James E Alderman

Retiree Emeritus • University Librarian & Instruction Coordinator

Library • Academic Affairs Division

Areas of Expertise

Research. Writing. American & English Literature. Web design. Genealogy.


B.A.Ed. Secondary Education/English, UNF, 1975

M.A. English, UNF, 1987

M.S. Library & Information Studies, FSU, 1999


A native of Jacksonville, I've watched Jacksonville grow from a geographically large small town into a thriving metropolitan area. I was educated in the city's public education system and received an excellent academic background that has helped me to successfully finish four college degrees. My first college degree was an Associate in Arts in English Education. I followed this up with a Bachelor's in Secondary Education/English. My original intent was to find employment as a high school English teacher. When I first graduated, the market for teachers was glutted. Instead of launching into a teaching career immediately, I began what has become a long term relationship with the Library at the University of North Florida.

I've moved through a number of different positions in the library to get to my current spot as faculty in the Reference Department. Along the way I also picked up a Master's degree in English at the University of North Florida and have also taught English composition at St. Johns River Community College and at Florida Community College at Jacksonville. Even though I never pursued my original idea of teaching high school, I have been a teacher now for many years, both in the classroom and as part of my assignment at the library's reference desk.

I have been teaching LIS1001 at the University of North Florida since 1995. A freshman elective, LIS1001 provides students with a conceptual framework for the organization of knowledge and strategies for accessing information using both traditional library sources as well as newer electronic sources, including the Internet. Ignorance is not bliss for university students. Beginning Library Information Systems Strategies, or BLISS, aims to eliminate library and information retrieval ignorance and train competent researchers. I also maintain the LIS1001 Web site, keeping readings up to date and adding new materials as technology and search capabilities change.

My official title at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library is University Librarian. I am also coordinator of the library's instruction program. This is a professional position that concentrates on providing library instruction, providing assistance at the Reference service desk, and producing guides and instructional materials to assist library users. I also consult with the library's Systems Librarian and College Technician in setting up services for the library's research network and serve unofficially as the Reference Department's "computer consultant." The Library's aggressive move into providing researchers with the best in library and information technology has provided me with a fertile learning atmosphere and an excellent testing ground for trying out newly acquired skills. My long association with the library stands as testament to my enchantment with libraries and emerging technologies.

In the late 1990s, I pursued and completed a Master's degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. The degree program was offered almost entirely online, using a combination of technologies which included Web pages, Ichat, and Real Player presentations. In the initial stages of the program, students met in electronic classrooms for lecture and discussion facilitated by video conferencing. Written work was usually submitted via email or through Web forms available at the course Web sites. As the number of students in the program increased and as the technology improved, FSU's School of Information Studies began experimenting with offering all content via the Web. The majority of my coursework was finished totally online, and in August 1999 I finished the program and was granted my second master's degree.


American Library Association

Modern Language Association

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