SLIS Resources


The Student Experience Blog is maintained by the SLIS Admissions Office.

Research Groups

Research Groups are faculty-based — supporting faculty and student research. Groups focus on subjects like information literacy, computational linguistics, metadata, and human information behavior.

Community Informatics @ SLIS

Community Informatics @ SLIS features news and information about the people and research projects focused on community informatics at the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University. Community Informatics is a growing interdisciplinary field of research and practice focused on advancing our understanding of the ways in which local communities use information and communication technology in support of community-defined development goals. From the study of public computing centers in community-based organizations to the design and implementation of community wireless networks, community informatics researchers and practitioners actively engage in projects that promote human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion in the digital age.


  • Assistant Professor Colin Rhinesmith

The Human Information Behavior (HIB) Research Group

The HIB Research Group conducts innovative research in the area of Human Information Behavior (HIB) and the related areas of User Experience (UX), Knowledge Management (KM), Personal Information Management (PIM), and Scholarly Communication (SC).

The group includes Associate Professor Rong Tang, Associate Professor Naresh Agarwal, and Assistant Professor Kyong Eun Oh. They employ a variety of research methods, including but not limited to, survey research, observation, diary studies, and think­-aloud, use of the Usability Lab, as well as conceptual and theoretical inquiry. The HIB Research Group promotes, facilitates, and showcases individual and collaborative projects in HIB, the identified related areas, and the intersections among the areas.


Simmons Institute for Critical Information Literacy & Instruction (SICILI)

Simmons Institute for Critical Information Literacy & Instruction examines information and related literacies (media, health, visual, digital, etc.) from a critical standpoint, questioning how literacy and literacies are defined, how they are taught and assessed, and the role of libraries and information organizations in supporting and promoting information literacy development. The researchers have a strong interest in social justice aspects of information literacy, which include questions of physical, social, and cognitive access to information, and information literacy as a human right, as well as related questions around intellectual freedom and censorship. Current projects include examining faculty perspectives on mis- and disinformation and exploring collaborative approaches to combatting mis and disinformation across library science and allied professionals such as journalists, educators, and tech professionals, as well as the open textbook Instruction in Libraries and Information Settings: An Introduction. Faculty member Laura Saunders co-created and co-hosts LIS Pedagogy Chat, a community of practicing hosting bi-monthly moderated chats on topics of interest to faculty and practitioners who teach in library and information science.


Simmons Metadata Inquires Lab (SMIL)

SMIL faculty—Associate Professor Katherine Wisser, Assistant Professors Amber Stubbs, and Kyong Eun Oh—support existing and strategize on new metadata related endeavors including personal, collaborative, and student research initiatives at Simmons University.

The intention of SMIL is to create and perpetuate a supportive environment for research activities that are relevant to, or may benefit from, a metadata perspective. Visit the SMIL blog for more information.



Tech Lab

In the Tech Lab, TRAs (Technology Reference Assistants) are available to answer technology questions, help with software support, check-out equipment, and conduct training for the 3D printer. Every semester, the lab also hosts workshops on topics such as podcasting, LibGuides, Raspberry Pi, and UX testing. 


Funded by a gift from a SLIS donor, the Collaboratory opened in March 2014 and features flexible, modular furnishings, including chairs and tables on wheels.  The Collaboratory has six iMacs, a wall-mounted TV with webcam/conferencing capabilities, two flatbed scanners, and a printing station.

The Collaboratory is used by SLIS faculty, students, and staff for group work and hands-on activities.  It is available to student groups for meetings and events involving video conferencing and as a practice space for working on oral presentations.

Media Lab

The SLIS Media Lab supports audio and video production needs of SLIS students, faculty, and staff. Located in the B-313 suite on the third floor of the Palace Road building, SLIS students, faculty, and staff can use an iMac computer with special software such as Adobe Captivate to create eLearning content. Special equipment include a Bamboo drawing tablet, audio recorders, video cameras, and microphones. The Media Lab also offers event services such as live streaming, video and audio recording, and media support. All recordings are available to view on the SLIS Media & Tech Lab Youtube channel.

If you have questions, please contact the Media Lab Fellow at: [email protected].

Usability Lab

The Simmons Usability Lab, established in September 2008 at the School of Library and Information Science, centers its purpose on fostering collaborative research and experiential learning, and providing services to communities with usability needs. Located on the second floor of the Palace Road Building, the Usability Lab is an innovative, state-of-the-practice usability testing facility that offers faculty and students a testing environment to support user-centered curricula. In the Usability Lab, faculty and students conduct user behavior research, usability testing/evaluation, and eye tracking with specialized computer software, web interfaces, and information systems.

In addition to improving and enhancing the student research experience in SLIS courses that focus on user information seeking behavior and the principles of information systems design and evaluation, the Usability Lab gives SLIS faculty opportunities to develop new courses and initiate cross-discipline collaborative course offerings with departments such as psychology, communication, education, and computer science. The Lab has also been used for testing, implementing, and extending new collaborative research efforts to information communities in the greater Boston Area.

The Director of the Usability Lab, Dr. Rong Tang, has been involved in multiple cross-institutional collaborative usability research projects including Harvard Catalyst, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Library Innovation Lab, Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and EBSCO User Research. Tang is currently a consultant helping to establish the Harvard Library Usability Research Center.

For more information on the Usability Lab, including reservations for testing sessions or to receive training, please visit the Usability Lab.