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Appendix 4.3 Examples of Alumni Job Success

SLIS alumni are invited to send announcements of their new positions to the IU Alumni Association. These examples help prospective students understand career options and also provide a way for alumni to stay in contact with each other. Sometimes SLIS features stories about alumni careers on the website or in the alumni magazine. The job successes listed here include brief self-reports and some of the spotlight articles.

Loay S. Alfi
MIS 2009
Assistant Manager, KAUST Industry Collaboration Program (KICP)
Economic Development, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Fagdeba (Bako) Bakoyema
MIS/MLS 2005
Assistant Professor
Web Services Librarian - User Services,
MTSU James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University

Fagdeba Bakoyema, IU Digital Library Project

SLIS alumni Fagdeba (Bako) Bakoyema (MLS/MIS '05) has accepted the position of Digital Imaging Specialist for the IU Digital Library Project. Bako received his MLS/MIS and his MA in French Literature from Indiana University. In addition, he earned a MA in English Literature from West Virginia University and his Maîtrise ès Lettres, Licencié ès Lettres, and his Teaching Certificate from Université de Lomé, Togo. Bako's most recent position was as a regional consultant for the Pilot East Africa Digital Library of the Commons project where he built three pilot digital library collections for three of the International Forestry Resources and Institution's Collaborating Research Centers (CRC).
[IUL News - 2/16/07 - Vol. 34, No. 7: Jennifer Chaffin, Libraries Human Resources and Staff Development Coordinator, IUB.]
Posted March 06, 2007

Heather Beery
MIS 2007
Information Architect
Office of Creative Services, Indiana Univerisyt Bloomington

Galadriel Chilton
MLS 2000
Electronic Resources Librarian
Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

ALA Coutts Award

SLIS alumna Galadriel Chilton (MLS'00) and colleague Wiliam Doering recently received the ALA Coutts Award. The formal press release by the American Library Association is included below.

Chilton is the Electronic Resources Librarian at the Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. In an email interview, she commented:
bull; "My colleague and I have been working on an open source Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system, and we were honored and humbled that our ERM (ERMes) won this year's ALA Coutts Award.
• I know without a doubt that my SLIS coursework — both the practical and theoretical classes — gave me the foundation for this open source project. Javed Mostafa's database class gave me relational database knowledge/skills to know what was possible - whileHoward Rosenbaum's courses on intellectual freedom and information architecture - and Elin Jacob's L505 all gave great theoretical/philosophical frameworks that influenced my desire to create an open source system."
• Here is more information about ERMes:
Article published in Computers in Libraries vol. 28, no. 8
Follow up article published in Computers in Libraries vol. 28, no. 9
Select ERMes Blog Posts that give an overview of/philosophy behind the project:
1. About:
2. This I Believe:

American Library Association
Press Release
Contact: Charles Wilt, Executive Director, ALCTS (312-280-5030)
March 2, 2010
Chilton and Doering receive Coutts Award

CHICAGO - The Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS) of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) has declared Galadriel Chilton, electronic resources librarian and William Doering, systems, catalog & digital initiatives librarian at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, winners of the Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management.

The award recognizes significant and innovative contributions to electronic collections management and development practice. The recipients each receive a $1,000 award generously donated by Coutts Information Services and a citation. The award will be presented on Sunday, June 27, at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony during the 2010 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

Galadriel Chilton and William Doering developed ERMes, an open source electronic resource management system. It allows for effective management of electronic resources and the various workflows and processes associated with them. ERMes has been continually improved and updated, with much input being gathered from the user community. Today ERMes has been adopted and implemented by more than 30 libraries.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats.

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.
Posted April 21, 2010

John Berry
MLS 1974
Executive Director, NILRC (Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges)
Professor of the Practice, Library and Information Science, Dominican University

John W. Berry Elected Chairman of The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park

May 18, 2010
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park’s Board of Directors on May 13, 2010 elected John W. Berry as the 26-year-old organization’s sixth chairman, succeeding Allan Baldwin. Berry joined the EHFOP in 2008 and became the organization’s vice-chairman in 2009. He is executive director of the Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges based in Chicago. The 40-year-old consortium has 50 member institutions across Illinois and Missouri. Formerly, he was director of advancement and research associate professor, the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) 1990-96. He has held faculty and management positions at Northern Illinois University, Elmira College (NY) and Indiana University. He is currently professor of the Practice of Library and Information Science in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University.

He holds the MLS (Library and Information Science), MAT (Social Studies) and BA (Political Science) from Indiana University.

A widely published author and frequent lecturer, his areas of research interest include 21st Century literacy skills, intellectual property, distance learning, library building design and fundraising for libraries.

Mr. Berry served as American Library Association's 118th President in 2001-02. He is Past President of the Freedom to Read Foundation Board of Trustees (the legal defense arm of the ALA) and past chair of ALA’s International Relations Committee. “John Berry has been an able Board member and Vice Chairman of the Foundation and is more than capable to lead us into the future,” Baldwin said. “I am proud to pass the gavel to John.” The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park fosters understanding of the life and work of Ernest Hemingway, with emphasis on his Oak Park origins and his impact on world literature. Its mission reflects the Foundation’s belief in the importance of the written word and the value of thoughtful reading and writing.

Access, Recruitment, Electronic Outreach Priorities For ALA President-Elect and SLIS Alumnus, John W. Berry

SLIS Network, Alumni Newsletter, Fall 2000

For years, American Library Association presidents have run their terms of office with "tag-line themes" a different theme each year for each new president.

All that will change when John W. Berry becomes ALA president next June. Berry, BA'69, MAT'71, MLS'74, plans to institute a three-part initiative that embraces the overarching goals of the ALA and that will ensure a long-term plan for future presidents to follow.

His focal points will be equity of access bridging the digital divide between the haves and the have-nots in the new world of electronic communication; recruitment to the profession with a strong emphasis on diversity; and the establishment of electronic participation for ALA members and library workers.

"I don't think there's been a time in my 30 years in the profession that's as exciting and challenging as it is right now," Berry says.

Berry became involved in the ALA right after leaving IU, where he managed the microforms department while earning his MLS.

"Just about everyone on the faculty encouraged us students to get involved in the work of state and national associations, particularly the ALA," Berry recalls.

He credits former professors David Kaser, Blanche Woolls, and Calvin Boyer with teaching him much of what he knows about the profession.

After teaching at Elmira College in New York and at Northern Illinois University at DeKalb, Berry joined the ALA as executive director of the Library Administration and Management Association, a division of the ALA. He remained committed to the organization after leaving that job, serving on the ALA Council and on ALA committees.

He has worked most recently in an administrative/faculty position at the University of Illinois at Chicago and for the last four years as executive director of NILRC: A Consortium of Community Colleges, Colleges, and Universities based in Chicago. NILRC specializes in the development and use of instructional resources and technologies and fosters satellite teleconferencing and satellite delivery of video materials. Berry negotiates group purchases of library products, services, equipment, and instructional resources.

Berry plans to use techniques he has developed at NILRC to reach as many librarians and educate as many members of the public as he can during his term in office.

During National Library Week in April, the ALA will launch a five-year, $3 million [@yourlibrary] Campaign for America's Libraries. Berry is already developing ideas for billboard campaigns and radio and television spots to promote the campaign.

To achieve his goal of reaching ALA members, he is planning satellite teleconferences, town hall meetings, and Internet conferencing technologies direct to the desktop.

"One of our biggest challenges is that about 70 percent of current professional library workers will be retiring by 2014," Berry says. "As professions, librarianship and teaching are a good five years behind in thinking about how to replace themselves in the workforce. It's not an instant brain drain, but nonetheless, it's a challenge."

Another challenge the profession faces is the rapidly expanding marketplace for Web education and the round-the-clock provision of library resources and databases to students who may never have set foot on a college campus, Berry says.

"It's just a fascinating time right now," he says. "Connecting people with ideas and a love of books and learning initially attracted me to this field. That's what still drives a lot of what I do."

Photo Courtesy of John W. Berry

[NOTE: The current ALA President, Nancy Kranich recently visited SLIS to discuss the "Digital Divide" and "Libraries: The Cornerstone Of Democracy."]

Posted December 08, 2000

Rebecca Bingham
MLS 1969
National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
Kentucky Governor's State Advisory Council on Libraries and the advisory committee for the 1979 White House Conference on Library and Information Services
President, Kentucky Library Association
President, American Association of School Librarians

An Advocate for Equality

by Tiana Tew
SLIS Alumni Magazine, Fall 2002

Dedication, leadership, and professionalism are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe Rebecca Taylor Bingham, MLS'69. Others include vision, innovation, and pioneer. All apply to Bingham, who was recently honored with Indiana University's highest alumni award: the Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Presented to Bingham last June by IU President Myles Brand, the Distinguished Alumni award recognizes Bingham's devotion to service and education. Says IU Alumni Association Senior Vice-President John Hobson, "Rebecca Bingham has been a leader in the field of education and library science, and her service to her community and Indiana University has been marked by great distinction. She is most deserving of the Distinguished Alumni Service Award."

Bingham was born in Indianapolis at a time when library services were still segregated by race. She received a bachelor's degree in education from IU in 1950, four years before the U.S. Supreme Court desegregation ruling on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan. She continued her education with a master's degree from the University of Tulsa in 1961, and her master's in library science from IU in 1969.

Bingham has always been an advocate for equality in education and access. In 1971, Bingham became the first black president of the Kentucky Library Association (KLA), and served as director of media service in Louisville, Ky., and later as director of school library media services for the Jefferson County (Kentucky) public school system.

"Library science tends to be a more color blind field," observes Bingham. "The focus is on understanding the information itself. Promotion of ideas, validity, integrity—these values are paramount in the profession. Soundness of thinking and creativity hold sway, more so than in other disciplines."

Bingham has also enthusiastically dedicated herself to her alma mater. She served as president and vice-president of the SLIS alumni board, and was a founding member of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club. "I think I've served in every possible capacity within the club," reflects Bingham. "I have to applaud IU for being a pioneer, as it was among the first universities to have a black alumni club."

"Rebecca has been an integral part of the alumni club. She was a co-founder of the club, and the Delta Sigma Theta student chapter. Her fingerprints are all over it. She was active in the fund-raising for the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center and essential in rallying support for the building," comments Clarence Boone, director of the Neal-Marshall Alumni Club. He continues, "Rebecca is a warm and delightful woman, articulate and very intelligent. She possesses such a rich knowledge and perspective of the club and of campus life at IU."

Bingham was the first recipient of the SLIS Louise Maxwell Award (later renamed the Distinguished Alumni Award) in 1977, received the 1998 DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence in Librarianship, and was the 1999 recipient of the Indiana University Alumni Association President's Award. Her achievements are also recorded in the Handbook of Black Librarianship. SLIS Associate Dean Debora Shaw says of Bingham, "Rebecca has been a role model for succeeding generations of SLIS graduates because of her commitment and persistence. She is a true professional, and SLIS is honored to count her among its graduates."

Bingham's role as a leader and innovator in library science extends far beyond regional or racial concerns. Her distinguished career culminated in her appointment by President Clinton to the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Services in 1998. NCLIS is an independent agency of the federal government, charged by law to advise the President and Congress on national and international library and information services policies and plans.

Says Bingham of her role as commissioner, "It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. We were able to study, consider, and debate important issues surrounding libraries and particularly education." During her tenure as commissioner, Bingham provided insight on issues such as child safety on the Internet, library services for individuals with disabilities, and the role of the school librarian in student performance. She has also worked extensively with the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.

Posted February 06, 2003

Rebecca Bingham Honored by AASL

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) presented Rebecca T. Bingham, MLS'69, the Distinguished Service Award for her lasting impact on libraries across the country. Bingham, a past president of the AASL and member of the President's Commission on Libraries and Information Science, is the subject of an article in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal. Posted July 27, 2005

Kristy Davis
MLS 2004
Collection Manager
The Raymond Mander & Joe Mitchenson Theatre Collection

Costumes, Props, Tickets ... Managing ‘Everything to do with the Theatre’

Main Job Duties:
Responsible for the managing of, organization, storage and safety of Collection. Promote the Collection in UK and overseas by giving lectures and participating in international organizations. Develop and carry out cataloguing projects. Formulate collection management, copyright, environmental control, preservation, and photo management policies. Manage picture library. Responsible for the office management such as booking researcher visits, ordering specialist supplies, and managing volunteers. Provide reference assistance to visiting researchers in person, by phone, and via email. Create informational resources for music, dance and theatre students. Manage reorganization of the Collection. Liaise with other similar specialist organizations.

The two actors who started the collection where I work collected ‘anything and everything’ to do with the British theatre — and it’s true — there are books, journals, programs, playbills, photographs, tickets, correspondence, artworks, props, costumes and porcelain figurines ranging in date from the early 1600s to present day. So, it’s exciting to stumble across items such as the actor William Macready’s diary entries from 1849 when he was touring in the United States and met up with the presidential candidate James K. Polk, or the handbag Vivien Leigh carried in Tennessee William’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the New Theatre in 1947.

Did the path to your current position have unusual or interesting aspects?
I started travelling abroad when I was 15 years old and knew that I wanted to live overseas at some point in my life. I also acted in children’s theatre in my hometown, and I did my undergraduate degree in Art History and Russian, then went on and did a graduate degree in Visual Culture with a specialization in Costume Studies before deciding to go back and get my MLS specialization in Art Librarianship and Special Collections. So, when a job in a theatre collection in London came up — it seemed like a great opportunity!

Favorite Quote:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

Leslie L. Denton
MLS 1976, JD 1986
Business Analyst


Main Job Duties:
Currently, I am a business analyst in an operational division of LexisNexis, responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial tools and systems used by legal editors around the world to produce primary, secondary, and custom legal information products. The legal content is ultimately available in a wide variety of formats, including online, from mobile devices, in print, and CD. I am responsible for understanding business needs and challenges; working with legal editors to identify needed improvements in their tools and processes; and communicating needed changes to software development teams. Highlights: Traveling has always been one of the most exciting aspects in my career. For a number of years, I worked on developing new online legal research applications and introducing them to customers. I visited Johannesburg, South Africa, for several weeks in June of 1995 to train the clerks of the South African Constitutional Court in online legal research. During the visit, the Constitutional Court read aloud in open court their first decision, finding the death penalty unconstitutional under South Africa’s interim constitution – it was an exciting moment in South Africa’s history and very moving to be present in the courtroom.

Did the path to your current position have unusual or interesting aspects?
Going to law school was not part of my original plan. I worked in the Indiana University library system for several years after graduating from SLIS, then took a leave of absence to do an internship at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. I was amazed by the number of people at the Endowment who had been to law school but had no intention of ever practicing law. I took the LSAT while I was Washington, applied to the IU School of Law, and started law school when I returned to work in Bloomington. I have always been interested in publishing and information delivery. After law school, I accepted a position with LexisNexis and found that everything I learned about information systems, user access, and retrieval at SLIS, as well as a background in the law, was brought to bear and still is – 23 years later.

Carrie Donovan
MLS 1999
Instructional Services Librarian, Indiana University

SLIS Student and Alumna Create Podcasts for International Students

Current SLIS student Rachel Slough (MLS’10) and IU Instructional Services Librarian Carrie Donovan (MLS ’99) recently created a number of podcasts of audio tours of the Wells Library. The tours are recorded in languages such as Italian, Swahili, Arabic, and Bulgarian to help explain library services like Interlibrary Loan that international students may not be aware of. Tours are now available in 18 languages - with more to come. Other SLIS alumni and students helped contribute to the recordings.

Below is an excerpt from the IU Libraries publication, Sources’ article “More than a tour, it’s a teaching tool” (Fall 2009):

"From her experience as a Fulbright teaching fellow in Chile last year, Rachel Slough understands all too well the difficulties of communicating in a foreign language… Now a graduate student in IU's School of Library and Information Science, Slough works part-time as an instructor and teaching assistant in the Herman B Wells Library. And because international students make up nearly 10 percent of the study body on the Bloomington campus, she see firsthand the challenges they face when doing research or trying to learn about library services and resources.

To minimize communication roadblocks, Slough is creating a series of podcasts, or downloadable audio tours, of the Wells Library… Slough wrote the tour script, recruited volunteer students and faculty to record it in their native language, and is posting the files online…

Images and text accompany the audio, allowing students to see the translations side by side. Students, for example, can hear words in their native language and compare it to printed versions in other languages. ‘This is a teaching tool,’ Slough says. ‘Our idea is that we’re not just helping international students better understand the United States, but the project is also allowing us to come to know them and their languages.’

Slough is partnering with Carrie Donovan, instructional services librarian, whom she credits for conceiving and inspiring the project…"

Posted January 07, 2010

Ross Durrer
MIS 2008
Consulting Analyst

Julia M. Esparza
MLS 1993
Clinical Medical Librarian, Medical Library, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–Shreveport

Medical Library Association’s Member Spotlight

SLIS alumna, Julia M. Esparza (MLS ’93) was featured in the MLA (Medical Library Association) News, August 2010 issue. Excerpts from the article "Member Spotlight: Julia M. Esparza, AHIP, Clinical Medical Librarian, Medical Library, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–Shreveport" are included below.

Article Excerpts:
"Current Position: I work as a clinical medical librarian, rounding with attending physicians, residents, medical students, and other health care professionals [and] answering questions at the point of care and providing follow-up information after rounds via email. [With other library faculty,] I also assist in teaching a variety of courses that the Medical Library, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), offers. I have developed several courses for nurses. One is “Searching for Quality,” where I use the context of quality improvement to [teach] them to search EBSCO’s MEDLINE and CINAHL. The other course is “ITT, RCT, &3 RRR: Cracking the Clinical Code to Provide Excellent Patient Care,” and this was developed to instruct nurses on how to analyze journal literature. I also serve as the liaison librarian to the [departments of] internal medicine, emergency medicine, and critical care, and as co-liaison to the [departments of] infection control and oncology…

What Do You Find Most Interesting About Your Work?
I love my current job because I spend time directly [attending to the] information needs of an internal medicine team. I also get to read the medical and library literature. I love reading about the cool ideas my colleagues and others have for teaching information literacy…

What Advice Would You Give to a New Member of MLA or Someone Starting Out in Medical Librarianship?
Don’t sit around and wait for things to happen. Make them happen by joining professional organizations. Write to people who interest you, and talk to them. Most professionals will never turn down a chance to talk to someone starting out. Your personal connections will mean more in the future than the latest technology buzz. However, learning something new everyday is incredibly important. I still keep [to] this motto and try to learn something new technologically every day—even if it is just a simple fact…"

2010 MLA Research Award:
Julia Esparza was the first author of a paper that won second place at the Medical Library Association Research Section Awards 2010.
Lead author: Julia Esparza, AHIP, Medical Library;
Co-authors: Daniel Banks, Department of Medicine; Marianne Comegys, Medical Library; Jerry McLarty, Cancer Prevention and Control and Feist-Weiller Cancer Center; Runhua Shi, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center; Ulysses S. Wu, Section of Infectious Diseases and Department of Medicine; Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport
Title: The Effect of a Clinical Medical Librarian as Part of an Internal Medicine Team on Hospital Length of Stay and Costs
Posted September 20, 2010

Chris Ferguson
MIS 2001
Lead Member Experience Architect, USAA Insurance

Michael Fisher
MIS 2002
Senior Software Engineer, eImagine Technology Group

12th Healthcare Internet Conference

SLIS Alumnus Michael Fisher (MIS '02) will speak at the 12th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference. The conference will be held at the Omni Orlando Resort - ChampionsGate hotel from November 10-12, 2008. is hosting the event.

The Annual Healthcare Internet Overview conference is held to discuss how healthcare is marketed on the internet. Michael Fisher (Senior Web Developer) and colleague Scott Smiley (Web Developer), both of the Community Health Network (Indianapolis, IN) will present on Wednesday, November 12 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Their talk is titled"The Ideal Personal Health Record."

Abstract: "Discuss how a Personal Health Record (PHR) should interact with an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) kept by a caregiver. The ideal PHR should be linked to an EMR and facilitate patient education, communication with the caregiver and transparency of care according to the research. Explore [Community Health Network's] CHN's PHR as the first step in the evolution toward the ideal PHR and discuss the statistics collected during the past two years of usage."

"By attending this meeting you will…
Identify Internet healthcare market forces and trends,
Evaluate the impact of the Internet on relationships between consumers, physicians, hospitals, and healthcare systems,
Define how the Internet can enhance the market presence of your organization,
Examine innovative strategies for redesigning business processes to facilitate communications and patient interactions, and
Identify proven approaches for gaining organization-wide support for your Internet efforts."

Posted September 30, 2008

Jim Gates
MLS 1983
Librarian, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museums

The BASEBALL Librarian

“I have one of the best possible library jobs in all America.”
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
–Yogi Bera, Major League Baseball player and manager
Favorite Quote: Baseball - It’s like church. Many attend but few understand.
–Wes Westrum, MLB player and manager

Main Job Duties:
Oversee all aspects of the museum library operation including work with acquisitions, preservation, organization. Involved in the reference and research activities of the institution, and provide research and editing assistance to the public relations department. Highlights: My position at the Baseball Hall of Fame allows me to meet and work with any number of VIPs, including Hall of Fame inductees, other ball players and managers, noted journalists and authors, actors and politicians, and other celebrities. Whether it is working with them on research or writing projects, or just providing behind-the-scenes tours, you never know who might walk through the door on any given day. I have had to learn to be very careful of everything I say, because when dealing with so many journalists and bloggers it is very easy for an off-the-cuff remark or an aside to make its way into the press. There are many issues upon which the Hall of Fame needs to stay neutral, so it is important and sometimes difficult to keep all my thoughts to myself.

Did the path to your current position have unusual or interesting aspects?
I spent 15 years in law school libraries, which included being granted tenure at the University of Florida, but I just had to give this job a shot when it was announced in 1995. I was lucky enough to be selected, but there certainly is no standard career path to become the baseball librarian.

Anything else?
I have one of the best possible library jobs in all America. I get to work in my chosen profession, doing the things I most enjoy, and it is all baseball … 365 days a year. Some of America’s great cultural treasures reside in our collection, and our staff is responsible for ensuring their long term care, but also to share them with all our visitors. How cool is that?

Jessica Gerdes
MLS/MIS 2005
Librarian, Yellowstone Research Library

Cataloging under Yellowstone’s BIG SKY

“Thankfully, I haven’t yet seen a bear between work and home though they do come into town and there have been grizzly prints behind our building.”

Main Job Duties:
Mostly cataloging, about 75/25 original/ copy. Other than that, anything library-related you can think of and then some.

I am proud of the fact that we have implemented a bookmobile here in the park. From the public’s point of view, it is probably fairly simplistic to think, “Oh, yeah, of course a library would have a bookmobile.” However, working in a special library makes it a bit more unusual. Once a month during the summer, one of our staff (usually the seasonal intern) drives a van loaded with books around the Grand Loop stopping at the major areas in the park. Not, perhaps, a true bookmobile, but something like this hadn’t been done before and park employees are really warming to the idea— we’ve had 60 to 150 percent increases in use every year since we started in 2006. We generally bring three or four boxes of books, as well as anything else park staff have requested. During the summer, most of the park staff live one to four hours away from the library and have intermittent to no dial-up as their Internet connection. This makes it pretty difficult for them to get the information needed to do fireside presentations and informational walks. The bookmobile helps with that as well as bringing books for general learning (hiking, bird/plant/wildlife identification, etc.) as well as for entertainment. We try to collect anything and everything that has to do with Yellowstone, so even the fiction and AV sections are pretty well developed. I live near and work in a national park so walking to my job can be pretty interesting. I started out as an intern in 2003 and during one of my first days at work, the administration building had all of the front doors shut down because an elk had given birth right outside. Pretty exciting for someone who rarely saw wildlife other than the IU squirrels. Though the library’s location has since changed, I still have to walk through elk in the fall and bison herds in the spring (both groups like to eat the grass on the school’s football field which is in between my house and the Heritage and Research Center). I’ve had issues leaving because of pronghorn antelope loitering outside. Thankfully, I haven’t yet seen a bear between work and home though they do come into town and there have been grizzly prints behind our building.

Did the path to your current position have unusual or interesting aspects?
I didn’t want to work in Yellowstone. I liked being near Chicago and Indianapolis. I liked having more than three choices on where to eat out during the winter months. I liked being anonymous in a sea of 40,000 people. I only called to inquire about an internship so that my mother would stop nagging me. Imagine my shock when the third sentence of the phone call was, “So, what day do you think you can you start?” It was my second shortest job interview ever.

Favorite Quote:
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s learning to dance in the rain — Unknown

Michael Hohnecker
MIS 2001
IT Project Manager, Business Applications, John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group

John Deere’s GPS Guru

Main Job Duties:
I’m a project manager for the newly created Intelligent Solutions Group within John Deere. My main projects are centered on the integration of our four locations in Georgia, North Dakota, California, and Iowa to common business systems.

I have worked on many differentprojects during my time with John Deere.One of our recent projects was to create a Web application to authenticate GPS receivers over our satellite network. This application also allows customers to select different software options for the receivers. Most of my projects during the last several years have been on internal business systems. It’s pretty rewarding to also work on our products.

Did the path to your current position have unusual or interesting aspects?
I went to school and grew up in towns in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Moving to Los Angeles was an adjustment for the first few years. Everything was different, from eating Sushi and avocados to working in a small California technology company. Learning to adjust and find ways to make things work is a valuable skill that has helped my career

Emily Ford
MIS/MLS 2007
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University

Natalia (Minibayeva) Framil
MIS 2002
Director of Information Architecture, Empathy Lab, LLC

Peter Hall
MIS 2009
Social Media / SEM Project Lead, Room 214

MIS Graduate at Room 214 - Social Media Agency

SLIS Master of Information Science ('09) alumnus Peter Hall is now working at Room 214 (a Social Media Agency in Boulder, Colorado). We asked him about his job - and requested tips for current students - in an email interview. His responses:

Job Title:
Social Media & Search Marketing Strategist (We have no official job titles at Room 214, but that best describes my day to day activities.)

Main Duties:
I help create and implement both social media and search marketing strategies for Brands. On the social media side, we listen to the conversations going on in different social media spheres and determine how a brand can best leverage these networks to promote the brand, gain awareness, engage with users, and ultimately, make more money. For search marketing, I perform both pay-per-click advertising as well as search engine optimization to better position brands in both organic and paid search results. I would say it is about a 50/50 split for me between social media and search marketing.

What I like:
Things are always moving and shaking around here. Every day, I'm doing something different, from blogger and influencer outreach, tweaking PPC accounts, running promotions and contests on Twitter, and so on. Additionally, I work with a really smart and talented group of people, so we are always sharing creative ideas and working together to make our clients stand out. Also, the environment here still very much has that "start-up" feel to it, so everything is pretty relaxed. We drink beer on Fridays, we wear pretty much whatever we want to, we don't have cubicles, we have relaxed hours and no set amount of vacation days, and creative thinking is always encouraged.

SLIS coursework that helped:
Pat East's Search Marketing Summer Workshop gave me the foundation, interest and knowledge in search engine marketing and was the number one reason why I was able to get the job I really wanted after I graduated from SLIS. Additionally, Howard Rosenbaum's course on Digital Entrepreneurship (S643) gave me invaluable insight into the way businesses are started up and how they operate in general. It made the transition into the business world much easier having this knowledge coming in. If you are able to talk shop with your potential boss about the business side of things, it will really help you land the job.

Advice/Tips for students:
1. Network. Network with your professors, with your fellow SLIS students, with Informatics students, network with everyone you can. SLIS does a great job in making this easy, and your professors are more than happy to meet with you whenever. You never now who may help you find that first job after you graduate.
2. Take a variety of coursework, especially if you don't know what you want to do after you graduate. I for one had no idea what career path I wanted to pursue when I started the program. I had no idea even after my first two semesters. It took a summer workshop (Pat East's Search Marketing workshop in my case) for things to really click and for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Take advantage of all the group work required in SLIS. You may not like it at first, you may even hate it, but group work is critical to almost any career path after you graduate. Do your best to compromise and make ends meet with your fellow group members. Try to stand up for yourself and take a leadership role within these groups. Prospective employers are on the lookout for leaders, not followers. If you are able to show your leadership skills by providing concrete examples of leadership from Graduate School and prior employment, it will greatly improve your chances of getting the job.
4. Reach out to potential employers a few months before you are set to graduate. Identify the types of companies you want to work for and send out a personalized email. Put some time into it, you only get one first impression. For me, it was best to email weekly and connect with the places and people who could help me get that job. Continue to reach out until they get back to you. Utilize social media to help you get there. I actually communicated with my future employer almost exclusively through Twitter and email before actually flying out for an interview. Room 214 wasn't even hiring at the time, but making that initial connection and getting them to remember me was the key to eventually getting the job.

Posted February 01, 2010

Empathy Lab

Derren Hermann
MIS 2000
Manager, User Experience
Nationwide Insurance

User Experience Manager - Nationwide

SLIS alumnus Derren Hermann (MIS'00) and colleague Richard Douglass gave a presentation on September 15, 2009 at SLIS (Room 030). Hermann and Douglass are both User Experience Managers with Nationwide. The announcement stated:
• Presentation: How a SLIS alumni ended up at Nationwide working on and incredible User Experience team of 40+ individuals and how you could end up doing this too!
• We asked Derren Hermann to give more details about his career, and tips for SLIS students. He responded to this email interview:
I'm currently a manager on the User Experience team at Nationwide. Our overall team is around 40 people. We have a director and three managers. I manage a team of about 15 information architects and interaction designers. My team creates site maps, flow diagrams, and lots and lots of wireframes. The two other managers handle the visual design and usability analysis teams. The visual design team is responsible for all design specifications and creative, while the usability analysis team does a lot of discovery work (e.g. contextual inquiries, focus groups, participatory design sessions, interviews, etc.) and they run all of the user testing within our usability lab.

Our team has people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We have people with degrees in human-computer interaction, visual design, human factors, cognitive psychology, industrial design, and others. We have a mixture of full-time employees and contractors. We tend to be very collaborative and do quite a bit of knowledge sharing.

Nationwide is a rather large company that sells all varieties of insurance, investment products, various products for business owners, and we have an online bank. Our User Experience team is responsible for the online experience for all consumer facing websites and applications. This includes, our auto quote and bind application, all customer self-service areas, and iPhone apps to name a few. We design applications for sales agents and investment administrators. Furthermore, we maintain all online design standards for Nationwide. So how did I end up as a user experience manager for a large Insurance company? I started out by gaining my undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from Indiana University. I then went on to receive a MIS degree from SLIS in which I focused on human-computer interaction and information architecture. After graduating from SLIS, I spent about 3 years working as a usability specialist for Diamond Bullet Design up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was there that I learned a quite a bit from experience, including much about web accessibility and how to lead a project. I then came to Nationwide as a contractor and over time worked my way up to a manager.

My advice to students would be to focus on two things. One is to gain as much knowledge as possible about your discipline. The second is to work on being able to really lead an effort and communicate effectively. We look for people that can provide value similar to that of a senior level consultant. This doesn't mean you necessarily need to have a lot of experience, you just need to know what you're talking about when it comes to your discipline and be able to effectively work with all of your partners on any given project.

The best way to keep on the look out for jobs on the User Experience team at Nationwide is to send me your resume as you're coming close to graduation.
My email address is:

Derren L. Hermann
Manager, User Experience
Customer Choice Distribution - Internet
Posted September 17, 2009

Mike Hohnecker
IT Project Manager - Business Applications, NavCom Technology

Terra Jacobson
MIS/MLS 2009
Public Service Manager, Prairie State College Library

Public Service Manager – Prairie State College Library

SLIS alumna Terra Jacobson has found career success as Public Service Manager at the Prairie State College Library. Terra’s job duties include supervising 4 part-time and 2 full-time staff members, working with a consortium, and creating circulation policies. She also performs collection management and development tasks, works the reference desks, and helps to update library policies.

Terra responded to a few questions in an email interview. She describes what she likes about her job, gives advice to current students, and gives thanks to SLIS professors that helped her along the way.

What do you like about your job?
I love my job, but what I like most about it is that since the library is in a transitional stage, every day is different. I also have great mentors at the library that want to prepare me to be an academic library director and encourage participation in all aspects of the library, which makes work fun. I love having the opportunity to help decide what direction our library is going to move in and how to best serve our unique population. Overall, I would say that the variety of opportunities that come up in the library is what makes it so enjoyable to go to work every day.

Do you have any advice for current students?
My current boss told me that the reason he hired me is because I had management experience and an MLS, where most people had one or the other. I think that library students should take any chance to get some experience in management, even if it isn’t in a library setting. Also, I would recommend that library students take a variety of classes and not just focus their career so much in library school. I’m so glad I took a little bit of this and that at SLIS, you never know what may come up in a small library. I often find myself wishing I had more cataloging experience.

Any other comments?
I would just like to thank Noriko Hara, Lokman Meho and Pnina Shachaf for all their help and encouragement through library school. You taught me so much of what I use every day.

Posted September 02, 2009

Facebook as a Library Tool

SLIS alumna Terra Jacobson (MIS/MLS'09) has been accepted for future publication in journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries(ACRL). Her paper is titled “Facebook as a Library Tool: Perceived v. Actual Use” and is set to be published in the January 2011 issue of College & Research Libraries. Terra’s paper was originally written for a class she took with SLIS faculty member Noriko Hara.

Dr. Hara commented in an email interview:
• "One of the former SLIS students, Terra Jacobson, just published a paper in the journal College and Research Libraries. The paper was originally written for my courses [SLIS S518: Communication in Electronic Environments]. Her final paper was about comparing the perceived use and actual use of Facebook in academic libraries. It is one of the core ideas in Social Informatics (Terra took my other courses as well). She incorporated my feedback and made the paper publishable. I had recommended that she should pursue the possibility of publishing the paper, but she is the one who went through the submission process. I'm very happy for her."

Below is an excerpt from the preprint, now available on the ACRL website:
• “Libraries, in the past few years, have begun to examine the possibilities available to them through social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook as a tool for library awareness and marketing. As Facebook has come to dominate the social networking site arena, more libraries have created their own library pages on Facebook to create library awareness and to function as a marketing tool. This has spurred a large amount of how-to articles about the uses for Facebook in libraries as well as research about how librarians and libraries use Facebook. This paper examines reported versus actual use of Facebook in libraries to identify discrepancies between intended goals and actual use. The results of the 2009 study by Hendrix, Chiarella, Hasman, Murphy and Zafron, about the use of Facebook in libraries, is used as a guide to gauge the perceived and actual uses for Facebook in this study.”

Brian Kleber
MIS 2004
Viveda, Predictive Physiology and Medicine, Inc.

Brian Kleber (MIS' 04) Named Chief Executive Officer of PPM

"Predictive Physiology and Medicine Inc. (PPM), announced that Brian Kleber has been named CEO by the company’s board of directors."
Brian Kleber graduated from SLIS in 2004 with a Master of Information Science degree. Read the press release below to learn more about his new position.
March 4, 2009 (Bloomington, Indiana)
CONTACT: Christa Curtis, PPM -
Kleber Named New Chief Executive Officer of PPM

Predictive Physiology and Medicine Inc. (PPM), today, announced that Brian Kleber has been named CEO by the company’s board of directors. After one and a half years as PPM’s COO, Kleber’s transition to the role prepares PPM for its next business phase. Since its founding in 2005, PPM has been focused on research and development for its Viveda Assessment product line. Now that the Viveda Health Assessment has been released, the company’s focus has shifted to sales, marketing and building health education and information systems.

Current Chairman of the Board and former CEO, Dr. Stephen Naylor said, "Brian has worked tirelessly on behalf of PPM over the past 18 months. His creativity and vision has allowed us to launch a series of innovative products since the beginning of the year." Naylor went on to say, "As PPM moves from development to sales and marketing, Brian is the obvious person to lead the company into its next exciting stage of evolutionary growth." Dr. Naylor will remain with the company as its Chief Scientific Officer.

PPM’s change in focus has also prompted the company to add individuals with business, sales and marketing expertise to its board of directors. Brian Kleber has joined the board as well as Dr. Herb Senft, President of Indianapolis based Symbios Holdings LLC. Senft is a seasoned business executive with experience in sales, product positioning, pricing and strategic planning. When asked about the transition in leadership Senft said, "I am excited to see the company enter into its next stage of growth and believe that Brian has the energy and drive to lead the company forward. Furthermore, I am very pleased that Dr. Naylor will remain active with the company and provide his extensive expertise in guiding the company’s scientific endeavors."

About PPM
PPM is a life sciences company that offers personalized health products and services to consumers, physicians, hospitals and laboratories. PPM translates complex medicaldata into functional health information and education tools that empower individuals. The company’s line of Viveda products and services bridge the gap between information and action that improves health.

About Viveda
The Viveda Health Assessment, Viveda Reports, and Viveda Workplace serve different audiences, but all deliver personal, proactive and preventive health information in a consumer friendly format. Viveda Reports is a lab test reporting service for physician’s offices, clinics, hospitals, and laboratories. This service packages lab test results in the Viveda format, translating those mysterious numbers into relevant information. Viveda Workplace is a health screen reporting service for employers and providers in the corporate wellness market. PPM’s final product is the Viveda Health Assessment, the most thorough health evaluation available today. Powered by an innovative molecular blood analysis, Viveda details an individual’s bioprofile. This comprehensive analysis can warn of potential future health problems in time for individuals to intervene and take some control over their health.

Posted March 18, 2009

MIS Alumni Brian Kleber active in Bloomington

Brian Kleber, Director of the Small Business Development Center participated in the Fuse Business Innovation Awards Luncheon this week in Bloomington, Indiana. The event, featured in the Herald Times newspaper is reposted here with permission.

SLIS faculty Howard Rosenbaum commented on what a terrific job Brian is doing since his graduation from SLIS. He requested that we repost this story as an example of the contributions of MIS alumni - and in acknowledgment of Brian's hard work.

From the Herald Times, by Marcela Creps

Attendees at the Small Business Development Center's FUSE Business Innovation awards luncheon were asked to take a seven-question quiz to test their innovation level. Before the awards ceremony, SBDC director Brian Kleber asked anyone who scored at least a 5 to stand. With the entire room on its feet, Kleber asked anyone with a score higher than 35 to continue to stand. John Goode of MSP Aviation Inc. was the only one left standing. So it seemed only fitting that the program's entrepreneur of the year award was given to Goode. "I scored a 36," Goode said after the luncheon.

Goode's company manufactures avionic clamps. Since moving the company to Bloomington three years ago, it has experienced more than 280 percent growth.

The luncheon Tuesday at Chapman's Restaurant & Banquet Center celebrated not only the seven business innovation award winners, but the 20th anniversary of the SBDC.

"We thank you for the risks you take on a daily basis," said Christy Steele, president of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce.

The first-time event sold out with 155 people in attendance.

Kleber said the event is designed to highlight all the work done by area small businesses, which he said make up 98 percent of all Monroe County businesses.

"It's important because they are the backbone," Kleber said. "They represent most of our businesses."

Kleber said he hopes the awards will be an incentive for small-business owners. "It's really important to encourage these people," he said. "Over time, these companies grow. They add jobs over time. These are the companies that are really creating the jobs."

Award winners
Seven awards were presented at Tuesday's FUSE Business Innovation luncheon:
Community Service Award: Kiva Networking
Small Business Advocate: Lynn Coyne
Social Entrepreneur of the Year: Middle Way House
Microenterprise of the Year: Tommy Saucier of Crawlspace Doctor
Innovative Business of the Year: Information in Place
Entrepreneurial Growth Award: Electronic Communications Systems
Entrepreneur of the Year: MSP Aviation.
Related Story: Small-Business Firm One of the Best

Posted October 27, 2005

The Inventive CEO

“As an entrepreneur you face many challenges each day as you try to make your mark on an industry ...”

Main Job Duties:
Oversee the vision and strategy of the company in addition to all information technology development. I bring the unique perspective of an extensive entrepreneurial and small business management background combined with comprehensive information systems architecture capabilities.

Being with an entrepreneurial/ start-up company brings many exciting and fun things each day. The basis of what I do is create a vision and direction for the company and ensure that it becomes a reality. Being able to see a raw idea become a product/service that is sold and that ultimately changes the landscape of the industry is exciting. There is nothing else like it.

Did the path to your current position have unusual or interesting aspects?
This current position is unique in that it lets me draw on many skills I learned at SLIS, everything from project management to usability for interface designs. It is rare that one might have the opportunity to “touch” as many things as I am able to in a company, but I am grateful for that flexibility and opportunity. Favorite quote: As an entrepreneur you face many challenges each day as you try to make your mark on an industry, which in many cases is slow to embrace change and new ideas. So, one of my favorite quotes is: “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” –Thomas Edison

Maureen Mostyn Liebenson
MLS 1976
Managing Editor, World Book Encyclopedia, Inc.

Uncommon Paths: Alumni In Interesting Careers

Librarians are often referred to as walking encyclopedias. Of course, librarians don't have to know everything; they just have to know where to find it. And it's Maureen Mostyn Liebenson's job to make sure that they can.

Liebenson is managing editor at World Book, Inc., where she directly manages the production of an extensive variety of annual publications, including: YearBook, Science Year, Childcraft (a thematic resource for young children), the Childcraft Annual, the World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia (a junior encyclopedia), World Book's Animals of the World (a 40-volume collection on animal families), and the World Book Encyclopedia of People and Places (a cultural geography series). As Liebenson says, she oversees all print publications except the World Book Encyclopedia.

Before entering SLIS, Liebenson earned a BA in journalism from IU. "That degree plus my master's seemed to make a career in publishing a logical choice," says Liebenson. Liebenson's career has allowed her stay connected to library and information professionals, and to connect them with quality resources. Says Liebenson, "I enjoy creating new products and revising older ones that benefit students, teachers, librarians, and families. I also enjoy learning about various subjects as the products are created. And it's great to work with interesting, intelligent people. Plus I have flex time and a wonderful boss!"

Liebenson advises SLIS students and alumni to pay attention to new developments in the field. "Keep current with technology and curriculum trends, and definitely be able to multi task." Writing and interpersonal skills are invaluable assets, emphasizes Liebenson. "Work hard and get along with everyone at every level in the company. And know how to write to fit your audience."

Posted October 29, 2004

Jennifer McCormick
MIS 2000

User Researcher, Microsoft Surface

Master of Information Science graduate, Jennifer McCormick (MIS '00), works as a user researcher at Microsoft Surface in Redmond, Washington. Before joining Microsoft in 2005, Jennifer worked at Eli Lilly and Company. She also took doctoral coursework at the University of Texas-Austin (2002-2003).

"The cool thing is that I utilize both the theory and practicum that I learned in SLIS courses such as Social Informatics and User Information-Seeking Behaviors as a core function of my job," Jennifer says.

What are your main duties as a User Researcher at Microsoft Surface?
I use information to influence Surface's design and development. My job involves gathering and synthesizing a diverse set of user-based information, including user needs, desires, practices, and usability testing data, in order to ensure that our product is designed to be exciting and intuitive. My expertise is in hardware user research, and day-to-day I get to answer questions about hardware design and usability to Surface developers and across Microsoft.

What do you like most about your job?
That first and foremost I use research to advocate for users. I'm inspired by the opportunity to develop a new generation of technology that is accessible across age and experience, and encourages face-to-face social interaction. Also, at Microsoft I get to work with some very smart and interesting people.

Do you have any advice for current students, either in terms of getting the most out of their education at SLIS or general career advice?
Definitely! The skill to recognize information needs and anomalies, clearly define user questions and problems, and strategize a plan to get an answer is a highly valuable skill that I use every day — and I learned it in my core SLIS courses. I would say it's critical to be able to understand and articulate how the skills learned at SLIS are valuable and transferrable across various professions and functions, because they really are. Lastly, I would encourage anyone interested in technology and user experience to think broadly about the implications of emotion and social interaction on the individual user experience.

Posted June 02, 2008

Willie Miller
MLS 2010
Informatics and Journalism Librarian, IUPUI University Library

MLS Graduate: Informatics and Journalism Librarian

SLIS alumnus Willie Miller (MLS'10) is now holds the title of Informatics and Journalism Librarian: Liaison to the School of Informatics and the School of Journalism at the IUPUI University Library. In a recent email interview, we asked him about his job - and requested tips for current students. His responses:

Main Job Duties:
"As the Subject Specialist or Liaison to the IU School of Informatics and the IU School of Journalism at IUPUI, I represent the Library to these Schools and their departments and the concerns of these Schools to IUPUI University Library. I also support the students and faculty of the Schools through instruction, information literacy initiatives, research consultation, and the acquisition of teaching materials and research resources. Further, I develop and maintain library collections in those subject areas, for which I select library materials, in all formats, and monitor ongoing fund commitments."

Favorite Aspects of the Job:
"Instruction is easily my favorite aspect of the job. I love working with students. By imparting information literacy skills and teaching students how to use the Library, I am not only directly influencing researchers, and indirectly research itself, but I also have a large impact in shaping a student’s opinion of and relationship to the Library. This role as a representative of the Library is something I value and that I thoughtfully consider every time I go in front of a group of students or faculty. Plus, it is really fun when I can blow someone’s mind talking about the resources and services offered by the Library.

I also really enjoy infusing instruction with technology. New and emerging technologies create opportunities for educators to reach students in more effective ways. I great a feeling while I’m doing instruction, and I can tell that students are really absorbing the material. I think staying current on technology and incorporating it into instruction in a manner that is valuable for learning helps us keep students engaged and advancing as lifelong learners. As result of that passion is that I get to work with iPads in the classroom this year; so, shopping the App Store is also a great part of the job."

Tips for Students:
1. "Get a job in a library; take internships; or even volunteer your time in a library. This is essential. Think of your dream job; find out what the duties are of people in that position or in similar positions; and find ways to structure your part-time or internship work to provide you with experience in those areas. The significance of getting experience in a library setting is practically comparable to that of completing your degree. Get as much experience as possible. Most successfully employed graduates that I know had at least one library job during their time in SLIS. The myth that tons of librarians are retiring and leaving positions free has flooded the job market with job seekers just like you. Experience working in a library makes all the difference between you and the next applicant. Bloomington boasts the currently top ranked research library in the country, a strong public library, well-valued school libraries, and world-renown special libraries. It is a great place to get experience."
2. "Join the ALA (American Library Association). Generally, join organizations that you would want to be a member of if you had your dream job now, while you are in graduate school. Specifically, if you are interested in being an academic librarian, join ARCL (Association of College and Research Libraries) and some of its sections (Instruction, University Libraries, etc.). I am also a part of the ALA New Members Roundtable (NMRT) that gives tips to new librarians and graduate students on navigating the profession. Through professional listservs, job postings are regularly distributed. I found the job posting for the position that I currently hold through a professional listserv."
3. "It is also very helpful to find mentors who work in the area or position to which you aspire. Do not be afraid to reach out to SLIS alumni or the librarians around you for mentorship. Librarians love to help. In addition to finding mentors, I found it really beneficial to lean on professors, SLIS staff, my fellow students for support and advice, especially when during my job search. I cannot say enough about the importance of having people to go to for assistance, but I can say that SLIS is full of those people."

Posted October 13, 2010

Ellen Munds
MLS 1978
Executive Director, Storytelling Arts of Indiana

Uncommon Paths: Alumni In Interesting Careers

As its executive director Ellen Munds is the only full-time employee at Storytelling Arts of Indiana (SAI), formerly Stories, Inc. She is responsible for all program planning and implementation, marketing, and fundraising. Working closely with a 17-member board, two part-time employees, and many volunteers, Munds is reintroducing audiences in central Indiana to the power of the spoken word.

"As the children's librarian at the Carmel Clay Public Library I told stories. I was on the Children's and Young People's Division Board of the Indiana Library Federation in the early days and we brought George Shannon in to be our keynoter. This was the first time I had heard stories as an adult. It was like he looked into my eyes and knew what story I needed to hear. I sat in the back of the room with tears running down my face. Soon after, I attended the Corn Island Storytelling Festival with two friends. We then attended the St. Louis Storytelling Festival and by then we were telling others that we were going to produce a festival. That one day event in August of 1988 has grown into an organization with year-round programming." SAI offers an impressive schedule of events. The major program is the Hoosier Storytelling Festival, a four-day event in October that features five nationally known storytellers and approximately 15 other regional and state tellers.

In addition to the Festival, SAI hosts a Storytelling Series from January through April. Each month SAI brings in a nationally known teller to perform an evening concert for adults. SAI also sponsors roughly 20 family performances throughout central Indiana in collaboration with such organizations as the public libraries, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

"Sharing Hoosier History Through Stories" is a collaboration with the Indiana Historical Society where each year SAI commissions two stories based on Indiana History. The stories are premiered at the Indiana History Center and then offered to public libraries, county historical societies, and others throughout the state. Subjects have included Indiana Avenue at its heyday, Indiana Canals, Hobos and Trains, Mr. Civil Rights of Indiana, and Steel Mills.

SAI also sponsors outreach performances to the Women's Prison of Indiana, LaRue Carter Hospital, Shepherd Center of Indianapolis, the Marion County Juvenile Center and the 38 Neighborhood Parks in Indianapolis. One such outreach program is Therapeutic Storytelling at Riley Children's Hospital and the children's unit at St. Vincent's Hospital, funded by the Junior League of Indianapolis. SAI trains volunteers to tell stories at the bedsides of the children in the hospital. SAI has also purchased CD players and storytelling CDs so the children can listen to stories at other times.

The Older Adult Service and Information System (OASIS) Storytellers project is funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Trust. SAI staff and volunteers teach seniors to recall, develop, and tell their family stories. As part of this two year project, participants will share their stories at the 2004 Hoosier Storytelling Festival.

Every year SAI offers two $1,350 Frank Basile Emerging Stories Fellowships to Indiana storytellers as they work on new stories. The stories are premiered in November of each year and retold during the festival.

SAI also publishes an annual Directory of Indiana Storytellers and distributes a copy to each public library in the state. The directory is also available at Says Munds, "Since working with Storytelling Arts and becoming involved in the national organization-The National Storytelling Network-I now have friends all over the country. I meet really interesting people. I also love to watch the audiences that attend our events. I get such pleasure from seeing them enjoy themselves."

"I feel so very lucky concerning my work," Munds continues. "I loved working as a children's librarian and I never thought I would leave the field. And then storytelling came into my life, and I was as passionate about storytelling as I was about working in a library. ince I had worked in the library, I decided to go for something new and I have never looked back. My current job has and always will be a challenge but I seem to thrive on challenges. I just wish everyone loved their work as much as I do."

More information about Storytelling Arts of Indiana is available at:

Posted October 29, 2004

Brent Mundy
MIS 2000
User Experience Analyst, Pearson Pattern Library

Thomas E. Pinelli
PhD 1990
Manager, NASA Langley Center for Distance Learning

Uncommon Paths: Alumni In Interesting Careers

Thom Pinelli manages the NASA Langley Center for Distance Learning, located at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The NASA Langley Center for Distance Learning, an organizational unit of NASA Langley's Office of Education, offers six distance learning programs that "span the educational horizon" from kindergarten to adult learners. According to Pinelli, "Our focus is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our mission involves extending the potential of traditional and emerging instructional technology; providing sustainable distance learning programs that inspire students; creating learning opportunities that complement NASA's education and outreach mission; and achieving critical work force development and national STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) goals especially as they relate to under-represented and underserved groups." Pinelli continues, "A large part of the work I did at IU in information- seeking behavior and information use is directly applicable to my current position." As a youngster, Pinelli was fascinated by how things worked. "I spent much of my youth and early teenage years fixing bicycles, building rockets, and reading books about science and space," he says. The creative environment is one of the most appealing aspects of Pinelli's position. He says, "I get to work with some of the most creative, dedicated, and intelligent people on the planet. They are passionate about science and technology and are always willing to help educators and inspire students."

Reflecting on his days at SLIS, Pinelli says what he enjoyed most, apart from the course work, was being able to interact with the faculty. "They always took time to listen and to engage in conversation. I enjoyed my association with all of the faculty and Professors Herb White, Clay Shepherd, and George Whitbeck. I would have been lost without the valuable assistance of Peg and Beverly in the office."

Looking toward the future, Pinelli says computer skills will obviously be important ("The more the better"), but that people and language/communication skills will also be crucial. "You have to be able to work, function, and contribute as a member of a team. And being able to read and speak a second language will become increasingly important."

Pinelli advises SLIS alumni to think broadly and beyond the library. "Believe it or not you can do lots of cool things with an MLS when you focus on the multitude of possibilities involving information."

He further recommends, "Become and stay professionally involved. Learn as much about the organization you work in as possible and make yourself known to as many people in the organization as is reasonably possible. Never stop developing yourself." And finally, "Make time in your life to teach or to mentor; it's one of the most rewarding things you can do."

More information about the NASA Langley Center for Distance Learning is available at:

Posted October 29, 2004

Michael Porter
MLS 1999
Communications Manager,
2009: Library Journal “Mover & Shaker” 2010: elected to the American Library Association’s governing Council Board.

Timothy Prehn
MIS 1998
User Experience Manager, Vodafone

Uncommon Paths: Alumni In Interesting Careers

Tim Prehn's career path stretches halfway across the globe. As a User Experience Manager at Vodafone in Tokyo, Japan, he designs user interface (UI) specifications and tests and reviews UI specifications produced by such mobile phone manufacturers as Sharp, NEC, and Sony Ericsson. User interface refers to the information on the screen of a computer, web site, PDA, or mobile phone. Says Prehn, "I help design and evaluate the flow or architecture of infor-mation on Vodafone mobile phones. I do this in conjunction with the phone manufac-turers but generally the phone manufacturers have very weak UI departments. The concept is relatively new in Asia. "Since the overall consumer electronics that have positively fueled the economy in this part of the world have been hardware, such as cameras, LCDs, computer monitors, etc., companies don't see the profitability attached to a good UI. On the contrary, they try to load the phone with every feature technology will allow. Often, these features are quite silly and never used by the average person, so I have to manage this situation."

Vodafone is a global mobile phone service provider. It is a leader in most European countries, and the third largest service provider in Japan. Prehn became interested in this industry when he was working at the Palm computer company and observed the mobile market and PDA markets begin to merge in functionality.

Prehn regularly travels to Dusseldorf, Germany, because many Asian manufacturers, notably Sharp, Samsung, and Sony, have factories in the area. "Dusseldorf is also where my manager is stationed. He visits Tokyo once every 8 weeks. I also go to London on occasion for online content work." In Japan, Prehn's work takes him to Hiroshima for work on Sharp, and Shinagawa in Tokyo for work with NEC. He also has plans to visit China and Korea.

Prehn says he enjoys working on international teams and with an international product, and credits his SLIS education for preparing him for his career. "Experience in the usability lab, computer consultant work, the HCI curriculum and Howard Rosenbaum's classes helped me with technical knowledge and knowledge of the market."

Prehn's advice to SLIS students and alumni is to join related organizations such as ACM-CHI, and stay informed on what colleagues are doing in other fields/markets. "Be prepared to educate fellow work mates in the field of HCI. Many people may have an idea of what usability is, but rarely does it match what you learn in SLIS."

Posted October 29, 2004

Sam Rajkumer
MIS 2004
Senior Usability Engineer, Oracle

MIS Graduate at Oracle

SLIS grad Sam Rajkumer (MIS '04) is currently working at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. Oracle is the largest business software company in the world. Sam is part of the Applications User Experience group and in an email interview he answered some questions about his job and gave some advice to students.

What are your key job duties?
As a Senior Usability Engineer I plan and execute a wide range of UX research projects. From requirements gathering in the early stages of the lifecycle (methods such as Card Sorts, Focus Groups, Wants & Needs analysis, interviews) to validating designs in the design and testing stages of the lifecycle (methods such as usability sessions, CIF Tests etc.)

What do you like the most about your job?
I like seeing myself as an advocate for our customers and end users. I gather their feedback on our UI designs, turn issues into design recommendations and ensure that end user feedback is incorporated in the next round of design.

Do you have any advice for current students?
Get as much hands-on experience as possible in your area of interest while at SLIS, whether it be a part time job, an assistantship, or even a summer internship. While in the MIS program I worked for a year and a half as an Usability Specialist (Graduate Assistant) at the Office of Communications and Marketing (now called Office of Creative Services). My stint at OCM gave me excellent hands-on usability experience, which was key to my getting hired at Oracle.

Posted August 07, 2009

Sherron R. Rogers (Moore)
MIS 2002
Director, Information Services, Clarian Health

SLIS Alumna - Director, Information Services, Clarian Health

Master of Information Science graduate Sherron Rogers (MIS'02) recently responded to an email interview. Rogers has kept in touch with SLIS, and has posted job openings with her company on the SLIS website.

Name, Job Title, Company, Town
Sherron R. Rogers (Moore)
Director, Information Services
Clarian Health
Indianapolis, Indiana

Basic Job Responsibilities
I report directly to the Clarian Health's CIO [Chief Information Officer]. My teams are responsible for managing and staffing the Project Management Office (over 130 active projects in the portfolio), managing an $80 million departmental budget and all IT administrative functions, Contract management and negotiation, and establishment and deployment of Microsoft SharePoint technology.

Within this role, I have realigned resources to improve customer service and effectiveness while simultaneously increasing capacity and performance with fewer resources. I am frequently responsible for leading IT strategic planning and quality improvement initiatives that have elevated performance to unprecedented departmental results. I am also responsible for assessment and deployment of new technologies.

Favorite Aspects of Job
I love the flexibility of my role. I have the ability to be creative, enterprise-focused, and initiate process changes. I also really enjoy mentoring other employees. I take pride in seeing my staff work hard to accomplish significant goals and move on to excel in other parts of the organization.

Tips for SLIS Students
Take full advantage of your time within the SLIS program and upon graduation, take pride in communicating the range of skills you learned throughout your tenure. Within SLIS, I studied Information Science (specifically: Human-Computer Interaction, and Systems Analysis & Design, with special research in Project Management). Since entering the workforce, I've found there are few other academic areas where the students leave equipped with such diverse and robust expertise. My experiences within SLIS have allowed me to uniquely compete with both MBAs and Informatics students. And, in all roles I've held since graduation, I've had the opportunity to draw upon my ability to look at problems comprehensively and draw very pointed solutions for complex issues.

I also encourage students to seek solid internship experiences while they are in enrolled in SLIS. In this competitive market, having successful work experiences will provide valuable knowledge and allow you to demonstrate your ability to apply your academic knowledge. This will put you ahead of others when you decide to enter/re-enter the workforce.

Posted August 03, 2009

Michelle Scott
MIS 2008
Web Application Developer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina

Michael Sutherland
MLS 2005, SpLIS 2007
Assistant Professor and Web Services Librarian, University of Nebraska-Kearney Libraries

Junior Tidal
MIS/MLS 2005
Web Services and Multimedia Librarian, New York City College of Technology

Marijke Visser
MLS 2010

Assistant Director, ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy

SLIS Executive Associate Dean Marilyn Irwin recently forwarded this announcement:
•"The American Library Association reports that Marijke Visser, a May 2010 SLIS Indianapolis graduate, will become the Assistant Director of ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). She was originally hired to work with OITP on a Gates Foundation funded project, and has since advanced within the Office. In an email message, Marijke sends her thanks to 'my IU professors for helping [me] get to where I am now.' The full story can be found at on theALA News website."

Excerpts from the press release are included here:

ALA News
Office for Information Technology Policy names new directors
By Jenni Terry, Washington, D.C.
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, 10/12/10

"The ALA Washington Office today announces two staff appointments in the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP). Larra Clark will serve as the new director of the Program on Networks and Associate Director of the Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century. Marijke Visser will become the new assistant director of OITP."

"As assistant director, Visser’s responsibilities will include primary management of OITP’s E-rate activities, working in collaboration with Larra Clark and Alan Inouye. In addition, Visser’s policy portfolio will include projects focused at the intersection of children and youth and information technology policy. She will also have responsibility for OITP communications and other office-wide activities.

Since January 2009, Visser has served as Information Technology Policy Analyst in OITP. Visser was initially hired to work on the Opportunity Online Broadband Grant Program, sponsored by the Gates Foundation, and her work portfolio expanded to include E-rate and support for a number of OITP activities on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the National Broadband Plan. Visser received her master’s degree in library science from Indiana University, Indianapolis. Visser’s appointment will be effective on October 18, 2010."

Posted November 03, 2010

William Watson
MIS 2000, PhD Educ 2007
Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Director, Purdue Center for Serious Games and Learning in Virtual Environments
Educational Technology Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Catrina Whited
MLS 1999
Reference Librarian, Ike Skelton Library/Joint Forces Staff College

Reference Librarian - Joint Forces Staff College

• “Curiosity is extremely important as a librarian”

Catrina Whited (MLS ’99) began working this past January as a Reference Librarian for the Ike Skelton Library/Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA. In an email interview, we asked her about her current position, career path, and any tips for SLIS students.

"The Joint Forces Staff College, a component of the National Defense University [under the Department of Defense], is to educate national security professionals in the planning and execution of joint, multinational, and interagency operations in order to instill a primary commitment to joint, multinational, and interagency teamwork, attitudes, and perspectives." [JFSC]

Ms. Whited’s duties at JFSC include providing reference services, instruction and creating informational material for distance learning and in-residence students, staff and faculty. She is also the liaison to the JFSC’s distance learning program and maintains the library organization within the course management system.

While attending library school, Ms. Whited worked as a serials assistant in Technical Services at Ball State University. Most of her professional positions were in reference at public libraries in Las Vegas, North Myrtle Beach and Noblesville (IN). Several years ago she transitioned from public to academic, as a Reference/Clinical Librarian at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.

“When I decided to go back to academic [libraries], I was concerned that after my years in public and then taking a few years off to stay home with daughter [would hinder my relevancy.] However, I did what any librarian would do; I conducted in-depth research on the position, library and school. I made sure I was prepared and [showed] how my reference experience in public and knowledge of technology, in particular, were suited for academic.” Whited notes that the federal “hiring system is much more complex than anything I have ever experienced,” and points students to Careers in Federal Libraries. "This is a great Google group where I spent a lot of time. I had my résumé reviewed which is a free service by other federal librarians and asked many questions about the federal employment maze. There is a long list of internships opportunities with contact information here as well - just a plethora of federal library subject matter. President Obama's recent memo to improve the Federal Recruitment and Hiring Process should ease the path to federal employment." Whited also recommends trying to fit in an internship or work as a paraprofessional in a library noting that "it is difficult to get into federal/military librarianship without library experience." She recommends looking into the Army Intern Program and the Army Library Program. "The National Library of Medicine’s Associate Fellowships Program is another amazing government library opportunity." One of the things she likes best about her new job is the "great people I work with - staff, students, and faculty. Military are by far the most polite and appreciative users as a whole. I had a student who said ‘You’re an information maven, like in Gladwells’ book.’ That is such a compliment.”

The Military Libraries Division of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) is a professional network that students can explore. Whited notes that the "Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) is hosting the 2011 Military Library Workshop in Norfolk. I am excited to be on the MLW 2011 planning committee, and as an observer for the 2010 committee in Florida."

Final note: “Curiosity is extremely important as a librarian. Please don’t forget that.”

Posted May 20, 2010

Michael Witt
MLS 2006
Assistant Professor of Library Science and Interdisciplinary Research Librarian, Purdue University

Michael Witt - Fulbright Scholar - Alexandria, Egypt

SLIS graduate Michael Witt (MLS'06) has been selected to be a Fulbright Scholar beginning in January 2011. We will be located in Alexandria, Egypt. A press release by his employer, Purdue University, is included below.

Purdue University News Room
Press Release
June 16, 2010
Writer: Jim Bush (
Source: Michael Witt (
Purdue Libraries professor headed to Egypt as Fulbright Scholar

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Michael Witt, an assistant professor of library science and interdisciplinary research librarian at Purdue University, has been named a Fulbright Scholar. The Fulbright Scholar Program is the U.S. government's flagship academic exchange effort. It is administered by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars for the U.S. Department of State.

The award will support Witt in relocating his family to Alexandria, Egypt, where he will lecture and conduct research at the Bibliotheca Alexandria from January to May 2011. The city once housed the Library of Alexandria, which was founded in the third century B.C., and is widely recognized as the first and greatest library of its kind in ancient times. The Arab Republic of Egypt began construction of the modern Bibliotheca Alexandria in 1995. The library has capacity to hold 8 million books and houses three museums, four art galleries, a planetarium, conference center and other specialized facilities.

Witt's lecturing and research will benefit Egyptian librarians who are managing electronic resource collections and help them assess technologies to improve access, such as link resolvers, federated search engines and resource selection tools. His research focuses on new roles for librarians in curating non-traditional digital information such as datasets and applying library science principles to e-science. He also has been invited to speak at Alexandria University and the October (City) University for Modern Sciences and Arts in Cairo.

Witt said his Egyptian students at Purdue inspired him to apply for the award. His family invites international graduate research assistants from his lab to Thanksgiving dinner at their home every year. During Ramadan last year, one of the students returned the invitation to Witt to join his family for Iftar, an evening feast, and it piqued his interest.