Qualitative Study

A Visualization Tool and Assessment Framework for Civic Technology Use in the DMV Area: The Case of 311 Systems During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The 311 systems that city officials currently deploy can efficiently detect non-emergency civic issues such as potholes and trash. From a socio-technical perspective, residents can re-appropriate the technology for their own purpose adding new capacities and affordances not initially intended. For example, when Hurricane Irma hit Miami in 2017, residents used 311 systems to report disaster-related issues, which led city officials to adapt the system by creating a new category.

Multi-Generational Stories of Urban Renewal: Preliminary Interviews for Map-based Storytelling

Urban renewal was a project of the American government that aimed to reconstruct poor urban neighborhoods. Because community-level data that shows the underlying mechanisms of urban renewal has not been curated in a systematic way, due to the complexity and volume of the relevant archival collections, we aim to digitally curate property acquisition documents from the urban renewal projects that affected the Southside neighborhood of the city of Asheville, North Carolina, in the form of a map-based, interactive web application. This paper reports early findings from interviews.

A Theoretical Analysis of Independent Business Owners’ Preferences for Informal Information Sources

Independent business owners often prefer informal information sources to formal ones such as library collections. Part of these preferences is rational because contextual and application-oriented information is usually available from informal sources, which are theoretically the best matches for this kind of information. This suggests that, in addition to outreach strategies, efforts to integrate informal sources of business-relevant information can improve public libraries' ability to support independent business owners' information needs.

KNEXT: Data Analytics to Support Innovation Communities

KNEXT is a three-year collaborative project between Kent State University (KSU-SLIS) and the University of Maryland (UMD-CIS), which partners with local public libraries, small business development centers, economic development organizations, and community advocacy groups to bring advanced data analytics and business intelligence (DA&BI) services to public libraries in order to support small businesses, entrepreneurs, and community advocates within two recovering communities in Ohio and Maryland.

Making Information Deserts Visible: Computational Models, Disparities in Civic Technology Use, and Urban Decision Making

This research will develop a foundational tool for understanding how civic technologies are used and how information inequalities manifest in a city. User data from new civic technologies that reveal inequalities in the information environments of citizens has only recently become available. Since a large portion of data is demographically or geospatially biased due to varying human-data relationships, computational social scientists have used data modeling and algorithmic techniques to adjust the data and remove biases during data-processing.

Remapping Southside Community: Storytelling Urban Renewal Impact

This project aims to build a map-based platform that presents historical documents of the nation-wide, urban renewal project in 1960's and 70's and to provide easy-to-use interfaces that can be used by former residents, archivists, researchers, and citizens. Ultimately, this platform aims to reconstruct a virtual neighborhood where people can share their memories by creating social networks of former residents.

This Is Not Just a Café: Toward Capturing the Dynamics of Urban Places

Social media has provided a huge amount of user-generated data in capturing urban dynamics. Among them, place-level human behavior has been largely detected through people’s check-in records at certain places. Conventionally, places are characterized by a set of pre-defined features, often specified by the owner of the places. In this paper, we argue that capturing socially-meaningful features and dynamics of an urban place may also be done by analyzing human activity traces.

Motherhood and Social Networking Sites: How do sociocultural contexts and technological factors affect Korean mothers’ KakaoStory use?

In this paper, we investigate the role of sociocultural contexts and technological characteristics in user behaviors on social networking sites (SNSs). This study focuses on Korean mothers’ social roles and their use of KakaoStory—one of the most popular SNSs in Korea. Through interviews with fifteen Korean mother users, this research studies changing social roles of Korean mothers with childbirth, and its influence on KakaoStory use. Also, we investigate how KakaoStory’s unique characteristics affect mothers’ usage.

Information Behavior of International Students Settling in an Unfamiliar Geo-spatial Environment

This paper presents the findings from a project about how international students seek and acquire information during their settlement in an unknown geo-spatial environment. Through semi-structured interviews, questionnaires, and cognitive mapping with twenty international students, this study examines their information needs, information sources, and settlement experiences in the host country.