Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

Martin Wolske

Martin Wolske

Senior Research Scientist
Graduate School of Library and Information Science

Graduate School of Library Information Science Profile

My current research interests focus on ways Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) can be utilized as a tool to facilitate social inclusion, where social inclusion is defined by the members of particular neighborhoods.  Current research projects include:

  • Working with the DigitalESL collaborative to develop a questionnaire to study the effectiveness efforts over the last nine years directed towards bridging the digital divide in the greater East St. Louis area.  Results from this survey will be used in part to help develop a new strategic plan for ICT implementation within the community in the coming years.
  • Working with the Neighborhood Association Coalition to develop a strategic plan for collection and dissemination of community data to facilitate community advocacy and development efforts.  As a starting point, youth in the Teen Tech Team program will be trained on GIS technologies to facilitate creation of an updated and expanded neighborhood map of East St. Louis.  The teens will also become a resource for individual neighborhood associations as they perform grassroots research to diagnose and prescribe methods for addressing neighborhood problems and opportunities.
  • Working with the Teen Tech Team program, as part of a broader IMLS-funded Youth Community Informatics project, to develop a new model for involving teens in community advocacy and development.  Early seed projects will include development of the neighborhood maps, mentioned above, and development of multimedia resources documenting local community and personal gardens within the community, a howto for others to begin gardening especially repurposing empty lots, and howto documentation regarding healthy cooking of produce.
  • Working with existing and new community technology centers to bring together new technologies and state-of-the-art programming to facilitate grassroots community development and advocacy efforts.  For example, we are exploring ways in which the open source operating system Linux can provide an affordable, customizable, sustainable platform for computers; ways in which low-cost digital camcorders and even cell phones can be used to produce multimedia man-on-the-street reports of community activities for distribution on the web; and ways in which the ideals of community schools can be used in after school programs to bring together education and advocacy activities.

Current community research collaborators include:
  • DigitalESL Collaborative
  • Teen Tech Team
  • Neighborhood Association Coalition
  • Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church

Courses and Partners

LIS315: Introduction to Networked Systems
Fall 00            Mt. Calvary, Bride of Christ, New Beginnings, Adventures in Motivation
Fall 01            Grace United, EPDC, NTAC, Emmanual Temple
Spring 02       Centreville Public Library, Mt. Sinai, McCasland, Morning Star, Greater St. Mark, Galilee
Fall 02            Alpha & Omega, Colas Temple, Hoyleton, Unity Lutheran, Kathryn Dunham, Mt. Calvary
Spring 03       Mt. Zion, Mt. Pisgah, St. Luke, Mt. Sinai
Fall 03            Kindercottage, Bethlehem, Southern Mission, Summit Ave. Pilgrim Temple, Mt. Sinai
Spring 04       Crossroad, New Dimensions, New Bethel, Veteran's Inc., McCasland

LIS451: Introduction to Networked Systems
Fall 04             Association for Educational Excellence, Shekinah, East Side Academy, Community Daycare, Adventures in Motivation
Spring 05        15th St. Baptist, Centreville Public Library, Alpha & Omega, Summit Ave.
Fall 05             Sharon Smith Ministries, Mt. Olive, Eagle's Nest, Way of Faith, Community Concepts, Mt. Zion
Spring 06        Urban League, Morning Star, Greater St. Mark, Galilee, New Bethel, Mt. Calvary
Fall 06             Grace Tabernacle, Family Resource Center, Greater Glory, New Macedonia
Spring 07        New Life, Teen Tech Team, Lessie Bates, Miracle Deliverance, Genesis Mission, Centreville Public Library
Fall 07             Opal's House, Community Mission, Disciple Fellowship, Bond Ave., Lovejoy Temple
Summer 08    Catch a Falling Star, St. Luke, Community Concepts, Centreville Public Library, Mt. Zion
Fall 08             Eagle's Nest, Vincent Gray Alternative High School, Summit Ave., Second Chance Shelter, Morning Star
Last updated on 7/22/2011
Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
326 Noble Hall, MC-549 1209 South Fourth Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 265-0202 Fax: (217) 244-9320