Colin Rhinesmith is an assistant professor in the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. 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. Colin was a 2015 Emerging Engagement Scholar at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference. He has also been a faculty research fellow with the Benton Foundation, a Google Policy Fellow with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, and a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Rhinesmith has been nationally recognized for his engaged scholarship in the fields of digital equity and community technology. His work has been mentioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Communications Commission, PBS MediaShift, and the MacArthur Foundation’s Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, and he was awarded the Buske Leadership Award from the Alliance for Community Media. Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was a research scholar with the Center for Digital Inclusion and an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Information in Society Fellow.
“My engaged scholarship philosophy embraces difference as a resource and seeks to promote multiple ways of knowing as a strategy to create more inclusive, just, and equitable learning and research environments,” writes Rhinesmith. “For example, my graduate students and I described how this approach guided the design, implementation, and evaluation of a young adult (YA) public library space design program with teens and librarians through a community–university partnership in Moore, Oklahoma (see Rhinesmith, Dettmann, Pierson, & Spence, 2015). Our paper contributes a theoretical and methodological framework for studying public library YA space design projects with teens and librarians using participatory research and design techniques. Progressive and critical educational philosophies are deeply embedded in this collaborative praxis. I have brought these experiences with me to my teaching at Simmons, particularly in my LIS 421 Information Services for Diverse Users course where we partner with local libraries to help them engage with marginalized populations in their communities.”