The Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) is a response to the pressing need for research on the processes, practices, policies, and social issues that govern access to information in our increasingly digital information society. We at iPAC are committed to studying what policies and/or technologies lead to equitable and inclusive information access, a digitally-literate population, an informed and engaged public, or access to Internet-enabled resources and technologies, among key examples.
iPAC is built on the merger and expansion of two successful University of Maryland, College of Information Studies research centers the Center for Library & Information Innovation (CLII) and the Center for Information Policy and E-government (CIPEG).
iPAC aspires to be an innovative and forward looking research and education facility that explores social, policy, and technology aspects of information access and use across cultural institutions, government agencies, and other information-based organizations; communities; and populations.
iPAC focuses on three major areas of research and education:
- Libraries, Cultural, and Public Institutions – Research on institutions, such as public libraries, school library media centers, archives, museums, and government agencies that are the sources of information, resources, services, and unifying space within their communities.
- Policy – Analysis of the policies that shape the ways in which these institutions can serve their communities, as well as the roles of these institutions as access points for and providers of government and other information and services in society.
- Diverse Populations – Advocacy and emphasis on the ways in which institutions and policies can promote inclusive information access and services for individuals and communities, including the underserved, underrepresented, and disadvantaged by embracing innovative approaches to diversity.
Through these core aspects of cultural institutions, iPAC seeks to contribute to scholarship and the information professions at the international and national levels, while also serving the local needs of libraries and other cultural institutions in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the state of Maryland.