Letter from the Director

Dear Students and Alumni,

Welcome the first DLIS Newsletter for 2015 – 2016 academic year and the first for the new newsletter design. DLIS thanks Michael Crossfox and Maddy Vericker for their efforts creating the new design. This past September I participated on the panel “Small Steps to Big Data” at the Special Library Association of New York’s Annual Conference. In preparing for this presentation, I reflected on the new technologies which have contributed towards increased access to information. Beyond the immediate impact this had on the design of my Metadata and Database Design classes, is the growing impact on the information professions of the Semantic Web and its enabling technologies. It’s very exciting and the simple take-away that I’d like to share from this conference is –be curious, be open, be flexible, and be collaborative.

A new initiative this term was the Brother Emmett Corry Social Justice in Librarianship Lecture Series. Brother Corry, who passed away last February, was a member of the DLIS faculty in the ‘70s and ‘80s and served as its Director from ‘88 to ‘95. The inaugural lecture was held on November 9th. The lecture began with Dr. Kevin Rioux’s introduction on the theme of social justice, followed by Dr. Bella Weinberg, Professor Emeritus, with a remembrance of Brother Corry. The keynote address “When Our Stories Matter: Empowerment through Community-Based Archives” was delivered Cynthia Tobar, Head of Archives at Bronx Community College and founder of the Welfare Rights Initiative Oral History Project, a grassroots student activist and community leadership training organization at Hunter College. We are grateful to the H. W. Wilson Foundation, New York, NY, for sponsoring the Brother Corry Lecture.

I’d like to encourage students to attend the webinar series either in-person or online, and to participate as actively as your time will allow. In my conversations with students at the biweekly webinars the number of student memberships in professional organizations is increasing and many students are enrolling in more than one. This is an excellent way to start networking and making those contacts which will help you land a job.

This Fall DLIS started a mentorship program. The mentorship program pairs alumni with students who share their field of interest. My thanks to the alumni who have volunteered as mentors. Thus far the participation by students has been light. I hope after reading this message that more students take advantage of this new and rewarding opportunity to be mentored by our alumni.

With the end of the term drawing near I would like to call students’ attention to their papers and posters as submissions to professional conferences. Through the generosity of the H. W. Wilson Foundation, there is a $500 student scholarship for having a paper or poster accepted, or serving on a panel. There are other criteria which qualify students for this scholarship and I direct you to the blog http://sjudlis.com for the complete scholarship criteria.
Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re traveling remember to start early, and keep your MTBS times to no more than three hours. MTBS? Mean Time Between Starbucks, of course!

James Vorbach, Director

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