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.
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:
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.
IN THE WORKS
We are developing an app that lets public library users create and customize reading lists they can use for continued learning.
We call this reader advisory tool the Reading List for Life. This work is occurring in a collaborative, two-year project between PIL, the metaLAB (at) Harvard, and the Open Syllabus Project at Columbia University.
Funding has been generously provided by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Templeton Foundation.
Based on our 2017 student focus groups at five US colleges and universities, we are currently applying for funding from a large-scale study on information practices among young news consumers. Stay tuned!
"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 J. Head and John Wihbey, Medium, April 8, 2017.
"What's New" Podcast with Dan Cohen
Guests: Alison J. Head & John Wihbey
Snell Library, Boston, MA
Wednesday, Sept., 6, 11 a.m. - noon
"Navigating the information landscape: What first-year students at Harvard can teach us"| Alison J. Head
S. T. Lee Library Leadership and Innovation Lecture | Lamont Library
Harvard Library, Cambridge, MA
Thursday, Sept. 7, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
The Ideathon: Small group discussion about creating the Reading List for Life
Metropolitan New York Library Council
New York City | Oct. 20, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.