As a researcher in human information behavior, she is particularly interested in information habits, or practices, used by people who move across contexts over time in order to improve their quality of life. Since finding that this population relies heavily on oral information, she has become particularly known for introducing the concept of the “oral document,” which aids in studying this modality. She also studies how the introduction of data intensive science, or “big data,” affects how we interact with oral information and has a particular interest in how aspiring leaders use information resources to move toward their goals.
Her most recent research trips enabled her to study issues involved with how people in oral cultures negotiate and interact with information. In Uganda, she is learning more about information issues involved in improving maternal and child health. In the midwestern United States, she is studying how public libraries can better provide information to the urban poor. Both projects position her to test practical applications for her conceptual work on oral information to date.Learn more about Deborah’s research
Deborah’s teaching interests include academic libraries, international information issues, and leadership and management of information organizations. Outside of the academy, she has also taught conflict resolution and creative writing.Learn more about Deborah’s teaching
Prior to Drexel, Deborah worked as a librarian in multiple capacities—including senior manager, reference librarian, outreach coordinator, and manuscript specialist—most recently at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned her doctorate in information science from the University of Washington, her master’s degree in information and library science from the University of Michigan, and her bachelor’s in English—with a concentration in Native American Studies—from the University of California at Berkeley.View Deborah’s curriculum vitae
In addition to conducting research as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Tampere in Finland, Deborah’s travels have taken her to Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Uganda, and the United Kingdom.
Turner, Deborah, & Rodgers, Michelle. Understanding the health information infrastructure in Uganda. IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems.
Turner, Deborah. The fourth orality. New Media & Society.
Turner, Deborah, and Michelle Rogers. Documents and diagnosis. Information Research.
Turner, Deborah. Sustainability and library management education. Journal of Sustainability Education.
Turner, Deborah. Reconsidering library collections: Community services as documents. Annual Meeting of the Document Academy. Sydney, Australia, July 2015. Read abstract.
Turner, Deborah. Orality, technology, and library services. Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology . St. Louis, MO, November 2015.