Magee awarded IMLS grant for young researchers project

Rachel Magee
Rachel M. Magee, Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Rachel M. Magee has been awarded a three-year Early Career Development grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS grant RE-07-18-0054-18), under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which supports "developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public by enhancing the training and professional development of librarians, developing faculty and library leaders, and recruiting and educating the next generation of librarians."

The IMLS-funded project, "Young Researchers: Collaborating with Youth and Libraries for Community Based Scholarship," builds on a pilot study Magee conducted in 2016-2017, in which a small group of teens in Illinois learned how to help design, implement, analyze, and report on original research.

"Working with teens in the pilot study for the Young Researchers project was inspiring and demonstrated that youth can substantively contribute to the way we design and conduct research about their experiences," said Magee. "These teens worked together for eight months, and their timely research investigating how their peers decide what to trust on social media shows that teens have important questions to ask and answer through the original research process."

The new grant will allow Magee to expand the project to five partner public library sites across the U.S., connecting teens from diverse backgrounds during afterschool camps or summer camps in order to explore the research process. The project will conclude with a public curriculum and workshop series for library and information science professionals on implementing co-research. 

"The next phase of this work will involve collaborating with teens across the country to develop studies about their priorities," Magee explained. "This will provide an opportunity to better understand how teens develop complex research literacies, to further techniques for effective informal learning, and to create and share resources that all libraries can use to help teens understand the research process."  

In addition to the Young Researchers project, Magee continues her work on the App Authors project with Associate Professor Kate McDowell and Assistant Professor Deborah Stevenson, director of The Center for Children's Books. App Authors is a three-year project to develop curricula for app-building in school and public libraries. Like App Authors, the Young Researchers project will advance scholarship on designing informal learning opportunities in libraries as well as support youth literacy development.

Magee is a youth advocate who teaches about and researches youth technology and information practices, informed by her background as a public librarian. She holds a PhD in information studies from Drexel University and a master's degree in information resources and library science from the University of Arizona.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

iSchool researchers discuss misinformation

Several iSchool researchers participated in the recent Misinformation Research Symposium, which was hosted by the Center for Social and Behavioral Science and sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study, Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, and National Center for Supercomputing Applications. The goals of the symposium were to help connect misinformation research on campus, foster interdisciplinary teams interested in collaborating on external submissions, and learn more about the needs of existing and emerging research groups on campus. 

Black and Knox pen chapters for new handbook on information policy

A new book on information policy includes chapters by Professor Emeritus Alistair Black and Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Emily Knox. Research Handbook on Information Policy, edited by Alistair S. Duff, was recently published by Edward Elgar Publishing. The handbook covers topics such as the history and future of information policy, freedom of information and expression, intellectual property, and information inequality.

research handbook on information policy

Disciplining Data: A conversation with a school of information sciences dean

Eunice Santos, professor and dean of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, recently sat down with David B. Wilkins, faculty director of the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, for a conversation about the intersection of information sciences and the law, and how to train students to be effective collaborators and translators between the disciplines.

Eunice Santos

Maemura to join iSchool faculty

The iSchool is pleased to announce that Emily Maemura will join the faculty as an assistant professor in January 2022. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information, with a dissertation exploring the practices of collecting and curating web pages and websites for future use by researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

Emily Maemura

Tilley to serve on Lynd Ward Prize jury

Associate Professor Carol Tilley has been selected to serve as a judge for the 2022 Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, which is presented to the best graphic novel, fiction or nonfiction, published in the previous year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident. The annual award is sponsored by Penn State University Libraries and administered by the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

Carol Tilley