Ruth V Small
Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor | Director, Center for Digital Literacy
overviewRuth V. Small, Laura J. & L. Douglas Meredith Professor received her doctorate in instructional design, development, and evaluation from Syracuse University's School of Education and has been on the faculty of the iSchool since 1989. She is founding director (2003) of the Center for Digital Literacy (CDL), an interdisciplinary, collaborative research and development center.
The mission of CDL is to explore the need for and acquisition of multiple literacies, develop tools to foster these literacies in a variety of contexts, and study the consequences of having or not having these literacies on children, youth, and adults. Since its founding in 2003, CDL has brought in close to $7 million in external funding from dozens of grants from government agencies and foundations and has fully or partially supported more than 75 graduate students from throughout the University. Ruth's current main project at CDL is Project ENABLE (Expanding Non-Discriminatory Access By Librarians Everywhere), providing training to librarians on ways to provide effective library and information services to students with disabilities. She has received three grants from IMLS for Project ENABLE.Ruth’s research is in the application of motivation theories and models to a variety of information contexts. Ruth has received two national research awards for her scholarly work, the 2001 Carroll Preston Baber Research Award from the American Library Association and the 1997 Highsmith Research Award from the American Association of School Librarians. Her current research focuses on the motivational influences on and information resource needs of young innovators. She is also conducting research on the impact of Project ENABLE training on librarians' ability to deliver effective library and information services to students with disabilities. She has authored seven books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. She has served on the editorial boards of four professional journals in both library and information science and in instructional design. in 2013, she was named to a three-year term as co-editor of School Library Research, the leading research journal in the school library field.Ruth has received three awards for her teaching including the School of Information Studies Professor of the Year in 1996, Teacher of the Year from the Syracuse University Alumni Association and, in 2006 Syracuse University's highest honor, the Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence, the first and only iSchool recipient of this award. Before coming to the iSchool, "Dr. Ruth" (as her students affectionately call her) worked as a college administrator, principal of a private high school, librarian, teacher, and instructional design and evaluation consultant. Ruth is president of SMALL Packages, a consulting business specializing in motivational design and evaluation.
I am an avid collector of everything from antiques to artwork and rocks to art books and am a bit of an amateur artist myself, enjoying painting and photography. I love to visit art museums, watch movies (particularly comedies), and play with my grandchildren. I also enjoy gardening and, when I have time, reading murder mysteries. I love to knit (have been knitting since I was eight years old) and especially enjoy creating original knitting patterns.
professionalRuth has directed dozens of research and evaluation projects. Her current projects focus on professional training for librarians in delivering quality programs and services to students with disabilities, research on how and why a child becomes and remains innovative, and how the use of social media affects the motivation to learn. She has evaluated a wide range of educational programs, from the Department of Library Science at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) to New York City's "Connecting Schools and Libraries Project" funded by the Dewitt Wallace-Readers Digest Fund and from management training programs at Miller Brewing Company to Pappyland, the award-winning, nationally-broadcast (The Learning Channel) children's educational television program (for which she served as chair of the educational advisory committee and advised on scripts, including one which won an award equivalent to an Emmy).Ruth has been an instructional design consultant to a variety of organizations, including Motorola, Central New York Regional Transportation Association, Tompkins County Community College, Renaissance Learning Systems, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT, and Bausch & Lomb. She also served as a research consultant to the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Ruth's research focuses on the motivational aspects of information use by both children and adults in a variety of contexts and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, including seven books, and served on the editorial boards of four professional journals, including serving as co-editor of School Library Research, the top research journal in the school library field. Her most recent book is "Research Methods for Librarians and Teachers in Formal and Informal Learning Environments," which she co-edited with Dr. Marcia Mardis and will be published by ABC-CLIO/Libraries Unlimited in early 2018.
For her research, she received the 1997 Highsmith Research Award from the American Association of School Librarians and the 2001 Carroll Preston Baber Research Award from the American Library Association. She has been awarded more than 20 grants from government agencies and foundations to study motivation in a variety of contexts. Her most current IMLS grants are "School Libraries as Innovation Spaces, School Librarians as Innovation Mentors: Stimulating Students' Curiosity, Inquiry and Innovative Thinking" (with Dr. Marilyn Arnone) and "Targeting Autism" in which she partners with researchers from the Illinois State Library and Dominican University. She just completed the final of three consecutive IMLS grants for "Project ENABLE: Expanding Non-Discriminatory Access By Librarians Everywhere."
Ruth has experience teaching in preK-12, higher education, and professional training programs. She has taught at every level a the iSchool (undergraduate, masters, doctoral) and has had students in her classes from every degree program (BS, LIS, TNM, IM, PhD and DPS), as well as several certificate programs and also from several other schools and colleges within S.U.
Most of the courses Ruth teaches are related to the design and presentation of information. She is the designer or co-designer of several courses, including IST 444: Information Reporting and Presentation; IST 611: Collaborative Technology Projects in Educational Organizations, IST 617: Motivational Aspects of Information Use, IST 663: Motivating 21st Century Learning; and IST 662: Instructional Strategies & Techniques for Information Professionals. She also has developed and conducted an online academic component to the school media internships and a doctoral seminar entitled "Motivation, Information Systems, and Organizations." Ruth directed the LIS program from 1993-1996 and the school media program from 1990-2013, during which time she took the program from #10 in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) to #3 in 2013. She created and directed the iSchool's Summer Institute on Leadership & Change (now the Regnier Institute) from 1991 to 1996 and from 1993 to 1996 began the School's distance learning master's degree program in library and information science, the first web-based, limited residency program in library science in the U.S. She was voted the iSchool's 1996 Professor of the Year by the graduate students of the School and in 2004 Teacher of the Year by the Syracuse University Alumni Association. In 2006 Ruth was named a Syracuse University Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence, the University's highest teaching honor. In 1999, Ruth was named Faculty Technology Associate for Syracuse University's Faculty Academic Computing Support Services, participating in presenting more than 25 workshops to faculty from colleges and universities throughout central New York. She presented her workshop on Motivating Students to the Teaching Assistants Orientation Program for the first seven years of its existence. Ruth has consulted and conducted workshops on motivation and evaluation for dozens of businesses and organizations and at professional conferences throughout the country and in South America and Asia.
|Fall 2016||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Fall 2015||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2016||IST663||M800||Motivating 21st Cent. Learning|
|Fall 2014||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2015||IST663||M800||Motivating 21st Cent. Learning|
|Summer 2015||IST662||M800||Instr Strgt & Tech/Info Profs|
|Fall 2013||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2014||IST663||M800||Motivating 21st Cent. Learning|
|Fall 2012||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2013||IST663||M800||Motivating 21st Cent. Learning|
|Fall 2011||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2012||IST663||M800||Motivating 21st Cent. Learning|
|Spring 2012||IST990||U003||Independent Study|
|Summer 2012||IST880||M540||Intensive Seminar|
|Fall 2010||IST617||M800||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Fall 2010||IST663||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Fall 2009||IST617||M001||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Fall 2009||IST663||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Fall 2009||IST663||M002||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Fall 2008||IST663||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Fall 2008||IST617||M001||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Fall 2007||IST810||M021||Practicum in Research|
|Fall 2007||IST663||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Fall 2006||IST810||M019||Practicum in Research|
|Fall 2006||IST617||M001||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2007||IST810||M027||Practicum in Research|
|Spring 2007||IST840||M026||Practicum in Teaching|
|Summer 2007||IST504||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Summer 2007||IST600||M027||School Media Projects|
|Fall 2005||IST617||M001||Motivational Aspects/Info Use|
|Spring 2006||IST611||M001||Info. Tech. in Educ. Orgs.|
|Spring 2006||IST810||M029||Practicum in Research|
|Spring 2006||IST840||M029||Practicum in Teaching|
|Spring 2006||IST690||M010||Independent Study|
|Summer 2006||IST840||M002||Practicum in Teaching|
|Summer 2006||IST810||M002||Practicum in Research|
|Summer 2006||IST504||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Summer 2006||IST504||M002||Motivation & Info Literacy|
|Summer 2005||IST840||M002||Practicum in Teaching|
|Summer 2005||IST810||M002||Practicum in Research|
|Summer 2005||IST504||M001||Motivation & Info Literacy|