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Summer 2009

In this issue... learn about the innovative research that SOIS students and faculty take on every day.

SOIS nside SOIS Student Research Day a Great Success!


IN THIS issue Dean’s Note ..................................................................01 New SOIS Faculty ........................................................02 Archives Program Ranks 9th .....................................02 Research Spotlight - Barnard ....................................04 Research Spotlight - Smith ........................................05 Research Spotlight - Lu ..............................................06 Research Spotlight - Scarpace ..................................07 The Power of Language..............................................08 Buchanan’s Oxford Fellowship ..................................10 Visiting Prof. Peter Lor ............................................... 11 Pemba Mwepu Profile .................................................12 SOIS Research by the Numbers ................................14

IIA Lab ........................................................................... 15 SOIS Student Research Day ........................................ 16 Sarah Westphal - NLM Fellowship .............................. 17 UWinteriM Study Abroad ............................................. 18 Student Org. News ........................................................ 19 New IO Concentration ................................................... 20 International Partnerships ............................................ 20 UNESCO Info. Ethics in Africa Conference ................ 21 SOIS Graduates ............................................................. 22 Development Director’s News...................................... 23 Ethics of IO Conference ............................................... 24 CIPR News ..................................................................... 25

SO S nsideS e OIS Summer 2009 VOL. 1, No. 2 Inside SOIS is published twice a year by the School of Information Studies. Dean: Johannes Britz Associate Dean: Hope Olson Assistant Dean: Chad Zahrt

Keep us Informed! We invite all students and alumni to send us your updates and news for future issues of

Editors: Matt Richter Chad Zahrt Writer: Dan Rude

the Inside SOIS newsletter. Please send news to Rebecca Hall ( We want to hear from you!

On the cover: Graduate student Tony Hoffman sharing his thoughts on his poster “Oversharing” with Associate Dean Hope Olson at the 2009 SOIS Research Day.

Inside SOIS is printed in limited quantity. Electronic version available at: Please share this publication with colleagues, and please recycle!

Design and Production: Rebecca Hall Photography: Chad Noworatzky, Photographer Rebecca Hall, Contributing Photographer UWM Photographic Services: Pete Amland, Peter Jakubowski, Alan Magayne-Roshak Send correspondence and address changes to: UW-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies, Attn: Inside SOIS, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, Wi 53201-0413 PH: 414-229-4707 (TOLL-FREE: 888-349-3432) Email:



DEAN’S note

Dear Alumni, Students, Friends, Faculty, Staff, As the School of Information Studies (SOIS) looks ahead to the upcoming 2009-2010 academic year, we have taken this issue of Inside SOIS as an opportunity to reflect on the innovative, cutting-edge research that students and faculty take on every day.

RESEARCH... S C Innovative. Cutting-edge.

Along with student and faculty news and SOIS event notices, we proudly feature a series of SOIS Student Research profiles in this issue (pages 04-07). Students in every level of our school, from the Bachelor of Science in Information Resources program, the Masters of Library and Information Science program, and the PhD program, are pushing the field of Library and Information Science in new and exciting directions. Our students are guided by the talented international faculty at SOIS who lead the LIS field in their own research agendas. In this issue, we welcome several new faces to SOIS, individuals whose expertise adds to the School’s array of specialized LIS concentrations as well as our core areas—information organization, information policy, and information retrieval. The research of our faculty and students does not stop at the city limits. Our school’s researchers at all levels travel the world—from South Africa to England to the Middle East—pursuing questions that will lead to improved access, clear organization, and strategies for better understanding the impact of our global information economy. We are excited to share the tremendous achievements of you, our students and faculty, and look ahead to our continued success as a leading school of library and information studies. It is because of your commitment to moving LIS into new areas, your curiosity about information and its impact on all levels of our society, and your talent for research that places SOIS on the global map for information studies education.

Thank You! Dean Johannes Britz

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SOIS continues to grow! Ms. Margaret E. I. Kipp has been appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Information Studies (SOIS) and will take up her new position in Fall 2009. A doctoral candidate at the University of Western Ontario in the Information and Media Studies program, Ms. Kipp is already renowned for her research in social tagging. Her research interests include classification theory, the creation of patterns and structures in information organization systems, collaborative or social web technologies and their relation to information, as well as intellectual property as it relates to information dissemination and collaborative information tools. For her dissertation, under the direction of Dr. D. Grant Campbell, Ms. Kipp is examining information organization practices on the web and how tagging relates to the social organization of information. She has already published numerous articles in a variety of scholarly journals both national and international, and has delivered a number of conference papers and presentations as well for organizations such as the American Society for Information Science and Technology. For the “We look forward to Ms. Kipp joining our team at SOIS,” said Dean past two years, she has taught Johannes Britz. “Her knowledge and expertise in IO will further courses in knowledge organizaestablish SOIS as one of the nation’s premiere library and information, information sources, and tion science programs specializing in information organization. She web architecture and design at will assist our school in developing the newly founded Information the Palmer School of Library and Organization Research Group based at SOIS, the information orga- Information Science, Long Island nization focus in our doctoral program, and our recently established University. official MLIS concentration in Information Organization.”

Ms. Kipp will further enhance the SOIS’s reputation as a leader in Information Organization (IO), joining Drs. Hope Olson, Hur-Li Lee, Steve Miller, Micki Breitenstein, and Richard Smiraglia, whose collective expertise in IO sets SOIS apart from other library and information science schools in North America. Dean Johannes Britz

SOIS Archives Program Ranks 9th So i s proudly announces its Archival Studies program is ranked

there are more than 50 students in this MLIS concentration and 20

ninth among Library and Information Studies programs for Archives

students pursuing the certificate of advanced study.

and Preservation in the recently released US News and World Report “Best Colleges 2009” report. This is the first time the

SOIS’s Archival Studies Concentration in its MLIS program pro-

archives program has received this kind of national recognition.

vides a balance of theoretical underpinning with practical archival experience. Students who have specialized in the Archival Studies

The Archival Studies program offers both a concentration within


the MLIS degree and a certificate program for post master’s study

settings such as

(both of which are also offered as online programs), providing

archives and records management, professional associations, trib-

flexibility in program delivery to meet the needs of today’s diverse

al archives, religious organizations, and digital libraries. To obtain

archives profession. The program has grown exponentially in

the Concentration, students take 15 credits of archives-related

recent years in terms of students and course offerings. Currently

coursework within the overall MLIS program.

02 | Inside SOIS

have moved on to careers in a wide variety of academic libraries and archives, corporate



Dr. Richard P. Smiraglia has been appointed Visiting Professor and will take up his new position in Fall 2009. Dr. Smiraglia, a leading authority on the concept of the “work” and on music cataloging, brings to SOIS a diverse background in library and information science as well as music studies. He teaches courses in knowledge organization and research methods, as well as occasional survey courses. Recently returned from an appointment as Visiting Fellow with the Virtual Knowledge Studio at the Royal Netherlands Academy of the Arts and Sciences, Smiraglia has more than 30 years of professional and scholarly experience. Beginning as a music cataloger at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he subsequently moved to the east coast where he taught at Columbia University and then Long Island University where he developed and headed the doctoral program. Dr. Smiraglia earned his doctorate from the University of Chicago enhance SOIS’s position as one of the nation’s leading library Graduate Library School in 1992; his and information science programs in information organization dissertation, “Authority Control and through research, online teaching, and mentoring,” said Dean the Extent of Derivative Bibliographic Johannes Britz. “He will join Hope Olson, Hur-Li Lee, Steve Relationships,” was published that Miller and Micki Breitenstein in developing the newly founded year. He has authored, co-authored, or Information Organization Research Group based at SOIS, the edited 15 books on topics as diverse information organization focus in our doctoral program, and our as his background, from Danish emirecently established official MLIS concentration in Information grant ballads to knowledge organizaOrganization.” Dean Johannes Britz tion, and has published more than 60 refereed articles and presented nearly as many conference papers. Dr. Smiraglia is Editor-in-Chief of Knowledge Organization, the quarterly journal of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (previously edited by SOIS Associate Dean Hope Olson), was previously editor of Library Resources & Technical Services, and is a member of the editorial board of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. “We welcome Richard’s knowledge and experience, which will

Did you know?

For more information on the Archival Studies Program contact: Amy Cooper Cary, Archival Studies Program Director Email:

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SOIS Student Research

Kent Barnard, MLIS program Kent Barnard desperately wants to go to Denmark. “It’s my goal in life,” he claims. But Barnard is not looking to sight-see. He would like to go for a specific reason at a specific time: 2014 to be exact. That’s when the Aarhus Public Library opens its Interactive Children’s Library project. The project—which Barnard ran across while writing a paper for one of his MLIS classes—is based almost entirely on radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and is the inspiration for much of Barnard’s current research.


barnard What interests Barnard about RFID technology is not how libraries are currently using it; its how they’re not using it. For many years, libraries have employed RFID technology for circulation purposes, as a replacement for the traditional barcode. Instead of using an electromagnetic security strip, libraries can insert an RFID chip into materials, tracking them with a responder. This is similar to how companies track shipments or how the US government now tracks passports. Barnard wants to focus on how RFID might be used to help users find materials. By putting the responders in the hands of users, Barnard thinks that the libraries stacks will be opened up.

This combination of RFID tags and locations is commonly known as ubiquitous or interactive technology and is most frequently found in museums. But as the lines between libraries and museums begin to fade, Barnard sees a lot of opportunity for the user. RFID technologies can also help patrons find what they’re looking for. Barnard says that if you combined the chips with LED lights on library stacks, patrons could input a responder with a title and, guided by the lights, find the exact location of their desired material. This can also be combined with audio information on the chip which gives the user more information about the item including reviews and bibliographic information.

The key is the relative ease of use. The technology itself is complicated, but as Aarhus demonstrates, once the technology is in place, it’s basically—and literally—child’s play. One example had children dragging a hot-air balloon the size of a cordless phone across an interactive map of the city of Aarhus. The hot-air balloon, which was equipped with an RFID responder inside, would react to different locations by reading the RFID tag, prompting the screen to play pictures and video about that location. Barnard sees this as being equally engaging for older patrons who might not be familiar with new technologies but would be open to something as simple as RFID.

The next step for Barnard is pretty clear: write a thesis. In the future, he hopes this is the type of project that he could implement in a library, but says he’ll have to wait to see where the technology goes. For now, he’s content to work on the thesis and think about Denmark.

04 | Inside SOIS



Tyler Smith, MLIS program While librarians and historians may not be known for their gregarious nature, Tyler Smith is the exception. As he talks about his twin research projects on Chinese binding and Carolingian libraries, his passion for ancient texts and historical context is contagious. Smith, who is in the coordinated program pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science as well as in History, focuses his scholarship on strategies to help libraries honor their heritage.



Smith’s research on the Carolingian libraries focuses on the Emperor Charlemagne. Through another researcher’s efforts, Smith found that Charlemagne, despite not being able to read, kept an extensive library with works on many different subjects including geography and military history. Smith found inspiration for his first project in the class Library Materials for Children. During an assignment for SOIS Assistant Professor Laretta Henderson, Smith studied an ancient Chinese fairy tale on foot-binding called Yeh Shen. The story, which has connections to the Western fairy tale we know as Cinderella, depicts a young lower-class woman who captures the attention of the king with the size of her foot. Smith was struck by how the story appears to have promoted a rise in the Chinese tradition of female foot-binding. For his research, Smith enlisted the help of Dr. Henderson to navigate the depths of criticism on children’s literature. Not only did Smith submit his research to the Student Research Day, but he and Dr. Henderson are also currently waiting for it to be reviewed by a noted journal. Smith is hopeful that the piece will be published, but says he is also excited to have completed a legitimate academic paper.

Charlemagne is just one example of what is referred to by Smith and others as the “Carolingian Renaissance.” Although it is widely held that a small minority hoarded the few religious tracts of the time, Smith says that in reality, the Carolingian Renaissance was a rebirth of intellectualism outside as well as inside European courts and monasteries. Smith’s research reveals that a unique writing style developed during this time that gives us an indication of the impressive developments that have been largely ignored in both the library science and history fields. So what does all this research have in common? Ultimately, Smith wants libraries to acknowledge their heritage, and both of these projects point to helping library professionals better understand their institution’s past. “For a long time the field has lacked a consistent definition of libraries,” he says, “and these projects certainly look at the ongoing tradition of libraries and literature.” His research ultimately might change the way the whole profession looks back at its past.

Smith contends that his second topic, Carolingian libraries of the 7th century, is a blind spot in current library history. “Most people think that the only books available at this time were religious texts,” said Smith.

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SOIS Student Research

Kun Lu, PhD program Looking for a restaurant? The name of your new favorite band? These days most queries can probably be performed by a simple web search on Google. In fact, search engines have simplified answers and knowledge so much that most of us never consider how it’s gathered. Kun Lu does.

Lu has recently undertaken a project to understand how the web environment has impacted the way information is made available to us. Collaborating with two of his professors – Professor and Associate Dean Hope Olson and Professor Dietmar Wolfram – Lu is attempting to use a theoretical law developed in the 1930’s to examine how Google has changed our world. The law – named Bradford’s Law after noted academic Samuel Bradford – estimates the way in which articles are distributed in scholarly journals; Lu, however, is applying the law to websites. For each search engine query he performs, he takes a sampling of the results and analyzes the total number of websites that are referenced. For a test topic, Lu chose a subject familiar to himself and his collaborators: information science. Lu began analyzing from which websites the results were coming. As he started processing the results, he noticed a small number of websites were prolific contributors, while a huge number of websites had supplied only a small piece of knowledge to the expansive field of results. Lu calls this the “long tail” effect.


lu The long tail—a notion usually applied to frequency distribution models—suggests that a small group of contributors to any field will be excessively successful (think of Elvis’ or the Beatle’s share of the music industry) while a much larger group of individuals in the field will only add one or two realistic offerings (think of the millions of mildly successful local bands).

Lu is also working on another project to help develop new search algorithms, a complicated process. “It’s a lot of data sets,” Lu concedes. His hope is that he can replace traditional text-clustering algorithms with a set of new ones. By examining how different algorithms organize results and merging those results into a hierarchy, he can determine how the final product might be better organized.

In Lu’s search, the number of small websites that produced one or two relevant pages made up a huge percentage of the distribution of total hits; hence, the long tail.

For Lu, his strongest motivator is knowing that his research on information distribution helps generate better search results. So the next time you do a Google search, think about Lu.

The project is ongoing, but Lu is pleased with the results so far. He is far from done though. Lu and Dr. Wolfram are currently working on better equations which may help researchers analyze web searches in the future. “We hope it will improve the conditions in which material is distributed.”

06 | Inside SOIS




SOIS Student Research

Anthony Scarpace, BSIR program With a job working with SOIS Tech, the SOIS IT support services this summer, one more semester of school left, and a little bit of school-wide press from a class project, life is good for Anthony Scarpace. A soon-to-be recipient of SOIS’s Bachelor of Science in Information Resources (BSIR), senior Scarpace leans back in his chair with an easy smile and talks about his latest project.

Scarpace, along with fellow BSIR students Emily Johnson and Tony Garcia, completed a research project for SOIS Assistant Professor Michael Zimmer’s Ethics of Information Technology course that focused on the new phenomenon known as “cyberstalking.” For Scarpace, the sheer amount of information you can find on someone through the Internet is mind-boggling. “It’s creepy,” he said, referring to the results of their project. The project centered on one individual: SOIS Dean Johannes Britz. Through their Internet searches, the team was able to find detailed personal information about Dean Britz including his address, home phone number, salary and personal information concerning his wife. The search also yielded photos of Dean Britz from a conference. For $40 more, the team could have hired an information search agency to dig up even more personal information, said Scarpace.


scarpace This experience proved to be quite an eye-opener for Scarpace and his classmates. “It became abundantly clear that Internet privacy is a real issue,” he said. Since then, Scarpace has done a few searches on himself just to make sure he’s secure. “I had known about the extent of information available on social networking sites,” he noted as an example, adding that luckily there are a few other Anthony Scarpaces out there.

Photo: Dr. Simon Mu, SOIS Assistant Professor and Anthony Scarpace

Internet security isn’t the only thing he’ll take away from Dr. Zimmer’s class. “We looked at a lot of interesting issues,” he said, such as cyber-stalking, the fundamentals of Internet ethics, and ethics as they relate to gaming sites like Second Life or World of Warcraft. Scarpace plans to put his knowledge of information privacy to use in his future profession. “It’s important to be an advocate for online privacy,” he said. He mentioned that a lot of private corporations and organizations will need to manage their own information as well. He hopes that, through his project and the rest of his classes, he’ll be able to better inform people about the risks and rewards of Internet content. “I feel confident about the topic,” he said. Summer 2009

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The Power of Language SOIS Associate Professor Jacques Du Plessis believes in the power of language. And not just any language either. He believes in all languages. The problem, he says, is one of availability. Too often, students looking to learn a new tongue only have access to learning materials focused on dominate languages like Spanish, French or German. While these languages are widely spoken, they don’t represent the multitude of different languages out there. “Take Nigeria for example,” offers Dr. Du Plessis, “in Nigeria, presidential addresses are translated in 17 different languages and even then they only reach half the population.” Africa is a big motivator for Dr. Du Plessis. Growing up in South Africa, he was exposed to many different languages, which fueled his passion for language acquisition and instruction, a passion that continued in college where he studied linguistics at the Masters level. He began teaching Afrikaans – his native language – at Brigham Young University in the mid-80s and has since kept up his interest in spreading African languages.

Another one of Dr. Du Plessis’ loves is the asynchronous learning environment. Born from software, CD-ROMs and webbased programs, asynchronous learning environments exist outside the classroom in their own time. While students in these environments usually do not have direct face-to-face contact with professors, they do have the same access to materials and exercises as students in traditional learning environments.

The key to this environment is collaboration, both for professors and for students. Professors collaborate together on things like curriculum and lesson plans to create a better course. Students collaborate with one another to discuss the language, their successes and their learning strategies. A passion for language and nd a belief in the power of asynchronous learning

SOIS Associate Professor Jacques Du Plessis believes in the power of language. And not just any language either. r. He believes in all languages.

08 | Inside SOIS



environments led Dr. Du Plessis to create, aans, ners, a website dedicated to providing materials for online Afrikaans learners, including vocabulary lists, audio clips and video tutorials. ts a The website, which launched in 2005 and now gets about 60,000 hits sis month, in reality is the beta site for a much larger vision. Dr. Du Plessis ssis working to create a web resource for many of the world’s lesscommonly taught languages. Afrikaans today, Yoruba, Mandingo, and nd Bemba tomorrow. Xhosa, Zulu, Swahili, Akan, and Wolof will hopeew fully follow, and by then Dr. Du Plessis would like to move on to new challenges like old Gaelic, some of the Native American languages,, or potentially the Polynesian languages of the Pacific. Even for a project that might have global ramifications, the roots are quite local. Dr. Du Plessis credits the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), based in Madison, Wisconsin, as being a huge part of the project. NCOLCTL, a consortium of academics who work with less commonly taught languages, promotes the learning of these languages, some of which may be unfamiliar to Americans. By working with NCOLCTL, Dr. Du Plessis continues to gather steam eam forr his project. For example, at a recent meeting, he met an individuall from f Mauritius who spoke the native Creole of the island-nation. The two professors got to speaking about the project and this individual expressed interest in helping out. It’s through connections like these that Dr. Du Plessis hopes to build his Open Languages website. Dr. Plessis has also had some help from within UW-Milwaukee. He met a student from Zambia, Pemba Mwepu (read about Mwepu’s research interests on page 12), who heard about the project and offered her assistance. Mwepu, who speaks one of Zambia’s native languages, Bemba, is helping Dr. Du Plessis to create a new web resource for people who want to learn the language. Mwepu says that helping Dr. Du Plessis to integrate her knowledge of Bemba into his project has been a fun challenge. “Just because you speak a language doesn’t make you a master of it,” she jokes. When she and Dr. Du Plessis started working on the Bemba section, the only printed resources about the language they could find were an old grammar book and a pocket dictionary. Mwepu hopes that the Open Languages site will help increase exposure to her native tongue.

Du Plessis is working to create a web resource for many of the world’s less-commonly taught languages. Afrikaans today, Yoruba, Mandingo, and Bemba tomorrow. Xhosa, Zulu, Swahili, Akan, and Wolof will hopefully follow, and by then Dr. Du Plessis would like to move on to new challenges like old Gaelic, some of the Native American languages, or potentially the Polynesian languages of the Pacific.

Dr. Du Plessis sees preserving native cultures as just one of the many longterm goals for the project. He would also like to test the viability of the collaborative learning environment, eventually making the website into a wiki so that it can be altered and enhanced by experts from all over the world. Dr. Du Plessis believes that this will be the future of language learning, and he’s doing everything he can to be a big part of it. National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages: Open Languages:

Summer 2009

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Buchanan’s Research on Information Policy a Across the Pond and Back Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan is back…for a little while at least. After a year in England on an Oxford Fellowship, a conference in India, a lecture in Austria and brief forays in the United States to North Carolina, New York and Massachusetts, Buchanan is staying put for at least the next few weeks. Then it’s back to Europe for a conference in Greece.

Buchanan is a hot commodity in library and information studies. Her popularity stems from her cutting-edge research in information policy, which began several years ago. Buchanan and a fellow researcher received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to perform an exploratory study investigating Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and their policies and procedures ures regarding Internet research. In her study of IRBs—the internal nal university bodies that assess research methods— Buchanan crossed the US, looking at cross-cultural issues and the criteria these boards use to make deci-

OXFORD fellowship sions. Buchanan’s focus on e-research has propelled her to the forefront of her field. The main goal of her NSF project was to examine how IRBs treated Internet-based research. Buchanan chanan notes that tensions often exist between and among researchesearchers, research boards, and institutions themselves. Because cause of the continual changes with technology and technology-based gy-based research, Buchanan’s concerns revolve around how ethics hics board decisions are made. How do individual research board members acquire enough information about e-research to make informed i f d decisions. “What questions do you ask? How do you make an informed decision?” Buchanan wondered aloud, suggesting that today we are in the era of Research 2.0. It is this concept—Research 2.0.—which took Buchanan to England. After planning for a keynote talk at the UK’s National Center for e-Social Sciences Conference in 2008, she was approached about taking on an Oxford Fellowship in conjunction with the Center, which coincided perfectly with her planned sabbatical for the 2008-2009 academic year. Buchanan settled into Oxford readily, but never got too comfortable. Her research took her all over the green hills of England. In Manchester, she observed how

10 | Inside SOIS

epidemiological epidemiological researchre ese sear archers er studied obesity using online surveys. Rather o than studying individuals, t the researchers gathered statistical data form large groups of informants. Buchanan also observed how research was obse gathered in the UK. In comparison to the US, government-funded f d d research h in i the h UK must be archived and shared. “How we gather information, how we store it,” Buchanan said, “these are the things I studied at Oxford.” During her stay in Europe, she also had an opportunity to visit SOIS’s sister school in Austria, University of Applied Sciences - Hagenberg Campus, where she gave a lecture on information ethics. She gave a similar talk in India while visiting the National Institute of Advanced Sciences in Bangalore, but in an environment unlike what she was used to. India has an altogether different standard for research ethics and Buchanan says that the exposure to the Indian model of information policy impacted her significantly. In contrast to Europe, which recently passed sweeping privacy



and e-Research Takes her laws designed to protect citizens’ rights, India has lagged behind. Buchanan also worries about Internet privacy here in the US. The EU bill protects the IP addresses of citizens, acting almost as an extension of their identities. How we define our identity on the Internet is something that Buchanan is very interested in. “The whole idea of who we are gets blurred,” she says, referring to what a philosopher calls our “quantum identity,” a concept Buchanan has borrowed as she attempts to tackle how people are researched on the Internet. Internet survey sites, according to Buchanan, represent an example of how privacy is managed online. These survey sites might seem like a good way to collect and analyze data, but it’s hard to know where the data goes and how it is stored. “A lot of this information isn’t made public,”

Buchanan poses. She says that this forces a dilemma on the part of the researcher. Do they use sites like these which are very quick and easy, or do they attempt to gather and store information on their own? With the rise in popularity of survey sites, questions like these aren’t likely to go away, and neither are the “quantum identities” of the average Internet user. Buchanan wonders, as the Internet spreads, whether people can rein in their own identities or what aspect of our identities Internet researchers are actually studying. She says people don’t realize that much of what they put on the Internet is currently being studied. While at Oxford, Buchanan also had time to do some personal writing. She recently had an editorial published in the Journal of Information Ethics about immersing herself in the storied tradition of Oxford University. In the article she said the symbolism of working in such a revered institution forces one to combine theory and the everyday concerns of life.

As for life in Milwaukee, she says it’s good be back.

Did you know?

Visiting Professor Peter Lor Investigates International Library and Information Science Organizations: How they Rise and Fall, and Why


hy did the international organization the International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID) fail, whereas a similar organization, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), flourish? This is the question that interests Dr. Peter Lor. FID, which dissolved in 2002, was the unifying organization for special libraries and was curiously housed in the same building as its sister organization, IFLA. “I hope to look at the final years of the FID and see what lead to its downfall,” said Dr. Lor, who was Secretary-General of IFLA for four years. He notes the FID contributed many major accomplishments to the field of library and information science including the Universal Decimal Code

system, which is still in use around the world. He hopes to examine the organization’s records, which are still kept in the archives of the National Library of the Netherlands, in The Hague. As a native of South Africa, much of Dr. Lor’s work centers on international concerns in the field of library and information science. He notes that one intriguing difference between IFLA and FID was the notion of documentation. While IFLA was associated with traditional libraries, FID drew its roots from the more continental idea of libraries being centers of documentation. In addition to his research on international organizations, Dr. Lor is in the process of designing a new course for SOIS on international librarianship for the spring semester in 2010. The course will be rooted in comparative librarianship, a field that Dr. Lor notes has been lacking for several years. Coming out of the comparative education field in the 1970s, comparative librarianship has not had the same success as its educational counterpart. Dr. Lor also aims to do some empirical work on why comparative librarianship has stagnated during this time and what might be needed to revive the field.

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As Pemba Mwepu immersed herself in studies halfway around the world, she quickly realized how central information and access is to not only her work but also to the strength of the US educational and library systems as well.

At 24, Pemba Mwepu has accomplished more than many people twice her age. Originally from Zambia, she attended a culinary and hospitality institute in her country which led to work in food preparation at a five-star resort. Her unwavering determination to reach greater heights of success led her to apply to UW-Milwaukee to pursue degrees in human resources and finance. However, as she immersed herself in studies halfway around the world, she quickly realized how central information and access is to not only her work but also to the strength of the US educational and library systems as well, and how a

INTERNATIONAL HER SCOPE INDISCIPLINARY HER MINDSET lack of information access has hindered the development of such systems in Zambia.

Now two years into her undergraduate career at UWM, Pemba’s multidisciplinary research in library and information sciences (LIS) has opened new doors of opportunity for her. Not only will her research in LIS prepare her for success in her future profession— hospitality manager—but it has opened doors to effect change in Zambia, bridging the information divide and improving access for a country whose people see literacy and information not as necessities, but as luxuries. INSIDE SOIS: Tell us about your work in LIS here at UWM for your poster presentation for SOIS Research Day. Pemba: I decided to take a BSIR course in information research taught by Dr. Maria Haigh last year, my freshman year, at UWM. I thought it would help me in other classes. In that class, Dr. Haigh gave students a range of topics to focus on. One thing that impressed me most in the US was the library system; just knowing that the information that you need is available to everyone really struck me. For Dr. Haigh’s class, I decided to look at libraries in developing countries and compared the library systems in Zambia, my home country, and the US to see how the US library system advanced and grew from its beginnings in order to possibly inform

12 | Inside SOIS

developing countries like Zambia about how to grow a successful library system. I focused on how to bring libraries to the people. In Zambia, libraries are not free. In fact, it costs more than families are able to afford just to access a library. I had a lot of fun in Dr. Haigh’s class. I basically restructured my presentation for her class for the SOIS Research Day poster. Currently, I’m working on a project to create libraries in developing countries like Zambia by connecting resources from the US. I think this is one of the keys to library creation in developing countries: sharing resources. This in part inspired me to look at the comparison of the US library institution with the library institution in my country, and to look at literacy levels. What is needed, I think, is to enhance creativity and innovation to help combat literacy levels and support the education of future generations by helping to improve access to books and libraries for today’s children. You need to provide a foundation of resources in order to enhance the education of a country’s people. My country has been independent for 46 years, but it is like we just gained independence yesterday because there is a privileged



caste and no one has invested in the infrastructure of the country—specifically, in education—to help further our independence. Coming to the US really helped to inspire my project. I’ve seen how my country’s library system works, and, by understanding the US model, how it could work. It has been a fun project! Tell us a little about your background and your current studies at UW-Milwaukee. Pemba: I’m enrolled in the School of Business with majors in human resources and finance. I always knew I wanted to pursue these areas. I’m actually a chef by profession. I was a sous chef at a five-star resort in Zambia before I came to the US. I attended a culinary institute and focused my studies on hotel management and the hospitality industry. After seven years, I didn’t feel I had attained what I wanted in life. I started applying for other jobs and scholarships, and I got a scholarship in June 2007 to attend UWM, as well as a job opportunity here. I thought my priority should be education; I want to use my education in human resources and finance, coupled with my education in hotel management, culinary arts, and hospitality, to become a hotel manager. You’ve accomplished so much already. What about your background do you think helped you to achieve these successes? Pemba: I had a really great upbringing. I was always told by my mom—the pillar in my family—to see the positive side of things and to always push forward. How do you see your research in library and information science relating to your interests in business and hospitality? Pemba: For me, the undercurrent to all of my education and work experiences so far is development. My research parallels my food background in many ways. As a chef, you have to stay updated, constantly keeping up with food quality, preparation, and the latest trends. This involves market research, client research, and just a lot of information. So everything is centered on research. Research facilitates development. I think this is true of hospitality as well as libraries and educational systems. Success in any of these areas comes down to the ability to access information, to conduct research, which in turn facilitates development. My overall goal is to make research and reading part of my culture, to make reading something that my country sees as a necessity rather than a luxury. Although I’m not a BSIR major, I feel that being involved in SOIS opens me to more opportunities that I didn’t realize. I think my experience in LIS has added value to my education. You have two years left in the undergraduate program. What are your plans after you graduate? Pemba: I’m staying with my host family here in Milwaukee. I would ultimately like to carry on my research back in my country. Africa will always be my home, so it is important to me to effect change there for the better. When I am old, I would like to look back on my life knowing that I was educated and that I used my education to give back to my community and to help others, to help future generations find success and not suffer. This is what I’m trying to achieve.

Summer 2009

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SOIS Research, by the Numbers SOIS extramural grant requests for 2008-09 academic year highest in past five years SOIS, already recognized as one of the nation’s leading library and information science schools in research output (Sciencewatch, 2008), is enjoying a recordsetting year for external funding requests. During the 2008-09 academic year, SOIS faculty requested more than $4.15 million in external grant funding, nearly doubling the high-water mark in grant requests achieved in 2004-05 ($2.35 million).

Due to innovative project concepts from new faculty hires and current SOIS faculty, the School’s grant proposals have far surpassed past years’ total research funding requests, more than doubling last year’s total amount requested and number of grant applications submitted (see Table below).

This spring alone, seven SOIS faculty members have submitted grant applications to mostly federal funding sources; the total amount requested among these seven applications exceeds $2.5 million. Among the projects proposed to such funding agencies as the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Department of Education, topics range from public libraries to video games to women’s health: Women’s Language, Women’s Health (National Institutes of Health): “We intend to develop the knowledge necessary to effect systemic change in women’s access to consumer health information. Our objective is to understand how well women’s use of language to express and search for health-related concepts fits or matches the design, vocabulary, and structures of online health resources that have been created to support consumer health information seeking.” Project team: Associate Dean Hope Olson, PI; Dr. Roma Harris, University of Western Ontario, Dean Sally Lundeen, UWM College of Nursing, Dr. Dietmar Wolfram, UWM SOIS; and Dr. Jin Zhang, UWM SOIS. The Open Languages Online Initiative (Department of Education): “The Open Languages Online Initiative will foster a collaborative language development community around each of the targeted languages: Swahili, Akan, and Wolof.” Project PI: Dr. Jacques Du Plessis, UWM SOIS. Gaming Alignment Project (GAP): Aligning Video Games with AASL Information Literacy (IL) Standards and Examining IL Proficiency Levels across Gaming Genres (Institute of Museum and Library Services): “The purpose of this research project (GAP) is to examine, describe, quantify, compare and align observable dimensions of video game content within the context of information literacy standards.” Project PI: Dr. Terrence Newell, UWM SOIS.

Delving Deeper: Perceptions of Public Libraries in the Contemporary Era (Institute of Museum and Library Services): “This research will address the question: ‘Do the traditional values which stimulated the growth of the American public library system function at the local level of service delivery?’ The research will focus on the state of Wisconsin as a pilot project.” Project PI: Dr. Joyce Latham, UWM SOIS. Improving Reference Service: Understanding Why We Do What We Do (Institute of Museum and Library Services): The focus of this project will be to understand why the behaviors of reference librarians are what they are: what attitudes, opinions, and philosophies lead to positive or negative behaviors at the reference desk with special reference to the Behavioral Guidelines for References Librarians, published by the ALA’s Reference & User Services Association. Project PI: Dr. Alexandra Dimitroff, UWM SOIS.

Increased Grant Requests Matched by Increased Research Expenditures While SOIS extramural funding requests have increased, so have the dollars spent on research activities. In the past three years, SOIS has seen a staggering 950% increase in the amount of research

Internet Research and Ethics 2.0: The Internet Research Ethics Digital Library, Interactive Resource Center, and Online Ethics Advisory Board (National Science Foundation): (See page 10 for more detailed description of this grant project.) Project PI: Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan, UWM SOIS.

14 | Inside SOIS

expenditures, spending nearly 10 times as much on library and information science research projects in the 2008-09 academic year than in 2005-06.


Partnership for African Information Ethics Curricula and Faculty Development (US-Africa Higher Education Initiative): This proposal requests support to aid the development of a strategic plan for the creation of a long-term partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (USA), the University of


Botswana (Botswana), and the University of Zululand (South Africa) to provide curriculum development and faculty training for library and information science (LIS) schools in Africa. Project PI: Dr. Michael Zimmer, UWM SOIS.

Did you know?

IIA Lab Creates Potential for Cutting-Edge Research

faculty members like Dr. Mu. Now, Dr. Mu

Dr. Mu and fellow SOIS researcher, Professor Iris Xie, is a long-

states, they are working together on a

term project funded through federal grants to boost information

more complex model of research develop-

technology research. The name itself, the “IIA Lab”, reflects the




more work it will move beyond.” The lab, which is the brainchild of


projects from working hand-in-hand with


“It’s still in its infancy,” Dr. Mu claims of the IIA Lab, “but with a little


ods while receiving guidance in their own



knowledge in advanced research meth-


was immediate; students gained useful



It’s just a room, but to SOIS Associate Professor Xianming Mu, it represents a lot more.




three principle objectives of the lab: Intelligent – Informative – For Hohyon Ryu, a MLIS student from Korea, the lab offers a work


space and place to do what he does best: programming. “There’s Originally set up two years ago for conducting usability studies,

a huge amount of data,” says Ryu of a usability project he’s work-

the lab has grown from federal grant funding and now includes the

ing on with Dr. Mu. Ryu suggests that without quad-core servers

computers, software, and servers necessary for in-depth informa-

like those available in the lab, his research might be a lot tougher.

tion science research. In the first year, Dr. Mu and other faculty used the lab to conduct several studies with graduate students.

Normally, Dr. Mu meets everyday with both Ryu and PhD student

While the studies were successful, the lab wasn’t used in the way

Kun Lu. Their model of development for the IIA lab includes three

that Dr. Mu envisions the lab as growing.

aims: 1) accumulating knowledge in regards to information technology, 2) creating a stable research group dedicated to information

“The problem was that we needed a little more stability in our

retrieval, and 3) developing a commonality of research interests.

research,” Dr. Mu explained. Dr. Mu admits that he had some chal-

The last point, Dr. Mu claims, is the most important. If students

lenges getting participants and keeping the research alive during

and faculty can work together to join their research interests, he

long stretches. There were also a lot of different ideas as to how the

believes that SOIS can continue to build its reputation as a top-

lab should be used. Several studies were proposed, but there didn’t

notch research institution.

seem to be a close link between investigators’ interests. The result of this model has been the creation of several informaW When SOIS began

tion retrieval systems, a few new algorithms and what Dr. Mu calls

t the


a continuing theory at the university. Dr. Mu is pleased with the lab,

g gram, Dr. Mu saw

more for the sense of possibility it has fostered across the school

a an

than anything.



opportunity perform


a advanced research

In the future, Dr. Mu hopes that the lab will continue to serve as

w the help of the with

an environment for research and open doors to new directions for

n new doctoral stu-

SOIS researchers. It might just be a room, but it’s a room with a

d dents. The impact

lot of potential.

Summer 2009

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Save the Date!

10|17|09 SOIS STUDENT RESEARCH DAY, 2009 On October 17th, 2009, SOIS will hold the third annual Student Research Day. According to Professor Dietmar Wolfram, the purpose of the event is to encourage student research no matter what the form or methodology. The event is open to all SOIS students including undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Peter Lor, visiting professor and former Secretary-General of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, will be the keynote speaker.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN SHARING YOUR RESEARCH IDEAS? Speak with a faculty member for more information or email:

16 | Inside SOIS

SOIS Student Research Day a Success! In April, SOIS students showcased their hard work at Student Research Day. The event, sponsored by the Diversity and Equity Committee and coordinated by Assistant Professor Maria Haigh, offered students an outlet to display projects and work done inside as well as outside the classroom. Ten students participated in the event, which was held in the walkway between UW-Milwaukee’s Union and Bolton Hall. The students were asked to create a poster detailing their research, including their methods and substance. For Dr. Haigh, the walkway location was a strategic choice, offering a lot of foot traffic. “The participants had a lot of visibility,” she said, noting that it also showcased the dedication SOIS has to maintaining its reputation as a major research producer. Dr. Haigh praised the students’ work. “It was a great outcome,” she said. The posters were judged by a selection of faculty members who were looking independently for or methods and visual repreesentation of information. The e

event was open to anyone with an interest in research. Dr. Haigh noted that the majority of the work came from graduate students, but said that she was pleased to see entries from some undergraduate students as well. She hopes that events like this will encourage students to continue to develop interesting proposals in the future. “There was a lot of variety in the posters,” she added. The Diversity and Equity Committee will continue the event next year (see sidebar). By developing poster presentations for Student Research Day, students get a good feel for how a professional conference works while benefiting from the small, comfortable atmosphere of SOIS.



Sarah Westphal Earns Prestigious National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship For Sarah Westphal, the latest MLIS graduate (May 2009) to earn an Associate Fellowship at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the opportunity is a perfect fit: Sarah can combine her background in public health and her passion for information science.


he Associate Fellowship Program, a one-year postgraduate training fellowship at NLM, provides MLIS graduates with a foundation in health sciences information services and the experience to take on leadership positions in health sciences libraries and research. Fellows are trained in all aspects of the library’s operations during the first five months of the program, and are encouraged to focus on individual research projects during the last seven, culminating in written reports and informal presentations.

toxicology databases and there are many possibilities for research in health vocabulary with NLM’s Unified Medical Language System (UMLS), so that would be a great opportunity as well. I’m also interested in informatics.

A Minnesota native, Sarah will move to Maryland this August to join a select few MLIS graduates from across the country at the nation’s central source of health information. Before she heads east, Sarah will take the summer to learn a little more about NLM and the many doors this fellowship—beginning in Fall 2009—will open for her. Recently Sarah shared with Inside SOIS a little about her education and where she sees her future career in health sciences information services.

What are your plans postfellowship? Sarah: After my time at NLM, I would like to focus on public Sarah Westphal, MLIS 09 health agencies and look at 2009 NML Associate Fellow nontraditional jobs like with the CDC or some similar agency where I would be working more directly with public health professionals and helping them to be more efficient in their information seeking and use. I would also like to complete my MPH degree.

INSIDE SOIS: What made you pursue an MLIS degree at SOIS? Sarah: Making the decision to pursue an MLIS degree was a long process. I knew I wanted to go back to school. I was part-way through my masters of public health (MPH) degree in Minnesota and remember struggling to find information in my studies. I spoke to the school librarians for help; they were great. I saw what they did and loved it. I decided to put my MPH degree on hold; I worked in business for a short time before deciding to pursue an MLIS degree. I started at Minnesota’s LIS school and decided to switch to SOIS because I liked the fact that the school didn’t focus just on libraries but on information science as well. What made you apply for this fellowship? Sarah: I heard about it from SOIS Associate Professor Alex Dimitroff. She mentioned her experiences with the fellowship and said that another SOIS student—Kate Flewelling—was beginning her fellowship at the same time I was considering applying. I knew that I wanted to work in the sciences in some way and saw the fellowship as an opportunity to focus on health sciences and information. What areas do you think you’d be interested in exploring during the last seven months of your fellowship, when NLM encourages independent research? Sarah: I’m interested in exploring public health and environmental health, and how these two areas overlap. NLM does a lot with

How has your education from UWM helped prepare you to take on this fellowship? Sarah: I took the health sciences course at SOIS which definitely got me interested in what they were doing at NLM. One thing about SOIS’s program that I really feel benefited me was the level of involvement of the professors. They were so helpful and involved and eager to help and cater to my health information interests. They really helped me to understand how my skills in public health could transfer to a new area of health informatics.

My advice [for students] is to take advantage of every opportunity out there, from networking to different fellowship or research experiences.

— Sarah Westphal, MLIS 09

Summer 2009

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Study Abroad...

SOIS UWinteriM Empowers Students with Life-changing Experience


his past January, eight students participated in a rather unusual UWinteriM opportunity. Led by two native faculty members, SOIS Dean Johannes Britz and Associate Professor Jacques Du Plessis, the students traveled to South Africa; through their work at an orphanage and their visits to local government offices, they learned about information poverty and how information access affects social change. The UWinteriM program, now three years old, is offered in cooperation with the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. According to Dr. Du Plessis, it continues to be a formative experience for students and faculty alike. Even after the program ends, students seek opportunities to continue their research and personal involvement in the country. Dr. Du Plessis says that the program is not designed to answer all the students’ questions. Rather, it is a chance for them to come to grips with the power of information and access and the needs of today’s developing countries in our increasingly global information economy. One student on the trip, Hayden Murphey, said she always been drawn to Africa. The program suited her interests perfectly; she could explore the country while earning credits at the same time. Students are expected to write a series of papers on the trip as well as a final assignment that details a proposal for a research project. Several students have even begun implementing their research proposals with the help of the faculty. Perhaps the most formative portion of the trip was the time students spent in an orphanage that shelters children diagnosed with AIDS/HIV. The students read to the orphans, helped them with their homework, and tried to promote education to locals, a key to curbing the AIDS/HIV epidemic in South Africa. The students also had the opportunity to do some sightseeing. They went on a safari, visited a settlement of Bushmen, and toured the mountainous landscape of Cape Town. According to Murphey, the highlight of the trip may have been visiting the city of Soweto outside Johannesburg, where two of the world’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and ex-President Nelson Mandela – live on the same block. In the future, Dr. Du Plessis would like to focus the program more on service learning. “We’d like to give the students more time to stay in one location and unpack their suitcases,” he said. By spending more time on the service learning aspect, he speculates students would draw more conclusions about how information is used and implemented in South Africa. As for Murphey, she states she will definitely go back.

18 | Inside SOIS



News from the Student Org: A C T I VAT E Y O U R M E M B E R S H I P - H O W ? PA R T I C I PAT E ! UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT ORG:


This summer the SOIS Undergraduate Student Organization will remain active! We are currently seeking dedicated students to serve on the executive council. On this council, members sit on numerous SOIS and UWM campuswide committees, and are responsible for various position-related tasks.

For the SOIS Graduate Student Organization (SOIS GSO) the 2008-09 school year was a banner one.

Not only is the SOIS Student Organization a great way to gain practical leadership experience and shape your resume, but it also gives you the opportunity to meet students, faculty, and staff, and be heard within our school. Several events are currently in the works: • Student Org BBQ • ALA in Chicago – July 11th • Student Org Mixer – TBD • Career Day/Resume workshop – TBD • And much more! We are seeking volunteers for:

> Student Org Executive Council – Semester Term

> SOIS Undergraduate Freshmen Orientation – Aug 27th

> 2009 University Housing Residence Hall Move-in – Aug 28 – Sep 1

> SOIS Welcome Bash – Sept 10th > Movie: Good Copy Bad Copy Union Theatre – Sept 21

> One Web Day – Sept 22

> To prepare the newest class of graduates, the GSO sponsored the “SOIS Presents: Get That Job Day” and organized a bus to the Wisconsin Library Association conference in Madison.

> To increase transparency in student government, the GSO created a new student website and wiki, allowing online students to attend meetings virtually.

> To provide students a fairer system of governing, the GSO re-wrote the constitution using student feedback as a prime motivator.

Looking ahead to 2009-10, the GSO has plenty of activities already planned. In July, they are organizing a bus for students and faculty to attend the 2009 American Library Association conference in Chicago. The GSO is also hoping to return to the Wisconsin Library Association conference which will be held in October in Appleton, WI. With all the successes of last year, the GSO wants to give back. With the goal of continuing to build a graduate student community, the GSO will be looking for projects that help make the School a better place to live and study. One of those projects will be to keep developing the GSO’s Partnership Program. The program is designed to help integrate students new to Milwaukee into the community at-large by partnering them with current students. This fall, the GSO is hoping to run a pilot program with new PhD students. If successful, it will strengthen ties not only within the School, but in the streets and neighborhoods of Milwaukee as well. There are still plenty of opportunities within the organization. The GSO is looking to expand Executive Committee membership for the fall. New vice president Allison Reeve encourages all current and new students to consider involvement. “An active student organization is critical to maintaining as a g the school’s position p leader in library and information science,” she said. “This is a chance to play a big role in the school’s future.” Interested students should log on to the GSO’s homepage at http://www4. for more information.

Contact the Student Organization at to get involved! Summer 2009

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SOIS Announces New Information Organization (IO) Concentration for MLIS Students SOIS recently announced the addition of a new degree concentration for students interested in the field of information organization (IO). The IO concentration is designed for those pursuing careers in areas such as cataloging, metadata, indexing, and information architecture. SOIS Lecturer Steven Miller, coordinator of the concentration, feels that IO has become a real strength for the school. “A lot of other schools are getting away from the field of information organization,” he said, “but we think that it will be a real area of growth.” Associate Dean Hope Olson agrees that the concentration will be a boon both to students and to faculty. She notes that SOIS has recently added IO-oriented faculty members, including Dr. Robert Smiraglia and Ms. Margaret Kipp (see pages 02-03 for more information about their background and experience), to strengthen its position in the field. The addition of the PhD program, which focuses on IO as one of three core areas, adds to this growing strength. Mr. Miller emphasized the demand libraries have for people skilled in the principles of IO. With the rise of the Internet there has been renewed interest in areas such as creating taxonomies, analyzing keyword searches, and structuring information in a logical manner. The need for these skills isn’t limited to libraries either; museums, businesses, information firms and even government organizations covet workers who can understand and shape information. Designed to satisfy both the theoretical and practical needs of the professions it serves, the IO concentration provides a good balance of theory and practice to meet the demands of the current job market. According to Mr. Miller, the field is at a crossroads. “In cataloging, you have a lot of discussion over the application of standards,” he said, “but in metadata you are sort of creating your own standards.” He explained that the concentration prepares students with a broad range of organization abilities. To obtain the concentration students must complete the necessary declaration form and take a minimum of 15 credits out of a series of qualifying elective courses. Students are encouraged to take their required fieldwork experience in an area related to IO, though preferably after they’ve completed some of their electives.

20 | Inside SOIS

Information Organization has become a real strength for the school. A lot of other schools are getting away from the field, but we think that it will be a real area of growth.

— Steven Miller, Coordinator IO Concentration Program

For information on the IO Concentration contact Steven Miller, IO Concentration Coordinator or visit our website:

SOIS Expands International Partnerships Professor Mohammad Aman Discusses SOIS’s International Scope, and Welcomes Visiting Scholar Pr. Ismail Othman from Egypt Professor Mohammad Aman and SOIS would like to welcome Pr. Ismail Othman, a visiting scholar from Cairo University in Egypt. Pr. Othman will be doing research in the field of medical information systems. His research is sponsored by the Egyptian government who sends scholars abroad to continue their studies. Dr. Aman is part of the joint American and Egyptian council that oversees the progress of candidates for this funding opportunity. “The program has two critical benefits to the university,” said Dr. Aman. “The first is the interaction between international faculty and students. The second is the exposure Milwaukee gets for hosting scholars like Pr. Othman.”



UWM School of Information Studies aids UNESCO with a Seminar and Training Workshop on Information Ethics in Africa UNESCO implements information ethics and e-government initiative in Africa with help from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) School of Information Studies (SOIS)

TSHWANE, SOUTH AFRICA—SOIS and the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh partnered with the International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE), the University of Pretoria and the South African Government to design and implement the first Information Ethics and e-Government High Level Executive Seminar, a three-day ethics seminar and training workshop, led by UNESCO as part of the Information for All Programme (IFAP) in February, 2009. Building on the outcomes from the African Information Ethics Conference held in Tshwane, South Africa two years earlier, the seminar and workshop continued the work of an international group of information ethics scholars, including SOIS Dean Johannes Britz, Toni Carbo from the SIS at the University of Pittsburgh (now at Drexel), as well as Rafael Capurro from the ICIE. The events focused on the role of information ethics in providing government information and services and how this crucial component impacts continental efforts to build an inclusive information society in Africa. Seminar and workshop participants—nearly 40 in all—traveled from across the continent, from such countries as Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Eritrea, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Union of the Comoros and Zambia to discuss strategies for ensuring information policy and access efforts are centered on people and development. According to Dean Britz, this was the first ever workshop dealing with the ethical challenges of implementing e-Government in Africa, and follow-up workshops are planned. Toni Carbo stated, “This pioneering work successfully brought together individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences to address key ethical issues and fundamental values related to the provision of e-government at all levels.”

Dr. Aman emphasizes that this exposure is vital. He says that while years ago he and some fellow professors had a chance to tour the other graduate schools in information science have ignored interna- facilities at a new research institution itution tional connections, SOIS continues to build an excellent reputation in Kuwait. He says that this bodes in the global community. “We have a lot of momentum in the global well for SOIS. “With the PhD proenvironment,” he stated. He noted that many former students have gram in place, the sky is the limit,” mit,” gone on to do international work. He cited two examples in stu- he says. dents that have gone to Africa working for both the Foreign Service and State Department. With the growth of the online program, Dr. Aman thinks that this is a trend While other graduate schools in information that will continue. “We have a lot of science have ignored international connecgreat students coming through the tions, SOIS continues to build an excellent program now,” he added. reputation in the global community. As more of the field becomes international, Dr. Aman continues to look to the future. He recently designed a seminar course in Multicultural and Educational Issues. The course is meant to prepare students in a whole host of matters that they will face in the increasingly expanding professional setting. Dr. Aman also notes that the amount of international opportunities have increased for faculty as well. As an example, a few

— Dr. Mohammed ohammed Aman Professor

Summer 2009

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Congratulations - Graduates Spring/Summer 2008 BSIR Bin Thao Matthew Gerkhardt Travis Paquette Christine O’Rourke Heather Propsom Jennifer Gartman Michelle Fridell Faith Danneil Elizabeth Hannas Stephanie Backes Eric Ulmer Jessica Tracy Misty Teske Matthew Staff Christopher Noyed Daniel Hines Jonathan Braun Quinn Wade Amy Schrieber Monte LeTournea Erica Gorman Zachary Kottke

MLIS Ryan Castillo Carolyn Doyle Jan Donahou Rachel Arndt Debra Friet Jennifer Woodward Rebecca Varadan Megan Fitzpatrick Michelle Bledsoe Brian Halling Scott Sandberg Maria Pupak-Lund Elissa Kinzelman Carrie Leatherman Jeff Beder Katherine Clark Cheng Yang Ryan Parker Joelyne Hoerth Allison Coshenet Susanna Bossenga Kimberly Beeman Roberta Menger Melissa Brown Jessica Moore Christopher Barden Dyan Barbeau

22 | Inside SOIS

Charles Carerros Michael Hatton Julie Lancelle Andrea Welton Marjorie Collette Sally LaPorte Angela Vanden Elzen Jennifer Studebaker Trisha Schneider Laura Wiegand Christopher Laurie Lauren Ashley Brian Buzard Jennifer Juno Lori Upman Wendy Nilson Laura Johnson Kurt Wadzinski Michael Owens Holly Lukasik Elizabeth Park Sarah Freese Nora Craven Karen Hecker Lisa Michaud Elana Olson Kristen Nebel Stephanie Janney Zarina Mohd Shah Amy Bendall Shanna Gerth Mackenzie Morning Christofer Meissner Sheri Motz Jeffrey Ksiazek Lyndsay Smanz Lizabeth Murphy Rebecca McGregor Hanaa Benhalim Joseph Niese Amy Cote Shawn McCarthy Daniel Levitt Molly Senechal Katie Kvien William Fliss Tammera Race Amy Stover Nwando Nwafor Paula Nameth Dana Anderson Julie Dahlen Andrea Wilson

Fall 2008 BSIR Dong Lee Lynne Powers Gregory Juedes Alessandra Gillen Zachary Dobson James Patterson David Barden Calvin Fifer Andrea Brill Antonio Nix Rory Lee Rebecca Santy Jennifer Ewaskowitz

MLIS Patricia Love Christopher Stape Sheryle Tinerella Shauna Borger Suzanne Miller Jolene Orvis Shawn Troy Laura Oanes Angela Meyers Rachel Zuffa Pearl Stietz Jennifer Sauer Megan Gurney Craig Sallinger Geraldine Rinna Beth Webb Michael Priehs Julie Niederhauser Robert Olson Paul Hlina Rachael Rezek Kathleen Kapenga Steve Escobedo Erin Olsen Yun Zeng Jessica Remington Lisa Andrews Shelly Solberg Steven Schaffer Emory Trask Janis Merkle Leila Ledbetter Anne Marie Thomas Nicole Romyak Jacqueline Caddle Carolyn Hansen

Frankie Taylor Erin Hartigan Robert Marshall Jessica Frohn R Ganz Rebecca Arens Margaret Capobianco Jessica Starkey Matthew Rosendahl Melissa O’Grady Stephen Gilewski Shalon Hurlbert Jennifer Franks Stephen Fithian Umashanie Reddy Terri Mondschein Jill Osmond Melissa Zuckerman Jennifer McNaughton Jennifer Hadley Ivy Wallen Pattie Luokkanen Shirley Cornelious Kimberly Durante Autumn Reinhardt Simpson Roberta Palmer Darrill Anderson

Spring 2009 BSIR Kenneth Jolly Michael Kletzien Aaron Eberline Juan Castanon John Huebner Garrett Baltzer Marie Truman Delbert Larsen Stacie Karlin Judith Prest Casey McCormick Lucila Rodriguez

MLIS Mini Prasad Lora Van Marel Vance Thomas Michelle Harris Lisa Bradbury Abby Von Arx Brenda Fite Mary-Kathryn Guzek Christine Bayness

Jessica Drewitz Joni Winfield Sherry Machones Abigail Heimsoth Ellen Mester Jennifer Derbisz Joseph Davies Jason Penterman Brian Kopetsky Monica Light Alicia Hurd Tracie Alger Andrea Phillips Cheryl Nessman Lynn Bradley Betsy Brainerd Stephanie Potter Lori Kreis Genevieve Guran Eric Norris Irma Keller Theresa Grove Adam Zimmerli Jody Hoks Jamison Grossman Stacia McGourty Karly Vesely Karen Brunner Abigail Kiracofe Heather Przybylski Susan Hanf Ryan DeCoster Stephanie Giordano Sarah Westphal Rita Michalski Jolene Bradley Della Skannal Andrea Spira Daniel Vinson Elizabeth Novosel Matthew Voss Diana Giordano Stephanie Jurss Matthew White Dawn Mick Carol Hermann Meghan Testerman Tiffany Thornton Kelly Braun Laura Goldsborough David Shumate Brittany Bayer Jason Groth Kristina Kora-Beckman Melissa Brown


Talia Kaye Laura Lewandowski Alexandra Lampert Andrea Back Leslie Crane Terry Ratoff Mara Zonderman Ashleigh McLean

Stephanie Patton Laura Luepke Amy Welch Ryan Claringbole Cassandra Sampson Darci Kraus Dorothy Taylor Nathan Humpal


Adam Bowser Sara Kaminsky Laura Arnold Erin Holl Ann Zielke

Information. Connection. Philanthropy.

SOIS Welcomes New Development Director, Katie Sparks Along with her many duties as Development Director, Ms. Sparks will update SOIS students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends each issue of Inside SOIS with her new column: Information. Connection. Philanthropy. Welcome Katie! My name is Katie Sparks and I am the newest staff member in the School of Information Studies (SOIS). I will work closely with you, other alumni and community members who wish to support the School through philanthropic partnerships. SOIS offers many ways to contribute to what is most important to you, including student scholarships like the Diversity Scholarship, faculty support, and school research and fellowships. I come to UWM as a development professional from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Connecting alumni with their alma mater is the most enjoyable part of what I do. I take pleasure in the stories from alumni and their reactions when I tell them what is different about the University since they graduated. Being a long-time Milwaukeean and UWM alumna myself, I have seen the impact UWM has had on our community. It gives me even greater pride to be working with SOIS—a School that has grown in scope, name, and size over its impressive history. SOIS has much to be proud of. I have provided some important moments in our history; you are part of our history even if you were not here to celebrate each event. I hope highlighting the history of our alma mater helps you reminisce about your time here. You are a valued member of the UWM community and we want you know to how much you are appreciated. Thank you!

My goal is to listen to and meet with many of you. With more than 5,000 alumni, this is not a small task. If you would like to share some of your memories with me or have any ideas on how to stay connected with UWM or SOIS, please contact me at (414)229-3084 and kasparks@ I am looking forward to partnering with you as we all help the next generation of UWM students. I hope to talk with you soon or see you at an event. Thank you kindly.

A brief history... 1901 > The Milwaukee State Normal School, a predecessor of UWM, offered a “Library Methods” course. 1956 > The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was established. 1966 > The University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents authorized the establishment of the UW-Milwaukee School of Library Science. 1976 > The School received notice of its accreditation from the ALA Committee on Accreditation and became an autonomous School of Library Science. It has been continuously accredited since. 1980 > During the 1980’s and 1990’s, the school grew in terms of its faculty, students and programs, with the establishment of a number of dual-degree programs in conjunction with the MLIS program, the development of an undergraduate program, participation in two doctoral programs, increased diversity in the delivery of its programs, and the expansion of up-to-date technology facilities used by students, faculty, and staff. 1998 > The School admitted its first group of undergraduate students to the Bachelor of Science program in Information Resources. At this time, the school also began to expand its Webbased offerings to students outside of the metropolitan Milwaukee area. 2000 > The UWM Board of Regents approved the name change to the School of Information Studies (SOIS). The name change came as a result of the many innovative changes and directions being undertaken at the School. 2005 > SOIS welcomed Dean Johannes Britz from South Africa to lead the school in the new millennium. 2008 > The School began its PhD program, focusing on three core areas of particular strength at SOIS: Informatino Organization, Information Policy, and Information Retrieval. *All information was obtained from Online/Publication Source listed here

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First Ethics of Information Organization Conference Held in May Students and scholars alike descended upon Centennial Hall in Milwaukee over Memorial Day weekend to examine the ethical issues facing the field of library and information science at the groundbreaking 2009 Ethics of Information Organization Conference. Hosted jointly by the School of Information Studies (SOIS), the Center for Information Policy Reseach (CIPR) and the Information Organization Research Group (IOrg), the two-day conference covered a wide array of matters concerning the field. “The goal of the conference was to define the issues in cataloging and information organization,” said SOIS Professor and Associate Dean Hope Olson, the conference’s coordinator and founding member of IOrg. The conference included a number of well-known speakers who specialize in diverse areas, from national security to folksonomies. Dr. Olson said that the conference was successful at addressing many issues not only on the theoretical level but at the practitioner level as well. “There was something for the academic and the cataloger,” quipped Dr. Olson. As a culminating flourish, the conference featured a panel discussion entitled “Trust, Authority, and Power: The Intersection of IO Professionals with Users, Standards and Institutions.” The conference is a big step for all three hosting organizations: SOIS, CIPR, and IOrg. On a larger level, SOIS is pleased to have played host to such a strong assortment of scholars. Meanwhile, CIPR and IOrg in particular laid a major cornerstone for identifying themselves as crucial voices in the discussion of ethics and information.

24 | Inside SOIS

THE Dr. Olson is keen to keep E IN F O T H IC S O F RMA T IO N O the momentum going. RGA N IZ A T IO N “We’re building a lot of strength in these areas,” she asserts, adding that by next year SOIS will have three tenuretrack professors, three visiting scholars and two lecturers who specialize in information organization, more fulltime faculty with this expertise than any other MLIS program in the US or Canada. With this type of unrivaled strength, Dr. Olson foresees great things for both the school and the IOrg research group.

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Dr. Olson said that she was very pleased to see a good student representation at the conference, too. The combination of dedicated faculty and increasingly active student interest in information organization positions SOIS as a leader in an area that promises great opportunity—and challenge— for today’s and tomorrow’s information professionals.

save the date...

PantherFest September 11, 2009 Meier Festival Grounds For more information:

One Web Day Sept. 21-22, 2009 September 21: Film Screening - Good Copy, Bad Copy UWM Union Cinema September 22: “Copyright, Commons, and the Struggle to Control Culture”

Internet Research 10.0 - Internet: Critical October 7-11, 2009 - Milwaukee, WI Conference website:



As CIPR Director Elizabeth Buchanan continues her sabbatical, CIPR reflects on several recent, successful events, and looks ahead to more upcoming activities, celebrations, and events. We hope to see you there! (For more information about Dr. Buchanan’s current research while on sabbatical, please see page 10.)

Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan Receives Research Growth Initiative Grant CIPR Director Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan received a Research Growth Initiative grant with Professor Renee Meyers, Department of Communication for their project “GroupBank Archival and Retrieval System.” The grant, an internal funding opportunity made possible by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Foundation will support Dr. Buchanan and Dr. Meyers as they investigate Internal Review Board (IRB) requirements. Congratulations Elizabeth!

CIPR News...

CIPR Director Dr. Buchanan Invited to Library of Congress Strategy Meeting—Public Policy on the Web According to a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Most Americans expect their government to make information and services available online.” This finding raises several important questions that affect us all as information consumers in a democracy: > What is the impact of this expectation for enduring access to public policy information? > What does this mean for libraries and archives charged with the stewardship of digital content? Dr. Buchanan has been invited to participate in a one-and-a-half day meeting at the Library of Congress to discuss these questions and explore strategies for preserving public policy content that has been made available only on the web. Dr. Buchanan is one of only a handful of the nation’s leading public policy experts, researchers, librarians, and archivists to be invited to this meeting. The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress was established by Congress in 2000 to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and ensure long-term access to at-risk digital content. To date the Program has engaged over 130 partners from the public and private sectors to work together to develop approaches and solutions for saving America’s digital heritage. For more information, please see

Upcoming Events... OneWebDay On September 22, 2009 UWM will celebrate the fourth annual OneWebDay, a day One World. One Wish. One Web. when communities across the country and the world host events to learn about and advocate for the Internet. Modeled after Earth Day, OneWebDay provides a venue for people around the globe to recognize the potential for the Web to effect positive change and take action to protect it and to educate others about how it works. This year’s theme is the promise of digital inclusion. As our increasingly global information economy brings new possibilities of communication, we must work to ensure that all people who want it have access to the Internet and possess the skills to engage in this ever-changing environment. Digital inclusion is no longer relegated to the sidelines of ongoing debates over social and economic justice, but rather has become a central issue. We know the power of being able to access fast, affordable, open information via the Internet for children’s education, for small businesses, and for citizens in a democratic society. This year’s OneWebDay draws attention to the need for improved access to the Web for all people.

In celebration of OneWebDay, on September 21, 2009 CIPR will host a screening of the film Good Copy, Bad Copy in the Union Cinema on the UW-Milwaukee campus, with discussion and commentary following the film by David Bollier, Brad Lichtenstein, and Nancy Kranich. On the 22nd, CIPR will host a panel discussion titled “Copyright, Commons, and the Struggle to Control Culture.” Panelists will again include David Bollier, Brad Lichtenstein, and Nancy Kranich. Places and times TBA.


Internet Research 10.0 - Internet: Critical From October 7 – 11, CIPR co-sponsors the Association of Internet Researchers 10th Annual Conference “Internet Research 10.9 – Internet: Critical. See for more information about this exciting event.

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Internet Research 10.0 – Internet: Critical Conference October 8-11, 2009 Further establishing itself as a leading authority in the field of information policy, SOIS and the Center for Information Policy Research (CIPR) are preparing to host a major conference in October. Along with a few other institutions, they’ll be bringing some of the world’s foremost experts for “Internet Research 10.0 - Internet: Critical,” the 10th annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). The conference, which takes place at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, will examine critical Internet issues including new theories, technologies and networks. SOIS Assistant Professor Dr. Michael Zimmer, one of the coordinators of the conference, believes SOIS and CIPR cohosting the event is a big step, for CIPR in particular. “These are some of the most well-known researchers in the field,” said Zimmer. He expects hundreds of participants to attend the conference, including students and scholars from a variety of disciplines relating to Internet studies. SOIS Professor and CIPR Director Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan, another coordinator, agrees. “It’s very exciting,” she said. For AoIR, which has held conferences in major international cities like Copenhagen and Vancouver, this year’s conference is a bit of a homecoming. The organization has roots in the Midwest – it began in Chicago – a fact not lost on Buchanan, who adds that this is a great opportunity to showcase the city of Milwaukee. The purpose of the conference is to consider material frameworks and infrastructures of online phenomena. The conference will feature keynote speakers from around the US and abroad, and will focus on critical theory and practice in relation to the Internet. The conference isn’t limited to any one area however; speakers will touch on all segments of online research.

Visit the conference website for more details:

PO Box 413 Milwaukee, WI 53201

Inside SOIS - Summer 2009  
Inside SOIS - Summer 2009  

Newsletter of the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee