What is PIL?
Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a national and ongoing series of research studies that investigates what it is like being a college student in the digital age. We seek to understand how college students find and use information -- their needs, strategies, practices, and workarounds -- for course work and solving information problems that arise in their everyday lives.
To learn more, read PIL's FAQ, a summary of our research findings, or one of our opinion pieces, such as "At Sea in a Deluge of Data" from The Chronicle of Higher Education, or a recent essay we wrote about solutions for today's post-truth era, "The Importance of Truth Workers in an Era of Factual Recession."
PIL AT A GLANCE
Director: Dr. Alison J. Head
Purpose: PIL is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit conducting an ongoing academic study about how early adults conceptualize and operationalize information tasks in the digital age.
Volunteer Sample: See the 250+ community colleges, public colleges and universities, and private colleges and universities in the U.S. that have already joined the PIL volunteer sample. Read the FAQ about how your institution can join the sample, too.
Contributing Supporters have included:
In our most recent research study, we asked what are the best practices for planning and designing learning spaces in academic libraries, and how are students' learning needs being met today?
Read our December 2016 research report, based on interviews with 49 architects, librarians, and library consultants who led a total of 22 academic library projects in the U.S. and Canada.
Need an overview with major findings? Then, read the 2-page summary or read media coverage about the study that appeared in Inside Higher Education.
IN THE WORKS
We are working on developing an online toolkit that lets adult public library users create and customize reading list they can use for continued learning.
We call this online tool the Reading List for Life. Development and design is happening in a collaborative, two-year project between PIL, the metaLAB (at) Harvard, and the Open Syllabus Project at Columbia University.
What is exciting for us is the new tool leverages PIL’s recent research study on lifelong learning, and our some of our solutions for meeting the learning needs of 18 to 60+ year old public library users.
Funding has been generously provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Templeton Foundation.
After spending last spring conducting student focus groups, we are in the first stages of thinking through a large-scale student study about post-truth, news consumption, and college students. Stay tuned!
New research opportunity from PIL: Our fledgling visiting researcher program seeks an institutional host for 2017/18!
"Posing the million-dollar question: What happens after graduation?" Alison J. Head, Journal of Information Literacy, June 5, 2017, Vol. 11, No. 1: 80-90.
"The Importance of Truth Workers in an Era of Factual Recession," Alison Head and John Wihbey, Medium, April 8, 2017.
"Dr. Alison Head Awarded First S.T. Lee Library Lecture," Harvard Libraries, April 12, 2017.
S. T. Lee Library Leadership and Innovation Lecture
Alison Head | 2017 Awardee
Thursday, September 7, 2017