Robin Filipczak (MLIS ’11), a reference librarian at Denver Public Library (DPL), has produced a local installation of the Race Card Project. The Race Card Project is an initiative created in 2010 by Michele Norris—a former host at NPR—who describes it as “a place for people to talk about race and cultural identity in only six words.” In a recent Colorado Public Radio (CPR) broadcast with “Colorado Matters” host Nathan Heffel, Filipczak spoke about the library’s installation, a poster board where library visitors can share their six-word stories on postcards.

The installation began in July 2016 and has since collected hundreds of responses. In the CPR broadcast, Filipczak said she was empowered to do more to deepen the conversation around race and support her community after attending the 2016 Public Library Association national conference in Denver. The installation has been met with enthusiasm from other librarians, and will expand into additional DPL branches this fall. Furthermore, the project is expanding the view of libraries beyond a repository for books; rather, libraries are true public forums that promote community connections, freedom of ideas, and civil discourse, and are environments well-suited to host what Filipczak calls “thornier” conversations.

Filipczak also credits the Morgridge College of Education’s Library and Information Science program with her professional success, citing her specialization in reference and user services and faculty support in networking and hands-on experiences. She enjoys working in reference services—landing her dream job at DPL right out of school—in order to be on the front line of working with customers and helping to share information and resources.

Library and Information Science (LIS) student Anna Kongs is refurbishing an ambulance into an interactive bookmobile to serve the greater Denver community; it is expected to officially launch in summer 2016. Kongs plans to establish a presence—similar to food trucks—at many of the area’s local farmer’s markets and festivals and will provide an interactive experience for patrons through light and sound as well as by hosting events for artists and writers. In addition, the bookmobile will serve high-need and less-resourced areas of Denver as a mobile library, bookstore, and book donation center.

Kongs started the project because of a lifelong love of books and interest in stories, and she “didn’t want to wait until graduation” to begin applying the lessons of her studies to the outside world. She came to the University of Denver (DU) from an accounting career—wanting a change to a creative field—and joined the Library and Information Science program because of the versatility that graduates have in their careers, choosing to focus on public librarianship, outreach, and programming. With the bookmobile, Kongs wants to give back to the community and carve a place in the local literary community.

The project has gained awareness on campus and in the literary community; Kongs has benefitted from support from her peers at the Morgridge College of Education (MCE)—many of whom have offered assistance—and advice from literacy nonprofits in Denver such as the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and Burning Through Pages.

Kongs successfully applied for 501(c)3 non-profit status, which she says was in and of itself a learning experience. She completed a test run of the bookmobile this spring, and will attend her first events in Denver this month. She has created a digital presence for the project, which can be found here.

Library and Information Science program (LIS) graduate Marta Pardo was featured in the Elbert County News recently for her work updating Elizabeth Middle School’s Library. Pardo, a Colombian immigrant with an impressive career history as a Medical Doctor and cancer researcher, found herself working in Colorado libraries in 2005. After several years working as a para professional she received a scholarship enabling her to pursue a Master’s degree in LIS at the Morgridge College of Education.

In 2014 Pardo began working at Elizabeth Middle School. “I wanted to work in a small library. Its important work” says Pardo who is firm believer of making a big impact in small communities. In her year at Elizabeth Middle School she has been able bring library technologies forward a decade and turn the library into a paradise for students.

Pardo advocates that her students – especially the female ones – “just do it, get into school, get an education.” She uses her own daughters, who are away at Yale on scholarships, as shining examples of what young woman can achieve.

Elbert County News is a part of Colorado Community Media. Colorado Community Media is a joint venture between MetroNorth Newspapers, Mile High Newspapers and Community Media of Colorado. Colorado Community Media’s authority on the 24 local communities it serves is unparalleled.

Students Kimmie DePinto and Jane Nelson from the Library and Information Sciences program have been working to archive materials from the family of Marlon Green, the African-American pilot whose employment discrimination lawsuit against Continental Airlines led to a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1963 and a victory for Green and the Civil Rights Movement.

Marlon Green was an Air Force veteran who, despite extensive flying experience, was unable to obtain employment as a commercial pilot in the 1950s; he secured an interview with Colorado-based Continental Airlines only after leaving the “race” box on the application unchecked. Green was ultimately passed over for employment at Continental in favor of white pilots with much less experience than he, leading to a complaint to Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Commission that he was discriminated against due to his race. The case was not resolved until the U.S. Supreme Court became involved and ruled in Green’s favor. Green went on to fly for Continental until his retirement in 1978.

Paula Green, Marlon’s daughter, contacted DU in 2015 about processing materials that came into her possession after the passing of her mother, Eleanor, and was able to begin working with DePinto and Nelson during the fall of 2015. Students from another university had processed some materials in 2004; however, Paula had since been in contact with the Smithsonian Institute about a possible donation of the collection and she wanted to renew progress on creating an organized collection in order to bring her father’s story to greater national prominence.

The project began as an independent study for DePinto, who was later joined by Nelson to assist. DePinto was interested in this opportunity because of her interest in working with minority collections to provide a voice for groups who would otherwise go unheard. “The hands-on involvement in a project of such importance allows students to put theory into action, provides a richer experience in the program beyond academic coursework, and prepares students for future employment” said LIS faculty Heather Ryan, Ph.D.

Students in the Morgridge College of Education’s Library & Information Science program have been involved in a collaborative project with students from École Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l’Information et des Bibliothèques (ENSSIB) in Lyon. LIS faculty member Krystyna Matusiak and ENSSIB’s Raphaëlle Bats – two members of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Library Theory and Research (LTR) Committee – created an international communication team to support IFLA in 2011, and the MCE students joined in 2014. The collaborative work supports communication activities of IFLA LTR as well as monitoring and distributing information, and includes translating the LTR newsletter for global audiences. The projects allow LIS students to learn more about, and participate in, international librarianship.

View the article here (page 7).

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is the global voice of the library and information profession. Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1927 at an international conference, they celebrated their 75th birthday at their conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002. They now have over 1500 Members in approximately 150 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971. The Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, in The Hague, generously provides the facilities for their headquarters.

Students in the Library and Information Science (LIS) program at the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education are bringing digitization to the community. With the guidance of Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science, Dr. Krystyna Matusiak, students engage in experiential learning opportunities that utilize cutting edge technology in the classroom and connect classroom projects to the community. Digitization is the process of creating digital representations of information resources (e.g. photographs and documents), extending access, and preserving fragile materials. Dr. Matusiak says, “it is not enough to simply learn digitization for the sake of learning.” Rather she impresses upon her students the importance of using their digital skills in a practical context.

A key aspect of Dr. Matusiak’s instruction is developing community partnerships. She empowers students to initiate projects with community organizations in order to share unheard stories, resurrect fading communal stories, aid older generations and volunteers in the digitization process, and to give back for the public good. The LIS program is at the forefront of contributing expertise to the local community with regard to practices and standards in digitization, and is gaining a reputation for their commitment to the community. Often, organizations reach out to the LIS program and Dr. Matusiak for student support. A few recent projects from LIS students include, a digital collection of artifacts from Laura Hershey for the Western History and Genealogy department of the Denver Public Library, a gathering of community stories and converted technology for the Jefferson County Public Library known as JeffCo Stories,  a digital assembly for the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, and a the digital exhibit Building the First Transcontinental Railroad for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Laura Hershey Digital Collection consists of photographs, articles, conference materials and poetry from the late, Laura Hershey. Current and former LIS students, Allison Bailey, Alicia Cartwright, Maggy Hade, Caitlin Hunter, Jen LaBarbera, Kristin Rowley, Gina Schlesselman-Tarango, Monica Washenberger and Hana Zittel, contributed to the project with the goal of extending access to the collection. They state “The disability rights community is dispersed globally, and digitization of the collection will likely be the only way that many will be able to experience previously-unavailable pieces of Hershey’s life and work.” Another important aspect of the project was to ensure the preservation of the Hershey collection. The digital collection is now housed and preserved by the Denver Public Library.

This May, The (DPLA) introduced a new exhibit, Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. The exhibition, created by Dr. Matusiak’s students, Jenifer Fisher, Benjamin Hall, Nick Iwanicki, Cheyenne Jansdatter, Sarah McDonnell, Timothy Morris, and Allan Van Hoye, looks at the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad, from inception to its finale, the laying of the last golden spike at Promontory Summit in Utah, May 10, 1969. There are five themes in the exhibit, History, Human Impact, Changing the Landscape, A Nation Divided, and A Nation Transformed.

Dr. Matusiak’s classes continue to lead the way in digitization and provide historical insights to local and national communities.

The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) has received a substantial donation in support of its Library and Information Science Program from Ruth D. Klein. The donation will go to scholarships for this year’s incoming Master’s students. Ms. Klein is a graduate of DU’s LIS Program and served as a librarian in the Denver Public Schools for over 30 years.

Ruth Klein was honored by the Morgridge College of Education and DU’s Office of Advancement at a luncheon on March 4th, where Dean Karen Riley (MCE) and Dean Nancy Allen (Anderson Academic Commons) joined LIS students and faculty members to thank Ms. Klein for her contributions to the field of library information science.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Like many twenty-somethings fresh out of undergrad, I landed in a position that felt more like a career than not, but certainly didn’t fulfill an all-encompassing life purpose. I was simply happy to be working in a position I enjoyed, not thinking too much about the next steps in my career path. I was fortunate to develop experience as a sales manager with a large and reputable company, which would later prove to be invaluable in my career change. But, as I eventually realized that particular job was not going to lead to a place of lasting interest to me, I had to decide how I was going to use the skills I had gained to work my way toward something more fulfilling.

A part time position at a public library lead me to discover something about myself. Whether it would be in libraries or another type of organization, I knew that I needed to pursue something that felt purposeful to me.

I decided it was important to obtain a Library Information Science degree, which would provide me with a basis of knowledge for a library position. I didn’t have a great deal of experience working in libraries, and felt that this would help prepare me for the type of work I was excited to begin doing.

I applied to a handful of LIS programs, and at the top of my list was the University of Denver and Morgridge College of Education’s LIS program. I wanted to be in Colorado if possible, and I wanted a program that would offer an in-person academic experience. Networking and learning from professionals face to face was one of my priorities, and DU delivered.

I was able to learn from many different professionals working in the field locally. The in-person program provided me with a variety of hands-on, practical experiences that boosted my knowledge and local support system. I graduated with my MLIS and a job in public libraries at the end of 2 years. And, during that time, I discovered a particular interest within libraries and non-profits I wouldn’t have known existed without going through the LIS program within Morgridge.

With the many opportunities the program led to, I discovered evaluation, analysis, and assessment in libraries and non-profits. The work is an excellent match to my passion that was there before I even knew what to do with it. While completing the LIS program, I became familiar with the Research Methods and Statistics program in MCE, and it proved to be the perfect avenue to continue my studies and deepen my focus in my chosen field. I’m completing my first year in the RMS doctorate program now, while continuing to work in public libraries, which will inform my work in research to come.

The faculty in MCE have been continuously supportive and steadfast in assisting me in reaching my goals. I’m continually challenged to think about my path, the steps I’m taking to get there, and how this is fulfilling my goal and professional purpose. My time working on my graduate studies at MCE has certainly shaped me as a professional, as an individual, as well as a seeker of education. Community and education is the thread of passion that links all MCE graduate students together. I’ve discovered that, as varied as our careers and interests are, our common goal is to do meaningful work in our fields.

 

"Manhattan Gold Mining and Milling Company certificate." Courtesy the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries, via the Mountain West Digital Library.

“Manhattan Gold Mining and Milling Company certificate.” Courtesy the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries, via the Mountain West Digital Library.

Last fall the library and information science (LIS) students in the Digital Libraries class participated in the pilot project launched by the Digital Public Library of America. The Digital Public Library of America (http://dp.la/) is a fairly new initiative aimed at creating a national digital library in the United States. The goal of the project was to provide Library and Information Science (LIS) students with the knowledge and practical experience to curate online exhibitions.  The Morgridge College of Education’s LIS program was among four programs from around the country participating in this pilot program; the School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute in New York, University of Washington, and the University of Oklahoma.

The exhibition was created by Heidi Buljung, Chelsea Condren, Rachel Garfield-Levine, Sarah Martinez, Liz Slaymaker-Miller, Chet Rebman, and Brittany Robinson, under the supervision of Professor Krystyna Matusiak. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) selected the exhibit created by MCE’s LIS students, Staking Claims: The Gold Rush in Nineteenth-Century America for permanent presentation on the DPLA website.  The exhibit can be viewed at:  http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/gold-rush

Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, P-1257.

Denver Public Library, Western History Collection, P-1257.

Artifacts showcased in the exhibit includes historical map of the gold regions of California, a magazine section from the San Francisco Sunday Call in 1910, journal entries, and certificates reflecting ownerships of stock in mining companies . These artifacts reflect the journey west to the gold regions and the romanticization of the gold rush. The exhibition further captured the implications of the gold rush such as marginalization and transformation of the United States. DU LIS student group also selected resources from the Colorado libraries, including images from the Denver Public Library Western History Digital Collections and Pikes Peak Library District Digital Collections. The participation in the DPLA pilot gave DU LIS students an opportunity to discuss the concepts of digital libraries in the real-life context and to apply their technical competencies and collaborative skills into a practical project. To view the online exhibitions at the Digital Public Library of America visit: http://dp.la/info/2014/03/05/new-exhibitions-launch-on-dpla/

Many Morgridge College of Education Library and Information Science (LIS) graduates are not only seeking imaginative, non-traditional roles in the field, but they’re finding them as well. From the variety displayed by recent graduates, the landscape of librarianship has clearly moved far beyond any antiquated stereotypes one may be holding onto.

LIS students often contribute to the traditional sites of public, school, academic, special library and archives settings, but many choose non-traditional roles working for corporations, science and medical companies, web design and content management firms, research firms, or non-traditional academic settings. These tend to be the jobs, that when discussed at a cocktail party, invite inquisitive looks and comments such as, “I didn’t even know that job existed.” But, they do exist, and based on our graduates’ success, it seems the options are boundless.

Some recent graduates shared their experiences in landing exciting, unique jobs as information professionals, and how the LIS program at Morgridge helped to shape the path they took.

A popular and important role for information professionals is digital librarianship and technology services. The graduates we spoke with interact with this role in different ways, but technology is certainly at the core of the work they’re doing.

“My official title is Digital Asset Management Specialist, though that doesn’t really explain what I do.” Grant Outerbridge, a recent LIS graduate, shared what his work involves.

“I am currently engaged in two major projects.  The first project is selecting and configuring a digital asset management (DAM) system for hundreds of thousand of digital photos and videos. This involves designing extensive customized metadata schemas for photos and videos”, Grant explains, “The second project is to help redesign DaVita’s intranet. Once word of my library training spread, I was recruited to help create taxonomies of content and business functions in order to assist the IT department in laying the organizational framework for the new intranet.”

Digital librarianship is an expanding segment of the field of information. Many prospective and current students may be seeking something similar to Grant. His advice?

“The classes I took in Web Content Management, Digital Objects & Collections, and Information Architecture were instrumental in providing me with the intellectual skill set and hands-on experience to be able to do what I do now. Information of Organization made my brain melt a little bit when I took it, but the introduction to taxonomies, folksonomies, and FRBR is what set me down my current path.”

Lindsay Roberts, a Reference Librarian at Arapahoe Community College, teaches information literacy classes, creates LibGuides for the college, catalogs new materials, assists with collection development, and provides reference service to students and faculty.

Lindsay discovered community college librarianship while completing her MLIS. When asked if there was anything in particular from her LIS education that prepared her for this role specifically, she shared a variety of classes and experiences that helped guide her.

LIS Career

“I took Cataloging and Library Instruction, which were both directly applicable to my current role and helped me get the job. I also did a Service Learning project at the Community Technology Center at Denver Public Library and worked as a Graduate Assistant at Auraria Library while in the program. Both of these experiences gave me valuable training in reference and instruction. Finally, Kim Dority’s Alternative Careers class and Jamie LaRue and Sharon Morris’ Leadership class helped me think broadly about information work and all the possibilities for careers. I highly recommend these if they are offered!”

Lindsay’s passion for the community college culture and student population is evident in her approach.

“I love building relationships with students and faculty: ACC staff and students with a wide range of backgrounds. We see many of the same folks in the Library regularly, so we get to know their names and their stories. Students will sometimes come back and say, “Hey, I got an A on that paper you helped me with!” and that’s a wonderful feeling. I think the work we do really matters, since the research skills used for a particular assignment can also help someone with other areas of their life and help them feel more confident about themselves.”

When asked “Why libraries?” many LIS students agree that public service, helping people to find the information they’re seeking, and working with a variety of resources are top of their list of reasons for going into the field of Library and Information Science. The LIS program introduces a variety of classes that shape each individual’s approach to these passions. The varied paths students take is evidence of the range of the field as well as the opportunities.

Katie Yashiro works at the National Park Service (NPS) as a government contractor for Cherokee National Technical Solutions.

“I work in the Technical Information Center (TIC) for NPS. Currently, I assist with the processing of construction, design, and planning documents that NPS produces. This includes organizing, cataloging, and accessioning these documents known as Project Information Files.”

When asked what best prepared her for her role she explained that having a basic fundamental knowledge of how to organize information so that it is findable has been the most beneficial.

Her advice to current or prospective LIS students is to look at job postings for positions they’re interested in. By doing this, you’re able to see what a prospective employer is looking for in terms of certifications, specializations, and classes. Katie claims this was some of the best advice she received while in the program. She also encourages LIS students to network as much as possible by joining different clubs, associations, and affiliations.

“I have learned [this] is a key to advancing your career in the library field. Being as connected as possible to the library community is one of the most beneficial things an LIS student can do.”

The notion of networking and being a part of professional associations is new to many students upon entering the program, but the opportunities to do so on a student level are numerous. And while involvement in the student associations and the coursework, as well as finding your way down this path, may seem overwhelming, a similar sentiment is shared among recent graduates: It’s all about the courses, the people, investigating the path you’re interested in, and utilizing the LIS offerings to get you there.

Julia Blase will be participating in the Library of Congress’ National Digital Stewardship Residency to continue learning InContext and gain experiences with some of Washington D.C.’s most renown archives and collections. Blase was selected to be one of the eight residents for the 2013-2014 NDSR program.

According to the National Digital Stewardship Residency’s website, the mission is “to build a dedicated community of professionals who will advance our nation’s capabilities in managing, preserving, and making accessible the digital record of human achievement. This will enable current and future generations to fully realize the potential of digital resources now and for years to come.”

To help carry out that mission, Julia will be at the National Security Archive working on digital stewardship, performing a diagnostic of and proposing improvements to the National Security Archive’s digital asset ingestion, management, and dissemination process. Blase will also complete an intensive two-week digital stewardship immersion workshop at the Library of Congress and, throughout the year, will attend a series of guest lectures and actively participate in the collaborative education community established by the residency program. At the conclusion of the program, she will present a summary of her project to a national audience at a professional conference.

Blase commented that MCE’s assistant professor, Dr. Krystyna Matusiak was instrumental in obtaining the residency.


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