclined to agree.

Overall, we covered so much more than I thought possible in a week.  It was an amazing overview of all the different ways items can be digitized and all the work that goes into the process, so they can be made available and easily located by the public.  Everyone we worked with was very knowledgeable about their responsibilities and equipment.  They were also very welcoming and happy to share their experience with us.  This was an amazing way to spend my spring break.

Mar 30 / Christine Illichmann

Celebrate World Backup Day – 03.31.2018

It’s time for World Backup Day! That wonderful time where we remind those we love that data should be backed up – just in case! Is there any better way to show you care? 

Here are some gift ideas for World Backup Day – with all budgets in mind!

1 – Give the gift of an external hard drive or subscription to a backup cloud service. Who needs roses when you have peace of mind?

2 – Remind friends to back up phones, computers, and other technology like cameras and tablets. Back up all the technology!

3 – You might also want to encourage everyone to change their settings so that backups happen automatically. And if you’re especially tech-savvy, offer to help them change the settings, perhaps over a nice dinner!

4 – Set reminders on your calendar or smartphone that notify you weekly or monthly to do a data backup. This is the gift that keeps on giving.

5 –  Encourage your family and friends to take the World Backup Day Pledge!  “

“I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.”

Remind your loved ones that backing up their data will help them recover precious memories and information quickly! Data loss can happen in a number of ways:

  • Device Theft (it happens, unfortunately)
  • Device Damage (don’t try to pretend you haven’t spilled something on your phone)
  • Viruses (yikes, you clicked that link?)
  • Human Error (yes, you did just hit the delete button)

Spread the love this World Backup Day! And be sure to check out the official World Backup Day website at


Mar 7 / Allia McCoy

2018 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color – Travel Stipend!

What’s up SIS! This is Allia McCoy the Diversity GSA in the School of Information Sciences at Wayne State University. I have a scholarship to tell you about below!

Scholarships for Students: Current undergraduate and/or graduate Library and Information Science students are encouraged to apply for the 2018 Joint Conference of Librarians of Color to be held in Albuquerque, NM in September 2018. The selected students will be awarded travel stipends in the amount of $750 each. Registration will be waived. This is a wonderful experience for those interested in learning about library services to communities of color, and to network with professionals who serve those communities.


Allia L. McCoy

Graduate Diversity Assistant

School of Information Sciences

Wayne State University

Mar 7 / Allia McCoy

New SIS Diversity Graduate Student Assistant!

Hi my name is Allia McCoy and I’d like to introduce myself as SIS’s new Diversity Graduate Student Assistant! I graduated from Wayne State in 2015 with a B.A. in Media Arts and Studies. I’m pursuing an MLIS degree.I am interested in public libraries and how children learn how to read and gain literacy and stem skills via technology. I am hoping to focus on user experience and children’s services, where pedagogy and technology merge. I am passionate about youth services, as I am a mother myself. I have three children, a daughter who is 6 years old, and two sons who are 4, and 2 years old. My hobbies include writing (music, poetry, stories), reading, dancing and making jewelry and crafts, and of course playing with my kids.

My job is to inform and answer questions regarding Diversity and Inclusion in the school of Information Science. Through our outreach efforts we are increasing diversity with students from underrepresented backgrounds in our student body and in the field of Library and Information Science.I will post scholarship information as I receive it and helpful videos to make your life as a student and your matriculation easier as I navigate graduate school myself.I am looking forward to a great semester! It’s a great time to study information science! …#InformationIsLife!

Email me at

#AimHigher #Warriors

SIS Diversity Graduate Student Assistant Allia McCoy.

Feb 16 / Christine Illichmann

SIS Events Contribute to Student and Alumni Learning

The School of Information Sciences offers numerous opportunities for students and alumni to learn outside of the classroom and after graduation. A new line-up of events has recently been announced and the schedule is available below. If you missed the last couple of events, don’t fear! Recordings are available for you watch!

The January Career Advising Event featured SIS Career Advisor Kim Schroeder discussing the information management job market, with insights for job seekers interested in the field. Members of the recruiting and digital asset management teams for Quicken Loans joined the event and shared their perspective on information management careers.

The most recent SIS lunchtime webinar featured SIS faculty member Dr. Xiangmin Zhang and a panel of alumni including Laura Evans (Quicken Loans), Ben Noble (Ford Motor Company), and Maria Nuccilli (Wayne State University) discussing many aspects of user experience.

Upcoming SIS Events include:

February 21 – 11:45-1:00 PM 
Lunchtime Webinar: Death to Bunheads – How to Stay Relevant in Changing Times (RSVP)

March 19 – 4-6 PM
SIS Career Advising Session: Quicken Loans Data Analytics Center Tour (RSVP)

Nov 16 / Christine Illichmann

Information is…your new opportunity. Applications now being accepted for the Master of Science in Information Management program.

Information is…your new opportunity.

If you’re seeking a new career path, or simply want to expand opportunities in your current career, consider Information Management. Today’s information managers are in high-demand, mixing elements of computer programming, information science, and technology management to address needs that didn’t even exist ten years ago. The Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) at Wayne State University offers the skills and training needed to put you at the forefront of this growing field.

“Roughly half of the jobs in the top income quartile — defined as those paying $57,000 or more per year — are in occupations that commonly require applicants to have at least some computer coding knowledge or skill…,” according to Catey Hill, Editor at Marketwatch (1).

The MSIM at Wayne State University can give you the computer coding knowledge you need to meet – and exceed – this skill requirement. Our fully web-based degree program offers a flexible schedule allowing you to work on your career goals while leading a busy life. And our in-state tuition policy applies to online students, making us one of the most affordable programs available.

Stand out from the crowd by specializing in one of five areas, including Software Tools, Web-based Information Services, Data Analytics, Health and Scientific Data Management, and User Experience. Find out more about the MSIM and the available specializations on our website.

Registration for Winter 2018 semester closes soon. Sign up to receive an information packet by email today and we can help you get started on the next steps. Complete the application process by December 8, 2017 and start classes in January 2018.


Nov 10 / Christine Illichmann

Student Allie Penn interns at CNN

SIS Student Allie Penn is currently an Editorial Research Intern for CNN in Atlanta, where she’ll be working until early December. We caught up with Allie and asked her for details on her work at CNN.

What are some of your typical day to day tasks there? 

A typical day starts with me working the reference desk with my supervisor Lindsey. The sort of reference work we do is usually any information relating to a particular story. CNN’s library is in-house only. Only in certain cases would you be able to make a reference request from outside the company. Some of the requests are more in-depth and some are simply quick contact requests. I’ve looked up court documents, statistics, other stories relating to a potential CNN story, and information regarding different individuals CNN would like to interview. From there I usually work on different projects that I am assigned. Most of them are updating statistics that CNN uses to write stories. A large part of what I do is work with what they call “Fast Facts,” which are just quick bios or timelines of different individuals and events. This helps when news stories break or individuals pass away. Depending on what is going on in the news cycle that day, it can be very busy or it can be quiet, but it never stays quiet for long.

Are you working on any fun projects you can share with the SIS community? 

I’ve gotten to work on a couple of cool projects while working at CNN. I think what is often more rewarding is when something you have worked on becomes part of the news. I have been able to do research contributing stories to Hurricane Maria, Irma, and Harvey. Additionally, I’ve completed research for stories focused on the tragedies that have occurred lately, such as the Las Vegas and New York attacks. I was also able to do some of the research on the Kevin Spacey allegations. This story in particular I, and the other librarians, completed lots of research for:

Is there anything that you’ve found new or surprising about the type of librarianship you’re involved in there? 

I think being a part of CNN is a great opportunity. They really operate on their own systems and a lot of their own rules. Using a unique in-house reference system allows me to develop my reference skills. These types of skills will be transferable to any future librarian or archivist position I have. Good reference skills are key in our line of work. Additionally, I love how quickly everything moves. You always have to be on the ball and quick to adapt. It can get pretty hectic quickly, the faster you move the better, but efficiency is key.

I am able to work in various areas and connect with the different librarians and archivists. CNN has its own methods of digitizing, selection, cataloging and indexing, and reference work, both for its video collections and for breaking news stories. It is great to be a part of something so relevant and important in today’s world as CNN.