School of Library and Information Studies

Faculty Research Profiles

Danielle Allard

Danielle Allard’s research falls at the intersection of culture and community, information (its usages, representations, and institutions), and the role that information might play in the promotion of a more ethical and socially just world. Her research interests include: the information practices of newcomer and migrant communities; archival decolonization; Indigenous, community, and activist archives; critical information studies; and the inclusion of marginalized communities, cultural heritage, and knowledge domains in digital and real-world information institutions. Her current research on the SSHRC funded (2013-2017) Digital Archives and Marginalized Communities project examines how digital information systems and archival platforms can be used to create participatory activist archives that challenge violent, colonizing, and stigmatizing representations of Indigenous peoples - especially women and girls - and of sex work activists.

Michael McNally

Michael McNally's research interests include radio-spectrum management, broadband policy, intellectual property rights, user-generated content, and information society theories and discourse.

Tami Oliphant

Tami Oliphant's research program centers upon interactions between people and data, information, and knowledge, the variety of contexts in which these interactions take place whether online or offline, and in libraries (particularly public libraries), and the systems, platforms, media and publishing, and broader social forces that shape these interactions. This research is conceptualized in three different areas that are complementary: (1) human information interaction with a particular focus on consumer health and the role of authority, credibility, beliefs and worldviews; (2) systems, digital platforms, media, and publishing; and (3) critical approaches to library and information science.

Angela Pollak

Angela Pollak’s research goal is to draw attention to the scientific potential associated with studying common and/or positive information practices across the domains of work, leisure and everyday life. Especially interested in local identities and non-documentary sources of knowledge in remote, rural and indigenous communities, she believes that understanding information practices in these contexts will lead to more robust theories of information resilience. She is currently developing a project that will map information assets and recommend ways to mobilize that knowledge in the form of asset-based community development projects.

Dinesh Rathi

Dinesh Rathi's research areas include: knowledge management (KM), social media, digital libraries, text mining, customer support system and human-computer interaction. Currently, Dinesh is working on SSHRC-funded project titled: "The Role of Social Media in Management of Knowledge in Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs)", which aims at understanding the current use of KM and knowledge needs of individuals working in NPOs and exploring the potential of role of social media in KM for NPOs.

Brenda Reyes Ayala

Brenda Reyes Ayala's research areas include: Web Preservation, Multilingual Information Access, Information Retrieval, and Big Data. As part of her dissertation, she developed a theoretical model of information quality for web archives. At the University of North Texas she was a researcher for the Multilingual Information Access Project, a large, multi-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), with the goal of helping non-native speakers of English access digital library information through the use of Machine Translation (MT) technologies. In the past, her work has been published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL), and the Annual Review of Cultural Heritage Informatics. 

Toni Samek

Toni Samek has sustained interest in intellectual freedom, academic freedom, librarianship and human rights and social justice, global information ethics, and global information justice. Toni’s earlier books include: Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility in American Librarianship 1967 to 1974; Librarianship and Human Rights: A twenty-first century guide; and She Was a Booklegger: Remembering Celeste West (co-edited with Moyra Lang and K.R. Roberto). Her latest (2017) monograph (co-edited with Lynette Shultz) is entitled Information Ethics, Globalization and Citizenship: Essays on Ideas to Praxis. Toni’s scholarship has appeared in translation in such countries as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Ali Shiri

Ali Shiri’s research centres around digital libraries, information retrieval interaction and user search behaviour, search user interfaces, knowledge organization systems, learning analytics and big data. Currently, Ali has two funded research projects on digital libraries and learning analytics.

The SSHRC funded project titled ‘Digital Library North: Creating a Path for Information Access in Canada's North’ ($295, 817) is a three year project (2014 - 2017) that has the following objectives: a) Investigate and identify the information needs and information seeking behaviour of community members in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, b) Develop a digital library of information resources, c) Explore appropriate methodologies for treatment of cultural heritage information, d) Create a culturally appropriate metadata framework as a basis for resource description and discovery, e) Develop requirements for multilingual user interfaces that support the dominant languages, f) Conduct a user-centred evaluation of the digital library and g) Develop a sustainability strategy for the digital library to ensure long-term access to digital information.

Ali’s second project, which was funded by a TLEF grant, titled: ‘Development of a Learning Analytics Application to Support Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta’ ($91, 406). The project aims to develop and evaluate a learning analytics software application for the University of Alberta eClass learning management system to support students and instructors to gain insight into learners activities in online, blended and on-campus courses. Within this project, Ali is collaborating with the University of Alberta's Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Information and Technology Services (IST) and the eClass team.

Adam Worrall

Adam Worrall's research takes a social informatics perspective on the relationships and interactions between information-centric communities, information and communication technologies (ICTs), and the information behaviour of their users. He is also interested in digital libraries, social media, online information sharing, and social and community theories in library and information science. Adam's research currently focuses on the practice and support of information and knowledge sharing across the boundaries that may exist between communities (especially online), and the roles that boundary-spanning individuals and ICTs play in such sociotechnical practices, particularly in the contexts of everyday life. Adam's recent research has examined immigrants and expatriates' information sharing and information values in the context of Twitter, including relationships with ICT use and cultural memory; users' social and emotional motivations for information sharing and community dynamics on the Academia sub-site of the Stack Exchange social Q&A site; and the roles played by LibraryThing and Goodreads, as ICTs and boundary objects, in the communities and information behaviour of their users.

Dangzhi Zhao

Dangzhi Zhao earned her Ph.D. from the School of Library and Information Studies at the Florida State University, and her MS and BS from the Department of Library and Information Science at Peking University. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of information systems, bibliometrics, scholarly communication, and knowledge network analysis and visualization. Major research projects completed include the design and implementation of a Web-based information system for the publishing industry in China (1996-1998), and the comparison of scholarly communication between the Web and the print world (2000-2003). Supported by a $104,820 three-year (2008-2011) Standard Research Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, her recent research concentrates on knowledge network analysis and visualization and their application in information retrieval and digital libraries.