February News Digest

Posted: Feb. 7, 2013

News From GSLIS at Illinois

Faculty News

Learn more about the HathiTrust Research Center
The HathiTrust Research Center, a collaboration between the University of Illinois and Indiana University, is developing tools and cyberinfrastructure to help scholars with research using the HathiTrust Digital Library. Watch this video produced by the Center to learn more about its aims and to hear from HTRC co-director Stephen Downie, GSLIS professor and associate dean for research.

Jana Diesner receives XSEDE allocation award, Ford Foundation grant
Jana Diesner, assistant professor, has received a start-up allocation award from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). This award provides Diesner and her co-PI Brent Fegley, a doctoral student in the Informatics program, with time on XSEDE’s high-performance computing resources. For this project, the team uses natural language processing and machine learning techniques to develop an entity extraction technology that is particularly useful for applications in the social sciences and humanities.

Diesner is also principal investigator on a grant awarded by the Ford Foundation to develop, evaluate, and apply a computational solution for measuring the impact of social justice documentaries. Diesner was approached by Ford to help them understand the broader impact of such media productions. Diesner sees the project as a demonstration of the broad scope of research in GSLIS. “This project allows us to be part of a larger, current, real-world initiative, and to bring our advanced expertise in socio-technical data analytics to the table. I am thrilled to contribute to the Ford Foundation’s mission to ‘advance social justice worldwide’ with our scientific work, and to ‘work with visionaries on the frontlines of social change’” she said.

Alistair Black receives support for research on library design
Professor Alistair Black has received continued support from the University of Illinois Research Board for his project, “Buildings of Hope: The Design of Public Libraries in Britain in the Long 1960s.” The project examines what modernist library design meant to librarians, architects, local politicians and planners, and the public against the backdrop of a powerful desire for national modernization. The research will contribute to recent revisions of the thesis that the 1960s in Britain was in effect a “failed” decade.

Emily Knox on banned books, knowledge, and power
Get to know GSLIS Assistant Professor Emily Knox in a new interview where she talks about her childhood interest in banned books and the issues of knowledge and power explored by her current research on intellectual freedom.

McDowell serves on NEH committee to develop reading list
Assistant Professor Kate McDowell is serving on a committee for the National Endowment for the Humanities that seeks to create a nonfiction summer reading list to supplement the organization’s standard summer reading list. She has been working with the committee to issue a press release and call for nominations and will serve on the final evaluation committee.

Jenkins appointed to award committee
GSLIS Associate Professor Christine Jenkins has been appointed to the 2014 Committee for the Sibert Information Book Medal, awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children.

Stevenson helps to plan ALSC preconference
Center for Children’s Books Director Deborah Stevenson will be serving on the Association for Library Service to Children Preconference Planning Committee, which will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal at the ALA Annual Conference.

Wickett gives presentation on scientific data at annual American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
In December, Karen Wickett (MS ’07, PhD ’12), a postdoctoral research associate at GSLIS, presented “Representing Identity and Equivalence for Scientific Data” at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, which attracts more than 20,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and other leaders. Wickett addressed the issues of equivalence and identity in the representation of scientific data with two conceptual models developed out of the Data Concepts Group at the Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship (CIRSS). The presentation is based on a paper coauthored with CIRSS Doctoral Student Simone Sacchi, and CIRSS affiliated faculty members David Dubin and Allen Renear.

Doctoral Student News

Leetaru attends National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, Supercomputing conference

Doctoral student Kalev Leetaru was selected for the 2012 National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, The Informed Brain in a Digital World, which “brings together more than 100 of the nation’s best and brightest researchers from academic, industrial, and government laboratories to ask questions about—and to discover interdisciplinary connections between—important areas of cutting-edge research.” The charge to Leetaru’s team was to “identify the ways in which the Internet positively and negatively impacts social behavior,” exploring the interplay between the digital and physical worlds.

Leetaru also attended Supercomputing 2012 where he once again collaborated with SGI and the University of Illinois CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information (CIGI) Laboratory to debut the first-ever realtime combined population, tone, and geographic analysis of the live Twitter Decahose (10% of all tweets globally), creating a realtime map of global dreams and fears. Additionally, movies were created to show Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 U.S. presidential election as viewed through the eyes of Twitter.

Weible receives Landon Historical Research Grant
Doctoral student Cherié Weible is the 2013 winner of the Alfred M. Landon Historical Research Grant given by the Kansas Historical Foundation. Weible’s research interests include the history of libraries and librarianship, with a special interest in literacy and libraries on the American frontier. She will be conducting research on site at the Kansas State Historical Society later this spring.

School News

Center for Children’s Books announces 2013 Gryphon Award winner
Island: A Story of the Galápagos, written and illustrated by Jason Chin, and published by Roaring Brook Press, is the winner of the 2013 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature. The Award, which includes a $1,000 prize, is given annually by the Center for Children’s Books (CCB). This year’s committee was chaired by Deborah Stevenson, director of the CCB, and Kate Quealy-Gainer, assistant editor of the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. The prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding English language work of fiction or nonfiction for which the primary audience is children in kindergarten through fourth grade, and which best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.

Two Gryphon Honors also were named: Little Dog Lost (Nancy Paulsen Books), written and illustrated by Monica Carnesi, and Bink and Gollie: Two for One (Candlewick Press), written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile.

See you at the iConference!
We’re looking forward to seeing you in Fort Worth! For a full list of GSLIS faculty, staff, and student presentations please visit our website, and be sure to visit with us at our reception on Wednesday, February 13, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Worthington Renaissance Vidalia Restaurant, 200 Main Street, Fort Worth.

Save the date for the GSLIS Research Showcase!
The GSLIS Research Showcase will be held on March 29, 2013, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. GSLIS faculty and Ph.D. students will present short talks and posters highlighting their scholarly work. This annual event is open to campus and the general public. Check out last year’s presentations on our website.

Join us for eChicago 2013 - April 26-27 - University of Illinois at Chicago
This year's 7th annual eChicago event will provide insider summaries of statewide BTOP broadband projects and explore local wiki websites as an action plan for putting broadband to work.

eChicago is a place where people share what is happening and what could happen to make Chicago not only a digital city, but also a more democratic one. The goal is digital equality and connecting people who don’t find each other easily in their daily lives: all kinds of librarians with community workers and volunteers; students with professionals; social workers and library people; campus with community; government and grassroots.

Filed Under: School News