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11th Prato CIRN Conference October 13-15 2014, Monash Centre, Prato Italy

Special Workshop October 16:Archival Access and the Resource Description Framework (RDF)

Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the well-being of people and their communities through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control. This orientation also has much in common with Community Archiving.

Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures and supporting reconciliation and recovery in the aftermath of conflict, oppression and trauma.

We will consider papers related to any aspect of Community Informatics or Community Archiving, however we are particularly interested in papers from researchers and practitioners that can address the challenges of locating community-based research within wider theoretical and practice frameworks.

Follow the link for more details on conference themes to submit an abstract for a referred or non-refereed paper or the PhD session, and timeline information is included.


Gordon Dunsire is a consultant, and former Deputy Director of the Centre for Digital Library Research at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a member of the CILIP-BL Committee on AACR and the CILIP Committee on DDC, and is Chair of the Cataloguing and Indexing Group in Scotland. He is the principal developer of the SCONE collection descriptions service and other components of the Scottish Common Information Environment, and has been involved in several projects investigating the use of collection-level description and metadata aggregation in wide-area resource discovery.

wolske.jpgMartin Wolske, GSLIS senior research scientist at the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI), University of Illinois. Wolske has been with GSLIS for 18 years. He has served as manager of systems services and as director for Prairienet, Champaign-Urbana’s first community information network and the predecessor to CDI. In 2000, Prairienet began partnering with community organizations to establish community technology centers in the greater Metro East St. Louis region. Wolske and his students were instrumental in these efforts, which have led to seventy new centers in the region as well as thirty partnerships with sites in East Central Illinois.

Conference Program

In addition to the keynotes, there will be a combination of interactive panel presentations, a PhD colloquium, poster sessions, in-depth workshops and plenaries with the aim of provoking as much discussion and interactivity as possible. See the conference program.

Proposed Workshops

  • Towards a CIRN Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Both the Community Informatics and Community Archives "movements" have had a variety of attempts, in meetings, articles and online discussions, to come up with detailed statements. A conversation about this was started last year. Can we get it down in writing this time?

  • Activism and Community Autonomy: The Role of Activist Researchers

This workshop will explore the role of activism in the community archiving and CI fields in supporting social movements, particularly those linked to human rights and social justice agendas. Workshop participants will be introduced to the Movement Action Plan (MAP) as an analytical tool to plot the stages in social movements, and the role of activism at different stages. The Workshop will focus on discussion of how activist researchers in the CI and community archiving fields might support community self-determination and autonomy.

  • Memory, Power, and the Practice of Oral History

This workshop will examine critical issues and opportunities for the practice of oral history among those working in community informatics and community archiving. We will look at existing oral history projects situated both inside and outside institutions with an eye to the problem of memory, class, race and power in the practice and construction of oral history projects, and how to negotiate wanting to know and learning to listen.

Special Workshop October 16:Archival Access and the Resource Description Framework (RDF)

The Workshop, to be led by Mirna Willer and Gordon Dunshire, will provide participants with the knowledge and skills to gain a deep understanding of RDF. It will focus on addressing the following challenge: Can RDF sufficiently express or capture the contingencies and nuances arising from a glocal and pluralized framing of archival access?

Follow the link for detailed information on the workshop. Please register here.

Conference Committee

  • Manuela Farinosi, Univ of Udine, Italy
  • Andrew Flinn, University College London
  • Anne Gilliland, UCLA
  • Tom Denison, Monash University
  • Sue McKemmish, Monash University
  • Aldo de Moor, CommunitySense, Netherlands
  • Amalia Sabiescu,Università della Svizzera italiana
  • Larry Stillman, Monash University
  • Nicola Strizzolo, Univ. of Udine, Italy


  • Patricia Arnold, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Fiorella de Cindio, University of Milan, Italy
  • Mike Arnold, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Ann Bishop, Univ. of Illinois, USA
  • Gunilla Bradley, Royal Institute of Tech., Sweden
  • Peter Day, University of Brighton, UK
  • Wallace Chigona, Univ. of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Barbara Craig, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, NZ
  • Vesna Dolnicar, University of Lubljana, Slovenia
  • Alison Elliot, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Manuela Farinosi, University of Udine, Italy
  • Leopoldina Fortunati, University of Udine, Italy
  • Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Marlien Herselman, Meraka Institute, CSIR, South Africa
  • Sarai Lastra, Turabo Univ., Puerto Rico
  • Mike Martin, University of Newcastle, UK
  • Harekrishna Misra,Institute of Rural Management, Anand India.
  • TJ McDonald, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Mauro Sarrica, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  • Douglas Schuler, The Public Sphere Project, The Evergreen State College, USA
  • Eduardo Villanueva Mansilla, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
  • Steve Thompson, Teesside University, UK
  • Will Tibben, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Janet Toland, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
  • Emiliano Trere,Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, México
  • Gilson Schwartz, Univ. São Paulo, Brazil
  • Andy Williamson, Future Digital, UK
  • Martin Wolske, University of Illinois, USA


  • Larry Stillman, Monash University
  • Amalia Sabiescu,Università della Svizzera italiana
  • Sara Vanini, Università della Svizzera italiana


All travel and other arrangements are at your own risk and the organisers accept no liability. Visas are delegates own responsibility. The program may change due to non-availability of particular speakers.

More information: prato2014 AT