Alison J. Head, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist in the University of Washington’s Information School and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She is the founder and director of Project Information Literacy (PIL), an ongoing research study in the US that has investigated how college students conceptualize and operationalize research tasks for course work and “everyday life” use. Since 2008, Alison and her team of PIL researchers have interviewed and surveyed over 13,000 undergraduates at 57 US four-year public and private universities and colleges and two-year community colleges. In 2013, Library Journal named PIL one of the “Big Four Research Studies” about library users.
Alison’s research about college students has resulted in seven open-access PIL research reports and five peer-reviewed journal articles. Five of these reports were co-authored with Michael B. Eisenberg, co-founder with the “Big6” information literacy model and Dean Emeritus and Professor at the University of Washington’s Information School. PIL has also produced learning tools (e.g., videos, infographics, podcasts, “Smart Talk” interviews, and “Practical PIL” page showcasing innovative library projects) that have stimulated awareness of and engagement in PIL’s highly visible research activities. Articles about PIL have appeared in The Atlantic Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Inside Higher Education, Library Journal, and The Seattle Times.
In 2012, PIL launched “The PIL Passage Studies,” a unique series of in-depth investigations about young adults and the critical information transitions they experience in their lives. PIL released its first Passage Study about the information-seeking behavior of college graduates entering the workplace. In 2013, PIL’s followed this study with its research on about how high school students make the information transition to college.
Alison has a Ph.D. in library and information science from the University of California at Berkeley and was a Visiting Scholar in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University. Her research on today’s students and their information practices began with a small study at Saint Mary’s College of California, where she taught new media as the Roy O. Disney Visiting Professor in New Media for 10 years. Currently, Alison is leading a large-scale national study about lifelong learning and recent college graduates. This two-year study is being conducted in partnership with the Information School at the University of Washington and has been funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency creating strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
More about Dr. Head’s research and PIL is available at: http://projectinfolit.org/
Bill Thompson has been working in, on and around the Internet since 1984 and spends his time thinking, writing and speaking about the ways digital technologies are changing our world. A well-known technology journalist, he is Head of Partnership Development in the BBC’s Archive Development Group, building relationships with museums, galleries and other institutions around ways to make archive material more accessible, and a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art.
Bill appears weekly on Click on BBC World Service radio, writes a monthly column for Focus magazine and is an advisor to a range of arts and cultural organisations on their digital strategies. He is a member of the board of Writers’ Centre Norwich and of the Collections Trust, and was for many years a Trustee of the Cambridge Film Trust. He built and manages the Working for an MP website.
During the 1990′s Bill was Internet Ambassador for PIPEX, the UK’s first commercial ISP where he developed websites for Comic Relief, the Edinburgh Fringe and Anne Campbell MP, before moving to Guardian Newspapers as head of new media. He established the paper’s first website in 1994 and was responsible for many online projects including Eurosoccer.com in 1996.