Barbara P. Semonche, a UNC at Chapel Hill SILS distinguished alumna and recent library director at the UNC at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will present, "History, Mystery and Info To Go" at the 2009 School of Information and Library Science commencement ceremony on May 10th.
Semonche, for 13 years was the Durham, NC Herald-Sun news research librarian. She became the Librarian for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in January 1990, and in July 1999 she moved the collection into the expanded, state-of-the-art Park Library in Carroll Hall. She has recently taught a course in computer-assisted reporting and research, Database Journalism, which guided students through information storage and retrieval systems such as commercial online databases, Internet navigation and construction of World Wide Web (WWW) sites. She is also a frequent class speaker and cybercoach for Internet and WWW training sessions for students, faculty and international media scholars.
Semonche was the list administrator of NewsLib, an international mailing list she launched in 1993. By the time she relinquished this responsibility in 2006, the subscribers to NewsLib numbered nearly 1,200 news librarians, journalism educators, library science students, reporters and media researchers from 30 countries. Semonche also launched and maintained NC/SLA chapter's list and Web site from 1993 to 2001. In 2000, she launched an electronic discussion list and Web site for SLA-FELLOWS, a group of distinguished leaders of the Special Libraries Association.
Semonche earned her MA degree in 1967 from UNC at Chapel Hill's School of Education. In 1976, she earned her MLS degree from SILS. In 1986, she served as President of the SILS Alumni Association. Born and raised in Iowa, she has resided in North Carolina since 1962.
Semonche is active in professional associations such as the Special Libraries Association where she served as chairman of SLA's News Division in 1984 and as its Bulletin Editor from 1984-86. She was the 1993-94 president of the North Carolina Chapter of SLA.
In 1995 she was elected a Fellow of the Special Libraries Association and was presented with the News Division's meritorious achievement honor, the Joseph F. Kwapil Award. In 1996 she was the recipient of North Carolina Chapter of Special Libraries Association's Meritorious Achievement Award for distinguished service. In May 1998, Semonche was named the Distinguished Alumna of the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science.
In 2000 Semonche won SLA's Rose Vormelker's Mentoring Award. In June 2004, Semonche received SLA's John Cotton Dana Award at the annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. The award, named in honor of the founder of SLA, is conferred upon a member for exceptional service in special librarianship, longstanding contributions and lifetime achievements in his/her career as information professional. And in 2007, she received the David Rhydwen Award for Outstanding Scholarly Contribution to News Librarianship.
The commencement ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Frank Porter Graham Student Union.
Photo by Catherine Carter Photography, Chapel Hill.