Information Institute of Syracuse

Director – R. David Lankes
Location – 205 Hinds Hall
Phone number – 315-443-3640


The Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS) is a long standing research center in the areas of education, technology and librarianship. It has been the source and host for a number of highly visible and widely successful digital education information services. The IIS created The Gateway to Educational Materials (GEM, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education), The Virtual Reference Desk (VRD), AskERIC and the Educator's Reference Desk. All projects share the same goal: to improve student learning by providing educators, policy makers and parents with quality information to improve teaching and the educational environment. IIS projects bring together universities, government agencies and private enterprises to promote easy access to high quality educational information to a diverse user population. The Information Institute of Syracuse fulfills an ambitious agenda of projects-funded by a range of public and private organizations-to improve librarianship, learning, and teaching in the U.S. and throughout the world.

The Information Institute of Syracuse participates in, and leads innovative research and development projects and consortia with many partners. Current and past partners include:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Institute for Library and Museum Services
  • Association for Science Education
  • Australian Education Office
  • Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
  • Syracuse University’s Center for Natural Language Processing (CNLP)
  • Colorado Department of Education
  • Education Network Australia (EdNA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Florida State University
  • George Lucas Education al Foundation
  • Internet Public Library
  • Library of Congress
  • LSSI
  • McREL
  • NASA
  • National Library of Canada
  • National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian)
  • OCLC
  • School of Education, Syracuse University
  • School of Information Studies, Syracuse University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Washington
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia
  • The U.S. Department of Justice
  • The American Library Association


  • DACS – Digital Library Research, U.S. Department of Defense: Assist Quanterion, as it operates the DACS, in identifying, recommending, and applying technologies and techniques, particularly automated techniques, for efficiently identifying, collecting, cataloging, and aggregating electronic information resources in targeted focal software related technology areas.
  • Reference Extract, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: First phase of development for Reference Extract, a credibility engine, allowing users to embed the credibility judgments of librarians worldwide into their applications.
  • Project ILEAD U, IMLS: A three-year continuing education initiative that directly addresses the need to expand librarians’ leadership abilities to use participatory technology to effectively engage their libraries’ constituents. The primary goals of this project are 1) to help library staff understand and respond to user needs through the application of participatory technology tools, and 2) the creation of an easy-to-replicate model program.
  • Reference Extract Planning Grant, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:Investigated and developed a business plan and technical architecture for a general-purpose search engine built around credible communities (initially reference librarians).
  • CI-Facilitators: Accelerating Knowledge Development and Collaboration across the STEM Disciplines
  • NSF: Developing a curriculum to train cyber-infrastructure facilitators to aid in the adoption of technologies to further e-science.
  • A Virtual Learning Laboratory for Digital Reference: Transforming the Internet Public Library, IMLS: Enhancing the Internet Public Library to make digital reference learning objects available to faculty in all ALA-accredited LIS programs, provide a laboratory with access to new technologies used to offer digital reference and digital library services and create a collaborative learning community for faculty, students and working librarians.
  • Exploring the Social Internet, American Library Association: Researching and writing a detailed technology brief on the topic of the social Internet. The brief will put an emphasis on interactive and social web applications such as blogs, social networks, and include a survey of the general “Web 2.0” and “Library 2.0 ” development world.
  • Future of Libraries, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: Prepared a report on the area of libraries and their future evolution