Thursday Keynotes: Bios & Abstracts

Thursday Keynotes, May 21st 

Joseph T. Tennis, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Director of Faculty Affairs at the Information School of the University of Washington, Adjunct Associate Professor of Linguistics, and a member of the Textual Studies faculty at UW. He is the President of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (2014-2018). He is an Associate Member of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Study at The University of British Columbia. He has been an occasional visiting scholar at the State University of São Paulo since 2009. His research has been funded by Microsoft, IMLS, and SSHRC. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Lawrence University. He received his M.L.S. from Indiana University and an Sp.L.I.S. in Book History, and the Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Washington. He works in classification theory, the ethics and aesthetics of information organization labor, the versioning of classification schemes and thesauri, subject ontogeny, information provenance, authenticity metadata, and the comparative discursive analysis of metadata creation and evaluation, including archival metadata, both contemporary and historical.

Presentation Title: Information and Intention: Framing the Question

Presentation Description: In the twenty-first century we are faced with many information challenges. Some have proposed that we are living in the Anthropocene. This geologic time period is marked by the human effect on the earth. It started with the industrial revolution. In terms of scientific investigation, Leslie Burkholder (1992 and 1998), Tyrrell Bynum (Cavalier 2000), and later Luciano Floiridi (2002) have said we are now made an Information Turn in relation to how we perceive the word and what we know about it. This mimics the linguistic turn declared after the work of Gottlob Frege (1884) and later Ludwig Wittgenstein (1953). All of these conceptualizations of where we are now give me pause. We are shaping the geologic record and we see what we know about the world through language and increasingly through an ontological commitment that everything is information. This means that when we think about our work as information professionals (née librarians) we must ask what we are doing to shape experiences. Are we acting with intention or are we merely reacting to what appears in our environment? This goes with our library facilities as well as our as our services and systems. In this talk I will introduce a few conceptions I have been working on about intentionality and how we organize knowledge and in companion to that I will talk about libraries as place in this milieu of an anthropocentric and information-focused world. I will do this with some history, comparative or even counter arguments, and a few ethics arguments drawn from contemplative traditions.

Addressing Information Literacy Frames: "Authority Is Constructed and Contextual" and "Information Has Value"


Friday Presentations, May 22nd  

Heather Jean Uhl, MLIS, is a Faculty Librarian at Everett Community College and supervises the acquisitions and cataloging unit. As an adviser to the Japanese Club Heather works with EvCC's Nippon Business Institute to provide cultural activities for the campus and community. Heather also gives lectures on academic aspects of anime and manga at Sakuracon. Heather is also an artist advocate for Meijipunk: a hybrid fashion aesthetic steeped in history and multiculturalism aligned with the international Steampunk movement.  Heather also collects and studies kimono and offers demonstrations and workshops on dressing etiquette for both men and women.

Presentation Title: Guiding Student Inquiry Through Semiotics and Research Strategies

Presentation Description: Join Deborah Murphy (EvCC English Faculty) and Heather Jean Uhl (EvCC Library Faculty) for a presentation about three years of collaborative work teaching ENGL 102 Composition II.  In this course students acquire and apply research techniques and visual thinking strategies to the exploration and analysis of a planned, designed, and built environment. Hear from Deborah and Heather about how they have structured and re-structured the research process through information literacy workshops, flipped classrooms, Canvas, and other collaborative learning techniques, to support strong student inquiry through engagement with spaces both real and imagined.

Addressing Information Literacy Frames: “Research as Inquiry" and "Searching as Strategic Exploration”


Brenda Peterson is a novelist, memoirist, and nature writer, author of 18 books, including a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year, ”Duck and Cover. Her newest work, Your Life is a Book: How to Craft & Publish Your Memoir, co-authored with New York literary agent, Sarah Jane Freymann, offers accessible and inspiring writing techniques, exercises, and publishing tips.

Peterson lives in West Seattle and is the founder of the Seattle-based grassroots conservation group Seal Sitters. Since 1993 she has contributed environmental commentary to NPR and is a frequent commentator to The Huffington Post.

Peterson's recent memoir, I Want to Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth was named among the "Top Ten Best Non-Fiction Books" by The Christian Science Monitor. The book was also chosen by independent booksellers nationwide as an Indie Next Top Pick and a “Great Read.”

Watch Nancy Pearl's BOOK LUST video interview with Brenda.

Peterson's first memoir, Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals, was chosen as a “Best Spiritual Book of 2001,” and was translated into Chinese. Her non-fiction books include Living by Water and the National Geographic book, Sightings: The Gray Whale’s Mysterious Journey. Peterson's first children’s book, Leopard & Silkie, is a winner of the National Science Teachers Association for "Outstanding Books of 2013 for K-12."

Peterson’s work has appeared in many national publications, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Utne Reader, Orion, and Oprah magazine. Since 1993 she has contributed environmental commentary for Seattle’s NPR stations.

Presentation Title: Library as Natural Ecosystem and Portal to Other Worlds

Activity: Learners Tell Their Story