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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 Linda Smith

Linda Smith

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor and Associate Dean
Champaign IL 61820
Linda C. Smith is professor and associate dean for academic programs in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She joined the faculty in 1977. She works with graduate students on-campus (MS, CAS, PhD) and, since 1997, online (MS, CAS). She teaches courses on Information Organization and Access, Reference and Information Services, and Information Sources & Services in the Sciences. She is a past president of the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) and the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Section T: Information, Computing and Communication), and a University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher/Scholar.