Angela Johnson Named SLIS Writer in Residence

Award-winning young adult and children’s author Angela Johnson has been named the first writer-in-residence for the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science.  

Johnson is the author of more than 40 children’s books about African-American families, friendships and coming-of-age stories based on her own childhood experiences and relevant themes for children and young adults. She has received several prestigious awards for both her picture books and young adult novels. Most notably, she is a three-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and she received the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award in 2004 for The First Part Last, which was hailed as the year’s “best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.” 

Johnson’s newest picture book, All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day of freedom for the last of the slaves in the south. It was released in May 2014.

In addition to the honors and accolades for her publications, Johnson received a 2003 MacArthur Genius Grant, given to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”

Johnson was born in Tuskegee, Ala., grew up in Windham, Ohio, and attended Kent State University. She now resides in Kent, Ohio. 

In her role as writer-in-residence, Johnson will have an office in the school’s Reinberger Children’s Library Center, home of the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of PIcturebook Art, which features more than 28,000 children’s picturebooks. Johnson will use the collection for research and inspiration for her own writing. In addition, Johnson will volunteer her expertise through participation in workshops, course lectures, conferences and symposia, and other school events and activities as appropriate.

“It’s quite an honor for the school to have Angela Johnson as our first writer-in-residence,” Jeff Fruit, interim director of the School of Library and Information Science, said. “Our youth librarianship program is ranked 10th in the country by U.S. News and World Report, and I’m sure that this kind of connection will enhance our reputation many times over. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students, our faculty and other members of the university community to work alongside a writer of such renown.”

The School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University offers a Master of Library and Information Science (M.L.I.S.) and Master of Science in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM).  In addition, the school participates in an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the College of Communication and Information. With more than 700 students enrolled, SLIS has the largest graduate program at Kent State. Its M.L.I.S. is the only American Library Association-accredited master’s program in Ohio, and is recognized by U.S. News and World Report among the nation’s top 20 LIS programs, with a youth services program that is ranked 10th. For more information visit

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POSTED: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 04:33 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 08:33 AM
Flo Cunningham

The fall season is upon us and the crispness in the air is lending to a “can do” spirit here at the iSchool. Fall brings a time of reflection as we take stock of all that was accomplished over the spring and summer term as we enter the remaining term of 2023. 

Michael Bice served as a senior executive of academic medical centers and large healthcare systems for over 25 years. In 2008, when he was tapped by Kent State University's Provost, Robert Frank, to create a healthcare master's degree for the university, there were only three health informatics programs in the United States. Kent State's made it four.

Claudia Lillibridge’s extensive career of over 20 years in health informatics has allowed her to be exposed to numerous changes throughout the field. In her role as Senior Project Manager at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Lillibridge is using innovative technology to enhance physician-patient communication.