Melissa Ocepek presentation - Bringing out the Everyday: An Argument for the Primacy of the Everyday in Information Behavior

Visiting Assistant Professor Melissa Ocepek will give the talk, "Bringing out the Everyday: An Argument for the Primacy of the Everyday in Information Behavior."

Abstract: Everyday information behavior is a growing area of research in library and information science, yet the field is growing without a clear conceptualization around what makes the research "everyday." Scholars have largely equated the everyday with non-work contexts. This conceptualization has not been theoretically explored to identify the unique limitations and benefits of research in this new domain. Drawing on critical theory, this talk will define and situate everyday information behavior into the broader landscape of information behavior research. I will present three recent and ongoing research projects that argue for the primacy of the everyday to information behavior. The empirical work will show how research addressing the everyday can uncover a holistic picture of how people actually use information throughout their daily lives. This work highlights new types of information sources involved in decision making throughout the grocery shopping process, and challenges the concept of context and domain-based information studies by studying information behaviors throughout the totality of everyday life. 

Ocepek's work draws on ethnographic methods and institutional ethnography to explore how individuals use information in their everyday lives. Her research interests include everyday information behavior, critical theory, and food. She has published two books that address the intersection of food, information, and culture: Food in the Internet Age and Formal and Informal Approaches to Food Policy. Currently, she is working on a research study that addresses information behaviors across the totality of everyday life using interviews and observations. Ocepek received her PhD from the the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin.