Salem named Kent State iSchool alumnus of the year

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Joseph A. Salem Jr., Penn State University Libraries’ associate dean of Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campus Libraries, has been named the 2017 Library and Information Science Alumnus of the Year by Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science (iSchool). 

The award, given to a graduate who has made a significant contribution to the profession, will be presented at a university ceremony April 25 in Kent, Ohio.

In selecting Salem for the honor, Kendra Albright, Kent State’s iSchool director, said, “Throughout his career, Joe has exemplified strong vision and leadership: He is associate dean at a top academic library; he’s well published in the field; and he has presented and published on a variety of topics, including virtual reference, assessment of information literacy and learning commons. His colleagues know that he values collaboration and communicates easily with all stakeholders. He also encourages creativity and creates environments where others are able to succeed. We are delighted to honor him as our 2017 alumnus of the year.”

“Since his arrival at Penn State University Libraries in March 2015, Joe has made significant contributions and overseen many innovative initiatives on behalf of Penn State, so it is a great point of pride for our community that he is being honored by his alma mater,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said.

In fall 2016 Salem was named an ARL Leadership Fellow by the Association of Research Libraries, one of 28 people selected to participate in the 2016-17 program designed to inspire and develop future leaders of ARL member institutions. Salem’s professional goals include solving problems related to unequal access to knowledge and the resources and skills to creating and managing it among students in increasingly diverse and inclusive learning environments.

His active leadership on Penn State’s Open Educational Resources Task Force and the University’s first OER Summit — hosted in March 2016 by the Libraries at University Park and at University-wide Libraries locations via simulcast — has laid a foundation for generations of Penn State students to realize educational dividends and financial savings on academic course materials

Salem’s scholarly publications include an article titled “Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption,” published in January 2017 in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, and a co-authored ARL Systems and Procedures Exchange Center (SPEC) kit titled “Affordable Course Content and Open Educational Resources,” published in July 2016.

Salem received the Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year Award in 2009 for "A Practical Guide to Information Literacy Assessment for Academic Librarians," published in 2007 by Libraries Unlimited, which he co-authored with Kent State colleagues.

“Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to work with very talented and engaged colleagues. I thank them for their collaboration and owe this recognition to them,” Salem said.

Salem holds an undergraduate degree in English from Cleveland State University and three degrees from Kent State — master of arts in English, master of library science, and a doctor of philosophy degree in educational assessment, testing and measurement. Previously he served as the University of Akron Libraries’ head of Research and Learning Services and interim head of Access Services at the University of Akron Libraries and, earlier, as assistant professor in libraries and media services and head of Reference and Government Information Services at Kent State University Libraries.

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Last Updated April 10, 2017