Colin Rhinesmith

Associate Professor - SLIS
  • School of Library and Information Science
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About Me

Colin Rhinesmith (pronouns: he/him) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Community Informatics Lab in the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University. He is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Community Informatics.

Rhinesmith’s research and teaching interests are focused on the social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital equity and community technology. He is the Principal Investigator on a research project funded by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (award #LG-71-18-0110-18) to investigate how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S.

Rhinesmith is affiliated with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry as a member of its Scholars' Council. Previously, Rhinesmith was a Google Policy Fellow and an Adjunct Research Fellow with New America’s Open Technology Institute. He was also a Faculty Research Fellow with the Benton Foundation and a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

His research has been published in several scholarly journals, including: Information, Communication & Society; Government Information Quarterly; International Journal of Communication; Telecommunications Policy; Media, Culture & Society, and Public Library Quarterly. Rhinesmith’s work has also been mentioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Communications Commission, The MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Initiative, PBS MediaShift, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Government Technology.

Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Information in Society Fellow, a Researcher with the Center for People and Infrastructures, and a Research Scholar with the Center for Digital Inclusion.

Colin Rhinesmith's Curriculum Vitae

Research/Creative Activities

My research is focused on the social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital equity and community technology. Recent research has examined how rural libraries address the challenges of Internet connectivity with wireless hotspot lending programs. My work also considers the implications of telecommunication and information policymaking particularly for marginalized communities. My current research examines how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S. My work contributes to social justice scholarship in library and information science by focusing on the ways in which community-based organizations work with marginalized communities to promote justice-centered goals.

For details about his most recent grant-funded research, visit Measuring Library Broadband Networks.

His previous research project was At the Edges of the National Digital Platform.

Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform

Simmons University, along with New America's Open Technology Institute, and Internet2, has been awarded a grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the U.S.

Learn more about Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform