Keynote Speaker - Dr. Troy Swanson

An Orgy of Utter Chaos: How the Feeling of Knowing Helps Us Recast Information Literacy

Much of our work as instruction librarians assumes a type of rationality in how our students understand and incorporate information sources. Advances in neuroscience and psychology reveal a different picture in how the mind processes information. Current theories in neuroscience emphasize that our minds work as “an orgy of utter chaos” drawing on the feeling of knowing to make decisions. This talk explores these ideas and connects them with information and literacy and work of academic librarians. How can we better understand the influence of unconscious mental processes and break away from more traditional models of rationality and critical thinking? How can we use this to change our practice into something more reflective and in alignment with the lessons in psychology and neuroscience?

Troy A. Swanson is Teaching & Learning Librarian and Library Department Chair at Moraine Valley Community College. Troy is the author or editor of several books and articles including Knowledge as a Feeling: How Neuroscience and Psychology Impact Human Information Behavior and co-editor of Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information which received the Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award from ARCL’s Instruction Section. His Ph.D. research focused on the management of technology policy in higher education. He served on ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force which issued the Framework for Information Literacy.  Over his tenure as a librarian and educator, Troy has won his campuses' Master Teacher and Innovation of the Year awards, as well as the ProQuest Innovation in College Librarianship award from ACRL. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at Dominican University’s School of Information Studies.