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Library and Information Science Alumna Wins “Distinguished” ALA Honor

(c) Metropolitan New York Library Council, 2014
Monday, August 22, 2016

A high-achieving alumna of the Library and Information Science graduate program makes publishing success look like child’s play.

Katelyn Angell ‘09MLS, along with her co-author Eamon Tewell, won the Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research from the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Research Round Table (LRRT) for her article, “Far From a Trivial Pursuit: Assessing the Effectiveness of Games in Information Literacy Instruction” (Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 10.1, 2015).

In the article, Angell and Tewell examine the relationship between library-related online games during literacy instruction and students’ performance on research practices, including identifying citation types and keyword and synonym development. The LRRT reviewers praised the article’s “clarity in limiting and defining research boundaries, and providing in-depth reflection on methodological strengths and weaknesses. The paper is exemplary, providing significant findings for information literacy instruction.”

Founded in 1968, LRRT provides public program opportunities for describing and evaluating library research projects and disseminating their findings, as well as educating ALA members about research techniques. The award criteria include helpfulness in administrative decision-making and problem solving, as well as expansion of the field’s theoretical basis as a forum for discussion of issues related to information needs.

While enrolled in St. John’s master’s program in Library and Information Science, Angell worked closely with Associate Professor Kevin Rioux as his graduate assistant, helping him find articles related to his research on social justice and librarianship, an area in which she has always been interested and that now drives her own research. “When people who are considering going to library school speak with me, I always encourage them to go to St. John’s,” said Angell. “Working closely with Dr. Rioux really helped me sharpen my research skills, because it’s a totally different ballgame to do research at the graduate level and as a librarian than it was as an undergraduate psychology major. The small size of the program also allows each student to work closely with faculty in this beneficial way.”

“Kate was one of the best students I ever had,” said Rioux. “She was eager to contribute to the literature and published while still doing coursework for her master’s degree. She has always been good at finding her place in the profession, and I’m sure this won’t be the last award she gets. She was a great student and is now a great colleague.”

 Angell is currently the First Year Success Librarian for the Long Island University Brooklyn Campus Library and was previously a reference librarian at Sarah Lawrence College. In addition to her Master of Library Science degree from St. John’s, she holds a Master of Psychology degree from Long Island University and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Psychology and English from Wesleyan University. She has published extensively on research related to academic libraries, information literacy, and underserved populations.