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  • What is PIL?

    Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a large-scale, national study about early adults and their research habits, conducted in partnership with the University of Washington's iSchool. To learn more, watch a short video about PIL. Read PIL's FAQ. Read a summary of our research findings. Read our op-ed, "At Sea in a Deluge of Data" from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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  • Latest Research

    What lifelong learning needs do recent graduates have once they finish college? What information sources and systems do they use for continued learning? During fall 2014, the PIL research team surveyed 1,651 recent graduates from 10 US colleges and universities. Read the quantitative trends report with preliminary findings from our study (10 pages).

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  • Smart Talks

    In our latest interview, we talk with Mary-Ann Winkelmes, director of the Transparency Project for Teaching and Learning. When discussing students' learning, Mary-Ann says, "We've made good progress in the U.S. toward providing more people with better access to higher education. But greater equity of access does not guarantee equity of educational experience."

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Inception: 2008

Institutional Home: The University of Washington's iSchool

Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Purpose: PIL is a nonprofit conducting an ongoing academic study about how early adults conceptualize and operationalize research tasks in the digital age.

Volunteer Sample: Over 200 U.S. colleges and universities. Read the FAQ about joining the sample.

Who's in the Sample?
See the community colleges, public colleges and universities, and private colleges and universities in the U.S. that have already joined the volunteer sample.

Contributing Supporters (present & past): Institute of Museum and Library Services, MacArthur Foundation, Cable in the Classroom, Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, University of Washington's iSchool, Cengage Learning, and ProQuest.

The Lifelong Learning Study

In fall 2013, PIL and the University of Washington's iSchool were awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2013 National Leadership Grant (NLG).

During 2013-15, we are conducting a two-year, large-scale quantitative study investigating how a sample of "relatively recent" college graduates from 10 U.S. colleges and universities find, evaluate, and use information for lifelong learning once they leave campus.

We are studying how graduates find and use information for staying competitive in the workforce, engaging in civic affairs, and taking part in learning for personal and social enrichment. Our final research report will be released in early January 2016.

To learn more, take a peek at our quantitative survey trends report (10 pages) or qualitative trends report (6 pages). Or for the big picture, tune into a PIL video, based on excerpts from the Phase One interviews (2:39 minutes). Or, read our entry in Berkman's 2014 Internet Monitor, "Why Blogs Still Matter to the Young." 

Take Note

  • Upcoming Talks

    Cambridge, MA
    Harvard University Libraries
    Alison Head | Panelist
    "The Social Side of Search"
    January 27, 2016

    Las Vegas
    Univeristy of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Alison Head | Guest Speaker
    "What Happens After College? Recent Graduates and Lifelong Learning"
    February 2016

    Houston, TX
    Texas Library Assn.'s Annual Conference
    Kirsten Hostetler | Speaker
    "Now What? Lifelong Learning Practices of Recent College Graduates"
    April 19-22, 2016

    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Creating Knowledge Conference VIII
    Alison Head | Keynote
    "What Today's College Students Have Taught Us"
    June 2, 2016