From archival materials to next-gen curriculum, Information Science faculty are advancing knowledge and practices in their field

August 10, 2023

Faculty in UNT’S College of Information are working on research projects to advance library science and archival studies with nearly $1 million in grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, which supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public.

Grants earned by UNT include:

"Records of Refuge: Supporting Refugee Communities' Archival Needs Project"


  • Ana Roeschley, principal investigator, assistant professor in the UNT Department of Information Science and director of the Archival Studies Program

Award Total: $494,966

About the Research: Roeschley will help close research gaps on the documentary and archival needs of refugees in the United States. The research will benefit refugees, public librarians, archivists, records managers, community memory workers and others working with refugee communities by investigating best practices and protocols in the care of vital records upon entry into the United States, as well as the creation and long-term preservation of personal digital archives of refugees. Data collection will occur through 20 focus groups with refugees and individuals who work with refugees and through an investigation of personal digital management software and archival repositories. The project will culminate in a virtual symposium on findings and best practices that will be open to refugee communities, individuals who work with refugees through refugee service agencies and archivists and librarians.

Demonstrating Your Data: An Evidence-based Practice Curriculum for School Librarians”


  • Jennifer Moore, co-principal investigator, associate professor in the UNT Department of Information Science and director of the School Librarianship Certification Program

Award Total: $249,999

About the Research: Researchers in the College of Information will collaborate with the University of Kentucky on a three-year project focused on advancing secondary school librarians’ evidence-based practices (EBP), resulting in a free, easily accessible and widely distributed online professional development curriculum that will equip secondary school librarians to collect, analyze, integrate and share evidence of practice in practical and sustainable ways. Focus groups will provide data to support an asynchronous professional development EBP curriculum, and three diverse cohorts of school librarians will pilot the curriculum to uncover any needed revisions. Project beneficiaries are school librarians who will have new resources that teaches and guides them in implementing EBP in their programs and lead to improved school library practice.

“Community Memory and Language Archiving and Curation Training”


  • Oksana Zavalina, principal investigator and professor in the UNT Department of Information Science

Award Total: $249,998

About the Research: Zavalina will lead the interdisciplinary team of researchers, educators and practitioners in developing the evidence-based online modular curriculum to train the next generation of information professionals in the archiving and curation of resources that provide the means to revitalize community memory and language. This two-year project aims to offer professional development with an experiential component for 25 library, archives and museums (LAM) students who will complete the digital language archiving graduate course, and for an additional estimated 100 who will complete the learning modules integrated in other courses.  Development of project-developed learning materials will be informed by the feedback from underserved community representatives, as well as LAM and language documentation students and experts. These materials will be made widely available as open-source adaptable resources.

Grants with UNT affiliations

Members of the UNT community also are contributing on other recently awarded projects with Institute of Museum and Library Services grants earned by external collaborators.

"Joint Professional Development Institute to Cultivate Collaborative Library Scholars"

UNT Contributor:

  • Mark Phillips, UNT lead principal investigator and associate dean for digital libraries
  • Sarah Ryan, co-principal investigator and associate professor in the UNT Department of Information Science

About the Research: Ryan will work with librarians at University Libraries at Virginia Tech, University of Colorado Boulder and Los Alamos National Lab Research Library to implement a three-year joint professional development institute (PDI) to support more active and embedded interdisciplinary research collaborations among library staff across the country. Benefitting staff working in academic and research libraries, this project will demonstrate, through multiple institutions, a career path for aspiring library scholars as well as make a strong case for the benefits of embedding librarians directly in research activities.

"Awareness and Critical Thinking (ACT) Program: How School Libraries Can Teach Children to Detect and Avoid Misinformation"

UNT Contributor: Tara Zimmerman, UNT alum, principal investigator and assistant professor in Texas Woman’s University’s School of Library and Information Studies

About the Research: Zimmerman will investigate and strengthen school libraries’ role in educating students about the dangers of online misinformation and how to detect and avoid it. The research project will start with a survey and interviews to find out what K-5 school librarians are teaching students regarding detecting and avoiding misinformation. Based on these findings, Zimmerman and her team will develop a curriculum to address information literacy and observe school librarians as they implement the new curriculum for one school year. After gathering feedback from the school librarians and their students about the curriculum, the team will assess its impact on students’ understanding of how to detect and avoid misinformation, and then refine the curriculum based on this feedback. The research will result in a curriculum and training materials to build the information literacy teaching skills of school librarians while also providing students critical skills they need to be thoughtful consumers of information.