CSLIS Research

Through our research, Center for the Study of Libraries, Information, & Society (CSLIS) seeks to support practitioners working in today’s libraries and other information organizations. The Center’s five core areas are: Community Informatics, Digital Preservation and Curation, Human Information Behavior, Information Policy and Information Ethics, and Knowledge Management.

Our interests span community information centers across the global village, and we welcome projects that expose humanity’s diverse array of information literacies. To this end, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary projects are especially important to us.

Below are examples of current research projects:

Navigating Screens: Libraries as Community Hubs for Teaching Positive Screen Media Practices

Denise Agosto, June Abbas, Rebekah Willett

Most children in the U.S. are spending increasing amounts of time each day using a wide range of screen media (e.g. smartphones, iPads, and laptops). However, parents and other caregivers are often unequipped to play the roles of media mentors and family digital literacy educators, and most youth services librarians are unsure how to talk to parents about teaching good screen use habits.

The Navigating Screens project, which runs from October 2017 to September 2020, is funded by the Institute for Museum & Library Services. Project investigators Dr. Rebekah Willett (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Dr. Denise Agosto (Drexel), and Dr. June Abbas (University of Oklahoma) are conducting research and developing screen media education training modules for public librarians working with parents and other caregivers of children ages 5 to 11. The training modules will be tested in six U.S. public libraries and made freely available for use and adaptation by public libraries across the country.

Visit the Navigating Screens website for project details and updates. For questions about the project, email CSLIS director Dr. Denise Agosto.

Building a Workforce of Information Professionals for 21st Century Global Information Access

Jung-Ran Park, Christopher Yang, Yuji Tosaka

The goals of this project are to build 1) a self-sustaining digital repository for information professionals to access continuing education resources for self-directed lifelong learning on emerging metadata standards and technologies; 2) a collaborative virtual platform for professionals to communicate, mentor, and share library projects, applications, and best practices; and 3) an open-source webinar series with sequential learning modules to enhance professionals’ in-depth knowledge and skills.

Libraries and the Social Web: Developing the Next Generation of Youth Information Services

Denise Agosto, Andrea Forte

This research project works with high schools students from a range of academic and socioeconomic backgrounds to study their use of social media for everyday and academic purposes. It also examines high school students’ online social search habits, with an emphasis on how teens ask and answer questions online. Based on the study findings, the researchers will design guidelines that public and school librarians can use to better support youths’ academic, personal, and career success in the evolving information world of the 21st century. Learn more at the project website.