Taking the concept of ‘local’ seriously in Library, Information, and Computing Research

November 16, 2018 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Manning Hall 208

We hope you can join us for a SILS CRADLE Talk featuring Dr. Brian Butler, University of Maryland, College of Information Science


Friday, November 16th 12:00pm-1:00pm

Manning Hall 208

Title: "Wherever you go, there you are:  Taking the concept of ‘local’ seriously in Library, Information and Computing Research

Abstract: Much has been written about the potential for information and communication technologies to eliminate the constraints of space and time.  Yet, despite the hope for disconnection between information/computation and place, we continue to struggle with the challenges of ensuring that the technologies and systems we create meet the needs of particular communities and individuals who necessarily exist in particular places.  The premise of this talk is that as long as information/computational systems are based on and created for corporeal entities, we must have a comprehensive understanding of “local” if we are to realize the potential and avoid the pitfalls of emerging technologies and the new information infrastructures they enable (or said another way: as long as there are physical devices and real people involved, “All information use is local” – and if we fail to understand what this means, we will miss opportunities for interesting, high impact advances in information and computing research).

Bio: Dr. Brian Butler is Professor and Senior Associate Dean at the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies. His research focuses on developing theories and techniques that enable groups, communities, and organizations to harness the full potential of new technologies. His recent work examines the role of information institutions and infrastructures in community resilience. Butler's research and community-building work have been funded by federal agencies, foundations and corporations that include National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Microsoft Research, Yahoo! and Intel. His work has been published in venues such as MIS Quarterly, Organization Science, Information Systems Research, ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction, The Journal of Medical Internet Research, and The Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology.