Theses and Dissertations - School of Library and Information Studies

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    The Role of Stress Among Cybersecurity Professionals
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Singh, Tripti; Johnston, Allen C.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The concept of stress has gained significant attention from researchers across several disciplines. Among this research, information systems (IS) scholars have contributed to our understanding of stress by detailing individual experiences of stress that occur from the use of technology, adherence to information security requirements, and other workplace circumstances such as work overload. Yet, even among this IS focused research, there are different conceptualizations and operationalizations of stress; how it is formed, how it is measured, and how individuals respond to it. This dissertation seeks to provide some needed clarity and insight to this stream of research and does so by focusing on one of the most stress-prone, but least understood segments of the information security (InfoSec) practice community, cybersecurity professionals. In this two-essay dissertation, we accomplish two broad goals. First, in essay one we synthesize the trends, gaps, and limitations of the research on stress as it applies to cybersecurity professionals and develop a set of opportunities for future research. Second, in essay two we describe and test a demand appraisal model for cybersecurity professionals to show how cybersecurity professionals experience and respond to stress stemming from the demands associated with implementing and/or maintaining their organizations’ electronic monitoring and surveillance (EMS) technologies.
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    Reconstructing hunger: recollection and re-presentation of the 1981 hunger strike
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Kinder, Eliscia; Riter, Robert B.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    As a pivotal moment in “the Troubles,” various media have portrayed the 1981 hunger strike, including documentary films and print journalism, as well as artistic representations that span from murals and street art to feature-length films. I would like to explore the theoretical framework of a digital archive that will support the complexity of this historical event, both in the content of the material and the cultural issues that arise from addressing a traumatic moment for Northern Irish communities. I approach this project from a humanities perspective to push the boundaries of traditional archival practices while experimenting with developments in the field of digital humanities. I am particularly invested in how systems-level archival construction can foster dynamic (re)readings of the past. I also explore the ethical responsibilities and repercussions of such an archival system. Ideally, this archive will contribute to our understanding of the hunger strike and help illuminate other protests in separate conflicts. However, sociological conditions and the limitations of electronic archives suggest this will be a difficult process.
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    Critical analysis of academic library trends in conflict zones
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Jaber, Baheya S. J.; Burgess, John T. F.; Prentice, Ann E.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This study is designed to determine if selected trends in the library literature take into account the realities of libraries and librarians in conflict zones, and if the experience of librarians in conflict zones can be used to provide a model for implementing these trends. The researcher conducted a critical analysis of emerging trends in academic libraries from the perspective of librarians operating in conflict zones. Specific attention is given to libraries operating in Palestine and neighboring countries. These academic libraries are involved in a transition process, moving away from traditional models of library practice but still searching for the best models of practice to move towards. The need to transition is due to changes in higher education’s teaching methods, rapid development in information technology, and students’ evolving needs. Just as in other parts of the world, academic librarians in conflict zones need to improve their libraries’ services to meet patron demand. By reviewing the latest trends in academic librarianship and the library literature regarding these trends, the researcher highlighted three trends that can be applied by academic libraries in conflict zones. These trends are the library commons approach, community involvement and collection assessment. This review focuses on the emerging trends in academic libraries in conflict zones, challenges they encounter, and how they deal with these challenges. It is followed by a critical analysis of the three most applicable trends for academic libraries in conflict zones. This critique allowed the researcher to build a model that focuses on creating a comfortable and collaborative place for library patrons to facilitate their use of place and technology, satisfy their needs, and for the growth of these libraries and the academic institutions they serve. The conclusion is that emphasizing local authority and political, economic, and cultural knowledge allows select academic library trends to be embraced by librarians in conflict zones while minimizing unintended negative consequences associated with those trends. Recommendations encourage collaborative efforts between academic library professionals and organizations in conflict and non-conflict zones by holding workshops, training programs and conferences to increase the awareness of the emerging trends in conflict zones.
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    Toward distant reading of the New Testament commentary: exploring bibliographical and structured textual data
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Adams, Richard Manly; MacCall, Steven L.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This study argues for distant reading techniques as a new form of understanding the genre of the New Testament commentary. Though it is a dominant form of New Testament scholarship, the commentary is a difficult genre to understand, due to the size of the corpus and the close reading techniques common in Biblical studies. The scholar who wants to understand the genre, therefore, is forced to choose representative samples, a subjective process that distorts understanding of the genre. This study introduces a reading technique that looks for patterns of development over this large corpus, distant reading that will help scholars understand the changes in the commentary over time and help identify places where close reading is warranted. To introduce an alternative form of reading this study demonstrates two modes of reading the genre. The first is a mining of the bibliographical metadata to demonstrate trends in the publication patterns and sizes of New Testament commentaries. The second is to structure commentaries based on their treatment of individual chapters and verses of New Testament texts, as a way of charting the priorities of given commentators over time. The study concludes with an invitation to librarians to work to better prepare the corpus of the New Testament commentary for distance reading.
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    Constructing and deconstructing archival memory in Birmingham, Alabama: the role of local collecting institutions in facilitating social justice
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Hirschy, Jeff Hirschy; Riter, Robert B.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    In 1992, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute opened to the public after several years of argument, construction, and development. Was it to remember the heroic events of the Civil Rights Movement, to gain tourist dollars, to correct the historical record, educate the public, or a combination of these ideas? No matter the reason both the Birmingham Civil Institute and the Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts and created and constructed for, both play an important and needed role in the story of Birmingham. What is that role? Through education and research, collecting institutions like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute shine a light on important, but dark chapters, of Birmingham’s, the United States’, and the world’s history so that people can remember, discover, and learn from those events. Whatever their size or affiliation, collecting institutions play a needed role in the search for social justice and transitional justice. Thinking about this, what roles have, and could, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Birmingham Public Library play in the search for social justice in Birmingham, Alabama? This study will show that both the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Birmingham Public Library Department of Archives and Manuscripts have assisted Birmingham, Alabama in that city’s search for social justice for fostering education and research. Education and research allow the public to learn about the events that took place during Birmingham’s Civil Rights movement and apply the lessons and documents from that Movement to their own time and own location.
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    Unresolved boundaries: the definitional history of special libraries
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2015) Matheny, Alissa; Wallace, Danny P.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Discontent with the term "special libraries" has pervaded the library and information field since the formation of the Special Library Association and the term's widely adopted usage in 1909. The literature related to special libraries has reflected this debate over the precise meaning and nature of special libraries for just as many years. This project considers the historical dialog regarding the varied definitions of special libraries that librarians and information professionals have been engaged in for more than a century. Using systematic review, the scholarly and professional literature is examined and analyzed to track definitional and descriptive characteristics of special libraries in the United States to identify how and why changes have occurred over time. Results reveal strong correlations between definition changes and shifting movements in broader library and United States history, especially in relation to the emergence and application of technological advances. Along with encouraging renewed discussion about the boundaries of what we in the field consider special librarianship, this study confirms that rather than permanent and rigid definitions, special libraries have always had dynamic definitions that react to the changing technologies and practices of the profession.
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    Management of intelligence archives of fallen authoritarian regimes
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2013) Blum, David Alexander; Aversa, Elizabeth Smith; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This thesis poses the question: What happens to intelligence archives when authoritarian regimes collapse? These files have both personal privacy and national security connotations that separate them from most archival material. As countries make the transition towards democracy, what can be done and are there any lessons learned from historical examples? Three cases have been examined: the Soviet Union's KGB, East Germany's Stasi, and Apartheid South Africa's NIS. This research examines how the files were handled by the regimes while they were in power, what happened during the transition, and the status of the archives after the transformation of government. The research finds that while some outcomes are positive or negative, the decisions and the situations are not clear-cut. Not all information can be released as a country becomes a democracy, while information can be obtained from nations that restrict their democratic reforms. These cases provide examples of the decisions that leaders and archivists could make to open these files to citizens. Although each country is unique in how a government will be run, this work offers additional perspectives on what policies could be in place for other countries in the future.