Julie Hersberger enjoyed both a conference and some vacation time this past summer in Italy. With other researchers from Ireland, Canada, Oregon and New York, Hersberger presented a session at the Sunbelt Conference in Riva del Garda, Italy in July. She visited Rome, Florence, Verona and Pompeii while there.
Hersberger is also enjoying volunteering at the Interactive Resource Center (a homeless day center in Greensboro) while preparing to revisit a study on homelessness, social networks and information as social capital. With the advent of cell phone technology and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. are the homeless able to leverage more social support or does information technology make little or no difference? She has also helped form a national group of researchers from different disciplines around the country who study homelessness and information. The group skypes periodically to share their work. In February at the iConference in Seattle the group will present a fishbowl session on their research. The use of ‘observation weeks’ in the LIS 688 Information Use and Users course was so successful that the plan is to collaborate with Dr. Donna Lanclos (ethnographer in residence at UNC-Charlotte’s Atkins Library) to submit a session proposal for NCLA and ALISE with the collaboration of students from the class.