Library and Information Science (LIS) education has been offered at Charles Sturt University and its predecessor institutions since 1975. The School of Information Studies is itself over 30 years old, and is now the only school amongst Australian universities devoted to Library and Information Science education and research. Its 'headquarters' is Building 5 on the Charles Sturt University's Wagga Wagga campus, about 400 km south-west of Sydney, NSW.
The School currently has around 2,000 students enrolled in the Bachelors and Masters of Information Studies, the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) and other specialist courses. It also has fifteen full-time academic staff, teaching and researching in a wide range of LIS subfields, many adjunct and sessional staff, and a large cohort of PhD students.
The Faculty of Arts and Education at CSU has formed a Libraries Research Group, to build on the University’s strengths in the field of Library and Information Science. Nine of its twelve foundation members are academics from the School of Information Studies. The group will focus on the ways in which library and information services can be improved, and library collections enhanced, as well as the role of libraries and librarianship in contemporary society. Aligned with the University’s Research Narrative of developing flourishing communities, the Libraries Research Group will address priority issues for libraries and their managers, helping to ensure that library services meet the needs of the communities they serve and contribute to a better informed, and more information literate, citizenry. The Group has been awarded $20,000 of start-up funding from the Faculty and held its first meeting on 27 September by videoconference.
The six members of the group in attendance in Wagga are pictured .
(L-R: Drs Mansourian, Jamali, Lymn, Hider, Afzal and Wakeling).
Dr Hamid Jamali of the School of Information Studies was cited as field leader for Australia in the field of Library and Information Science based on Google Scholar data in the list of Australia’s top researchers 2019, published in the Australian Higher Education Supplement of the 25 September 2019. The table of results can be found within the following article which notes that Professor Sharynne McLeod, also of CSU is world leader in her field of audiology https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/australias-researchers-are-top-of-the-world/news-story/da49e9723818fde2d28ce7a9d08f538c?btr=5ca2f8776dc8da4ab6efbc346f3064de
The School of Information Studies congratulates all the 35 students who graduated at the ceremony in Sydney in August. We wish you all the best in your information careers and look forward to seeing you around the traps and conferences and other professional occasions, and hope that you remain in touch with the School.
We also extend special congratulations to Michelle Lynch and Tara Wagner who were awarded with one the 2018/2019 Executive Dean’s awards at the ceremony. These awards are in recognition of outstanding performance in course work. Both Tara and Michelle graduated from the Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship). Our congratulations also go to Elizabeth (Liz) Finlay from the Master of Information Studies who graduated with Distinction.
(Michelle Lynch, Tara Wagner and Liz Finlay)
Authors who made submissions for the RAILS Conference to be hosted by the School in Canberra in October have been notified of the results. A total of 43 full papers were accepted, together with two panels, each with three presenters, and three posters. A wide range of topics will be discussed, many directly addressing the conference theme, ‘Towards Critical Information Research, Education and Practice’. To register for the Conference, please visit https://railsconference.com/rails-2019/registration/.
Dr Simon Wakeling joins the School in May, as a Lecturer in Information Studies. Simon has recently been working as a Research Associate in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, where he completed his PhD in 2015, his thesis being on ‘Establishing User Requirements for a Recommender System in an Online Union Catalogue: an Investigation of WorldCat.org’. His research interests include interactive information retrieval, scholarly communication, and graph literacy.
Charles Sturt's research in the field of Library and Information Studies was rated a ‘4’, i.e. ‘above world standard’, by the Australian Research Council, in its recent national research assessment exercise. The assessment was based on the School’s research outputs and activities in the reference period, 2011-16. In the exercise, known as Excellent in Research for Australia, or ERA, fields of research are rated 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. For Library and Information Studies, Charles Sturt was rated joint top, along with Monash University and Queensland University of Technology, which also scored 4s. The School’s success in ERA is the culmination of an enormous amount of work by its researchers over the past eight years or so, and positions the School very favourably in the years to come. Well done to everyone who contributed to this very notable achievement!
The Australasian Conference on Research Applications in Information and Library Studies (RAILS), will be hosted by the School in 2019 on 28-29 October, at CSU’s campus in Canberra. Now in its 15th year, RAILS is the main scholarly conference for the Library and Information Science field in this part of the world. Researchers, students and practitioners are all invited; this year’s theme is ‘Towards critical information research, education and practice’. Those wishing to present their latest research at the conference can respond to the call for papers here. To register for RAILS, please visit https://railsconference.com/rails-2019/registration.
Dr Jane Garner has joined the School as a Lecturer in Information Studies. Jane was awarded her PhD in 2017 from RMIT University. Her thesis was titled, ‘Experiencing the use of Australian prison libraries: a phenomenological’. An article exploring one of the main findings in her doctoral research, that libraries and reading are used by prisoners as a means of escapism, has recently been accepted for publication in Library Quarterly. Jane has taught at RMIT University, Monash University and CSU previously, and before that worked as a librarian at the University of Melbourne.
Congratulations to Bachelor of Information Studies student Murray McBryde, who has been awarded the inaugural ALIA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Scholarship, which provides $5,000 towards learning expenses and a year of ALIA student membership. More details about the Scholarship can be found on the ALIA website. Murray has recently commenced his studies at CSU and attended the BIS residential school in February.
Congratulations to Dr Waseem Afzal, Senior Lecturer in SIS,who has been elected to the role of treasurer of ASIS&T Asia-Pacific Chapter for 2018-19 term. He has also joined ASIS&T SIG-USE Symposium Committee. In this role he will be helping other committee members to organize the 2019 symposium in Melbourne, Australia.
Congratulations to Barry Archibald, pictured with his Principal Supervisor, Dr Mary Carroll, who has been awarded his PhD for his thesis entitled, ‘A History of Inspection in Victorian Colonial/State Government Schools: 1852-2012’. Barry was also supervised by Dr Peter Rushbrook.
(Dr Mary Carroll & Dr Barry Archibald)
The second edition of Professor Philip Hider’s Information Resource Description has been published by Facet and ALA Editions. The book is widely used by students and practitioners around the world as an introduction to the field of Information Organization. Further details on this book can be found here.
Congratulations to SIS Lecturer Jessie Lymn, who has been appointed to theCouncil of the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) for the next 12 months. Jessie says she is excited to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the ASA at a strategic level, and also honoured to follow in the footsteps of the late Sigrid McCausland, the foundation lecturer in Archival Studies in the School.
The School was well represented at the recent ASA Annual Conference in Perth, WA. SIS Adjunct Dr Janine Douglas represented the School, while a number of current students were also in attendance. Congratulations to SIS BIS alumni and current MIS student Debra Leigo for receiving the Sharman Award from the ASA for support to attend the Conference, and to current BIS student Crispian Winsor for receiving a CSU Conference and Professional Membership Grant to attend. Crispian said that ‘one of the areas of the conference that benefited me greatly was meeting other students from CSU.… I don’t get to talk about archiving with many people among my circle of friends so to talk about archiving for several days and learn from others who are in the field was fantastic.’
Congratulations to current MIS student Naomi Franks who was awarded the 2018 Loris Williams Scholarship offered by the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who wish to train for careers in archives and records management. Scholarship winners receive financial assistance and mentoring support from the ASA. The Scholarship is named after Loris Williams, who was the first Aboriginal person from Queensland to gain professional archival qualifications and only the second Aboriginal person to do so.
Congratulations to Dr Jessie Lymn, Lecturer in SIS, who has been awarded a place in the 2018 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship Mentoring Scheme for outstanding early career researchers. The Scheme is fully funded by the Australian Research Council. Jessie will attend the Scheme’s workshops in December. More details at http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/arts-and-culture/mentoring-opportunities-for-two-csu-researchers.