URI Library wins national award for information forum series

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KINGSTON, R.I. — March 24, 2006 — The University of Rhode Island Library has been selected to receive the 2006 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section Innovation Award for its “Issues of the Information Age” public forum series. The award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction.

“Winning the ACRL award is an exciting honor that tells us we are on the right track with our nationally recognized information literacy program here at URI,” said Mary MacDonald, associate professor librarian and project chairperson. Other members of the “Issues of the Information Age” forum team are Jim Kinnie, assistant professor and humanities reference and bibliographer; Amanda Izenstark, lecturer; Brian Gallagher, lecturer; and Peter Larsen assistant professor and physical sciences and engineering reference and bibliographer.

The award plaque and $3,000 prize will be presented to them at the 2006 American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 25.

“The Issues of the Information Age forums provide an opportunity for our students to benefit from the lively discourse of experts on various information age topics,” said MacDonald. “The forums bring the challenge of today’s information world out of the classroom and into the students’ real world experiences.”

The forum serves as an additional resource for students enrolled in URI’s three- credit Introduction to Information Literacy course. Aside from learning standard research techniques, the forum helps students address the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use and access to information.

Past forum topics have included “Consumer Power in the Information Age,” “A Forum on Censorship in the Arts, Academic, and Politics,” and, “Is that a Fact? A Forum on Fact Checking in the Media.” This semester’s forum, which will look at government action including the Freedom of Information Act and the USA Patriot Act, will be held on March 28, from 4:30- 6 p.m. in Room 271 of Chafee Hall on the Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.

The ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products, and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning, and research environments.

Pictured above

The award winning coordinators of the “Issues of the Information Age” forum series: (from left to right) Front row: Jim Kinnie of Providence, Amanda Izenstark of Providence. Back row: Brian Gallagher of Cranston, Mary MacDonald of Wakefield, and Peter Larsen of Providence. URI News Bureau Photo by Michael Salerno Photography.