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Mar. 14, 2017

Since 2012, Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) has improved internet access for local homes and businesses by providing high-speed, direct connectivity through its underground fiber-optic network. A recent acquisition by a new provider, i3 Broadband, will further benefit the community through enhanced services.
UC2B has partnered with i3 Broadband, a privately owned company that will assume management of the open-access network from iTV-3, the original service provider. Based on feedback from community and UC2B board members, i3 Broadband plans to aggressively expand UC2B to include a "triple play" of gigabit internet access that includes television and telephone services. i3's goal is to open up a local storefront by summer; in the meantime, community...

Feb. 15, 2016

Assistant Professor Jana Diesner will speak at two upcoming conferences on the topic of collection and use of digital social trace data. Her talks will address current issues in this research field, including privacy, ethics and regulations, and methodological issues related to data accuracy as well as considering the content of text data for advancing social network theory.

Diesner and Julian Chin (MS '12), a research assistant in the GSLIS Center for Digital Inclusion, will speak at a workshop on human-centered data science at the nineteenth annual Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW). Hosted by the Association for Computing Machinery, CSCW will be held in San Francisco on February 27 - March 2. Diesner and Chin will present their paper, "Seeing the forest for the trees: considering applicable types of...

Feb. 23, 2015

GSLIS Professor Emeritus Abdul Alkalimat and Associate Professor Kate Williams have teamed up to produce their latest book, Roots and Flowers: The Life and Work of Afro-Cuban Librarian Marta Terry González. The book follows Terry’s work as an influential library director in Cuba from the 1960’s through the turn of the century, establishing her as an example of Afro-Cuban involvement in Cuban culture and history and as a model for librarians serving communities during periods of social change.

Alkalimat and Williams have worked together to explore community informatics around the globe, including the United States, the UK, China, and Cuba. Alkalimat and Williams previously co-authored, with Doug Gills, Job?Tech: The...

Dec. 3, 2014

Since August of 2011, the Mix IT Up! project has engaged GSLIS students and community organizations to work together on issues related to youth advocacy and information technology. The IMLS-funded program is wrapping up at the end of the fall semester, so we sat down with Principal Investigator Rae Montague (MS '00, PhD '06) and Project Coordinator Joe Coyle (MS '11) to reflect on its impact in the community and the future of the important collaborations that came out of it.

Based on a combination of youth services librarianship and community informatics, Mix IT Up! was developed with two ideals in mind: “to increase the information technology (IT) skills of youth and library school students and shift attitudes about the traditional role of librarians and libraries by positioning library and information services at the center of mutually beneficial and dynamic student-community partnerships.” Building upon previous grants and partnerships, Mix IT Up! continued the strong...

Oct. 3, 2014

Senior Research Scientist Martin Wolske will be trekking the globe this month, giving presentations and keynote addresses in Canada, Italy, and Illinois. His presentations will share a focus on scholarship related to engagement and social change and draw on his work in community informatics. Wolske will be joined by recent graduate Colin Rhinesmith (PhD ’14) in making presentations at one of the events.

At his first stop in Alberta, Canada, Wolske will serve as a coleader of the workshop, “Information and Marginality: Ethical Issues,” at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Conference on October 5-8. This workshop will explore the ethical dimensions of engaged scholarship across difference: in relation to self, in relation with others, and in relation to the system. Wolske will also present a poster titled, “Mentoring Future Engagement Leaders: The Community Informatics Studio,” which will offer practical ideas of how studio-based learning and community inquiry can...

Sep. 30, 2014
the staff of the Center for Digital Inclusion

Illinois citizens will soon have increased access to the latest digital tools and economic development opportunities. The University of Illinois Extension has awarded $300,000 to the Center for Digital Inclusion at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science as part of a new campus extension and outreach initiative. The project was one of six collaborative projects led by interdisciplinary faculty and staff from across the Urbana campus selected to further Extension’s education and outreach mission.

The Illinois Digital Innovation Leadership Program will increase opportunities for entrepreneurship, economic development, and innovation through the...

Sep. 18, 2014

GSLIS Research Scientist Ian Brooks was recently invited to give a presentation to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at their September meeting. Brooks was one of eight faculty members on campus who gave brief presentations about their research and outreach activities.

The presentations addressed health and wellness research from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, underscored the broad excellence of the campus, and gave keen insights into the factors that attract outstanding faculty to Illinois as well as why they choose to stay. Over the last eight years, Brooks has been developing INDICATOR, an advanced information system for monitoring the health of a community by looking at human, animal, and environmental indicators. By using data from a variety of sources in a community—including emergency room data, school attendance data, and social media posts—INDICATOR can provide an accurate picture of...