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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 Rhonda L. Clark

Rhonda L. Clark

Clarion University
Professor of Information and Library Science
Clarion, PA
I hold a Ph.D. in Russian History ( Univ. MN 1996) and an MLIS from the Univ. of Pittsburgh, 2007. I have been teaching in the MSLS program at Clarion University since 2009. I oversee the Local and Archival Studies, intended to prepare our graduates to work with local special collections across a variety of different cultural heritage settings. I have a book out with co-author Nicole Wedemeyer Miller called Fostering Family History Services: A Guide for Librarians, Archivists, and Volunteers (February 2016, Libraries Unlimited).  Current projects include a local digital portal among highly varied cultural heritage institutions to direct inquiry traffic and provide a low-cost, manageable path to digitizing local materials in partner and non-partner collections.