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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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:


Staying Current with Disruptive Issues and Technologies: Beacons, Blockchain, Privacy, Wearables

Published: May 26, 2017 by Sue Alman

Urban or rural, public or private, large or small, libraries are living in a moment in which they are juxtaposed between their traditional role as a respected historical institution and their emerging role as a platform for progress. In an age where innovation occurs at the speed of thought, how can libraries embrace technology as well as employ it to build stronger communities? (Excerpt from The Aspen Institute – Libraries in the Exponential Age: Moving from the Edge of Innovation to the Center of Community, 2016.)


New Information Architecture course

Published: May 13, 2017 by Virginia Tucker

The School of Information is now offering an information architecture course that prepares students with the skills needed in the knowledge architecture and user-centered design professions. Students design and develop user-centered knowledge structures for the Web environment, and they create project documents developed around specific client requirements, covering the stages of planning, designing, prototyping, and informing stakeholders about a content-rich product. They learn best practices for designing information architecture products, and the course assignments provide real-world experience developing client deliverables from proposal stage through to concept, content inventory, user profiles, and final recommendations.


Learning to Learn: The Librarian’s Charge

Amidst unprecedented technological change, library staff are faced with an uncertain future but a landscaped filled with rich opportunities. One response has been a focus on continuing education and current awareness programs related to these shifts. Faced with these evolutionary transitions in research and learning, Library and Information Science professionals, are seeking new ways to quickly expand their own knowledge and expertise.


Connected Learning: Evaluating and Refining an Academic Community Blogging Platform

Published: April 30, 2017 by Michael Stephens

Dr. Michael Stephens explores a recent study that investigates the benefits of a community blogging platform for students in an online LIS program.

This post will briefly explore a recent study that investigates the benefits of a community blogging platform for students in an online LIS program. Using a web survey and descriptive content analysis methods, the study empirically addresses how student blogging communities can effectively foster connections amongst instructors and students, and enhance perceptions of learning performance.


California School Libraries: Audits and Information Literacy

Published: November 30, 2016 by Mary Ann Harlan

In light of the recent conversation regarding evaluating information and fake news, teacher librarians should be considered an asset to schools. 

On November 17, 2016 the State of California released a report on their findings of an audit of school library services in California. The findings were not particularly surprising to teacher librarians in California, but they will be a surprise to many California residents.


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.