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Harper earns promotion, key appointments

Posted Aug. 29, 2012

Sarah Meghan Harper, Ph.D., has been promoted to the rank of associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. In addition, she has recently been honored with two prestigious appointments – as co-chair of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth, the longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults (sponsored by SLIS, the College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services and the Office of Continuing and Distance Education); and as a member of the American Library Association (ALA) Council, which delegates authority to the divisions of the national association to carry out programs and activities as well as determining all ALA policies.

Harper has been a SLIS faculty member since 2001 and currently leads the school library Dr. Meghan Harpermedia specialization, overseeing curriculum in that area and advising all K-12 library media licensure students. Her research areas include school library administration and evaluation, and she is author of Reference Sources and Services for Youth (Neal-Schuman, 2011) and the forthcoming Cataloging for School Librarians (Neal-Schuman, 2012), along with numerous articles, book chapters and reviews. In 2004 she was co-recipient of a grant for $486,621, the “Librarians for the 21st Century Program,” from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding for libraries and museums in the nation. The same year she also received a $4,000 grant from the College of Communication and Information at Kent State to develop an online course for cataloging for school library media specialists.

Harper earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, a Master of Library Science and a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Kent State. Prior to joining the SLIS faculty, she was Coordinator of Libraries and Technology and Assistant Curriculum Director for Wooster City Schools; Coordinator of Media Services, Elementary Library Coordinator, High School and Middle School Librarian, Network Systems Operator, and University of Akron School of Business and Technology Liaison for Coventry Local Schools; and Elementary Librarian for Cleveland City Schools, Cleveland.

In addition to her recent appointments and committee memberships, Harper is a member of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL), International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), Church and Synagogue Library Association (CSLA); American Association of School Librarians (AASL, Research and Statistics Committee); Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD); Ohio Educational Library Association (OELMA); and American Library Association (ALA). She was appointed to two three-year terms on the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). She has been an invited speaker at numerous state and national conferences, and will present internationally in Doha, Qatar, in the fall.

Locally, she has chaired several district-wide technology and Web development committees. She currently serves as president of the Akron Summit County Public Library Friends Council, where she has previously served as treasurer and recording secretary. She has been past president, vice president, secretary and treasurer (currently) of the Friends of the Library, Portage Lakes Branch, Akron Summit County Public Library, Inc. She also is a member of the Kent State Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa and chairs the church library committee of the First United Methodist Church of Kent.

Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science offers the only Master of Library and Information Science degree program in Ohio that is accredited by the American Library Association. It also offers one of the nation’s few master’s degrees in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management and is part of the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Communication and Information offered through the College of Communication and Information. The school is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top 20 graduate schools, and its youth librarianship program is ranked 13th. It is one of the largest library schools in the country, with more than 650 students enrolled. For more information, visit www.kent.edu/slis.

Media contact:
Flo Cunningham
fcunning@kent.edu
330-672-0003