November 5, 2014
Dr. Mohammad Jarrahi, assistant professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), is this year’s recipient of the Eleanor M. and Frederick G. Kilgour Research Grant Award.
The competitive grant awards were established in
spring 2011 to support pilot projects that include preliminary work that could possibly lead to full research proposals to external agencies. The criteria for the award includes:
- The potential impact of the work for career development
- The potential for subsequent funding
Inventor, researcher, librarian and educator, Dr. Frederick G. Kilgour was a member of the SILS faculty serving as a Distinguished Research professor in 1990, teaching seminars in applications of technology for libraries. While a professor at SILS, Kilgour saw the critical need for faculty support resulting in he and Mrs. Kilgour creating the Eleanor M. and Frederick G. Kilgour Faculty Development Fund in 1993.
Jarrahi’s current research, for which he has received a Kilgour Grant, is titled “Mobile Knowledge Professionals and Digital Infrastructures.”
“My research focuses on salient technological and information-centric challenges of mobile knowledge work,” Jarrahi said. “Mobile knowledge workers are found within most industries and organizations, and they often serve as leads on creative projects in design, engineering, and software fields. Professional success of this workers requires sophisticated sociotechnical acumen regarding the availability, uses, and potential of various different digital resources, given that, on a regular basis, they must intelligently span organizational, temporal, and spatial boundaries in order to accomplish their work. This research project studies how mobile knowledge workers assemble these different digital resources into bottom-up and emergent digital infrastructures. In addition, I am interested in the relationships between mobile knowledge workers’ information practices and their emergent digital infrastructures.”
Jarrahi plans to use the grant to conduct a pilot study involving multiple data sources, such as interviews and diary studies. The study will be a “proof-of-concept” effort to enable a larger study.
About Dr. Frederick G. Kilgour
Dr. Kilgour revolutionized the way libraries network and store information with his invention of the WorldCat database in 1971. It is one of the most consulted databases in higher education and is used daily by millions of students, teachers, scholars and researchers worldwide. In 1967, Dr. Kilgour founded the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), the first and largest online library network in the world, and served as its president until 1980. He was a distinguished research professor at SILS from 1990 to 2004 when he retired. Eleanor and Fred were instrumental in setting up the “ Kilgour Faculty Development Fund” and the Eleanor M. and Frederick G. Kilgour Research Grant Award. The library and information science world was saddened by his passing on July 31, 2006.