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Spring 2017 | Volume 18 | Number 2
In This Issue
 Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Chancellor Robert Jones has named John Wilkin as the interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost designate. Wilkin, the Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and university librarian and a professor of library administration at the Urbana campus, began in the new role February 18, 2017. 

“Dean Wilkin’s seamless combination of a thoughtful, balanced demeanor along with the practical experience and working knowledge of academic operations established him as the right person for this position at this critical time,” Jones said.



While John Wilkin serves as interim provost at Illinois, William H. Mischo, head of the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, will serve as acting dean of libraries and university librarian designate. Professor Mischo has more than thirty years of experience at Illinois and an extraordinary track record of leadership and innovation.

Professor Mischo was recently invested as The Berthold Family Professor in Information Access and Discovery at a ceremony on September 30, 2016. He is the inaugural holder of the professorship, selected for his interest, expertise, and academic abilities in creating, directing, and maintaining accessible and searchable digital data platforms for users.


The Library has launched a digital publishing initiative, the Illinois Open Publishing Network, with its first work—a new English translation of a memoir of Claude Monet. The publishing network is a network of open-access scholarly publications and publishing infrastructure and resources.

“We’re really trying to build a new model for scholarly communications—what it means for libraries to do this work so we’re not just at the end of a life cycle, collecting and maintaining materials, but also helping scholars create materials, too,” said English and Digital Humanities Librarian Harriett Green. Professor Green is also the interim head of the Library's Scholarly Communication and Publishing unit.

Read more from the News Bureau at


DocExpress is the Library’s document delivery service which provides copies of materials located in the libraries at Illinois. Faculty, staff, and graduate students can now use this service to request digital copies of journal articles, book chapters, and microfilm & microfiche at no charge.

For more information, visit


The Library now offers resource guides on various disabilities, disability theory, and assistive technologies. The disability-specific, easy-to-use guides are the result of Applied Health Sciences Librarian JJ Pionke’s efforts to offer materials on common disabilities in one centralized location. Pionke's project includes resources pertaining to anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), blind/visual impairment, depression, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

“These guides are meant to act as a gateway into developing a well-rounded understanding of the disability that is highlighted,” said Pionke. 

The guides are available online at—and there are more planned. They are available to everyone, not just to those on the U of I campus.

To view all of the resource guides developed by librarians at Illinois, visit


The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a single free virtual library comprised of digitized collections created by libraries, archives, and museums across the nation.

In Illinois, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shares service hub responsibilities for DPLA with the Illinois State Library, the Chicago Public Library, and the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI). 

DPLA service hubs are state, regional, or other collaborations that host, aggregate, or otherwise bring together digital objects from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. These institutions bring together millions of records about digital texts, photographs, manuscript materials, artwork, and more. State and regional hubs agree to collect content that describes their local history, but also content about the United States broadly and, when available, international topics.

Visit the online digital library at

What Illinois Faculty are Saying About the Library
 Photo by Sarah Scully Photography

Peter Fritzsche is a professor in the Department of History.

"It would simply be impossible to research and write a book without the support of the Library, particularly the good-natured, highly-flexible staff at Interlibrary Loan whom I have gotten to know well. The staff has always been super accommodating about my requests, which usually involve an extension of a deadline. Whenever I call the Library, the Library is there for me, whether it is getting a DVD released from undergraduate reserve or helping me acquire a rare book around the world. My requests bring in books from Europe and beyond."

We would love to hear your thoughts about the role the Library may be playing in your research and teaching. Share your comments with Heather Murphy at With permission, the Library may include your feedback in some of its publications where appropriate. 

Meet Mara Thacker
Photo by Heather Murphy 

Mara Thacker joined the faculty at Illinois as the South Asian Studies librarian in 2012 and oversees the largest library collection of South Asian comics. She is passionate about changing the status and perception of Indian comics, so much so that it is part of her research agenda. Thacker recently conducted field work at India Comic Con in New Delhi, India, and is planning to go on additional research trips to this country in the future. She hopes to work with some other faculty from the iSchool and the Department of English to form an IPRH (Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities) reading group on comics next year. Thacker was most recently named to the 2017 class of Library Journal‘s Movers & Shakers.

The International and Area Studies Library at Illinois is located on the third floor of the Main Library and provides access to interdisciplinary services and collections related to area, international, and global studies in vernacular languages and English. Faculty, services, and collections focus on African Studies; East Asian Studies; European Union Studies; Global Studies; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Middle East and North African Studies; Russian East European, and Eurasian Studies; and South Asian Studies.

Have questions? Need help? Connect with Mara Thacker at


Visit the University Library's Office of Advancement website at

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