Regardless of our specific job titles, many of us can be considered information professionals; we seek out, interpret, arrange, create and or share information to help people understand. But what is information anyways? How do we seek it, interpret it, arrange it, create it, and use it to understand? This talk offers a 101 level explanation of information so that you’ll be able to answer these questions and more, even if you’ve never thought about information theory before. Citing relevant experts, and using examples from the real world, we’ll cover topics like: what information is, uncertainty/entropy, encoding/decoding, semantic information, why meaning is contextual, categories, social facts, and much more. This talk is designed to help you think about the work you do every day in terms of information. Whether that’s making digital interfaces, cleaning up the files in the shared drive, creating signage, or leading a difficult meeting. Expect to leave this talk prepared to think about your own work through the lens of information, explore any topics that appeal to you more deeply, and to engage with more complex IA theory debates.
About the speakers
Kat King is an information architect interested in language, and meaning, and what it takes to do Good work. She has a master’s degree in information science from the University of Michigan School of Information.
She works as a business intelligence analyst for University of Michigan Library Operations division, where she works on projects that help the library strategically plan for changes to their spaces and work processes, understand data about collections and building use, and shift towards a more user centered service design process. Her previous work has included consulting for non-profits, and teaching IA to undergraduates.