Information Concepts: From Books to Cyberspace Identities is the title of Gary Marchionini's new book-length lecture that explores information as a historical concept from a number of theoretical perspectives. Marchionini, who has served as editor of a series of publications, is the dean and Cary C. Boshamer distinguished professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Part of the Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services, an ongoing series of 50-100 page publications published by Morgan & Claypool that deals with topics pertaining to information science and its technological applications, Marchionini's lecture provides a theoretical framework through which other information scholars can make sense of information science's highly-charged, infinitely-changing present. For Marchionini, the role information science plays in our understanding of today's fast-paced, technology-driven world is ubiquitous and obvious. Among the main points he emphasizes in the lecture is that "information is essential to all human activity," that "information in electronic form both ampliﬁes and augments human information interactions," and "Our traces of activity in cyberspace give rise to a new sense of information as instantaneous identity states termed proflection of self."
Indeed, the first sentence of the lecture, "Information pervades our lives," is a theme which Marchionini turns back to time and again, whether he is tracing information's growing historical complexity from past to present, advocating novel technical vocabulary for our newly created cyberidentities discussing information as it relates to thought, memory and cognition, or exploring information as it relates to the communication strategies and information needs of our everyday lives.
Marchionini serves as editor of the Synthesis Lecture Series Information Concepts, Retrieval and Services. Since 2009, he has introduced the work of other scholars to stimulate discourse between computer scientists, information scientists, librarians and other information professionals in a concise format that uses both electronic and paper distribution forms.
For more on the Synthesis series, visit Morgan & Claypool's Web site, where Marchionini's lecture is currently available. The lecture is also available for purchase in hard-copy format from Morgan & Claypool or Amazon.