What is PIL?
Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a nonprofit research institute that conducts ongoing, national studies on what it is like being a student in the digital age. To learn more, read PIL's FAQ or a summary of our key research findings.
The report from our yearlong study of students and their news engagement practices, commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Association of College and Research Libraries, is available here.
PIL AT A GLANCE
Director: Dr. Alison J. Head
Purpose: PIL is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit institute that conducts ongoing, scholarly research about how young adults conceptualize and carry out information tasks in the digital age.
Volunteer Sample: See the 260+ community colleges, public colleges and universities, and private colleges and universities in the U.S. that have already joined. Read the FAQ about how your institution can join the sample.
Visiting Research Scholar Program: The institutional site for the 2018/19 PIL Visiting Research Scholar Program is the University of Pittsburgh University Library System (ULS).
Support for PIL research efforts has included:
News Engagement Study
In October 2018, we released our latest report, "How students engage with news." The open access report, public survey
dataset, and video are all available on news study page.
Our mixed methods study was conducted in partnership with faculty at Northeastern University and Wellesley College. Our study is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and with a grant from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the largest division of the American Library Association (ALA).
Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and Northeastern University Libraries and College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) contributed support.
>> Read the press release
>> Watch the findings video (2:35 mins.)
>> Read media coverage of the study
"What's New Podcast": Dan Cohen talks to Alison Head and John Wihbey about PIL's study on college students and news engagement, posting date: March 5, 2019.
"'I use good sources when it counts for school, but am lazier at home': The critical divide between young adults’ academic and personal news engagement behaviors," Information Literacy Summit, Moraine Community College (IL), April 5, 2019. Presenter: Erica DeFrain.
"Freedom of information and personal data: Big Tech should take cues from public libraries," Barbara Fister, Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 9, 2019.
"Reading blogs to learn: Seeking knowledge from a community of strangers," Margy MacMillan, EdTech Researcher, Education Week, November 20, 2017.
"Why blogs endure: A study of recent college graduates and motivations for blog readership," Alison J. Head, Michele Van Hoeck, and Kirsten Hostetler, First Monday, October 2, 2017, Vol, 22, No. 10.