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iSchool Professors’ Research and Expertise Showcased in Three Newly-Published Books

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Looking for a good book? Check out these new and newly updated titles for your bookshelf from faculty members at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. The topics range from the 3D printing revolution to digital campaign technologies to design thinking and librarianship.

"Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age," 2nd edition, by Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Jennifer Stromer-Galley
Jennifer Stromer-Galley

Movies have sequels. Books have second editions – and sometimes more.

Jennifer Stromer-Galley's award-winning book, "Presidential Campaigning In the Internet Age" (Oxford University Press, 2013) offered an analysis of every presidential election from 1996 to 2012 and how the campaigns have adapted to digital communications technologies.

Then, in 2015, Donald Trump announced his candidacy – and a year later was elected to the highest office in the land. "He was such an interesting character," Stromer-Galley recalls. "I wrote to the editor of the book series and said, 'what do you think about an update?' And the publisher said, 'let’s do it.'"

The second edition of "Presidential Campaigning In the Internet Age" was published in September by The Oxford University Press. It wasn’t as simple as adding a chapter on Trump, Stromer-Galley says. The book has been completely revised and updated from cover to cover and includes additional data on each of the last six presidential elections, as well as historical context of presidential campaigns and their use of digital campaign technologies.

The updated book also addresses the proliferation of paid political advertising on social platforms like Facebook and the problems that arise when platforms don’t ban or censor advertising that is misleading or patently false.

Most of all, Stromer-Galley wants readers to gain a better understanding of how recent campaigns have used technology and communications "to land us where we are today," and naturally, she’s already thinking ahead to the 2020 election. 

"3D Printing," by John M. Jordan 

John Jordan
John Jordan

Professor of Practice John Jordan is no stranger to writing books. He has six published titles and his latest, "3D Printing," was published by The MIT Press as part of its Essential Knowledge Series earlier in 2019.

Google 3D printing books and you'll find many volumes on the subject. Jordan's book stands out from the crowd. It's a compact volume with a simple black cover. It's not intended to be a how-to or tutorial on the subject. "My book doesn't tell you how to do it," Jordan says. "It explains what 3D printing is, where it came from, and what the current state of the field is and how things are."

Jordan’s book takes a look at some of the many industrial applications of 3D printing and how it is revolutionizing them. Engineers, designers, manufacturers, and medical professionals are using 3D printers to quickly create conceptual and functional parts. The beauty of the technology, Jordan says, is that it makes it possible to inexpensively create and customize single items, like cell phone cases and wedding cake toppers.  

The automotive industry is a pioneer in the use of 3D printing, where it is used in the prototyping and manufacturing processes, Jordan says. 3D printing is particularly useful in research labs and is being used to create prosthetic hands and joints and dental tools, molds, implants, and crowns.

"Hearing aids are the classic success story of 3D printing," Jordan says."They fit better, they're faster, they’re cheaper. Here you have an infinitely large market and every one has to be unique. You can't make a mold for hearing aids. It's the absolutely perfect technology for the job." 

"Design Thinking," by Rachel Ivy Clarke 

Rachel Ivy Clarke
Rachel Ivy Clarke

Rachel Ivy Clarke's Twitter bio reads: "Librarianship isn't rocket science. It's not even library science. Fight me." So it makes perfect sense that she has written a primer on design thinking and how the trend applies to libraries and librarianship. The 80-page soft cover book "Design Thinking" was published in December as part of ALA-Neal-Schuman's Library Futures Series.

Clarke is an assistant professor at the iSchool whose research focuses on conceptualizing librarianship as a design profession rather than a scientific discipline. She formerly served as the cataloging librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Her book has its roots in the award-winning dissertation she wrote while working on her Ph.D., "It's Not Rocket Library Science: Design Epistemology and American Librarianship."

Design thinking is a method of human-focused, creative problem solving that has historically been used in the fields of management and design. In the library realm, design thinking encourages institutions to better understand the needs of their users, face complex and varied challenges with new tools and approaches, dig deep to discover what their communities want and experiment and innovate to create services and programs to meet changing times and needs. 

Clarke says design thinking can make libraries better through strategic, creative problem solving. "My big point is reinventing libraries as design sites," Clarke says. "How can we make the best possible things? The way to do that is to look to the field of creation. That's the way people are going to create better tools and programs and services."

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