MLIS Department News

June 9, 2016. Two VSU MLIS representatives will be at the Master of Library Science Program Fair on Saturday June 18 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm in Atlanta at Oglethorpe University’s Turner Lynch Campus Center.  Jointly sponsored by the Metro-Atlanta Library Association and the Georgia Library Association New Members Round Table, the event features eight library education programs and four professional associations.  It is a great change to find out about opportunities for LIS education, professional development, and a wonderful networking opportunity.  See for more about the Metro-Atlanta Library Association.

June 9, 2016.  Current MLIS student Yolanda Bergstrom-Lynch has been awarded an American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship for 2016-2017.  ALA’s Spectrum Scholars are selected based on their commitment to diversity, commitment to entering the library profession, demonstrated community outreach, ability and achievements and leadership potential.  Additionally, Yolanda was recognized with the special honor of being sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). More information about the Spectrum Scholarship and the list of recipients can be found here

February 26, 2016.  We would like to congratulate VSU MLIS Alumna Pamela Johnson-Spurlock on her new position as librarian for the Silsby Free Public Library in Charlestown, New Hampshire.  To learn more about the move and Pamela's background please read the article from Eagle Times.

September 4, 2015.  We would like to congratulate the recipients of the Georgia Library Association (GLA) Scholarship VSU MLIS students Karen Manning and Rebecca Ballard.  Manning received the Beard Scholarship while Ballard received the Hubbard Scholarship.  More information can be found on GLA's blog.

August 31, 2015.  Congrats to VSU Alumni on being selected for the Georgia Public Library Service's PINNACLE (Public Library Institute for New and Creative Leadership Education) Program.  PINNACLE was founded in 2007 with the help of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government which is another unit within the University System of Georgia.  The program consists of seven sessions starting in October of this year.  According to Julia Huprich GPLS's director of continuing education sessions will include "analytical and creative problem solving, planning and process improvement, managing change, finanical management, performance, and many more.  More information can be found here.

List of VSU participants:
Pauline Abbide
Jennifer Lautzenheiser
Stephen Houser
Kristin Eberhart
Micah Newstone
Miguel Vicente

July 27, 2015.  VSU MLIS Alumna Emy Nelson Decker has recently had a book published with co-author Jennifer A. Townes titled Handbook of Research on Disaster Management and Contingency Planning in Modern Libraries.  Emy Nelson Decker is the Unit Head for E-Learning Technologies at the Atlanta University Center, Robert Woodruff Library.  Her MLIS is from VSU and she received her MA in Art History from the University of Chicago.  For more information on the Handbook of Research on Disaster Management and Contingency Planning in Modern Libraries please click here.

June 9, 2015.  Dr. Linda Most has been named Department Head for Library and Information Studies in Valdosta State University’s Dewar College of Education and Human Services effective July 1, 2015, after serving as interim in the position for the past year.  Dr. Most joined the VSU MLIS faculty in 2009 after receiving her PhD in Library and Information Studies from the Florida State University and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013 and granted tenure in 2014.  Her research interests include public libraries in society and the teaching of library and information studies in the online environment.  Her dissertation was published in 2013 as “The Rural Public Library as Place: A Theoretical Analysis” in Advances in Library Administration and Organization, v.30.  Dr. Most has also published in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, and presented at annual conferences and has served on a number of committees for the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). This year she is co-chairing the ALISE 2016 Juried Papers competition.  She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the South Georgia Regional Library System in Valdosta, Georgia, and was recently appointed by the Governor of the State of Georgia to the Georgia State Board for the Certification of Librarians.

May 27, 2015.  A VSU MLIS representative will be in Atlanta @ Oglethorpe University to participate in the Metro Atlanta Library Association and the Georgia Library Association's NMRT event on Saturday June 13th @ 2 - 4pm.

Program Fair information

May 19, 2015.  VSU MLIS alumna Jennifer Lautzenheiser "was promoted to interim director of the Middle Georgia Public Library System in March..." writes Phillip Ramati for The Telegraph, Middle Georgia's news source.  And while the circumstances weren't the best, Jennifer did a great job with the transition and recently the board removed the interim status.  “She just hit the ground running,” said Hetty Jardine, chairwoman of the board of trustees.  To read more head over to The Telegraph's article.  

Pamela Johnson-Spurlock

Katresa Gardner

May 11, 2015.  We would like to congratulate Pamela Johnson-Spurlock, Katresa Gardner, Tia Morris, Amanda Davis, Lily Kosmicki, and John Wallace for their scholarship awards.  Above are pictures of Pamela Johnson-Spurlock and Katresa Gardner accepting their awards from Dr. Don Leech Associate Dean of the Dewer College of Education and Human Services.  Pamela received the MLIS Merit Scholarship and Katresa along with Tia N. Morris (no picture) were awarded the H.W. Wilson Scholarship.  Amanda Davis was honored with the George Gaumond Award and Lily Kosmicki was awarded the ALA Student-to-Staff Scholarship.  John Wallace received the SOLIS Grant for ALA Registration.  You can read more about the scholarships here and check out the SOLIS newsletter for more news and a list of the recipients.

April 22, 2015.  Julia Huprich, VSU MLIS 2007 alumna, joined the Georgia Public Library Service in March 2015 as the director of Training and Continuing Education. Prior to becoming a part of the GPLS team, she served as the head of digital services and communications at the Cobb County Public Library System, where she built websites, bought eBooks, wrote press releases, and developed tech exploration programs for the public ( ). 

Read more about Julia’s career and accomplishments at

April 9, 2015.  VSU alumna Tracy Walker was named the "Biggest Fibber during the 239th Big Fibbers Storytelling Festival on March 21-22 in Rome."  She competed against 14 other storytellers.

To read more head over to the Gainesville Times.

March 19, 2015. VSU alumna Camille Ann Brewer has been named the Executive Director for the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago.  According to the article, written by the University of Chicago, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium is a “Chicago-based association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions that document African American and African diasporic culture, history and politics, with a specific focus on materials relating to Chicago."

To read more from the article click here.

March 10, 2015.  Amanda Davis, a 3rd year MLIS student has recently been awarded a fellowship from the Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program (CEP).  According to their website CEP offers “traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups an opportunity to jump-start their careers in research libraries” via “a robust internship experience.”  Davis’s internship host institution is North Carolina State University.

Click the links for more information on the Association of Research Libraries and their Career Enhancement Program.

November 25, 2014. MLIS graduate John Mack Freeman has been named one of ALA’s Emerging Leaders for 2015 .  Mack previously received ALA’s 2014 Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship to participate in the 2014 ALA Annual conference in Las Vegas . Mack now works at the West Georgia Regional Library as the Marketing and Programming Coordinator. Before graduating and moving to West Georgia he worked at the Tifton-Tift County Public Library.  Mack is also active in the Georgia Library Association and serves on their Scholarship Committee.

October 15, 2014, MLIS Program Ranked Nationally, Named a Best Buy

VALDOSTA — The online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at Valdosta State University has been named a Best Buy by the experts at

VSU’s MLIS program was among 23 similar online degree programs across the nation to be independently reviewed. Of those, 12 were found to offer a high quality education at a cost that ranks well below the national average.

To read more of the article click here.

August 19, 2014.  MLIS Professor Dr. Anita Ondrusek receives VSU’s inaugural Teaching Excellence Award for Online Teaching

August 18, 2014, VSU MLIS alumni are prominently featured in the Summer 2014 issue of the Georgia Library Quarterly, V. 51, Issue 3, available at 

2014 graduate Karin J. Fulton has had her Capstone paper published. The paper is titled “The Rise of Patron-Driven Acquisitions: A Literature Review” and can be found on pages 22-30 of the journal.

Eli Arnold, a 2012 MLIS graduate who is now a reference librarian at Oglethorpe University, reviewed The Oglethorpe Plan: Enlightenment Design in Savannah and Beyond by Thomas D. Wilson, University of Virginia Press, 2012 (GLQ, Summer 2014, pp. 52-53).

Alumni News reported in the 2014 Summer GLQ:

Dr. Wendy Wilmouth -- who earned both her MLIS and her doctoral degrees at VSU – became the Director of Learning Resources at Georgia Piedmont Technical College in January 2014 (GLQ, Summer 2014, p. 40). 

Alumni Lindsay Cronk (Lyrasis), Melissa Perez (Georgia State University) and Ariel Turner (Kennesaw State University) were selected to present a Conversation Starter at the 2014 ALA Annual Convention in Las Vegas.  They were the 2013 co-chairs of the Atlanta Emerging Librarians and they presented on their experiences over the year.  Alumni Benji Barton also contributed to the presentation’s content though he did not attend the conference (GLQ, Summer 2014, p.39).

And finally, VSU MLIS alumni are running for 2015 offices for the Georgia Library Association (GLA) and the Southeastern Library Association (SELA). Their profiles can be found on pages 43 – 48.

On July 1, 2014, the Master of Library and Information Science Program will become the Department of Library and Information Studies. In addition to the name change, the Department will become a part of the Dewar College of Education and Human Services.  This will be an administrative shift from the Dean of the Library. The Department Head will answer to Interim Dean of Education and Human Services Brian Gerber.  Departmental Offices will remain on the fourth floor of Odum Library. All telephone numbers and email addresses will also not change.

The degree program will not change nor will the degree name: Master of Library and Information Science. It is expected that students will not experience any changes in the curriculum. The application, advising, and teaching processes are to remain unchanged.

The administrative shift resulted from the continuing self-study the MLIS faculty has undertaken. The CoEHS possesses program assessment and other evaluative resources not held by the Library. The Department of Library and Information Studies will draw upon those resources as it continues on-going accreditation work. These resources should provide a sounder basis for continuing growth of the department.

Program Director and Professor Wallace Koehler announced his intention to retire from Valdosta State University on July 31, 2014. He joined the VSU faculty in 2001 when he was one of three faculty members to welcome the first class of nine students into the MLIS Program. Dr. Koehler received his MS in Information Science from the University of Tennessee in 1997 and his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 1977. The MLIS faculty thanks Dr. Koehler for his distinguished service to the university, the department and our students. 

Dr. Linda Most will become the interim Department Head. The search for a permanent department head is planned to begin in Fall 2014.