Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

14 November 2007

Mahalo Dr. Michael Stephens

We had a special guest in the LIS Program today. Dr. Michael Stephens is Assistant Professor at Dominican University's Graduate School of LIS, and creator of the well-read blog Tame the Web, as well as an author of many works on works on 2.0 web librarianship.

Bilger 319 was full of LIS 653 students and others who came to catch up with his take on the cutting edge of social networking as it relates to libraries. Alice Tran and I both videotaped the lecture. We'll try to edit our tapes and upload one to the LIS website, so that other students on Oahu and neighbor islands can also enjoy his comments.

I was going to e-mail a PDF of his PowerPoint slides to everyone via LIS-STU, but it is too large to e-mail as an attachment. I'll have copies available in the LIS Office on Friday afternoon in case you want to try out his links and references over the Thanksgiving holiday. Neighbor island students, please e-mail me if you want a copy mailed to you. I also tried GoogleDocs, but it does not support PDF.

This will be our first time to upload video to the LIS website, so it is pretty exciting. Please give us some time to make it happen.

I just re-read Michael's CV, and was surprised to find that we both received our MLS from Indiana University in 1995. I took my classes at Bloomington, while he took many at IU-South Bend, so I am not sure if we ever crossed paths. We have a few IU SLIS alumni at UH. Professors Knuth and Quiroga also received their Ph.D. there. Indiana University emphasized IT when we were in school, so it is no surprise that it also was where Libraryman (aka Michael Porter) also received his MLS there four years later.

It was an interesting time to be at IU. The dean dramatically shifted resources from education for future librarians (which most of the students wanted to become) to exploring the cutting edge of Information Technology/ Information Science. Some faculty introduced interesting new ideas, but it was rather hard for those of us in this transition period to bridge ideas like museum semiotics with professional practice, especially when new faculty taught core classes. Some faculty members did not have any understanding or appreciation of libraries that could have made that possible. I was frustrated because I wanted to study with three faculty members who had either retired or were encouraged to leave (Kaser, Passet, and Serebnick). It might seem funny to people today, but this was before the growth of the web, so I only learned about such faculty changes from the school's semi-annual printed bulletin. (Just to date this, I recall learning about Gophers, "fingering someone," and mastering basic HTML in Dr. Rosenbaum's course). I have many more memories (Professors Fitzgibbons, Nisonger, Shaw, Silver... and the final semesters of Abrera, Harter, and Whitbeck). I am tempted to write more, but my e-mail and work awaits.

Michael, thanks so much for agreeing to talk with our students. I can see that you sparked a lot of interest and questions. Thanks also UHM ALA Student Chapter for arranging the visit (Eric, intro; Mary Louise, lei), and UH Librarian/ HLA conference maven David Brier for helping to make this possible.

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