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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI graduate library school celebrates 40th anniversary

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Alumni awards and scholarships presented

KINGSTON, R.I. -- June 17, 2005 -- The University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Library and Information Studies graduated its first class of about 20 students in 1965. Now celebrating its 40th year, the school recently honored several alumni for their professional contributions to the field and presented scholarships to a few current students. Over the years, the school has graduated almost 3,000 students who have become leading librarians and information specialists throughout the nation.

According to Michael Havener, director of the program, the future for the school and libraries in general looks bright. "The role of libraries and librarians in the community has changed dramatically over these last four decades. As the use of computers, the Internet, and other technologies have increased the speed by which information is communicated around the globe, having library resources that keep pace with the transformation is vital. Here, we are preparing professionals to serve the changing needs of more diverse populations in an increasingly complex information environment," Havener said.

The success of several accomplished graduates and current students of the program were recognized during the College's 40th anniversary celebration:

Distinguished Graduate: Anne Parent of East Greenwich,(shown here) who heads the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services as chief of library services, was presented with the school's Distinguished Alumna of the Year award. Parent, who received her master's degree in library sciences in 1974, has held a number of library leadership positions on local, regional, and national levels. Before her current position at the statewide office, Parent was administrator of the Central Massachusetts Regional Library System. She also directed the Fall River Public Library and was assistant director of the Cranston Public Library. Parent began her library career in 1968, in Children’s Services at the Pawtucket Public Library. Anne holds an undergraduate degree in honors English from McGill University in Montreal.

The accomplishments of 1975 alumnus Tony Stankus were also acknowledged at the school's annual meeting. Stankus received the coveted Rose Vormelker National Award at the Special Libraries Association 2005 Annual Conference in Toronto this month. Stankus, who serves as an adjunct professor at URI, is a science librarian at the College of the Holy Cross. Stankus, of Worcester, Mass., had received URI's distinguished alumni award in 1992.

The national award is given in recognition of "exceptional services to the profession of special librarianship in the area of mentoring students and practicing professionals in the field."

In addition to his work as a teacher and mentor, Stankus is one of the world’s most published authors on research and professional journals in the sciences. He has published 10 books and more than 100 articles in journals of research and practice, including The Journals of the Century (Haworth Press, 2002).

>Also at the event, several current students were presented with scholarship awards. Kathleen Cheromcha of Quaker Hill, Conn., received the Alice Brendel Award from the Rhode Island Chapter of the Special Library Association and the Graduate School's Elizabeth Futas award. Darshell Silva of Warwick, R.I., also received the Elizabeth Futas Award. Zachary Berger of North Kingstown, R.I., received the Betty Fast Award, Dennis Cronin of Willimantic, Conn., was presented with the Stewart Schneider Award, and Paulina Shadowens of East Greenwich, R.I., received the Patricia E. Jensen Award. Each of these scholars received a plaque and cash award in recognition of their scholastic and professional achievements. Ann Marie Whitney of Upton, Mass., received the Rhode Island Special Library Association Memorial Award.

About the Library School

Since its inception, a primary goal of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies has been to provide an American Library Association-accredited program to the citizens of the New England states. Jonathan Ashton was the school's first dean in 1963. The school was housed and the classes were taught at the extension campus in Providence before moving to the Kingston campus in 1969. In addition to URI's Kingston and Providence campuses, courses for the program are now offered at Worcester State College in Worcester, Mass., and at the University of New Hampshire, Durham campus. Havener said he has been working with Winifred Brownell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to expand the school's program throughout the region using distance education.

For more information about the graduate program, contact Director Michael Havener at 874-4641, MHAVENER@URI.EDU.