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Biography for Mike Eisenberg

January 2013

Mike Eisenberg is the founding dean of the Information School at the University of Washington. During his tenure (1998-2006), Mike transformed the unit from a single graduate degree into a broad-based information school with a wide range of research and academic programs, including an undergraduate degree in informatics, masters degrees in information management and library and information science, and a doctorate degree in information science. For many years, he worked as professor of information studies at Syracuse University and as founding director of the Information Institute of Syracuse (including the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, AskERIC, and GEM, the Gateway to Education Materials). Mike and his co-author Bob Berkowitz created the Big6 approach to information literacy, and he has worked with thousands of students--pre-K through higher education--as well as people in business, government, and communities to improve their information and technology skills. Mike's current work focuses on information, communications, and technology (ICT) literacy, information credibility, and information science education K-20.

Now dean emeritus and professor, the unifying aspect of Mike's diverse management, teaching and research activities is the ongoing effort to improve society's ability to meet people's information needs. Mike strives to accomplish this through educating information professionals and conducting research, consulting, writing and presenting on: the use of information and information technology in education and training. information problem-solving and development of essential information, communication and technology skills. development and management of Internet services and resources; and the curriculum concerns and management of library media programs.

In 2008, Mike began working with Dr. Allison Head on Project Information Literacy, the most ambitious, large-scale studies examining the information-seeking behaviors, competencies, and challenges faced by early adults as they conduct research in the digital age. Funded through grants from IMLS, ProQuest, Cengage, and the MacArthur Foundation, PIL has conducted six different studies on dozens of college campuses with over 12,000 combined participants. and is continuing its research through 2013 and beyond. Other recent projects include the Virtual Information Behavior studies of information seeking and use in virtual worlds, funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

 Mike is currently working on a full revision of his widely used textbook, Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age (with Carrie Lowe and Kathy Spitzer, 2nd edition, Libraries Unlimited, 2004). Mike also wrote (with Bob Berkowitz) Teaching Information and Technology Skills: The Big6 in Secondary Schools and Teaching Information and Technology Skills: The Big6 in Elementary Schools (Linworth Publishing), and Helping With Homework: A Parents Guide to Information Problem-Solving (with Bob Berkowitz).

Other publications include ED and INFO 2052: Oh, the places you’ll go!" (2012, with Sean Fullerton), Information Services & Use; "The TEDS Framework for Assessing Information Systems from a Human Actors Perspective: Extending and Repurposing Taylor's Value-Added Model," Journal of the American Society for Information Science (with Scholl, Dirks, and Carlson 2011), "It's All About Learning: Ensuring That Students Are Effective Users of Information on Standardized Tests," Gale/Linworth Education Issues in Education Forum at the American Association of School Librarians Conference, 2004; reprinted in Library Media Connection, March 2004; 'This Man Wants to Change Your Job," School Library Journal, (Sept 1, 2002); "Beyond the Bells and Whistles: Technology Skills for a Purpose," Multimedia Schools (May/June 2001), "The Six Study Habits of Highly Effective Students: Using the Big Six to Link Parents, Students, and Homework, School Library Journal, (Aug 1995); "Information-Based Education: An Investigation of the Nature and Role of Information Attributes in Education, Information Processing and Management, (1993);"Managing Technology," chapter in Renewal at the Schoolhouse (Libraries Unlimited, 1993); "Current Themes Regarding Library and Information Skills Instruction: Research Supporting and Research Lacking," School Library Media Quarterly (Winter 1992); "Information Technology and Services in Schools," chapter in the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (vol. 25, 1991); "Technology and the Library Media Program: Focus on Potential and Purpose," School Library Media Quarterly, (Spring 1990); "Measuring Relevance Judgments" Information Processing and Management (1988); "Curriculum Mapping and Implementation of an Elementary School Library Media Skills Curriculum," School Library Media Quarterly (Fall 1984); and The Direct Use of Information Systems by Untrained End-Users, (ERIC, 1982).

His 1986 doctoral thesis, Magnitude Estimation and the Measurement of Relevance, won national awards from both the American Society for Information Science and the Association for Library and Information Science Education. Mike co-authored (with Bob Berkowitz) two books central to the school library and information field: Curriculum Initiative: An Agenda and Strategy for Library Media Programs (Ablex, 1988), and the often-cited, Information Problem-Solving: The Big Six Skills' Approach to Library &Information Skills Instruction (Ablex, 1990).

Mike is a frequent speaker at conferences, presents numerous workshops and training sessions each year, and consults with school districts businesses, and government agencies on information resources, services, curriculum, technology, and management. He has worked as a teacher, library media specialist, program administrator, and consultant.

Mike is probably best known for his innovative approach to problem-solving and critical thinking/information and technology skills development: the Big6 Skills. For many years, Mike was Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, which includes the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology and the award-winning AskERIC service. Mike is also co-founder and co-coordinator (with Peter Milbury) of LM_NET, the electronic discussion group on the Internet for the library media community.

Mike is recipient of numerous awards including the University of Washington Information School, Pedagogical Recognition for Our Faculty (PROF), 2010, the Association for Library and Information Science Education, Award for Professional Contribution, 2009, Who's Who Award. Wellington C. Mepham High School, Bellmore, NY, 2008. received the American Association of School Librarians/Baker and Taylor Distinguished Service Award, 2006 and the 2005 Higher Education Award from the Washington Library Media Association. In 1990, Mike was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award, School of Information Science and Policy of the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, He is the 1994 recipient of the School Library Media Section/New York Library Association Presidential Award for Professional Achievement, the 1999 Honorary Membership Award, Educational Media Association of New Jersey, the 2002 Presidential award from the Washington School Library Media Association, and the 2003 Presidential Award from the Washington Library Association. He and Peter Milbury received the 2004 L-Soft 10th Anniversary Listserv Choice Award for LM_NET as Education List Winner. In 1994, Mike and his AskERIC team were a finalist for the prestigious Computerworld Smithsonian Awards for information technology innovation.

Last Updated: 02/01/13

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