Dana Statton Thompson receives International Visual Literary Association Education Award, AJ Boston named Library Publishing Coalition fellow
MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University Research and Instruction Librarian Dana Statton Thompson and Scholarly Communication Librarian AJ Boston, both also assistant professors, have received national commendations for their work with University Libraries.
Thompson was recognized for her efforts in visual literacy education at the 2019 Annual Conference for the International Visual Literacy Association in Leuven, Belgium. The ILVA Education Award, given only when merited, honors Thompson for her research which focuses on identifying current visual literacy initiatives in education, creating “Recommended Reads for Visual Literacy,” an online open access bibliography which includes articles, books and archival materials and using new innovations to teach others how to critically evaluate images, such as the Digital Image Guide Method.
“Being recognized by my peers in the international visual literacy community is extremely rewarding,” said Thompson. “I hope that the work will gain more visibility and will become more widely disseminated. Visual literacy, as a field, can be very siloed since it is usually discussed in discipline-specific ways. It’s my hope that the work I’ve done, creating and providing needed resources and research, can bring the field toward greater consensus and move the field forward in the process.”
“Professor Thompson’s work with visual literacy contributes to many disciplines and many educational conversations at Murray State University,” said Dean of University Libraries Ashley Ireland. “This award is much deserved, and University Libraries is proud to support Dana in her endeavors studying and teaching in an interdisciplinary framework that contributes to how we all, as individuals, interact in an increasingly visual culture.”
The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), a consortium of academic and research libraries engaged in scholarly publishing issues, has named Boston as a 2019-2021 LPC Fellow.
The fellowship program, granted to just two individuals worldwide each biennium, broadens access to library publishing to underrepresented groups while mentoring new library publishers. The fellowship will include service to the LPC, such as writing for the Library Publishing Coalition Blog and presenting at the Library Publishing Forum.
“A major role of the LPC is community-building, fostering connections between those involved with library publishing nationally and internationally,” said Boston. “Now, I have access to people whom I can communicate with on issues and ideas that are important, but may not yet have made it to a formal channel. Through the weekly calls I participate in, I look forward to both having early access to ideas to share with my campus community as well as advocating for the publishing concerns on a campus like ours with a network with the potential to address them.”
Boston was selected for this fellowship thanks to his work with Murray State’s Office of Research and Creative Activity and his management of Murray State’s Digital Commons repository. He manages the student-led journal Steeplechase and has worked to host and publish multiple scholarly and professional journals in Digital Commons, including the Contemporary Rural Social Work Journal, Kentucky Teaching Education Journal and the newly-established Journal of Agricultural Hemp Research. He brings to this work an interest in open access publishing, both for scholarship but also for open educational resources.
“The Library Publishing Coalition brings attention to the unique relationship between academic libraries and scholarly publishers,” Ireland said. “Mr. Boston’s creativity, work ethic and perspective made him an exemplary candidate for this fellowship. Mr. Boston’s efforts with the LPC will inform his work with students and faculty at Murray State, as well as with other institutions in our state-wide consortia. We are proud to support Professor Boston’s ongoing efforts to make scholarship more open and affordable for students and educational institutions alike.”