My research program focuses on practice-based studies in information organizations including information behaviour and object-centered sociality. I explore questions related to social interaction, forms of organizing and information practice through shared knowing, learning and participation, particularly across citizen-public institutional boundaries. Selected publications and presentations here.


Cavanagh, Mary F. (forthcoming) Micro-blogging practises in Canadian public libraries: A national snapshot in Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.

Cavanagh, Mary F. (2015)  Structuring an action net of public library membership, Library Quarterly 85(4), 404-426.

Cavanagh, Mary F. (2013).  Interpreting reference work with contemporary practice theory.  Journal of Documentation, 69(2), 214-242.

Cavanagh, Mary F. and Robbins, Wendy, (2012) Baby boomers, their elders and the public library, Library Review, 61(8/9), 622 – 640. DOI: 10.1108/00242531211292114

Huizing, A. and Cavanagh, M. (2011) Planting contemporary practice theory in the garden of information scienceInformation Research,  16(4).

Cavanagh, M. (2006).  Re-conceptualizing the ‘reference transaction’ – the case for interaction and information relationships at the public library reference desk  Canadian Journal of Information Studies, 30(1/2), 1-19.

Cavanagh, M. (2005). Sensemaking a public library’s internet crisisLibrary Management, 26(6/7), 351-360.

Conference papers, presentations and posters

Stewart, E., Cavanagh, M. and Ehrlich, A. (April, 2012). What’s in a #canlit public library tweet? Poster presented for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, University of Ottawa.

Cavanagh, M. and Neuvians, M. (September, 2012). @public_libraries : information isn’t enough – connect & mobilize or #misstheboat, Poster presented at #Influence12 Symposium, Social Media Lab, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.

Cavanagh, M. (February, 2012). Exploring a public hunger: the practice of online commenting presentation with Reframing the news reader: a tweetjam panel (with L. Freund and A. Goodrum), iConference, Toronto, ON.

Cavanagh, M. (May, 2009).  Agents of practice at the public library’s reference desk. Presentation at Canadian Association of Information Studies, Ottawa, Canada.

Huizing, A. and Cavanagh, M. (2009). Making invisible connections visible: a practice and sociality based study of organizational and institutional learning, International Conference on Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities, Amsterdam, 2009. pdf

Research grants

Principal Investigator –

Principal Investigator – Meaning and method behind Canadian public library micro-blogging practices. Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council $29,000, 2014-2016.

Updated: 20/12/15