IS264 Week 2 Class Notes

In Uncategorized


expert to generalist

sources of info versus behavior

system to user

lack of theory base

MT: dynamic

experts are institutionalized they have power
out preoccupation with sources has been reliant on so-called experts
maker spaces and DIY, other non-traditional collections, this is kind of an admission that the expertise is sometimes out in the world, not in the instzitution
how can we functions in between
field too general focusing on large groups, not contextualized, now swinging to too specific and small samples


pendulum swings, and can be seen parallel to technological swings
we risk losing the ability to do both quant and qual
the debate is: is generalization possible if IS moves to be strictly humanist
cognitive viewpoint is tha there is something common across us all: if we could just understand the operationso f our physiology and enough, we could get answers to the things/phenomena we can't explain

brain vs. mind
our ability to know that we know; to perceive and learn
reductionist/materialist scientists say we can figure it out by understanding biophysiology-->all of these terms emanate out of different brain states
cognitivist-->there is sthg beyond simply how we're built; interested in behavior; they believe there are such things as minds that are more than the sum of the parts of synaptic firing
the internal/external distinction; at the end of the day, our experiences/internal states are not immediately communicable to anyone else
brain scientists say it's all similar brain function and we'll be able to predict internal states
others say we don't have any immediate acess, so we depend on language, social rituals, organizing, signals
it's a debate whether that internal experience is truly an object of study that we can tktk about

if i observe people over and over again, I can see patterns (empirical observation)
brain scans/positron imaging patterns (empirical observation)
experience of the seeker, however, can't be accessed externally

the question is can you infer from that mapping onto what a person experiences?

research methods (quant/cognitivist/generalized to qual/humanist/localized)
sample as generalizable versus descriptive
disciplines (experts are everywhere)
theory (
society (nation, state-->individual)
seekers' internal environment-->is generalization possible? then we have to ask why the field (or should the field) exist

Many more researchers are studying the aspects of time, space, and situation that make a difference in the ways people create, encounter perceive, ignore, seek, and use information.

Tech doesn't induce knowing
this has been the fastest collapse of any instructional undertaking of any
life is active, analog, and accumulative. because life is analog, we have to develop ways to tktk (from Rice)
shift in the understanding that technology doesn't mean access
the idea that providing an affordance or a system translates into use, is wrong-->the problem that poses is to get out of that system-centricity
in the DNA of this field, if your main charge is the collection, sorting, judgment, evaluation, storage, circulation of documents, you have a big pragmatic problem
so of course, IS is going to be focused on material devices, on spaces, and systems for organizing, classifying, and retrieving, so there is a tendency to privilege that<--that's the critique; as teh format changes, we have to think about the structural limitations
MT: the time lag for research is a problem, then
one of the real challenges, at any given time in any given culture, our tks depend entirely on what we know how to do
Leazer-->the is a cloud of entities around a creative work; have to be able to reconceptualize our ways of reordering the world
MT: when you think of the resistance to change as well as the academic lag, openness to new ideas is challenged even more

once we have means of capture, etc., and practices along with all that, it gets embedded and is hard to change, partially because it works
productivity paradox
system changes was one of the first objections

with faster cycles of upgrades and updates, you get more down time-->once you're fluent with a technology, you want to stay with it; if not given the opportunity,
don't have to be mutually exclusive
like with the MOOCs: one hand, even people who embrace change and want to be informed and use it well are facing those who have unrealistic expectations of what it can achieve, as well as those who are complete skeptics
MT: this is why mixed methods are key

those who are so worried about losing control-->maybe that's why hacktivism attracts so much attn
crowdsourcing endangers this control

maybe I can gear my work toward power dynamics and how technology challenges the institutional aspects of control-->not original, but there's something there
law, business
the whole idea of locking down culture and machines-->that's orthogonally opposite the design of the technology
it all comes down to the tension between the idea that ideas are thought of as a commons, but economics says otherwise
Markets are in play, and that doesn't lend itself to our field easily
MT: we have to rethink the mechanism for delivery of social goods; need alternative models
MT: i wonder where happiness studies come in to this; mission-driven versus profit-driven organizations
like the big-box church
literature in mgmt on non-profits book: Stewardship; Drucker, of course

objective to subjective intellectual trend: information science and librarianship has been challenged as we increasingly have to deal more with the subjective; used to deal with objective knowledge and authority; the idea that knowledge is out there in the world/very enlightenment; in recent decades we've has apushback against that heavy emphasis on objectiveness being the "best" kind of knowledge; the idea of subjectivity in epistemology was one of the motives behind the founding of anthropology; in the middle of the 20th century, hard move to quantification to bring us status. objective knowledge claims lead to funding=power;

the deluge of documents
prior to then, we had documents and we had knowledge; didn't use the term "information"
objectivity as an ideal for knowledge has been a very strong influence; now there's been a shift that must be acknowledged
MT: this is just like the academic family opening to the art major declaration
cognitivism-->social constuctivism (Olsson piece) the problem with this article is that there are plenty of cognitive psychologists who are constructivist--it's not black and white
"need" is problematic-->information behavior may arise “more from selected interests and cultural expertise than a lack of

MT: there is room in the field for sense making as well as qualitative view
social constructivism has to do with the ways we understand the world filtered thru our interactions with others; the necessity of engaging is what allows us to make sense; Dervin's sense making methodology; on eof the difficulties is that she never makes up her mind whether it is a theory or a method; but it's a powerful heuristic approach-->we look for gaps and people themselves search to fill the gap

MT: it's kind of the tension bt numbers and feelings
Power is a part of the context and if power can be quantified, then the two extremes must meet; current social technology hasn't changed anything, but it has amplified the visibility and speed

Dervin on advice networks and their import in people's general knowledge

For any concept that we want to observe, quantifiable data exists-->triangulation to fill in between qualitative immersion and the patterns that must be measured
MT: power is the intercept where IS must live

Themes in Literature Reviews of Info Skkg and Use Research

  • Numerous studies have been conducted but theory-building is weak; theory often borrowed from other fields (Rohde 1986: 57); lacking generalizability
  • Past tendency to view needs as a function of demographics and social group variables giving wway to a "cognitive" or "constructivist" emphasis on the individual user, most recently to a focus on social context
    • Ask if there is a lack of fit bt the structure/systems and the search process? is the "right way" not meeting the needs of the individual?
  • Increasing calls to consider the situatedness of information seeking (Rhode's "situation theory" and Taylor's "info use environments")
  • Definitions of information continue to stress "uncertainty reduction" (i.e., based in information theory); "transfer" still a key metaphor
    • remains a tendency to think of information seeking as seeking some "thing"
    • goal directedness is a key tkttk
    • MT: the problem is that studies of goal-seeking info seeking don't account for cumulative tacit knowledge; Brookes tried to address this from the thinking about knowledge structure; affects conditions and decision making-->that tacit knowledge only rises to the surface when we're in unfamiliar situations; prompts the reassessment of our own taken-for-granteds
    • MT: interesting study would be to explore study abroad programs and how this happens and how it affects perspectives
  • Seeking often presumed to be purposive, rational (at least nounded rationality), "satisficing" of individual need
    • rationalist approach is idealized in the literature; advice seeking is different
  • Face-to-face ("oral") communication is consistently cited as essential, though no systematic research has examined its relationship to information ":need", use or retrieval from systems; increased interest in relation bt seekers and IT
  • The notion of "need" may be problematic as a central construct, similar to other psychological needs (Rhode 1986: 53); denotes dependency, desperation, stigma, deficiency, unequal power relations


Clara Chu studied who is allowed to seek information
Older folks would go to the library with young relatives
immigrant children mediators
very interesting power dynamic; the affect is interesting
so demographics have a lot to do with who is allowed to get information
different cultures have different answers to that question
MT: this relates to my look at surgical waiting lounge-->who is entitled to the information about the patient and what are the assumptions of the physicians, the intermediaries, etc.

Case says that a lot of this research is behavior driven, but organized by the categories of demographics, professional roles, or community situations
so your traits drive your behavior; Leah says that to a certain extent, this is the case
an interesting thing that Rice introduces, though, he recasts this from a power perspective and talks about elites versus non-elites
one of the things that we do really well in cultutral organizations is serve elites; we know that most patrons of libraries are educated, have higher incomes, etc. further up the scale relative the the rest of the population; cultural consumers/culturally aware
differences bt elites and non-elites
Schment: the funny thing is, in his experience, elites don't necessarily need information as much as middle class
the idea that if you're wealthy enough you really don't need to go to college; the "MRS" degree
at a certain level, super wealthy, that are not really well-educated-->it's remarkable how little they know bout the world, unlike people coming from a less elite status/middle class status, who has to work/struggle; we've neglected trades education at our peril