Information City Lecture Series



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Parent Program(s):

  • School of Information Sciences
  • Department of African American Studies




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Starting in 2008, the Graduate School of Library Information Science (GSLIS) has sponsored ten Digital Divide Lectures each fall.  As of Fall 2014 these lectures continue under a new name: the Info City Lectures. But the digital divide has not disappeared. So why the change? 

These lectures and our other work have taught us that the digital divide is not only a simple matter of haves and have nots. It is the have-nots, the have-less, and the have-mores. It is in motion, expanding from computers to phones to chips everywhere. Old applications (email) are joined by new ones (social media). It is pervasive in our work, education, culture, and daily lives. Yet some data is plentiful, some non-existent, and most of it not shared or even understood. Looking at it sector by sector, there are many surprises. 

Through all this, an information city is coming into being. The industrial city was a result of all kinds of forces. This time around, can we be more conscious and deliberate? Can we make sure the outcomes work for all of us? 

This means conversation, so the Digital Divide Lectures become the Info City Lectures. 

It also means work. So far infocitycu includes: 

  1. Connectivity: affordable broadband 
  2. Computers: recycled and updated 
  3. Public computing: open and functioning labs 
  4. Cybernavigators: supporting people at public computing sites 
  5. Community help desk: an IT department for the community 
  6. Cyberspace: online content of, by, and for the community 
  7. Annual community meeting: to keep it all on track and transparent 

infocitycu builds on UC2B and its Community Benefit Fund. And on PLATO, Prairienet, and many more campus and community innovations. It is currently led by four partners -- Chrisp Media, Digital Equality Initiative, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of African-American Studies, and the Graduate School of Library & Information Science Community Informatics Research Lab -- and is gaining supporters. Implementation is the task, but the concept is simple: Connected we stand! 

The Information City Lectures are held each fall on Thursdays from 11- 11:50am in the Library Information Science (LIS) Building.

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