Dr. Kate McDowell focuses on storytelling as information research, social justice storytelling, and how the history of library storytelling can enhance contemporary data storytelling. Her projects engage contexts such as public libraries, non-profit fundraising, and health misinformation in online discourse. This research takes many forms, from publications to storytelling workshops and toolkits to research roles with international coalitions and working groups.
McDowell’s writing has appeared in Library Quarterly, College and Research Libraries, and the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, where her article Storytelling wisdom: Story, information, and DIKW theorizes storytelling as a fundamental information form. She has worked with regional, national, and international nonprofits, including the Pan-American Health Organization (part of the WHO), the Public Library Association, and the Research Institute for Public Libraries. McDowell leads the nationally-funded Data Storytelling Toolkit for Librarians project, currently in development to equip public libraries with the narrative tools they need to thrive in the data-driven era.