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Bharat Mehra

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School of Information Sciences
Associate Professor

Dr. Mehra's research examines diversity and intercultural communication, social justice in library and information science (LIS), critical and cross-cultural studies, and community informatics or the use of information and communication technologies to empower minority and underserved populations. He has applied action research towards community building and community development activities while collaborating with racial/ethnic groups, international diaspora, sexual minorities, rural communities, low-income families, small businesses, and others, to represent their experiences/perspectives in the development of community-based information systems and services. Dr. Mehra has used conceptual frameworks in LIS (e.g., human information behavior, information seeking and use, community analytics, etc.) with interdisciplinary approaches from critical theory, feminist and queer studies, postcolonial literature, and race and gender research, amongst others, to expand the the traditional definition, scope, extent, representation, and relevance of information-related work in the 21st century. He primarily teaches courses on public library management, collection development, resources and services for adults, diversity services in libraries, and grant development for information professionals. Dr. Mehra (as principal investigator) has recently been awarded multiple grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services totaling more than a million dollars to help train rural librarians in the Appalachian region as well as develop collaborative partnerships between rural libraries and other appropriate community stakeholders (e.g. small businesses).

Contact
454 Communications Bldg.
865-974-5917
Education: 

Ph.D., Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 

M.S., South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;

M.L.A., Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;

Bachelors in Architecture, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, India.

Research Interests: 
Diversity and intercultural communication.
Social justice in library and information science.
Information support services for underserved populations.
Critical and cultural studies.
Community informatics and action research.
Public and rural library management.