Current Projects

The projects listed here are research projects, organizational consulting projects, dissertations and theses for which the iSchool faculty, Gateway Ph.D students and MLIS students are currently principal or co-investigators. The projects are categorized within the CIRI Research Areas.

Digital Records and Curation

Grant Funded Research

  • Local History Digital Resources Project (LHDRP)

    PI: Diana Wakimoto. Read more about Wakimoto

    The grant provides funding for digitizing parts of the image collection at California State University East Bay, creating metadata records, and uploading images, metadata, and finding aids to the Online Archive of California (OAC).

  • Trust and Conflicting Rights in the Digital Environment
    iSchool External Participant: Dr. Pat Franks

    An exploratory workshop that will bring together researchers in information science, law, law enforcement, and journalism from universities in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, and from multinational entities, in order to gain a better understanding of the trust relationship between organizations and their client groups with regard to the data and records created, maintained, used and/or preserved on the Internet. The workshop will be held at the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia-location of the PI Dr. Luciana Duranti.

Ongoing Research

  • How Electronically Stored Information “ESI” is altering Information and Records Appraisal
    PI: Salvador Barragan (co-applicant and member of North American team)

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • InterPARES Trust

    PI: Dr. Patricia C. Franks (co-applicant and member of North American team)
    Student Research Assistant: Lace Ryan Banks, MARA Student

    The ultimate goal of the 5-year long grant-funded project is to achieve a balance of trust and trustworthiness in web-based data, records, and records systems. The 5 domains to be investigated by the international research team are infrastructure, security/protection, control, access and legal issues. Each of these domains will be viewed from the perspective of five cross-domains: terminology, resources, policy, social/societal issues, and risk. Dr. Franks is a member of the North American team, and the facets she will explore initially are social media use and expectations in government agencies in Canada and the US, the challenges of retention and disposition of records in a cloud environment, and information governance policy analysis. She will also serve as the point person for the cross domain topic of social and societal issues across all projects undertaken by the North American team.

  • Community Oral History Toolkit
    PI: Nancy MacKay

    This five-volume set is the definitive guide to all aspects of conducting successful community oral history projects that conform to best practices in the field. What are the fundamental principles that make one oral history project fly and another falter? Community Oral History Toolkit examines theoretical foundations for oral history practice and offers applicable tools and guidelines that you can mold to your project’s specific needs. The wealth of existing literature on oral history methodology is designed for academic research; the Toolkit, however, is specifically geared toward community groups unaffiliated with large institutions such as universities. Volumes include an introduction to community oral history, planning and managing community oral history projects, interviewing subjects, and processing the interviews.

  • Survey on Oral Histories in Repositories
    PI: Nancy MacKay

    In cooperation with the MATRIX Center for Digital Humanities at Michigan State University, Nancy MacKay will conduct a survey that will be a part of a larger project to create core metadata elements for oral histories.

  • Second Life, Virtual Center for Archives & Records Administration
    PI: Dr. Patricia Franks
  • Digital Records at the Junction of Work and Play: An examination of the rights and remedies of employers and employees in work-related blogs, posts, and tweets.
    PI: Dr. Debbie Weissmann


Information Access and Use

Grant Funded Research

  • Data Collection Challenges of a Digital Volunteer Humanitarian Aid Organization: The European Refugees Crisis
    Sponsor: San Jose State University - Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity Award, 2016
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar

    The study will provide a snapshot of the complexities and challenges of collecting data in a transient multi-cultural migrant group crossing borders, by a digital humanitarian aid organization. It will make a new contribution and add a dynamic perspective to the emerging discipline of crisis informatics. The findings will provide a basis for further research into the information and needs and flows of migrant groups.

  • Promoting Global Citizenship and Global Engagement Award
    Sponsor: San Jose State University, College of Applied Arts & Science
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar

    This grant funds the development of a Globalization & Information course. This interdisciplinary course will provide students with a broad overview of the influence of globalization on the generation, organization, access, transfer, and use of information. It will examine issues of globalization within the context of an information society and focus particularly on political, economic, technological and socio-cultural issues. The course will engage students in global conversations, help prepare students to think globally, to be global citizens, and to play an active role in a multicultural world. It will prepare students to pursue alternative career paths as information professionals.

  • Roles for public libraries in crisis preparedness, response, and recovery
    Sponsor: San Jose State University, Research, Scholarly and Creativity Activity Grant
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar

    In their educational, informational, recreational and life-long learning roles, public libraries are involved in a multitude of community activities and are well situated to aid in disaster planning and to engage in strengthening community resilience.  This research explores the multiple roles that public libraries can play in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

  • iMapLibraries

    PI: Christie Koontz

    The goal of this IMLS National Forum Grant is to empower local librarians, with development of more precise planning tools, to better serve diverse customer markets within their local community. Although public libraries are funded by local governments and hence serve same, measures of library performance and effectiveness are defined at the national level into a "one size fits all." Categories are top down and do not fit the increasingly diverse customer profiles in communities large and small, urban and rural across America.

    Further, and more importantly, current broad measures fail to accurately assess the unique and valuable roles that libraries play in the lives of people within these diverse and non-traditional segments of local communities. The lack of local library performance measures that mirror unique populations means that local libraries find it difficult to show the true value of services to the local community and its funders.

    This joint project by Florida State University researchers, the American Library Association (ALA), and the Chief Officers of State Library Associations (COSLA) will take a major step towards solving this problem. The grant will identify the public libraries throughout the country that currently serve diverse populations as identified with geographic information system (GIS) using variables such as linguistic isolation, race/ethnicity, education and income levels within a pre-determined radii around the library facility.

  • Print & Electronic Textbooks: Student Preference Survey

    PI: Sue Alman

    Faculty from the SJSU School of Information are working on a collaborative research project with researchers from Hewlett Packard (HP) to develop a predictive model to determine student preferences for using print or electronic textbooks. Through an electronic survey involving undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at SJSU, the researchers will investigate and assess the ways students use digital and print materials.

Ongoing Research

  • Faculty Research Practices: A Comparative Study
    PI: William Weare

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • Relevance & Information Literacy: The impact on student academic success
    PI: Karen Kaufmann

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • The Student-Researcher Information Experience: Personal Digital Libraries and Research Tools
    PI: Lettie Conrad

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • Perception and Understanding of Information Literacy Among Academic Librarians in Bulgaria
    PI: Katia Karadjova

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • Professional Searchers and Threshold Concepts
    PI: Dr. Virginia Tucker
  • Mobile Health Information For All. For outputs of this research see:
    PI: Dr. Chris Hagar
  • Affective Search: How do Emotions Affect Search Performance?
    PI: Nilo Sarraf
  • I’m not local, can you still hear me? The international and foreign student in the Academic Library
    PI: Cherry-Ann Smart
  • Metacognition and concept drifting in interactive information retrieval
    PI: Dr. Geoffrey Liu
  • Children on the Internet Playground: An Investigation of Choices of Play on the Internet
    PI: Dr. Debbie Weissmann
  • Fitting Research Skills: Examining the sequencing of research skills utilized by research faculty and the research skills provided to undergraduates in Information Literacy Sessions
    PI: Dr. Debbie Weissmann


LIS Online Learning

Grant Funded Research

  • International Collaborations Digital Repository

    PI: Sue Alman

    Description of Project: Create a digital repository of resources and contact information for iSchool faculty to use in preparation of assignments, activities, and projects to internationalize their courses. The repository model can be shared with CHaHS faculty using Canvas Commons.

Ongoing Research

  • Small group pedagogy
    Co-PIs: Dr. Anthony Bernier, Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom

    This project, established already with an accepted peer-reviewed article, conference paper, and a grant application under review, continues to explore pedagogical improvements in small online student group work.

  • Connected Learning: Evaluating and Refining an Academic Community Blogging Platform
    PI: Michael Stephens

    This study will contribute to a better understanding regarding how student blogging communities can enhance learning experiences, encourage reflection, and afford the creation of affinity spaces. Dr. Stephens will evaluate a community blogging platform model utilized by students in the School of Information. The study will identify areas where the model is effective, and provide recommendations regarding how to improve the design of the platform to provide a positive educational impact on students, including topics such as the extent of student participation, what type of support they needed, and what aspects of the community enhanced their learning experience.

  • Spontaneous group decision making in online collaborative learning
    PI: Dr. Geoffrey Liu
  • Virtual Collaboratories; Connecting Distance Learning Communities to Research
    PI: Dr. Kristen Rebmann
  • Distance Learning Librarianship; Content Analyses of Job Announcements: 1996-2010
    PI: Dr. Kristen Rebmann
  • e-Portfolios in an Online Master's Program: Student and Faculty Perspectives
    PI: Beth Wrenn-Estes


New Literacies and Learning

Grant Funded Research

  • Technology, Collaboration, and Learning: Perceptions & Effectiveness of Public Library Staff Professional Development

    PI:Dr. Michael Stephens

    Description of Project: This study will contribute to a better understanding of professional development (PD) offerings for staff of public libraries across the US. Previously, similar studies and surveys have been done with very small respondent samples. This study seeks to expand upon those findings by delivering a survey to a U.S. audience of librarians and paraprofessionals, potentially gaining a much larger sample size. Findings will provide insights for public library administrators and training personnel, identifying the challenges and potential for PD offerings, and identifying potential opportunities for self-directed learning and PD via large scale courses across library systems, consortia and associations.School of Information student Ruth Emily Zwickau is a co-author.

Ongoing Research

  • Information Visualization Skills for Academic Librarians: A Content Analysis of Publications and Online Resources in the DH
    PI: Michelle Chen

    The study aims to investigate how scholars in the digital humanities field have been employing information visualization techniques in their research. By conducting a content analysis of the publications in the digital humanities field for the past five years, the study will explore the frequency, type, and application areas of information visualization in digital humanities. The publications chosen for the study are recognized journals in this field and include Digital Humanities Quarterly, Literacy and Linguistic Computing, and the Journal of Digital Humanities. The findings of the study will suggest necessary skills, knowledge, and training for librarians who are interested in conducting digital humanities research using information visualization.

  • Digital Storytelling in Higher Education Improves Student Learning Objectives Retention
    PI: Richard Okumoto

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • Examining Factors Influencing Persistence of Library and Information Science Doctorate Recipients
    PI: Africa Hands

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • Methods for Discovering Threshold Concepts Learning Experiences and the Liminality of Expertise
    PI: Dr. Virginia Tucker
  • Learning Experiences and the Liminality of Expertise; Methods for Identifying Threshold Concepts in Learning Experiences
    PI: Dr. Virginia Tucker
  • The Impact of Student-Driven, Independent Inquiry on Academic Motivation
    PI: Dr. Shelly Buchanan
  • Practicing Oral History
    PI: Nancy MacKay

    Museums, historical societies, libraries, classrooms, cultural institutions, alumni associations, and neighborhood groups are among the growing list of organizations who use oral history to document and change their own communities. This new series will fill the gap in oral history research and practice by providing concise, instructive books that address the special circumstances of oral history practiced outside the academy. Each title will provide practical tools for conducting and presenting an oral history project that conforms to the best practices of the Oral History Association while being accessible to community-based organizations who use oral history methods.

  • 21st Century Multiliteracies & Youth; Digital Storytelling
    PI: Dr. Kristen Rebmann
  • The value of toxic characters/human monsters in YA literature
    PI: Dr. Joni Bodart
  • Digital reading; Student perceptions and use of ebooks
    PI: Dr. Ziming Liu
  • Creation of new types of learning environments and learning strategies that propel the Learning Commons into the center of teaching and learning
    PI: Dr. David Loertscher


Management and Leadership

Ongoing Research

  • How Are We Doing in Tribal Libraries? - A Case Study of Oglala Lakota College Library Using Information Visualization
    PI: Michelle Chen

    This research investigates the operation and management efforts and activities of tribal libraries using Oglala Lakota College Library as a case study and provides insights and implications in five categories, including general operations and management, staffing and human resource management, financial operations, service and program management, and technology-related activities.


Social Dynamics of Information

Ongoing Research

  • Biography of Laura Steffens Suggett
    PI: Debra Hansen

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

    Study of the life and career of the assistant librarian at the California State Library (1902-1916) and founding librarian of the State Library’s Sutro Branch (1916-1923). She was also sister and confidant of political activist and author Lincoln Steffens.)

  • First class: Pioneering students at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science, 1928-1940
    PI: Debra Hansen

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

    An article for the iSchool’s Student Research Journal.

  • The case of LLACE: Challenges, triumphs, and lessons of a community archives
    PI: Diana Wakimoto et al.

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

    An article coauthored with Debra Hansen and Christine Bruce for the American Archivist.

  • Depoliticizing the California State Library: James Gillis’s political and professional transformation, 1899˗1917
    PI: Debra Hansen

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

    An article for a special issue of Information and Culture on state libraries.

  • Ain't no love for us ghetto children, so we cold”: critical information literacy, hip hop and assets-based pedagogy
    PI: Kim Morrison

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • The Public Library Movement in British Columbia: Female Librarians and Patrons at the Victoria Public Library, 1901-1949
    PI: Kathleen McDonald

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • The history of young adult services in public libraries
    PI: Dr. Anthony Bernier
  • Event Detection on Twitter: A Tempo-Based Approach. A study of event detection on Twitter based on "tempo" analysis, e.g., by capturing the tempo of Twitter conversations based on the change of sentiments, number of tweets per minute, number of re-tweets, etc.
    PI: Dr. Michelle Chen
  • 1921 Tulsa Race Riots (Organization of Documents). African American Resource Center/Rudisill Regional Library, Tulsa, OK
    PI: Dr. Arglenda Friday


Technological Innovation and Change

Grant Funded Research

  • Investigation of Possible Uses of Blockchain Technology by Libraries-Information Centers to Support City-Community Goals.
    Sponsor: IMLS
    PI: Sandy Hirsh & Sue Alman
  • We're excited to announce our second Library 2.018 mini-conference:
    "Blockchain Applied: Impact on the Information Profession," which will be
    held online (and for free) on Thursday, June 7th, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm
    US-Pacific Daylight Time (click for your own time zone).
    This event is being organized in partnership with Dr. Sue Alman, who will
    serve as moderator for the opening panel and as the closing keynote speaker.

    The idea for ways that blockchain technology could be used by libraries came
    after hearing a presentation on LEARNING IS EARNING in the national learning
    economy made by Jane McGonigal, Institute for the Future, at the at the SXSW
    conference. The discussion fueled a plan for libraries to validate the
    academic and professional development credentials of individuals in a
    permanent electronic ledger that could have global access to their records
    eliminating the need for individuals to keep track of and submit individual
    copies of transcripts, certificates, badges, and other credentials. An
    investigation revealed that libraries might be able to use blockchain
    technology to accomplish more than housing electronic credentials.
    Twenty-first century information professionals provide dynamic services and
    resources in physical and virtual spaces through personal interaction,
    virtual intermediation, or social media. In addition to lending books,
    information centers provide entry points to the digital world. When walking
    into a library or information center, you may find robots, makerspaces with
    3D printers, collaborative areas, augmented reality apps, and access to an
    array of digital materials. Librarians/information professionals have the
    research and technical skills needed to organize and analyze information in
    order to customize relevant sources for each user. Libraries are dynamic,
    ever-changing organizations that can anchor communities. Technology enables
    the profession to broaden our impact within the community and around the

      Join the discussion on ways that blockchain technology can be used in
    We invite all library professionals, employers, LIS students, and educators
    to provide input and participate this event.

    This is a free event, being held online.
    to attend live or to receive the recording links afterwards. Please also join
    this Library 2.0 network to be kept updated on this and future events.

    Participants are encouraged to use #library2018 and #libraryblockchain on
    their social media posts leading up to and during the event.

    The School of Information at San José State University is the founding
    conference sponsor. Please register as a member of the Library 2.0 network to
    be kept informed of future events. Recordings from previous years are
    available under the Archives tab at Library 2.0 and at the Library 2.0
    YouTube channel.

    We will have a limited number of slots for presenter sessions. The call for
    proposals is HERE. We encourage all who are interested in presenting to

  • National Forum
    The Blockchain National Forum will bring together 20-30 technical experts to
    discuss ways that blockchain technology can enhance library services. These
    individuals will be selected from among library leaders (e.g. LITA, PLA,
    ULC), blockchain innovators (e.g., Institute for the Future, MIT Media Lab,
    and Harvard Berkman Klein Center), and urban planners (e.g., American
    Planning Association–Technology Division) to explore the ways that
    blockchain technology can be used by libraries. The discussion will focus on
    the identification and discussion of key opportunities for large or small,
    urban or rural libraries to serve as community anchors using blockchain
    technology. (Scheduled for August 6, 2018.)

    We are seeking nominations of individuals to represent the professional
    associations and information organizations (e.g. LITA, PLA, ULC, CLIR, ARL)
    by participating in the Library 2.018 online conference (June 7, 2018) and
    the National Forum in San Jose, CA (August 6, 2018). Funding is available to
    support most of the expenses (travel, lodging, meals) for the National Forum
    for invited participants.

    Nominations (including self-nominations) are due by February 15, 2018.
    Nominees should be knowledgeable about blockchain technology in order to have
    an impact on the recommendations that will be made and discussed during the
    Library 2.018 conference and National Forum.  Nominations (including
    self-nominations) should be submitted on this form.

  • The San Jose State University School of Information will investigate ways that blockchain technology can be used by libraries to partner with other organizations and to support city or community goals. Blockchain technology is a shared digital/electronic ledger featuring a constantly updated list of transactions. It is supported by a peer-to-peer network that may be either public or private. This technology has the potential to help libraries develop a distributed metadata system; facilitate better digital rights management; and create a protocol for supporting community based collections. The proposed National Forum will bring together 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city or community goals. The resulting commentary from a project blog, national forum, and conference and the survey data will be evaluated and included in the project's final report, which will be available online. The recommendations will serve as a guide for both large and small, urban and rural libraries to implement blockchain technology or consider other directions.
  • How Does Mega Event Word-of-Mouth Evolve in Tourism Social Media: A Topic-Modeling Analysis of Super Bowls 2014-2016

    PI: Dr. Yinghua Huang (Hospitality Management)

    The purpose of this study is to investigate how tourists’ social media WOM evolves in the course of a mega event (before, during, after). Using Super Bowl as an example, this study adopts a “big data” analytic technique, known as topic modeling, to explore the popular topics among tourists’ social media interactions on TripAdvisor. The findings of this study will help the destination event planners to understand tourist’s opinion about hosting a Super Bowl, monitor the issues emerging with the trajectory of the event, and communicate with tourists’ more effectively on social media.

  • ReadingOUT: A Database of Books for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Young Readers

    PI: Ellen Greenblatt

    The goal of ReadingOUT is to provide access to affirmative and accurate information about LGBTQ topics to young people and the families, librarians, and teachers who support them. Over the course of the project a web site and database were developed. The website provides the context for the database with pages aimed at each of the three target audiences (teens, families, and librarians and teachers), outlining how ReadingOUT aspires to meet each of the groups’ particular needs. The core of the site is the ReadingOUT database. Currently the database contains over 400 recommended books on LGBTQ‐related themes for children and young adults from preschool through college age. Each title has received one or more awards and/or has been included on a list of notable books issued by prominent organizations in the library, education, and LGBTQ advocacy fields. These books have been vetted by experts as the best books available for young adults, teens, and children.

  • Building an Interdisciplinary Virtual Internship Program: Expanding Field Experience Opportunities for SJSU Students

    PI: Dr. Patricia Franks

    Dr. Patricia Franks, an associate professor with the San Jose State University School of Information, and Dr. Nitin Aggarwal, with the SJSU College of Business, are exploring development of virtual internship opportunities for SJSU students, assessing the framework needed for students to achieve defined learning outcomes. Building on the strong foundation of the SJSU iSchool place-based internship program, the interdisciplinary research team will collaboratively develop and pilot a replicable virtual internship program.

  • Multilingual Website Development

    PI: Kitty Pope

Ongoing Research

  • Quantitative Analytics of Library Users Engagement Strategies through Social Media Mining
    PI: Hongbo Zou

    San Jose Gateway PhD study

  • Reading behavior in the mobile environment
    PI: Dr. Ziming Liu

    Investigates the changes in reading behavior in the era of mobile technologies.


Faculty Research Presentations to the CIRI International Advisory Board

Alyce Scott

Chris Hagar

Sue Alman

Debbie Faires


Mary Ann Harlan

David Loertscher


Lisa Marie Daulby


Virginia Tucker


Geoffrey Liu