Kent State’s School of Library and Information Science Honors Students, Alumni

Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science honored 10 of its top alumni and dozens of outstanding students at events in Kent and Columbus this past spring.

The Celebration of Alumni and Student Success took place in April at the School of Library and Information Science’s site in the State Library of Ohio in Columbus, and in May at the Kent Student Center on the Kent Campus.

Among those honored were Sue Polanka, M.L.S. '95, as Alumnus of the Year, and Don W. Barlow and Michael O. Bice, as Friends of the Year.

Polanka is head of reference and instruction at Wright State University Libraries and serves as president of the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO). She was elected to the American Library Association Council in 2012 and was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2011, tagged as the "Ebook Guru." Polanka is editor of the American Library Association series "No Shelf Required," which also is the name of her award-winning blog on issues related to ebooks and electronic reference interfaces.

Barlow is executive director of Westerville Public Library in Westerville, Ohio. Barlow has been a frequent lecturer in the School of Library and Information Science’s Columbus classes and taught Library Management as an adjunct instructor for many years. He also hosted many practicum students and spearheads a tuition reimbursement program that has enticed many of his staff to enroll in the School of Library and Information Science. A long-time supporter of the School of Library and Information Science, Barlow was honored for his visionary library leadership and the transformational impact he has had on the lives of many students, alumni and other library professionals.

Bice, a former hospital executive, joined the School of Library and Information Science in 2010 to launch a new concentration in health informatics as a concentration in the school's Information Architecture and Knowledge Management program. He developed the curriculum, established an advisory board of health care IT professionals, recruited adjunct instructors and established partnerships with other institutions that have helped make the concentration a success. Bice retired at the end of 2012.

Also recognized at the events were recipients of six additional alumni awards and graduates from August 2012, December 2012 and May 2013. Student honorees included scholarship winners, Beta Phi Mu inductees, graduate assistants and student employees.

Information on the honorees can be found at

POSTED: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 12:06pm
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