Monthly Archives: September 2013

Week 4 – Information Perspective

My chosen research area surrounds intellectual freedom in the public library, and how that can conflict with homelessness. You need to be a member of the library in order to utilize all the services a library has to offer. To become a library member you must have a permanent address. If those without a permanent address are given the capabilities to become a member irrelevant of their circumstances, will they abuse their privileges? For example, if library services are extended to those without a permanent address, how do you hold an individual accountable in terms of borrowing library material? Will the general public feel reluctant to go to public libraries if homeless people are there as well?

According to the Canadian Library Association, “It is the responsibility of libraries to guarantee the right of free expression by making available all the library’s public facilities and services to all individuals and groups who need them.” A homeless person is just as much of a citizen to their community as someone who has a permanent address.

An information perspective definitely makes a difference in my chosen research area because it’s largely involved with intellectual freedom, and access to information for all. There is a huge issue of complete access to information is someone is denied access to a permanent library card. There are an abundance of information services a library provides, and in order to utilize these services, you must be a full library member. An example of a service, specifically applicable to homeless persons would be a resume workshop, or job skills workshop. These services could be extremely helpful to someone who does not have a job, but if you’re denied access to information by being denied membership, you cannot gain valuable knowledge from these informational workshops.

Victoria Grant


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Week 4 Blogging Question

My research question is: “what is the relationship between Facebook usage by university students and their satisfaction with, or enjoyment of, being a university student?” My proposed research has an information perspective in that it focuses on the transmission of information (using Facebook) among students, and then attempts to see if that flow of information is related to user satisfaction or enjoyment with respect to their university experience. I plan to conduct this research using Information Studies students at the University of Toronto.




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Week 4: Information Perspective

Hi Everyone,

My research question is to investigate the relationship between the availability of broadband technologies and the economic performance in a rural community in Canada. Particularly, I will be looking at a particular Aboriginal community in Canada as a case study.

Since I am investigating this research question from the information perspective, I will be focusing on the availability of Internet technology in general without going into any specifics, such as infrastructure, quality of service, cost of service, technical aspects of the broadband technologies. By doing this, I would be able to keep the variables under control. Furthermore, the availability of broadband technologies implies the flow and exchange of information to the businesses that may influence the economic growth in the community.

If this research question is conducted from an engineering perspective, the focus may then be on the technical components of the broadband technologies. If it is performed in the business context, the focus may be on the financial cost and benefit relationship between the broadband technologies and the economic growth in the rural community.


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I kinda wish I was more artistic…

That being said, I recognize where my weaknesses are. So I attempted to utilize MS words “smart art” but it would only let me use 7 of the topics that I determined would be important for my research topic. But before I show you, my rough topic/question is as follows: With the number of websites that have inspired social action in the last 5 years beginning to disappear, is it possible for these “pamphlets of the now” to be preserved in a meaningful way (the reference to “pamphlets of the now” is a rough reference to an interview with UofT head librarian, I have to go back through my course notes to find the proper citation)?

That done – and criticism welcome – here is the first daisy that MS let me make easily:

Digital Social Copyright Daisy 1.0These topics in and of themselves would probably make for a fairly interesting research lit review, but sadly they do not cover everything that I think I need to look into.

So, I made another one. This time I had to do a bunch of object editing, and it would have been easier if I had just done it with good old pen and paper, but here it is:

Digital Social Copyright Daisy 1.1Not quite as pretty, but actually looking like a daisy.

All of the topics I identified are as follows: Copyright, Ownership, Privacy, Corporate Policy, Social Media Corporations (meaning Facebook, Twitter etc governing body), Social Documents, Ephemeral Documents, Preservation of Digital Databases, Provenance of Digital Records, “Private” Records Management, Active/Passive “Collection”, Migration, Intention and Technology.

GAH, that’s 14 areas that I need to try to find material on. I suppose it is better to start with more and weed it down as I am actually able to do the research I would like to do.

That’s all for me.

Ben S.

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Week 3: bedraggled daisy

It is a magic daisy with a magnetic centre and ferrous petals which may be added and removed at will!

It is a magic daisy with a magnetic centre and ferrous petals which may be added and removed at will!

For this exercise I decided to take on the Doctor Who event I briefly described in my last post, focusing on the impact of online fan communities and social media on the relationships between content creators and their fans (which is at least in part opposed to the old paradigm in which fans are passive consumers of content, whose impact on the media they consume is largely determined by the bums in seats/voting with their feet model). Alas, I still do not have a clear research question – but as I investigate the literature, and rearrange my daisy that should either begin to come into focus, or guide me toward a more fertile topic and/or an area more relevant to the intellectual conversations going on nowadays in library and information science.


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Week 3 – Bedraggled Daisy

 Luker (2008) discusses the vast amount of information (e.g. literature, facts, data, etc.) that researchers in today’s society must sift through when preparing a literature review. Luker asserts that the preparation that goes into writing a literature review is ongoing and will face several revisions as you develop an in depth analysis of the literature related to your topic (p.61-62).

When there is so much information to sift through it can make the research process overwhelming especially since it would take years perhaps even decades to extensively read through the all the work published on a particular topic (54).  How do you even begin to determine the ways in way information has been classified or grouped?  Luker suggests that researchers need to be smart about how they approach research by expanding your ways in which you frame your thinking around a topic (82).  The degraggled daisy is definitely an exercise that aids greatly in framing your research.

When Luker writes, “Today, instead of human intelligence thoughtfully sifting through and coding all available information, we have tons of stuff out there, and no one has put a label on it, anywhere” (p.80). I feel like the “degraggled daisy” is one of the easiest ways to expand your thinking on a topic and make visual connections to concepts that you will explore when researching because the task encourages you to think through those connections establishing your own related labels/codes.

Alas! Here is my version of the “bedraggled daisy” inspired by Luker’s (2008) Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences.


It is an exercise that can seem daunting at the start but gets progressively easier as you start adding more and more petals to your daisy. Even as I uploaded my daisy I kept seeing more and more things I could add to it but I know at some point I am going to have to zoom in on a particular focus.  My next step is to think about the direction I am headed to as I start to consider shaping these research terms in to a well framed research question.

– Frieda




Luker, K. (2008) Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


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My Happy Little Daisy: Week 3

So, my research plan has developed since my first blog post. I remain firmly in the realm of digital humanities, but now I am examining a different element within it. As it is now, my research question is asking how government released open data is beng used to by the public to create applications and other items to be used by other citizens. I am interested in how groups of everyday citizens get together and use the data made avaivable by the Canadian government (generally at the municipal level) to create applications that make use of that data for the use of other citizens.

I’m particularly interested in the use of maps, data overlay techniques and visualizations that these groups use in order to create their products. So without further ado, here is my artistically challenged, but happy daisy.

What a sweet little daisy!

What a sweet little daisy!

I found this technique to be useful for thinking out my topics and its connections to other subjects. It’s odd how a simple thing like creating a drawing can help to arrange your thoughts. It seems worthwhile to me to keep drawing these as my research question continues to develop.

The Petals:

1) Citizens

2) Open data

3) Government

4) Civic engagement

5) Data overlay

6) Maps

7) Visualizations

8) Applications

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