Libraries: Not Obsolete, Just More Virtual
Voters in Richland County are making a $59 million decision
on November 5 whether or not to fund major improvements to the
Richland Library system throughout the county.
As the state's only School of Library and Information Science,
we have a certain bias not toward libraries, but toward all they
accomplish in their communities.
Libraries are a "huge quality of life indicator for any community,"
Richland's executive director Melanie Huggins told one interviewer
during the campaign to support the bond referendum.
We'll admit to another bias. Huggins is a SLIS alumna who's
directed the county library since 2009. Even fuller disclosure,
her husband J.C. Huggins is USC's director of web communications
and an alumnus of our School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
J.C. likes to say the Huggins family merged the two schools before
the university did.
But I digress.
Cross the state of South Carolina and you will find our graduates
in just about every public, school or academic library. We feel
good about the impact SLIS is making in the state. I sense we
feel even better about the role libraries continue to play in
the social and economic welfare of those communities.
The digitization of our lives has not made libraries obsolete.
They've got ebooks. They are stacked with computers. They are
the "home office" for many in their communities who seek information
about jobs or health care. They stimulate young minds through
myriad programs and keep older minds fresh.
When I visit Richland Library or make an occasional road trip
with Cocky's Reading Express™, I'm reminded how vital libraries
are today, not that they have not long been so. The library in
Allentown, Pennsylvania, where I grew up, was just down the street
and a haven for a young boy.
I'm not lobbying for the Richland County referendum here. Voting
is taking place even as we send out our monthly eNews. Yes, $59
million is a major investment, even over 20 years. But the library
here last benefited from a bond referendum in 1989. In 2001,
it was named the National Library of the Year. Its 11 locations
stretch across the county. The libraries' number of visitors,
circulation and online visits are all increasing.
If you even doubt — could you? — that libraries are viable
and valuable in the 21st century, drop by yours and see what's
going on. And see if the librarians might not be among our SLIS
Libraries have my vote.
Faculty honored with Excellence in Teaching Awards
Jay Bender, journalism, Dr. Shirley Staples-Carter, public relations,
and Lisa Sisk, public relations, were honored at the annual Mortar
Board Excellence in Teaching Awards on October 24, 2013. Recipients
of these awards are nominated by students who have been motivated,
enlightened and inspired by their professors. Bender, Carter
and Sisk were among 29 faculty across campus to receive Mortar
Board Awards this year.
to moderate program at conference
Dr. Samantha Hastings, director of the School of Library and
Information Science, will moderate a panel at the 2013 SCLA/SELA
conference in Greenville, S.C. on Nov. 14.
The program, "Individual Stories, National Impact: Celebrating
the Lives of South Carolina Women," is sponsored by the
SLIS Diversity Leadership Group and the SCLA Roundtable for African-American
Concerns and organized by the school's Nonie Price. The SLIS
Alumni Tea follows from 5:30-6:30.
Jeffcoat elected to Humanities Council SC
Kim Shealy Jeffcoat, executive director of the S.C. Center for
Children's Books and Literacy, has been elected to a three-year
term on the Humanities Council SC Board of Directors. Jeffcoat
began her term on Nov. 1. Jeffcoat is involved with numerous
statewide literacy outreach programs including the popular Cocky's
Reading Express™ and Young Palmetto Books, for which she serves
as series editor.
Alumni honored at J-school's Alumni Awards Dinner
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications honored five
alumni at its annual Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Recipients of the Outstanding Young Alumni awards were Kent Babb,
'04, and Sally Cumberland Brown, '05 M.M.C. Recipients of the
Distinguished Alumni awards were Stephen Brown, '95, and Jane
Pigg, '74. Van Kornegay, '81 M.M.C. and associate professor in
the J-school, received the Excellence in Service Award.
photos from the event
Alumni and friends celebrate, reconnect at Gamecocks on the
Bad weather did not stop alumni and friends of the College of
Mass Communications and Information Studies from gathering to
celebrate Homecoming and reconnect at Gamecocks on the Green
on Friday, Nov. 1. The reception moved from its location on Gibbes
Green, where it has been held for eight years, to Davis College.
New this year was a mini-program by Cocky's Reading Express
and an arts and crafts table from Richland Library.
photos from the event
student networks way to the BET
Charles Washington, a senior advertising student and budding
rap artist, was introduced to a prominent DJ at a concert in
2011 and remained in contact with him, reminding him several
times of his interest in the industry and openness to opportunities.
This contact led him to an internship at the BET Music Awards
student voted Homecoming King
For the third year in a row, the School of Journalism and Mass
Communications is home to Homecoming royalty. Timothy Olson,
a fourth-year public relations student, was elected Homecoming
King on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Olson is the first 'king' for the school. In 2011, Christina
Galardi, '12, was elected queen. In 2012, Lauren Nottoli, '13,
was elected queen and Kevin Walker, '13, was elected prince.
Breathing new life into a core class
By Liana Miller, communications intern
Restructuring the JOUR 202 course, Writing for Mass Communications,
has been a key initiative in the School of Journalism and Mass
Communications. JOUR 202 is an introductory course that teaches
students the basics of story structure and speaking to a community
audience by writing news stories and press releases.
Deborah Gump, a visiting journalism professor, is one of many instructors
passionate about making the course more beneficial for students.
She makes sure that her students are equipped with a well-rounded
knowledge of mass communications. As a part of this effort, she
has her students conduct interviews in the community about current
events to include in their writings. Dr. Gump says that students
should leave her class feeling comfortable with this key element
of the journalistic process.
"It is critical for students to connect the dots between real
life and the classroom," she says.
Bertram Rantin, an adjunct instructor in journalism, shares this
mindset. In his sections of JOUR 202, students write content for
publication in The State newspaper, where Rantin is also a staff
"The goal is to get as many students published as possible.
Writing for The State is a practical complement to the course curriculum
and demonstrates the reality of news writing," Rantin said.
Dr. Gump and Rantin agree that academics need to be supplemented
by real world experience. For this purpose, they have designed
some of their own tools to supplement students outside of the classroom.
A JOUR 202 website is in the works according to Dr. Gump. This
website will include grammar drills, guides, explanations and other
information covered in JOUR 202. It will be a resource to students,
but open to anyone who would like a refresher on these writing
The faculty have also created a Facebook group, Gamecock Journalists.
This serves as a forum to relay journalism-related information
among students, alumni, faculty and professionals. Dr. Gump hopes
that the Facebook group will help connect students and alumni to
the professional world. The group is open to all students, alumni
and faculty of the school. See group
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SAVE THE DATE
SLIS Alumni Tea
Thursday, Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m.
Westin Poinsett Hotel, Greenville, S.C.
Buchheit Lecture with Leeza Gibbons
Monday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m.
USC School of Law Auditorium
Open to the public
For more information,
contact Annie Lambert at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (803) 777-6791.
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