News and Events

Accessible Libraries for All: School of Library and Information Science Receives Federal Funds to Educate a New Generation of Librarians

Posted on September 28, 2010

The University of South Florida's School of Library and Information Science in partnership with the University of Alabama's School of Library and Information Studies, was awarded $880,000 from the Institute for Museums and Library Services' Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. Grant funds will be used to develop a new generation of highly skilled librarians who will expand the educational role of libraries for learners of all ages, from early childhood through retirement, who face information access challenges based on physical limitations that do not qualify under National Library Services Blind and Physically Handicapped service provision.

Accessible Libraries for All (Project ALFA) focuses on raising the consciousness of library and information science students to address universal access issues for libraries and instructional support. Preparation is essential to meeting the national goal of ensuring that a sufficient number of new librarians are prepared to meet the nation's information needs in an era when population growth, diversity, rapid change, and the graying of the population constitute real obstacles to meeting this goal.

Project ALFA will support 15 students at each partner institution enrolled in the ALA-accredited Master's degree programs. Students will gain requisite knowledge and training to assist and serve the ably-challenged and legally-disabled populations. As part of the educational experience students will complete two model universal access courses and participate in service learning activities to prepare for their future roles as library and information professionals serving diverse populations. Project ALFA will begin the first cohort of students in Fall 2011; the second cohort is planned for Fall 2012.

Other partner agencies are the Florida Department of Education Division of Blind Services, Daytona Beach, Florida, and the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Montgomery, Alabama. Students will have opportunities to meet and interact with representatives from each of these agencies.

Dr. Stephanie Maatta will be returning to the School of Library and Information Science in January 2011 to manage the USF arm of the Project ALFA program. As part of her responsibilities she will be recruiting, advising, and mentoring the USF cohorts of students, and serving as the USF liaison to the University of Alabama for Project ALFA.

For more information, contact: Dr. Stephanie Maatta Email:

Dr. Henrietta M. Smith Participates in HistoryMakers Back to School Week

Posted on September 20, 2010

In celebration of HistoryMakers Back to School Week, Dr. Henrietta M. Smith addressed students at the Park Vista High School, Lake Worth, Florida. HistoryMakers ( a program founded in 1999. There goal is to interview and preserve the life story of those who have "made significant accomplishments in life of both 'well-born and unsung African American History Makers. - going beyond the Civil Rights movement, music, sports and entertainment'."

(Pictured from L-R) Principal Reginald B. Myers, Author Glennette Turner, Dr. Henrietta M. Smith, Instructor Audrey Spicer, and Asst. Principal LuAnne Daucanski

For the HistoryMakers go back to school week, those whose interviews were on record, were invited to address students in a school in their home area. Henrietta M. Smith was invited to speak to students at Park Vista High School in Lake Worth, Florida. Addressing an audience of over 250 ninth graders, she spoke of her childhood with a mother who believed that proper speech was essential to "get anywhere" in life and so sent her to elocution school. There Smith attests, she learned the beauty of poetry from the Bible to the works of writers of the Harlem Renaissance period. She shared with listeners the distinction between dialect and standard English, quoting from the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar. She shared with the students some ideas about how to live with dignity with your fellows, using excerpts from Countee Cullens The Lost Zoo. Cullens, a school teacher in Harlem taught his class of recalcitrant boys the futility of fighting, of name calling and being too vain among other subjects, all in humorous poetry with serious messages from "The Squilililigee" to "The Snake That Walked Upon His Tail".

In speaking of career moves, Smith related that upon moving to Florida, with a background in Public Library work and a degree from Columbia University, she could not be hired at the Public Library in her community because of the color of her skin, unless she wanted to work as a page and shelve books. The necessary career change found Smith in the position of school librarian and with further study - a position at the University level. She reminded the students that without perseverance, changes can be made that enrich one's life forever. Her presentation was closed with sharing a laugh arousing short story from African American folk lore, with the underlying theme that what is inside your head is more important than the color of your skin. It was a great time with teachers who had planned well and students whose courtesy and demeanor made the morning so worthwhile.

SLIS Alum Paul Wartenberg Republishes Short Stories

Posted on September 15, 2010

USF SLIS Alum Paul Wartenberg wrote a collection of short stories, Last of the Grapefruit Wars, originally published in 2003. This collection has now been republished in eBook format for Kindle, NOOK, Sony eReader and others. You can find it here. Paul graduated from USF SLIS in 1993. Congratulations Paul!

DocuTicker Adds Database of Sources

Posted on September 14, 2010

Countless high-quality, free full-text reports are available on the web, from a range of think tanks, NGOs, academic institutes and government agencies. The DocuTicker Newsletter is a weekly selection of content and links from DocuBase.

Greetings from St. Pete/Tampa:

Something new for you to explore - our database of sources. You can browse alphabetically or you can browse by type of source. If you click on the source name link, you get a listing of documents that we've posted from that source.

-editor Shirl Kennedy is a USF Distinguished Alumni

SLIS Alumna Sonja Garcia Receives Celebratory Graduate Alumni Award

Posted on September 10, 2010

On Thursday, September 9th, 2010 SLIS Alumna Sonja Garcia was presented with the Celebratory Graduate Alumni Award by the Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Karen Liller.

Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Karen Liller presented SLIS Alumna Sonja Garcia with the award.

The days events started off with Sonja Garcia speaking with the student organizations from 1:30-2:30 pm about her career as a librarian. Next, was a reception in the Marshall Center Ballroom from 3:00-5:00 pm. At the reception Karen Liller, Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation, welcomed everyone and introduced Sonja Garcia. Then, Sonja gave a talk about the impact of her graduate education on her life.

Dr. Cora Dunkley, Sonja Garcia, and Director Jim Andrews.

People from all aspects of Sonja's life came out to watch her receive this award. The audience included: SLIS faculty, staff and students, the graduate school staff, St. Peter Claver Catholic School board of directors and principal, former colleagues of Mrs. Garcia's from the USF Tampa Campus Library, Mr. Garcia and more. To read more about Sonja Garcia click here. To see more photos from the Celebratory Alumni Award Presentation click here.

International Literacy Day

Posted on September 8, 2010

September 8th was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. The purpose is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. More than 780 million of the world's adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education. So share your love of reading by joining the many individuals and groups in promoting the importance of literacy today!

Save the Date - December 5, 2010

Posted on September 7, 2010

You are invited to the
2010 East Coast Graduation Reception
And Alice G. Smith Lecture

Presented by
Raymond Santiago
Director of Miami-Dade Public Library System

When: Sunday, 5 December 2010
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Where: SEFLIN Office Suite, 4th Floor
S.E. Wimberly Library
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431

R.S.V.P. by: Monday, 29 November 2010 to Maria Treadwell
at with number of guests