News and Events

BCALA Smiley Student Award Announced

Posted on March 31, 2010

The 2010 BCALA Smiley Student Award has just been announced!

The Award provides an expense paid trip to the 7th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) for an applicant determined to reflect the goals and ideas of ancestors who support higher education and training for students. Dedication to the enhancement of minority participation in the field of Library Science will be facilitated by student participation in this award program. Two (2) students will be reimbursed expenses to attend the 7th NCAAL in Birmingham, Alabama from August 4-8, 2010 (see ). The committee consists of Gladys Smiley Bell, chair, Dorothy Burnett, Ph.D. and Karma Ga-Raines.

During the midwinter meeting in Washington, DC in 2001, Past BCALA President Gladys Smiley Bell proposed to the executive board to establish The Smiley Student Award in honor of her parents, Ghainous W. Jr. and Margaret E. Smiley. Both parents were educator's who mentored their children and their children's friends on the importance of getting an education at every chance. For a long time Gladys wanted to support Library Science students of Color to attend professional library conferences. When she was a library student, while she belonged to ALA, she didn't know about BCALA . BCALA has established itself with its national conferences. Gladys has stipulated that the award provide support up to $1,000 per NCAAL and the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC).

This opportunity will challenge each of us to encourage and be more aware of student members of BCALA. Each nominee must be a student member of BCALA and enrolled in an ALA accredited graduate Library School graduate program. The successful applicant must agree to submit the following to the Chair of the Smiley Student Fund:

  • A letter of no more than 1,000 words describing his or her career goals in Library Science, the impact that the award and subsequent BCALA conference attendance will have on those career goals. Letters of recommendation will be accepted (not required) from BCALA members or Library School Faculty;
  • Register for NCAAL and submit a copy of the registration confirmation letter;
  • No later than 3 weeks after the closing of the 7th NCAAL, submit a written summary (no more than 1,500 words) of their personal experience at the conference for publication in the BCALA newsletter issue following the conference.

    Deadline: All application materials must be received (or postmarked) by Friday, April 30, 2010. Recipient(s) of the award will be informed within four weeks of the deadline, in order to begin making travel arrangements. Evaluation will consider student's potential for positive contributions to their career field of Library Science and NCAAL impact. Application materials may be submitted electronically (preferred and as a MS Word attachment) to Gladys Smiley Bell at or via mail Gladys Smiley Bell, Chair BCALA, Smiley Student Award, P.O. Box 254, Hampton, VA 23669.

    For more information please visit:

    Would you recognize a miracle?

    Posted on March 30, 2010

    Would you recognize a miracle if you saw one?

    Come celebrate National Library Week and enjoy just over 60 minutes devoted to this question.

    DATE: Monday, April 12, 2010
    TIMES: Noon, Grace Allen Room, USF Tampa Library
    and 7:00 PM, Manatee Room (3705), Marshall Center

    ADMISSION is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit travel money for library students attending professional conferences and meetings.

    A lintel makes the top of a doorframe

    Underneath the Lintel is a one-man show about a fictional librarian from Hoofdorp (the Netherlands) who finds a book returned in the overnight slot 136 years overdue. The book was borrowed November 12, 1873 and not returned. What begins as a zealous attempt to recover a huge fine evolves into a quest to prove the identity of the egregious violator of library policy. Our host employs tools of librarianship to support his "Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences."

    ABOUT THE PLAY: This story is a funny, warm, sometimes moving, twisty journey into a mystery shared by audience and performer. Underneath the Lintel made its Off Broadway premiere in a 6 month run at SoHo Rep in New York City in 2002. Since then, it's been successfully published and has received many professional productions. The first performance of any kind was by the author at the Yale Cabaret in New Haven, CT.

    ABOUT THE PERFORMER: Arlen Bensen is a graduate student and graduate assistant in the USF School of Library and Information Science. He previously spent more than 30 years pursuing a career as a performing arts professional. Primarily a director (and a current member of SSDC, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers), Arlen also acted with many accomplished professionals including Denzel Washington (in Othello in 1977) and T. Ryder Smith who played the Librarian in the 2002 Off Broadway premiere of Underneath the Lintel. Arlen was fortunate to direct and teach many extremely talented people including stars like Melba Moore (Anything Goes, SummerFest, Montclair, NJ, 1994) and Michael Learned (Lettice and Lovage, also at SummerFest in 1993). Other notable directing efforts by Arlen include the Florida premiere of Three Tall Women by Edward Albee (Sarasota, 1996), the Southwest premiere of Oleanna by David Mamet (New Mexico Rep, 1994) and the world premiere of The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge by Mark Brown at Orlando Shakespeare Theater in 2004.

    Note: The script contains one instance of language which may be objectionable to some people. [AB]

    2010 Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award Reception

    Posted on March 26, 2010

    Nearly every year since 1993 the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida has chosen to identify an exemplary alumna/us in an award known as the Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni. The award was established in honor of Jean Key Gates, Professor Emerita of the school. This year's USF SLIS Jean Key Gates Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented to Alumna Lauren Christos.

    SLIS Alumna Lauren Christos

    Christos was chosen based on her outstanding service to the profession over the years, including her work and passion related to intellectual freedom at the national level. She graduated from USF SLIS in 2000 and since then has been working at Florida International University. She is currently an Associate University Librarian at FIU.

    For more information about Lauren Christos go here. To see past recipients of the Jean Key Gates Distinguished Award go here.

    The new Beta Phi Mu Inductees and the Fall 2010 Scholarship recipients will also be acknowledged at this event. Please come join us!

    Date: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
    Time: 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Location: The Grace Allen Room at the USF Tampa Campus Library

    Snacks and Refreshments will be provided! If you know you will be attending please RSVP to

    2010 John Iliff Award for Innovation in Technology Announced

    Posted on March 23, 2010

    Since 2008, the Public Library Association (PLA) has presented the Polaris Innovation in Technology John Iliff Award. This honor is presented to a library worker, librarian, or library that has used technology and innovative thinking as a tool to improve services to public library users.

    USF Alum John Iliff, 1953-2006

    The award honors the memory of John Illif, an early adopter and champion of technology in public libraries. Born in 1953, Mr. Iliff received a MLIS from the University of South Florida's School of Library and Information Science (USF SLIS,) where he also worked as a faculty member. While Systems Librarian and Head of Reference at Pinellas Park Public Library, Florida, he co-founded PubLib, the first worldwide electronic discussion list for public librarians.

    The award provides a $1,000 honorarium, a plaque, and a bouquet of roses for the workplace. The cash award honors the recipient's efforts, while the roses sent to the work place honor the environment that helped nurture the recipient's innovation.

    The 2010 John Illif Award will be presented to Ellen Schmid, of the Geneva, Illinois Public Library District. PLA and PLA President, Sari Feldman, along with the award sponsors, will recognize Schmid, along with the winners of all other PLA awards on Sunday, June 27, 2010 as a part of the PLA President's Program featuring Will Shortz at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

    Adjunct Professor Denise Shereff new member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals

    Posted on March 18, 2010

    OSLIS Adjunct Professor Denise Shereff has been approved for membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) at the Professional level. AHIP is the Medical Library Association's peer-reviewed professional development and career recognition credentialing program. AHIP promotes lifelong learning and exemplary professional performance by recognizing achievements in continuing education, teaching, publishing, research, and other contributions to the profession.

    Denise Shereff

    Shereff received an MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2002. In her current role as Health Information and Outreach Specialist, she is a primary point of contact for information resources, patient advocacy groups, and government and non-profit organization sponsors regarding health information and public outreach applications for clinical research and epidemiological studies housed within the USF Department of Pediatrics, including the NIH Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. She is a Consumer Health Information Specialist and teaches as an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida's School of Library and Information Science. She has been accepted to the National Library of Medicine 2010 fellowship program in BioMedical Informatics at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

    Congratulations Denise!

    The Holocaust in Arab Lands

    Posted on March 17, 2010

    his Monday, March 22 USF Sarasota-Manatee campus welcomes guest speaker Scott Miller to discuss "The Holocaust in Arab Lands." Scott Miller is the Director of Curatorial Affairs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the co-author of Refuge Denied: The St. Louis Passengers and the Holocaust (U. of Wisconsin Press, 2006).
    Monday, March 22, 2010
    10:00 a.m. - Noon

    Room A320
    USF Sarasota-Manatee
    8350 N. Tamiami Trail
    Sarasota, FL 34243

    (Event Parking Lot 5 ONLY. Other lots require permits.)

    Also be sure to mark your calendar for April's symposium presented by the USF Humanities Institute and the USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center.

    "The USF Humanities Institute and the USF Libraries Holocaust & Genocide Studies Center will host an all-day symposium featuring USF faculty and graduate student research and teaching focused on the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity."

    USF SLIS at FLA Annual Conference - April 7-9, 2010

    Posted on March 16, 2010

    If you are heading to the FLA Annual Conference, April 7-9 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida please come visit USF SLIS at one of the following events:

    USF SLIS Graduate Assistants published in current issue of Florida Libraries

    Posted on March 15, 2010

    The latest issue of the journal of the Florida Library Association, Florida Libraries, features an article on the history of the Alice G. Smith lecture series at USF SLIS.
    Penned by SLIS graduate assistants Alicia K. Long and Arlen Bensen, following inspiration by Drs. Gregory and de la Pena McCook, the piece includes a list of past lecturers in the series, as well as some insight into how and why the series was founded. The article is entitled: Celebrating Scholarship, Knowledge, and Camaraderie: The 20th Anniversary of the Alice G. Smith Lecture Series. For non-FLA members, Florida Libraries is available as an electronic journal through the USF Tampa Libraries online catalog: [AB]

    Florida State Legislature Considers Cutting Funding for Florida Libraries

    Posted on March 15, 2010

    Florida libraries are once again threatened with funding cuts. You can find out more at the Florida Library Association web site.

    "On March 10, appropriations committees in the Florida House and Senate adopted positions eliminating all funding for Florida's State Aid to Public Libraries program. This devastating action will result in some Florida library branches closing and will seriously cripple libraries' ability to serve Floridians. Libraries have already taken their share of local and state budget cuts. This will be especially damaging to libraries in Florida's rural communities, as these libraries rely heavily on provisions in the program that help communities with lower tax bases."

    2010 SIS FLA Scholarship

    Posted on March 12, 2010

    The Suncoast Information Specialists (SIS) has awarded Jessica Davis, Bill Harris, and Anne Larrivee the 2010 SIS FLA Scholarship. These students have been awarded a scholarship of $150 to cover the cost of attending the Florida Library Association (FLA) Conference on April 7-9, 2010.

    This is the 3rd year that SIS has provided this scholarship. These scholarships support the professional activities and learning opportunities for students who will soon be working as professional librarians. Their experiences from the conference will be documented in an upcoming SIS newsletter. Congratulations!

    USF SLIS Sponsors the Great Palm Beach County Library Treasure Hunt

    Posted on March 11, 2010

    Who: Libraries in Palm Beach County (public, academic, special, and school)
    What: The Great Palm Beach County Library Treasure Hunt
    Where: Every library in Palm Beach County (visit virtually or in person)
    When: April 10 -17 during library hours OR 24 hours a day for online treasures!

    Join the Palm Beach County Library Association (PBCLA) and explore the treasures hidden within the more than 100 libraries in our county during "The Great Palm Beach County Libraries Treasure Hunt," which will be held April 10-17, 2010. The Hunt is open to the entire community and is a fun and challenging way to learn about some of the things that make each library in the county unique. Participants will receive a list of clues and will have to visit libraries and school media centers either in person or online to find a treasure at each location. The participant discovering the most treasures will win the grand prize of a Sony E-reader digital book.

    Beginning on March 10, hunters will be able to register online at A $5.00 registration fee includes a tee shirt, map, and other pirate goodies. Registrations will also be accepted in person on April 10, the first day of the hunt, at four Palm Beach County Library System locations: Main Library on Summit Blvd., Belle Glade Branch, Hagen Ranch Road Branch and Jupiter Branch. On opening day, registered hunters will receive a list of questions to answer, and the person with the most correct responses at the end of the week will be awarded the grand prize of a Sony E-reader.

    Funds raised from the Treasure Hunt will be used to fulfill the mission of the Palm Beach County Library Association, a nonprofit organization, which is to support and advance libraries and those interested in library service.
    "There are more than 100 libraries in Palm Beach County, some are public libraries serving all of our residents, some are part of our schools and universities, and some are "special" libraries associated with businesses and nonprofit organizations," said Ethan Allen, president of PBCLA, "but they all share a purpose of collecting and sharing information with the community, and I cannot think of a more important or relevant mission in our world today."

    If you are interested in participating or sponsoring the event, contact Liz Locke, Event Chair at 561-703-7637. Both Ethan Allen and Liz Locke are USF SLIS Alums. USF SLIS is proud to be a part of this event.

    Communication and Information Officer Jessica Voss presents at SIS Meeting

    Posted on March 5, 2010

    USF SLIS Communication and Information Officer Jessica Voss presented "The New Way to Market Your Library (or Yourself): How to Utilize Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media" at the Suncoast Information Specialists Meeting on Wednesday, March 3rd at CAE USA.

    Jessica Voss giving her presentation

    The night started off with a tour of the CAE facility, which included the CAE library where Betsy King (SIS Webmaster) is the librarian. Following the tour was a brief networking period and then dinner. After dinner Jessica Voss gave a presentation on how librarians can use social networking sites to benefit them personally or the libraries they work at. You can view the presentation here.

    "I had a great time giving this presentation. I really think that all librarians in the Tampa Bay area should join SIS. Dues of five dollars a year for a professional organization of this quality is a steal," said Jessica Voss.

    Dr. Jamshid Beheshti Presents "Bilingual Web Portals for Children: the Challenges" at USF SLIS

    Posted on March 5, 2010

    Dr. Jamshid Beheshti of McGill University presented at the USF TECO Room this past Monday on the challenges of bilingual Web portals for children.

    Dr. Beheshti has taught at McGill University over the last 25 years. His main areas of focus are children-computer interaction as well as information retrieval which were the key points in the presentation he gave.

    The presentation centered on middle school aged children that spoke both French and English from an affluent neighborhood. Searching by young adults is done primarily using popular search engines that may not always meet their relevant information needs. However, his study and implementation was the use of Web portals as a way of disseminating information effectively to that age bracket while also incorporating both languages.

    The results of his research was technical (as the picture to the left demonstrates) yet incredibly enlightening on how search is performed and portals were utilized by the children.

    This was a highly informative lecture that benefited anyone in either education and/or library and information science. Thanks to Dr. Beheshti and also the SLIS Department for hosting an event that was so beneficial for us students.

    World Book Day 2010-March 4 or April 23

    Posted on March 4, 2010

    World Book Day 2010 in the UK and Ireland took place on Thursday 4th March.

    Why World Book Day matters more than ever

    Amid the frenetic changes of life in the 21st century, literature remains a vital component of a fulfilling life. World Book and Copyright Day is 23 April UNESCO

    The book, an instrument of knowledge and a means of sharing, must further each person's education, fulfilment and empowerment. It thus contributes to enjoyment of the universal right to education and to effective participation by each individual in social, political and cultural life. -Koichiro Matsuura

    Dr. Kathleen de la Pena McCook to present Coleman Lecture at ALA 2010

    Posted on March 4, 2010

    USF SLIS Distinguished University Professor Dr. Kathleen de la Pena McCook has been selected to present the 2010 Dr. Jean E. Coleman Outreach Lecture for the American Library Association's Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) at the 2010 ALA Annual Conference in Washington DC.

    The lecture honors Dr. Jean E. Coleman, who was the first director of OLOS, and who was instrumental in focusing attention on the under-served and under-represented in libraries. The mission of OLOS is to identify and promote library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in libraries.

    With the theme of "Human Rights and Librarianship," this year's lecture will benefit from Dr. McCook's knowledge in this aspect of librarianship. The publication of Dr. McCook's A Place at the Table: Participating in Community Building in 2000 acted as a catalyst that provoked the development of lines of communication and discussion related to the role of libraries as community builders and its relationship with advocacy and social justice. In July 2001, as a continuation of the discussion started by the book and the RUSQ Community Building columns (which ran from 2000-2006,) the mailing list ALAET [A Librarian at Every Table] was born. Soon, the list developed into "A Librarian at the Kitchen Table," a blog directed to librarians who build community by advocating for social justice and human rights.

    In 2009, in a "Librarian at the Kitchen Table" blog post commemorating Human Rights Day, Dr. McCook emphasized that the disintegration of the social safety net for millions of Americans is proof that the commitment of libraries to working for social justice and human rights is still as valid now as it was in the past. Her latest post addresses the topic of legal tools for economic justice.

    Dr. McCook also teaches, among other courses, LIS 5937 Libraries Building Community at USF SLIS. Her blogs, Librarian, Union Librarian, and especially A Librarian at the Kitchen Table, serve as a continuing channel of communication and discussion of the topics surrounding the social responsibility of librarians.

    The Dr. Jean E. Coleman Lecture will take place Monday, June 28th 2010, from 8 to 10 am, at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Washington, DC.