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

  • iSchool Assistant 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."
  • Associate Professor Athena Salaba, Ph.D, was elected to the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) Review Group as the only representative from a U.S. university. Members of the Review Group are elected by members of the Cataloguing Section Standing Committee. One of the major purposes of the FRBR Review Group is to consolidate the three parts of the FRBR conceptual models into one comprehensive reference model, the FRBR family of models.
  • At the 2014 International ISKO Conference, held May 2014, in Krakow, Poland, iSchool Professor Marcia Lei Zeng, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Karen F. Gracy, Ph.D., presented a research paper titled "Using a Semantic Analysis Tool to Generate Subject Access Points: A Study Using Panofsky’s Theory and Two Research Samples." The paper was co-authored with iSchool alumna Maja Zumer, M.L.S. ’93. At the same conference, iSchool Professors Athena Salaba, Ph.D., and Marcia Lei Zeng, Ph.D., presented a research paper titled "Extending the 'Explore' User Task Beyond Subject Authority Data Into the Linked Data Sphere." Zeng was also invited to be on a special panel on the education of knowledge organization.
  • Our alumni have been involved in such pursuits as creating a law library in Kabul, Afghanistan (Andrea Muto, M.L.S. '98) and working in India on a Fulbright scholarship to create online resources for professionals in deaf education (Cameron Crane, M.L.I.S. '13).
  • In 2014, the iSchool hosted the international Document Academy (DOCAM) conference, with participants from 13 countries and 11 U.S. states. This conference travels to a different part of the world each year; in 2013 it was held in Tromso, Norway, and in 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

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 specialization 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 a youth services specialization 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 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