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Dr. Alison Head Awarded First S.T. Lee Library Lecture

Dr. Alison J. Head has been selected as the inaugural S.T. Lee Library Leadership and Innovation Lecturer at Harvard University. She will deliver a lecture in 2017 at Harvard, where she will also engage with library leadership by participating in an interactive talk and workshop. Her public lecture will take place the afternoon of Thursday, September 7.

Alison is an information scientist and social science researcher. She is the founder and director of Project Information Literacy (PIL), an ongoing, national research study that asks: What it is like to be a student in the digital age? In a series of nine groundbreaking research studies, PIL has investigated how college students and recent graduates utilize research skills, competencies, and strategies for completing course work and for solving information problems in everyday life. Since 2008, Alison and her team of PIL researchers have interviewed and surveyed over 13,000 undergraduates at more than 60 US four-year public and private universities and colleges and two-year community colleges. Harvard College students and graduates have participated in five of these PIL studies. More about Dr. Head's research and Project Information Literacy is available at

Alison has a PhD in library and information science from the University of California at Berkeley, where she also received an AB in rhetoric. Currently, she is a Research Fellow at the metaLAB at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar in University Libraries at the University of Nebraska. From 2011 through 2015, Alison was a Fellow as well as a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

“Dr. Head is known for being a dynamic public speaker,” said Suzanne Wones, Director of Library Digital Strategies and Innovation. “Her speaking engagements are highly attended and held both nationally and internationally. When she addresses a room, she incorporates fascinating findings from PIL’s extensive research to make her presentations uniquely relevant and thought-provoking to attendees.”

This lecture series is made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Seng T. Lee, a philanthropist who has long been a supporter of libraries and education. Dr. Lee’s generosity is also funding the S.T. Lee Innovation Grants at Harvard Library, with the goal of improving access to information and the experience of using library resources at Harvard. In the past, Dr. Lee has funded libraries in Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Dr. Lee’s interest in improving the experience of using library resources aligns with the Harvard Library’s expanding emphasis on innovation and user-focused services.

Published on April 12, 2017.