Martin Wolske

Teaching Assistant Professor

PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience and Biopsychology, Rutgers University

Other professional appointments

  • Faculty affiliate, Illinois Informatics
  • Editorial board, Journal of Community Informatics
  • Conference committee member, Community Informatics Research Network


Research focus

Community informatics; engaged scholarship in the information sciences; critical, culturally sustaining pedagogies, especially as applied within active learning; and critical constructivist approaches to sociotechnical information systems.

Honors and Awards

  • Regularly on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students, University of Illinois
  • 2017 iSchool Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award
  • 2013 University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement
  • 2013 Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House Community Leadership Award
  • 2013 Award of Appreciation in support and commitment to improve the quality of technology and parks, East St. Louis Park District
  • 2011 Library Journal Teacher of the Year Award, a student-nominated award in recognition of student-centered thinking; career building; effective integration of theory, practice, and research; and forward thinking.
  • 2010 Champaign Park District Program Excellence Award, Library Information Systems 451 (Joint award with students for service-learning projects installing computer labs at the Douglass Annex and Hays Recreation Center)
  • 2009 SAPEL São Tomean Association for the Promotion of English Language Certificate of Recognition


Martin Wolske is a teaching assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences. His teaching and research seek to foster a rapid shift from a ‘thing-orientation’ to a ‘person-orientation’ using problem-posing education and participatory research and co-design approaches, with a special emphasis on community technology platforms and spaces advancing local social justice goals. Since coming to the School in 1995 to work on issues of digital access and equity, he has served a range of boundary-spanning roles facilitating community inquiry, shepherding community informatics projects, developing innovative technical resources, and advocating system change. 

He has been a principal investigator on a number of grants related to digital inclusion and digital literacy that have received funding through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the American Library Association, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Community Informatics and recipient of numerous community awards for service, Library Journal ’s 2011 Teacher of the Year award, and the 2013 University of Illinois Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement.

"Meet Martin Wolske, Author of A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology" [interview with IOPN]

Office hours

Monday 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Room 337, 501 E. Daniel St.

Publications & Papers

Wolske, M. (2023). Review of the book Beyond the Classroom Walls: Imagining the Future of Education, from Community Schools to Communiversities. B. C. Bruce. Schools: Studies in Education, 20(1), 212-217.

Wolske, M. (2023) A Person-Centered Guide to Demystifying Technology, Second Edition. Windsor & Downs Press, Illinois Open Publishing Network. DOI:

Wolske, M. (2023) “Recovering Community: (Re)Centering a Person-Orientation Within Informatics”, Proceedings of the 20th CIRN Conference 2022. 20 Years of CIRN,

Wolske, M. (2019) “Networked, Information, and Systems as Generative Words: A Freirean critical pedagogy template”, Proceedings of the CIRN 2019 Community Informatics Conference: ‘Whose Agenda: Action, Research, & Politics’.

Wolske, M. & Rhinesmith, C. (2016) “Critical Questions for Community Informatics in Practice”, Journal of Community Informatics, 12(3).

Wolske, M. (2016) “A Radical Reconsideration of Digital Literacy.” Information for Social Change, 36, 41-62.

Wolske, M., Rhinesmith, C., and Kumar, B. (2014) “Community Informatics Studio: Designing Experiential Learning to Support Teaching, Research, and Practice.” Journal of Education in Library and Information Science, 55(2).


"Thinking, Writing, Dialoguing a Community Informatics 2023-2028 Vision Statement. Workshop 1: a concept mapping session." Community Informatics Research Network Annual Conference, November 2023, Monash Centre, Prato Italy. [Presenter and Workshop Chair]

"Open Educational Resources: a tool for mobilizing people and institutions." Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Conference, October 2023, Michigan State University. [Workshop Leaders: Martin Wolske, Rebecca Hodson, Stephanie Detrich]

“The Words and Worlds of CIRN”. In: Opening invited panel, 20 Years of CIRN. 20th Annual Community Informatics Research Network Conference “20 Years of CIRN: Examining the Past, Present, and Future of Communities and Technology.” November 2022, Monash Centre, Prato Italy.

“Momentum for Change: Strategies for achieving digital equity,” 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference, March 2016, San Jose, CA. [Invited Plenary]

“Toward a CIRN Statement on Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion”, Community Informatics Research Network Conference. October 2015, Monash Centre, Prato Italy. [World Café Workshop leaders: Martin Wolske, Anne Gilliland, Kelvin White and Colin Rhinesmith]

“Championing Social Justice in LIS Technology Education: A Critical Interpretive Sociotechnical Framework,” ALISE 2015 Annual Conference. [Co-presentaton with Colin Rhinesmith]

“Demystifying technology: Community inquiry for social change and transformative action”, Community Informatics Research Network Conference. October 2014, Monash Centre, Prato Italy. [Keynote]

“Building the World We Dream About”: the Pedagogical Challenges of Constructive Social Engagement,” Engagement Scholarship Consortium. October 2014. Edmonton, Alberta. [Workshop leaders: Sharon Welch, Mike Hogue, Nicole Kirk, Martin Wolske]

“Information and Marginality: Ethical Issues.”  Engagement Scholarship Consortium.  October 2014. Edmonton, Alberta. [Workshop leaders: Ivette Bayo Urban, Danielle Allard, Anne Gilliland, Tracy Dace, Martin Wolske]