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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Libraries as Place: A Response to Changing Needs

Published: October 31, 2016 by Michael Stephens

We have explored the foundations of socio-technological change and what the library as learning laboratory looks like.  Just as the availability of new ways of learning are possible, so have libraries begun to use networked capabilities to change their approach to satisfying the learning needs of the people in their communities. The library profession has also made strides in describing and typifying the learning needs of those they serve. Information literacy skills have long been taught by librarians across diverse settings in various institutions. Recent years have brought other designations to describe the impact of technology on such skills, such as transliteracy, metaliteracy, and digital literacies. Jenkins (2009) utilized  the term trans-media navigation as a descriptor for the new skills required for the new media landscape, including moving through multiple channels of media to learn about current and past events or experience stories. It could be argued, however, with ubiquitous access to networked communication technologies, these skills are now simply life literacies or how we make sense of the world. Simply, general human interaction with information. 


Globalization and Information Course

Published:August 3, 2016 by Dr. Chris Hagar

The proposed Globalization and Information interdisciplinary course will examine issues of globalization within the context of an information society.

I was delighted to be awarded a Global Citizenship and Engagement Faculty Stipend from the SJSU, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, to aid the development of a Globalization and Information course. This interdisciplinary course will provide Master of Library & information (MLIS) and Master of Archives and Record Administration (MARA) 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.


The Myriad Issues and Trends of Technology

Published: June 9, 2016 by Sue Alman

The wide range of new and sophisticated technological products impacts us as a society, as information professionals, and as individuals, and it’s incumbent on us to be aware of the issues and trends that will affect our local and global actions. The daily media barrage announcing new technologies makes it difficult, if not impossible, to keep track of developments and to understand their relevance in all facets of our lives.


Upcoming Threshold Concepts Conference will focus on new research & practice frontiers

Published: May 14, 2016 by Virginia Tucker

The next biennial conference on threshold concepts is coming up next month and will be hosted by Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This will be the third threshold concepts conference I’ve participated in and it is always an engaging time with attendees from a wide range of academic disciplines. At the 2014 conference, held in Durham, England, I discussed topics with educators in physics, religious studies, instructional design, and mathematics, to name a few. 


Exploring A Connected World: Looking Back

Published: May 1, 2016 by Michael Stephens

A confluence of technological advances has led to the new types of learning and information use I discussed in Learning Everywhere. One might argue that the creation of global networks, paired with enhancements to networking technology, and the evolution of the devices that connect these networks has created a perfect storm of change. As we explore new literacies, it is interesting to look back and see what changes and milestones have led us to the current landscape.


Learning Everywhere: The Hyperlinked Library as Classroom

Published: March 29, 2016 by Michael Stephens

Michael StephensThe Hyperlinked Library model is a response to the socio-technological change. One major facet of this model is an emphasis on the library as a facilitator of discovery, exploration, and play as a way to learn about the world. These learning events and experiences can be both in the physical space and the virtual. Jenkins (2006) defined “play” as “the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving” (p.4), and argued that play is one of the most valued skills for the changing landscape of education. “Today’s networked technology,” according to Thomas and Brown (2009, p.2),  “is more than just a conduit to communicate information; it is a platform to share and network imaginations.  Technology, like never before has become a tool to build worlds.”


Web Archiving at the School of Information (Part II)

Published: March 14, 2016 by Alyce Scott

“The Web was not designed to be preserved. The average life of a Web page is about 100 days”
–Brewster Kahle

The Internet Archive began saving web pages in 1996, in an effort to “preserve cultural artifacts created on the web and make sure they would remain available for the researchers, historians, and scholars of the future.”  In 2001 they launched the Wayback Machine, and in 2006 Archive-it. Archive-it is “The leading web archiving service for collecting and accessing cultural heritage on the web.”


United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science & Technology Conference, Geneva, Switzerland

Published: February 12, 2016 by Dr. Chris Hagar

I was invited to present a poster at the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science & Technology Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, January 27-29. The conference focused on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. This Framework outlines targets and priorities for action to prevent new and reduce existing disaster risk. “It aims to achieve the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries over the next 15 years” (UNISDR, 2015). The conference brought together over 700 participants (scientists, experts, policy makers, researchers and practitioners) from the science and technology community from many geographical regions and partnerships.


Emerging Research Trends in Big Data: Big Data and Digital Humanities

Published: November 9, 2015 by Dr. Michelle Chen

In my information visualization and big data courses, some of my students express strong interest in applying big data analytical skills to address or solve humanities-related issues. Motivated by this noticeable trend, I am proposing a workshop for “Big Data and Digital Humanities” to be held in conjunction with the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia Big Data. While the workshop proposal is currently under review, I think it would be nice to share some of the thoughts and research ideas here.


A recent international research collaboration

Published: September 30, 2015 by Dr. Lili Luo

International collaboration is always a refreshing and even enlightening experience to me. I have worked with two librarians from Tsinghua University Library in China on a couple of projects and absolutely enjoyed it. I have known them for more than 10 years so we have a very efficient and pleasant relationship. Last year when I was at IFLA, I met a librarian from Ghana and we had good conversations about library research. This spring we worked on a project together to evaluate the reference services at University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in Ghana. We decided to approach the evaluation from the user perspective, and identified the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on the RUSA Guidelines for Behavioral Performance.


Medical Volunteering and International Development

Published: August 25, 2015 by Dr. Chris Hagar

One of my main research interests focuses on information perspectives of digital volunteering in humanitarian aid. My work with colleagues Dr. Nina Laurie, Chair in Development, Newcastle University, UK and Dr. Matt Baillie-Smith, Professor of Development, Northumbria University, UK concerns international medical volunteering. Cross-disciplinary collaboration (medical, geography, sociology and information science) is urgently needed to better understand global health volunteering. My expertise in crisis information management helped my colleagues (mentioned above) to identify a gap in their work and, as a result, we have discussed ways in which we can take forward a joint agenda on information/knowledge sharing and digital volunteering in international development settings.


Teaching Presence in Online Courses

Published: April 25, 2015 by Sue Alman

 After being an online instructor for nearly 13 years with a wealth of anecdotal “evidence” to suggest strategies for engaging students in active learning, I was part of an investigative team that conducted a comparative research study using the Community of Inquiry (COI) survey. The results of the study provided data to suggest that teaching presence–one of the elements in the COI–has a positive effect on learning outcomes and student satisfaction in online courses.


Setting the research agenda

Published: April 9, 2015 by Dr. Lili Luo

A couple of months ago I gave a talk at SJSU Gateway PhD students’ virtual residency about how to set the research agenda. To prepare for that talk, I looked back in the past 11 years and thought about how I have been planning, conducting and disseminating my research since I was a doctoral student. I was able to summarize a few useful (hopefully) tips from my experience and share them with our PhD students. I’m posting them here too.


Cloud ERPs

Published: March 22, 2015 by Dr. Robert Boyd

The movement of administrative systems towards cloud-based solutions is swift and institutions are struggling to understand, train, staff and support appropriately. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are found throughout government and commercial enterprises and, in higher education, take shape as the financial, human resources and student systems that help administer the business of the university. For example, the ERP on a college campus is the software used in Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Records, Student Accounts as well as the self-service functionality which students use to view grades, apply/accept financial aid, review account balance, run degree progress reports, request official transcripts, and so forth.


From Research to Practice: Transforming LIS Professionals into Self‐Confident Leaders

Published: February 23, 2015 by Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom

I had the pleasure of attending the recent ALISE conference to participate on a juried panel called “From Research to Practice: Transforming LIS Professionals into Self‐Confident Leaders.” The panel co-presenters were Maria Otero-Boisvert and Mary-Jo Romaniuk, both from the San José Gateway PhD program, with iSchool Professors Emiriti, Ken Haycock, and Bill Fisher providing introductions and moderation.