HSLI Newsletter

Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

HSLI Secretary JJ Pionke Named Library Journal Mover & Shaker

(via Library Journal)

Health Science Librarians of Illinois Secretary Katharine “JJ” Pionke, who is Applied Health Sciences Librarian and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois’s Urbana-Champaign campus, is a 2020 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. JJ is the only academic or research librarian in Illinois to receive the honor this year, out of 46 awardees nationally. He is recognized under the “Advocates” category for his ongoing work to highlight and remove barriers to accessibility in libraries.

An excerpt from the announcement on the Library Journal website is below. To read the full announcement, please go here.

Congratulations, JJ!


Pionke takes a holistic approach to disability, interviewing people with cross-disabilities and evaluating their responses in terms of both library spaces and services. He has written numerous papers on disability and improving accessibility in libraries for employees as well as patrons, including one on his experience seeking accommodations for PTSD, and he has given multiple presentations at national conferences. Recently, he used a $25,000 University of Illinois grant to survey library and information science graduate students, graduate programs, and library employees nationally about how well they interact with people with disabilities and what kinds of training would help. Now, he says, he’s writing up a secondary analysis of his survey data. ‘After that, I will start working on creating a training intervention using emotional intelligence to improve how library employees interact with people with disabilities.’

“Using a 2016 ALA Carnegie Whitney Grant for $5,000, Pionke also created more than 20 LibGuides highlighting various disabilities, some of which are not covered well by other sources, such as chronic illness and limb difference. Meant to be a broad introduction rather than a comprehensive overview, they. have been adapted widely by other libraries. In addition to his work on disability, Pionke has created a series of library exhibits on veterans that have gotten national media coverage as well as inspired similar projects elsewhere.”

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