CIRI Research and Innovation Activities


Research and Innovation Updates

iSchool Student Francis A. Alix Publishes in Peer Reviewed Journal


Francis A. Alix, an MLIS Special Session student, has recently had an article titled “The History and Current Challenges of Libraries in Japan” published by SLIS Connecting, an open access, refereed journal of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Southern Mississippi. It is a revision of a paper written for the International Librarianship course offered by the iSchool. The article examines the long history of Western-style libraries in Japan and the challenges they face in a global information world.

iSchool Student Jessie Stoner Co-authors Professional Report


iSchool student Jessie Stoner joined a group of librarians, library workers, and WikiWisdom, in creating a report of actionable ideas for libraries to use in the current misinformation filled information environment. The report is called Standing Up for Truth. Jessie contributed thoughts, experiences, and ideas to this project, and was responsible for curating the resource list at the end of the report. Jessie and the group presented the report over Zoom to then president of the ALA, Julius Jefferson.

Dr. Sandy Hirsh Delivers Multiple Presentations about LIS Education


Dr. Hirsh has delivered multiple presentations about LIS education at various conferences. 

  • Crafting a Resilient Future: Leadership, Education, & Inspiration: A Toolkit. (2021, September). Speaker on an ALISE Webinar panel, Online.
  • NOW – NEW – NEXT: Seizing the opportunities to redefine and reimagine professional development through online learning. (2021, August). Invited panel speaker for IFLA CPDWL Session at the 2021 IFLA WLIC conference, Online.  
  • The Rise of Online Education: Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Teaching and Learning. (2021, March). Speaker on an iFederation panel at the 2021 iConference, Online.
  • What Has 2020 Taught Us About the Information Ecosystem (2021, February). Invited paper presented for NISO Plus 2021 virtual conference, Online. 
  • Mapping LIS Education Programs. (2021, February). Invited paper presented for IFLA’s Building Strong Library and Information Science Education (BSLISE) Working Group, Online. 
  • Live Chat: Special Libraries – Info Pros in GLAM Roles & Beyond. (2021, February). Invited paper presented as part of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference, Online.

Dr. Sandy Hirsh Selected for the Inaugural Class of Distinguished Members for ASIS&T


Dr. Sandy Hirsh has been elected for the Inaugural Class of Distinguished Members for the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). ASIS&T’s new signature designation, the Distinguished Member Program is an elite status attained by those with a demonstrated commitment to mastering their profession through sustained educational pursuits and a proven track record of service to both their community and the information science and technology field.

iSchool Student Renée Torres Delivers Multiple Presentations about DEI


iSchool student Renée Torres (graduated in Dec 2020) delivered multiple presentations about diversity, equity and inclusion in her last semester at iSchoo.

She as invited to collaborate with USC Norris Medical librarians for a DEI Week presentation based on work completed during her internship:

She gave a lightning talk at MLGSCA’s Spring Symposium:

  • Torres, R. A. (2021, March). Graphic medicine, cultural competency & DEI. Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona, Spring Symposium. 

She delivered a poster presentation at 2021 Medical Library Association’s Annual Conference:

  • Torres, R. A. (2021, May) Graphic Medicine and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Medical Library Association, Annual Conference.

Dr. Sandy Hirsh and Dr. Sue Alman Publish Article about Blockchain


Dr. Hirsh and Dr. Alman recently published an article titled “Using Blockchain to Get Information When You Need It from Wherever You Are” in Information Matters. Their article explored the possibility of providing a universal library card (ULC)  to everyone through the use of blockchain. They believe the implementation of a ULC would enable disenfranchised users in partner libraries to gain access to information—enabling them to locate human services, jobs, and housing.

Director of Online Learning Bethany Winslow Presents about Virtual Worlds


iSchool Director of Online Learning Bethany Winslow participated in an online panel presentation titled “Virtual Worlds: Growing Opportunities for Rich, Immersive, Distance Experiences” at the SUNY Empire State College Learning with Innovative Technology Conference. She co-presented with Dr. Eileen O’Connor of SUNY Empire State College, and one of her graduates, Scott Dolphin. In addition to speaking, she also presented an immersive demonstration of the webXR platform Mozilla Hubs.

Dr. Michael Stephens Presents at Next Library International Conference


Dr. Stephens, in collaboration with Stacie Ledden, Director Of Strategic Partnerships at Anythink Libraries, delivered an online interactive presentation titled “Finding Joy Again” at the 2021 Next Library International Conference in Aarhus, Denmark. 

Dr. Anthony Chow’s IMLS Grant Featured in “Cherokee One Feather”


As part of his IMLS grant, titled “Reading Nation Waterfall“, Dr. Chow recently visited Cherokee in July and distributed 150 books at the Qualla Boundary Head Start and the Qualla Boundary Public Library. This trip was featured in the Cherokee news site “Cherokee One Feather“, showing the impact of the project. 

Dr. Michele Villagran Publishes COVID-19 Related Research


Dr. Villagran’s recent publication, titled “COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: Experts examining legal responses“, was published in Canadian Law Library Review. Since March 2020, a group of librarians, professors, and legal professionals have been monitoring legal responses to COVID-19 throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Each member of the project is currently following various countries within this region. Dr. Villagran’s article describes how the project was created and highlights the initial challenges in terms of securing and evaluating trustworthy sources of information in the middle of a pandemic.

iSchool Continues to Partner with Loyola Marymount University Library on IMLS Grant 


Representing iSchool, Dr. Lili Luo will continue to work with Loyola Marymount University Library on a high-impact national program, the ”Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL)“. From 2014-2019, IRDL received funding from IMLS to provide a successful research training and mentoring program for novice librarian-researchers. Recently, IRDL has received another three years of funding from IMLS to transition the proven in-person training experience to a sustainable synchronous online format. More information can be found here.

iSchool Faculty Collaborate on Publication about Student Use of Mobile Devices for LIS Coursework


A team of iSchool faculty and student, Dr. Michael Stephens, recently retired former Director of Online Learning Debbie Faires, and student Nikki Rudiger, co-authored an article titled “Student Perceptions and Use of Mobile Devices for LIS Coursework: Implications for Educators“. This article, published in Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, offers insights regarding the use of mobile devices by students to help educators in Library and Information Science (LIS) and across disciplines better understand their current and potential use. 

Dr. Lili Luo’s Recent Research Examines Impact of the Pandemic on Library Use


Dr. Luo  recently co-authored an article titled “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Chinese College Students’ Information Behavior and Library Needs: A Qualitative Study“. This article, published in Library Quarterly, studied the library use and library needs of Chinese college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gateway PhD Student Stephen Abrams Awarded Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship


Stephen Abrams,  head of digital preservation for the Harvard Library and a student of the iSchool Gateway PhD Program, was awarded a Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in July 2021, for his doctoral study, A Communicological Critique of Evaluative Norms for Digital Preservation Success. This $3,000 award is given by Beta Phi Mu, the international honor society established to recognize and encourage scholastic achievement among library and information studies students.

Gateway PhD Program Alum Dr. Africa Hands Receives IMLS Grant


Dr. Hands, assistant professor at Eastern Carolina University and alum from the iSchool Gateway PhD Program, has been warded the Early Career Development grant from IMLS. Dr. Hands will investigate the ways in which public libraries in Central Appalachia support the college literacy of nontraditional prospective students through information and services. Project goals are to highlight the nature of public library support for nontraditional prospective students and to identify libraries that may serve as exemplars to library practitioners who want to serve nontraditional college-bound patrons. 

Dr. Michele Villagran Serves as Faculty Advisor for IMLS Grant


Dr. Villagran will serve as faculty advisor for the Bridging Knowledge: Supporting Indigenous Scholars Into the Field of Librarianship, an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant, of which iSchool is the educational partner, with other partners: Alaska State Library, Alaska Library Network and American Indian Library Association. Dr. Villagran will serve as faculty advisor for the 15 Alaska Native, American Indian and Native Hawaiian students who will be recruited to apply for this scholarship program.

Dr. Anthony Chow and Grant Project Team Visit Community Partners


Dr. Chow is the PI of “Reading Nation Waterfall“, a three year, $1.4 million IMLS funded project focused on increasing access to literacy and libraries for Native American children across the country. He and UNCG LIS student Anna Sink visited project partners with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, NC. During their visit they met with library partners, gathered community data through surveys and in-depth interviews with community members. Several book giveaways were hosted and from this visit alone over 150 books were distributed to the children in the community. For more information about this visit, see news announcement on the project website and the slide presentation.

Dr. Anthony Chow’s Article Featured in The Informed Librarian Online 


The Informed Librarian Online has selected Dr. Chow’s article, titled “A 360 Degree View: The Ideal Qualities of Library Leaders and Employees“, as an Article of Interest in their July/August 2021 issue for their Premium Members to read.  Each of their monthly issues, in addition to linking directly to the latest tables of contents of over 320 journals with links to full-text as available, selects a few journal articles to highlight for their readers.

Dr. Souvick Ghosh Co-authors Workshop Report for CHIIR


Dr. Ghosh was a co-author in the report on future conversations workshop at CHIIR 2021. The Future Conversations workshop at CHIIR’21 looked to the future of search, recommendation, and information interaction to ask: where are the opportunities for conversational interactions.

Dr. Souvick Ghosh Shares Research with iSchool Student Communities


Dr. Ghosh recently shared his research with iSchool student communities. He was invited to contribute a paper to the School of Information Student Research Journal:

He also gave an invited talk for SJSU ASIS&T. The title of the talk was: Advancing Information Systems using A.I. – A closer look into Voice-based Conversational Systems and its applications in Library Science.

Dr. Kristen Rebmann As a Guest Scholar for #SJSUScholarChats


Dr. Rebmann will be a guest scholar for  #SJSUScholarChat, a summer activity featuring faculty guests in a conversation on social media. 

To participate in an #SJSUScholarChat, please follow @SJSUCFD on Twitter. At the start of each session, a tweet will be shared to introduce the guest scholar and their chat topic. To interact with the guest scholar, people may pose a question, comment, share images connected to the chat topic, etc. Please remember to use the hashtag #SJSUScholarChat to be part of the conversation. 

Dr. Michael Stephens Presents at International Conference


Dr. Stephens recently presented at the “III International Conference [Re]Think the Public Library: The New Normal”. Dr. Stephens’ presentation, titled “Wholehearted Libraries – Meeting the Needs of Community“, was part of Panel 3: Digital connection: New opportunities for the use of technologies.  Here’s the link to download his presentation slides.

iSchool in Virtual Worlds & Virtual Reality


iSchool faculty Drs. Pat Franks and Marie Vans, along with Bethany Winslow (Director of Online Learning, iSchool) and other colleagues, presented a panel discussion on May 15th, 2021 at the second annual international Educators in VR conference Univirtual Experience 2021, held in AltspaceVR.  The session, VR Headset and VR Desktop: Make Room for Bothallowed each presenter to share their unique perspective on their continuing work as they explore and compare different virtual environments for teaching and learning. Watch the video to hear more. 

The seventh annual international Immersive Learning Research Network Conference (iLRN) 2021 was held in Virbela and other virtual environments from May 17th through June 10th. Marie and Bethany created an exhibit for the immersive learning project showcase. They built the exhibit in the conference-sponsored browser-based virtual platform of FrameVR. Anyone can look at their exhibit space from this link, but the exhibit was promoting a much larger collection of exhibits at the iSchool Mozilla Hubs room. This collection of 15 connected browser-based, interactive 3D virtual spaces, built by Bethany and Marie, is accessible on any device and showcases the work of iSchool faculty and other colleagues. Visit the room for yourself – or just watch this fly through video.

For iLRN, Bethany also hosted three more immersive field trips to her virtual world Limiland, located in the Kitely region of OpenSim. Conference participants were invited to come aboard the Amani, a large scale cruise ship, and explore the extra credit activity she developed in late 2020 for a cruise ship operations management course at SJSU. You can get a good feel for this experience in this Amani Cruise Ship Simulation video.

To keep up with iSchool faculty, staff, or students who are involved in virtual worlds and VR, look for updates at the VCARA blog and at Bethany’s iSchool blog Burning Man in Cyberspace.   

Drs. Pat Franks and Darra Hofman Participate in SSHRC Partnership Grant


Drs. Franks and Hofman will participate in a Partnership Grant from The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The project is titled Archives 4.0. It is headed by Dr. Luciana Duranti at the University of British Columbia. Drs. Franks and Hofman are co-applicants and SJSU is a partner on this project.