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Library and Information Studies director announces retirement

April 22, 2009

Louise Robbins, longtime director of the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), has announced that she will retire in August.

Robbins has served as director of the school since July 1997. She joined the faculty as an assistant professor in August 1991.

Robbins’ research specialty is the history of intellectual freedom in American librarianship. Her best known book, “The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship and the American Library” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), won the inaugural Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association. It also won the Willa Award for best nonfiction book from Women Writing the West, and was a book award finalist at the Oklahoma Center for the Book. It is used in many library and information studies classes across North America. She is also author or co-author of two other books and the co-editor of SLIS’s centennial history, “Tradition and Vision.”

During Robbins’ tenure as director, the school has successfully navigated two American Library Association reaccreditation processes; increased its endowment; improved the diversity of its faculty and students; developed a successful distance degree program; and internationalized its curriculum and outreach. Most recently, the school has begun relationships with National Taiwan University and the University of Botswana. The latter includes an opportunity for SLIS students to intern in Botswana village libraries. The school has also developed strong service-learning ties with the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.