Across the country, colleges and universities are struggling to meet demand for accessible forms of course materials for students with an array of disabilities. At present, each institution is addressing this problem individually, at great expense, and often without full campus coordination, much less consortial collaboration. Locating digital files is difficult and entails numerous sources. The resulting accessibility enhancement/conversion work creates a large corpus of digital files in varying forms to manage on each campus. Over the course of one year, this planning project will bring together experts from disability/accessibility services with librarians, IT professionals, advocates, and legal counsel, to develop shared infrastructure within which universities can support their...
RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Mapping Information Access is a collaborative academic research project to study and understand the landscape of information access and availability in public schools and libraries in the United States.
There are more than 18,000 public school districts and more than 9,000 public library systems in the US. Each of these institutions is as a central node of information access for the communities they serve. Administrators must balance ideals of free speech and information with concerns about social norms, age-appropriateness, and budgets. These decisions then shape the flow of information to students, patrons, and other constituents. Yet the contours of this flow are not well understood. There exists no comprehensive record of the sorts of challenges faced, or decisions made,...
National Science Foundation
Scholarly publications today are still mostly disconnected from the underlying data and code used to produce the published results and findings, despite an increasing recognition of the need to share all aspects of the research process. As data become more open and transportable, a second layer of research output has emerged, linking research publications to the associated data, possibly along with its provenance. This trend is rapidly followed by a new third layer: communicating the process of inquiry itself by sharing a complete computational narrative that links method descriptions with executable code and data, thereby introducing a new era of reproducible science and accelerated knowledge discovery. In the Whole Tale (WT) project, all of these components are linked and accessible...
IN THE NEWS
Assistant Professor Emily Knox and iSchool alumnus James LaRue (MS '81), director of the American Library Association's (ALA's) Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation, will serve as panelists for a special forum on March 5 at the University of Oregon. The event is part of the University's 2018 event series, which aims to address challenging, contemporary issues of free expression on college campuses.
Knox and LaRue will be joined by Jody Gray, director of the ALA's Office of Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach. Their panel discussion, Allies Not Enemies: Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice, will examine the complex issues involved at the intersection of values and real-world situations and...
The Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) at the iSchool will close as a separate entity effective July 1, 2018, subject to the approval of the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign campus. Its programs and initiatives will continue in the form of a distributed research model.
The mission of CDI is to foster inclusive and sustainable societies through research, teaching, and public engagement about information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their impacts on communities, organizations, and governments. The iSchool remains committed to this mission, which will continue to be fundamental to the work of faculty.
"Equitable information access, use, and capacity building remain key concerns of the iSchool in teaching, research, and...
Members of the Whole Tale Archaeology Working Group will meet with fellow computational archaeologists, environmental scientists, and other researchers for the first "Prov-a-thon" on practical tools for reproducible science. Held in conjunction with the DataONE All-Hands Meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico, the two-day workshop on August 31 and September 1 is cosponsored by the NSF-funded projects Whole Tale, DataONE, and the Arctic Data Center.
The goal of the workshop is to expose scientists to existing and emerging provenance tools from DataONE, Whole Tale, and other projects (e.g., SKOPE), and conversely, to gather feedback, new requirements, and new ideas for effective uses of provenance from the scientific community. The first day of the workshop...
Two iSchool faculty members have articles published in the July 2017 edition of The Library Quarterly. The subject of the edition is "Aftermath: Libraries, Democracy, and the 2016 Presidential Election, Part 1."
In her article, "Posttruth, Truthiness, and Alternative Facts: Information Behavior and Critical Information Consumption for a New Age," Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, addresses the phenomenon of fake news. In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election, and now postelection, increasing attention has been paid to fake news. According to Cooke, "Fake news is not new, nor are its relatives: hoaxes, satire, algorithmic biases, and propaganda. It just has an alarming new patina." In the article, she discusses how critical information evaluation skills can aid in combating the effects of fake news and promote more savvy information consumption.
Jon Gant, research associate professor and director of the Center for Digital Inclusion, will speak Monday at Michigan State University’s Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law.
His talk, “Hugs, Handshakes and High Fives: Strategies for Evaluating the Impact of Digital Inclusion Using Data from the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program,” will provide an overview of lessons learned from evaluation studies of broadband initiatives in the United States.
A great deal of funding has been devoted to stimulating the development of broadband Internet infrastructures and services in the US. Federally funded initiatives have been studied and evaluated through dozens of studies. Gant...
Assistant Professor Emily Knox has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF). Her one-year term will begin at the annual meeting of the board during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in June.
“Once again, the Freedom to Read Foundation board brings deep financial, professional, and marketing expertise to our work,” said James LaRue (MS '81), director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and executive director of FTRF. “We are grateful to have their counsel as we litigate, advocate, educate, and fundraise to defend the fundamental rights of free expression, privacy, and access to information.”
Knox’s research interests include information access, intellectual freedom and censorship, information ethics, information policy, and the intersection of print culture and reading practices. In...
Assistant Professor Emily Knox will speak at the Information Ethics Roundtable on April 8 at the University of Arizona. This annual interdisciplinary meeting addresses the ethical questions raised by life in an information society. The 2016 Roundtable will focus on the relationship between intellectual freedom, access to information, and privilege.
Knox will copresent her paper, “Values, Culture, and Censorship: The 2015 Banned Books Week Poster Controversy,” with Shannon Oltmann of the University of Kentucky's College of Communication and Information, at 2:00 p.m.
From the abstract: In April 2015 the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released its poster for September’s Banned Books Week. The poster featured a brown-skinned woman with long hair holding a book with cutouts for her eyes. The design was intended to look like a “Do Not Enter” sign and included the word “...