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About Jenna Hartel

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist based in the field of library and information science. I conduct research in three areas: the history and theory of library and information science; information phenomena in serious leisure; and ethnography and visual research methods.
My academic career is organized around the question: What is the nature of information in the pleasures of life? I am investigating this matter through the concatenated study of serious leisure realms, which are crossroads of information and enjoyment. My empirical research explores the use and structure of leisure information on personal and social levels, and my dissertation is a case study of information phenomena in the hobby of gourmet cooking. I am a methodologist and practicing ethnographer with a particular interest in visual techniques. I take an interdisciplinary and international approach and maintain close ties with leisure studies and northern European information scholars. My goals are to generate basic knowledge about information in the pleasures of life; challenge existing ideas that have largely emerged from academic problem scenarios; establish positive models of organic, flourishing information environments; enliven classrooms with upbeat topics; and enrich the information experience for leisure enthusiasts.


Present Faculty of Information / iSchool, University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

information behaviour, serious leisure / hobbies, ethnography, and visual research methods

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Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright Fellowship

Contact Information

Faculty of Information
University of Toronto
140 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G6


History and Theory of Library and Information Science (20)

Information Phenomena in Serious Leisure (17)