Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We're Accredited until 2015!


It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. One reason is I had misplaced my blog password, but the bigger reason is that I’ve been focusing my writing energy into publications. It’s been a good week for writing; however, I should take a moment to share some good news. The press release from COA will come out in a few weeks, but it is official. The American Library Association - Committee on Accreditation gave us full accreditation. Our next visit should be in 2015.

If you’re not employed in a school that gets accredited you probably can’t appreciate the relief, but it is palpable to say the least. For the few of you who haven’t heard us talk about the process, let me briefly recap some of the highlights in brief.

We were accredited back in 2000 (before I came to Hawaii). We were supposed to be re-accredited back in 2006, but COA was gracious to extend our accreditation due to the flood, which destroyed our records. I should add that ever since 2000, LIS faculty, staff, and students have been working on developing the program for the next accreditation. Of course, we don’t do it for COA, but we are careful to be able to document to COA why we’ve made the changes we’ve done.

Program Presentation

The buildup for the accreditation visit was our Program Presentation (as seen above). All members of the LIS faculty collaborated on writing a Program Presentation. Dr. Jacso was in charge of editing the volume. We also had help from Caitlin Nelson and Kale Kingsbury as Student Staff Members. Of course, Michelle, Michele, Lauren, Lauren, and Gail all greatly helped too, as did other students, and previous staff members. Janice, Nolan, Wesley, and Gerald also helped from the ICS staff. We sent a draft of the Presentation in fall, and the final version in August. You can download the first volume [at our COA Site] if you are interested. The second volume, with the supporting documentation, is available in the LIS Program office.

Onsite Materials

COA appointed an External Review Panel of six LIS professors/ administrators and practitioners from around the country. Four of the External Reviewers came in October to investigate the LIS Program. Working with two off-site members, they issued a 24-page Report (which soon will be available on our website too). We could disagree with interpretations in some parts of the report, but they offered some excellent suggestions. We’re already trying to implement some of their suggestions as part of our Strategic Planning.

The last stage was a hearing with the actual Committee on Accreditation at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Denver. I represented the Program. ERP Chair Ma’lis Wendt also was present to report and answer questions. At the meeting COA members spent 45 minutes asking us questions they had from reading the Program Presentation and ERP Report. You have no idea how tense I was about that meeting. I finally calmed down two days before the meeting, but was physically affected by nervousness anticipation for that meeting. I know that we have a quality Program with great faculty, adjunct faculty, staff, students, alumni, and advisors, so I felt immense pressure to do a good job of representing us. I shouldn’t have been so nervous. COA members asked sharp, critical questions, but they were collegial, and most of the questions were ones my colleagues and I had predicted. It actually was an interesting discussion about LIS education, except that I knew that they were judging us while we were talking.

A few days after coming back we received a letter that we had received full accreditation. I was so pleased and relieved. It was a great feeling to be able to send e-mails to students, alumni, and colleagues on campus. Chancellor Hinshaw even gave me a hug after I told her the news. I hadn’t expected that reaction, but am happy. It’s been a tough semester on for everyone.

I’m very proud of our school, but realize that we have many challenges ahead. All of us on the faculty are concerned about the economy. What will it mean for the LIS Program and for our graduates’ employment. Will our return to Hamilton Library, now set for January 2010, actually happen or will the budget freeze construction? The Chancellor has said that the Hamilton Library reconstruction is her top priority, but everyone is having to make tough choices since funds are so tight. Likewise, we are anxious to be able to replace Gail, who retired in December, but this is on hold. We are fortunate that Michelle and our ICS staff team have been so helpful since then. Dr. Harada has been an amazing Associate Chair, covering so many things this year.

Actually, my reason for sharing this post was to say how grateful all of us on the faculty are to everyone who has helped us achieve our accreditation. Our program is strong because alumni, colleagues, LIS Advisory Board are engaged and caring about the quality of our program, and mentor our students/ graduates. We’re also blessed to have such great colleagues in ICS as well LIS adjunct faculty. The ERP was pleased by the support from our administration (Graduate Division, Natural Science, Outreach College), ITS, ICS Chair, HITS, as well as Chancellor Hinshaw, Vice Chancellor Quigley, and System Vice President Johnsrud. Our students also are amazing. They are the reason we are here, but we were kvelling (filled with joyous pride) to see how they impressed the visiting team with their intelligence, creativity, and passion to provide library, archive, and information services to Hawai'i (and beyond). The accreditation was just a good reminder that the future of Hawaii’s libraries, archives, and information centers are in good hands.

Thanks again for everyone for helping us achieve this milestone. We’re counting on your continued support as we plan the next stage in professional education.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Congratulations Spring and Summer Graduates

The LIS Faculty and staff congratulate all of the Spring and Summer 2008 graduates. Stay in touch!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Alumni Gathering at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference

It was great to see so many UH LIS alumni attending the ALA Annual conference in Anaheim. We have a gathering each year as part of the ALISE gathering. I hope to see you next year in Chicago.

Beta Phi Mu 2008 Initiation

The Xi Chapter of Beta Phi Mu will have its 2008 Initiation Ceremony on Sunday, 25 May 2008 at 3pm at the Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services room 412. The keynote speaker will be State Librarian Richard P. Burns. Leward Shoji will be providing musical entertainment.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

News from the Chair

The LIS Program is sad to announce the passing of Professor Emerita Therese Bissen Bard (1926-2008) who taught for almost two dozen years at the University of Hawaii Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (which later became the UH Manoa LIS Program). We will post an memorial note by Dr. Knuth shortly.

"Memorials may be given to Franciscan Skemp Cancer Center, La Crosse, which is related to the Mayo Health Care System."

In happier news, congratulations to alumna and UH Manoa School of Communications Professor Beverly Keever, Ph.D., MLIS, MSJ received the College of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Application for her book News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb, which peels back "the shroud of secrecy covering the devastating impact of U.S. Pacific nuclear weapons tests on the Pacific Islanders" and for her "tireless endeavors to promote open government in Hawai'i."

Congratulations also to our alumni and former colleagues at Chaminade University of Honolulu on the lovely new Sullivan Family Library. A few of us were able to enjoy the dedication ceremonies.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Implementing Assessment

If you were in a core class this semester, you may have wondered why you were doing some projects a bit differently than the syllabus first suggested, and perhaps even a bit more work than other students had done previously. The answer is that the faculty teaching those courses are experimenting rethinking the way we do student and learning assessment. For students in the school library media specialist track, we are simply catching up with our K-12 colleagues. You’ve been talking about rubrics, learning targets, and proficiency for years, but this is new territory for many of us – including many of us on the faculty. In case you didn’t realize, PhD Programs in LIS focus on research, and assumed that teaching skills were to be learned “on the job.” Because of that most of us have our own personal pedagogical approaches. Now we are forcing ourselves to rethink how we teach and what we expect students to learn.

Associate Chair Violet Harada has volunteered to facilitate a multi-year plan to build more measurable learning outcomes into all LIS courses. We hope to do this over a 4-year period, but will assess its effectiveness at each stage, since it really is a learning environment, and we don’t want to blindly march forward. I could explain that WASC, and ALA look for evidence of assessment when they examine us, but the more important rationale is to help us think about fundamental questions, such as what learning outcomes are most important, and how well we are meeting those educational benchmarks.

I wanted to explain this to you, and also ask your patience as we retool our classes. Implementing new assessment tools into existing courses is sometimes a bit awkward, as we learn what works or what needs tweaking. In the meantime I encourage you to share your thoughts with Dr. Harada, me, or any of your professors. Once we have it down pat, assessment is all about helping you to learn, and for faculty to understand if we are successfully creating a learning atmosphere. I invite you to join our discussion. This is how we can keep LIS a living and learning organization.

(This will appear in the next issue of the ALA-SC newsletter, the Basement Blotter. Thanks to Professors Harada and Asato, and editor Karen Brown for comments).

Friday, April 04, 2008

Congratulations to the New Officers

It is the time of year again. LIS student organizations are appointing and electing their new officers. Here is the roll call so far:

Graduate Student Organization
LIS Representative: Melissa Kayongo
LIS Alternate Rep: Open

HASL LIS Representative: Faye Yamasaki

WebVoyage Committee
Representative: Open

Hui Dui
President: Brett Bodemer
Vice President: Shelley Shimoda
Secretary: Mariko Kershaw
Treasurer: Neneng Rosmy
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wertheimer

American Library Association-SC
President: Karen Brown
Vice President: Amanda Hahn
Secretary: Kale Kingsbury
Treasurer: Jennifer Crowther
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wertheimer

President: Alice Tran
Vice President: Hanalei Abbott
Secretary: Tammy Zielinski
Treasurer: Marcy Bighill
Events Coordinator: Amanda Hahn
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Quiroga & Dr. Gazan

Society of American Archivists-SC
President: Jennifer Crowther
Vice President: Amanda Hahn
Secretary/Treasurer: Karen Brown
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Wertheimer

Web Team
Co-Chairs (aka "Co-Commanders Extraordinaire"): Pamela Hails & Alice Tran
"Superhuman Subordinates": Karen Brown & Tammy Zielinski
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nahl

Friday, February 15, 2008

For Students interested in LIS:

Why not join the 21st century of information professionals? The Library and Information Science Program offers a master’s degree that prepares you for exciting careers as librarians in colleges and public and school libraries, as well as information specialists in fields ranging from law and medicine to the fine arts and music.

Join us for an informational coffee hour about the degree program and job prospects:

Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
Site: Pacific Ocean Science Technology (POST) Building Room 302

If possible, please RSVP to so we know how many students to expect. We look forward to meeting you!