My research goal is to understand how people actively and passively seek, use, or ignore information. I am curious about the ways in which information, or the lack thereof, impacts one's quality of life. I explore topics such as  the digital divide, library use in the U.S. and around the world, and the everyday information experiences of marginalized communities. I am drawn to mixed methods approaches, or triangulation. The overarching question that I wish to answer is: What is the cross between social identity and information behavior?

My work mainly involves the information worlds of Black immigrants. There are few LIS studies on the dynamics of information as a stressor from the point of view of minorities, much less foreign-born Blacks living in the U.S. Although Black immigrants are hardly homogeneous, attention to the norms of African, Afro-­Caribbean and Afro­-Latinx individuals living in the U.S. is missing from the current body of LIS research. This research entailed analysis of U.S. census data, surveys, as well as focus group consultations and led to the creation of a Toolkit for Library Services to Black Immigrants. It is also important to critically examine how LIS approaches to immigrants are shaped by longstanding ideologies on nativity, race, ethnicity, language, class and belonging. Those who do similar work or have experience with library service to immigrants are encouraged to submit chapter proposals for a forthcoming book.

I also explore the libraries/librarians at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). As part of the Digital Library Federation's (DLF) Futures Fellowship program and in partnership with HBCU librarians, I am investigating evidence-based models for recruiting and training librarians of color.

Finally, I am inspired by the late Dr. Elfreda Chatman, who studied the information behavior of African Americans, the working poor, the elderly, prisoners and low-skilled workers. Her theories shed light on the fact that information takes many forms, and cultural roles impact the ways in which people perceive information. Like Chatman, I hope to connect research, teaching and service.

  • Survey Research
  • Focus Group
  • Secondary Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Photovoice
  • Population Data
  • NVivo
  • ArcGIS
  • SPSS