University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies 

Updates, News & Events
August 22, 2012

SOIS Postdoctoral Fellow for the Social Studies of Information Research Group (SSIRG)

Dr. Alessandra Renzi

Dr. Alessandra Renzi will be the first Social Studies of Information Research Group (SSIRG) Postdoctoral Fellow beginning this fall. Dr. Renzi, originally from Italy, has an interdisciplinary MA degree in North American Studies from the Free University in Berlin, Germany. She went on to complete her PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies in 2010 from the Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her focus was on media studies and the title of her dissertation was "From Collectives to Connectives: Italian Media Activism and the Repurposing of the Social."

While at SOIS, Dr. Renzi will be teaching as well as continuing with her research. She says she is excited to work with SOIS faculty: "Before I saw the position, I was already familiar with the work of some of the SOIS faculty. This is, for me, a great opportunity to work with scholars I respect and to be embedded within a school of information studies that welcomes interdisciplinary researchers and is interested in supporting sociological research on information."

SOIS Faculty and Staff Updates

International Board on Books for Young People

Associate Professor Laretta Henderson will be presenting her poster, "Black Aesthetics and Gender Expectations in African American Fairy Tales" on August 24 from 12:30-1:15pm and on August 25 from 1:15-2:00pm. From the abstract: "This is an examination of African American traditions that have impacted some of the popular Black retelling of traditional European fairytales. To do so I will investigate the ways in which Black aesthetics inform these picture book narratives; the overall representation of African American culture in the narrative and illustrations; and question whether or not the retellings, while unique, still conform to Eurocentric gender roles." Dr. Henderson's teaching and research areas include multicultural children's and young adult literature and community literacy. She holds a PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of Iowa and two Master's degrees – one in Sociology from Governor's State University and one in African American World Studies from the University of Iowa.

Senior Lecturer Bonnie Withers will also be presenting a poster on the project of translating Korean children's stories into five other languages. Withers worked on this project with Interim Dean Wooseob Jeong. To see this project, visit: Withers earned an MA degree in French from Michigan State University and her MLIS from UW-Milwaukee. Withers worked for Milwaukee Public Schools for 15 years, first as an elementary French teacher, then as a library media specialist.

IIix | Fourth Information Interaction in Context Symposium
Nijmegen, the Netherlands
August 21-24

Iris Xie, Professor and Doctoral Program Director, will present a paper, "On the Consistency and Features of Image Similarity" on August 24 during the "Representations, visualizations and behavior session" at 10:30am. This paper was co-written with Pierre Tirilly, Chunsheng Huang, Wooseob Jeong, Xiangming Mu, and Jin Zhang. Tirilly, a former postdoctoral fellow at SOIS, will also be on-hand for the presentation. Dr. Xie received her PhD from Rutgers University. Her research interests include interactive information retrieval, information retrieval system design and evaluation, digital libraries and human-computer interaction.

SOIS Research Group for Information Retrieval (RGIR) Presentation:

Information Retrieval with BISAC in Bookstore, Library, and Other Catalogs
Daniel Martinez-Avila, Visiting Scholar

Monday, August 27, 2012
NWQ Room 3511 (UW-Milwaukee Campus)

Abstract: In 2007, Perry Branch Library of Maricopa County Library District (MCLD) in Arizona dropped the Dewey Decimal Classification for the organization of their collection and adopted BISAC, the standard for the book industry. Today, BISAC has not only been adopted by other libraries in the United States following the experience of Perry Branch Library in Maricopa but, also by other institutions providing access to information and electronic books such as and hybrid-models such as Google Books. The retrievability and quality of the metadata in some of these cases, such as the use of BISAC by Google Books, has sometimes being called "awful" (Nunberg 2009). In this presentation, the characteristics of several catalogs of libraries, electronic bookstores and other institutions using BISAC will be analyzed in order to understand the use of BISAC and its consequences for information retrieval.

Note: Most SOIS events are recorded and can be viewed online (

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UW-Milwaukee, School of Information Studies
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