Dear Colleagues,

Please join us for Research Day at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS), as part of the University of British Columbia’s “Celebrate Research Week” tomorrow, Friday, March 11th.   This event will take place from 11 am – 4 pm in the Nass Reading Room, fourth floor of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall.

The theme of this year’s event is “Information Artefacts and the Human Experience.”  We have over 45 Masters and Doctoral students, faculty, and colleagues sharing their work, which will be organized in a poster session and three presentation sessions.  The presentation sessions are grouped thematically: information access, challenges in the digital era, and human-information interaction.  In addition, new Director Caroline Haythornthwaite will give a keynote address, “Variation on a Theme of Artefacts” (see abstract below).

Registration will open at 10:30 am.  There will be coffee breaks and a light lunch provided.  To ensure your spot, please rsvp to: [log in to unmask]

For more information, please contact Dr. Heather O’Brien, Research Day Organizer at [log in to unmask] The programme is attached with this email to see the schedule for the day and learn more about the work being presented. Hope to see you there!  

Keynote Address Abstract: 
Some classic papers in information science have asked provocative questions about artifacts, from Langdon Winner’s “Do artifacts have politics?” to Bruno Latour’s “Which politics for which artifacts?” and more recently the question by Michael Gurstein: “Is Facebook a human right?”. While the media points to the obvious and visible examples of ICT artifacts – mobile and smart phones, laptops and tablets, social networking sites – others point to their invisibility, e.g., in hidden technology support infrastructures (Bowker et al, 2010; Star, 1999; Star & Bowker, 2002), the way familiar technologies disappear from visibility with use (Bruce & Hogan, 1998), and the ‘invisible work’ associated with old and new technologies (Star & Strauss, 1999). While it has been said that in information systems research “IT artifacts are either absent, black-boxed, abstracted from social life, or reduced to surrogate measures” (Orlikowski & Iacono, 2003), other areas of research have given attention to the artifact, from the way IT systems can act as boundary objects (Star & Griesemer, 1989; Star, 2010), to how artifacts can be read as texts (Woolgar, 1991; Swales, 1998), and more recently how Internet information landscapes and interface artifacts can be read as political landscapes (Zook, 2009; Brock, 2009; Brock, Kvasny & Hales, in press; Noble, under review). As we hurtle forward with information and communication technologies implementations, it continues to be important to ask about and understand the impact of IT and ICT artifacts. Of growing interest and concern are the information artifacts spawned by technology. Zuboff’s (1988) prescient recognition that ‘when you automate you informate’ now stretches to the use of information and communication technologies as each online keystroke, information retrieval, product examination, and posting feeds into a giant data stream, ready and available for analysis and mining. This presentation will discuss approaches to the study of artifacts with attention to perspectives useful for the study and understanding of information artifacts.
Dr. Heather O'Brien
Assistant Professor
School of Library, Archival and Information Studies (SLAIS) University of British Columbia Vancouver BC
Tel: 604-822-6365
Fax: 604-822-6006
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Michelle Mallette, MLIS
Student Services Coordinator
School of Library, Archival & Information Studies The University of British Columbia Irving K. Barber Learning Centre 470 - 1961 East Mall Vancouver BC  V6T 1Z1 Canada Applying to SLAIS? Have questions? Join our next Virtual Open House on Thursday March 31!
604.822.2461 (direct)
604.822.6006 (fax)
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