The overall goal of the work is to strengthen the connections between The University of Texas at Austin School of Information and the international library community. As such the majority of the work will include strong collaborations with practitioners.
The professorship is made possible with a generous endowment by Virginia & Charles Bowden.
Libraries need to help shape the future of artificial intelligence and data science research and practice. The LADDER Project aims to educate future LIS faculty who can teach new librarians how to best develop, apply, and use AI in libraries in ways that are equitable, ethical, and effective.
CIRCL is a coordinated network developing participatory research, policy recommendations, and culturally-responsive advocacy strategies to amplify rural libraries and promote sustainable rural librarianship.
My primary research agenda focuses on community-based librarianship. This works involves seeing the role librarians have in building knowledge in a community and help community members find meaning in their lives. I situate my methodology in Participatory Action Research, where I am part of building systems or working with librarians and community members to better understand systems. This work is international.
Honors & Awards
2023: Inaugural member of the Research Leaders Academy at the University of Texas
2023: Tall Texan Mentor
2021: RUSA Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship
2016: American Library Association’s 2016 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship
2012: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature for the book Atlas of new librarianship
2009: Emerald Literati Network 2009 Outstanding Paper Award Journal of Documentation for the article Credibility on the internet: shifting from authority to reliability
2009: Aslib-Emerald Award for the article Credibility on the internet: shifting from authority to reliability
2007-2010: First OITP Fellow, American Library Association
2002-2004: Visiting Fellow National Library of Canada
2001: Visiting Scholar Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education
1997: ASIS/ISI Doctoral Proposal Award
1996: Certificate of University Teaching, Syracuse University
1996: Syracuse University Outstanding Teaching Assistant
1994: Syracuse University Fellowship, Syracuse University
1993: Graduate Teaching Associate, Syracuse University
1992: Syracuse University Fellowship, Syracuse University
1992: Research Assistant, Syracuse University
1992: Phi Beta Kappa, Syracuse University
1992: Graduate Magna Cum Laude, Syracuse University
Click here for Information about working with me on doctoral studies. I would love to work with folks on their doctoral studies. This to let you know the kind of work I can support, and some logistics of how that might work.
2022-Present Library, AI, and Data Driven Education and Research (LADDER), IMLS, Co-PI. Project is to create future iSchool faculty highly skilled in data science and AI with a strong connection to the library field. Each year, the three PIs and three doctoral students will collaborate with librarians, rotating across three library contexts: Austin Public Library, Navarro High School Library, and UT libraries to co-designed data and AI centric projects. $623,501
2021-Present Evaluation of LSTA program at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, TSLAC. PI. Conducted an evaluation of the Library Service and Technology Act programs and funding at the Texas state library with Kim Silk. Prepared assessment training and conducted research into the need for professional development in rural and tribal Texas areas. $100,000
2021-2022 New Librarianship Symposia, IMLS and Others. Organizer. Convened an international series of symposia on the issues of post-neutrality librarianship; diversity, equity, and inclusion; cross-border connections; and a post-COVID new normal agenda. The New Librarianship Symposium Series was sponsored by the University of South Carolina, MIT Press, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the U.S. Library of Congress, the British Library, KB National Library of the Netherlands, OCLC, URFIST de Bordeaux, Enssib, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, the University of Texas at Austin Bowden Folio, and Gigabit Libraries Network. $35,000
2020-2022 NEWCOMER: Building a Network Community Centered Librarianship, Erasmus+ European Union. Project Consultant. Build a network of librarians from Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands to exchange best practice in community librarianship focused on inclusion and adult education. $137,798 (€117,250)
2017-2021 Library Scholars, Various. PI. Built school library cohort programs with South Carolina School districts to transition classroom teachers to school librarians. $800,000
2017-2018 A Community Based Literacy Solution, Hearst Foundation. Co-PI. Studied increasing literacy through a community approach that brought together teachers, literacy specialists, librarians (school and public), community leaders, and community government. $100,000
2015-2016 Community as Collection: Building the Community Profile System, IMLS. Co-PI. A three-year investigation into building a community profile system to allow libraries to better connect to community expertise. $281,000
2015-Present Expect More Collaboratory, Various. PI. A two-year collaborative effort to develop advocacy and training materials for librarians and libraries based on the Expect More book. $63,000
2014-2016 Design On Learning: 21st Century Online Learning For Library Workers, IMLS. Co-PI. A three-year continuing education (CE) development and implementation partnership project among South Central Regional Library Council, Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, and the NY 3Rs Association, Inc. Design on Learning will 1) enable librarian-trainer participants to successfully transfer their in-person teaching skills/pedagogy to the online environment; 2) enable librarian-trainers to evaluate and gain experience with various delivery platforms; and 3) teach library workers to learn effectively in the online environment.
2012-2015 Project ILEAD USA, IMLS. Chair of the Instructor Corps. A three-year continuing education initiative that directly addresses the need to expand librarians’ leadership abilities to use participatory technology to effectively engage their libraries’ constituents. The primary goals of this project are 1) to help library staff understand and respond to user needs through the application of participatory technology tools, and 2) the creation of an easy-to-replicate model program. $470,000
2012-2013 Cyber Security and Information Systems, U.S. Department of Defense. Researcher. Assist Quanterion, as it operates the CSIAC, in developing a community of practice platform. $307,000
2012-2014 Developing the Salzburg Curriculum, IMLS and The Global Salzburg Seminar. Principal Investigator. Develop a high-level curriculum framework for librarians and museum professionals and then map it to relevant curricula and standards. $10,000
2010-2012 DACS – Digital Library Research, U.S. Department of Defense. Principal Investigator for Digital Library Portion. Assist Quanterion, as it operates the DACS, in identifying, recommending, and applying technologies and techniques, particularly automated techniques, for efficiently identifying, collecting, cataloging, and aggregating electronic information resources in targeted focal software related technology areas. $646,844
2010-2011 Reference Extract, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator. First phase of development for Reference Extract, a credibility engine, allowing users to embed the credibility judgments of librarians worldwide into their applications. $350,000
2009-2012 Project ILEAD U, IMLS. Chair of the Instructor Corps. A three-year continuing education initiative that directly addresses the need to expand librarians’ leadership abilities to use participatory technology to effectively engage their libraries’ constituents. The primary goals of this project are 1) to help library staff understand and respond to user needs through the application of participatory technology tools, and 2) the creation of an easy-to-replicate model program. $418,658
2008-2009 Reference Extract Planning Grant, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Principal Investigator. Investigated and developed a business plan and technical architecture for a general-purpose search engine built around credible communities (initially reference librarians). $97,428
2008 Future of Libraries, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Consultant. Prepared a report on the area of libraries and their future evolution. $2,500
2008-2011 CI-Facilitators: Accelerating Knowledge Development and Collaboration across the STEM Disciplines, NSF. Co-Principal Investigator. Developing a curriculum to train cyber-infrastructure facilitators to aid in the adoption of technologies to further e-science. $239,945
2007-2010 A Virtual Learning Laboratory for Digital Reference: Transforming the Internet Public Library, IMLS. Consultant. Enhancing the Internet Public Library to make digital reference learning objects available to faculty in all ALA-accredited LIS programs, provide a laboratory with access to new technologies used to offer digital reference and digital library services and create a collaborative learning community for faculty, students and working librarians. $613,478
2006-2008 Exploring the Social Internet, American Library Association, Principal Investigator. Researching and writing a detailed technology brief on the topic of the social Internet. The brief will put an emphasis on interactive and social web applications such as blogs, social networks, and include a survey of the general “Web 2.0” and “Library 2.0 ” development world. $12,000
2006-2008 Credibility Commons, MacArthur Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator. The Credibility Commons is an experimental environment enabling individuals the opportunity to try out different approaches to improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web. Tools will be provided to researchers as well as the public, allowing them to try out search strategies, collections and other approaches to improving access to credible information. The Commons can be viewed as a collaborative space in which to share ideas, data sets, results and innovations. This project is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation who is deeply invested in improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web. $250,000
2004-2006 National Research Study on the Future of Librarians in the Workforce, IMLS. Co-Principal Investigator. Joined with the University of North Caroline (lead) to identify the nature of anticipated labor shortages in the library and information science (LIS) field over the next decade; assessed the number and types of library and information science jobs that will become available in the U.S. either through retirement or new job creation; determined the skills that will be required to fill such vacancies; and recommended effective approaches to recruiting and retaining workers to fill them. $1,000,000
2003-2006 Digital Reference Education Initiative, IMLS. Co-Principal Investigator. Implemented an international effort to define core competencies in reference and built web-based resources to advance and educate the reference community. $250,000
2002-2006 National Science Digital Library: Core Integration, NSF. Principal Investigator for Virtual Reference Desk Portion. Implemented, maintained and improved a distributed expert/support component of the NSDL. With Cornell University, UCAR, Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Amherst. $1,200,000 (Syracuse University Portion)
2002-2004 Question Triage for Experts and Documents: Expanding the Information Retrieval Function of the NSDL, NSF. Co-Principal Investigator. Merged digital triage system with NSDL information retrieval system. With Bruce Croft, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Matt Koll, Wondir Foundation. $350,000
2002-2005 Education Digital Library Initiative, U.S. Department of Education. Principal Investigator. Operated and Improved the Virtual Reference Desk project and the Gateway to Educational Materials projects. $5,000,000
2002 Digital Reference Research Symposium, National Library of Canada, ACRL, Harvard, Library of Congress, OCLC. Principal Investigator and Organizer. Organized a research symposium to develop an international research agenda in digital reference. $35,000
2001-2003 Integrating Expertise into the NSDL: Putting a Human Face on the Digital Library, NSF. Principal Investigator. Created a distributed virtual reference desk for the NSF’s NSDL program. $350,000
2001-2002 Assessing Quality in Digital Reference Services, OCLC. Co-Principal Investigator with Charles McClure to develop quality assessment techniques and standards. $150,000
2000-2001 Agile Collaboration Environments (ACE) for Systems Synthesis in Engineering Education, NASA. Contributor to a proposal to NASA for an advanced training environment for engineers and K-12 students. Partners included School of Engineering and Cornell University. $1,000,000
2000-2003 Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology. Consultant. Worked with the Syracuse University School of Education on implementing projects to increase technology use of School of Education faculty. $500,000
2000 Department of Education Referral Tool, U.S. Department of Education. Principal Investigator. Worked with the Department of Education to develop specifications and policies for a department-wide referral tool to improve customer service. $60,000
1999-2000 MCI/WorldCom MarcoPolo Search Engine. Principle Investigator. A contract with MCIWorldCom to create a cross-site search system for the MarcoPolo project. Included cataloging nearly 7,000 records as well as systems development, network discovery and information retrieval, and interface research. $250,000
1998-2003 ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology. Principal Investigator and director of ERIC/IT. A U.S. Department of Education sponsored clearinghouse that collects, indexes, abstracts and distributes information related to library and information science and educational technology. $5,000,000
1997-2002 Virtual Reference Desk, National Library of Education. Principal Investigator on a study to improve Internet reference services. [Later Education Digital Library Initiative] $1,200,000
1996-2002 Gateway to Educational Materials, Federal Dept. of Education. Participated in a standards and cataloging project for Internet-based lesson plans. [Later Education Digital Library Initiative] $5,000,000
1996-1999 KidsConnect, AASL. Assisted in ongoing work with the K-12 digital reference project. $200,000
1996-1998 AskLN, AT&T. Co-Principal Investigator on a planning grant for AT&T’s Learning Network mentoring service. $250,000
1992-2003 AskERIC, U.S. Department of Education. Co-Created an Internet service that sought to provide high quality education information to front-line educators through electronic networks.