In my time at GSLIS, I was heavily involved with a variety of projects through the Community Informatics Club. The CI Club was a student service organization that aimed to take what we learned in the classroom as CI specialists out into the wider department and community. This video provides a good short summary of our mission and work.
Through the CI club, I worked on projects such as updating and fixing the public computers at Tuscola Public Library and other local partner organizations, cataloging the IMC Zine library, fulfilling book requests at Books 2 Prisoners, teaching digital storytelling to community organizations in East St. Louis, and teaching technology with the Urbana Free Library Tech Volunteers and at eBlackCU Campus-Community Technology events. Our largest and final project was a week of work towards the restoration of the Washington Park Public Library, in support of club President Helen Jentzen’s practicum project.
I was the club Treasurer for one year, and a member of the planning committee that decided what projects and activities we took on as a group. I was also the organization’s web editor for a time. Finally, I helped to form a spinoff from the CI Club called the GSLIS Action Group, a student-led reading and discussion group that focused on professional development, digital and multimedia tools, current events, practical applications of theory, and any other knowledge and experience we needed to engage innovatively and critically with our department, curriculum, and profession.