More Details of the 2021 Spring Meeting’s Talks

Only one week to go, until we meet to initiate this year’s new members, award scholarships, and hear the latest in library and information science research.

As a brief preview of the meeting, we are delighted to be able to share with the abstracts that our speakers have provided.

Dr. Diana Floegel: Oppression and Marginalization in Queer Fandoms Online

Online spaces such as social media platforms have been lauded for their potential to be “great equalizers,” but in reality, they reify existing oppressions. Our understanding of how oppression manifests online is largely limited to how “Big Tech” platforms like Facebook and Twitter operate. However, many other types of platform exist on the internet, and some of these spaces explicitly try to be inclusive of people with traditionally marginalized identities. Dr. Floegel’s research explores queer people’s participation in online media fandoms as a context through which to examine how connections between people’s practices and platforms’ policies produce marginalization within seemingly inclusive digital environments. Their talk specifically focuses on how structural power dynamics including racism, homophobia, and colonialism relate to inequitable dimensions of a) creative practices, b) community formations, and c) platform governance structures. Dr. Floegel will highlight how their findings bolster our understanding of online environments writ large and help us consider ways to develop more just and liberatory social media platforms in the near future.

Dr. Isha Ghosh: Increasing Privacy Sensitivity Through Social Interventions.

Dr. Ghosh’s research is on the human factors of privacy and security, focusing on people as social actors whose privacy behaviors are influenced by their relationships, communities and life situations. Her work lies at the intersection of social computing, data-driven privacy, and ethical systems, focusing primarily on the use of social interventions to simplify privacy decision making for individuals.

Dr. Connie Pascal: Exploring the Information Practices of Cannabis Nurses

Exploring the Information Practices of Cannabis Nurses is an interdisciplinary study that incorporates theories from information science, communication, and knowledge management to study the phenomenon of cannabis nursing through the lens of their information practices (information practices theorize and emphasize the embodiment and sociological aspects of information seeking in everyday life). The objective of the study is to discern what information practices are being employed by nurses already practicing some form of cannabis care. Designed using qualitative methods, this study looks at a sample of 31 self-described cannabis nurses who participated in semi-structured interviews This analysis produced a rich description of how this set of early adopters are seeking and selecting trusted sources of information.

Annual Meeting, April 19th, 2021!

Mark Your Calendars!

This year’s annual meeting will be held online on Monday, April 19th, at 7pm.

You can register for the meeting—reports, initiation ceremony, and talks (but, alas, we can’t provide dinner!)—using this form: We will send you a Zoom link, nearer the meeting.

We are extremely fortunate that the three speakers we asked to present for us last year have agreed to present at this year’s meeting. However, this year is especially exciting for us, as they are now recent graduates of RU SCI’s PhD program! We hope you will join us to see Dr. Diana Floegel, Dr. Isha Ghosh, and Dr. Connie Pascal present their research.

Thursday, Nov. 19: “WHAT MAKES IT LEGIT?”

The Beta Phi Mu Omicron Chapter and the Library and Information Science Department at SC&I present …

WHAT MAKES IT LEGIT? Preview of PDF flyer for event.
Teaching digital verification to spark news literacy learning
Thursday, Nov. 19, 20207:00 p.m – 8:30 p.m. ET

Using recent examples of social media rumors and misinformation, John Silva and Miriam Romais from the News Literacy Project will dive into the tools and skills LIS professionals need to verify the authenticity of information and ideas.

  • How do we develop critical observation skills to determine the original context of information and ideas?
  • How do we create engaging fact-checked activities that empower students to investigate and debunk viral content?

Learn how to use:

  • Reverse image searches to determine authenticity of photos and video
  • Archivers to explore deleted or changed content
  • Google Street View to confirm locations

Sponsored by Beta Phi Mu / LIS Department / RU Libraries /New Jersey Center for the Book / SC&I Alumni Association.

Register to receive the Zoom Link by following this link.

COVID-19 and Postponing the Annual Dinner

We regret to inform you that we have had to postpone this year’s annual dinner and initiation ceremony, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as we have a new date for the dinner—most likely in fall 2020—we will let you know.

In the meantime, you can still send checks for membership dues and for scholarship donations. It is also okay to wait until the rescheduled event to submit your membership dues.

If you have already mailed us a check which includes money for the annual dinner, we will be in touch with you about how to proceed.

As ever, please don’t hesitate to contact the BPMO board through email, through the blog, or through the Facebook group.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Annual Meeting: 2020 Date Announced!

Mark your calendars! This year’s dinner and annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2020—at the Rutger’s Club.

We’ll be sending out more information about the venue in the Annual Newsletter.

BPMO Special Election: Vice President

The Omicron Chapter of Beta Phi Mu is holding a special election to fill the position of Vice President. The term for the position is effective February 1, 2020 through the annual Spring chapter meeting (date TBD), at which time the Vice President will take over the position and duties of President for one year.

Duties of the Vice President include:

  • Assist in maintaining the website
  • Assist in writing annual newsletter and updating membership/scholarship forms
  • Electronically receives scholarship applications; distributes applications to Board Members; organizes the voting/selection of recipients
  • Attend in-person and web-based Board Meetings to prepare for Spring meeting and annual newsletter

Nominations for the position should be emailed to chapter President Meaghan Darling by Friday, January 24. Members can self-nominate. Nominees and those voting must be members in good standing.

Special Election Timeline:

  • January 13 – Election Announcement and Nomination Period open
  • January 24 – Nomination Period closes
  • January 27 – Ballot sent to membership and electronic election begins
  • January 31 at 5pm – Election closes and results announced

Please consider volunteering for this service opportunity! Contact chapter President Meaghan Darling at meaghandarling AT gmail DOT com with any questions and/or to indicate your interest in having your name included on the ballot.


… with Rebekkah Smith Aldrich MLS, LEED AP.

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

Sustainability is now a core value of the library profession but what does that actually mean? Get in on the ground floor of one of the most important issues facing our local and global communities. From getting a better understanding of basic concepts such as “sustainable thinking” and the “triple bottom line” of sustainability to practical, applicable ideas currently happening in the field, this session will help prepare you to become a leader on the topic of sustainability in your career. If not you, then who?

December 5, 2019
7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (event will be live-streamed and videotaped)

Scholarly Communication Center (SCC) – Alexander Library
169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Reception sponsored by RU Libraries 6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.


Access Code: 791 898 839
Password: XVNHzZ2p

Questions? Contact Connie Pascal:

Open to the public – no RSVP required

2019 Annual Meeting & Dinner

This year, Beta Phi Mu Omicron has not one but three guest speakers: Dr. Marc Aronson, Dr. Minjie Chen, and Diana Floegel for our 2019 Annual Meeting & Dinner on Tuesday, April 16th. They will be talking about Dr. Aronson’s book on the Thai Cave Rescue and the research process behind it.

The Many Stories Behind the Thai Cave Rescue: How an International Team Recounted an International Event

The story of the youth soccer team trapped in a Thai cave was all over the news last summer. But in order to fully understand the events for his book Rising Water, Dr. Aronson worked with two Rutgers doctoral students, a team of Thai, Chinese, and Japanese readers, and conducted exclusive interviews with key divers and rescuers. What seemed like a survival tale turned out to be the triumph of internationalism, and a testimony to the importance of undocumented, stateless, refugees everywhere. Our speakers will describe the research and writing of Rising Water, and how the story changed as they explored it.

About the Speakers

Dr. Marc Aronson is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Rutgers University’s School of Communication and Information in the Department of Library and Information Studies. He is an award-winning author of twenty-one non-fiction books for middle school, young adult, and adult readers. His current project is an exploration of how to share a full history of humankind. He teaches graduate courses on how to select library materials for young patrons and a course on international children’s literature which features a visit to the Bologna, Italy book fair. He is a dynamic and well-known speaker, editor, and publisher. Marc’s homepage says that he “believes that young people, especially pre-teens and teenagers, are smart, passionate, and capable of engaging with interesting ideas in interesting ways.”

Dr. Minjie Chen is a Metadata Librarian for non-Roman language materials at the Cotsen Children’s Library, a special collection of international children’s literature held by Princeton University Library. She is interested in children’s literature as an information source for young people, and has studied how the history of war and political turmoil are reflected in juvenile materials, as well as children’s books on sex education. Her next project examines disabilities as portrayed in Chinese children’s literature. As well as helping Marc connect with Princeton University student translators from Thailand, Minjie interviewed one of the Chinese volunteer organizations that were part of the international rescue efforts and passed questions, answers, and photos between Marc and the rescue team leader.

Diana Floegel is a second year Ph.D. student at Rutgers SC&I. Her research interests include how entertainment media interactions and creation serve as information practices for queer individuals, and social justice in information institutions. As Marc’s research assistant for Rising Waters, her job was to provide context for the rescue that more deeply engaged with social issues—including statelessness and religion—than the narrative provided by popular news outlets. This helped the team better understand the cultural and socio-historical circumstances surrounding the rescue and the people involved.

Annual Meeting: 2019 Date Announced!

Mark your calendars! This year’s dinner and annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2019!

We’ll be sending out venue more information about the venue in the Annual Newsletter.