In 2018, the Department of Library and Information Science at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI established and sought funding for the Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Endowed Scholarship, honoring IU alumna Wilma L. Moore of Indianapolis. Olivia MacIsaac is the first recipient of the scholarship, and is enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree program at IUPUI.
MacIsaac holds a B.A. in Art History from the Herron School of Art and Design, a certificate in Museum Studies, and a minor in Classical Studies from the IU School of Liberal Arts. While an undergraduate she was a Diversity Scholar, a peer advisor, a research assistant, and a service learning assistant. Currently, she is a scholarly communication associate at Butler University Libraries.
She points to several people who inspired her to enter the field. Modupe Labode, associate professor of history at IUPUI first suggested that she apply for the diversity scholar position. Caitlin Pollock, digital humanities librarian at IUPUI University Library was an early mentor on a multidisciplinary digital mapping project. “Caitlin and Modupe were two of the first WOC I had the pleasure of working with at IUPUI within the classroom setting and within IUPUI’s University Library. Without their continued presence and mentorship, I would not have excelled in the same way as I did as an undergraduate student and budding professional,” MacIsaac says.
MacIsaac decided to pursue her MLIS degree with the aim of becoming a public scholar in libraries and information science and developing best practices and standards for sustainable digital preservation within libraries and archives. “I am continuing to figure out what I love most about libraries, but so far I like that there’s always a potential to change and to do more—nothing seems stagnant,” she says.
The Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Endowed Scholarship has opened doors for MacIsaac and allowed her to work toward her goal of becoming a librarian or archivist, and she is thankful for those who started and contributed to it. “There were a number of barriers preventing me from pursuing the MLIS on my own,” MacIsaac says. “(The scholarship) helped me tear down what was blocking my path and allowed me to focus my time on my academic success within the program.”
MacIsaac is also grateful to faculty in the MLIS program who have already had an impact on her—especially Mahasin Martinson, Kisha Tandy, and the Chair of the Department of Library and Information Science, Andrea Copeland. “I’m excited for the challenges to come as I pursue an MLIS degree and I can’t wait to make an impact in the field,” she says.
About Wilma Gibbs Moore
The Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Endowed Scholarship memorializes Moore, whose contributions to the historical record of African Americans in Indiana are well documented.
Wilma Gibbs Moore graduated from Crispus Attucks High School and received her B.S. in sociology and her master’s in library science degree from Indiana University. She worked at Indiana University Libraries and the Indianapolis Public Library, and retired from the Indiana Historical Society after 30 years.
Moore served as editor of Black History News & Notes, and was contributing editor of Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. She received the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History and the Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions in the field of history.
She participated in a number of local organizations serving the Indianapolis community, among them the Indiana African American Genealogy Group, Indiana Freedom Trails, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Indiana Landmarks’ African American Landmarks Committee, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University, and Crispus Attucks High School and Museum.
Those who wish to donate to the scholarship may contact Stacy Zearing, Director of Development, IU School of Informatics and Computing, with any questions. To donate online, visit our alumni and partners page and click on the Give Now button. Then select Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Endowed Scholarship from “Use My Gift to Support.”