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USF SI at the 2010 Miami Book Fair International


USF SI’s East Coast Coordinator Maria Treadwell and Communication and Information Officer Jessica Voss attended the 2010 Miami Book Fair International this past weekend. USF SI’s  booth was a hit this year at the fair. The  interest in our programs by fair goers was very high. Many LIS adjuncts, alumni, and current students were excited to see our presence at the fair and stopped by to catch up with the staff. Over 75 prospective students were anxious to stop and get information on our master’s program.

Alumni Anthony Verdesca (1999) and Maria Treadwell

2008 grad, Katia Nunez (center) with her sister (left) and Maria Treadwell (right)

The Street Fair included the Festival of Authors, with more than 350 authors reading and discussing their work and the more than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibits. Thousands of South Florida schoolchildren kicked off the Street Fair, making the trip downtown Friday to hear authors and participate in Children’s Alley activities. The street fair was full of surprises with performers on stilts and mariachis singing. Here are a few pictures we captured. To view more photos from the fair click here.



Christine Wigfall Morris Signing at North Greenwood Library Branch

Christine Wigfall Morris

This Friday, Nov 19 from 3-6 pm, the Clearwater Library System will host a book signing for Christine Wigfall Morris, the first Black Librarian in the Clearwater Library System, at the North Greenwood Library Branch in Clearwater. Christine started working as a librarian in Clearwater, Florida, in 1949.  She  had never stepped foot in one of the city’s libraries before accepting the position. She has published her life story about family, community, and history. To see the event registration click here.


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

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

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

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

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


Push for The Robert W. Saunders Public Library

Dr. Cora P. Dunkley attended the Hillsborough County Public Budget Hearings sponsored by the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) July 14, 2010 at the Federal County Center downtown, Tampa,  Florida.  She was among supporters of the Robert W. Saunders Public Library Foundation, Inc., a group encouraging the BOCC to begin the planning process for the new Robert W. Saunders Public Library now, rather than 2012.  Since the BOCC previously voted to spend $7.845 million dollars on the facility, the new start date would mean the facility would have an opening date of 2012, rather than the initial date of 2014. The Robert W. Saunders Sr. Public Library is named after the civil rights leader who was Florida NAACP Field Secretary from 1952-1966 and author of Bridging the Gap: Continuing the Florida NAACP Legacy of Harry T. Moore, 1952-1966.

SLIS Students Go Beyond Blackboard

Today’s era of online learning allows students from far away places to participate in programs located within another state.  It’s quite common to never come face-to-face with your peers or Instructors.  Craving more interaction, students of this summer’s 5020: Foundations of Library & Information Science course organized two off campus meets and greets.  In an effort to be more inclusive, each event was scheduled in a different part of the Tampa Bay area.

The first meeting took place on Saturday, June 12, in historic Ybor City.  The students discussed classes and Instructors, and as graduate student Barbara Gaddy summarized it as “the usual finding-out-what-we-have-in-common gossip.”

In attendance were (from left to right): Chirstina Harduvel, Gillian Moore, Sylvia Martinez, Sotos “George” Djiovanis, Douglas “Reid” Pierce and Barbara Gaddy.

They realized they enjoyed the experience so much that a second event was set up for Saturday, June 26 in Gulfport and included a tour of the local public library.

In attendance were (from left to right): Douglas “Reid” Pierce, Rohana Chomick and Barbara Gaddy.

According to Barbara Gaddy, who was instrumental in planning the second meet-up, “Unlike the blended meetings, those unstructured face-to-face meetings are great for creating bonds between classmates.  It is really nice to be able to put a name with a face in an non-school environment.  It makes the discussions boards far easier because you know a little about some of the people you are addressing, so conversations are more relaxed.”

“It was really nice getting some face time with my classmates. While online classes are convenient, you start to miss the human element,” stated Douglas “Reid” Pierce, who is currently in the process of organizing a third event taking place at the end of the semester.


Meet our newest ALA Spectrum Scholar

Ms. Sylvia Martinez will begin full-time pursuit of her MLIS this fall at USF SLIS with the support of a Spectrum Scholarship from the American Library Association. Perhaps the best way to articulate the focus of this scholarship program is with ALA’s description of it: “Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future.” [1]

Sylvia Martinez is USF SLIS's newest ALA Spectrum Scholar

Serendipity is our good fortune

By the time Ms. Martinez experienced the blinding-flash-of-light moment resulting in her determination to become a librarian, most scholarship application deadlines had already passed. In exploring the resources listed through the SLIS Web presence, the ALA Spectrum Scholarship was one of the few still accepting applications for the coming academic year. Sylvia’s challenge is our good fortune. We get to enjoy both her collegiality and our collaborative service to ALA in pursuit of the mission of this program.

Sylvia moved to the Tampa Bay area a few years ago after 11 years of teaching public school in the Minneapolis area.  She reports that during this time she was “always jealous of the librarians!” (She punctuates this statement with laughter.) Her favorite assignment with her students was taking them to the library to learn how to do research, which she also enjoys. During her summer breaks she regularly convinced an academic librarian friend to bring her along to work.

Ms. Martinez is playing her cards close to the vest for now and keeping her options open concerning her focus in librarianship. She’s made a head start acclimating to our program by beginning with her first ever, totally on-line course. She reports very much enjoying Foundations with Professor Stephanie Race. And she reports valuable input from her advisor, Professor Scott Simon. But she also looks forward to meeting as many of her colleagues and SLIS faculty as possible. [AB, 6/22/2010]

She may be contacted through USF email at: sylviam@mail.usf.edu

1 American Library Association. 2010. Spectrum scholarship program. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/diversity/spectrum/index.cfm

Globetrotting with Dr. Andrews

We hear about our faculty involvement with state and national organizations on a regular basis, but how about international efforts?

Before we start our fall 2010 academic term, Dr. James Andrews (Director of the USF School of Library and Information Science) will have traveled to Gothenburg (aka Göteborg), Sweden, to continue his participation in IFLA (the International Federation of Library Associations).

A cultural gathering at Gothenburg, Sweden

Dr. Andrews is Secretary of the Science and Technology Libraries Section of the Special Libraries Division. Their efforts this year will be focused toward continuing the initiatives begun during last summer’s conference concerning Open Access. In fact the web page about the upcoming 76th IFLA Congress and General Assembly features the title: “Open access to knowledge – promoting sustainable progress.”

While Dr. Andrews’ agenda will include mediating panels and participating in the U.S. Caucus, he reports enjoying meeting colleagues from around the globe.

“Thus far, I have participated in WLISs in Durban, South Afr., Quebec City, Que., Milan, Italy…,” said Dr. Andrews.

According to Dr. Andrews, the conference usually features special STL (Science and Technology Libraries) related tours in the host city.  Our director also takes some pride in the fact that papers from some of his sessions have ended up as publications in the IFLA Journal.

For more information about IFLA, the Science and Technology Libraries Section, and the upcoming Conference see:

About IFLA

Science and Technology Libraries Section

STL newsletter

[AB, 6/15/2010]