At IBEC we conduct field studies of real people in real situations by partnering with government, corporate and community-based organizations. Depending on the phenomenon of interest and project objectives, we use different theoretical lenses to shape our research questions and employ triangulated methods to collect and analyze data. We specialize in using qualitative approaches that provide a holistic perspective of how people engage information in varied daily contexts.
To date, our projects range from how people use the internet and how public library-community networking initiatives build social capital, to the effects of after school technology programs on teens, and use of coping skill and literacy programs by immigrants. How varied organizations benefit from community information programs in California, the social outcomes of special event programming, people’s needs for consumer health information, and the impact of community technology centers on migrant farm workers also were studied.
Our current projects address how people seek consumer health information online and the role of proxy searching, people’s information-seeking patterns and information grounds in the Northwest, the needs of the Homeless and nature of tipping points, and how community information can help foster civic engagement in the Northeast.
We invite you to learn about these projects and to contact us with questions and ideas for future collaborations.