Research Centers & Facilities

The School of Library and Information Science at Kent State University is home to three specialized research centers, as well as several state-of-the-art facilities used by scholars, students and community partners.

Research Centers

Center for the Study of Information and Religion (CSIR)

The Center for the Study of Information and Religion (CSIR) was created in 2009 to facilitate research within the library and information science field that is focused on the various institutions and agents of religion and their effect on social knowledge through the use, dissemination, and diffusion of information. It hosts an annual symposium in the fall and an international conference each summer. CSIR also produces two publications: the Advances in the Study of Information and Religion serial, and the Sermon Content Review.

Center for the Study of Librarianship

This unit of the School of Library and Information Science was constituted in 1966 to provide consulting support for projects and products in libraries and information centers. Services include consultation with experts, project management, project design, data analysis and software evaluation. Through basic research in librarianship, the Center seeks to define and resolve problems facing Ohio libraries.

Research Facilities

Digital Laboratory

Opened in 2010, the state-of-the-art Digital Laboratory was created to give students hands-on experience with digital library and digital preservation technologies. Read more about the research potential of this facility or contact SLIS Associate Professor Karen F. Gracy, Ph.D., at kgracy@kent.edu or 330-672-0049 for more information.

MuseLab

Made possible by a generous grant from the Reinberger Foundation, the MuseLab is a creative and collaborative space for thinking, doing and learning about museal things. It exists to generate and inspire research on museality; to provide an atmosphere of innovation, creation and collaboration among faculty, students and community; and to have a place for museum studies students to put into practice skills and concepts they have learned in courses (on their own, in workshops or for research projects). The MuseLab consists of two exhibit spaces (a 20' x 20' Gallery space, and a 30' x 8' wall gallery display case), a well-equipped work area, and two storage facilities. Read more about research opportunities and upcoming events in the MuseLab or contact SLIS Assistant Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., at kflatham@kent.edu or 330-672-5846.

REINBERGER CHILDREN'S LIBRARY CENTER & Marantz Picturebook Collection

The Reinberger Children’s Library Center, a state-of-the-art research and teaching resource that opened in 2003, holds more than 7,000 books, including many picture books, teen books, award winners, popups and movables, board books and multimedia. It also houses the renowned Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art, featuring more than more than 25,000 picture books from the past 40 years, as well as posters, original artwork, and character toys. Read more about research opportunities in children's librarianship and literature at Kent State's School of Library and Information Science.

RESEARCH LABS

As part of the third floor remodeling project completed in 2013, four research labs were created to make dedicated spaces for on-going faculty and student research projects. Faculty who receive grants or have special projects involving master's and/or doctoral students in the School of Library and Information Science can apply to use these spaces on an on-going basis. For more information, contact SLIS Associate Director Athena Salaba, Ph.D., at asalaba@kent.edu or 330-672-0023.

Usability Lab

The Usability Lab in the School of Library and Information Science uses state-of-the-art technologies — including eye tracking, multiple camera views and detailed analysis software — to assess user behavior and interaction with a website or search engine, for example, to guide or improve its structure and architecture. The lab is used mainly by faculty and students in the Master of Science user experience design (UXD) concentration. It also is used by other faculty whose research can be assisted by this technology. For more information, contact SLIS Associate Professor David B. Robins, Ph.D., at drobins@kent.edu or 330-672-5852.