Colin Rhinesmith (pronouns: he/him) is an Associate Professor and Director of the Community Informatics Lab in the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science (iSchool). He is also a Senior Faculty Research Fellow with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society and the Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Community Informatics.
Rhinesmith’s research is focused on the social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital inclusion and broadband adoption. As Director of the Community Informatics (CI) Lab, he and his team work to better understand and co-design community responses to local information challenges. Toward this goal, the CI Lab engages in research initiatives that promote digital equity and social justice.
Rhinesmith is affiliated with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, as a member of its Scholars Council. Previously, Rhinesmith was a Google Policy Fellow and an Adjunct Research Fellow with New America’s Open Technology Institute and a Faculty Research Fellow with the Benton Foundation. He was also a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
His research has been published in several scholarly journals, including: Information, Communication & Society; Government Information Quarterly; International Journal of Communication; Telecommunications Policy; Media, Culture & Society; and Public Library Quarterly. Rhinesmith’s work has also been mentioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Communications Commission, The MacArthur Foundation, PBS MediaShift, The San Francisco Chronicle, Government Technology, and MIT Technology Review.
Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Information in Society Fellow, a Researcher with the Center for People and Infrastructures, and a Research Scholar with the Center for Digital Inclusion.