I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Studies, located in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. I also manage and helped create the eBlack Champaign-Urbana project.
On June 20, 2016, I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation on The Community Informatics of An Aging Society: A Comparative Case Study of Senior Centers and Public Libraries at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. My advisor was Kate Williams. In addition to defending my dissertation on campus, I also presented my reserach in the local community. This presentation is available online, as is a summary of this research.
In January 2016 I received an honorable mention award at the the Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition , part of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) annual conference in Boston.
Summary of work
My research, teaching, and service focuses on community informatics, or community and technology. This work includes:
1. A seven-year project (2009-present) focused on working with community members and groups in Champaign-Urbana to build a digital library on local African-American history and culture. This project is called eBlack Champaign-Urbana. The research results from this project have appeared in journals, conferences and a book chapter.
2. A three-year project (2013-present) focused on working with older adults, and older adult-serving institutions, to understand how communities support older adults learning new digital technologies. The results from this project have appeared at conferences, and form the backbone of my forthcoming dissertation.
3. A workshop series (2012), developed with public libraries and community colleges across Illinois, focused on supporting local communities developing digital local and family history websites and resources. The results of this workshop series appeared in conferences and in a journal article. They were also featured in a blog post on the Library of Congress .
4. Archival and discourse analysis research on the development and current state of popular interest in heritage information, particularly family history/genealogy. This project has involved research at the National Archives, the American Library Association Archives, and elsewhere. This research has resulted in one book chapter and conference proceedings.
5. The development and teaching of two courses, Digital Public History and Digital Heritage Resources, taught on two campuses, both face-to-face and online. I have also taught Community Informatics and Libraries, Information, and Society at the University of Illinois.
The local community is the principal group considered in my research, service and teaching. Public libraries have been partners and research sites for most of my career. I engage public librarians and the public library profession around my research findings. I have presented work at local, state and national library conferences, with audiences of librarians and library paraprofessionals. My research has also appeared in Public Library Quarterly, the pre- eminent journal of the American public library profession.