Global Impact

The School of Information at Kent State University is transforming the global information environment collaboratively through dynamic learning, innovative research, and interdisciplinary synergy.

Our faculty, students and alumni publish in major international journals, present at major international conferences and hold leadership positions in major organizations that impact the profession on a global level. The School offers two study abroad courses (with more under development) and encourages students to attend international conferences in library and information science (and take advantage of reduced student registration rates, too!). 

Exploring other cultures from a unique academic perspective, learning how to communicate across cultures, gaining a broad appreciation for global diversity, reinventing yourself and having the opportunity to immerse yourself completely in a different way of life: All of these and more are just a few of the benefits of participating in global opportunities.

This page includes just a few examples of these activities. For more information, follow the links below or visit the individual faculty profiles.


Faculty and Alumni

  • An interdisciplinary team of Kent State University faculty, with Marianne Martens, Ph.D., as PI, are participating in a $13.3 million USAID grant to improve educational outcomes for Nigerian children. This cross-curricular initiative has already begun work on learning labs to be implemented in Nigeria, focusing on reproducibility and culturally and educationally appropriate materials. The team has traveled to Nigeria repeatedly as they work with partner organizations and teachers on the ground to impact 200,000 students and 5,000 teachers.
  • Kendra Albright, Ph.D was named Chair Standing Committee, Education and Training section for the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA); Athena Salaba, Ph.D. was also named Chair Standing Committee, Subject Analysis and Access section; and Marianne Martens, Ph.D., was named Secretary Standing Committee, Libraries for Children and Young Adults section.
  • iSchool Assistant Professor Lala Hajibayova, Ph.D., published "An investigation of cultural objects in conflict zones through the lens of TripAdvisor reviews: A case of South Caucasus" in the Journal of Information Science.
  • iSchool Assistant Professor Heather Soyka, Ph.D., presented a plenary titled “Ten Years of Archival Education and Research Institutes: An Analysis” at the Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI), hosted by the Liverpool University Centre for Archives Studies (LUCAS), with the UK and Republic of Ireland’s Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER), Liverpool, UK.
  • Professor Yin Zhang, Ph.D., presented "Use Mobile Phones to Enhance HIV Prevention Knowledge among Village Doctors in Developing Regions: A study in Guangxi, China" at the 11th Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries International Conference in Florence, Italy.
  • iSchool Associate Professor Rebecca Meehan, Ph.D., presented “Usability Improvements to Electronic Health Records: Finding Realistic Paths to Success” at the International Conference on Health Informatics  in Lisbon, Portugal, in January. The paper will be published in the conference proceedings, pages 514-518, ISBN: 978-989-758-068-0, SCITEPRESS. At the same conference, she was session chair for “Current Research in Health Informatics.”
  • Professor Marcia Lei Zeng, Ph.D., was named inaugural chair of the international Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) Advisory Board, which serves as a primary source of expertise informing DCMI activities, serving as DCMI ambassadors, maintaining links between stakeholders in the DCMI community and DCMI, connecting with other metadata and content communities, and serving as a voice of their constituents by drawing the attention of the initiative to constituent concerns as potential DCMI "work themes."

Study Abroad Courses

We recognize the importance of giving students an international perspective on the ever-changing information profession. To that end, we offer two study abroad courses (with more under development) and a course focusing specifically on international librarianship. Please visit the links provided below for more information on these opportunities.

Museum Origins in Florence, Italy

  • Course description: While the collecting of objects can be found as far back as ancient times in various parts of the world, the birth of the modern museum finds its roots in Europe, especially in Italy. In the context of today’s world, students will “go back in time” to understand the origins of Western museums and the meaning of publicly shared collections through a series of competing dualisms in knowledge creation and organization. Students will explore the history of the modern museum and spend two weeks visiting actual sites and collections that played a role in this history. Exploring the past in this way is geared specifically to help today’s museum workers gain a better understanding of their own role and purpose in their community, society and nation.

This course is part of a museum studies pathways within the Master of Library and Information Science degree at Kent State School of Information. Museums, like libraries, are in the information business. The museum studies courses at Kent State employ a holistic approach to the study of museums as institutions that generate and perpetuate knowledge. Students will gain an understanding of museums in context as dynamic, interactive information systems composed of people, objects, and activities. Because the iSchool courses are structured within a library and information science framework, students are able to cut across the spectrum of traditional academic disciplines, which strengthens the skills of future museum professional by giving them a broader perspective, a larger knowledge base, and more flexibility. Students in the Museum Origins class do not need to be in the M.L.I.S. program, but should understand this unique approach to the discipline of museum studies.

The course runs for eight weeks every other summer (approximately): 3 weeks of online coursework, 2 weeks on site in Florence, Italy; 3 weeks online, preparing the final research paper.

International Children's Literature and Librarianship in Denmark

  • Course description: In this academically rigorous course on international cultural production for children, Denmark will serve as a case study for such, providing students with hands-on perspectives on international children’s literature, librarianship, museums, and a view on how different cultures construct “childhood.” The course is hybrid, combining online course delivery with face-to-face class time in Denmark. Some questions this class will address include: What does it mean to be a child in other countries compared to the U.S., and as a result, what sorts of issues face professionals working in cultural production for young people — from museums and libraries, to media industries such as publishing and film? How do those issues compare to ones faced by professionals in the United States? What is similar? What is different? What can we learn from another culture, and how will our new knowledge translate into ideas for practice in the U.S.?

This course is part of the youth engagement: information, culture and community cluster within the Master of Library and Information Science degree at Kent State School of Information. Students in the class do not need to be in the M.L.I.S. program, but should understand this approach to the discipline of youth and children's librarianship.

Course is offered as enrollment permits. For more information, visit International Children's Literature and Librarianship.

International and Comparative Librarianship Course

  • Course description: The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the large and varying subject matter that is international and comparative librarianship. We will approach the subject matter through an investigation of the main theoretical traditions and concepts in the discipline and see how well they help us in understanding international trends in librarianship. You will quickly learn that those who write about this subject do not even agree about what exactly constitutes this field and what should be its proper focus of study. Therefore, it will be helpful for you to think of international and comparative librarianship (ICL) as a series of ongoing conversations, rather than a static body of information. To facilitate this vision, you will begin by not being forced to memorize concepts and theories, but rather by being encouraged to understand the basic assumptions, historical development, and main approaches to this field, and by utilizing them in a variety of ways to define and elucidate historical and contemporary issues in librarianship around the world.

This course is offered periodically as a special topics course (LIS 61095).

International Conferences

Attending and participating in international conferences is one way you can gain a better understanding of global opportunities and challenges in the information profession. Below is a partial list of relevant conferences.

Library and Information Science

Health Informatics

Knowledge Management

User Experience Design