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New Views of Information
Conceptions of Library and Information Science (2013)
  • Jenna Hartel
  • Jens-Erik Mai
  • Pamela McKenzie
  • Michael Ollson

For a century "information" has been theorized and defined by information scientists and yet its nature remains obscure and highly contested. This alternative event provides "new views" -- actual images -- of information that have emerged from an empirical research project. Employing a visual data-gathering method known as the draw-and-write technique, 137 research participants were asked “What is information?” and responded by drawing upon a 4" by 4" piece of paper, coined an information square or iSquare, for short. The drawings of information were analyzed using compositional and thematic analysis techniques adapted from precedent visual studies. The results of the research include the identification of the most common graphical representations used to express information, as well as three themes pertaining to the social, technological, and "informational" dimensions of information. This alternative event utilizes the iSquare study and its outcomes as a springboard to imagine and discuss the nature of information today. The title, "New Views of Information," has myriad referents: the diverse images of information displayed in the iSquares (Figure 1), the multidisciplinary perspectives of the invited experts on the panel, and the spontaneous discoveries of CoLIS attendees who participate and draw their own iSquare. Three separate elements are included: 1. Presentation/Panel (Monday, August 19, 11:00-12:30) [Includes an overview of the project; demonstration of the data-gathering method; comments from three invited experts; and audience discussion (90 minutes)] 2. iSquare Exhibit (Available throughout CoLIS) [An artful display of the original 137 iSquares] 3. Hands-on Activity (Available throughout CoLIS) [An opportunity for all to draw an iSquare and contribute to the iSquare Exhibit]

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Jenna Hartel, Jens-Erik Mai, Pamela McKenzie and Michael Ollson. "New Views of Information" Conceptions of Library and Information Science (2013)
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