USF iSchool News

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 ALA.org.

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 hcplc.org/events 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 https://cyberflorida.org/research.

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 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

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.


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.