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  • We know students use mobile technologies. We expect they will want to use them more. The mobile landscape is changing fast. But what does this actually mean? How does having constant access affect the ways students use information? This is one of the questions librarians at Oregon State University are examining. In the summer of 2011, 2 OSU librarians recruited 6 undergraduate students engaged in research on many levels: in the library, in the lab and in the field. Each student was given an iPad tablet computer at the start of the 2011-2012 school year. In this exploratory study, we use a variety of qualitative methods to paint a picture that describes how the introduction of a tablet computer affects the academic (and non-academic) information practices of undergraduate students. This presentation will focus on the mobile part of this picture. Using a method called photo-elicitation, we are exploring how our students describe the places and spaces where they use their tablets and how they use information in those places. Each student enrolled in the study was asked to take a series of photographs that illustrate where they use their devices. The photographs are analyzed, and are also used as touchstones for further conversation in in-depth interviews. In this session we will share preliminary results from this study, and explore what they suggest for how libraries can become a part of our students’ increasingly mobile information landscape.
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