New grant to help libraries increase information literacy around scientific information

Jodi Schneider
Jodi Schneider, Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has been awarded a three-year, $416,760 Early Career Development grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS grant RE-250162-OLS-21), under the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which supports innovative research by untenured, tenure-track faculty.

Her project, "Strengthening Public Libraries' Information Literacy Services Through an Understanding of Knowledge Brokers’ Assessment of Technical and Scientific Information," seeks to clarify how knowledge brokers—such as journalists, Wikipedia editors, and activists—assess the quality of scientific information. The project has implications for public access, information literacy, and understanding of science on policy-relevant topics.

"Library-based services to knowledge brokers have the potential to change the amount of misinformation circulating," said Schneider. "Complex scientific and technical information is highly relevant to the average person: It affects policy, legislation, and choices people make in their day-to-day lives."

For her project, Schneider will interview knowledge brokers and analyze documents they have written. Each year of the project will focus on a different case study: COVID-19, climate change, and artificial intelligence and labor. During the last 18 months of the project, Schneider will work with five public libraries to co-develop services that they can use.

"By implementing the services developed in this project, public libraries will be able to help consumers of information become more discerning about the sources they deem reliable as well as more skilled at processing information for themselves," she said.

The project draws on the work from her Linowes Fellowship with the Cline Center, where she has been investigating the polarization of health information in news.

Schneider studies the science of science through the lens of arguments, evidence, and persuasion. Her long-term research agenda analyzes controversies applying science to public policy; how knowledge brokers influence citizens; and whether controversies are sustained by citizens' disparate interpretations of scientific evidence and its quality. Schneider holds a PhD in informatics from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and master's degrees in library and information science from the University of Illinois and mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.

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

Rolling Stone the subject of undergraduate research

BS/IS student Hanyu (Zella) Zhao learned about pop culture and data analytics through her work on the undergraduate research project, Analysis on Rolling Stone Magazine Covers. Professor Michael Twidale mentored her during the project, in which a team of undergraduates created a database of celebrities who appeared on the magazine cover from 1967 to 2021.

Zella Zhao