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Jul 24 / Christine Illichmann

SIS Alumna Responds to Forbes Article With a Dose of Reality


Image by via Unsplash

This week Forbes Magazine posted (and subsequently removed) an article in which the author stated that public libraries could be replaced by Amazon stores. Many library professionals and library supporters wrote responses to the piece, including SIS alumna Michelle Williamson (MLIS ’02), a librarian at the Ferndale Public Library in Ferndale, Michigan.

Michelle wrote a Facebook post detailing a recent interaction she had with patron. The phone call was one of many she probably had that day, but it demonstrates the resources and customer service library users receive, the likes of which would be unmatched by an Amazon store. Here’s what Michelle wrote:

“In light of the very terrible Forbes article, I appreciated this interaction I had on the phone yesterday.

Patron: I’m looking on the catalog for this book but I don’t see it. I can’t imagine no TLN libraries have it. 

Me: Ok, let me take a look…you’re right, I don’t see it at all. Let me check on Amazon to make sure we have the title correct.

(finds the book on Amazon in Kindle and hardcover formats)

Ohhh, this is probably why no libraries have it. The hardcover version is $91.

Patron: *flustered incredulity about ridiculous prices*

Me: You know, since there is a Kindle version, I can check and see if it’s available on Hoopla or Overdrive. Are you familiar with those?

Patron: I had Hoopla for a while, but I deleted it. It didn’t seem useful.

Me: Well, I will check for it, but it might take me a minute. Can I call you back?

A few minutes later-

Me: Ma’am, they do have it on Hoopla. Would you like to sign up for it again?

Patron: Yes! What do I need to do? How much will it cost?

Me: It’s free with your library card! It will take maybe five minutes.”

Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this moment of your day and for providing an example of just why libraries are unmatched in the resources, services, and spaces they provide!

Jul 17 / Christine Illichmann

Shatha Baydoun Reflects on ALA Student-to-Staff Experience

Shatha Baydoun (far right) is seen here with ALA president Loida Garcia-Febo and fellow Student-to-Staff participants.

Shatha Baydoun is an MLIS student in the School of Information Sciences. Her projected graduation is May 2018. In this post, Shatha shares her recent experience in the ALA Student-to-Staff program.

There are few occasions in one’s career that are ground-breaking and being selected to represent WSU as a Student-to-Staff (S2S) at ALA’s annual conference was such an occasion for me. Between June 21-26, I partook in my first conference as an information science student at New Orleans. I was surprised that some ALA members did not know about the S2S program. Briefly, the program was designed in 1973 as an opportunity for students to network and interact with professionals in the field. I was assigned to the International Relations Office (IRO), a division of ALA, devoted to global communities and libraries.

True to its mission, my experience with the S2S program was very informative and productive. At times, the sheer breadth and size of the conference was overwhelming, but the adage about librarians being the most helpful bunch is true. I was supported, mentored, and directed by all the wonderful librarians at the conference who were happy to welcome a recently-graduated librarian to the fold.

Despite my short trip, I also saw and met amazing people. I witnessed Michelle Obama officially open the ALA ceremony and I met the newly-elects ALA president Loida Garcia-Febo. I also take part in some of ALA’s Job Placement workshops like the ones on salary negotiation and resume-writing. As a new MIS graduate, these workshops were very useful to me. On a personal note, I got to savor New Orleans’ local flavors such as the famous beignets and chicory coffee. I also got to party with my S2S fellow students. In short, I learned a lot but got to have tons of fun in the process.


Jun 13 / Christine Illichmann

INF 6000 Students Share Information Management Insights

Students in Dr. Timothy Bowman’s INF 6000 recently created a video answering questions about information management and associated topics. If you’ve been curious about the Master of Science in Information Management or wondered about information science and information management, check out this helpful video.

Thanks to Dr. Bowman and Jodi Coalter, Heather Kolf, Jane Montgomery, Paula Montgomery, and Sushila Srinivasan for your work on this video!

View the full video on the WSU School of Information Studies Youtube Channel:

Jun 12 / Christine Illichmann

Call for Proposals: Network Detroit 2018 Conference

The Network Detroit 2018 Conference Call for Proposals closes on June 30, 2018. This year’s conference is entitled “Digital Humanities and Activism: Communities in Motion”.

Network Detroit 2018 will be a one day conference dedicated to bringing together DH scholars and practitioners, coders, humanists, activists, students, and community members.

Read the full Call for Proposals and submit your idea(s) for lightning talks, papers/presentations, panels, posters, and workshops today!

Jun 5 / Christine Illichmann

Miss the 2018 Career Fair? Recording and presentations are available!

Did you miss the 2018 Career Fair? Don’t worry! We have the information you need to recap what you missed out on.

Catch up on the panel discussion: A Library and Information Science Show and Tell, as well as Career Advisor Kim Schroeder’s presentation on Professional Branding, plus Networking for your Future presented by Gail Madziar, Executive Director, Michigan Library Association and Steven Bowers, Michigan Library Association President-Elect and Executive Director at DALNET.

All three sessions can be seen here:

PowerPoint slides from the presentations are available on the SIS Career Advising Page at:

May 24 / Christine Illichmann

Edit-A-Thon Sparks Wikipedia Wednesdays

This post comes to us from SIS Student Jodi Coalter. Jodi is President of the Wayne State Student Chapter of ASIS&T and was the driving force behind the university-wide Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon in celebration of the sesquicentennial.

On March 22nd, the Wayne State University Libraries and the School of Information Sciences hosted a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon. The event focused on removing the promotional materials that made up the bulk of the Wayne State Wikipedia article, as well as creating new pages for schools and departments that didn’t have one. Overall, the event made changes to over 10,000 bytes of data, and added 6 new pages to Wikipedia.

As many librarians know, Wikipedia is one of the more popular tools to gather information. Over the past decade, Wikipedia has earned a place in the top 10 most frequented sites on the internet. This makes using Wikipedia in libraries not only useful, but effective; patrons are learning on a platform that they are already familiar with. Teaching information literacy, citation checking, and information assessment becomes easy and useful when using Wikipedia.

Because of this ease of use, and because the Edit-a-Thon was a success, starting in the fall semester, ASIS&T@Wayne will be hosting monthly “Wikipedia Wednesdays”. These events will continue to focus on improving the Wayne page, with the hope of branching out into other areas of interest. More importantly, it will be an opportunity for future librarians and students, staff and faculty in general to get together, share ideas, and have fun while contributing to this great resource. We encourage anyone interested in attending or helping to contact ASIS&T@Wayne president, Jodi Coalter (

As always, we encourage everyone to edit Wikipedia whenever they want to improve an article! The Edit-a-Thon libguide is still up and will be edited for use as a general editing guide. Stop by for tips and tricks on how you can contribute to Wikipedia! Remember – “Be Bold”!

May 22 / Allia McCoy

Great Scholarship Opportunity for Fans of Bookmobiles and Outreach Services!


The Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS), an affiliate of the American Library Association, offers annual awards that recognize outstanding service, support for conference attendance, and the education of a student currently enrolled in a Library Science degree program.  In particular, The Bernard Vavrek Scholarship provides $1000 to a library school student interested in outreach and bookmobile services.

 Dr. Bernard Vavrek, Professor of Library Science and Chair of the Library Science Department at Clarion University, retired after teaching at Clarion from 1971-2008. He co-founded with John Philip the “Great American Bookmobile Conference,” running it for many years until ABOS was formed and took over management of the conference.  This scholarship honors Dr. Vavrek’s profound commitment to librarianship.

 The 2018 Conference will be held in Raleigh, NC from October 17-19, 2018. Please share information about our scholarship, awards and conference with your students and faculty.  Information can be found at our website,

The application deadline for this year’s awards is August 1 at 8p.m. EST.


For more scholarship information and job/internship postings subscribe to our listserv…

To subscribe:

  • Send an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTS.WAYNE.EDU
  • Leave the subject line blank
  • Type subscribe sisinf with your firstname and your lastname into the body of the message
  • Send the e-mail
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  • Retain a paper copy of the welcome message that explains the commands available and outlines the polices that apply to that listserv
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.