Information Studies


LIS Students in 2020/2021: Prizes, Presentations and Publications!

Congratulations to the following current and recently graduated Library and Information Studies (LIS) students for the amazing array of awards, presentations, grants and publications that they have been involved with this year!

First of all, congratulations to prize winners, Abi Chapman (MA, 2020), who was awarded the 2020 Sherif Prize for her dissertation work on videogame cataloguing; Kristabelle Williams (MA, 2018), who was awarded School Librarian of the Year 2021, and Dan Haynes (current student), who was awarded the Antony B. Davis Book Collecting Prize!

Abi was awarded the Sherif prize for her dissertation research, which examined “the ways in which metadata schemas created especially for cataloguing videogames are challenging RDA by highlighting elements important to the medium and by creating stronger controlled vocabulary lists.” Abi presented her work, Trials of Metadata: Emerging Schemas for Videogame Cataloguing, at the 2021 Sherif AGM. Kristabelle was awarded the prestigious School Librarian of the year prize based on her "unremitting and consistent focus on ensuring the best futures for her students, making reading, researching and library use the norm" at Addey and Stanhope School in Southeast London. This is a fantastic honour and the award nomination notes Kristabelle’s numerous achievements as the school’s solo librarian before and during the pandemic. UCL alum, Terri McCargar, was also listed on the Honour List for 2020/21. Dan Haynes was awarded the 2021 Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize for his collection ‘The money earned by herself’: women artists of the Roycroft Press.

Next up- well done to students who have presented some of their coursework at recent national conferences! Sae Matsuno (current student) and Sally Hamer (MA, 2020) both presented their work at the Critical Approaches to Library Conference (CALC) in May 2021. Sae held a workshop exploring her student-led outreach that she has spearheaded at UCL, entitled “Open Aspirations: Enriching EDI learning at a library school through a student-led project.” Sally presented on her dissertation work exploring racial bias in virtual reference interactions, entitled “Colour Blind: Investigating the racial bias of virtual reference services in English academic libraries” (video). Both students did an amazing job showcasing practical and research-led approaches to EDI work that have emerged through their studies at UCL as well as demonstrating the important role that students play in progressing this vital work.

We were also pleased to see a number of students presenting at the recent FestivIL by LILAC information literacy conference. Frances Marsh (MA, 2020) held a workshop based on her dissertation work, entitled “Unsettling information literacy: an investigation of academic researchers’ responses to critical information literacy in the context of decolonising the curriculum” (video). In this workshop, Frankie presented findings from one of the first empirical studies of decolonial information literacy as well as creating opportunities for delegates to reflect on these complex questions. Current students, Maud Cooper, Sae Matsuno, Eva Pickersgill, David Smith and Grace Troth also led the Main Stage event on the second day of FestivIL, in a presentation entitled, “Black Lives Matter, Brexit and Covid-19: Information literacy in a post-2020 world.” In this presentation, students presented a range of thoughtful ideas about what themes are newly important within information literacy given the turbulence of the last few years (video).

Alongside dissertation research, students have been actively engaged in global research initiatives – congratulations to current student, Liz Fleetwood, who was selected to participate in the UCL-University of Toronto COVID research project, Economic, individual and societal impacts of pandemic responses on cities. Liz’s research will be looking at the impact of the online learning environment on school pupils’ socialised information exchanges, and she will present this work at the associated conference in September.

Students have also been appointed to several national professional committees this year- well done to Andy Lacey (current student), who serves on the CILIP LGBTQ+ Network, and Madeleine Ahern (current student), who is standing in as ARLIS UK & Ireland Membership Secretary. Recent graduate, Frankie Marsh (MA, 2020) and current student, David Smith, have recently been appointed to the inaugural Information Literacy Group’s New Professionals Subcommittee.

Finally, LIS students have also been successful in publishing their work this year! Sally Hamer has had an article that is based on her dissertation work published in the Journal of Academic Librarianship, while Simon Cloudesley (MA, 2019) has recently had an article based on his dissertation work accepted for the Journal of Information Literacy, to be published in December 2021. Verity Jones (MA, 2018) has had a follow up piece to her dissertation research published in Synergy, the journal of the School Library Association of Victoria (Australia), and an associated blogpost. This work builds on her journal article published in 2020 in School Libraries Worldwide. Lastly, a couple of current students have also developed coursework to a publishable standard; Naomi Smith has published an essay based on her INST0021 coursework on the Early Career Academic and Research Librarians in London (EARLL) blog,  “How effective are academic libraries’ attempts at dismantling racism while Sae Matsuno has had work based on her INST0016 coursework published on the DIS Student Blog, Encountering and Learning from Difference and On Embracing The Labels of PoC/BAME as a library school student.

Huge congratulations to all these current and past students for all their hard work and amazing achievements, especially given the circumstances of the last year!

Attwell, V. (2020). "In all areas, I cater to the majority": An investigation of LGBT+ provision in school libraries from the librarian's perspective. School Libraries Worldwide, 26(1), 61-81.

Cloudesley, S. (2021). ‘Informed’, ‘active’ and ‘engaged’? Understanding and enacting information literacy from a UK citizenship perspective. Journal of Information Literacy 15(3).

Hamer, S. (2021). Colour blind: Investigating the racial bias of virtual reference services in English academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 47(5)

Jones, V. (2021). ““In all areas, I cater to the majority”: An investigation of LGBT+ provision in school libraries from the librarian’s perspective” Synergy 19(1).