CHAPEL HILL - The first "Eleanor M. and Frederick G. Kilgour Research Grant Awards" have been presented to three faculty members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science (SILS) for 2011-2012. Drs. Claudia Gollop, associate professor; Ryan Shaw, assistant professor; and Rob Capra, assistant professor; have each received funding to support research for their projects.  

An award competition was established earlier this spring to support pilot projects that would include preliminary work that could lead to full research proposals to external agencies. The criteria for the award included, 1) the potential impact of the work for career development, and 2)the potential for subsequent funding. The research proposals were reviewed, and the top three were selected by a committee of SILS distinguished professors, Drs. Gary Marchionini, dean and Cary C. Boshamer distinguished professor; Joanne Marshall, alumni distinguished professor;  Barbara Moran, Louis Round Wilson distinguished professor; Helen Tibbo, alumni distinguished professor; and SILS professor and director of research, Javed Mostafa.  

"We received excellent proposals, all of which may bloom into major research projects," said Marchionini. "With the exceptional generosity of Eleanor and Fred Kilgour, it was possible to offer more than one award in this inaugural year." 

Inventor, researcher, librarian and educator, Dr. Frederick G. Kilgour was a member of the SILS faculty serving as a Distinguished Research professor in 1990, teaching seminars in applications of technology for libraries. While a professor here, Kilgour saw the critical need for faculty support and he and Mrs. Kilgour created the Eleanor M. and Frederick G. Kilgour Faculty Development Fund in 1993.

"The couple's philanthropic foresight has been invaluable to the faculty and to the School in many ways," said Marchionini. "Providing funding for these research projects that could make a difference in the information and library science world is just one more way the Kilgour's demonstrate the love they have had for SILS and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over the years."    

The faculty and the projects supported by these grants include:

Dr. Claudia Gollop. Closing the Information Gap in Cardiac Rehabilitation for Women 

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death among women in the United States. Following a heart attack or other cardiac event, cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is considered the best course of action for improving heart health, for those eligible to participate. However, far fewer people enroll in CR, including women, than would very likely benefit from such a program. This research will look at information as a possible "missing link" in the cardiac rehabilitation referral process, including the ways in which CR referral information is delivered when heart patients are discharged, and the effects of any CR information received. Initially, two to four focus groups with CR participants and non-participants will be conducted at health-related organizations in the Triangle area.  

Dr. Ryan Shaw.  The Event Directory: A Semantic Tool for Events and Periods

The Event Directory: A Semantic Tool for Events and Periods project will explore the use of natural language processing techniques to identify events in historical texts, and group them into narrative chains at different levels of specificity. The goal will be to build tools that help readers understand historical discourse by orienting them in historical time. In this initial stage, the project is focused on two sets of documents related to the civil rights movement: 300 interview transcripts from the "Southern Oral History Program" and the full text of 87 books on the civil rights movement published by the UNC Press through their "Voice" publishing project.

Dr. Rob Capra.  Information Management Across Multiple Devices and People: Improving Understanding and Usability of File Synchronization and Sharing

People today manage information across many different devices - traditional desktop and laptop computers, netbooks, tablet computers, eReaders, smartphones, mp3 players and USB storage devices. Cloud-based services are providing new ways to store and share files, but they can also add additional layers of complexity, especially when files are shared. 

Synchronizing and sharing files across multiple devices and people can be a challenging task, with failures resulting in files not being on the right device at the right time, or information being shared in ways that it was not intended. In this research project, we will examine file synchronization and sharing from a user perspective, investigating synchronization models in terms of their conceptual complexity and interfaces in terms of their ease of understanding and use. Our goal is to inform the design of synchronization and sharing interfaces that will meet users' needs while also being easy to use.

About Dr. Frederick G. Kilgour

Dr. Kilgour revolutionized the way libraries network and store information with his invention of the WorldCat database in 1971. It is one of the most consulted databases in higher education and is used daily by millions of students, teachers, scholars and researchers worldwide. In 1967, Dr. Kilgour founded the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), the first and largest online library network in the world, and served as its president until 1980. The library and information science world was saddened with his passing on July 31, 2006.  

Wanda Monroe
Director of Communications
School of Information and Library Science University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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