Center for Information Research and Innovation (CIRI) Blog

iSchool faculty are contributors to the CIRI Blog, sharing their thoughts, ideas, and experiences regarding a wide range of topics. This blog is updated monthly and managed by CIRI Coordinator Dr. Lili Luo. For more on iSchool’s faculty and student research, please visit the CIRI web page.

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Practices and Representations: Bringing them together

Published: March 24, 2020 by Dr. Mary Ann Harlan

It is not unusual when involved in a research project to be distracted by new ideas, interesting concepts, and potential connections to the research that ultimately are beyond the scope of one’s current project. I find myself often distracted by shiny new research ideas and questions as I read for a literature review, analyze data, and write my own analysis and findings. This could be why I sometimes don’t seem to have a pithy answer to “What are your research interests?”


How We Made the Grade: The Journey from Lived Experience to Conference Presentation 

Published: February 24, 2020 by Enid Ocegueda and Michelle Peralta


Though online programs do their best to create educational environments comparable to brick-and-mortar classroom settings for its students, the virtual nature of distance learning can be challenging for students on many fronts, especially for those seeking professional networks, mentorship, and a cohort experience.  Current research on the experiences of people of color in Library and Information Science (LIS) programs, especially as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, tended to focus on students in traditional, in-person programs. We were interested in researching if and how our experiences as people of color at SJSU iSchool differed from those in other online LIS programs. 


Language Style Matching as a Measure of Librarian/Patron Engagement in Email Reference Transactions

Published: January 23, 2020 by Ann Agee 

When two people are deep in conversation, they unconsciously mimic each other. Both will cross their arms, pick up their coffee cups, or touch their hair as they talk. Research shows that this mimicry is a signal of the high level of engagement between the conversationalists (Scheflen, 1964). Using a technique called language style matching (LSM), social psychologists discovered that similar synchronization appears in written correspondence (Niederhoffer & Pennebaker, 2002). Correspondents with a high level of engagement use similar words, down to the level of pronouns, articles, and prepositions. It is these function words that are used to calculate an LSM score. High LSM scores have been shown to be indicative of a sense of perceived support.


Research Methods Course Focusing on Technology

Published: December 4, 2019 by Jason Kaltenbacher

Beginning this current (Fall) 2019 semester, I started teaching a technology management special topics section of INFO 285: Applied Research Methods. This course is designed to support students who are interested in developing a comprehensive research proposal that relates to a technology interest/issue. Like the other research methods courses, students learn the fundamentals of social research design and how to produce a viable and independent research proposal.


Tribal Connectivity via TV Whitespace

Published: November 6, 2019 by Dr. Kristen R. Rebmann

In 2014, the Association of Tribal Archives, Museums and Libraries prepared a report, Digital Inclusion in Native Communities: The Role of Tribal Libraries, which discusses the challenges Tribal Libraries face in bringing basic broadband access to their citizens in addition to creating public spaces that provide Wi-Fi connections. The report illustrates how Tribal Libraries play a critical role as community anchor institutions (CAIs) in providing their community members with access to the internet (ATALM, 2014).


Data Mining for Service Planning and Management in Libraries

Published: October 3, 2019 by Dr. Geoffrey Liu

With operation being increasingly computerized and services becoming interactive online, libraries – like other business organizations – are accumulating huge piles of data. Such data include not only operational/circulation records and online transactions on web platform, but also textual information generated by library virtual communities and data collected through service programs. In this sense, the “Big Data” movement did not leave libraries out.


SJSU’s Student Research Journal: Supporting Teaching and Research at iSchool

Published: September 12, 2019 by Margaret Snyder, Editor-in-Chief, Student Research Journal

Want to be dialed-in to career trends, up your research game, and contribute to the library and information science (LIS) conversation? Look no further than the Student Research Journal (SRJ)San Jose State University’s (SJSU’s) only graduate student-run, open-access, double-blind, peer-reviewed academic journal featuring graduate student research and inviting contributions from prestigious researchers and movers and shakers in the LIS field. SRJ is about to celebrate their 10th birthday after an amazing 2018 milestone year eclipsing 100,000 downloads (read the issue here) and thrilled to introduce a new student resource blog to support SJSU MLIS and MARA students.


The General Data Protection Regulation and the “Right to be Forgotten”: A Primer for Information Professionals

Published: August 11, 2019 by Dr. Lisa Daulby

The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is designed to protect the privacy rights and freedoms of individuals residing in the EU. GDPR is a comprehensive regulation encompassing 99 articles with provisions for data collection, consent, breaches, processing and security. GDPR was developed to reflect changes to personal information governance in an interconnected and virtually borderless world. Organizations that collect personal data about EU residents including customer and employee information must comply with


Searching for LIS Student Success at the SJSU iSchool

Published: June 20, 2019 by Dr. Anthony Bernier

It’s not that people haven’t been inclusive. It’s just… a feeling I have in myself. You feel like an imposter. Like, especially when you go back into your family life.”

In Fall 2018, the American Library Association awarded Dr. Anthony Bernier a Diversity Research Grant (the committee’s top pick from among 30 proposals) to study the experience of the iSchool’s First Generation (FG) students. The project defined FG students as people coming from family backgrounds in which neither parent earned a professional degree.


Exploring Tribal Library Opportunities and Challenges via Information Visualization

Published: April 4, 2019 by Dr. Michelle Chen

I met former iSchool student Tawa Ducheneaux (who is currently an archivist at Oglala Lakota College) in one of my Information Visualization classes, and the idea of using information visualization to further assist tribal library operations emerged from there. After the semester, Tawa approached me with an abundance of data from Oglala Lakota College Library and, with tremendous help from Tawa and her colleagues at Woksape Tipi Library and South Dakota State Library, we analyzed the data and eventually published a paper in Library Management [1]. In this blog post, I would like to share a little more about our research.


Exploring the Possibilities of Discourse Analysis for LIS Research

Published: March 5, 2019 by Dr. Deborah Hicks

I recently had the opportunity to speak with students enrolled in the iSchool’s Gateway PhD program about one of my favorite topics – discourse analysis. I thought I’d give a brief overview of my talk here to hopefully help others trying to understand the ins and outs of a great and useful methodological approach to LIS research.


Student Driven Inquiry: A Personal Research Journey

Published: February 5, 2019 by Dr. Shelly Buchanan

The first months of 2018 presented me with significant professional shifts when I joined the iSchool full-time faculty and shortly thereafter in March earned my Ph.D. for my dissertation titled, “The lived experience of middle school student engaged in student-driven inquiry: A phenomenological study.”


Value of Libraries: Measuring the Impact of CA Libraries

Published: November 18, 2018 by Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom

The California Library Services Board is funding and supporting a project called the Value of Libraries. Work on this project is being carried out by the California State Library under the direction of state library consultant, Dr. Natalie Cole, with assistance from iSchool faculty member, Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom and iSchool alumna, Rachel Hanson.


Resources for Planning Research and Writing

Published: October 14, 2018 by Dr. Michele A.L. Villagran

Desk and papers

photo credit: Søren Mørk Petersen)

Over the summer before officially beginning as a new faculty, I had to prepare myself for the research and writing expectations of a tenure-track position. I spent at least one to two months seeking out resources beyond those I was aware of years ago when I was a doctoral student.


Health Literacy and Public Libraries

Published: September 5, 2018 by Dr. Lili Luo

Public libraries are uniquely positioned to play an active role in supporting health literacy enhancement in this nation. They provide a no-cost, convenient way to assist the public in navigating health information resources and fulfilling their health information needs. The Public Library Association (PLA)’s Deputy Director Scott G. Allen acknowledged that health literacy is a key topic for public libraries, as the majority of consumers struggle to make sense of the health information they encounter each day. He emphasized public libraries’ role in promoting health literacy, explaining that “consumers need help understanding what’s relevant to their health, what’s legitimate, and how marketing and sensational headlines might be drawing attention away from valid research findings”.


Strengthening Community Engagement and Resilience Efforts in Climate Change: Public Program Strategies

Published: February 8, 2018 by Dr. Chris Hagar

Climate change is a hot topic in current political agendas and seen as a global crisis. This semester, climate change and informal science learning practices will be discussion topic in INFO 281-13 “Crisis /Disaster Health Informatics” course. Students will discuss a paper “Strengthening Community Engagement and Resilience Efforts in Climate Change: Public Program Strategies” that I presented with Dr. Karen Brown (Professor, School of Information Studies, Dominican University, IL) at the Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM) Conference 2017 held in Reykjavik, Iceland ( The paper describes the Public Libraries Advancing Community Engagement (PLACE) programs for adults which combine engaging readings, videos, and lively discussions about resiliency and adaptation in the face of climate change to encourage understanding and action.


European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) in Saint-Malo, France attracts participants from around the world

Published: October 30, 2017 by Virginia Tucker

Katia Karadjova

The Fifth European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) was held last month in Saint-Malo, France, with the theme of workplace information literacy. It featured keynote speakers and attracted participants from countries around the world. Two doctoral candidates in the San Jose Gateway PhD program, Katia Karadjova and Karen Kaufmann, gave presentations on their doctoral research projects; Karadjova presented on two additional topics during the conference. Photos: Karadjova in upper right; Kaufmann in lower left. Proceedings are available from: