Over the past two decades, LIS programs have trended toward information science, data science, and computer science, deemphasizing human- and community-centered practices inherent in what is rapidly becoming the lost "L" of LIS: librarianship. This project brings together researchers from intersecting fields to develop a model for digitally-engaged library and information sciences that is rooted in humanistic inquiry and community engagement. Its co-directors aim to build on the University of Iowa’s commitment to the digital and public humanities in order to create frameworks for engaging a humanistic approach to computational and digital literacies across the LIS disciplines, extending from undergraduate coursework to continuing education programs for practicing librarians across Iowa and the Midwest.
Librarians have historically been at the forefront of what we now call public humanities, as information professionals serving the public by programming literary events, providing book advisory, fostering local history projects, and connecting information-seekers in various ways to resources from core humanities disciplines. Libraries themselves also provide a crucial, secular “third place” for intersecting community information needs, community formation, and community organizing. Thus, this project's co-directors view librarianship as a fungible domain of theory and practice within which we can recenter community and the humanities at the heart of computational and information sciences. They will use the four-week grant period (July 5–30, 2021) to produce a grant application for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for additional funding to develop our program of practice in the School of Library and Information Science; and an article draft representing a body of research arguing toward fungible and critical computational practices that apply across LIS disciplines.
Benjamin Devane, College of Education
Micah Bateman, School of Library and Information Science
Lindsay Mattock, School of Library and Information Science