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University at Buffalo DLIS Alumni Listserv December 1, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Informatics, Library School, University at Buffalo.
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I am posting this message from DLIS alum Brenda Battleson with permission. I know there are a few new grads out there who have been wondering what they can do to be informed about and participate in discussions regarding the ALA accreditation, dissolution of the SOI and many other topics. This list can be a starting point for staying informed and participating in the process, so I urge you to subscribe. Brenda’s message, including instructions:

As many of the UB MLS program alumni are aware, the Department of Library Studies is developing a mechanism for gathering more input from alumni via an advisory council. There are many of us who would like to keep informed of happenings in the program and share our opinions with the department and the advisory group. We all have experiences in our positions as librarians, information specialists, systems people, and managers that would be very helpful to the program as they continually evolve to educate the librarians that we may be in a position to hire one day.

There is a listserv already established for the alumni although it has been dormant for some time. It is a perfect medium for contributing to the program’s future, especially as they prepare for their ALA review regarding the conditional accreditation. I encourage all who care about the program and about the education of 21st century librarians to subscribe to this list.

Go to http://listserv.buffalo.edu/user/sub.shtml
Enter LIS-LIST in the box and click “continue”

You will be asked for your name and email address as well as how you would like to receive the postings. Most people just leave the default buttons marked as is.

Click “Join LIS-LIST” and follow the instructions from there.

Keeping the DLIS informed of the needs of today’s librarians is our responsibility to the profession. More easily opening the lines of communication is the best first step.

Please forward this message on to any other lists that may have UB SILS/DLIS alumni as members. The more diverse perspectives we can offer, the more robust our input and contributions will be.

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Contact information for the editor of UB’s Spectrum December 1, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Informatics, University at Buffalo.
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From the Spectrum Online contacts page (http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/contact.php) the Spectrum editor-in-chief, Robert Pape, can be reached at spectrum-eic@buffalo.edu

Article(s) on School of Informatics closing November 29, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Informatics, University at Buffalo.
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UB’s Spectrum has published an article on the closing of the School of Informatics: http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/Narticle.php?id=29774. Peter Rizzo’s piece gets into the details behind the closing from the point of view of UB Administration and some faculty, as well as a prominent alum. I would like to have seen more from students and alums. One criticism I have heard is that students’ concerns have found purchase in informal avenues such as blogs and classroom discussion boards (at Orientation blogs were apparently discounted as hearsay). Well…

In any case, I like this quotation from Dr. John Ellison of the Library Sciences Department:

“I question the provost’s process of dissolving the School of Informatics arbitrarily without consulting the founders group, the advisory boards — he didn’t even consult with the chairs of the departments let alone the faculty. Good administrators work through a proper process to get things accomplished,” Ellison said. “Management defined is ‘getting things done through people,’ and I think that that office, from the top down, just does not understand effective management processes; their mindset is that, ‘we decide it, therefore it is.'”

Update: The paper form of the Spectrum has quite a different feel and I urge anyone who can get a copy to please read the editorial, “Tripathi: Judge, Jury and Academic Executioner”. As of this update I could not find it posted on the publication’s website, but I think the title tells quite a bit here. This is a very strong piece that points out the Faculty Senate took months to decide on which pointers the university would use in standardizing campus lecture rooms (surely, an important decision, I am not disputing that) but that Provost Tripathi took only 4 months to finalize his decision to close the School (without consulting faculty or students).

The Spectrum editorial is not asking for the School to be saved nor stating it was erroneously dissolved. It is addressing the process by which it happened. Part of our responsibility as members of an academic community is to speak out when a process is conducted unfairly, whether it affects us directly or not, and I applaud the Spectrum for doing so.

Update: The editorial is available online, http://spectrum.buffalo.edu/Narticle.php?id=29769.

Update November 30: An article has been published in the online version of the UB Reporter entitled FSEC supports dissolving informatics school. You can read it here (http://www.buffalo.edu/reporter/vol38/vol38n13/articles/FSEC.html). The piece goes into great detail to document Interim Dean Lucinda Finley’s process in assessing the viability of the school. I just received an email via a listserv that stated the title of the article is incorrect, that the FSEC voted to “accept and file” the report, but that the rest of the article accurately represents the discussions.

ASIS&T 2006, Austin, TX November 4, 2006

Posted by jennimi in ASIS&T, Conference, Informatics.
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I’ll be posting over at jennimi about my trip to the annual ASIS&T conference, where June Abbas and I are presenting a poster about folksonomy and tagging. Flickr photos will be here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennx/tags/asist2006/) as I can upload them, and I’ll guest blogging on the conference blog, here, (http://asist2006.neasist.org/) when possible. Austin is a great town so far. This is my first trip to Texas and so far we’re really enjoying it.

Article posted in UB’s student run “Generation” September 28, 2006

Posted by jennimi in Informatics, Library School, University at Buffalo.
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Interesting article about the School of Informatics dissolution in the current issue of “Generation” here. Nice to see students discussing what happened, though I think the report could go deeper. Most blog readers and writers have already read the quotations and threads mentioned months ago. News of folks being interviewed by the Spectrum, stay tuned. Should be revealing. At least if the article gets published that the participants seem to want to publish….

In the meantime, a few of us are trying to re-invigorate a stale and practically non-existent alumni association. Many have already told me they’d be interested in joining. Again, stay tuned. This was one very valid point from the ALA Accreditation report: lack of alumni involvement. We’re not setting out to alienate or blame, but instead offer our insights and services to help. We’ll be working directly with the department to discuss how. Very much looking forward to this.