About the Center

The Center for the Study of Libraries, Information, & Society (CSLIS) brings together faculty from Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics with faculty from other institutions, industry representatives and local and global community members to translate theory into practice, educate, inform policy and meet the library and information needs of modern society.

At CSLIS, our motto is: Connecting people and information through technology. We strive to accomplish this through five core areas of focus:

Information Policy and Information Ethics

Information policy encompasses values, policies, regulations and procedures related to shared information and the ways these considerations shape our information culture. Research in this area includes the study of law and the Internet, electronic medical records and information security and assurance. Research in information ethics considers what information should be created or gathered and why, how that information is and should be represented and what cultural differences affect ethical decisions about information. Research in both policy and ethics focuses on the meanings of privacy, community, anonymity and social interaction and their societal implications.

Human Information Behavior

Human information behavior involves the ways in which individuals and groups create, access, evaluate and use information for a variety of tasks. Research in this area includes the study of the interactions between librarians and library users, the information needs and behaviors of youth and adults from diverse groups and the ways individuals and groups from a variety of communities use libraries and other information agencies. It also includes the study of (1) the relationship of information to learning, decision-making and literacy practices, and (2) the impact of information provided in multiple media formats—print, digital and oral.

Community Informatics

Community informatics encompasses the ways in which information is created, accessed, exchanged and interpreted within communities and groups, as defined by geographic location, linguistic group membership, socioeconomic status, gender, cultural group, equitability of access, and more. Research in community informatics has a particular focus on information use within these groups and also considers how indigenous knowledge should be preserved and disseminated and what and how information should be packaged for different communities. It includes the study of digital literacy and other information literacies specifically as they relate to these groups.

Digital Preservation and Digital Curation

Digital preservation is the performance of the strategic, technical and organizational activities that are required to ensure continued and reliable access to authentic digital objects (and analog objects converted to digital form) for as long as they are deemed to be of value. Research in digital curation addresses the performance of the entire range of activities that are required to manage and maintain digital objects from their conceptualization and creation until their eventual disposal or preservation, including activities that ensure continued maintenance and potential access to the objects after moving them to an archive.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge management involves the ways in which organizations create, organize, access, evaluate, and share information for a variety of tasks. Research in this area investigates ways to support knowledge-sharing environments, collaboration and knowledge exchange within organizational settings. For example, it includes the study of ways both to eliminate information silos and to design appropriate incentives that encourage knowledge sharing within and across organizational units. It also includes the study of automated systems that can facilitate knowledge sharing within organizations.