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Owing to the scope and pace of change, society has become increasingly knowledge-based so that higher learning and research now act as essential components of cultural, socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development of individuals, communities and nations. In this environment, it is essential that higher learning and knowledge creation involve effective partnerships among academic and non-academic learning institutions and communities to create and apply learning and knowledge with stakeholders that are managing and creating sustainable development initiatives. Growing concern regarding the importance of the contribution that higher education institutions make to society has aroused increasing debate about their relevance and credibility amid escalating social problems. An underlying premise of community engagement is the understanding that not all knowledge and expertise resides in the academy, and that both expertise and great learning opportunities in teaching and scholarship also reside in non-academic settings.

This conference will explore how LIS educators and researchers can develop curricula, programs, and research activities that enable active partnerships with communities and civil society to manage and create change. How can LIS programs increase opportunities for experiential, service oriented, and community engaged student learning? How can we develop further collaboration between LIS programs and their larger communities (local, regional/ state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity?

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avatar for Leanne Bowler

Leanne Bowler

University of PIttsburgh
Associate Professor
Leanne Bowler is an Associate Professor, Director of the Sara Fine Institute for Interpersonal Behavior and Technology at the School of Computing and Information, and Co-Chair of the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship at the University of Pittsburgh. Her teaching and research focuses on young people and their experiences interacting with information, data, and technology. Her research explores the intrapersonal competencies and practices of young people as they use, create, learn, and play in socio-technical environments, as well as the role that their families and out-of-school organizations like libraries play in this arena. Dr. Bowler has a Master in Education, a Master in Library Science, and a PhD in from McGill University.

Dr. Bowler will be accompanied by a Graduate Research Assistant from the School of Computing and Information, University of Pittsburgh.