Dr. Mega Subramaniam

About Me

I am currently an Assistant Professor at the iSchool - College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. I am the Associate Director for the Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland.

I conduct research on the use of school libraries as effective hybrid spaces to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest among underserved, underrepresented and disadvantaged young adults. Specifically, I am interested in exploring and creating socio-culturally relevant STEM learning environments in school libraries, where the library programs can engage young people in scientific inquiry experiences, make connections to their interests, and facilitate the learning of new media literacy skills needed to be successful in STEM environments. Check-out two learning environments that I have co-designed - HackHealth and Sci-Dentity - where I leverage the strengths of school library programs to stimulate young adults interest in STEM. Watch this pre-recorded webinar that highlights how school librarians are changing the lives of their students by opening their doors after-school and running programs that inspire students to pursue STEM. The webinar titled "Changing Lives through Informal Learning" was one of the four webinars released by the American Association of School Librarians in honor of School Library month in April 2014.

I am also interested in examining how to facilitate the learning of new media literacy that is essential for STEM exploration. Currently, I am focusing on specific new media literacy skills: privacy, copyright/remix and credibility of information. My goal is to extrapolate the new media literacy learning pathways of digitally excluded youth, the challenges they face in acquiring new media literacy, and the pedagogical reforms needed to facilitate new media literacy learning in schools and other environments.

I teach courses offered through the School Library and the Information and Diverse Populations Specializations.

I serve as the co-editor of School Library Research.

I live in Ashton, Maryland, with my husband, Sivam, and my children (Subhatra and Vishvarup). I do not have much free time, but when I do, I enjoy baking for the kids.


News

2015.2.5 I presented the keynote at the Fourth Annual Meeting House Symposium. My presentation slides are available here. See media coverage by the Parents Magazine.

2015.1.31 I presented the YALSA Trends Lecture at the ALA 2015 Midwinter Meeting. My lecture was titled "Designing the library of the future for and with teens: Librarians as the “Connector” in connected learning". See slide deck. Check out the YALSA blog for an excellent summary of my talk.

2015.1.25 My HackHealth team won the ALISE/LMC Research Paper Competitition. This paper is titled Bit by bit: Unpacking health literacy instruction for young people, and we look forward to sharing with you the paper once it gets accepted by a journal.

2014.05.07 I am excited to announce that the HackHealth team that I lead produced a paper titled "The Hows and Whys of Disadvantaged Tweens’ Online Credibility Assessment: Implications for Digital Literacy Instruction" that has won the 2014 Beta Phi Mu/LRRT Best Research Paper Award. The full length article will appear in Journal of Documentation very soon!

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Contact Information

4105 Hornbake Building, South Wing
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1115

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