West Virginia University librarian and administrator Carroll Wilkinson knows that simple curiosity will always be the key to complex learningeven in todays high-tech classrooms, where pixels can be more common than ink pens.

And just how that basic thirst for knowledge melds with the digital age will be the subject of Wilkinsons Wednesday (Jan. 28) talk in WVU s Fireside Chat Series, presented by the Center for Womens Studies.

Shell discussCuriosity and Cognitive Maps: Fresh Insights into Information and Womens Studies,from 3:30-5 p.m., in Room 104 of WVU s Downtown Campus Library.

Wilkinson, head of access services for the library, will recount the six months she spent last year developing a new course for the center: SPTS 493 , Womens Studies in the Information Age. The three-credit course will be taught for the first time this year during the Summer I term.

Shell present the course syllabus and sample assignments, and shell also illustrate her talk with a prop: a large model of what she calls apreliminary cognitive mapa walk-through maze of sorts, crafted with toys.

Youll have to see it to believe it,she said.

The map imagery didnt just happen, she noted.

Student curiosity has to be the central navigational device to any learning,she said.Were going to talk about ways to spark that curiosity, and how to point it in the right direction for learning.

Wilkinson is the staff bibliographer for the center, and also received that organizations 2003-04 Stitzel Endowment for Teaching and Learning. Shes the first librarian at WVU to ever be granted a leave of absence for professional development, which led to the creation of her course.

The series is co-sponsored by WVU s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, with contributions from the Womens Studies Development Fund.

Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.