Rachael Clemens

PhD Student
School of Information and Library Science

University of North CarolinaChapel Hill
Phone 714.926.1098
Email rclemens@unc.edu
Curriculum Vitae
Clemens Family Blog
Latest Linden pics at Flickr


Research Focus

Information behavior in a time of personal crisis is the focus of my doctoral research agenda. By studying elements of human information interactions in the context of personal stress, I hope to document some of the affective and cognitive influences on the information seeking process. My research questions revolve around the information seeking pathways as well as the purpose behind the search. During a personal crisis is information sought to support a decision making process, as a coping / therapeutic activity, or other purpose(s)? What ultimately meets the needs of the searcher?

Other Research and Teaching Interests

  • User Education Course: I am currently preparing to teach INLS 788 in fall 2009 with Dr. David Carr . Based upon my experience as an instruction librarian I will help prepare students to craft, implement and evaluate effective learning opportunities for diverse groups of library/archive users. I would like students to become familiar with a variety of instruction delivery methods including classroom sessions, online tutorials, audio and video podcast. Students will also learn how to work with teaching faculty to incorporate information literacy skills within the curriculum.


  • For the Promotion of Useful Knowledge: College Literary Society Libraries at the University of North Carolina. In collaboration with SILS two colleagues I am researching the history, purpose and influence of U.S. student literary societies and their libraries in the 18th and 19th centuries particularly the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies begun in the late 1700s at the University of North Carolina. We expect to submit an article to Libraries & Culture (or similar journal) in early summer 2009.


  • Contextual Information from Blogs in Video Digital Curation. In collaboration with two SILS faculty members and another doctoral student we are using data collected through Contextminer (VidArch project) to analyze the extent and relevance of contextual information provided by blogs that link to specific videos. Our work was accepted for the DigCCurr 2009 conference and we plan to expand the project for submission to a journal such as JASIST.


  • Information seeking behavior of women considering placing a child for adoption. As part of an independent student I am currently conducting a pilot study entitled "Information Seeking Behavior of Potential Birth Mothers: What Information Do Women Seek in the Decision Making Process of Placing their Child for Adoption?" I hope to document how a person may search for, gather, interpret, evaluate and use information in order to reduce uncertainty and possibly make a decision during a time of personal crisis and stress. This study focuses on professionals (social workers, counselors, clergy, ministers, nurses, physicians) who may offer support and counseling to women considering placing their child (born or unborn) for adoption. By working directly with women during such a crisis, these professionals would have experiences and opportunities to observe patterns of information seeking.






A few other miscellaneous tidbits:

  • My family includes brilliant husband Dave (mechanical engineer at Porticos) and our precious 4-year-old daughter Linden Lea. Dave used to be involved with a great group at Rod Millen's shop while we were in California.


  • In mid-2007 I left my position as Distance Education Librarian at California State University Fullerton. For six years I had the fabulous opportunity to work with the great group of professionals at the Pollak Library who let me try all sort of fun stuff and taught me even more. (I miss everyone)

    Working with the incredibly diverse student population in Southern California taught me new things about our society almost everyday: cultures, languages, accessibility, ethnicity, learning styles, social issues, ethical issues, religious issues, and one of the most visible aspects of our students - the ever-changing fashion styles of Southern California youth! If that doesn't capture the essence of diversity, I don't know what does.

  • Before Fullerton I worked at the Lexus (division of Toyota) U.S. headquarters in Torrance with the best PR folks in the business - and a got to drive some of the best cars in the business. I also got to work with amazing auto journalists from all the car mags, Car & Driver (I know how to pronounce Csaba Csere), AutoWeek, Road & Track - what an education

  • I taught English in Chengdu - a very large city in the Sichuan province of China in 1995 and developed a love and fascination of the Chinese culture and people

  • My sister Rebecca is a WAY COOL wildlife biologist and has just completed her thesis at Humboldt State University on pine martens in the Sierra Nevada mountains - quite possibly the most adorable small mammals on the planet. She is working on with fisher project at Sequoia (fishers are very similar to pine martens). She was previously working on the fisher project at the Hoopa Reservation in Northern CA

  • My folks have lived in Charlottesville, Virginia for 23 years. Dad is an electrical engineer, Southern Baptist minister and avid Ametuer Radio operator [callsign = KX4P, profile at http://www.qrz.com/KX4P]. Mom is a nurse who has spent several summers teaching English in China

  • At one time I was a potter and artist-in-residence at the Hollerfolk Gallery in Syria, Virginia. Now I spend a precious few hours each week in the clay studio at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

  • At various times I've had friends with names like Woodstock, Trailmix, Possum, Mongo, Hootie, and Goose - but remain terribly disappointed not to have had the honor of a designated nickname

  • To keep up with my husband I've become something of an auto enthusiast - reading the car mags, appreciating the engineering of a really good car, sharing opinions with anyone who cares, and following F1 racing.  We miss Michael Schumacher.

  • My dream evening:  riding in a big old truck around WV back roads listening to country music and stories about the folks who live in the hollers

  • I studied piano for 12 years under such masters as Art Wheeler (Charlottesville), Tannis Gibson (UVA) Dr. Daniel Horn (Wheaton College Music Conservatory)

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URL of this page: http://www.unc.edu/~rclemens/
Last Revised: 07 March 2009
Rachael Clemens