Abbie Teel, a student in the Library Science M.S. program has been selected as a member of the student board for Information Matters (IM). The Information Matters platform is sponsored by the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) and is a digital-only communication translational forum for information science that brings research evidence, industry developments, and news to a global public audience.
Each student board member will be responsible for leading a specific area of operating IM. Abbie will assist with expanding the Information Matters social media platforms to increase engagement.
“With the uniqueness and newness of this platform, I saw a possibility to serve this field through my role on the student board," said Abbie. "I hope to also provide research that I am currently working on (how AI could provide accessibility to members of disabled communities) to be published," she added.
Abbie learned about this professional development opportunity from Assistant Professor, Brady Lund who shared the general call for students with his INFO 5000 - Information and Knowledge Professions class. Lund says he encouraged a number of students in his class to consider the opportunity, including Abbie, who jumped at the chance.
“Abbie had previously shown interest in my DEIB research," said Lund. “This made me think that she had a mind to illuminating and combatting disparities in scholarly publishing and would be a great representative on the Information Matters board."
Abbie is a first-year student with a focus in the general program of study. She is also pursuing the Instructional Design and Technology Graduate Certificate offered by the Department of Learning Technologies. Her interest in librarianship grew while working as a paraprofessional at a local school district. After speaking with and observing the librarian working there, Abbie was motivated to earn her degree. Having already earned a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a triple concentration in English, the Social Sciences, and Biblical Studies, this next step made sense for Abbie. She says she chose to pursue her degree at UNT for two reasons: the department’s reputation in the academic community, and her interaction with faculty and staff demonstrated that they cared about students academically and showed an interest in their personal and professional development.
Abbie is currently working on research regarding book bans and censorship in children and young adult literature.
“Words have power, and, thus, the idea that certain passages or fragments of sentences found in books, primarily that are taken out of context, were causing such unrest was fascinating to me,” says Abbie. “Often books face removal because they are deemed potentially dangerous by individuals who feel a (false) sense of moral obligation. The idea of grappling with topics rather than shunning them completely from the conversation made me interested in pursuing research in book banning and censorship in children and young adult literature."
After just a semester in the program, Abbie is already beginning to make an impact, and is taking advantage of professional development opportunities that come her way. In addition to being awarded a departmental scholarship, Abbie's final paper for the INFO 5000 course was accepted for publication in The Serials Librarian, an international library and information science journal. She will also be starting a new position as a graduate student assistant at the UNT Willis Library this semester. Abbie hopes to work as an academic/research librarian or social science librarian at a university after graduating from UNT.
Published January 11, 2023.