Librarians and Cybrarians


"In tough times," writes Marilyn Johnson, "a librarian is a terrible thing to waste." In any time, to my thinking.


I'm reading Johnson's new work, This Book is Overdue! Its subtitle is How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. Johnson is a writer, not a librarian. She simply and justifiably admires librarians. Shouldn't we all?


I'm not a librarian, either. When I came to the university about all I could say was that I was a card-carrying library member. "Clueless," wrote one faculty member in the School of Library and Information Science about her future dean. "But trainable." (She showed me her note about a year later.)


Johnson's sprightly book — it reads quickly and is unlikely to be overdue if you borrow it — is both an appreciation and an instruction in the transformation of libraries. Hence, her double duty assessment that both librarians and cybrarians are bulwarks of the information age and knowledge economy.


She describes a contest between librarians in Australia — "one armed with the library's online reference resources, the other with Google and the free Web" — and reports that the librarian using the library's databases was "more efficient, accurate, and concise" than the Google surfer. But she concludes that, in either case, the library patron is the winner to have access to both.


I recommend Johnson's book for a better grasp of what is happening across the information spectrum in all our disciplines. The digital revolution is not putting libraries out of business, it's evolving them. Ask Melanie Huggins, our SLIS alumna, now directing the Richland County Public Library and eagerly pushing the envelope of library convention.


Or Dr. Michael Stephens, assistant professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in Illinois. Professor Stephens joins us for the 25th Annual Deans' and Directors' Lecture on Wednesday, April 7. His lecture theme — "Building the Hyperlinked Library in Times of Change & Challenge" — is on the same wave length as Johnson's book.


This underscores why we are a School of Library and Information Science. It's not an either/or proposition. It's also why we created an undergraduate degree in Information Science to open an avenue for students onto the digital information highway where there are ever increasing job opportunities, libraries being just one.


Technological change is similarly affecting the communications industry. One thing I tell prospective students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications — and their parents — is that the jobs disappearing today are not the jobs they want. We need to prepare them for the jobs that will emerge over the years while they are students. More thoughts on that in my "Minding Our Business" column you'll find on the college's home. Read it >


Meanwhile, go hug a librarian, real or virtual.


Bierbauer signature



Alumni News



Denise LyonsLibrary Alumna is a “Mover and Shaker”


Denise Lyons, ’04 MLIS, library development services consultant at the South Carolina State Library, was recently named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker for 2010.


Denise spearheaded the South Carolina Day by Day Family Literacy Calendar and is reaching families statewide to promote the importance of literacy. Read more >





Susan AudeJournalism Alumna Starts Political Blog


Susan Aude, ’78 MMC, retired news anchor for WIS TV, recently started a new venture in her life by unleashing, a blog where she discusses her views on politics.


Susan says, “the blog is equal parts ‘sass and sensibility’ (the Web site’s slogan). Well, actually, it’s probably weighted toward a lot more sass”, Aude admits. Read more >





David MorrowRemembering Alumnus David Morrow


After a fight with cancer, journalism alumnus David Morrow, ‘83, a financial journalist and a former editor in chief of, died Feb. 1. He was 49 and lived in Reno, Nev.


David had recently taken a position as the first Donald W. Reynolds endowed chair in business journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno.





Don’t Forget – We Need Your Feedback on InterCom!


As you know, our students are working hard to produce the next issue of InterCom, the college’s alumni magazine. We need feedback from alumni to help us continue to improve the magazine. Please take a few minutes to complete our readership survey as we move forward in producing our spring issue. Click on this link. Take Survey >




College News


Verizon Communications Makes Cocky’s Reading Express Visits Possible


Cocky and his friends have been on the move visiting and reading to children in Greenville, Orangeburg and Allendale counties, thanks to support from Verizon Communications.


On March 26, Cocky’s Reading Express™ visited childcare centers and afterschool programs in Greenville County. On March 11, CRE visited elementary schools in Orangeburg and Allendale counties.





Cocky Award for Best Super Bowl Commercial


Wednesday, April 7
8:40 – 9:55 a.m.
Russell House Theater


Our School of Journalism and Mass Communications will present its 7th Annual Cocky Award for Best Super Bowl Commercial to Doritos. Stuart Beck, associate brand manager for Doritos, and Cole Koehler, one of the creators of the commercial, are coming to receive the award and share stories about the making of the commercial. Students in Professor Bonnie Drewniany’s Honors College Super Bowl Advertising class gathered for the Super Bowl and rated each national ad in three categories: persuasion, brand identity, and likability.



Faculty Spotlight


Bonnie Drewniany


Faculty Spotlight on Bonnie Drewniany


By Stephanie Warren, SJMC Graduate Student


Today’s class is quieter than usual as students finish their last minute studying for an upcoming quest. Anyone who has had School of Journalism and Mass Communications Professor Bonnie Drewniany knows the class does not have quizzes or tests but rather the quest, a mix of the two that is not as short as a quiz but not meant to be as intimidating as a test.


At a young age, Drewniany was interested in commercials, especially Volkswagen and Coke spots. In high school she took a journalism class that she really enjoyed, but her dad told her the money was in advertising so she pursued that in college at Syracuse University.


Drewniany got her first advertising job at Macy’s. She did a little bit of everything, from radio, television and print advertisements to planning special events like guest chefs or new store openings. While at Macy’s, Drewniany went on to earn her MBA from Rutgers University. She has also done work for Fortunoff’s and F.A.O. Schwarz, where she says that working on the Christmas catalog with illustrator Maurice Sendak is one of the most notable projects of her career.


Before coming to USC, Drewniany was a visiting professor at Syracuse University. At USC she has won several teaching awards including the Mungo Award and multiple Mortar Board Awards. She is also the author of two books, Creative Strategy in Advertising with A. Jerome Jewler and Advertising and the Mature Market with William Ryan.


Drewniany’s classes in creative strategy, advanced creative strategy and advertising campaigns allow students to learn the criteria for advertising before putting their skills to the test on a campaign. She developed an Honors College seminar course on Super Bowl advertising after presenting a lecture on the subject at the American Association on Aging conference where she looked at how older people were portrayed in the ads for the game. She said, “I realized there was a story to tell. Through the ads, you could see changes in pop culture and history as well as how brands deal with minorities and gender.” Each year the class watches the Super Bowl and picks the best commercial based on persuasiveness, brand identity and likability. This year’s pick was the Doritos Samurai commercial, which will be awarded the coveted Cocky Award on April 7 in the Russell House Theatre. Doritos executive Stuart Beck and “Snack Attack Samurai” ad creator Cole Koehler will talk with students about creating the commercial.


Drewniany brings out the best in her students and their work. She says what she enjoys most about teaching is when students go above and beyond what is expected. Last spring her Super Bowl advertising class created a spoof of the Conan O’Brien spot for Bud Light in an effort to persuade him to come to campus to accept the Cocky Award. Gamecocks for Conan was conceived and produced by the class and even included a cameo by President Harris Pastides. Not only did the students have fun creating the video, but it also changed the final project for the class this year. Drewniany gave them the option of creating a new commercial or a spoof of a commercial for their final project.


Student Spotlight


Sara Mason


Student Spotlight on Sara Mason


By Ellison Coles, SJMC


Through the SLIS distance education program, Virginia resident and first year graduate student Sara Mason hasn’t let location stop her from earning her master’s degree. Mason holds a B.A. in English Literature from Old Dominion University. She lives in Norfolk, Va. and is employed as the library assistant for the Jean Outland Chrysler Library, at the Chrysler Museum of Art, where she has been working for three years. Mason’s boss, Laura Christensen earned her graduate degree from our School of Library and Information Science, and encouraged Mason to look at the program.


Mason is studying toward her Master’s in Library and Information Science, with an emphasis in Archives and Records Management. The distance program has afforded her this opportunity without uprooting her from her life in Virginia.


Mason loves being a student in the distance program, but wishes she had a stronger connection to not only classmates in South Carolina, but those in Virginia as well. Mason wants to build a connection between distance students and the USC Library and Information Science Student Association so that even from different states, they can be involved in “on-campus” activities. Mason says, “I feel as if the effort to make a connection has been enthusiastically supported.”


Since students in Virginia are more spread out than their South Carolina counterparts, it is more difficult to plan social activities. However, Mason is determined to make the connection. “I have scheduled some events to gather a good number of students from all over the state in one location to have a little education fun and fellowship,” says Mason. A trip to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is scheduled for May.


The fact that many distance students wish to be involved in this group is very encouraging for Mason, and rewards her effort of gathering the group together. “It’s been wonderful to make friends with my classmates not only through group projects, class discussions and online collaboration, but through social networking and face-to-face events. I’m excited to see what else will develop.”



Deans and Directors Lecture

Wednesday, April 7 at 7 p.m.
Calcott Social Sciences Center

Dr. Michael Stephens from Dominican University will be speak at the 25th Annual Deans’ and Directors’ Lecture on “Building the Hyperlinked Library in Times of Change and Challenge”.  The Beta Phi Mu induction and awards presentation will precede the lecture at 6 p.m. Read more >


May Carolina Alumni Weekend

“The World According to Twitter and Kindle”
Friday, May 14 at 3:30 p.m.

Russell House Student Union

Learn how to face the changes in our communications world at this panel featuring socially connected alumni and faculty of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. Dean Charles Bierbauer –twitter handle: CJBSC – will moderate. Stay tuned to find out who our panelists are!

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