Kate McDowell regularly teaches both storytelling and data storytelling courses, and is the 2022 recipient of the ASIS&T Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award. She researches and publishes in the areas of storytelling as information research, social justice storytelling, and what library storytelling can teach the information sciences about data storytelling. Her projects engage contexts such as libraries, non-profit fundraising, health misinformation, social justice in libraries, and others.
Dr. McDowell has worked with regional, national, and international nonprofits including the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO, part of WHO), the Public Library Association (PLA), and the Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL). Her nationally-funded project Data Storytelling Toolkit for Librarians with co-PI Dr. Matthew Turk is under development (https://imls.gov/grants/awarded/re-250094-ols-21).
Her storytelling research has involved training collaborations with advancement with both the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the University of Illinois system (Chicago, Springfield), storytelling consulting work for multiple nonprofits including the 50th anniversary of the statewide Prairie Rivers Network that protects Illinois water, and regular storytelling workshops for the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI). She formerly served as Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and has led multiple transformative projects for the School.