Renee F. Hill Honored With 2017 LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award

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Library Journal Recognizes University of Maryland Professor for Passion for Teaching, Making Students the Center of Learning

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With her focus on inclusion and diversity combined with innovative online teaching strategies, Renee exemplifies excellence in educating the next generation of library and information professionals.

Renee F. Hill, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, is the recipient of the 2017 LJ/ALISE (Association for Library and Information Science Education) Excellence in Teaching Award. Honored for her passion for teaching; her ability to create online courses and make them come alive for her students; and the extension of her role beyond the master’s of library and information science classroom, Hill will receive a $3,000 cash award from award supporting sponsor, Rowman & Littlefield. In addition, she will receive a complimentary annual ALISE membership and registration to the 2018 ALISE annual conference. To learn more, visit

Featured in Library Journal’s November 15, 2017 issue, available in print and online, Hill is the director of the school library specialization at Maryland’s College of Information Studies. She was nominated for the award by her colleague and friend Paul T. Jaeger, director of the master of library and information science program at the University of Maryland.

“Renee makes online teaching a very personal and engaging experience. Online courses have real potential to be sterile or even robotic, but Renee designs online education so that it is based on constant human interaction,” Jaeger said. “There are rolling conversations about what is going on in her classes, in our halls, in our student lounge, and before, after and during the breaks in other classes.”

Teaching a range of 23 online courses, many of which she designed herself, Hill approaches teaching in ways that engage with students more than traditional, face-to-face classroom methods. Each course begins with students posting videos about themselves to get to know one another. She starts each week with a note combining what is happening in the course with other useful information unrelated to the class. One semester the topic was life hacks; another random act of kindness.

“With her focus on inclusion and diversity combined with innovative online teaching strategies, Renee exemplifies excellence in educating the next generation of library and information professionals,” said Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal.  

Nominations for the 2017 LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award were judged by a panel of qualified industry professionals including 2016 winner Jenna Hertel, associate professor, faculty of information, University of Toronto. Nominations are judged based on a wide range of criteria that include illustrating student-centered thinking in all aspects of teaching; contributing to curriculum design which demonstrates subject expertise and the ability to integrate new developments in library and information science; effectively integrating theory, practice, research, and innovative teaching methods; and infusing teaching with real-life library and information practice.

For award guidelines, visit

The Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) is the global voice of library and information science education. ALISE leads innovative and high quality research, teaching, and service for educators and scholars in library and information science and cognate disciplines internationally through engagement, advocacy, and knowledge creation and dissemination. For more information, visit

About Library Journal
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8,000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and websites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book, and Junior Library Guild.

About Rowman & Littlefield
Rowman & Littlefield publishes high-quality college texts, entertaining and informative books for general readers, and professional and scholarly books in the humanities and social sciences. Rowman & Littlefield is dedicated to publishing texts and books of general interest in the social sciences: area studies, communication, criminology, education, geography, health, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s studies. It offers serious works of scholarship, core textbooks for introductory courses, supplemental, affordable paperbacks for alternative approaches to teaching, and general interest and trade books for the curious reader. For more information, visit

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