School of Library and Information Science Professor Establishes Data Center at University in Iraq

Professor and Dean Emerita Michele Cloonan has received a grant in the amount of $73,193 from the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) and the U.S. Department of State to assist Tikrit University in Iraq with establishing a data center. Cloonan will work with the Director of Institutional Research Lan Gao, Associate Provost for Planning, Assessment, Accreditation Richard Voos, and students to be hired as research assistants. 

“Iraqi universities have very little funding and few resources,” says Cloonan. “Tikrit was attacked by ISIL in 2014 and 2017 and the University was seriously damaged. They have been working hard to recover since then.” 

The project will assess the University’s data collection practices with the goal of regularizing their current activities and creating a centralized data center. The Center will ultimately be responsible for collecting all institutional data and research. The goal is to assist our colleagues in building affordable, effective, and sustainable systems using open source software to store, analyze, and visualize data.

While unable to travel to Iraq due to the pandemic, Cloonan and her research assistant will collaborate with the University virtually, to determine the right software tools to use. Cloonan has worked on a number of projects with libraries in Iraq since 2004.

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