what has been keeping me busy.

Working on my lit review for comps. It is coming together. I intend to finish by the beginning of August. At the VERY LATEST before classes start. I don’t want to be finishing this up while I’m starting to teach.

I’ve moved from thinking of it as five separate reviews I need to do, and have begun thinking of it as one thing that really needs to be interconnected and coherent. I need for it to be obvious why I think these topics go together and inform what I want to do in my dissertation. So I have 2.75 completed separate reviews that need to be severely revised/shortened and fit into the new structure.

I have finally outlined that structure and written the initial intro to the review, which you may read behind the cut. Consider this also the official unveiling of my Really Final For Real This Time dissertation topic. *eek*

Sketch of Intro to LitReview for Comps. Whee!
This review covers the literature relevant to a study of how amateur digital photographers make decisions about their methods of managing the artifacts and information surrounding their hobby, and how they go about and make sense of changing the structures used to organize these materials.

It will cover the domain of amateur digital photography as a serious leisure pursuit. This includes the notion of leisure itself, leisure pursuits as part of everyday life, and everyday life as an area of inquiry in LIS.

Because the photo is of obvious primacy in the pursuit of digital photography, what follows is an examination of themes and issues of concern regarding access to images. This literature mainly comes from the traditional archives and visual resource library environments. There will be a brief look at the literature on photographs as a specific format, dipping into diplomatics. These overall issues may be of some relevance in understanding the individual’s personal photo collection. The little we know about the practices of digital photographers in managing their collections will then be covered.

The personal collection of digital photos is just one type of personal collection. Collecting is an important activity for many people and is one type of serious leisure pursuit. What is a collection, anyway? How does it fit into the personal information environment?

PIM is an area in which much work has been done regarding how people build, manage (or not), maintain (or not) and use their personal information environments. By this definition, it is a form of PIM to manage one’s various collections; however, the bulk of the work in this area has focused on the management of paper and digital files, email, and web bookmarks. What ideas and findings from this work apply to the questions at hand?

Given what we know about personal information structures, it is interesting to move from the micro to the macro level. This is a broadening of scope in two ways. First we will examine theories of categorization and classification structures in cognition. These are shared across humans and apply to all we perceive. Second there will be a selective look at theories associated with formal information organization in libraries. Here we will also look at how studies of how people’s categorization and conceptual structures have been used to inform design of tools or services in LIS.

Finally, after looking at structures and practices from a variety of viewpoints, we return to the overall questions:

1. From the amateur digital photographer’s point of view, what information and objects does she keep and organize or manage?
2. What structures or systems has she created to manage them?
3. Have these systems and structures changed over the course of her amateur digital photography career?
3a. If so, how did she decide it was time for a change and how did she navigate the decisions involved in implementing that change?

As a methodology firmly dedicated to examining a phenomenon from the individual’s point of view, and understanding how he makes sense of a stopped-situation and moves through it, the Sense-Making Methodology may be useful in answering questions 1 and 3. A review of the Methodology and its proposed use in this study follows.

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