Ginger’s research among notable dissertations of 2015

Jeff Ginger
Jeff Ginger, Adjunct Lecturer

Doctoral research is a treasure trove of useful information for LIS practitioners. Ten notable dissertations of 2015 are featured in this month’s American Libraries magazine, each with useful findings and recommendations for practitioners in a variety of library settings.

Among the featured authors is GSLIS alumnus Jeff Ginger (PhD '15). In his dissertation, "Capturing the Context of Digital Literacy: A Case Study of Illinois Public Libraries in Underserved Communities," Ginger presents findings from his study of how public libraries provide digital literacy resources and services to rural communities and those serving predominantly African-American and Latino populations. He found that libraries in these communities face multiple challenges, such as serving as the only available internet access provider and a lack of sufficient infrastructure, stable funding, or staff resources.

In her article, Kathy Rosa, director of the American Library Association’s Office of Research and Statistics, distilled from Ginger's work several strategies that could be implemented in libraries.

[Ginger] had several recommendations for libraries to succeed in providing leadership toward community proficiencies in digital literacies. First, library staffers and patrons need to work together to decide what digital literacy means in their community. Second, staff members need professional development to help with digital literacies training and become proficient in developing related programming. This training should go beyond teaching librarians how to work devices and use software; instead, they need to know how to instruct and engage with patrons. To assess programming, library officials must show how a patron is changed by the programming, not merely count how many people attended or used computers. Providing resources and professional development about assessment can help empower staff members to accurately measure and improve the success of digital literacy efforts.

Currently, Ginger is a program coordinator and adjunct instructor with the Illinois Informatics Institute and GSLIS. He is also director of the CU Community Fab Lab, where he lends a critical but optimistic perspective to the study and implementation of education-oriented makerspaces, particularly in regard to key challenges such as cultivating and supporting diversity and sustainably establishing capacity-building technology education services in collaboration with underserved communities. His teaching is primarily situated in social and community informatics, deciphering the discourse and effects of the digital divide and Web 2.0, critical pedagogy in technology education, and contextualized study of human-computer interaction.

Tags:
Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

2019 ISAA award recipients recognized

The iSchool Alumni Association (ISAA) honored its 2019 award recipients at the ISAA annual meeting and reception, which was held on June 23 during the annual meeting of the American Library Association in Washington, DC.

iSchool alumnus honors Linda C. Smith through gift to School

Professor Emerita Linda C. Smith was the first person that Richard Pearce-Moses (MS ’01) contacted after discovering that Illinois offered an ALA-accredited library and information science program online. He was interested in pursuing his MS/LIS degree through the School’s Leep program but had missed the application deadline by a few days.

Richard Pearce-Moses

iSchool alumni selected for 2019 ALA Leadership Institute

Anne Miskewitch (MS '05), deputy director for Schaumburg Township District Library, and Elisandro Cabada (MS '17), medical and bioengineering librarian at the University of Illinois, have been selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants to participate in the American Library Association Leadership Institute.

Illinois High School District 214 named National School Library of the Year

High School District 214, located in Arlington Heights, Illinois, is the recipient of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) 2019 National School Library of the Year Award. Sponsored by Follett, the annual award honors a single school or district-wide school library that exemplifies implementation of AASL's "National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries." High School District 214 has an iSchool connection: two of the district’s librarians, Dawn Ferencz and Kim Miklusak, have participated in the School's continuing education program.

Ruan receives CALA Distinguished Service Award

Lian Ruan (MS '90, PhD '11) has been selected as the recipient for the 2019 Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA) Distinguished Service Award. According to the announcement from CALA, "Dr. Ruan has been dedicated to Chinese-American librarianship throughout her career. She has committed to the growth and integrity of CALA as a strong ethnic professional association through her outstanding leadership [as Vice-President, President, and Executive Director], passionate activism, and professional involvement."

Lian Ruan