USPS uses technology from UMD iSchool to improve automated kiosk accessibility

 

The United States Postal Service has a new version of its popular Automated Postal Center that includes an updated EZ Access keypad developed by the Trace Center at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. The keypad, along with software techniques developed by Trace, makes it possible for people with low vision, blindness, physical and cognitive disabilities to use touchscreen-based public systems.

The original Automated Postal Center (APC), which included an earlier version of EZ Access, won the 2004 Kiosk Award as “Best Retail Application.” Over 2,800 of the APC kiosks are deployed in post offices throughout the US.

Development of the keypad began in 1998, when the Trace Center began researching barriers to using touchscreens and self-service kiosks faced by people with varied abilities. Today, the keypads are used on kiosks at automated postal stations, Amtrak ticket machines, Homeland Security kiosks, airport check-in kiosks, museum and other information and transaction machines across the country.

Click here to read this story on the UMD iSchool website.

 

UMD iSchool theorist calls for research that is actionable rather than purely curiosity-driven

 

Human-computer interaction theorist Dr. Ben Shneiderman of the UMD College of Information Studies’ HCIL research lab is shaking up the research world by questioning the value of curiosity-driven research conducted in laboratories. “[In] our knowledge-rich, information-overloaded world, new models are needed…” he says.

With his Twin-Win Model of research, Dr. Schneiderman challenges the value of research that solely creates new knowledge. The Twin-Win Model contends that in this day and age, for new research to be impactful, it must be tied to actionable insights that can lead to societal benefits.

According to a recent UMD story written by Mia K. Hinckle, the Twin-Win Model theory is controversial as many researchers actively reject collaborations with businesses with the fear that it will taint the validity of their research or damage their academic credibility. However, Dr. Schneiderman argues that interdisciplinary ideas are not sufficient to achieve the goal of high research impact—that research must solve authentic, real-world problems and that partnerships with businesses or organizations provide a forum to identify these problems, test research, and disseminate actionable solutions.

Click here for more of this story on the UMD iSchool website.

 

UMD iSchool researcher questions AI used to interpret police body-cam video

 

Axon Enterprise, formerly known as Taser International, recently shifted its focus from stun guns to body-cam video following the killings of a number of unarmed black citizens by police. Researchers have followed Axon’s plans to build artificial intelligence systems, AI, to process, label and interpret police body-cam video and have now expressed doubts in an article published in IEEE Spectrum.

In the article, Dan Greene, assistant professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies and his colleague, Dr. Genevieve Patterson, a computer vision researcher, question the practicality of Axon’s strategy and the preparedness of Axon’s proposed AI capabilities.

The application of machine learning for the classification of police body-camera video has become a major flash point in the broader debate over whether proprietary software should be incorporated into the criminal-justice system. In their article, “The Trouble With Trusting AI to Interpret Police Body-Cam Video” Greene and Dr. Patterson discuss their concerns and also offer suggestions for how to manage technology that is on the horizon.

Click here to read this news story on the UMD webstie

 

UMD iSchool offers special participatory events immediately following iConference 2019

 

iConference 2019 host University of Maryland is holding a series of workshops and related events immediately following the conference. iConference 2019 attendees may want to extend their stay in Washington DC to take advantage of these thought-provoking opportunities.

More information and sign up instruction on these post-conference events can be found below. Please note that the sign-up process for these events is separate from iConference registration; these post-conference events do not appear in iConference 2019 registration sign-up.

Developing a Computational Framework for Library and Archival Education
April 3 – 4, 2019

UMD researchers and partners will hold an IMLS-funded workshop to create the building blocks of a Master’s level educational curriculum to educate the next generation of librarians and archivists in the computational treatments of collections. The 2-day workshop will be held on Wednesday afternoon on campus and Thursday in Washington D.C. at the National Museum of Natural History on the Mall. Project outputs will include a framework for creating curricula and lesson plans, open access tools for institutions to deliver this type of educational program, and a community development plan to seed future collaboration in this area.

UMD seeks the participation of interested iSchool educators and researchers and a short statement of interest as the Workshop has limited seating and is by invitation. UMD will reach back out to prospective participants after they have submitted this application form. Registration is free.

Human-Computer Interaction Lab 36th Annual Symposium
April 4th, 2019

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab at UMD has a long, rich history of transforming the experience people have with new technologies. The HCIL Symposium will be held on Thursday April 4th, immediately following iConference. It will feature workshops, demos, tutorials and more. Click here for details on the HCIL website.

Disability Summit 2019
April 5, 2019

The 3rd Biennial University of Maryland Disability Summit will take place on Friday, April 5th, 2019. All panels and presentations will take place in McKeldin Library on the University of Maryland, College Park campus. Registration is free. Click here for more information

We encourage iConference 2019 attendees to look into these offerings before finalizing their iConference travel and lodging plans; you might want to extend your stay!

About the iConference
iConference 2019 will take place March 31 – April 3, 2019, in Washington DC under the banner theme “Inform | Include | Inspire.” The event is presented by the iSchool at the University of Maryland, College Park in collaboration with Syracuse University iSchool and the iSchool at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Sponsors include the Computing Research Association, Emerald Publishing, Elsevier and MDPI. The iConference is open to any and all information scholars and researchers, regardless of institutional affiliation.

An annual presentation of the iSchools organization since 2005, the iConference brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to examine critical information issues in contemporary society. An openness to new ideas and research fields in information science is a primary characteristics of the event. Attendance has grown every year; participants appreciate the inspiring sense of community, high quality research presentations, and myriad opportunities for engagement and networking. Click here for details on all of our past conferences, including full proceedings and conference summaries.

 

iConference 2019 Registration Opens

 

iConference 2019 registration has officially opened, and participants can now begin making arrangements to attend our annual gathering of information scholars and professionals. iConference 2019 takes place March 31 – April 3, 2019 in Washington DC. Discounted early rates are available through January 21. Click here to register today.

iConference 2019 will take place at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, and we’ve reserved a discounted block of rooms for conference participants. Visit our venue page for details on this specially priced lodging. Our venue page also offers useful information on travel, visas and more.

iConference 2019 review decisions were issued Monday, Nov. 19. Email notifications have been sent to all submitters and co-authors, with the exception of the Doctoral Dissertation Award. Users can log into their ConfTool account to view decisions and feedback.

Monday also marked the close of the student volunteer application period. Applications are currently in review and decisions will be announced soon.

About the iConference
iConference 2019 will take place March 31 – April 3, 2019, in Washington DC under the banner theme “Inform | Include | Inspire.” The event is presented by the iSchool at the University of Maryland, College Park in collaboration with Syracuse University iSchool and the iSchool at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Sponsors include Emerald Publishing and Elsevier. The iConference is open to any and all information scholars and researchers, regardless of institutional affiliation.

An annual presentation of the iSchools organization since 2005, the iConference brings together scholars and researchers from around the world to examine critical information issues in contemporary society. An openness to new ideas and research fields in information science is a primary characteristics of the event. Attendance has grown every year; participants appreciate the inspiring sense of community, high quality research presentations, and myriad opportunities for engagement and networking. Click here for details on all of our past conferences, including full proceedings and conference summaries.

 

UMD iSchool faculty honored by ACM; research grants announced

 

The University of Maryland College of Information Studies announces that Jennifer Golbeck, professor and director of the social intelligence lab, and Nicklas Elmqvist, associate professor at the UMD iSchool, have both been elevated to 2018 ACM Distinguished Members. Golbeck and Elmqvist were 2 of only 49 people selected in the world to receive the honorable ACM award this year. Learn more

In addition, the UMD iSchool has announced the winners of its September Research Improvement Grants (RIGs). Congratulations go out to Joel Chan, Kenyon Crowley, Ken Heger, Xiaoyun Huang, Philip Piety, and Diva Smriti. The RIGs program is a competitive internal grant program for improving research. The program supports and encourages individuals or teams of researchers to catalyze and mobilize larger scale research that extends beyond the iSchool. Learn more

 

iConference 2019 announces keynote speakers Kentaro Toyama and Brewster Kahle

 

The organizers of iConference 2019 have announced two of the three keynote speakers who will give presentations at the upcoming information conference in Washington DC. Those speakers are Kentaro Toyama of the University of Michigan iSchool and Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive. Details on these speakers follow, and more can be found on the conference’s keynote webpage. A third speaker will be announced in the near future.

iConference 2019 will take place Sunday, March 31 through Wednesday, April 3 at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in College Park, Maryland, USA. Keynote presentations are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference provides a platform for intellectual discourse on information issues in contemporary society, with a tradition of thought-provoking keynote presentations that foster these exchanges.

Kentaro Toyama is the W.K. Kellogg Associate Professor of Community Information at the University of Michigan School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT; Toyama works on the relationship of technology and global development. In his 2015 book Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology, Toyama highlighted the paradoxical consequence of technological amplification—for example, the same internet that enables international banking allows remote theft and ransomware, and the same digital technology that empowers economic growth exacerbates inequality. Toyama will expand on this in his presentation “Technology’s Law of Amplification, and What It Means for iSchools,” with a focus on the potential for a discipline-unifying role for Schools of Information.

Brewster KahleBrewster Kahle is founder of the Internet Archive and serves as digital librarian; Kahle has been working to provide universal access to knowledge for more than 25 years. Kahle will expand on how the Internet Archive’s Open Libraries project is enabling libraries to unlock their analog collections for a new generation of learners, with the power to transform library systems and bring them more fully into the digital age.

Click here for more information on these iConference speakers on the 2019 keynote webpage. A third speaker will be announced in November, and the formal iConference program schedule will be released in December.

iConference 2019 takes place March 31–April 3 in Washington DC. The 2019 theme is “include | inform |inspire.” iConference 2019 is hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park in collaboration with Syracuse University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Conference registration will open in mid-November. Visit the conference website for additional details.

 

Loretta Parham named winner of the 2018 James Partridge Award by UMD iSchool

 

Loretta Parham has been named the 2018 winner of the James Partridge Outstanding African American Information Professional Award. Presented by the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and the Citizens for Maryland Libraries, the Partridge Award honors the members of the library profession who contribute greatly but who are often behind the scenes and not sufficiently publicly recognized for their important contributions to librarianship and the library community.

Loretta Parham is CEO & Library Director of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., an independent entity operating as the single library shared by its four member institutions—Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College. Under her leadership the library was awarded the ACRL 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. With more than 30 years in the profession her experience includes: Director of the Hampton University Library, Deputy Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa., District Chief of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and other professional positions with the Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago.

An active leader, scholar and engaging speaker, Parham was named the ACRL 2017 Academic Research Librarian of the Year, the 2016 Distinguished Alumna of the University of Michigan School of Information Sciences, an 2004 “Mover & Shaker” by Library Journal, has authored articles on HBCU libraries and archives, and is co-editor of the book, Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Parham is a member of the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors, a member of the University of Michigan Information School Alumni Advisory Board, Chair of the ALA Committee on Accreditation, and Chair of the ARCHE (Atlanta Regional Council on Higher Education) Library Council.

Parham is co-founder and past chair of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance, past chair of the Georgia Humanities Council, former board member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Wayne State University School of Library Science Advisory Board, past treasurer of the Oberlin Group and former trustee of OCLC, Inc. Parham holds the Master of Library Science degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the Bachelor of Science in Communications from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

The 2018 James Partridge Award will be presented to Ms. Parham at the 2018 Conference on Inclusion and Diversity in Library and Information Science (CIDLIS) at the University of Maryland on November 9. CIDLIS is hosted by the Information Policy & Access Center and the College of Information Studies of the University of Maryland.

Click here for more information on the UMD iSchool website.

 

UMD iSchool sees emphasis on societal role as key to future library careers

 

A newly published story in School Library Journal traces the impact of the University of Maryland iSchool’s transition of its established MLS program into a more dynamic MLIS program focused on evolving library needs. The new program is more closely connected to changing demands in public librarianship and supporting diverse patrons.

“We’ve seen a pretty systematic dismantling of public sphere safety nets for the better part of four decades,” says UMD’s John Carlo Bertot in the article; Bertot is the school’s former MLIS director and is now co-director of the school’s Information and Policy Access Center. “The Library is becoming this social safety net within communities. We needed to really rethink our program and how we prepare people for careers that might be quite different from what they thought they were getting into.”

The article provides detailed case studies of recent program graduates, demonstrating how their iSchool education launched their new career and empowered them to break barriers and make a meaningful difference in their communities. These are examples of opportunities that iSchools provide to students and communities worldwide.

The evolving educational and societal role of iSchools is one of many topic to be explored at iConference 2019, which is hosted by University of Maryland iSchool. The conference takes place in Washington DC March 31-April 3, 2019.

Click here to read the entire article on School Library Journal.

 

Second and final iConference deadline is Oct. 1

 

Oct. 1, 2018 marks our second and final iConference 2019 deadline. This is the due date for all tracks listed below. Submissions can be made using our secure submissions website.

Blue Sky Papers
Ideas and visions stimulating new directions for iSchool research.

Sessions for Interaction and Engagement
Interactive sessions, installations and more.

iSchool Partnerships and Practices
Showcases effective school programs and industry collaborations.

Undergraduate Symposium
New pre-conference event specially created for undergraduates.

iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award
Recognizes the year’s most outstanding dissertation.

Decisions will be announced and registration will open in mid-November. With the exception of a few specialty tracks, submissions and proposals are welcome from all information scholars and practitioners, regardless of affiliation.

iConference 2019 takes place March 31–April 3 in Washington DC. The 2019 theme is “include | inform |inspire.” iConference 2019 is hosted by the University of Maryland, College Park in collaboration with Syracuse University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Visit the conference website for additional details.