woman standing with plato computer

child with computer

50 Years of Public Computing

at the University of Illinois

50 Years of Public Computing at the University of Illinois

April 15 - 16, 2010
Alice Campbell Alumni Center
601 S Lincoln Ave, Urbana IL

PrairieNet (1994)


  • Bajjaly, S. T., The community networking handbook, (Chicago: ALA Editions, 1999)
  • Battle, S. L., & Harris, R. O., The African American project. resource guide to the internet and online Services, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996)
  • Bishop, A. P., & Van House, N. A., Digital library use: Social practice in design and evaluation, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003)
  • Bruce, B. C., Literacy in the information age: Inquiries into meaning making with new technologies, (Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2003)
  • Butler, M. A., & Kingma, B. R., The economics of information in the networked environment, (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries,1996)
  • Christensen, K., & Levinson, D., Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual world, (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003)
  • Cohill, A. M., & Kavanaugh, A. L., Community networks: Lessons from Blacksburg, Virginia, (Boston: Artech House, 1999)
  • Consalvo, M., & Association of Internet Researchers, Internet studies of how technology improved economic, social, cultural, Research Annual. Selected papers from the Association and political conditions in a number of vastly different of Internet Researchers, (New York; Oxford: Peter Lang, 2004)
  • Drake, M. A. Encyclopedia of library and information science, (New York: Marcel Dekker, 2003)
  • Durrance, J. C., & Pettigrew, K. E., Online community information: Creating a nexus at your library, (Chicago: American Library Association, 2002)
  • Hales-Mabry, C., Cooperative reference: Social interaction in the workplace, (Binghamton, NY: Haworth Information Press, 2003)
  • Hick, S., & McNutt, J. G., Advocacy, activism, and the internet: Community organization and social policy, (Chicago: Lyceum Books, 2002)
  • Ishida, T., & Isbister, K. eds., Digital cities: Technologies, experiences, and future perspectives, (Berlin; New York: Springer, 2000)
  • John, N. R., & Valauskas, E., The internet troubleshooter: Help for the logged-on and lost, (Chicago: American Library Association, 1994)
  • Khosrowpour, M., Cases on the human side of information technology, (Hershey, PA: Idea Group Pub., 2006)
  • Marshall, S., & Taylor, W., Closing the digital divide: transforming regional economies and communities with information technology, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003)
  • Molz, K. R., & Dain, P., Civic space/cyberspace: The American public library in the information age, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999)
  • Pea, B., The Prairienet companion: The essential new user's guide to Prairienet, (Champaign, IL: Andrew Pea & Co., 1995)
  • Schuler, D., New community networks: Wired for change, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., 2006)
  • Schuler, D., & Day, P., Shaping the network society: The new role of civil society in cyberspace, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004)
  • Seiter, C., The internet for Macs for dummies, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. , 1994)
  • Servon, L. J., Bridging the digital divide: Technology, community, and public policy, (Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2002)
  • Thioune, R. M., Information and communication technologies for development in Africa, (Ottawa, ON; Dakar, Senegal: International Development Research Centre; Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa., 2003)
  • United States Department of Education, Strong families, strong schools: Building community partnerships for learning, (Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Education., 1994)

Book Chapters

  • Contractor, N., & Bishop, A. P., “Reconfiguring community networks: The case of PrairieKNOW,” in T. Ishida & K. Isbister eds., Digital cities: Technologies, experiences, and future perspectives (pp. 151—164)., (Berlin; New York: Springer, 2000)

Journal Articles

  • Brennan, P. F., et al.,“The use of home-based computers to support persons living with AIDS/ARC,” Journal of Community Health Nursing 8, (1991):3—14.
  • “Casting a wider net,” American Libraries 28, (1997):25.
  • “ERIC/EECE's Internet services,” Emergency Librarian 03158888, (1995):22.
  • Greene, C., “A good trowel on the World Wide Web,” Horticulture, (1996):74.
  • Kwon, N., “Community networks: Community capital or merely an affordable internet access tool?” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 56, (2005):812—823.
  • Kwon, N., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J., “Modeling the factors affecting individuals' use of community networks: A theoretical explanation of community-based information and communication technology use,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 56, (2005):1525—1543.
  • Kwon, N., & Zweizig, D. L., “Use of community information and communication technologies (ICTS): Explaining the use of community networks with demographic factors, psychological factors, and alternative service accessibility,” Library Quarterly 76, (2006):81—106.
  • Pettigrew, K. E., et al., “Approaches to studying public library networked community information initiatives: A review of the literature and overview of a current study,” Library and Information Science Research 21, (1999):327—359.
  • Richter, B., & Fischer, M. J., “Public domain,” NetGuide 2, (1995):157—158.
  • Savolainen, R., “Use studies of electronic networks: A review of empirical research approaches and challenges for their development,” Journal of Documentation 54, (1998):332—351.
  • Yu, L., et al., “Community networking: Development, potentials and implications for public libraries,” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 31, (1999):71—83.

Conference Proceedings

  • Bishop, A. P., “Making digital libraries go: Comparing use across genres,” in Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries, (1999):94—103.
  • Bishop, A. P., et al., “Information exchange networks in low-income neighborhoods: Implications for community networking,” in Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting 36, (1999):443— 449.
  • Kwon, N., “Influences of demographic characteristics of community network users on their perceptions and use of the network,” in Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting 39, (2002):326— 336.
  • Newby, G. B., & Bishop, A. P., “Community system users and uses,” in Proceedings of the ASIS Annual Meeting 33, (1996):118—126.


  • Avis, A. W. “Public spaces on the information highway: The role of community networks” (Unpublished master's thesis, University of Calgary, 1995)
  • Cho, H. “Explorations in community and civic bandwidth: A case study in community wireless networking” (Unpublished master's thesis, York University, 2006)
  • Clark, N. E. “Give us this day our daily bits: Rebinding the local community on the Internet” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa, 1998)
  • Fedak, H., “Connecting virtual communities and geographic communities: Toward a new path of journalism in Bluffton, South Carolina” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas, 2007)
  • Glaser, J. F., “The roles and competencies of community network practitioners” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University, 2000)
  • Guy, N. K., “Community networks: Building real communities in a virtual space?” (Unpublished master's thesis, Simon Fraser University, 1996)
  • Herwick, M. S., “Shaping public access technology: The development and use of a metropolitan community information system,” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Portland State University, 2001)
  • Lastra, S., “Making sense of community informatics: The development and application of the Community Event Research Method” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006)
  • Longan, M. W., “Community and place in cyberspace: The community networking movement in the United States” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000)
  • Luke, R. A. “The hidden curriculum of Web portals: Shaping participation in online networks” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, 2005)
  • Kok, A. J., “Situated evaluation of an interorganizational collaboration” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003)
  • Kwon, N., “Modeling the factors affecting individuals' use of community networks: A survey exploration of community information and technology use behavior” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002)
  • Mazzini, R., “A content analysis of activist group use of dialogic tools on the World Wide Web” (Unpublished master's thesis, University of South Florida, 2004)
  • McDonald, M. D., “The public health communications toolbox: The role of the intelligent network and the sciences of complexity in advancing health and human prosperity” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California- Berkeley, 1995)
  • Merkel, C. B., “Uncovering the hidden literacies of “have-nots”: A study of computer and internet use in a low- income community” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002)
  • Morgan, J. C., “Community ties and a community network: Cupertino's computer-mediated CityNet” (Unpublished master's thesis, San Jose State University, 1997)
  • Pinkett, R. D., “Creating community connections: Sociocultural constructionism and an asset-based approach to community technology and community building” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002)
  • Prell, C. L., “The design and diffusion of a community networking technology, and its relationship to social capital” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2003)
  • Roberts, R. A., “The diffusion of innovation: Dualities of one electronic free community network” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Oregon., 1996)
  • Ryan, E. A., “Creating a rural community network: A case study” (Unpublished master's thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1996)
  • Strickland, C., “In the shadow of the sacred mountain. The intersection of technology and community development: An ethnographic case study of creating a community network in Taos, New Mexico” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Fielding Institute, 1998)
  • Thomas, C. D. “Exploring community empowerment, in planning practice and theory, through a community computer network: A case study of the Seattle community network through the eyes of three fictional characters” (Unpublished master's thesis, University of Manitoba, 1991)
  • Thompsen, P. A., “Toward a public lane on the information superhighway: A media performance analysis of the Community-Wide Education and Information Service Initiative” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Utah, 1997)
  • Virnoche, M. E., “Communications equity and information technology: A study of a community network and the experiences of the groups that it served” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1999)
  • Webb, P. R., “Computing cultures: Information technologies and narratives of self” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign., 1998)
  • Williams, K. H., “Social networks, social capital, and the use of information and communications technology in socially excluded communities: A study of community groups in Manchester, England” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, 2005)
  • Wivagg, J. R., “Communications technology and community research in the community network planning process: A case study of the Lower Rio Grande Valley” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Baylor University, 2002)
  • Wright, L. M., “The rise and fall of community networking in the United States” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005)




  • Anderson, H. J., “Meeting by modem“ Hinsdale South and soviet students get to know each other bit by byte,” Chicago Tribune, January 21, 1990.
  • Associated Press, “Peorians make connections with computerized calendar,” The Pantagraph, September 22, 1991.
  • Associated Press, “Churches praise benefits of putting word on the web,” Chicago Tribune, January 26, 1996.
  • Balz, D., “Signing on to the world of the computer bulletin boards,” Chicago Tribune, May 30, 1986.
  • Blankenhorn, D., “Bulletin boards buck viruses, hackers become an industry,” Chicago Tribune, March 18, 1990,.
  • Blankenhorn, D., “Computer bulletin boards cross line from hobby to business,” Chicago Tribune, November 8, 1992.
  • Eckert, T., “Heartland paves electronic path to Springfield,” Peoria Journal Star, October 17, 1995.
  • Finnegan, L., “Gore cites Peoria computer network“Vice president calls heartland Free-Net part of information revolution,” Peoria Journal Star, September 18, 1993.
  • Fitzpatrick, M. “Web towns refocus sites in the early '90s, community networks went on-line but had little real direction, and many failed. Today, scaled-down versions give residents information they can use,” Chicago Tribune, January 11, 1999.
  • Herrmann, A., “Religion finds its niche on the internet,” Chicago Sun-Times, March 18, 1995.
  • Lilley, V., “Heartland being run by network of volunteers online information provider still sees a need for its services,” Peoria Journal Star, August 25, 1998.
  • McCracken, D., “Plugged-in artists“ the wave of the future: If you can't join'em modem,” Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1993.
  • Miller, M., “Computer vandal takes byte out of heartland Free-Net: Student keeps cracker' from doing too much damage to files,” Peoria Journal Star, December 14, 1992.
  • “New program opening nearly 80 new doors for heartland users,” Peoria Journal Star, February 27, 1994.
  • New York Times News Service.,“Computer information systems are the party line of the future,” Chicago Tribune, August 8, 1986.
  • Peters, T., “Spinning “Webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.”,” Chicago Tribune, October 4, 1993.
  • Reid, T. R., “Welcome to the expanding “ Network Nation”,” Chicago Tribune, August 2, 1992.
  • Smothers, M., “Heartland Free-Net to change name“ Central Illinois computer network will make announcement Tuesday,” Peoria Journal Star, October 28, 1994.
  • Smothers, M., “New name, service for computer system,” Peoria Journal Star, November 2, 1994.
  • Sulski, J., “Crackdown on crime is raising question of computer rights,” Chicago Tribune, November 18, 1990.
  • Sulski, J, “The rise of bulletin board systems,” Chicago Tribune, November 18, 1990.
  • Taylor, M., “Users say computer network is muzzling their give-and-take,” Chicago Tribune, January 7, 1991.
  • Vogrin, B., “Peoria model for computer network“ Heartland Free-Net enjoys great success during first 18 months,” Peoria Journal Star, September 26, 1991.
  • Wickert, D., “Let your fingers do the picketing//Cat strike takes to info highway,” The Pantagraph, November 29, 1994.
  • Witmer, Stephen. “Heartland computer system expands—Grants provide funds for added phone lines, more hard disk capacity,” Peoria Journal Star, October 11, 1994.


  • Cook, A., “These seniors make themselves at home,” The News-Gazette, January 2, 1999.
  • Kline, G., “Casting the net for new computer users,” The News-Gazette, December 7, 1997.
  • Kline, G., “Prairienet offers dialogue about area via newsgroups,“ The News-Gazette, March 24, 1998.
  • Kline, G., “Look for whole new look for Prairienet,” The News-Gazette, April 23, 1998.
  • Kline, G., “Organizations team up to teach computer basics,” The News-Gazette, August 31. 1998,.
  • Kline, G., “New Web site offers social services data,” The News-Gazette, September 30, 1998.
  • Kline, G., “Prairienet hopes to raise $100,000 by end of year,” The News-Gazette, October 7, 1998.
  • Kline, G., “Lakeside Terrace on 'wired' list,” The News-Gazette, May 14, 1999.
  • Kline, G., “Prairienet more than doubles its space with move,” The News-Gazette, November 5, 1999.
  • Kline, G., “SisterNet, UI project aiming at putting health info online,” The News-Gazette, November 24, 1999.
  • Kline, G., “Neophyte artists get a taste of profession,” The News-Gazette, December 26, 1999.
  • Kline, G., “Prairienet forced to suspend giveaway program,” The News-Gazette, April 5, 2000.
  • Kline, G., “Web site will link volunteers, opportunities,” The News-Gazette, April 12, 2000.
  • Kline, G., “Pitching in to keep all connected,” The News-Gazette, December 10, 2000.
  • Kline, G., “Prairienet raises membership fees to aid budget goal,” The News-Gazette, May 17, 2001.
  • Kline, G., “UI project aids state agency,” The News-Gazette, July 29, 2002.
  • Kline, G., “Prairienet revives program to help those in need—Computers, internet access, training offered,” The News-Gazette, November 19, 2002, p. B1.
  • Kline, G., “Bridging the digital divide” Prairienet, UI students help wire computer labs,” The News-Gazette, December 9, 2002, p. B1.
  • Kline, G., “Wireless in C-U” Wireless neighborhoods getting started,” The News-Gazette, December 30, 2002, p. D1.
  • Kline, G., “Hardware no longer at center of digital divide—Largest barrier now is lack of knowledge in using technology,” The News-Gazette, February 20, 2003, p. A1.
  • Kline, G., “A network for learning“Prairienet more than an internet on-ramp for community,” The News-Gazette, August 11, 2003, p. AB67.
  • Kline, G., “Intruders hasten Prairienet upgrade,” The News-Gazette, February 16, 2004.
  • Kline, G., “Wireless project aims to net C-U; Local network would offer fast Web feed, e-mail,” The News-Gazette, July 4, 2004, p. A3.
  • Kline, G., “UI will host wireless summit - Event at Siebel Center to focus on community networks,” The News-Gazette, August 16, 2004, p. B1.
  • Kline, G., “Green thumb or no, garden sites abloom with helpful data,” The News-Gazette, March 28, 2005.
  • Kline, G., “Computer trouble? Just call ... Teen Tech Team,” The News-Gazette, July 16, 2006, p. A3.
  • Kline, G., “Throwing the Net over Urbana - CUWiN places computers, wireless hot spots downtown,” The News-Gazette, August 14, 2006, p. C1.
  • Kline, G., “Making a difference” UI project brings whole new world to African nation,” The News-Gazette, April 15, 2007, p. A1.
  • Wood, P., “Plan to put PC's in low-income homes,” The News-Gazette, October 9, 1997.
  • Wurth, J., “Homes now come with computers” Prairienet, Carle play big roles in new initiative,” The News-Gazette, January 6, 2006, p. A2.

University of Illinois Urban-Champaign