Acknowledgments begin through a reflection that this textbook is the latest edition of a living document arising from my 25 years of engagement, teaching, and research at the School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Ann Bishop and Greg Newby, founders of Prairienet Community Network, both welcomed me in and challenged me bring my research and engagement interests into the information science space. Leigh Estabrook, then dean of the School, further opened doors by adding teaching and leadership opportunities to the participatory research of Prairienet. Many of the other faculty and staff of the School have guided my pedagogical development and community inquiry practices, especially Chip Bruce, Ann Bishop, Jon Gant, Nicole Cooke, Manette Messenger, Paul Adams, Sharon Irish, and Lisa Bievenue. But there are so many others that I feel should be listed but worry this acknowledgment would become unwieldy and there’s still more to include.
For this PressBooks edition of the living document, special thanks go out to the Center for Digital Inclusion who provided ongoing funding, and the Publishing Without Walls project, which includes the University of Illinois Library, School of Information Sciences, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, and Department of African American Studies, and which is generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Moving from School to campus, there are many across the University of Illinois that I want to especially recognize. Thanks to all within the East St. Louis Action Research project with whom I have spent rich days (and nights) traveling, discussing, and doing as part of our extended time in community, with community, for community. And much thanks also to the campus engagement scholarship and the broader Outreach and Engagement Practitioners Network, CTRL-Shift, CITL, and Gadget Garage campus/community space!
Extended thanks especially for those deeply valued hours in Prato with the Community Informatics community, and our gatherings between conferences as well!
Colin Rhinesmith, you fit into so many of these categories that I will instead put you into a line by yourself. 😉
But real change requires community, and so I want to especially acknowledge members of the Champaign-Urbana, East St. Louis, and São Tomé communities with whom I’ve collaborated. You have accepted me as I am with such open arms, and have spoken truth to me in so many transformative ways. Thanks to Sally, Joel, James, Vera, Essie, Martha, Christina and Eddie, Brad, Bill, Sister Marge, Earl, Kaitroy, Jorge, James, Elvis – this list should go on, but I’ll stop here with apologies to the so many I’ve left out. I am so very different, my personal and professional engagement is so very different, my work with community technology and networks is so very different, this book is so very different because of you all. Thank you!
Living documents like this develop through extended works in a community of practice. At the top of that list come the many who have spent extended hours as my research and teaching assistants during the time the Demystifying Technology worksheets and handouts turned into Word documents and then into HTML and PressBooks items. Thanks go out to Dinesh, Vandana, Beth, Chris, Jake, Deven, Damon, Jeanie, Sarah, Hailley, Kim, Sarah, Travis, Samaa, Angela, Casey, Rebecca, Rachel, Dan, Brandon, Hila, and Stephanie. And special thanks go out for the deep commitment and extended hours that Henry and Sara put into this work.
I continue to challenge myself to expand the popular education of Freire, and this especially re-centers me as instructor-student, giving space to the student-instructors who have so much from their lived experiences, unique knowledge, and community cultural wealth to bring to the table. This, too, is a deep part of this living document. Thank you.
But the start, the end, and all between comes deeply from the closest of my community, my family. And at the center of that is Angie.