Searching for Context: Modeling the Information-Seeking Process of College Students in the Digital Age

Alison Head, a Berkman Center fellow and lead researcher for Project Information Literacy, will be speaking at Wasserstein Hall at the Harvard Law School on Tuesday, January 10th, at 12:30 PM. Her talk, “Searching for Context: Modeling the Information-Seeking Process of College Students in the Digital Age,” is based on an ongoing study at the University of Washington’s Project Information Literacy, in which 10,000 students+ at 40 colleges and universities were surveyed to discover how college students find information and conduct research. One discovery of the study is that many students are “lost in a thicket of information overload… struggl[ing] with managing the IT devices that permeate their lives.”

The talk will be webcast live at 12:30 PM ET on the 10th, and archived on the Berkman Center site shortly thereafter. If you’re in the Cambridge area and want to attend in person, just go to this form to RSVP.

I’m fascinated to learn that students are not managing “the IT devices that permeate their lives” well, since so many library services are being re-tooled to be usable on the wide spectrum of IT devices students might possibly use. One more reason why I think it’s important to work with one’s own student body to discover what they use (or want to use) to access our services and sources, and develop systems to meet those needs rather than “perceived” needs of what’s hot at the moment.

More as it happens,

Cheryl LaGuardia About Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia always wanted to be a librarian, and has been one for more years than she's going to admit. She cracked open her first CPU to install a CD-ROM card in the mid-1980's, pioneered e-resource reviewing for Library Journal in the early 90's (picture calico bonnets and prairie schooners on the web...), won the Louis Shores / Oryx Press Award for Professional Reviewing, and has been working for truth, justice, and better electronic library resources ever since. Reach her at, where she's a Research Librarian at Harvard University.