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May 21 / Christine Illichmann

Alternative Spring Break 2018 – Walter P. Reuther Library

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 Ellen Gleason, who spent her Spring Break at the Walter P. Reuther Library.

Over my spring break this year I had the pleasure of working at the Walter P. Reuther Library in Detroit, Michigan. As a student studying archival administration, it was wonderful to see firsthand how university, labor, and urban affairs archivists work together to provide access to and information about the history of Detroit as well as national labor groups.

Along with another MLIS student in the Wayne State program we were tasked with arranging and describing an unprocessed collection to create an online finding aid.  I worked on the St. Anthony Community Council Records and created the finding aid, which can be found here:

During the week I was able to utilize my skills in research as well as writing in order to gather information on this lesser known community group. We worked in stages to do preliminary research, document our observations about the records, and produce an organizational outline for how the records would be kept. I later synthesized this information into the finding aid structure that all processed collections at the Reuther library follow. I learned how to author an organizational background, scope and content note, along with recording relevant metadata to be used in the Archives Space software.

I’m so glad I was able to have this opportunity to process and create a finding aid for researchers to utilize. Because this was a smaller collection (0.75 linear feet) I was able to finish in less than a week  (pictured at right), which left time to learn even more about the different tasks and roles archivists have. Over the course of the week we learned about the different types of archivists (union specific, urban affairs, audiovisual, outreach, field etc.) and sat in on a staff meeting. I was also able to observe a reading room shift to see how researchers interact with the records themselves.

This opportunity has only grown my excitement to continue with my MLIS and Archival Administration Graduate Certificate at Wayne State. It has been an invaluable experience to be able to work next to and talk to seasoned archivists who shared their experiences and advice for a student moving forward. I would recommend any students looking to expand their professional network and gain experience in an information professional setting to look into the Alternative Spring Break program. I know I will be applying for my next spring break as well.

Ellen Gleason
MLIS Archival Administration
Wayne State University

May 17 / Allia McCoy

Job Posting/Diversity Fellow Librarian / Loyola Notre Dame Library / Baltimore, MD

The Loyola Notre Dame Library <>  seeks a creative and innovative librarian with a commitment to serving diverse and historically underrepresented groups to join our Research and Technology Services Department for a dynamic two-year term fellowship, with a possibility for a third year. The Diversity Fellow will be fully immersed in librarianship. In the first year, the Fellow will develop essential skill sets for designing and delivering instruction, engaging with faculty in digital scholarship, establishing campus and professional connections and supporting research and technology services. To explore his/her specific interests, the Fellow will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other librarians to lead outreach initiatives, including marketing library events, serve as a liaison to an academic department, and actively participate in assessing the use of the library’s virtual and physical spaces.


In the second year, the Fellow will lead a collaborative project that aligns with his/her interests and skills to promote librarianship. The Fellow will have the opportunity to serve on committees and will be encouraged to engage in professional development activities and attend local and national conferences. The successful candidate will communicate effectively and work collaboratively with other units in the library and on campus to support the information needs of a diverse population of undergraduates, graduates, and faculty at Loyola University Maryland <>  and Notre Dame of Maryland University <> .

Examples of Position Responsibilities:

*             Provide in-person and online research instruction to students, incorporating active learning and emerging technologies.

*             Coordinate the Library’s digital literacy pop up classes and Makerspace instruction initiatives in partnership with the Technology Librarian.

*             Support faculty in digital scholarship as assigned.

*             Lead marketing initiatives to creatively promote Library events and services.

*             Propose and implement a service learning project promoting academic librarianship through community outreach.

*             Coordinate student worker reference training and provide general reference service (some evenings and weekends required).

*             Perform liaison duties to promote services and resources to faculty.

*             Participate in other departmental and library-wide initiatives as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

*             Completed an ALA-accredited Master’s in Library/Information Science within the last two years;

*             Demonstrated interest in library pedagogy, digital literacy, or instructional design;

*             Demonstrated interest in service learning initiatives;

*             Demonstrated effective oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills;

*             Demonstrated leadership skills;

*             Ability to work creatively and effectively both individually and collaboratively;

*             Ability to thrive in a changing work environment and demonstrated project management skills;

*             Demonstrated commitment to professional development.

Preferred Qualifications:

*             Familiarity with usability and assessment practices;

*             Familiarity with Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Photoshop and/or other basic graphic design software;

*             Familiarity with tools and methods for digital scholarship;

*             Familiarity with established and emerging technologies, such as graphic design, website creation, social media, or data visualization;

*             Interest in contributing to the profession through research and scholarly communication.

About the Library:

The Loyola Notre Dame Library <> , located in northern Baltimore City, is a member of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions <>  and serves Loyola University Maryland <>  and Notre Dame of Maryland University <> . The library serves as an integral part of the campuses by providing information services and resources to support the academic programs and educational concerns of the two institutions. Loyola University Maryland, a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities <> , is recognized for excellence in teaching and learning. Notre Dame of Maryland University is a leader in the education of women and non-traditional students. The Library serves a student population of 6,160 FTE.

The Library offers an excellent benefit package that includes medical, access to dental, life, disability insurance, and TIAA‐CREF retirement. Librarians also receive support for professional development. Successful candidates will be subject to a pre‐employment background check.

The Loyola Notre Dame Library is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

Application Procedures: Review of applications will begin immediately and the position will remain open until filled. Please submit electronically a resume, cover letter, and a list of three (3) work-related references with “Diversity Fellow Librarian” in the subject line to Lorena Dion, Administrative Operations Coordinator: <> .


Interested in jobs in the information field? Subscribe to the SIS Jobs Listserv! Directions are at

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)