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Sig-USE Academy of Fellows

SIG USE Academy of Fellows Inductees

Denise Agosto |
Professor, Drexel University

It is our great pleasure to announce the recipient of the 2018 SIG-USE Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Research Award, Dr. Denise Agosto. Candidates are nominated by their peers for this prestigious award and the selection is made by a jury comprised of two past SIG-USE Chairs and one previous winner.

Dr. Agosto is a Professor and Director of the MSLIS Program at the College of Computing & Informatics, Drexel University. Her research focuses on youth information behaviors, public libraries, multicultural issues in youth library services, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Agosto is one of the foremost experts in our field focusing on youth information behavior. She teaches courses squarely situated at the intersection of people and information, including Social Aspects of Information Systems, Information Resources & Services, Social & Professional Aspects of Information Service, Library Programming, Public Library Service, Storytelling & Digital Storytelling, Resources for Children, and Resources for Young Adults. Dr. Agosto also teaches Qualitative Research Methods.

Over the past two decades, Dr. Agosto has made significant contributions to the field of information behavior, authoring/co-authoring three books, close to 20 book chapters, more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and innumerable conference papers. Her work is well-respected and highly cited. Her most highly cited work appeared in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T) in 2002: “Bounded rationality and satisficing in your people’s Web-based decision making.” Dr. Agosto also serves on many editorial boards, including: Journal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults; Information and Learning Sciences; Advances in Librarianship; Library Quarterly; Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice; Journal of Information Technology Education: Research; and Children’s Literature in Education.


Dania Bilal |
Professor, University of Tennessee

It is our great pleasure to announce the recipient of the SIGUSE Outstanding Contribution to Information Behaviour Award, Dr. Dania Bilal.

Dr. Bilal is Professor at the School of Information Sciences (SIS), University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research focuses on children’s cognitive and affective information behavior in using and interacting with information retrieval systems, and is situated at the intersection of information retrieval, information behavior, and human-computer interaction. She is one of the foremost experts in our field on children’s and youth’s information seeking and retrieval, and is one of the top 1% most cited researchers worldwide in this area. She conducts her work with young and older children nationally and internationally in schools, libraries and computer lab settings.

Dr. Bilal has contributed significantly to the field of information behaviour for the past two decades with more than 70 publications. Her most highly cited work appeared in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIS&T) in 2000 on “Children’s use of the Yahooligans! Web search engine: I. Cognitive, physical, and affective behaviors on fact-based search tasks.” She is co-editor of Information and Emotion: The Emergent Affective Paradigm in Information Behavior Research and Theory (Information Today, Inc., 2007) with Diane Nahl, and New Directions in Children’s and Adolescents’ Information Behavior Research (Emerald Publishing, 2014) with Jamshid Beheshti. Information and Emotion was awarded the ASIS&T SIG USE Book-of-the-Year Award in 2008. In 2014 she won a Google Research Award with Jacek Gwizdka (University of Texas-Austin) for their research project titled, Child-friendly search engine results pages (SERPs): Towards better understanding of Google search results readability by children. She has been recognized with two Research Achievement Awards (2003, 2007) by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. A 2017 article published in Aslib Journal of Information Management put Dr. Bilal among the top 10 most influential researchers in information behavior worldwide. (Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69 (2),215-22, 2017).

Dr. Bilal teaches courses in information access and retrieval, human-computer interaction, Web mining, information systems design and implementation, and research methods. Recently, Dr. Bilal guided the development of the Youth Informatics Certificate program at the School of Information Science and developed a new Seminar in Youth Informatics course. In 2007 she was awarded the Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Teaching Excellence Award.
Dr. Bilal has served as mentor to doctoral students at both ASIS&T Annual Doctoral Colloquium and iConference Doctoral Colloquium.

Dr. Bilal has been active in SIGUSE and ASIS&T for many years. She served as Chair of SIGUSE in 2002-2003, and in 2003 the SIG was awarded “SIG-of-the-Year” by ASIS&T. Last year, Dr. Bilal was elected to the ASIS&T Board of Directors as Director-at-Large and appointed to ASIS&T 80th Anniversary Advisory Group, and to the Board’s International Relations Committee as liaison. She is the co-Chair of panels and workshops of this year’s annual meeting.

Karen Fisher |
Professor, University of Washington

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Fisher is the 2016 recipient of the ASIS&T SIG USE Outstanding Contribution Award. Dr. Fisher is a well-known contributor in the field of Information Behavior, as well as other interdisciplinary areas. She is a strong advocate for humanitarian rights and causes, as shown through her work with young people in a range of contexts. Her forthcoming MIT Press chapter on the Information Worlds of refugees adds to the international ICT literature on fieldwork in conflict zones and how displaced people experience information and technology. In addition to information seeking behavior among older adults, professionals, teens, and migrant farmers, she has long researched information and technological use of young people, and co-led the InfoMe project, exploring how young people serve as ICT wayfarers or intermediaries on behalf of others. Her current research focuses on the UNHCR Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, where she employs multiple methods to enrich our understanding of displaced people in the EU as well as how people, particularly youth, use information and technology.
She has developed new theories focused on how professionals seek information, information flow in communities, and mis- and dis-information. Her Information Grounds framework illuminates how people experience information in informal social settings, and stands as one of the few place-based frameworks created in our field. In 2010, Dr. Fisher co-led the U.S. Impact Study on the benefits of public access technology in libraries. Her research in Information Behavior offers an example for aspiring researchers in the field.
As a past Chair, Dr. Fisher has long supported SIG USE. She co-edited the SIG USE / ASIS&T publication Theories of Information Behavior, which continues to be the organization’s top selling book, featuring in teaching and research internationally.
Dr. Fisher is a professor at the University of Washington’s iSchool in Seattle, and a visiting professor at Newcastle University Open Lab in the United Kingdom and the Abo Academie University in Finland. She serves as a consultant for UNHCR Jordan.

Sanda Erdelez |
Professor, University of Missouri

It is our great pleasure to announce that Dr. Sanda Erdelez has been chosen as the 2015 ASIS&T SIG USE Award Winner for Outstanding Contribution to Information Behavior Research. Dr. Erdelez’s work on opportunistic discovery of information has had an ongoing and significant impact in the field of information behaviour research. Her Information Encountering Model is highly cited and has changed how we think about incidental information acquisition. Her contributions to the SIG USE Symposium on theoretical frameworks, followed by her role as co-editor (with Karen Fisher and Lynne McKechnie) of the book Theories of Information Behavior, has had a remarkable influence on information behavior research. The founding Director of the Information Experience Lab at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, Dr. Erdelez is now Chair of the Library and Information Science Program. Dr. Erdelez has worked on research projects funded by the US National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Dell Corporation and Southwest Bell.
We are pleased to honor Dr. Erdelez with the 2015 ASIS&T SIG USE Outstanding Contribution to Information Behavior Research Award. As a recipient of this Award, Dr. Erdelez was also inducted into the ASIS&T SIG USE Academy of Fellows.

Gary Marchionini | Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

It is my great pleasure to announce that Professor Gary Marchionini has been chosen as the 2014 ASIS&T SIG USE Award Winner for Outstanding Contribution to Information Behavior Research. Dr. Marchionini’s work on Information interaction and human-centered computing has made significant contributions to the field of information behavior research, incorporating the understanding of information seeking process, user search behavior, and usability principles to the development of interactive information retrieval system interfaces. His 1995 book Information Seeking in Electronic Environments has had a remarkable influence on information behavior research, especially with the presentation of information seeking process and subprocesses models. Over the years, Dr. Marchionini’s numerous research and scholarly publications related to interfaces that support information seeking and information retrieval, usability of personal health records, multimedia browsing strategies, and digital libraries have played an important role in advancing information behavior research. Dr. Marchionini’s international impact on the information behavior, seeking and use field is also seen in his work as the editor for the Morgan-Claypool Synthesis Series of lectures/monographs on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services.
Dr. Marchionini served as President (2009-10) of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. He is the Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
We are pleased to honor Dr. Marchionini with the 2014 ASIS&T SIG USE Outstanding Contribution to Information Behavior Research Award. As a recipient of this Award, Dr. Marchionini will also be inducted into the ASIS&T SIG USE Academy of Fellows.

Nick Belkin | Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University

Nick Belkin is a pioneering researcher who has introduced the concept of “information seeking behavior” to the of field information retrieval and has informed researchers outside the field of information behavior about our field and how information behavior research can have important implications for designing and developing information retrieval systems. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Belkin on his many years of important contributions to the study of human information behavior and on receiving the 2013 Outstanding Contributions to Information Behavior Award.


Donald Case | Professor, University of Kentucky

Donald Case has been interested in studies of information behavior for over 30 years–since his days as a Master’s student at Syracuse University. He is the author of over 40 journal articles on information seeking, information technology and other topics. Case’s book, “Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior” (2002) was given the “Best Book of the Year” Award by the American Society for Information Science & Technology. A third edition of “Looking” will appear in spring of 2012.

During 2008-2009, Donald was President of the ASIST, and currently serves on the Editorial Board for JASIS&T. He has held the post of Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Studies since 1994. Before joining UK Case was a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1983 to 1994. During 1989 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to lecture at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, and during fall of 2011 he will enjoy another short-term Fulbright lectureship at three Finnish universities.

Although Prof. Case is not able to attend our annual awards ceremony on Wednesday October 12, Prof. Barbara Wildemuth, last year’s recipient, will be accepting on his behalf. Please join us in welcoming Donald Case to the SIG USE Academy of Fellows.


Barbara Wildemuth | Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, University of North Carolina

Dr. Barbara Wildemuth has been instrumental in SIG-USE from its origins, helping to found the SIG and becoming the first Chair of SIG-USE in 1999.  In 2001, Dr. Wildemuth, Ann Peterson Bishop and Ruth Palmquist organized the first SIG/USE Research Symposium, with the theme Effective Methods for Studying Information Seeking and Use.

Dr. Wildemuth’s research interests are primarily related to people’s use of information and information technologies. In particular, her past research have included investigations of people’s interactions with surrogates for video materials, medical students’ searching of online databases, law students’ use of a Web-based database of legal resources, and the effects of different interface designs on the effectiveness of database use.  In 2009 Dr. Wildemuth published a guide to research methodologies Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library Science.

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Elfreda Chatman | Deceased. Professor, Florida State University

Following her academic training, Dr. Elfreda A. Chatman was a respected member of the faculty at three universities, beginning her career at Louisiana State University in 1983, spending twelve years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between 1986 and 1998, and ending her career at Florida State University from 1998 until her death in 2002.

Bringing a set of qualitative approaches rooted in ethnography and sociology to bear on her interest in the daily lives of the economically marginalized, Chatman’s career was devoted to developing robust conceptualizations of the ways in which people in specific social contexts interacted with and used information, whether by seeking it out, encountering it in one way or another during social interaction, or even employing strategies to avoid it.  Her series of middle-range theories moved from a tight focus on highly constrained social settings and information poverty – true “small worlds” – to, late in her life, a realization that the concepts making up her theories had application not only in constrained social settings but elsewhere as well.  She also found that they could help explain a wide range of information behaviors in specific social settings of all kinds, from the most impoverished to the most privileged.


Raya Fidel  | Professor, University of Washington

Dr. Raya Fidel brings expertise in the fields of information seeking behavior, information storage and retrieval, and knowledge organization.  She was among the first researchers in library and information science to employ qualitative methods in which the investigator collects data when they occur in natural settings.  Dr. Fidel has applied the Cognitive Work Analysis framework to study information seeking in various communities from high school students searching the Web to design engineers working collaboratively to solve information problems.

Dr. Fidel is also the director of the Center for Human-Information Interaction at the University of Washington.  Though the Center, she is working on a project to obtain a better understanding of the impacts and use of wireless applications in government.


Karen Fisher | Professor, University of Washington

Dr. Karen E. Fisher is a Professor in the Information School and Chair of The Information & Society Center (ISC) at the University of Washington.  Dr. Fisher’s contributions to the field of information behavior research the many ways in which people experience information as part of their everyday life. In this context, Dr. Fisher established the concept of “information grounds” that emphasizes the interpersonal aspects of information behavior and the role of informal social settings in information flow.

Dr. Fisher has published peer-reviewed research articles in prestigious LIS publications such as, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, The Library Quarterly, Library & Information Science Research, and Information Research, and received 2008 ALA Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research. She also co-authored and co-edited 5 monographs related to information behavior research, including Theories of Information Behavior, a collaborative product of more than 70 international researchers.


Catherine Ross | Adjunct Professor, University of Western Ontario

Dr. Catherine Ross is a distinguished scholar in library and information science whose research into the human side of information behavior and library use has had widespread impact for practitioners and researchers alike.   Dr. Ross has been among the most successful LIS researchers in integrating her teaching and research.  This has created a positive “ripple effect,” with her classroom teaching supporting and being supported by her research, which she has in turn been adapted as training materials and programs for librarians in the field.

This synergy is most evident in three areas of research: the reference interview, evaluating the reference transaction, and reading for pleasure.   Dr. Ross’s current research includes a study to understand the experience of pleasure-reading from the perspective of the readers themselves. The goal of her research is to examine the complexity and subjectivity of the reading experience and bring the voices of readers into the dialogue on reading.

Tom Wilson | Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield

At Sheffield, Dr. Wilson worked to establish the innovative Centre for Research in User Studies, one of the earliest study groups focused on information use and uses.  At the same time, he worked on several information needs studies for various social service agencies in Britain, building on what was then an emergent user-centered approach.  Dr. Wilson’s efforts to synthesize theory on information acquisition and use, his articulations of the nature of information needs, and his helpful models of information behavior have all had significant influences on contemporary studies of information interactions.

Professor Wilson has been a strong force in the establishment of important associations, including the European Association for Library and Information Education and Research.  He is also among the founders of the Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) conferences, and has been an early and consistent proponent of applying context metatheory in information research.

Robert Taylor | Deceased.  Dean Emeritus, Syracuse University

Dr. Robert S. Taylor published numerous scholarly works, including two seminal pieces “Question-Negotiation and Information-Seeking in Libraries” (1967) and Value Added Processes in Information Systems (1986).  In the later work, Dr. Taylor developed a framework for evaluating the quality of an information system from the user perspective.

Dr. Taylor served as president of ASIS&T in 1968 and was the recipient of the 1992 Award of Merit and the 1972 ASIS&T Best Information Science Book Award for The Making of a Library.  As Dean of Syracuse University, one of his most memorable accomplishments was changing the name of the school from library science to information studies, a precursor to the iSchool movement.

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Reijo Savolainen | Professor, University of Tampere, Finland

Dr. Reijo Savolainen’s major area of research is everyday life information seeking (ELIS). In the mid-1990s, based on an empirical study, he developed the model of ELIS that provides a holistic framework for social, cultural and psychological factors affecting people´s source preferences in everyday contexts. In particular, the model suggests that a person´s way of life and main type of mastery of life, make it understandable how people prefer, select and use information sources in non-work contexts such as leisure and solving health problems. Importantly, the model draws attention to the fact that the study of information seeking should not be confined to job-related contexts. The investigation of information needs, seeking, and use in non-work contexts is essential to a full understanding of personal situations.

Dr. Savolainen continues the elaboration of the conceptual and empirical questions of everyday life information practices. His recent research interests focus on information use as an information practice. He is also interested in the role of the forums of the social web in the context of everyday information practices, specifically  the socio-culturally constituted and relatively established (habitualized) ways to seek, use and share information in the context of furthering everyday projects.

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Brenda Dervin | Professor, Ohio State University

Dr. Brenda Dervin’s research focuses on information needs and seeking, the design of communication systems that respond to human needs, applied communication theory, and philosophic and critical/cultural applications to communication and information studies.  Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology and approach focuses on users’ cognitive and emotional beings and how they make sense of their worlds. It has been applied in studies of user information behavior, information seeking, and in uses of media and communication systems.

Dr. Dervin is a professor at the School of Communication where her teaching focuses on the implementation of a communication-based philosophy of communication practice.  In a recent study, Dr. Dervin applyed a meta-theoretically derived approach to focus groups which was informed by her Sense-Making Methodology.  The purpose of the study was to investigate when and why students decided between quick internet-only versus thorough searches involving multiple sources.

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Carol Kuhlthau | Professor II Emerita, Rutgers University

Dr. Carol Kuhlthau’s career as a practitioner, researcher, and instructor is exemplified by her innovations in directing the graduate program in school librarianship at Rutgers University. She attained the special Rutgers rank of Professor II which requires review above and beyond the normal Professor position.

Dr. Kuhlthau’s most notable contribution to LIS scholarship is her Information Search Process model, comprising affective, cognitive, and physical aspects of information seeking and use in six stages.  She authored Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services and Teaching the Library Research Process and published extensively in referred journals and edited volumes.

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Marcia Bates | Professor VI Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Marcia J. Bates has conducted research and published widely in a number of areas related to information behaviors of end-users, including user studies, user search tactics, the relationship between users and systems, and user-centered design of information retrieval systems.  She has published articles in journals such as, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Library & Information Science Research, Information Research, and Library Trends, and has authored numerous books.

Recently, Dr. Bates completed work as the editor of the Third Edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences (with Mary Niles Maack).  In this edition, Dr. Bates asked authors to discuss how the literature of the field arises from the activities and practices of the field, why users access that type of literature, and what is known about their information behaviors of users in these fields.

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