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Student association receives top national honor

Photo: LISSA members attending the Deans' and Directors' Lecture. (l to r) Ashley Ware, Erin Patterson, Lindsay Rogillio, Travis Wagner, Jessica Dai, Amanda Bullington, and Taylor Atkinson
Posted May 4, 2015
Updated July 27, 2015
By Haley Hinze, second year M.M.C. student


The USC Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) chapter has been named the American Library Association student chapter of the year. 

The Student Chapter of the Year Award is presented in recognition of a chapter’s outstanding contributions to ALA, its school, and the profession. The purpose of the award is to increase student involvement in ALA through student chapters and to recognize its leaders. Official ALA student chapters are organizations formed by students at schools offering accredited programs of library and information studies. The winning student chapter receives a $1,000 travel grant to help with the cost of ALA conference attendance.

USC’s chapter president Taylor Atkinson submitted LISSA’s many accomplishments of the past year to an ALA award committee, who selected them as the top chapter.  Their activities were divided into six categories of communication, financial health, membership, leadership, and programs related to the Student Chapter of the Year Award.

LISSA advisor, Dr. Elise Lewis, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science, said that the students “represent excellences” within the school.  Many of the members are distance students of the Master of Library and Information Science program and do not live in Columbia.  The group “constantly tries new tactics to ensure students … feel a sense of community,”  Lewis said.  The organization is a group of cohesive students that are “willing to help each other out as well as the faculty and staff of SLIS.” 

The organization led a number of events in the past year, including a Halloween celebration and monthly movie nights, a presentation at the South Carolina Library Association conference and their annual calendar fundraiser.  They have also participated in many community outreach projects with Cocky’s Reading Express and the Moving Images Records Collection.   LISSA members “represent leaders in the field who advocate for the community and are dedicated to the field,” said Lewis. 

The chapter was recognized at an award ceremony during the June 28 New Members Round Table Student Reception at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. This is the second time the chapter has received the award.

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians and library users since 1876.