Community Archives Key Topic for Community Informatics Research Network Conference

Center for Digital Inclusion Staff, Students Scheduled to Present and Lead at Event

prato013CHAMPAIGN, Illinois, Oct. 21, 2013 — “Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics” is the topic of the 2013 Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) Conference, scheduled for Oct. 28-30 in Prato, Italy. Representatives from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science’s Center for Digital Inclusion are slated to participate and present at the event. The Center for Digital Inclusion is also a sponsor of the conference.

CIRN is an international network of researchers, practitioners and policy makers concerned with enabling communities through the use of Information and Communications Technologies and specifically with research and practice in Community Informatics and community networking.

Martin_WolskeMartin Wolske, Senior Research Scientist at GSLIS, is a member of the programming committee for CIRN and will lead a workshop titled “Toward a CIRN Diversity and Inclusion Statement.”

“At the 2012 CIRN conference we had many discussions on diversity, privilege, inclusion and participation,” said Wolske. “There was a general agreement that we should strive for diversity in our field of study and practice, that we should foster inclusive participation in our research and that we should do this in an ethical manner. To achieve this, we need to create a definition of these terms, an assessment of the need and a statement of priorities and goals. My workshop will help participants create a draft of possible principles and beliefs to be included in an official CIRN Diversity and Inclusion Statement. This work will serve as an informal guide for the Community Informatics field.”

D'ArpaChristine D’Arpa, doctoral candidate in the Information in Society specialization, will discuss her work co-developing and teaching a new “Digital Public History” course at GSLIS, where student work engages the idea of a public and examines issues of community, identity, expression, and representation.

“The international context and focus of the CIRN meeting is not only interesting intellectually, it presents a unique opportunity to delve into some of the conceptual and ethical issues of archival work and community informatics,” said D’Arpa.  “I am especially excited to participate in the research meeting at CIRN where we will identify and discuss research projects in which archives, memory, communities, and information technology intersect.

jongantDr. Jon Gant, Director of the Center for Digital Inclusion said the CIRN conference is an important event for GSLIS faculty, staff and students interested in community informatics.

“This key conference brings together researchers from around the world who are interested in community informatics issues and I’m proud that the Center for Digital Inclusion is a sponsor of the event,” said Gant. “It’s a great opportunity for us to present our research and interact with other researchers. This conference has an especially significant connection to GSLIS because of our community archiving work and community participation work in managing localized data sets.”

For more information about the CIRN conference, visit


About the Center for Digital Inclusion:

The Center for Digital Inclusion aims to foster inclusive and sustainable societies through research, teaching and public engagement about information and communication technologies. Our team works with a broad cross section of communities, organizations and governments to ensure they have the tools needed to succeed in a digital world. To learn more about the Center for Digital Inclusion, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Graphic courtesy of CIRN Wiki

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