Students Seek New Solutions

Whether it’s through collaboration with our world-class faculty members or through their own independent research, our students are dedicated to making the world better through information science. The 2017 Symposium on Information for Social Good featured student panels focused on eliminating barriers to inclusive public library service, achieving racial equity for teens in libraries and exploring ethical dilemmas related to medical information, among other issues. Poster presentations highlighted research on a wide range of topics, including cultural bias in search algorithms, Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage and restrictions in China, and the ethics of mass consumer data collection. Our annual project fair recognizes research and innovations that can improve the public good with its Social Impact Award, and there is never a shortage of worthy candidates. Projects in recent years have included an app to educate African American women about their breast cancer risks, an evaluation of Ferguson Municipal Public Library’s effective use of Twitter during 2014 civil unrest, modifications to Amazon’s Echo so it can be used to help seniors live independently, approaches for handing institutional knowledge for volunteer programs, and applications for culturally responsive pedagogy in encouraging literacy and writing among incarcerated youth.

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