About Me

I am currently a Professor and the Associate Dean for Faculty at INFO - College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.

I conduct research on the use of school and public libraries as effective learning environments for the development of digital literacies in young adults. My goal is to extrapolate the challenges young adults face in acquiring these digital literacies and the pedagogical reforms needed to facilitate the learning of these literacies in informal learning environments. A project that I recently completed that aligns with this goal is the Safe Data Safe Families project, where we developed resources for young adults and their families to manage privacy.

I am also interested in enhancing the skills of pre-service and in-service youth and school librarians to facilitate the learning of digital literacies. I embrace the research-practice partnerships model by bringing research developments in information science, learning sciences, and human-computer interaction into librarianship. In alignment with this goal, I served as the lead PI for the development of the Youth Experience (YX) certificate program and focus area in our Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. The course syllabi are available for use by any library educators. I also co-lead the ConnectedLib project, where we continue to refine our Toolkit - a suite of professional development resources aimed at building teen librarians' capacity to leverage digital media and connected learning principles to promote 21st century skills among the youth they serve. I led the IMPACT project, where we recently completed the building of computational thinking assessment instruments that library staff can use to assess computational thinking programs offered in and via libraries. I just launched a new project, Ready NOW, where we are working with teams of public libraries from eight states to enhance the capabilities of library staff to serve as proactive community partners before, during, and after times of crisis to youth and their families.

My research approach is qualitative, using design-based and design-based implementation research methodologies, with a variety of data collection methods. These methods include participatory design, in-situ observations, self-developed assessment instruments, interviews, and focus groups. 

I am also delighted to co-lead the Marylanders Online team with collaborators from University of Maryland Extension where we are designing and delivering digital literacy resources and training to the entire state of Maryland.

I often teach courses offered in the MLIS program, specifically courses in the School Library and Youth Experience focus at INFO.

I do not have much free time, but when I do, I enjoy gardening, baking, and cooking Malaysian dishes.


2024.05.09 My ReadyNOW team will be presenting at the MLA/DLA Conference.

2024.05.07 I will be presenting about the Marylanders Online project at the 184th Association for Research Libraries Spring Meeting in Boston, MA.

2024.04.22 My Marylanders Online team presented at the 2024 iConference, titled "Meeting People Where They Are: Customizing Digital Literacy Education", where we share the results of our interview data with 160 Marylanders on how they learn digital literacy to fulfill their everyday tasks and needs.



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Contact Information

4161 Field House Drive
2109E Patuxent Building
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1115

phone: 301.405.3406
email: mmsubram [at] umd [dot] edu