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A remarka-bull heritage month: black history resources & collections

Article written by Corinne Titus

Though the concept of celebrating and highlighting the work of Black Americans has been an idea since 1926, originally dubbed “Negro History week” by Carter G. Woodson and celebrated during the second week of February, in 1976 President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month. Ford urged the public to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” In keeping with that tradition, as information science students, here is a list of some of the amazing resources and collections the USF Library offers that center on Black histories and stories!

The African American Experience (AAE) in Florida Collection

Begun in 2020 and sparked by the death of George Floyd, USF’s Dean of Libraries Todd Chavez asked how USF could contribute to the battle against systemic racism and thus, this resource was born. The AAE portal highlights a span of documents, interviews, and narratives of the lives and experiences of Black Floridians, some as early as accounts of formerly enslaved people, to as recent as coverage of Black Lives Matter protests. In addition to resources that cover racism and its effects on the population of Florida, the collection also houses general accounts of daily living, and is an invaluable resource for any local history buffs. I highly recommend looking through what is stored in the Arts section, as it houses works from composers like W. C. Handy, the “Father of Blues,” and papers and books from Jacqueline Woodson, author of many Sunshine State books, 4 time Newberry Award winner, and recipient of the ALA’s 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy award. 

Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black Students, Inc. (COQEBS)

The USF St. Petersburg Library houses the background documents for COQEBS in its online collection. Following the final class action settlement agreement in 2010, the Pinellas County Circuit Court approved the right of this group of individuals and organizations to ensure that the Pinellas County School Board fulfils its oath of providing equitable, quality education for Black students in Pinellas County. Included within these documents are submissions from 1991 about the desegregation of Pinellas County schools, and reports on progress of the school board’s educational commitment from 2014 onward. 

The International Journal of Africana Studies: The Journal of the National Council for Black Studies, Inc.

The issues of the International Journal of Africana Studies that are collected online cover a broad range of topics and span issues from 1999 to 2010. Articles written cover underground rap movements, the evolution of welfare rights in Boston, echoes of racism and oppression in how light-skinned Black people are treated and valued, and even commentary on the nonverbal communication practices among people of African descent. The wealth of information contained within these journals cannot be understated, and this can give students a glimpse of not only the experiences of Black Americans, but Black citizens of the UK, and present-day Africans as well. 

You can also celebrate Black History Month by making a conscious effort to read Black authors, though this is something I recommend all year round as well. Here is the press release from the Black Caucus American Library Association Book Award winners from 2023, including their first Novelist Award winner Black Cake: a Novel by Charmaine Wilkerson. In addition, ALA has published the list of 2023 Coretta Scott King Book Award winners and honors, which bridge a wide range of topics and age ranges, from picture books to YA graphic novels. Below are some personal suggestions of books I read and enjoyed this year written by Black authors.

There Was a Party for Langston by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jermone & Jarrett Pumphrey

Jason Reynold’s debut picture book was inspired by a picture of Amiri Baraka and Maya Angelou dancing at a party for Langston Hughes in the Schomburg Library in Harlem. Langston’s ashes are buried there and were interred in 1991 on what would have been the poets 89th birthday. The book uses onomatopoeic language to give rhythm to the text, and quotes from some of Langston’s poems are incorporated through the illustrations. 

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes 

This middle grade novel explores themes of police brutality, both in the present and in the past. The ghost of Emmett Till makes an appearance to guide 12-year-old Jerome after he is killed by a police officer mistaking his toy gun for a real threat. Jerome also comes in contact with Sarah, the daughter of the police officer who killed him, as she struggles to understand what happened that night and how much blame her father carries. 

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

From the author of The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas explores the class divide and the roots of rap and hip-hop. Bri, the daughter of an underground rap legend who died prematurely, wants to make it big like her father never had the chance to. However, after her mother loses her job and the threat of homelessness stares down the family, the pressure to make It looms ever larger. 

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

A sci-fi apocalyptic read, where people are oppressed for their ability to control elemental magic while the world shakes apart during a giant earthquake. N. K. Jemisin is a three-time Hugo award winner for science-fiction, all three awards were won by her The Broken Earth triology. The Fifth Season is the first of that trilogy and will leave you wanting more after every plot twist. 

We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys by Erin Kimmerle

A professor of forensic anthropology at USF, Erin Kimmerle’s book explains the horrible truths found at the Dozier School for Boys site, which was shut down in 2011 after a century of rumors of abuse, cruelty, and “mysterious” deaths surrounded the school. Kimmerle narrates the experience of searching for unmarked graves on the grounds and how locals tried to shut her down in order to keep the reputation of the school intact. If you have any interest in forensic anthropology, or want to have a better understanding of how racial injustices can happen right in front of “well-intentioned” people and still nothing is done, this is an interesting and enlightening read.
*Kimmerle is a non-POC author, writing as an expert in forensic anthropology.

Whether you enjoy fact, fiction, or a mix of the two, I hope this Black History month you find something new - something that sparks your drive to dig deeper and learn more. Happy Black History Month Bulls!

Dr. Christina Eldredge named a fellow of the american medical informatics association by usf faculty honors, prizes & Awards

Christina Eldredge MD, PhD, FAMIA is an Associate Professor of Instruction in Health Informatics at the University of South Florida School of Information (iSchool) where she leads the growth of their Health Informatics (HI) program. Her long history of contributions to the field of health informatics led to her recent distinction as a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association (FAMIA). In addition to her passion for health informatics education, Dr. Eldredge leads the iSchool Health Informatics Research Lab (iSHIRL) with Dr. Jim Andrews and is the faculty advisor for the Student Health Informatics Club at USF. Her research interests and published work involve the use of controlled terminologies to study adverse events in clinical care and clinical trials, especially hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis events, and metadata standards. To view her USF Faculty Honorees profile and to read more on Dr. Eldredge's accomplishments, please visit the USF Research & Innovation webpage.

Dr. Ly dinh recent research article: "Are we projecting gender biases to ungendered things? Differences in referring to female versus male named hurricanes in 33 years of news coverage" 

Hurricanes are ungendered phenomena that are ascribed with gendered names. Dr. Ly Dinh and collegues examined if news information about the hurricanes are presented using gendered language. This work helps identify if people use gender stereotyping when referring to gender-neutral entities, and what these stereotypes might be. To read the full article, visit the Computational Communication Research Journal.

School of Information faculty and graduate develop statewide cyber intelligence assessment for Florida's critical infrastructure

In October of 2023, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (Cyber Florida) at the University of South Florida (USF) and Florida Digital Service collaborated to launch the state’s first statewide assessment of both public and private critical infrastructure cybersecurity. The assessment was part of a significant investment by the Florida Legislature to enhance the state’s cyber resiliency, dubbed “CyberSecureFlorida.” You can read the article here.

Dr. Amelia Anderson Co-Authors "Hidden Barriers: The Experience of Academic Librarians and Archivists with Invisible Illnesses and/or Disabilities"

Check out the recent publication from Dr. Amelia Anderson that was featured as a most read article. This article documents the experience of, and identifies professional barriers for, academic librarians and archivists with invisible illnesses and/or disabilities. You can read the article here.

Dr. Natalie Taylor to serve second Term as part of ALISE DDC CounciL

Dr. Natalie Taylor secures a second term as Co-Chair for the ALISE Deans, Directors, and Chairs Council. This council is the hub for library and information science education administrators, providing a forum to tackle industry challenges. It offers a structured space for executive officers to collaborate, devising solutions and issuing recommendations to the Association. You can read more about the concil on the ALISE website

Dr. Karen Kaufmann co-authors new Article "Measuring outcomes: Information literacy instruction assessment in a cross-institutional study"

Dr. Karen Kaufmann, in collaboration with her peers, has co-authored an article focused on assessing the influence of information literacy in higher education. This article delves into the outcomes of a comprehensive cross-institutional study, drawing upon resources from the ACRL Project Outcome Toolkit. The study yields essential insights into the significance of library instruction sessions for students attending both research and state colleges. To read the article in full visit Science Direct

Destyni Lalla awarded CAS Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Visualization, Virtualization and Simulation

In recognition of the power of data visualization in addressing critical global challenges, Destyni Lalla,  a student at the University of South Florida (USF) has been awarded the prestigious CAS Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Visualization, Virtualization, and Simulation. This significant achievement highlights the her dedication to bridging the gap between data and knowledge, particularly in the context of disaster risk reduction and climate change awareness.

destyni lalla

As a student of Information and Data Science at USF, Destyni Lalla has developed a profound understanding of the transformative potential of visuals. Whether it's through the creation of informative charts, interactive maps, or immersive simulations, Destyni has witnessed firsthand how visuals can take complex data and convert it into comprehensible insights. These insights, in turn, hold the key to informed decision-making and problem-solving.

The motivation for this pioneering work in the field of visualization stems from the her firsthand experience of the devastating consequences of natural disasters and climate change within local communities. It is no secret that Florida, with its unique geographic location and vulnerability to hurricanes, flooding, and other environmental challenges, is on the front lines of climate change. The urgency of addressing these issues cannot be overstated.

Destyni Lalla experience of witnessing the catastrophic impact of these events on her local community ignited a passion to explore how visualization can play a pivotal role in enhancing our understanding of disaster risk. Visualizations, when designed effectively, can unveil hidden patterns, highlight trends, and pinpoint potential disaster hotspots. They have the capacity to convey information in a way that resonates with a broad audience, ensuring that critical knowledge reaches policymakers, emergency responders, and the public alike.

The CAS Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Visualization, Virtualization, and Simulation represents an incredible opportunity to further this important work. It is a recognition of the potential of data visualization to drive innovation in disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts, ultimately striving toward a more resilient and sustainable future.

With this scholarship, the Destyni aims to create visuals and simulations that go beyond aesthetics; they are tools designed to provide actionable insights that can inform disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies. By developing immersive simulations that allow stakeholders to explore various disaster scenarios and test mitigation strategies in a virtual environment, this scholar aspires to contribute to better training for emergency responders and heightened public awareness.

In conclusion, the CAS Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Visualization, Virtualization, and Simulation is a testament to the commitment and dedication of USF students in tackling pressing global issues. This student's work is a shining example of our undergraduate science program can combine to address the most challenging problems facing our communities and our planet.  Destyni embodies the spirit of resilience and determination that is needed to confront the challenges of climate change and disaster risk head-on under the supervision of Dr. Alon Friedman. This collaboration aligns closely with our specialized undergraduate data science program, allowing for effective synergy between the program and the Research Fellow. Together, they aim to inform towards a resilient and sustainable future. With her vision and expertise, Destyni is contributing to a future where communities are prepared, informed, and empowered to face the uncertainties of a changing world.

Previous Articles

USF School of Information at DEFCON 31

Scuba Def Con

Dr. "Scuba" Steve Gary attended DEFCON 31, the world's largest hacker conference. He attends every year to keep abreast of the latest innovations in the hacker community. "The more we know about the threats and vulnerabilities in cyberspace, the more we know how to reduce the threats, and prevent or mitigate exploitation (hacking) of those vulnerabilities." He particularly likes the villages, areas with hands-on activities. There were over 30 villages again this year. One of the new villages this year, Quantum Village, was focused on the current progress on quantum technology and what the future may hold. The synopsis is, quantum is slow and expensive today, but if a major breakthrough happens, who knows what quantum will look like in the future. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) village was popular this year, for obvious reasons, like the fact that ChatGPT and many other generative AI technologies are making headway in AI. As always, there was a Red Team Village, focused on offensive security, also known as pen testing (this is what most people know as hacking). There were Adversary, Blue Team, Car Hacking, Social Engineering Community, Internet of Things (IoT), and Voting Machine Hacking (although popular this year, this one will be very popular next year) villages, to name a few. The presentations are always good too, but there are too many to list here. Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA), of which he is Tampa Chapter President, hosted the Arcade Party, a DEFCON favorite, again this year.

USF SI student Alexandra Sosa-Mora Attends IC-CAE 2023 Summer Seminar

Article written by Alexandra Sosa-Mora

The Intelligence Community College of Academic Excellence (IC-CAE) conducts every year a weeklong seminar in Washington DC, where students are exposed to the different facets of the intelligence community (IC) , visit different IC agencies, attend forums, speak with recruiters and get to participate in a completely immersive analytic simulation that is presented to intelligence community professionals at the end of the week in the National Intelligence University (NIU).

The IC-CAE had a fully packed week for us. Every day at 7:00 AM we were picked up by buses and taken to the agency we were visiting that day. Activities varied by agency, in some we got tours and in others we didn’t. Most importantly all agencies had panels with experts from the different departments of the agency who talked about their experience and then opened the floor for questions. We also got to hear from other sectors not so talked about like HR, retirement, the veteran’s office, the mental health, and disability service office and many more. As aspiring IC professionals, it was extremely insightful to hear the ins and out of the agencies as it really helped narrowing down the ones I am more interested on.

In the afternoons, once we got back from the agency visit, we had to work on the analytic simulation. For this we were broken into groups, each group representing a different IC agency. Every day we would receive new information and we had to use the intelligence cycle to analyze it and disseminate it with the end goal of creating the Presidents Daily Brief to present at the end of the week in NIU.

At the end of the week there was a recruiting event where all the 18 IC agencies were present. We had the opportunity to speak with recruiters and get a lot of information on resume building, internships, and the application and clearance process.

I think my favorite activity was being able to visit the brand-new CIA museum and agency specific recruiting event in CIA headquarters.

Overall, the seminar was a positive and productive experience that has impacted my perspective and aspirations in life. I feel extremely thankful for being selected to attend and represent USF in the IC-CAE 2023 Summer seminar as this has been the most rewarding experience of my academic career.

Dr. Christina Eldrege publishes research on "Foundational domains and Compentencies for baccalaureate health informatics Education"

Health Informatics Stock Image

We recently got to catch up with Dr. Christina Eldredge in our recently published Fall 2023 Newsletter about her efforts in Health Informatics Education. In that publication she shared her efforts serving on committees to develop accreditation standards for both graduate and undergraduate level health informatics programs. The undergraduate foundational domains in health informatics education were recently published by JAIMIA and the paper dives further into these efforts to explore competencies that are necessary for curriculum development and CAHIIM accreditation quality assessment for education in applied health informatics. To find out more about her work in undergraduate education to establish accreditation standards you can read more.

USF SI Student Erika Cooley selected as Library of Congress Junior Fellow

Erika Cooley

Erika Cooley is a Florida native hailing from the city of Port Orange, just south of Daytona Beach. With a strong background in music performance and a love for libraries, Erika is currently pursuing an MLIS degree at USF while interning for the Library of Congress at the National Audio Visual Conservation Center as part of the Junior Fellows program. She will be creating metadata for the Universal Music Group collection, which consists of over 200,000 16" lacquer discs that are master music sessions from notable artists such as Tommy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald, and Bing Crosby. This project connects the public to the history of sound recording technology as well as the history of the music industry. Erika's goal is to have a career in audio preservation.

The program runs from May 20th to July 28th. For more information on the Summer Library Internship program visit here.

USF Distinguished Alumna Lucia Martinez Gonzalez receives 2023 Lifetime achievement award

The Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award (LAA) was created to recognize those who have achieved excellence in librarianship over an extended (over 20 years) period of service and who have made significant and lasting contributions to REFORMA, as well as to the Latino and the Spanish-speaking communities. Lucia is a 1988 graduate from the USF Masters in Library and Information Science program and was featured as part of the 2021 Alice G. Smith Lecture series. She has recieved multiple Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Honor Medals, and Library Journal's Movers and Shakers award. Congrats to Lucia on this incredible honor! Read More.

2023 Economic Report of the President of the United States, Cites USF Faculty Dr. Stephen Neely, Dr. Christina Eldredge, Dr. Robin Ersing and Dr. Christina Remington

The President of the United States recently released the 2023 Economic Report of the President of the United States, which cited Neely, S., C. Eldredge, R. Ersing, and C. Remington. 2022. “Vaccine Hesitancy and Exposure to Misinformation: A Survey Analysis.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 37, no. 1: 179–87. 

The research conducted looked at "current trends in misinformation exposure, as well as common objections to COVID-19 vaccination." Surveys were conducted of 600 adults between June 3 and June 14, 2021. The study found that there was a direct correlation to misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.

Revisioning Standards for Library Services for the Incarcerated and Detained - ALA Editions | ALA Neal - Schuman

Dr. Kathleen McCook has been working with the American Library Association on the "Expanding Information Access for Incarcerated People" initiative as a member of the "New Standards for Library Services for the Incarcerated and Detained" Task Force. 

Coverage will include how libraries and library staff can partner with stakeholders to meet the literacy, learning, and recreational needs of individuals of any age held in jails, prisons, detention facilities, juvenile facilities, immigration facilities, prison work camps, and segregated units within any facility, whether public or private, military or civilian, in the United States and its territories. Read More

USF School of INformation to Sponsor ALISE 2023 Conference - Lanyard Sponsor

It is that time of the year again where conference season starts to sneak up on us. We are happy to announce we will be sponsoring the ALISE 2023 conference again  this year with lanyards. This year the ALISE 2023 Conference titled " Bridge the GAP - Teaching, Learning, Practice & Competencies will be held in Milwaukee, WI, Monday Oct 2nd - Thurs Oct 5th. Be sure to share with us your experience at ALISE if you attend on twitter @USFSI.

USF School of Information to host Alumni Reception at 2023 FLA Conference

Over the years the USF School of Information has worked tirelessly to find ways to support the library profession and professional organizations. Historically, for FLA it was done through being represented at a table, giveaways or sending representatives on behalf of the School of Information. While we have not been physically present at FLA in the last few years, we found other ways to support them through sponsorships. This year however, we will be back in full force with the USF School of Information hosting an Alumni Reception and we will a number of staff and faculty present at the event available to speak to attendees and alumni while there. We look forward to seeing everyone at FLA 2023 Conference this year.

USF School of Information State of the Program to be held Nov 10th at 7:00 pm EST

2nd Annual State of the Program

Each year, the USF School of Information (SI) hosts a State of the Program event where we discuss accomplishments of the MLIS program, where we aim to be over the next few years, and where we recognize our Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award winner along with our USF SI Outstanding Student Award winner. This year, the SI faculty selected Celia C. Pérez to be awarded the Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award and Maria Feliciano for USF SI Outstanding Student Award.

Celia C. Pérez is the author of The First Rule of Punk (Viking/Penguin, 2017), a 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree, a Pura Belpré Author Honor book for narration, and a winner of the 2018 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award; Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (Kokila/Penguin, 2019); and Tumble (Kokila/Penguin, 2022). When not writing about quirky kids who break rules, she works as a community college librarian at Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago, where she has spent the past twenty years and currently serves as department chairperson. She is a former co-chair of REFORMA's Children and Young Adult Services Committee, served on the 2014 Pura Belpré Award committee, and has written and reviewed for The Horn Book Magazine. She is originally from Miami and is a graduate of the University of Florida (B.A., M.Ed.) and the University of South Florida (M.A). 

María Feliciano is in her final semester of the MLIS program at the University of South Florida. She served as secretary and president of the Student Organizations of Library & Information Science (SOLIS), providing opportunities for students to engage with each other and established professionals in the field. In addition, she co-moderated USF's prestigious Alice G. Smith Lecture, "Changing the Face of Librarianship: REFORMA and Library Services to Latino Communities" in 2021. María is drawn to libraries to help children and families enrich their lives and to promote diversity and inclusion. She received the Patricia Andrew Cone Endowed Scholarship during her first semester and also a REFORMA de Florida stipend to attend the 4th National Joint Council of Librarians of Color (JCLC) Conference. She has spent the last decade working in international education and youth services after graduating from the University of Florida (B.A.).

Dr. Natalie Taylor appointed to ALISE Council of Deans, Directors and Chairs

ALISE  recently announced that Dr. Natalie Taylor was selected to serve as a member on the ALISE Council of Deans, Directors and Chairs. This committee consist of the chief executive officers of ALISE insitutional member schools. They come together in a common cause to address issues that may come up and provide reports and recommendations to the Association.

Dr. "SCUBA" Stephen Gary Attends Defcon 30 - Worlds largest Hacker conference 

stephen gary at defcon

Dr."Scuba" Steve Gary attended DEFCON 30, the world's largest hacker conference. He attends every year to keep abreast of the latest innovations in the hacker community. "The more we know about the threats and vulnerabilities in cyberspace, the more we know how to reduce the threats, and prevent or mitigate exploitation (hacking) of those vulnerabilities." He particularly likes the villages, areas with hands-on activities. There were over 30 villages this year. One of the new villages this year, Red Team Village, was focused on offensive security, also known as pen testing (this is what most people know as hacking). There were Adversary, Blue Team, Car Hacking, Social Engineering Community, Internet of Things (IoT), and Voting Machine Hacking Villages, to name a few. The presentations are always good too, but there are too many to list here. Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA), of which he is Tampa Chapter President, hosted the 3rd annual National Service Panel at the Blacks in Cybersecurity Village, and hosted the Arcade Party, a DEFCON favorite. Our awesome USF Whitehatters Computer Security Club (WCSC) also competed at DEFCON 30.

USF SI Sponsors Four Students to attend JCLC Conference being held in ST. Pete Beach Florida Oct 5th - 9th.

Please join us in congradulating Aparna Ghosh, Kyiarla Davis, Emily Hannum and Sara Hack for being selected and sponsored by the USF School of Information to attend the 2022 JCLC Conference. The JCLC conference happens every 4 years and helps promote exploration of issues of diversity in librariues and how they affect ethnic communities. The JCLC conference will be taking place Oct 5th -9th 2022.

USF SI ANNOUNCES 33rd Annual Alice G. Smith Lecture featuring Mika Slaughter Nelson
Update: This event was rescheduled to Oct 27th 2022, due to Hurricane Ian. EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT

School of Information
Posted: 08/25/2022

Lecture Title: Mika Slaughter Nelson: “Modern Marvels: Mining Gems to Manifest Dreams”
What: 2022 Alice G. Smith Lecture
Where: Microsoft Teams
When: September 29, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. EST
Details: The Alice G. Smith Lecture is open to the public and is held yearly by the University of South Florida School of Information (USF SI) to recognize a scholar or author whose achievements have been instrumental in the development of librarianship or information studies.

The 2022 Alice G. Smith Lecture features Mika Slaughter Nelson and her talk “Modern Marvels: Mining Gems to Manifest Dreams.” Mika Slaughter Nelson, MLIS, is the director of the St. Petersburg Library System, a municipal system of seven libraries, including the President Barack Obama Main Library, among five City of St. Petersburg owned and operated libraries, as well as two partnership libraries with St. Petersburg College and the Childs Park YMCA. Mika is a 2001 graduate of the University of South Florida’s School of Information (USF SI) and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (2001) and Beta Phi Mu International Library & Information Studies Honor Society (2003).

Mika Slaughter Nelson was the 2015 recipient of the USF SI Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award and currently serves on the USF SI MLIS Advisory Council. Libraries, a true passion for Mika, are at the heart of achieving her goals to support community development, literacy across the lifespan, as well as inclusivity and access. Mika has worked in special, academic, school, joint-use, and public libraries during her 20-year tenure. In her leisure, she enjoys family, experiencing the arts and visiting the beach as much as possible.

The University of South Florida School of Information (USF SI) is an iSchool and offers three graduate programs: M.A. Library and Information Science (MLIS), M.S. Intelligence Studies (MSIS), and M.S. Cybersecurity Intelligence and Information Security (MSCIIS). The iSchool offers a Minor in Intelligence Studies, B.S. in Information Science (BSIS) with concentrations in Data Science and Analytics, Health Informatics, Information Security, Intelligence Analysis, and Web Development Technologies.

If you would like more information on this event please contact David Chapel, Dept Operations Manager at or visit the Alice G. Smith Event Page 

USF SI sponsors 2022 ALISE Conference

We are proud to announce we are sponsoring the 2022 ALISE Conference being held Oct 24-26, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Our own Dr. Vanessa Reyes will be in attendance at the event. Please be sure to say hello and show off your conference lanyards.

Dr. Vanessa Reyes Named Editor-In-Chief for FLA Florida Libraries Journal

Dr. Vanessa Reyes who is a current Assistant Professor of Instruction for the School of Information at the University of South Florida was recently appointed to Editor-in-Chief for the FLA Libraries Journal. Dr. Reyes hopes to document the important work that information professional are doing through the Florida Libraries Journal. She comes to the position with experience in archives, legislative, university and public libraries.

If you wish to submit an article to the FLA Libaries Journal you must have and FLA account and visit the FLA website for submissions.

USF SI Faculty Dr. Alon Friedman awarded NSF Grant to Study Increasing the Quality of Peer Review

Dr. Friedman is the PI on an NSF grant using Behavioral Nudges in Peer Review to Improve Critical Analysis in STEM Courses. Peer Reviews, in which students have the opportunity to analyze and evaluate projects made by their classroom peers, are a widely acknowledged pedagogical method for engaging students and have become a standard practice in undergraduate education. Peer review is most often used in classes with large number of students to provide timely feedback on student assignments. However, peer review has benefits far beyond scalability. Peer review gathers diverse feedback, raises students’ comfort level with having their work evaluated in a professional setting, and most importantly, the action of giving a peer review is often more valuable than receiving a peer review. This project plans to develop and study an innovative peer review system that uses behavioral nudges, a method of subtlety reinforcing positive habits, to improve the evaluation skills of students and the quality of the feedback they provide in peer reviews.

USF LIS student, Sara Hack awarded RBMS scholarship and will speak at RBMS Conference as part of their Lightning Talks on "Power of New Voices" Wed June 22nd, 12:00-12:30

Sara Hack who is a current pursuing her Masters in Library in Information Science at the USF School of Information will be speaking at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Conference as part of their Lightning Talks as a 2022 scholarship recipient. 

USF LIS Student, Melissa Wright awarded 2022 FLA Scholarship

FLA recently recently announced their FLA Scholarship winners in the recent Florida Library Journal. One of which was our own Amanda Wright who is a current Library and Information Science major at the USF School of Information. Amanda currently works as a Library Service and Technology Guide 2 at the Hillsbrough County Library Cooperative was awarded one of 3 scholarships from FLA.

USF LIS student, Julie Johnson, co-authors new Article in the Journal of Educational Research

Julie Johnson, who will graduate from USF's LIS program this August, collaborated with colleagues from the University of North Florida on an incisive study examining the effects of transdisciplinary STEAM lessons on student critical and creative thinking. The results were published in the Vol 144, No 5 issue of The Journal of Educational Research.

USF SI Adjunct NaNcy Fredericks Elected Treasurer for FLA Executive Board

Nancy Fredericks was elected Tresurer of the Florida Library Association for the 2022-2024 term. Nancy currently works in the Pasco Library System and has been an adjunct for the School of Information for several years. She has taught courses such as Adult Services in Libraries and Intro to Library Administration. Please join us in congradulating Nancy Fredericks in her appointment to the FLA  Executive Board.

SI Director Borum presents talk on radicalism and extremism 

SI Director Dr. Randy Borum presented a talk entitled "Understanding Risks of Radicalization and Violent Extremism” as part of the USF Frontiers of Knowledge Program. Dr. Borum's lecture  highlighted the connection between mental health, terrorism, and violent extremism, as well as how extremist ideologies develop and justify violence. Click here for more information about this event.

SI Faculty member Eldredge publishes article on Covid-19 misinformation 

Faculty member Dr. Christina Eldredge, along with her group of colleagues, has published a new journal article on vaccine hesitancy and misinformation in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The analysis by the authors hopes to provide an update for clinical healthcare providers and public health officials regarding current trends in misinformation exposure, as well as common objections to COVID-19 vaccination. Read more.

USFSI faculty members Dr. Gathegi and Dr. Hagen to attend ASIS&T annual conference

(October 29, 2021) School of Information faculty members Dr. John Gathegi and Dr. Loni Hagen will both be attending this year's ASIS&T annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. There they will be visiting members of the information science community and participating in events important in the field of information science. Hagen, as chair of the ASIS&T Social Media SIG, will help present awards for the best papers.

LIS State of the Program Event to be held 11/4 

(October 14, 2021) The Library and Information Science Program will be hosting a State of the Program event on November 4th, 2021 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. The event will be held virtually via MS Teams. Visit our event page for more information.

SI faculty Dr. John Gathegi presents keynote speech to the 10th International Conference on Information Capital, Property, and Ethics in Taipei, Taiwan.

(August 17, 2021) On June 4th 2021 Dr. John Gathegi presented the keynote speech to the 10th International Conference on Information Capital, Property, and Ethics in Taipei, Taiwan. The speech was Entitled "Google v. Oracle: Fair Use, Copyrightability, or Both?" and touched on the April 5, 2021 opinion by the United States Supreme Court on a case brought by Oracle against Google, alleging copyright violation of its Java SE computer platform owned at the time by Sun Microsystems (the pre-cursor to Oracle). Google had copied some lines of code from the platform’s Application Programming Interface (API) tool. In the opinion, the Court had an opportunity to expand on the copyrightability of computer programming code, but instead opted to assume copyrightability and proceeded to conduct a four-factor fair use analysis. Google is a major IT player not just in the United States but in the rest of the world, thus the issues raised here could have a wide-ranging potential impact. 

LIS student Aparna ghosh selected as an ARL Kaleidoscope Diversity scholar

(August 12, 2021) Members of the ARL Kaleidoscope Program Selection Working Group have chosen USFSI LIS student Aparna Ghosh to be one of only 18 master of library and information science (MLIS) students to participate in the 2021–2023 Kaleidoscope Program as ARL Diversity Scholars. Funded by ARL member libraries, the Kaleidoscope Program offers financial support to program participants as well as leadership development through the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium, a formal mentoring program, career placement assistance, and a site visit to an ARL member library. Learn more here.

USFSI Student wins REFORMA SChloarship 

Maria Dones, a graduate student in the USF Library and Information Science (LIS) program, was just awarded a prestigious REFORMA scholarship. Maria Dones is a youth services assistant at the Palm Harbor Library. She has a passion for community building through fandom, creativity, and uplifting marginalized voices. She also writes YA fiction and has short stories published in Gingerbread House, Cicada, and Bourbon Penn. Her Puerto Rican roots inspire her work, both as a librarian and writer.

USFSI graduate to lead Reforma de Florida 

Alicia K. Long, a 2011 graduate, and the Access Services Supervisor at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, Bradenton Library, has been elected as the 2021-2022 President of REFORMA de Florida, the local chapter of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. Additional officers are: Vice President/President Elect: María de Lurdy (Mari) Martínez Serrano, Youth Services Senior Librarian (Southwest Regional Library), Broward County; Secretary: Nicole Gaudier Alemañy, Librarian (Jacksonville Public Library) and Treasurer: Isabel Castro, Branch Manager (Newark Public Library). Commenting on the recent election, Long stated that "with all Florida members of REFORMA, we look forward to establishing our presence as the source of information, networking, learning, and advocacy for more and better library services to Florida Latinx."

USFSI Grads Tell their FLA Annual Conference Stories

Heidi Colom, a 2005 SI graduate, tells her story about presenting at the 2021 FLA Annual Conference: "I presented for the first time this year at the Florida Library Association Annual Conference! My presentation was virtual- most were this year, since it was a Hybrid conference. The title of my On-Demand session was: Learning English in Unusual Ways: Lesser Known Materials and Resources for English Language Learners. While I have attended most Florida Library Association conferences since 2011, it was my very first time conducting a presentation at one. This topic is very meaningful to me, since English is my second language- and our library provides so many ways for students of all ages to learn and improve their English. Not to mention it was part of the Lead Inclusively theme of this year's conference." Colom currently serves as a Librarian at the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.  

Scuba Gary Presents on Cyber Threats at CFO Roundtable Discussion

“Scuba” Steve Gary, Associate Professor of Practice in the SI Cybersecurity and Intelligence Studies Masters program, presented on the topic of Cybersecurity during the CFO Roundtable on Tuesday, June 15th, 2021. During the CFO Roundtable presentation, Scuba discussed the cyber threat actors who are responsible for the cybercrimes the world experiences every day, such as ransomware and cyber espionage. 

USF Unveils 10-Year Strategic Plan; SI Alignment Expected 

The USF Board of Trustees approved “A Blueprint for a Bold Future: Where Academic Excellence and Opportunity Converge”. The strategic plan sets a focused direction for USF, reinforces the university’s commitment to the communities it serves and establishes strategic initiatives that reflect USF’s many strengths.  According to Dr. James Andrews, Director of the USF School of Information, there are several "areas [in the strategic plan] that are seemingly aligned with areas our strengths or interests." In commenting on the blueprint to faculty and staff, Dr. Andrews stated that it is "worth emphasizing the strategic priority areas since these will ostensibly be given priority in various ways moving forward." 

USF Libraries launches tribute to bernadtte Storck 

The University of South Florida Library has launched a tribute page for Bernadette Storck who passed away on May 17, 2021. Previously, the USF Library released information about the longtime LIS educator and mentor, including links to an oral history interview conducted in 2009. The Florida Library Association presents a scholarship in Bernadette's honor during its annual conference, The Bernadette Storck University of South Florida scholarship.

USFSI faculty Member Dr. Christina Eldridge publishes as part of biomedical knowledge research group 

USFSI faculty member Dr. Christina Eldridge was part of a group of researchers investigating computable biomedical knowledge artifacts (CBKs) - digital objects conveying biomedical knowledge in machine‐interpretable structures. Their research focused on the way CBKs are mobilized and addressed whether they can be findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable, and trustable (FAIR+T). To help mobilize CBKs, the research group described their efforts to outline metadata categories to make CBKs FAIR+T in the journal Learning Health Systems with their paper Categorizing Metadata to Help Mobilize Computable Biomedical Knowledge.

LIS graduating class featured virtual Beta Phi Mu induction ceremony 

The University of South Florida returned to in-person graduation ceremonies this year and 2021 featured one of the largest groups of Beta Phi Mu inductees in recent memory. This year, USFSI  held the Beta Phi Mu induction ceremony virtually in order to give this large group of students the opportunity to participate. 

FLA Annual Conference will feature LIS students and faculty 

The Florida Library Association will be holding their annual conference this year in Daytona Beach, Florida. It will a hybrid event with both in-person and virtual opportunities to attend on May 19th and 20th. This year will feature presentations by current and recently-graduated LIS students and faculty. Find more information about the event here.

LIS Spectrum Scholar wins Kress Scholarship

University of South Florida School of Information Spectrum Scholar Aparna Ghosh has just been awarded prestigious Kress Foundation Scholarship! The Kress Scholarship is for the Summer Educational Institute for Digital Stewardship of Visual Information. Congratulations Aparna!! Find out more about Spectrum Scholars at

MSIS Faculty Member Steve Gary presents for the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA) Lockdown Lunch & Learn (3L)   

MSIS faculty member Steve Gary presented on several topics for the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA) Lockdown Lunch & Learn (3L). A weekly Cybersecurity meeting with new guests speakers every week. More information about this event can be found here.

Responsive Librarianship Lab research makes top 10 on SSRN

Researchers in the USFSI Responsive Librarianship Lab have posted their initial findings on SSRN, a research portol devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of research. One of the lab's papers, "VISUALIZING BIBLIOTHERAPY: APPLYING A MIXED-METHODS APPROACH TO COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT USING DIGITAL TOOLS", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for the InfoSciRN: Other Library Operations & Services research network. Read more about the research on SSRN's website.

USFSI Faculty, students, and Staff Launch Major Community Engagement Initiative

USFSI launches the "Libraries Build Communities" initiative – a collaboration between the University of South Florida School of Information's Responsive Librarianship Lab and the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. This project was funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Florida’s LSTA program is administered by the Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services. To find related events for individuals and families in need, please visit and search the calendar for: #LibrariesBuildCommunities

USFSI MSIS faculty & students collaborate with Cyber Florida to publish major Florida ransomware report 

The University of South Florida’s School of Information, in collaboration with Cyber Florida, has published an analysis of reported ransomware attacks targeting Florida organizations between 2016 and 2019 that shows the majority of victims were government organizations. The report, the first in a continuing series on cybersecurity topics to be published by Cyber Florida and researchers at various State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions, is available online at

In this instance, the report found that of the 18 ransomware incidents its authors reviewed, 14 targeted municipalities, counties, and other public services, and 11 of those took place in 2019, reflecting a surge in ransomware attacks targeting civic institutions across the nation in 2019. According to USFSI Clinical Professor of Information Security & Intelligence and Cyber Florida Executive Director Mike McConnell, VADM, USN, Ret., former director of U.S. National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, “Cybercriminals began targeting cities, school districts, and similar public services in earnest in 2019, with significant increases in the frequency of attacks and the amount demanded. These organizations are targeted because in part because the services they provide are so vital to citizens, making them even more vulnerable to cyber-based ‘shutdowns’ for ransom, but we hope reports like this will provide government leaders with greater insight into how they can prevent or mitigate these kinds of attacks.” 

The analysis was led by Ryan Haggard, a graduate student in Intelligence Studies in the University of South Florida’s School of Information, under the supervision of Steve “Scuba” Gary, Associate Professor of Practice, and relies on publicly available information and reflects their personal views. Some key takeaways from the report include 

  • Public sector organizations comprised 78% of ransomware victims between 2016 and 2019
  • 50% of Florida organizations refused to pay cyber-related ransoms
  • 22.2% of Florida organizations agreed to pay the requested amount
  • In 27.8% of cases, the outcome was not publicly reported

The report includes an in-depth analysis of the targets, the suspected perpetrators, and the tactics used to infiltrate systems and conduct the attacks.

Hagen and USF colleagues investigate why people might say no to a Covid vaccine

Faculty member Dr. Loni Hagen and her colleagues at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital and the University of South Florida are launching a new project to figure out why some people are hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. They're creating tailored messages to different vulnerable populations. More information about this program can be found here.

Library Leader and Innovator Barbara Stites Joins USF Faculty for Spring 2021
Dean Barbara Stites, Ph.D., formerly of Florida Gulf Coast University, will teach Library Administration in Spring 2021. She has been both an Alice Smith Lecturer and the SI Outstanding Alumnus. Dr. Stites has served as Executive Director of two multi-type library consortiums, Southwest Florida Library Network and the Tampa Bay Library Consortium. Dr. Stites has been President of the Florida Library Association and was recently honored with the FLA Lifetime Achievement Award.

2015 USFSI Grad Publishes on high impact learning models

USFSI LIS program graduate Cailtlin Richardson, an employee at Miami Dade College's Learning Resources Department, has an article in a new book entitled Engaging Students through Campus Libraries: High-Impact Learning Models. An extension of her work done while a student at USF, the book focuses on high impact learning models that bridge the library into the classroom.

Yoon and Andrews receive 2020 ALISE Research Grant

Dr. Yoon and Dr. Andrews received the 2020 ALISE Research Grant for the research proposal titled Exploring Best Practices for Preparing Librarians in Adopting Artificial Intelligence into Libraries ($5,000). Recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related intelligent technologies, such as Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things, and Robotics are being integrated into library services. This research aims to explore best practices for preparing librarians in the era of AI, and suggest a course forward. We anticipate practical results will be beneficial to faculty and administrators at LIS programs seeking to better understand the needs, attitudes, and experiences regarding advanced technologies in libraries to better inform curriculum design and the education of librarians.

USFSI Faculty Members Taylor and Shereff Receive LSTA Grant

The University of South Florida School of Information's Library & Responsive Librarianship Lab (LRLL) has been awarded LSTA grant funds to create positive health outcomes for those vulnerable and at-risk populations residing in the Tampa Bay Library Consortium (TBLC) service region. The services will target library services to individuals of diverse geographic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to individuals with disabilities, and to individuals with limited functional literacy or information skills.

Working collaboratively with the Temple Terrace Public Library (TTPL), the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (HCPLC), and the Pasco County Library Cooperative (PCLC), the LRLL will broaden our empirically supported, data-driven Responsive Librarianship (RL) scheme to address an individual's mental health and family wellness concerns through the delivery of personalized reader's advisory (RA) services, therapeutic reading materials, mental health literacy (MHL) skills development, and family wellness instruction. This RL scheme seeks to deliver on USF's promise to expand the previously funded and successful DACCO Library program to our residents most in need of services in the TBLC service area.

Dr. Vicki Gregory conferred Professor Emeritus status

Former director Dr. Vicki Gregory was conferred emeritus status by the University of South Florida in recognition of her many contributions to the School of Information.

USFSI MSIS Faculty Attend Technology Day at MacDill AFB

The USF School of Information (SI) was proudly represented at Technology Day on MacDill AFB on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. "Scuba" Steve, SI Associate Professor of Practice, not only worked the SI booth, but as the Tampa Chapter President of the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA), was the host of this inaugural one-day conference and expo, which was sponsored by Federal Business Council. With over 100 attendees, 27 exhibitors, and three presentations, it was a success. The attendees were primarily active duty military, government employees, and government contractors. The exhibitors were primarily cybersecurity companies and government contractors. The presentations focused on machine learning, wireless protection, and building a cybersecurity community of practice. Several veterans expressed interest in the programs SI has to offer. We look forward to participating in many future Technology Days on base.

iSchool faculty Dr. Natalie Taylor publishes article in American Libraries

iSchool faculty Dr. Natalie Taylor recently collaborated on an article about Information Literacy and the dangers of misinformation. The article entitled Battling Information Illiteracy: How misinformation affects the future of policy discusses how the "internet has made it easy for people to be information illiterate in new ways. Anyone can create information now—regardless of quality—and get it in front of a large number of people. The ability of social media to spread information as fast as possible, and to as many people as possible, challenges literacy, as does the ability to manipulate images, sounds, and video with ease." It concludes with a call to action for all institutions to be as diverse and broad in their thinking as possible when educating students and others about information literacy.

USF iSchool faculty member Dr. Christina Eldredge appointed to HIMSS committee

USF iSchool faculty member Dr. Christina Eldredge appointed to the Professional Development Committee at HIMSS, a caused-based, not-for-profit organization that ensures healthcare has the best information and technology talent available.

LIS Students win scholarships

Nine students enrolled in the iSchool's LIS program have been awarded scholarships.  Winners of the H.W. Wilson scholarship include Claudia Le, Gregory Forgnone, Leslie Walbolt, and Scott Perry. The winners of the Patricia Andrew Cone scholarship are Brenda Turnage, Anna Binder, and Ashley Kennedy. The winners of the Johnie Key Thompson scholarship are Gretchen Dreimiller and Sarah Korb. Congratulations to our outstanding scholars!

Dr. Loni Hagen wins Best Management Paper award

Dr. Loni Hagen and her collaborators received the best management paper award at the digital government conference 2019 in Dubai.

USF iSchool faculty member Diane Austin elected to FAME Board of Directors.

USF iSchool faculty member Diane Austin elected to FAME Board of Directors as a representative from District 4.

Kathleen de la Peña McCook wins the 2019 Joseph W. Lippincott Award

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Kathleen de la Peña McCook, distinguished university professor at the University of South Florida School of Information, is the winner of the 2019 Joseph W. Lippincott Award, presented by ALA for distinguished service to the profession. Letters of support called McCook “an extraordinary mentor and role model to countless students,” “visionary,” “inspirational,” “selfless,” “a risk taker, a political force, a fighter in the trenches.” 0ne writer dubbed her “the People’s Librarian” because of her focus on the “library’s user community and society at large, and students.” Read about it here.

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USFSI hosted National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency event

The School of Information invited members of the USF community to meet with employees of NGA, one of the largest agencies in the Intelligence Community. Students heard about their backgrounds and career paths, why they think it’s a great place to work, and how they would be able to fit in at an intelligence agency.  

BIS Students Collaborate with Tampa Bay Lightning 

Students from Dr. John Sullivan's Project Management Experience class met with representatives from the Tampa Bay Lightning Organization to present their final project on November 14, 2018. This experiential learning course examines how organizations manage strategic projects in a real world setting and students enrolled during the Fall 2018 semester were able to immerse themselves into some of the franchise's daily operations. "You told us something we were aware of, and put it in a context that we were not aware of. That’s good," said Adam Lawson, Manager of Inside Sales for the Lightning.