Below are headlines and links to recent news from the School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University.



SLIS at Kent State Welcomes Three New Faculty Members


The School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University has added three new faculty members to its ranks this fall, giving a boost to its areas of study in youth services librarianship and in health informatics.


Marianne Martens, Ph.D., has joined the faculty as an assistant professor to teach and conduct research in youth services librarianship, an area for which SLIS at Kent State is ranked 13th in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Martens’ interdisciplinary research, at the intersection of publishing and librarianship, is grounded in Library and Information Science and Media Studies, and focuses on how digital technologies are changing books and the reading experience for young people—in comparison to historical precedents in the field of cultural production for young people. Since 2007, Martens has taught at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, while working on a Ph.D. in library and information science. Also at Rutgers, she assisted in launching an interdisciplinary minor in Digital Communication, Information, and Media studies. Previously, Martens had served as Carole Barham Scholar at The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers. Prior to launching her academic career, Martens worked in publishing in New York. Read more about Martens at


Christine A. Hudak, Ph.D., RN-BC, CPHIMS, of Cleveland, Ohio, has joined the faculty as professor of Health Informatics (HI) in the school's Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) program. Kent State offers both master's degree and graduate certificate options in the HI concentration, which was launched in 2011 under the leadership of Michael O. Bice, a health care administrator whose experience includes academic medical centers and multi-state health systems. Hudak will take over as concentration coordinator when Bice retires at the end of this year. Hudak brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the health care field, including numerous teaching and instructional development roles. She was involved in the first information system implementation at Cleveland's MetroHelth Medical Center in 1985 and continued to advance professionally and academically in that field. Most recently she served as associate professor, director of the MSN in Nursing Informatics Program and director of Nurseweb™ at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland. Read more about Hudak at


Rebecca A. Meehan, Ph.D., of Hudson, Ohio, joins the faculty as assistant professor of Health Informatics in the school’s Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) program. Meehan brings to the position an extensive background in research related to health care and health informatics, particularly focused on aging services technology and clinical analytics. Her interests center on optimizing health outcomes and the doctor-patient relationship by improving the user experience of health technology. Since 2004 she has operated Meehan Group, LLC, providing consultation services in health informatics research, user experience and educational material with a focus on health care, long-term care and technology. Her previous experience also includes senior research roles with Intuit, Inc., in Highland Hills, Ohio, as well as Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Department of Sociology.  She also has served as senior research scientist at Myers Research Institute of Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, Ohio, and senior research associate at Innovative Designs in Environments for an Aging Society (I.D.E.A.S., Inc.), in Kirtland, Ohio. Read more about Meehan at



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Harper earns promotion, key appointments

Sarah Meghan Harper, Ph.D., (M.L.S. ‘ 91), has been promoted to the rank of associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. In addition, she has recently been honored with two prestigious appointments – as co-chair of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, the longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults (sponsored by SLIS, the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services and the Office of Continuing and Distance Education); and as a member of the American Library Association (ALA) Council, which delegates authority to the divisions of the national association to carry out programs and activities as well as determining all ALA policies.


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Nichols Named "Outstanding Teacher"

Mary Anne Nichols, M.L.S. ’93, associate lecturer and graduate coordinator in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University, is the 2012 winner of the Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Communication and Information (CCI). This is her seventh year teaching and advising students full time, particularly in the area of young adult librarianship. Previously, she taught as an adjunct instructor for SLIS and worked as a librarian. She was promoted to associate lecturer earlier this year.


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SLIS Alumnus Earns Prestigious Award for Work on Cleveland Memory Project

School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) alumnus Bill Barrow received the 2012 Herrick Memorial Award from the Early Settlers’ Association of the Western Reserve for his work as the Cleveland Memory Project’s co-founder, team leader and public spokesperson. “Recognizing that collaboration is increasingly the way big projects get done, we decided to provide the software platform and training here at Cleveland State University and invite others to help build Cleveland Memory with us, as a regional partnership,” said Barrow. “I had been doing something on-line with local history when we decided to expand the whole thing in 2002. I took on the responsibility for coordinating the projects, given that the source of most of the materials is from my Special Collections area. A good share of the projects is being done by nearly 70 practicum students, chiefly from the library school there at KSU.”


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Fall Symposium Features Sojourners’ Jim Wallis

Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, a national nonpartisan Christian organization, recently presented “The Politically Engaged Believer: Morals, Ethics and Social Justice in the 2012 Election” to an audience of more than 200 at Kent State. Wallis was the keynote address for the Fall 2012 Symposium of the Center for the Study of Information and Religion (CSIR), a research initiative of the School of Library and Information Science. Wallis’ latest book is Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street — A Moral Compass for the New Economy. His two previous books, The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post–Religious Right America and God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It, were both New York Times bestsellers.


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2013 Virginia Hamilton Conference Announces Theme, Call for Proposals

The 2013 Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth has announced a call for proposals that address the theme "Dreams and Promises: Multicultural Literature and the Common Core."  The conference is scheduled for Thursday, April 4, and Friday, April 5, 2013. The deadline for proposals is Friday, Sept. 28, 2012. Featured speakers for 2013 will be award-winning children's authors Angela Johnson and Gary D. Schmidt, and illustrator Yuyi Morales. The Virginia Hamilton Conference is the longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults.


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School of Library and Information Science Offers First Study Abroad Course

After learning about Kent State’s campus in Florence shortly after joining Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) in 2010, Assistant Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., knew she wanted to create a course abroad. The new graduate Museum Origins course was developed after a year and a half of planning with Deborah Davis, the College of Communication and Information’s coordinator of international programs, and Marcello Fantoni, the former Kent State Florence program director and new Kent State associate provost of global education. The class was a six-week summer course designed for 12 students. The first two weeks are taught online, then two weeks on-site in Florence, ending with two more weeks online.


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All in the Family: Alum Follows Aunt, Grandmother to LIS

After graduating from Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), Laurence Skirvin, M.L.I.S ’11, became the third person in his family to pursue a career in library and information science. Skirvin, originally from Villa Rica, Ga., received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of West Georgia in 2005. Both Skirvin’s grandmother and aunt were librarians; his grandmother, Elizabeth Neidert Skirvin, was a 1964 Kent State SLIS alumna. “I thought it would be really cool to follow in their footsteps and join what I thought of as a family profession,” he said. “I thought about coming to library school after I received my bachelor’s degree, but I didn't follow through until several years later. I always thought the library would be a great place to work, and I loved the idea of helping people get the material that they want or need.”


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Read more SLIS news at Also be sure to visit our “points of pride” page at to read about some of the latest activities of our faculty, students and alumni.




All the best,





Flo Cunningham

Marketing Communications and Public Relations Director

School of Library and Information Science

Kent State University


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Twitter: @KentStateSLIS


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges