INF1323H focuses on identifying and understanding what is “informational” in any setting. Students will develop sharpened vision to discern informational patterns, that is, an ability to trace what Bates (1999) calls the “red thread of information” pervading life. This metaperspective is unique to the academic discipline of Library and Information Science (LIS) and brings information resources, structures, systems, and behaviours into focus to enable and improve information provision. Each semester the aforementioned information phenomena will be critically examined in social contexts germaine to LIS, such as: reference service, readers’ advisory, scholarly knowledge production, and hobby careers, among others. Theoretical and methodological tools will be introduced to help participants understand these information environments as socially-constructed, patterned, knit-together, and dynamic. As the semester unfolds, students will refine their observational and analytical skills by conducting an exploratory Research Project about the information experience within a setting or population of personal interest or career relevance, which can serve as the starting point for lifelong learning and a concatenated research career.
Effective fall 2017