Completed Projects

  • Digital Records and Curation
    • Breath of Life: Revitalizing California's Native Languages Through Archives
      PI: Susan Gehr (MLIS Thesis, anticipated completion date Fall 2013. Supervisor: Dr. Debra Hansen)
    • User Preference in the Presentation and Content of Digital Archives: A Research Proposal to Gauge Archival Researcher Behavior and Opinions
      PI: Lindsay Morton (MLIS Thesis, anticipated completion date May 2014. Supervisor: Dr. Pat Franks)
    • The History of Queer Community Archives in California Since 1950 - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Diana Wakimoto.
    • New Challenges, New Solutions: How Government Agencies Can Effectively Manage Records Created Using New Social Media Tools

      PI: Dr. Patricia Franks

      Dr. Patricia Franks, an associate professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, examined use of social media tools by government agencies. Federal agencies are capitalizing on the popularity of social media to foster collaboration and citizen participation. While social media use offers clear benefits, there are associated risks, including privacy and security issues. Managers must identify records, determine what to do with material created by citizens, and use limited resources to manage increasingly limitless online content. Dr. Franks' report describes existing social media initiatives, explores why some agencies restrict use, and provides recommended best practices for managing social media records. Her report provides a framework for understanding records management issues in a Web 2.0 world for agency records managers, web masters, chief information officers, and social media offices.
      Read more about SJSU iSchool students who served as research assistants:

    • Public Records - Public Trust: Reclaiming History

      PI: Dr. Patricia Franks

      Dr. Patricia Franks, an associate professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, examined the challenges of safeguarding our nation's historical documents. She studied data regarding lost or stolen historical public documents, as well as reclaimed records, along with the laws enacted to address this issue. She developed a virtual exhibit presenting her findings, sharing knowledge regarding how to secure public records, how to reclaim missing records, and the legal aspects of this issue.


  • Information Access and Use
    • Improving Analysis of Large Digital Collections: A New Information Visualization Model for Better Access and Retrieval
      PI: Michelle Chen

      Today's information explosion makes it challenging to retrieve and analyze information from the expanding "big data" pool. Information visualization techniques are sometimes used to create graphical presentations of large-scale data, helping users find, retrieve, and analyze big data sets. This study involves testing and evaluating a new information visualization model that can be used to improve users' search and retrieval capabilities. The model will be assessed by using it to query and retrieve data from the Illinois Digital Archives. After the model is evaluated and refined, it can be replicated or adapted for use with other large digital collections.

    • Digital Volunteering in Crisis/ Disaster Response. With Dr. Nina Laurie, Chair in Development, Newcastle University, UK and Dr. Matt Baillie-Smith, Professor of Development, Northumbria University, UK.
      PI: Dr. Chris Hagar
    • Information Sharing in Virtual Collaboration: A Software Engineering Perspective - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Laura Anderson
    • Meeting Consumer Needs for Health Information:Identifying Best Practices in Consumer Health Reference Interviews

      PI: Lili Luo

      This study seeks to identify best practices for conducting consumer health reference interviews, which can then be used as the basis to design effective training for public librarians.

    • Enhancing Practitioner Research: Analyzing Existing Research Trends to Improve Research Education

      PI: Dr. Lili Luo

      Through a critical content analysis of LIS journal articles in the past decade, this study will identify the topics, trends, methods, strengths, and weaknesses of practitioner research. With that knowledge, educators and practitioners will be able to critically reflect on methodological designs, gain knowledge regarding best practices and common pitfalls in practitioner research, identify research trends, and make more informed decisions when providing training and education to practitioners. Ultimately, findings will help practitioners accomplish their research objectives and create new knowledge that improves library services.

    • Silver surfers revisited: An analysis of contextual variables in computer use and access in retirement communities
      PI: Dr. Chris Hagar
      Advisor to Dr. Adrian Kok, School of Social Work, Dominican University, River Forest, IL.
    • Restoring a Sense of Community: Overcoming Challenges for Communities to be More Resilient
      PI: Dr. Chris Hagar (with Gaston Armor, Department of Human Services, Illinois State. Formerly the Illinois State Emergency Preparedness Coordinator)
      This project explores the collaborative activities and accomplishments of the Illinois Community Resilience Initiative (ICRI) which was developed by Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS to provide sustainable tools to address citizen concerns about community needs in their daily life as well as in times of crisis. It highlights how public libraries are engaged in a multitude of community activities and how they are well situated to engage in strengthening community resilience and how they can become part of this initiative.
    • Security through Collective Intelligence: Cybersecurity Key Competencies and Supporting Learning Modules
      Sponsor: Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA) Grant
      PI: Dr. Patricia Franks
    • Information Pathways: The Information Practices and Experiences of Teen Content Creators - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Mary Ann Harlan
    • Acquiring Search Expertise: Learning Experiences and Threshold Concepts - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Virginia Tucker
    • Online fantasy sports players' information needs and behaviors
      PI: Dr. Sandra Hirsh with Christine Anderson, Sportvision Creative Director


      • Hirsh, S., Anderson, C., & Caselli, M. (2012). The reality of fantasy: Uncovering information-seeking behaviors and needs in online fantasy sports. CHI’12 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 849–864.
    • Engaging a New Generation of Library Users: Exploring a Multi-Library Collaborative Model to Deliver Text Reference Service
      Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2010-2012
      PI: Dr. Lili Luo
    • Engaging a New Generation of Library Users: Exploring a Multi-Library Collaborative Model to Deliver Text Reference Service
      Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2010-2012
      PI: Dr. Lili Luo
      Dr. Lili Luo, an assistant professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, conducted the first in-depth research regarding how libraries can meet their patrons' information-seeking needs via text messaging. The research team is also studying how libraries and other information centers can collaboratively deliver services and expand their ability to meet patron needs during challenging economic times. Read more about the project and about SJSU iSchool student and research assistant Emily Weak.
    • Preparing Public Librarians to Support Health Literacy in their Communities
      Sponsor: CHaHS 2012-2013 Research Incentive Grant
      PI: Dr. Lili Luo
      Poor health literacy results in a range of serious consequences, including the inability to manage chronic conditions, obtain health services, and follow physician instructions. Nearly half of all adult Americans struggle with health literacy, making it a silent epidemic that leads to increased health care costs and poor health outcomes for millions of individuals. The public library is the first resource many people consult when seeking information on health topics, and librarians can play a vital role in improving health literacy. However, studies show that public librarians are not adequately prepared to address the health literacy needs of their communities. This study takes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the health literacy needs of consumers, bringing together scholars and practitioners from Library and Information Science and Health Science to identify an effective mechanism for training public librarians to meet the health literacy needs of their communities.
    • VOYA’s YA Spaces of Your Dreams Collection

      PI: Dr. Anthony Bernier

      Dr. Anthony Bernier is Associate Professor at San José State University’s School of Information. This collection is the comprehensive assembly of every library YA space ever profiled in VOYA’s (Voice of Youth Advocates) pioneering and regular “YA Spaces of Your Dream” feature appearing in nearly every issue between 1999 and 2010. The forty-six YA spaces profiled contain detailed descriptions, photos, and commentary on small, medium, and large public and school libraries across the United States, including libraries with large as well as more modest budgets. Dr. Bernier’s nine-page introductory essay places the progressive and still-experimental nature of these spaces into the context of advocacy to advance professional YA LIS service. The introductory essay also begins to ground the topic of YA space in larger contexts by reporting on the survey of these existing library resources and empirically documents how this “spatial turn” produces outcomes that dramatically improve a range of library outcomes in institutions that take YA space equity seriously.

      Read more about SJSU iSchool students who served as research assistants:

    • Social Workers in the Library: A Unique Collaborative Model to Increase Access to Social Services

      PI: Dr. Lili Luo

      Dr. Lili Luo, an assistant professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, partnered with Dr. Peter Allen Lee, professor with the SJSU School of Social Work, to study how to help library patrons find the information they need regarding local social service resources. They examined a program provided by the San Jose Public Library, known as Social Workers in the Library. This unique collaboration between social work practitioners and information professionals seeks ways to increase access to social services programs and resources by reaching out to library patrons and providing consultation and information regarding local agencies and programs. Luo and Lee examined the efficacy of the program model and assessed additional opportunities to expand the program through new community partnerships, as well as new service delivery models.

    • Evergreen Project
      PI: Dr. Geoffrey Liu


      • Liu, G. (2008). School libraries serving rural communities in China: The Evergreen model. School Libraries Worldwide, 14(1), 56-71.


  • LIS Online Learning
    • MOOCs as LIS Professional Development Platforms
      PI: Michael Stephens & Kyle Jones
    • The Salzburg Curriculum - Dissemination and Conversation Phase

      PI: Dr. Michael Stephens

      Originally designated Phase 3 in Dr. Lankes’s proposal, this updated plan for the Dissemination and Conversation Phase will consist of three parts:

      • Engaging Salzburg Curriculum stakeholders for further refinement
      • Building a participatory Web presence for extending the discussion of the curriculum
      • Disseminating the Curriculum via conference presentations and other opportunities for conversation

      Dr. Michael Stephens will be project director for this phase, supported by grant funds from IMLS and the Salzburg Global Seminar.

      The Salzburg Curriculum project is centered around a high-level curricular framework created at the Salzburg Global Seminar in October of 2011. This framework is designed to bring together the training processes for both library and museum professionals in order to align them with each other. Via an IMLS grant led by Dr. David Lankes the group will fully develop the framework with the original participants of the "Salzburg Global Seminar on Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture," and create a web space for discussion and adoption of the refined framework. 

    • Investigated distance learning scholarships and support to help Native Americans and Alaska Natives earn their MLIS degrees (Circle of Learning)

      Lead iSchool Partner: Jane Fisher

      Americans and Alaska Natives earned their MLIS degrees. Read more about this research project here.

    • Preparing Tomorrow's Librarians to Serve Diverse Communities: An Interdisciplinary Partnership

      PI: Dr. Linda Main

      Faculty members from the San Jose State University School of Information and Department of World Languages and Literatures are developing, piloting, and evaluating a new 100% online Chinese language and culture course for students enrolled in the SJSU iSchool Master of Library and Information Science program. The project builds on two existing interdisciplinary language and culture courses in Spanish and French currently offered to SJSU iSchool students. The Chinese course will prepare future librarians to serve our nation's growing population of Chinese Americans, as well as our nation's growing interest in Chinese culture and the ability to participate in a global marketplace.

    • Preparing Librarians to Serve Diverse Communities Along our Nations Border

      Lead iSchool Partner: Jane Fisher

      The Serra Cooperative Library System, in partnership with the San Jose State University School of Information, is recruiting and educating a new generation of culturally competent librarians who will serve Californias two counties bordering Mexico. The project will address the challenges currently faced by Serra's 14 public library systems, as they seek to fill vacant librarian positions with individuals who enjoy serving the areas multicultural and multilingual population, who reflect the community's rich diversity, and who want to live and work locally. Future librarians will be recruited from the pool of paraprofessionals who already staff Serra libraries. They receive financial assistance and other support as they earn their MLIS degree and prepare to transition to professional positions. The entire Serra community benefits from local educational events that expand their understanding of how libraries can meet the needs of diverse populations. Read more about some of the Serra scholarship recipients.

    • Learning to Integrate Emerging Technology: Exploring the Impact and Efficacy of Learning 2.0 Programs in Libraries

      PI: Dr. Michael Stephens

      Dr. Michael Stephens, an assistant professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, is conducting research regarding the Learning 2.0 professional development program, offered by nearly 1,000 libraries worldwide. The self-paced, online program aims to educate library personnel about emerging technology, generate a willingness to explore and adapt to technological change, and gain new knowledge regarding how to use emerging technology to better serve their communities. Stephens is studying how this widespread professional development program is impacting library staff and library services, how the program model can be refined to improve long-term outcomes, and how it can inform further research regarding self-directed online professional development models.

    • Online Graduate Programs in Vietnam: A Model for Global Partnerships

      PI: Dr. Sandy Hirsh with Dr. Alice Hines and Debbie Faires

      Faculty members from the San Jose State University School of Information, the SJSU School of Social Work, and Vietnam National University (VNU) are partnering to examine the feasibility of transforming VNUs existing graduate programs in Library Science and Social Work to an online delivery model. The team is developing recommendations regarding the best approach to implementation, should VNU decide to move ahead. Adding online courses to VNUs existing face-to-face programs will enable the institution to meet a growing local demand for social workers and information professionals. SJSU iSchool is a recognized leader in online learning.


      • Hirsh, S., Faires, D., & Hines, A. (in press). Perceptions and viability of launching LIS eLearning programs in developing countries: A Vietnam case study. In J.T. Du, Q. Zhu, & A. Koronios (Eds.), Library and Information Science Research in Asia-Oceania: Theory and Practice.
    • Librarians for Diverse Communities

      Lead iSchool Partner: Jane Fisher

      The Serra Cooperative Library System, in partnership with the San Jose State University School of Information, designed the Librarians for Diverse Communities project to recruit and educate culturally competent librarians to serve California's two counties bordering Mexico. The project addressed one of the challenges facing Serra's fourteen public library systems as they seek to fill vacant librarian positions with individuals who enjoy serving the area's multicultural and multilingual population, who reflect the community's rich diversity, and who want to live and work locally. This grant recruited 39 future librarians from the pool of paraprofessionals who already staff Serra libraries; 22 of whom were able to complete their MLIS degrees during the project lifetime. They received financial assistance and other support as they earned their MLIS degrees and prepared to transition to professional positions. The 3-year grant was awarded in Summer 2009 and was completed in Fall 2012. Read more about some of the Serra scholarship recipients. For more about the project, see

    • Collaborative learning in LIS online education
      PI: Dr. Geoffrey Liu


      • Liu, G. (2012). Collaborative learning in LIS online education.
    • Unconventional success: the SJSU colloquium series
      PI: Dr. Anthony Bernier


      • Bernier, A. (21 October 2008). Unconventional success: relevance, service, and technical savvy in the SJSU colloquium series. Internet Librarian Conference. Monterey, CA. p. 84-93.


  • New Literacies and Learning
    • Information literacy as the Enacted Object of Classroom Learning: Learning to Use Information in Context (LUIC) - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Clarence Maybee
    • Learning About Mobile Devices:
Connecting Staff & Users to Information Resources
      PI: Michael Stephens
      Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne is a public library situated in the south eastern part of Denmark, Europe. The library serve an area with about 64,000 inhabitants and have a staff of 58 library people. (28 librarians). In 2008, the library partnered with three other library systems in Denmark to offer a Learning 2.0 program for staff. This winter library staff are planning a program to educate and inspire staff to use mobile media. It will be modeled on the Learning 2.0 program but instead of desktop or laptop based “things” it will include 23 iOS apps.

      The overarching goal for this project is to update the highly successful Learning 2.0 program model to include mobile technology and then broadly share this online professional development program with library staff across the globe. As with the original Learning 2.0 program, the mobile technology version of the program will be offered at no cost, on an open source platform.

      Specific outcomes include:

      Expanded knowledge of library personnel regarding how to serve their communities, which increasingly rely on mobile technology.
      Enhanced openness of library personnel to explore and adapt to using mobile technology.
      Expanded capacity of library personnel to develop new mobile device applications.
      Expanded access to the Learning 2.0 program by promoting the mobile version to library personnel

    • A study exploring Learning 2.0 in US libraries
      PI: Dr. Michael Stephens
    • A study on the practices and perceptions of program administrators of Learning 2.0 courses in Australia
      PI: Dr. Michael Stephens
    • Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs): Evaluating and Refining SJSU’s First Not-for-Credit MOOC

      PI: Dr. Michael Stephens

      This study will contribute to a better understanding regarding how not-for-credit MOOCs can serve as professional development tools. The investigator will evaluate the iSchool MOOC, identify areas where the model is effective, and provide recommendations regarding how to improve the design of MOOCs in the future. The investigator will study the MOOC from the students’ perspective, exploring topics such as why students signed up, exploring their activities within the MOOC site, the extent of their participation, and what type of support they needed. Roadblocks to course completion will be identified, along with what motivated students to complete the course. The MOOC will also be evaluated from the perspective of instructors, exploring areas such as what strategies were most effective at fostering student interaction with course content and with peers, how to best involve course assistants in mentoring students, and how to assess student performance. Findings will also provide insight to SJSU administrators, identifying challenges associated with offering MOOCs and sustaining the model in the future.

    • Community college faculty's teaching social networks and their implications for librarians - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Tina Inzerilla
    • Librarians as disciplinary discourse mediators
      PI: Dr. Michelle Simmons


      • Simmons, M. H. (2005). Librarians as disciplinary discourse mediators: Using genre theory to move toward critical information literacy. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 5(3), 297-311. (Named the Ilene F. Rockman Instruction Publication of the Year and one of the LIRT Top 20 Instruction Articles by the ACRL Library Instruction Round Table) 
    • CAVAL Project
      PI: Dr. Michael Stephens, 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar in Australia


      • Stephens, M., & Cheetham, W. (2011). "The impact and effect of learning 2.0 programs in Australian academic libraries." New Review of Academic Librarianship, 17(1), 31-63.
      • Stephens, M. & Cheetham, W. (2012). "Benefits and results of Learning 2.0: a case study of CityLibrariesLearning --discover*play*connect." Australian Library Journal, 61(1), 6-15.
      • Stephens, M. & Cheetham, W. (2012). "The Impact and effect of Learning 2.0 Programs in Australian public libraries." Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 7(1).


  • Management and Leadership
    • Professional Identities of “Hidden Librarians” (Library and Information Science Graduates in Non-Traditional Roles)
      PI: Melissa Fraser Arnott
    • Decision-Making Practices of Public Library Leaders

      PI: Cheryl Stenstrom


      • Stenstrom, C. (forthcoming). Decision-making experiences of public library CEOs: A study exploring the roles of interpersonal influence and evidence in everyday practice. Library Management, 37(8/9).
    • Developing emerging leaders in the library profession: The relationship between program content, competency and self-confidence
      PI: Mary Jo Romanuik
    • Factors Affecting the Funding of Academic Units: A Case Study of the Academic Library - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Maria Otero-Boisvert
    • Factors Influencing Funding Decisions by Elected Politicians at the State/Provincial Level: A Case Study of Public Libraries in Canada - San Jose Gateway PhD Program, dissertation
      PI: Cheryl Stenstrom


      • Stenstrom, C., Haycock, K. The role of interpersonal influence in budget decision making: The Canadian public library experience. Administration & Society. Prepublished on January 9, 2014 as doi:10.1177/0095399713519091
    • Operational relationships between municipal administration and public libraries: The case of information technology
      Sponsor: Canadian Urban Libraries Council
      PI: Stenstrom, C., Roberts, K. and & Haycock, K.
      Public library services are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. Most current public library strategic plans contain initiatives that can only be successful through the use of new technologies. There currently exist a number of models for operational responsibility of the IT infrastructure that public libraries require, including: a combination of City owned and operated assets and library owned and operated assets, City owned and operated assets that support all aspects of a library system’s services and strategic priorities, and City or library owned and operated assets combined with outsourced services that support services and priorities. Anecdotal evidence suggests that as municipal responsibility of IT infrastructure increases, public library strategic priorities that rely on technology become harder to meet. No empirical evidence exists to support or to reject such an assumption. Where such mergers have already occurred, there exists no evidence that might help determine if current agreements or arrangements can be improved. The main question this study will seek to answer is: Which organizational models best support public library IT technology-related goals? A secondary question is: Which models represent the best financial models while still providing support for library IT technology-related goals?
      • Stenstrom, C., Roberts, K. and & Haycock, K. (2014). The role of influence in city and public library partnerships: An exploratory study. Library Management 35(3), forthcoming.


  • Social Dynamics of Information
    • Library wars: The making of librarianship at the Los Angeles Public Library, 1890-1910
      PI: Debra Hansen

      San Jose Gateway PhD study

      An article on the professionalization of librarianship during the Progressive Era.

    • Completed: 2012.  VOYA's YA Spaces of Your Dreams Collection. Lanham, MD: E. L. Kurdyla Publishing.
      Editor: Dr. Anthony Bernier
    • Completed: 2013.  Transforming young adult services: A reader for our age. Chicago: Neal-Schuman Publishers.
      Editor: Dr. Anthony Bernier
    • Library Wars: The Battle over Professionalization at the Los Angeles Public Library, 1905-1910 (An article on the professionalization of librarianship during the Progressive Era.)
      PI: Dr. Debra Hansen
    • Making Space for Young Adults in Public Libraries: Establishing a Research Foundation

      PI: Dr. Anthony Bernier

      Dr. Anthony Bernier, an associate professor with the San Jose State University School of Information and the profession's expert on Young Adult (YA) library spaces, is conducting the first in-depth scholarly research regarding YA space practices in libraries. His research team is collecting and analyzing national data from more than 700 public libraries.
      Current iSchool research assistants:

      • Mara Cabrera
      • Lori Harris

      Previous iSchool research assistants:

    • Depoliticizing the California State Library: James Gillis’s Political and Professional Transformation, 1899˗1917. (An article for a special issue of Information and Culture on state libraries)
      PI: Dr. Debra Hansen


  • Technological Innovation and Change
    • Mannequins and Avatars: Bridging the Clinical Skills Gap with Innovative Nursing Simulations

      Lead iSchool Partner: Dr. Jeremy Kemp

      Dr. Jeremy Kemp, a lecturer with the San Jose State University School of Information, partnered with faculty from the SJSU School of Nursing to investigate new ways to create engaging and realistic learning experiences for nursing students through the use of virtual world simulations. The team explored how to integrate 3D virtual world simulations into clinical skills lab. They constructed a 3D model of an acute healthcare setting, allowing nursing students to interact with virtual patients and other healthcare providers in computer-based simulations that mimic real-life clinical scenarios. They evaluated how use of simulation technology can enhance student learning.

    • The Catalyst Project: A New Model for Library Residency Programs

      Sponsor: Institute of Museum and Library Services
      PI: Dr. Sandy Hirsh

      Leaders from the School of Information at San José State University, along with other national partners, developed a unique post-MLIS residency model, with emerging technology integration as a focal point of the residencies. A white paper published in June 2012 describes the residency model.  The project ended in August 2012.