SLIS Alumna, Sari Feldman, is ALA's President-Elect

July 2014

ALA has announced its new President-elect, Sari Feldman.  Feldman received her MA in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, School of Library and Information Studies.  She will serve this year as President-elect, before assuming the role of President at the end of the 2015 ALA convention in San Francisco.


Feldman has held every job possible in the Public Library profession, and is currently serves as the executive director at the Cuyahoga County Public Library (Ohio).  Including her directorship, she has held numerous leadership positions including President of the Public Library Association (‘09-’10) and was appointed co-chair of ALA’s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group in 2010, and is still currently serving.  


SLIS is proud of Sari!

Doctoral student, Kyle Jones, wins Eugene Garfield Fellowship

July 2014

Current SLIS PhD candidate Kyle Jones was selected Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.  This fellowship is awarded through Beta-Phi-Mu, a group founded on the principles of recognizing and encouraging scholastic achievement in the field of Library and Information studies. Jones is also a Teaching Assistant for SLIS Distance Education, a Project Assistant for the DoIT Academic Technology- Evaluation Team, and has instructed courses at SLIS including a one-credit course earlier this summer entitled, “Social Media for Information Agencies.”


Congratulations Kyle Jones on this well-deserved fellowship!

SLIS Staffer, Omar Poler, Honored at ALA Convention

June 2014

Omar Poler, Associate Outreach Specialist at SLIS and the Tribal Libraries, Archives, Museums (TLAM) Student Group adviser, was awarded second place for his poster at the Office of Literacy and Outreach Services' Diversity and Outreach Fair at the American Library Association conference in Las Vegas. The poster highlighted Convening Great Lakes Culture Keepers, an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded project to incorporate Indigenous information issues in graduate LIS education by creating new continuing education opportunities for tribal librarians, archivists, and museum curators. Congratulations to Omar for his outstanding work and recognition at ALA!

SLIS Welcomes archivist Amy Sloper to faculty

July 2014


SLIS is excited to welcome Amy Sloper to the faculty. She accepted the position of Head Film Archivist at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater in April. Part of her duties on campus will be to teach for SLIS and her first course will be Introduction to Archives (LIS 734) in April 2015. After earning her undergraduate degree at UW-Madison in Communication Arts, she moved on to UCLA to earn a degree in Moving Image Archive Studies. Most recently, Amy was the Assistant File Curator at the Harvard Film Archive. Welcome, Amy!

SLIS mourns the passing of Eliza Dresang

April 2014

SLIS mourns the passing of 1981 PhD alumna Eliza Dresang, Professor at University of Washington iSchool and "champion of children's literature and digital resources."

Her research, teaching, and service focused on the information behavior and resources of digital youth. She earned her Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies from University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1981, and her Masters in Library Science from University of California, Los Angeles. Eliza was honored with the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2001.

SLIS Graduates Help Shape the Role of Libraries

April 2014

SLIS graduates, Laura Damon-Moore (MA ’12) and Erinn Batykefer (MA ’12), were recently featured in an article, “What Will Become of the Library?” in Slate Magazine. Their influential “Library as Incubator Project,” demonstrates ways that libraries will remain relevant in the digital age. The Library as Incubator Project website features different programs revolving around the creation and sharing of art; some of the most popular are mentioned in the Slate article.

Additionally, Damon-Moore and Batykefer have recently published a book entitled, The Artist’s Library, set to come out this May, which further outlines ways in which libraries can foster creativity and learning through art. There will be an event at Madison Public Library to celebrate the launch of the book on May 16th.

Through the “Library as Incubator Project” and new book The Artist’s Library, Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Batykefer continue to help shape the changing roles libraries and librarianship.

For more information on The Artist’s Library visit the event page.

LILI Practicum: Learning to Teach

April 2014

The LILI Practicum, offered each fall and spring semester, is a chance for SLIS students to gain real-life experience in information-literacy instruction at a UW-Madison campus library. Each student in the class has a different field placement and special projects to work on throughout the semester.

Rachel Hitt

Where did you do your Practicum this semester and what were your main projects? 

I did my practicum at Memorial Library.  My main projects included planning and teaching various Communication and English sessions.  I also created a tutorial and assessment for finding print journals in the Memorial Library stacks.

In what ways will the LILI practicum help you in the future?

I think this practicum will be most helpful in my future profession because of its authenticity.  For instance, in the case of the Shakespeare class, I had to request clarification on the assignment and explore potential resources in addition to creating and implementing the lesson plan and the Library Course.  The practicum allowed for a very realistic approach to Library instruction.

What challenges did you face in the LILI practicum that you might not have experienced if you didn’t take the course?

Without the LILI practicum, I would not have had an opportunity to provide library instruction or observe the varied styles and techniques of Madison Librarians.  Again, it provided a way of gaining authentic and practical experience. 

Laura Rudquist

Where did you do your Practicum this semester and what were your main projects?

My practicum was at the LILI office in Memorial.  I taught classes including CP 125, an elective course to introduce freshmen to the research university, as well as introductory English classes for ESL students.  My projects included an environmental scan of Library Literature conference proceedings about new trends in library instruction and I also designed a survey for the instruction listservs.

In what ways will the LILI practicum help you in the future?

I appreciated the hands-on learning experience that gave me perspective on successful ways of engaging students.  I really enjoyed collaborating with a variety of librarians as well as my classmates and was able to learn from them and think about myself as an instructor in a new way.

What challenges did you face in the LILI practicum that you might not have experienced if you didn’t take the course?

After each class I taught, my mentor or assistant would ask, “How do you think it went?”  Other than the standard “good,” I would always reflect on how different it feels to actually be teaching and engaging students as opposed to just practicing; a feeling I didn’t necessarily expect.  I was also challenged by mentors throughout the class to keep the “why” of what I was teaching in mind, which was more difficult when I was writing the learning objectives, or developing activities by myself.  It was really valuable for me to focus on why library instruction is important for students and then work tomeet their needs, rather than just accomplishing the goals that I envisioned.

Jackie Lang

Where did you do your Practicum this semester and what were your main projects?

I did my LILI practicum at MERIT Library in Educational Sciences.  During the semester I did a variety of instruction projects including teaching several firstyear experience seminar library sessions, a Zotero workshop, a SMART board session for a Curriculum & Instruction class, two English courses for ESL students, and an Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis class.  I also created a video tutorial for editing teaching observations in iMovie and how to convert MPEG-4 files to flash.

In what ways will the LILI practicum help you in the future?

I learned so much in the LILI practicum.  First and foremost, I developed teaching skills.  Between the education pedagogy readings and discussions in class, and the actual instruction sessions, I started to develop my own instruction style.  I also learned about the different roles of librarians on campus and how closely librarians work with each other and academic faculty to create meaningful information literacy instruction sessions.  I think that I learned theory to help me teach, the experience to hone my skills, and the organization skills to make me a good librarian and colleague.

What challenges did you face in the LILI practicum that you might not have experienced if you didn’t take the course?

Without the LILI practicum, I don’t think I would have challenged or pushed myself to try instruction in a formal setting.  Adapting to difficult schedules and deadlines, and balancing outside commitments was hard, frankly: but worth it.  I don’t think I would have grown as much professionally without facing those challenges.

Lori Steckervetz

Where did you do your Practicum this semester and what were your main projects?

My practicum was at Steenbock Library, where I co-taught four 3-hour library instruction sessions for Biology 152, taught Endnote Basic to Life Sciences Communication 100, taught two Library Instruction sessions for two ESL classes, and researched and presented to Steenbock Library Instruction Staff on learning outcomes assessment and incorporating an assessment piece into Biology 152.

In what ways will the LILI practicum help you in the future?

The LILI practicum helped by providing a realistic teaching situation; not only in the classroom but also in regards to the necessary steps prior to that, including communicating with instructors and faculty and working out the logistics of the instructional sessions.  Additionally the practicum helped me learn how to contextualize information literacy concepts in order to make them more meaningful and accessible for the undergraduates I worked with. Finally, it raised my overall confidence in my ability to instruct in this type of setting.  

What challenges did you face in the LILI practicum that you might not have experienced if you didn’t take the course?

The course helped me learn how to be flexible. I often had to adapt to a changing and unpredictable environment. I also had to be flexible if instructors asked me to cover subject matter I hadn’t necessarily planned on covering.

SLIS Alumni Honored as Movers & Shakers 2014 by Library Journal

March 2014

This year, five of Library Journal’s “Movers & Shakers” are University of Wisconsin, School of Library and Information Studies alumni.  They are chosen as the top 50 up-and-coming individuals being recognized for their creativity, innovativeness, and ability to make a difference.  They will be highlighted in the March 15th edition of Library Journal.

Laura Damon-Moore (’12) and Erinn Batykefer (’12) were also recognized as Change Agents. Both of these graduates are co-founders/editors of the Library as Incubator Project.  The project emphasizes partnerships between libraries and artists, writers, and performing artists.

Laura Damon-Moore & Erinn Batykefer (Photo by Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Library Journal)

Laura Damon-Moore & Erinn Batykefer
(Photo by Cynthia Marie Hoffman, Library Journal)

Amy Holcomb (’09) was recognized as an Innovator. As a Youth Services Librarian at Northbrook Public Library, she has worked at new ways to use current technology in libraries. This prompted her to start a program “Apprentices of the Book Empire,” designed to help 6th graders work on creating and binding their own books.

Amy Holcomb (Photo by Karina Guico, Library Journal)

Amy Holcomb (Photo by Karina Guico, Library Journal)

Elizabeth McChesney (’88), current Director of Children and YA services at Chicago Public Library is being recognized for her work in summer reading programs, leading one of the largest of such programs in the nation.  The growth of the program led her to be named a Change Agent.

Elizabeth McChesney (Photo by Tiffany Szymanski, Library Journal)

Elizabeth McChesney
(Photo by Tiffany Szymanski, Library Journal)

Omar Poler ('10) SLIS graduate, and current Associate Outreach Specialist, is being named a Change Agent.  He is being recognized specifically for his work in Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums (TLAM) and Convening Culture Keepers (CCK).  He joins other current SLIS faculty/staff Kristin Eschenfelder (2005) and Dorothea Salo (2009) as recipients of these honors.

Omar Poler (Photo by Michael Pilla, Library Journal)

Omar Poler
(Photo by Michael Pilla, Library Journal)