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LIS Adjunct Penny Beile Named EBSS Distinguished Librarian

School of Information LIS Adjunct Penny Beile was named the 2010 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS) Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award. Penny is currently the interim department head for reference services and department head of the Curriculum Materials Center at the University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries. To read more about this honor click here. You can also check out her personal website – http://pennybeile.net/Home.html.



SLIS Alumna Sonja Garcia Receives Celebratory Graduate Alumni Award

On Thursday, September 9th, 2010 SLIS Alumna Sonja Garcia was presented with the Celebratory Graduate Alumni Award by the Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Karen Liller.

Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Karen Liller presented SLIS Alumna Sonja Garcia with the award.

The days events started off with Sonja Garcia speaking with the student organizations from 1:30-2:30 pm about her career as a librarian. Next, was a reception in the Marshall Center Ballroom from 3:00-5:00 pm. At the reception Karen Liller, Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation, welcomed everyone and introduced Sonja Garcia. Then, Sonja gave a talk about the impact of her graduate education on her life.

Dr. Cora Dunkley, Sonja Garcia, and Director Jim Andrews.

People from all aspects of Sonja’s life came out to watch her receive this award. The audience included: SLIS faculty, staff and students, the graduate school staff, St. Peter Claver Catholic School board of directors and principal,  former colleagues of Mrs. Garcia’s from the USF Tampa Campus Library, Mr. Garcia and more. To read more about Sonja Garcia click here.

To see more photos from the Celebratory Alumni Award Presentation click here.


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.

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

SLIS Alumna Among Speakers at the Upcoming E-Government Seminar

Join your Florida library staff colleagues to learn more about the resources for locating legal information to assist library patrons with their search for justice in Florida Courts. The E-Government in Public Libraries: Legal Information and Resources for Librarians will include an introduction to a variety of websites as well as other sources of information. Find out more about legal aid resources in various regions of the state and how to find local resources for your patrons. These seminars will help build relationships that will improve communication between Florida public libraries and the Florida self-help legal aid community.


Whitney Curtis, Reference/Instructional Services Librarian at Stetson University College of Law

Dani Lichtenberg, Research and Information Services Manager at Palm Beach County Library System

*Nancy Fredericks, E-Government Services Manager for Pasco County Public Library Cooperative and USF SLIS Alunna

Jimmy Midyette, Director of Statewide Technology for Florida Legal Services, Inc.

About the speakers:

Curtis, Lichtenberg and Fredericks represented Florida libraries at the January 2010 Conference on Public Libraries and Access to Justice held in Austin, Texas. Together with Midyette and Brown, they applied for a grant from the National Center for State Courts to tailor the information from the national conference to the needs of public librarians in Florida. Each seminar location will have additional guest speakers from the surrounding region.

Registration information:

West Central Florida
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tampa Bay Library Consortium Headquarters
1202 Tech Boulevard, Suite 202
Tampa, Florida 33619
Register Here

For registration assistance, contact Vikki McLean at mcleanv@tblc.org or 813.622.8252, ext. 226.

North Florida
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

State Library and Archives of Florida
R.A. Gray Building
500 S. Bronough Street, Room 307
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250
Register Here

For registration assistance, contact Sena Heiman at sheiman@dos.state.fl.us or 850.245.6628.

Southeast Florida
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Southeast Florida Library Information Network
Nova Southeastern University
Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology
Center, Room 4009
3100 Ray Ferrero, Jr. Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314
Register Here

For registration assistance, contact Lois Albertson at training@email.seflin.org or 877.733.5460, ext. 224.

For more information about upcoming workshops please visit here or contact Karen Clinton Brown, State Library and Archives of Florida Library Program Specialist for E-Government, at kcbrown@dos.state.fl.us or 850.245.6633.

This program is funded by the National Center for State Courts administered by the Friends of the State Library and Archives of Florida, Inc.

Additional funding is provided under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Florida Department of State, State Library and Archives of Florida.


Food for thought from TBLC Strategic Reality Check

Tampa Bay Library Consortium

TBLC hosted a “Strategic Reality Check” workshop at Fruitville Library on Monday, May 17, 2010. The workshop was led by professional library consultants George Needham and Joan Frye Williams. This was an opportunity for area library professionals to examine ways they might reassess the success with which their libraries were serving patrons. The idea was to do so without scrapping missions and strategic plans and other long-range, expensive and time-consuming initiatives.

There were concerns about user friendliness and some novel ideas exchanged during the process. One of these was offered by a Pinellas County librarian who explained a novel acquisitions effort underway at her library. She explained that they’d observed an approximate waiting list number which, when reached, made waiting for bestsellers unattractive. At this point, patrons were more inclined to go by the book at a bookseller than to wait for a library copy. Their solution was to offer patrons the opportunity to purchase the book they sought on behalf of the library with the privilege of being the first to borrow it. They might then take a tax deduction for donating the book. A piece of the library’s acquisitions budget would then be freed for other purposes.

Another burgeoning concept with possible wider implications was outlined by Mr. Needham and Ms. Frye Williams. They asked participants to list major life passages such as retirement, starting a family, battling cancer, going to college, etc. They proposed the possibility of organizing the physical (and electronic) collections under these headings and explained that a public library in Europe was already working with it.

Finally, one small observation had to do with the hoops we require patrons to jump through in order to obtain a library card. This one might or might not have an easy fix to it. If we’re able to (and accustomed to) easily establish a user account at the web site of a commercial enterprise and retrieve lost passwords easily at these places, why then do we require potential library users to show up with photo ID in person along with proof of their physical address in order to use the public library?  Someone moving to a new town may possibly have a more difficult time obtaining a library card than they would changing over their drivers’ license.

Thanks to TBLC for access to this food for thought.

[AB, 5/25/2010]

SLIS Alum Honored as Outstanding Beginning Professional

The Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) is pleased to announce South Central Kansas Library System’s Tom Taylor as the recipient of the 2010 MPLA Beginning Professional Award.  Taylor received his Master of Library Science degree from University of South Florida in 2008.  He also has a Bachelor’s degrees in history from Bethel College.

Taylor is the Continuing Education Coordinator for the South Central Kansas Library System.  He has developed and instituted programs to help librarians meet current economic challenges including meeting the increasing needs of job seekers.  He is frequently involved in orientation and training programs. 

Co-nominator Gail Niles Stucky, Bethel College Library, commented that Taylor is “without a doubt, a fine professional whose career path clearly demonstrates his commitment to the effective practice of librarianship.”

MPLA is a twelve state, regional association for librarians, library paraprofessionals, and friends. Its purpose is to promote the development of librarians and libraries by providing significant educational and networking opportunities.