We are pleased to announce that the Keynote Speaker for RAILS 2015 will be Professor Pam McKenzie, from the University of Western Ontario.
Professor McKenzie’s research focuses on the social practices of informing and the intersections between paid and unpaid work. She is currently working on three research projects. Two older projects are a) a study of communication among midwives and childbearing women and b) a study of library- and community-based early learning programmes for infants, toddlers, and caregivers. Her two newer projects are a) a study of everyday recordkeeping: how people “keep track” of things in their lives and b) a study of doctoral supervision in interdisciplinary environments.
This talk will take up three related concepts and the relationships among them. First, I will introduce two approaches to research on information needs, seeking, and use, one that thinks about these in relation to cognitively-based behaviours and the other conceives of them as socially and culturally contextualized practices. I will argue that the ways we talk about informing shapes the questions that both researchers and practitioners ask and seek to answer. Second, I will use my own research as a case study to show how practitioners’ work experience inform the questions researchers ask. Finally, I will discuss the ways that research on information needs, seeking, and use might inform professional practice in libraries and other information organizations.