Instructor Bios

INFO 200 Coordinator:

Michael Stephens

Dr. Michael Stephens has been Associate Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University since 2011. Prior to his teaching career, Michael spent over fifteen years in the public library at the Saint Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana where he developed a passion for the practical application of technology in libraries and the connections technology affords. That passion can be seen in his “Tame the Web” weblog launched in 2003 as well as in his professional writing which includes columns for Public Libraries, Library Journal, American Libraries, Computers in Libraries, Library Media Connection, OCLC’s NextSpace, Serials Review, Internet Reference Services Quarterly, and ALA’s Techsource blog; his “Office Hours” column has appeared inLibrary Journal since 2010, and features an exploration of issues, ideas, and emerging trends in library and information science education. For more than ten years, his research has focused on the use of emerging technologies in libraries and technology learning programs, and he is inspired by library structures and virtual spaces that support users, participation, creating content, and encouraging the heart. Using key insights from his research and involvement with global seminars on participatory culture, he collaboratively developed the Fall 2013 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled The Hyperlinked Library with lecturer Kyle Jones.

Michael has earned many accolades during his career, and among them, the “Mover and Shaker” award in 2005 from Library Journal; in the same year, he served as a Scholar in Residence at the Chicago Public Library. He was the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar in Australia, consulted and presented for US Embassies in Germany, Switzerland, and Turkey, and presents to both national and international audiences about emerging technologies, learning, innovation, and libraries. Additionally, Michael received the WISE Excellence in Online Teaching award for 2012 and 2013. An Indiana native, Michael currently resides in Traverse City, Michigan when not traveling. Please visit Michael’s Tame the Web website and blog to review his archive of work:

INFO 200 Instructors

Kevin Bontenbal

Kevin Bontenbal has been an adjunct professor for San Jose State University’s School of Information since 2006. In Kevin’s other life, he is the Instructional Technology Librarian at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Kevin also teaches Information Fluency and Academic Integrity courses for Brandman University and teaches webpage development and research skills classes for the Library/Information Technology program at Cuesta College.






Darra Hofman

Dr. Darra Hofman received her Ph.D. in library, archival, and information science from The University of British Columbia in 2020. She completed her M.L.I.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. and B.A. (honors) from Arizona State University. Her research examining the intersection of archives, technology, and law has been published in a number of journals, conference proceedings, and edited collections. In particular, she is interested in privacy, blockchain technologies, and health records.

Christi Koontz

Dr. Koontz is a recently retired faculty member from Florida State University (FSU). Her academic training and work life are in communications, including journalism, advertising, and marketing. She is a volunteer storyteller at the Florida Folklife Festival since 1989. Her Ph.D. is from the School of Information at FSU. Koontz pioneered the critical need to understand the geographic and spatial nature of individual libraries, by collecting data that describe people who use a single library, and what materials and services they use, and approximating the distance they will travel for library services. Koontz won the prestigious Carroll Baber Research Award from the American Library Association, to identify differences in use patterns amongst communities comprised of people with greater or lesser income, education, and racial diversity. This research led to a nationwide study identifying 3500 lower income and majority-minority library markets, describing how people within these markets use materials and services in the library. This type of in-library use is rarely collected by public libraries, and provides a picture of the critical and diverse information needs of people who have less discretionary time, and are less likely to have the library and reading habit. Koontz’ research was the basis of the U.S. Public Library Geographic Database. The database included relevant US census data and library use data from 16,000 communities. Koontz teaches marketing domestically and abroad. She is the recent author, along with co-author Lorri Mon of “Marketing and Social Media: a Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums.” Koontz is excited to join the INFO 200 team this semester!

Ziming Liu

Dr. Ziming Liu received his Ph.D. in library and information studies at the University of California at Berkeley in 1996. He has published widely in top-tier scholarly journals such as Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Communications of the ACM, Information Processing and Management, Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, and Journal of Documentation. His book, Paper to Digital: Documents in the Information Age, is indicative of his research concerns.

Aaron Schmidt

In the past ten years, Aaron Schmidt has been a circulation clerk, reference librarian, and library director. Currently, he is the principal of Influx Library User Experience Consulting and maintains a library and website usability weblog, Recent projects include researching the future of summer reading programs for the Public Library Association and organizing and facilitating a “Library Innovation Exchange” with library organizations in Mexico City. Schmidt serves on the editorial board for Weave: the Journal of Library User Experience. One information community Aaron participates in is Velodirt – a group of Pacific Northwest cyclists devoted to exploring little-known roads. They share routes, photos, and stories, and meet up for rides and races. This project started as a way for three people in Portland to report their bike adventures but has evolved into a network of people around the United States connected online. They just held their largest event, and many online acquaintances met face-to-face for the first time

Steven Tash

Professor Tash received his MLS from UCLA. He has spent over 25+ years with Saddleback College as librarian and library coordinator. He helped develop their information literacy print and online courses. He has worked at various library positions including Southern Nevada Community College, Ventura Community College, Chaffey Community College District, CSU Northridge, Placentia/Yorba Linda USD, Conejo Valley USD, and Huntington Beach High School along with LAPL.

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran

Dr. Michele A. L. Villagran is an accomplished educator, innovative speaker, entrepreneur, consultant, cultural intelligence and diversity & inclusion expert with over 24+ years of experience in the public and private sectors. Dr. Villagran’s research focuses on diversity and social justice in library and information science and cultural intelligence phenomena within libraries.

Dr. Villagran earned her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with her dissertation focusing on cultural intelligence in 2015 with Pepperdine University. She also completed her Masters of Dispute Resolution and Certificate of Dispute Resolution with Pepperdine. At the University of North Texas, Dr. Villagran completed her M.L.S. degree in Legal Informatics and her M.B.A. in Strategic Management.

Dr. Villagran serves as CEO of CulturalCo, LLC consulting in areas of cultural competency, diversity & inclusion, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence. She is an advanced certified cultural intelligence and unconscious bias facilitator through the Cultural Intelligence Center, and Conflicts Dynamic Profile consultant. She is involved with numerous associations in the fields of library and information science, conflict management and leadership.