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Matt Hannah, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Matt Hannah

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities Matt Hannah has been busily laying the foundation for an ongoing and robust discussion about digital humanities (DH) and to advance digital scholarship overall at Purdue. Since he started at Purdue in March 2018, he has put together and delivered many DH workshops and contributed to many digital scholarship projects and efforts on campus, and is developing a DH Studio in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education (HSSE) Library.

Recently, he also launched the Digital Interest Group at Purdue, which will meet monthly. Group members will discuss key scholarship ideas, projects, and concepts in DH, computational social sciences, Critical Data Studies, science and technology studies, digital history, data science, and more. The first meeting is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11; visit http://bit.ly/dhigpurdue to sign up for the group (location to TBD). According to Hannah (who goes by @TinkeringHuman on Twitter), the group will also tinker with various methodologies and tools, write and share code, and discuss digital projects.

“We imagine this interest group will become a hub for anyone at Purdue interested in digital scholarship broadly conceived,” he noted.

In addition to advancing DH at Purdue, Hannah will advance DH internationally, as he has recently accepted a fellowship as a Fulbright Specialist with a few institutions in Morocco to set up a DH boot camp for digital scholars there.

Below, Hannah shares more about his upcoming fellowship and the DH work he will be doing in Morocco over the next three years.

Q. How did you come to know about this opportunity?

Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Matt Hannah works in the programming language R in his office in the DH Studio located in the HSSE Library. In the spring of 2019, offered a text analysis workshop series using R.

Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities at Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Matt Hannah works in the programming language R in his office in the DH Studio located in the HSSE Library. In the spring of 2019, he offered a text analysis workshop series using R.

Hannah: Because of the work we’ve been doing in Digital Humanities at Purdue, I was contacted by Dr. Stacy Holden, an associate professor of history at Purdue, who specializes in the Middle East. She has been working in Morocco for many years, and she’s currently there on a Fulbright fellowship. She articulated an interest in Digital Humanities among faculty and staff she’s collaborated with in Morocco and suggested I apply for a Fulbright Specialist fellowship to organize intensive Digital Humanities workshops to be conducted over several days. I then worked with Dr. Christopher Lukasic to prepare an application, and, for a time, we weren’t sure whether our idea would be successful.

Q. You mentioned you will work with individuals in institutions in Morocco to set up a Digital Humanities boot camp. Tell me more about this project and/or projects. What will they entail?

Hannah: Fulbright Specialists serve shorter terms, generally around a particular project in which an expert in the field may be paired with an overseas institution to collaborate. Through Dr. Holden’s contacts in Morocco, I’ve been in communication with colleagues at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tétouan and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane to arrange week-long intensive Digital Humanities workshops. These workshops will cover the range of possible tools and methods so participants will gain a wide ranging set of skills in DH by the end of the week. In addition, I will coordinate with faculty and staff to consult on existing projects and initiatives.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with your boot camps?

Hannah: I am hoping to develop great relationships with Moroccan digital humanists and develop a strong network of international collaboration around the topic of digital scholarship. In addition, I plan to consult with faculty working on DH projects and lend assistance where I can. Finally, I hope to develop an intensive curriculum that I can teach at other universities around the world. I’m grateful to Fulbright for making such international relationships possible.

Q. What is the timeline for your boot camps over the next three years? Any collaborators you want to recognize, share information about?

Hannah: I’d love to visit other universities in Morocco to conduct similar workshops. Often, Digital Humanities gets discussed as though it were only an Anglo-American phenomenon, when we know scholars around the world are doing dynamic and exciting work. I also hope to develop this boot camp series into an offering I can teach at other international universities and colleges, as well as offer to interested parties at Purdue.

Q. Any other information that will be important to include that isn’t touched on the questions above?

Hannah: One key aspect of the Fulbright role is to gain knowledge from my hosts. I’m very much looking forward to discovering what Digital Humanities looks like in the Moroccan context and, through a process of collaboration, to expand my own scholarly horizons through the sustained conversations made possible by the Fulbright program.


For more information about DH at Purdue, contact Hannah at hannah8@purdue.edu.

Every year, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies hosts the Purdue GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day Conference. During it, Purdue students demonstrate how they have applied GIS in their individual areas of study and research. Nicole Kong, PULSIS associate professor and GIS specialist at Purdue, heads up the conference, along with a team of collaborators from across Purdue, all who are involved in GIS work in some way. This year, the Purdue GIS Day Conference is set for Thursday, Nov. 7 in Stewart Center. (More information about research and project submission deadlines is available at lib.purdue.edu/gis/gisday/gisday_2019_college_program.)

Nicole Kong, associate professor and GIS specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Nicole Kong, associate professor and GIS specialist, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

In addition to planning the Purdue GIS Day Conference and her teaching duties, Kong serves as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for various GIS and data-science research projects at Purdue. Recently, she was awarded funding in Purdue’s Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI) for the project, “Integrating Geospatial Information Across Disciplines.” In addition, she is co-PI for two more GIS-related projects, both which were recently funded through U.S. government agencies. The projects include:

  • 2019 – 2020: “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training.” USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service), Soil Science Collaborative Research Proposals Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO). PI: D. Schulze (agronomy) and co-PI J. Ackerson (agronomy): $52,295.49.
  • 2018 – 2019: “IndianaView Program Development and Operations for the State of Indiana.” AmericaView program, U.S. Geological Survey. Co-PI, with L. Biehl, (ITaP), J. Shan (civil engineering): $23,000.

Kong’s important work on the two government-funded research projects has implications for soil research, conservation efforts, and the training of soil scientists, as well as remotely sensed data collections that contribute to the AmericaView project. Data from this project can help inform national and international economic, environmental, social, health, and geopolitical decisions.

“The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most. In light of our nation’s current focus on achieving a secure and stable digital infrastructure, never has this task been more relevant,” Kong explained.

Below, Kong provides more background about both projects and how the research in both contributes to soil mapping across the globe, as well as the mapping, monitoring, and management of natural and environmental resources.

Q. How did the “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training” project come about and how will you and your team use the grant funds?

Kong: This project was developed based upon the success of our previous award of “Integrating Spatial Education Experience (Isee)” funded by NRCS. In the previous award, we successfully collaborated with several other states to develop soil property maps for education purposes.

In this project, we will further develop the soil maps for the conterminous U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories, as well as provide training materials about how to use the new maps to improve soil and ecology training. Part of the funds will be used for Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies to assist in creating and sharing the maps, as well as for GIS server improvement.

Q. Who else is involved with “Leveraging Soil Explorer for Soils and Ecological Training” project?
Kong: This project is led by Dr. Darrell Schulze in the agronomy department. Dr. Jason Ackerson and I are co-PIs on the project.

Q. How will the data you gather be used in the future?
Kong: Detailed soil surveys across U.S. have been conducted and well documented by the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO). This database contains very rich information about soil properties, but often requires extensive knowledge in related fields to understand. On the other hand, maps are models of our world that allow us to make sense of a space that is too large and too complex for us to comprehend in any other way. Digital maps are inherently scalable and can show both the details and the overview seamlessly. Soil maps can help researchers to understand how soils and soil properties are distributed across landscapes at various scales. They can be critical resources for training scientists in the disciplines of soil science, ecology, agronomy, geology, and other natural sciences. The results of the maps will be delivered via SoilExplorer webpage, as well as the Soil Explorer apps for iOS and Android devices. Learning materials, workshops and webinars will also be delivered to the trainers.

Q. Any other information important to include about this project?
Kong: Managing, sharing, and leveraging geospatial information generated by Purdue researchers is an essential part of the GIS team’s mission. With the similar research methods, we have also collaborated in soil mapping projects in Kenya and Peru. Using spatial information as a way to teach soil properties has been a success in many classrooms through our studies.

Q. What is the purpose of the “IndianaView Program Development and Operations for the State of Indiana” project and who is involved?
Kong: The purpose of IndianaView is to promote sharing and use of public domain remotely sensed image data for education, research, and outreach across universities, colleges, K-12 educators, and state and local governments in Indiana. It is part of the larger grant, AmericaView, funded by the U.S. Geological Survey. This project is a collaboration among Mr. Larry Biehl (ITaP), Dr. Jie Shan (civil engineering), and me.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish with the project? How will the data you gather be used in the future?
Kong: Within this project, we will continue to develop the IndianaView Consortium, which currently includes 15 institutions. We will select and support undergraduate and graduate student scholarships, as well as mini-grant opportunities for the consortiums members for research, education, or outreach. In addition, we have also planned activities for K-12 outreach, presenting at local or regional conferences, and teaching in undergraduate and graduate classrooms. (More information is available at www.indianaview.org.)

Q. What is AmericaView and why is it important?
Kong: AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed data through applied research, K-12, and higher education. The need for AmericaView has been building for more than 30 years. Since the early 1970s, the federal government and private sector have spent billions of dollars on satellite-based earth observing systems and have worked with the research community to identify, develop, and distribute real-world applications for mapping, monitoring, and managing natural and environmental resources. Unfortunately, while the potential uses of the technology have been widely recognized, development and distribution of real-world applications have persistently been tough issues for both the federal government and the academic research community. The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most.


More information about GIS resources via the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies is available at www.lib.purdue.edu/gis.

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, teaching at Pusan National University in South Korea, July 2019.

Through the IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) program and the pronounced presence of the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) at the heart of campus, it is possible that many students at Purdue University take for granted their courses based on the active learning instructional method. Even though Purdue students may not always recognize their enhanced learning based on this approach, academia does. Last October, The Chronicle of Higher Education published “How Purdue Professors Are Building More Active and Engaged Classrooms,” and the publication’s editorial staff recognized Purdue’s IMPACT program as a 2018 Innovator of encouraging innovation in teaching.

Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) faculty and staff were driving forces behind the concept of and the development of the WALC, as well as have been integral in IMPACT at Purdue.

It is no surprise, then, that one of our own is taking this instructional method “on the road” (or over the ocean), so to speak, and engaging South Korean mechanical engineering graduate students in ways they have not before experienced. In mid-July, PULSIS Assistant Professor Margaret Phillips co-taught the course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” at Pusan National University (PNU). She was invited by Takashi Hibiki, a Purdue nuclear engineering emeritus faculty member, who originally co-developed and co-taught the course with her at Purdue.

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Mechanical engineering graduate students in the short course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research.”

“Many students this summer commented they had not experienced a course like this before and told us they know it’s going to be extremely useful in their future engineering careers,” Phillips noted. “The students were eager to learn the course material, and they were extremely patient as they participated in active learning lessons, a departure from what they are used to, because nearly all of their courses are taught in a direct instruction format,” she added.

Per the course evaluation, 100 percent of students who responded said, “Yes, I would recommend this course to other engineering graduate students.” In addition, the students respondents gave the overall course a median rating of “5-Excellent,” and both instructors (Phillips and Hibiki) received median ratings of “5-Excellent” (N=30; scale – 5-Excellent, 4-Good, 3-Fair, 2-Poor, 1-Very Poor).

As a result, Pusan National University officials invited Phillips to be an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at PNU.

In the Q&A below, Phillips shares more of the story about her teaching experience in South Korea.

Margaret Phillips, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Professor Phillips said the “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” course goals related to information literacy include: 1). develop knowledge and skills that sustain lifelong learning, particularly the abilities to discover, access, evaluate, use, and manage information; and 2). present information clearly, effectively, and ethically.

Q: How did this opportunity come about?

Phillips: I was invited by an emeritus faculty member in nuclear engineering, Dr. Takashi Hibiki, to co-develop and co-teach this course. When Takashi was at Purdue, we co-taught a similar nuclear engineering graduate course for two semesters, NUCL 580 (“Essential Communication Skills for Nuclear Engineering”). We used that content, as well as content from a graduate course I co-teach with Dave Zwicky (PULSIS) in ILS 595 (“Information Strategies for Science, Technology, and Engineering Research”) as a basis for the course. Dr. Hibiki has a close relationship with a faculty member in the School of Mechanical Engineering at PNU (Dr. Jae Jun Jeong), who is in charge of the nuclear engineering program (the nuclear engineering program is housed within their school of mechanical engineering). (Dr. Jeong was a visiting scientist at Purdue in the School of Nuclear Engineering in 2006-07.)

Dr. Hibiki described the Purdue course (NUCL 580) we co-taught to Dr. Jeong, and he was very interested in having a shortened version of this course offered at PNU for students in their School of Mechanical Engineering (ME).

Dr. Jeong worked hard to secure approval and funding, and he formally invited us to teach the short course. This was the first time a one-week short course had been offered in their school. Dr. Jeong also promoted the course to graduate students in the School of ME, and he encouraged other faculty members in the school to do so, as well.

This was the first time I had ever taught a shortened version of this course, and it was also the first time I had taught the content to non-Purdue students. This required making the course less “Purdue-centric” and more focused on life-long learning.

Q. Tell me about the course design: How did you design it with your co-instructor? What kinds of information does it have for mechanical engineering students, and what are the learning outcomes for the students in this course?

Phillips: We used the two previous courses mentioned as a basis for the course design. We encouraged Dr. Jeong to review the course schedules for the two courses mentioned and select the topics he felt were most needed and relevant for the students. We then used his selections to develop the course.

Professor Phillips (left) and Hibiki (far right) pose with one of the students who earned a course certificate in the course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” at Pusan National University (PNU) last July.

Professors Phillips (left) and Hibiki (far right) pose with one of the students who earned a course certificate in the short course “Professional Development and Life-Long Information Strategies for Engineering Research” at Pusan National University (PNU) last July.

The course goals related to information literacy include: 1). develop knowledge and skills that sustain lifelong learning, particularly the abilities to discover, access, evaluate, use, and manage information; and 2). present information clearly, effectively, and ethically.

Topics covered included: searching for information, citation management, technical standards, being an engineering scholar, scholarly publishing, copyright, avoiding plagiarism, conducting reviews, making technical presentations, and data-management basics.

Q. How many graduate students were in your course?
Phillips: We had 42 mechanical engineering graduate students enrolled and 35 students earned certificates from their school for taking the course. To earn the certificate, students had to participate in at least 12 of the 15 hours of class. Many of the students were from Korea, but several were international students from various countries (e.g., India, United Arab Emirates, and Italy). All of the students were on summer break, and while they each had the opportunity to earn a certificate, the course was not required and formal course credit was not awarded for their participation.

As an adjunct instructor, how will you contribute to instruction in the mechanical engineering program at PNU?
Phillips: My adjunct instructor appointment is for two years. As part of the plan, the course will be taught in person at Pusan National University at least one more time during that time frame, and my appointment will be considered for renewal at the end of two years. The faculty at Pusan prefer an in-person offering of the course, rather than online.


Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Margaret Phillips also serves as an engineering information specialist at Purdue University. Her liaison areas include nuclear engineering, engineering technology, technical standards, and industrial engineering.

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Faculty Members - IDSI Funding, Second RoundPurdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Faculty Members - IDSI Funding, Second RoundSeven Purdue University Libraries and School of Information (PULSIS) faculty members are part of three of five research teams to receive funding in Purdue University’s second round of research for the Integrative Data Science Initiative (IDSI).

According to the IDSI website, the vision for the initiative is “to be at the forefront of advancing data science-enabled research and education by tightly coupling theory, discovery, and applications while providing students with an integrated, data science-fluent campus ecosystem.”

The three research projects with PULSIS faculty members are also are led by PULSIS faculty as the principal investigators.

The PULSIS projects and researchers are as follows:

  • IMPACT Data Science Education: Preparing Undergraduates to Lead into the Future, Libraries and School of Information Studies and College of Science
    PI: Clarence Maybee, PULSIS; team members: Guang Lin, mathematics statistics and School of Mechanical Engineering; Wei Zakharov, PULSIS, Chao Cai, PULSIS; and Jason Fitzsimmons, Center for Instructional Excellence.
  • Building a Data Science Education Ecosystem Resource Collection, Libraries and School of Information Studies and College of Science
    PI: Pete Pascuzzi, PULSIS; team members: Gladys Andino, research computing; Mark D. Ward, statistics; and Michael Witt, PULSIS.
  • Integrating Geospatial Information Across Disciplines, Libraries and School of Information Studies
    PI: Nicole Kong, PULSIS; team members: Bryan Pijanowski, forestry and natural resources; Jie Shan, civil engineering; Dharmendra Saraswat, agricultural and biological engineering; Songlin Fei, forestry and natural resources; Brady Hardiman, forestry and natural resources; Ian Lindsay, anthropology; Michael Fosmire, PULSIS; Ephrem Abebe, pharmacy practice; Vetria Byrd, computer graphics technology; Guang Lin, data science consulting service; Preston Smith, IT research computing; and Erica Lott, Center for Instructional Excellence.

For more information, visit www.purdue.edu/data-science/education/education-proposals.php.

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil

Those of us who work in our unit at Purdue could not be more excited we have our new leader, Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil, in place!

Formerly the dean of library services and professor at Iowa State University, Dean McNeil started July 1, and she has been in a whirlwind of meetings, email messages, activities, events, and moving preparations since. (Our unit’s administration has been in Potter 160 with the ongoing HVAC work in Stewart Center; we are set to move back to the second floor of STEW soon.)

Dean McNeil is no stranger to Purdue. Previously, she was Purdue’s associate dean for academic affairs and a professor of Purdue Libraries. Before her initial appointment at Purdue, McNeil was assistant, and then associate, dean of libraries for the University of Nebraska. She also has held positions in the libraries at Bradley University and the University of Illinois.

As we navigate our new identity as a school at Purdue, you will all be hearing more from and about Dean McNeil. But, for now, below is a short Q&A that provides a glimpse into a bit more about her.

Welcome Dean McNeil!

Q: You have been back in Indiana and at Purdue now about one month now. What are some of the things you like about being back here in the Greater Lafayette Area? What do you and your family do outside of work for fun and relaxation?

McNeil: It’s great to be back on a campus that is so alive, even in the summer. My family includes my husband, Wes, who owns a small book company, and sons Nick (14) and Eli (10). My boys are active in sports, and we spend a lot of time outside of work at various games and in other outdoor activities. They have been visiting on weekends and will join me here in a few weeks, just before the start of school in West Lafayette.

During recent weekend visits we’ve done some hiking in Happy Hollow Park (a favorite activity when we lived here before), visited some local restaurants we remember fondly (Dog ‘n Suds ranks pretty high on the boys’ list), reconnecting with former neighbors and friends, and tackled a few projects in our new home. Last Saturday, we attended many of the Apollo 50th events, including the awesome “Apollo in the Archives: Selections from the Neil A. Armstrong Papers” exhibit in Purdue Archives and Special Collections, and the late afternoon F-100 flyover. Really, a wonderful experience for the whole family. Fun fact: If you look very closely, you can find us in some of the campus photos.

Q: Why did you decide to come back to Purdue to take the helm of the Purdue Libraries and newly named “Libraries and School of Information Studies”?

McNeil: Short answer: The opportunity. Plus, I like a challenge. Having been here before, I have some knowledge of campus and people, which has been beneficial to me so far, but there have been many changes in the past four years, and I want to take advantage of being “new” as well, to be sure my eyes and ears are wide open to new possibilities. Leading the Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies is an amazing opportunity to support Purdue in educating students and producing research that will change the world. I expect it will be fun, too.

Q: What challenges ahead are the most exciting? Which are most pressing?

McNeil: The most exciting challenge is to expand our teaching in support of the new School of Information Studies. We have excellent faculty and staff ready to grow our course offerings, and my impression so far is that, collectively, we are excited about and ready for this challenge. Most pressing — for me — is to come up to speed on the many data-science-related happenings at Purdue and finding the places where we in the Libraries and School of Information Studies can contribute.

Q: Any other information you would like to impart that was not touched on in questions above?

McNeil: I am looking forward to visiting with faculty, staff, and students in the next few weeks, as I make my way around campus. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to share information or your opinions about the future of the Libraries and School of Information Studies.

Heather Howard, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies

Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor and Business Information Specialist Heather Howard speaking at the Midwest Business Librarian Summit 2019.

Many marketing instructors demonstrate how professional marketers incorporate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in their approaches to product or service development for their target customer segments. So it’s not surprising that Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor and Business Information Specialist Heather Howard developed the Midwest Business Librarian Summit to meet her fellow business librarians’ needs — belonging, esteem, and self-actualization — shown in the upper area of the famous pyramid hierarchy.

“Currently there are no national conferences that are business librarian focused, and the ones many go to, such as the American Library Association or Special Library Association, have limited content for business librarians or are prohibitively expensive for many librarians,” Howard explained.

Although she’s not a marketing instructor, at Purdue Howard teaches courses that incorporate business information concepts (marketing being an extremely important one), and she helps Purdue students and faculty navigate the complex web of information and data fundamental to business success. In 2018, she organized the Indiana Business Librarian Summit (held at Purdue), which about 25 individuals attended.

David Hummels, Purdue University Krannert School of Management

Dean of the Krannert School of Management and Distinguished Professor of Economics David Hummels welcomed the nearly 70 attendees of the Midwest Business Librarian Summit July 24 at Purdue University.

This year, she rebranded the July 24 event as the “Midwest Business Librarian Summit” (or MBLS) and featured David Hummels, the Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean of the Krannert School of Management and Distinguished Professor of Economics, who welcomed those who attended. The new Dean of Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil gave the keynote presentation. Both addressed the nearly 70 business librarians and information professionals who attended from areas across the region — a significant increase in attendees in only one year.

Clearly, Howard is on to something.

Below, she provides more detail about MBLS… and her plans for its future.

Q: Tell me about the Midwest Business Librarian Summit: how and why did you start it?

Howard: The Midwest Business Librarian Summit started in 2018 as the Indiana Business Librarian Summit. After attendees came from all over the area, it was rebranded in 2019 as MBLS to better represent the interest in the event.

Beth McNeil, Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies and Professor Beth McNeil presents the keynote at MBLS 2019, held in the Hicks Undergraduate Library at Purdue.

I started the event because I saw a need for business librarians in the area to get together to talk about projects they are working on, databases and resources, and all things business librarian. This year I also organized the event, but I had the help of a committee of business librarians.

Q: Is this summit affiliated with other summit events for those business librarians who work, for example, in different geographic areas?

Howard: Nope, this is a standalone event. There are a few other groups of business librarians who also have meetings, including The Southern Academic Business Librarians Conference (SOUCABL) and the Michigan Area Business Librarians (who attended MBLS as their 2019 meeting), and there are rumors of one starting up in Colorado.

Q: Who is eligible to attend this summit/conference?

Howard: There is no limit on who can attend. We are open to anyone who is practicing business librarianship or is otherwise interested, including public, academic, and corporate librarians. Though we are called “midwest,” anyone who wants to make the trip to West Lafayette is welcome to attend.

Q: What do you hope that attendees were able to take away from the summit this year?

Teresa Williams, Butler University Libraries

Teresa Williams from Butler University Libraries presented her lightning talk, “When Databases Are No Longer an Option: Teaching Resources for Business Information” at the 2019 Midwest Business Librarian Summit held at Purdue.

Howard: I hope that attendees had great conversations with one another, are inspired by work our colleagues are doing, and form new partnerships and collaborations.

Much of the content of MBLS is provided by those who are attending in the form of lightning talks, interest group conversations, and open forum talks, so the key takeaways are determined by what people discussed.

Q: Will there be an MBLS 2020? If so, will you follow the same format next year? change it up? or will that be up to you and your committee based on feedback from this year?

Howard: There will definitely be an MBLS 2020! We received quite a bit of positive verbal feedback at the event, and the committee and I will be sending out a survey to assess what people liked and what people would like to change in future years.

I can say that many people told me they appreciated how easy it is to get to Purdue and how nice our event space was, which was great to hear.


Follow the Midwest Business Librarian Summit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/midwestbuslib/ and on Twitter at twitter.com/MidwestBusLib.

Editor’s Note: Content in this post is courtesy of Stephanie Hernandez McGavin via Shared BigData-Gateway

A team of Purdue University researchers is among the seven fellowship teams selected for the first class of the Collaborative Archive Data Research Environment (CADRE) Fellows.

These seven fellowship teams span across disciplines and offer compelling research that incorporates big data and bibliometrics. Each fellow team will access CADRE’s Web of Science (WoS) and Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG) datasets to achieve their research goals.

Purdue University members of the first class of CADRE Fellows, L to R: Michael Witt, Loran Carleton Parker, and Ann Bessenbacher

The three-member Purdue University team will work on the project, “Utilizing Data Citation for Aggregating, Contextualizing, and Engaging with Research Data in STEM Education Research.” The researchers are:

  • Michael Witt, associate professor of library science, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, Purdue University,
  • Loran Carleton Parker, associate director and senior evaluation and research associate, Evaluation Learning Research Center (ELRC), College of Education, Purdue University, and
  • Ann Bessenbacher, research associate and data scientist (ELRC), STEMEd HUB, Purdue University.

Per the description of their project: “Researchers will characterize citation of data from the literature in the field of STEM education research. A sample of relevant publication venues in the field will be identified from WoS and MAG. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) of datasets registered with DataCite will be used to query and associate datasets with publications. The team will assess rates of citation for datasets that are cited using DataCite DOIs for each publication venue and analyze a sample of data citations and publications to determine suitability for providing an initial context to help a researcher who is unfamiliar with the data determine whether to use the dataset.”

The other six teams and their CADRE research projects are listed at https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/sbd-gateway/2019/07/18/cadre-first-fellows/.

The Fellows will present their research at the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics (ISSI) 2019 Conference in Rome at either the workshop or tutorial that CADRE is hosting on Sept. 2.

Not only will these fellows show how CADRE helped advance their work, but they will also serve as integral use cases for how the CADRE platform is developed to suit the needs of every type of academic researcher.

Made Possible in Part by IMLS

The Shared BigData Gateway for Research Libraries (SBD-G) is a two-year Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded project to develop, seed, and maintain a cloud-based, extendable cyberinfrastructure for sharing large academic library data resources with a growing community of scholars.

SBD-G will achieve this through its platform, the Collaborative Archive & Data Research Environment (CADRE).

For more information, visit https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/sbd-gateway/2018/09/27/hello-world/.

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — Faculty in Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies are part of a team of academic library faculty who recently were selected to receive a $249,179 award through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program via the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Along with librarians at the University of Arizona and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty librarians will collaborate on the project with university classroom instructors to develop disciplinary-based, information literacy curricula.

The results of the project, “Academic Librarian Curriculum Developers: Building Capacity to Integrate Information Literacy across the University,” will be shared with academic library professionals, administrators, and information literacy thought leaders across the nation. Project team leaders include: Clarence Maybee, project lead, Purdue; Michael Flierl, co-project lead, Purdue; Maribeth Slebodnik, co-project lead, University of Arizona; and Catherine Fraser Riehle, co-project lead, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Preparing graduates to use digital information in their future work and lives requires teaching them to use information in disciplinary and professional learning contexts, the team leaders noted.

Maybee, associate professor and information literacy specialist at Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, explained those involved in the project will apply a learning design model that underscores the role information plays in the learning process. The project will help academic library professionals collaborate with disciplinary instructors to integrate information literacy into courses and assess the outcomes of the resulting coursework.

“I am excited to receive this IMLS grant, as it allows us to expand the work we are doing at Purdue to integrate information literacy into courses to two other large research universities—University of Arizona, and University of Nebraska, Lincoln,” he added.

Dean of Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Beth McNeil noted the award is an endorsement of the innovative information literacy work Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies faculty have been doing with such noteworthy programs as IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Information).

“Our librarian faculty are on the cutting edge of integrating information literacy into 21st-century teaching and learning styles,” McNeil said. “This award will enable our faculty to continue their transformational work and collaborate, and expand it, with librarians and instructional faculty at two other noted research institutions. Results of this important project will enhance current students’ information literacy skills, which they can apply to make better informed decisions and use to tackle tough future challenges in both their professional and personal lives.”

For more information about Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies’ involvement in the grant project, contact Maybee at cmaybee@purdue.edu. Information about the IMLS grant award is available at www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/re-13-19-0021-19.

Michael Flierl, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies

Michael Flierl

“It can be challenging for instruction librarians to create sustained collaborations with instructors beyond the one-shot instruction session. The results from this study make a compelling case for why collaborating with disciplinary instructors on course design―such as working together to design meaningful assignments throughout the term―can provide benefits for students in gaining information literacy skills, as well as helping them engage more deeply with course content.” ― Melissa Harden, LIRT Top Twenty Articles 2019 Selection Committee

Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies Assistant Professor Michael Flierl, Associate Professor Clarence Maybee, and Instructional Designer Rachel Fundator, as well as Purdue Center for Instructional Excellence Instructional Developer Emily Bonem, were recently recognized by the Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) for their research article “Information literacy supporting student motivation and performance: Course-level analyses.” Their research, published in the January 2018 issue of Library and Information Science Research, was listed as one of the “Top Twenty Articles of 2018” by LIRT in its June 2019 newsletter.

Clarence Maybee, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies

Clarence Maybee

“This article describes the results of a large-scale study exploring the relationships between information literacy, student academic performance, and student motivation in the context of disciplinary courses,” notes the article abstract.

Emily Bonem, Purdue Center for Instructional Excellence

Emily Bonem/Photo by Laura Fritz

The abstract continues: “Data were gathered from over 3,000 students at a public research university through an end-of-semester survey that asked questions about learning climate, basic psychological needs, student motivation, and perceptions of relevance of course content to future careers. Instructors also completed a survey indicating how often students in their courses were expected to use information in various ways, including posing questions or problems, accessing information outside of assigned readings, evaluating sources, synthesizing information and communicating results, and applying the conventions of attribution. The responses to these surveys were analyzed in conjunction with student course grades to determine the relationships between information engagement and use, and student motivation and achievement.”

Rachel Fundator, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies

Rachel Fundator

“The results suggest a positive relationship between students synthesizing and communicating information throughout the term and student perceptions of autonomy and motivation. Therefore, instruction librarians should encourage disciplinary instructors to design and create many opportunities for students to engage in higher-order skills, such as synthesizing and communicating information, throughout the term. These results suggest that the benefits for students gained from these types of learning opportunities include higher academic achievement and greater motivation to learn disciplinary content presented in their courses,” assert the authors.

LIRT is part of the American Library Association and was founded in 1977. According to its website, the organization empowers librarians, from all types of libraries, to become better teachers through sharing best practices, leadership and professional development, and networking.

For more information about LIRT, visit www.ala.org/rt/lirt.

On Thursday, May 23, a Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations was held at Purdue University. Ashlee Messersmith, manager, thesis/dissertation, The Graduate School at Purdue University, and Michael Witt, associate professor, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, organized the event, with support from the United States Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (USETDA).

By Michael Witt, Head, Distributed Data Curation Center (D2C2), and Associate Professor of Library Science

"Purdue Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Policy Changes: Giant Leaps Forward" at the Symposium on Electronic Dissertations and Theses May 23 in Purdue's Wilmeth Active Learning Center.

Ashlee Messersmith (far left) and James L. Mohler, deputy chair, The Graduate School at Purdue, and professor in computer graphics technology (CGT), presented “Purdue Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Policy Changes: Giant Leaps Forward” at the Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations May 23 in Purdue’s Wilmeth Active Learning Center.

The presenters at the Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) highlighted a wide variety of creative works produced by graduate students in earning their degrees, such as:

  • a newly discovered chemical structure with directions for building your own model of it using a 3D printer;
  • training materials for board game designers to help them write better instructions for teaching people how to play their games; and
  • an online map of the state of Indiana with embedded ecological data to improve natural resource management.

Graduate students will typically prepare and defend a written thesis, even if their research can be communicated in a more meaningful or impactful format than a document. There are other examples, such as software source code and research data, videos and photos from exhibits and performances, mixed media, dynamic websites, and much more produced by students; but this type of content is often left out of a traditional thesis.

Professor and Dean of Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Martin Halbert addressed the landscape and life cycle of electronic theses and dissertations, as well as the ETDPlus resource Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations on May 23 at Purdue University.

On May 23, Professor and Dean of Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Martin Halbert addressed the landscape and life cycle of electronic theses and dissertations, as well as the ETDPlus resource, at the Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations at Purdue University.

In some cases, these non-traditional works could be considered as the primary product of the students’ scholarship — without the need for a written thesis.

Recent changes to the policies of Purdue’s Graduate School reflect a progressive approach and support for non-traditional theses, embracing both the opportunities and challenges they present for the Purdue’s faculty, thesis office, and libraries.

“As emerging technologies continue to influence higher education, we needed to set a precedent through which students are permitted to express their creativity,” Messersmith explained. “Exploring these influences and their implications was the focus of the symposium, which was held in the Wilmeth Active Learning Center. We invited experts to share ideas and brainstorm with participants who supervise theses and manage the processes and platforms for producing and archiving them.”

Guiding Graduate Students in Data Management in Practice

Michael Witt presented “Guiding Graduate Students in Data Management in Practice” at the ETD Symposium May 23 at Purdue. Witt’s presentation covered the Purdue University Research Repository (PURR), which helps university researchers plan and implement effective data management plans, share and manage their data with collaborators while the research is taking place, publish their data in a scholarly context, archive data for the long-term, and measure the impact of sharing their data.

The opening keynote presentation by Professor and Dean of Libraries at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Martin Halbert addressed the landscape and life cycle of electronic theses and dissertations, as well as the ETDPlus resource.

The closing keynote, delivered by Jean-Pierre Hérubel, professor, Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies, dove into the history and culture of the doctoral dissertation, as well as variations and transformations of its purpose and form.

Other presentations from Purdue faculty and staff explored issues related to student perspectives, digital humanities, graduate college policies, research data management, digital preservation, and scholarly publishing. Throughout the symposium, participants discussed important questions related to sharing current practices; interfacing with faculty to observe and respect local cultures related to credentialing students; identifying concerns and opportunities for graduate colleges, libraries, and technology providers; and increasing collaboration within the University and among universities. A lively round of lightning talks in the afternoon featured specific examples of theses that challenge conventions from other universities.

Presentation slides and collaborative notes from the symposium are available on Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies’ e-Pubs repository at https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/etdgiantleaps/.