ASIS&T 2005 START ConferenceManager    

Information Grounds and Everyday Life (SIGs USE, HCI, TIS)

Organizer: Karen E. Fisher, The Information School, University of Washington, Box 352840, Seattle, WA 98195-2840. Email: fisher@u.washington.edu Presenter 1: Lynne McKechnie, Faculty of Information & Media Studies, North Campus Building, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7. Email: mckechnie@uwo.ca Presenter 2: Tom Dobrowolsky, The Information School, University of Washington, Box 352840, Seattle, WA 98195-2840. Email: agent@u.washington.edu Presenter 3: Betty Marcoux, The Information School, University of Washington, Box 352840, Seattle, WA 98195-2840. Email: elm2@u.washington.edu, Presenter 4: Karen Fisher & Charles Naumer, The Information School, University of Washington, Box 352840, Seattle, WA 98195-2840. Email: fisher@u.washington.edu and naumer@u.washington.edu Presenter 5: C.A. Burrell, The Information School, University of Washington, Box 352840, Seattle, WA 98195-2840. Email: burrell@u.washington.edu

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


Abstract

Information grounds were identified by Pettigrew (1999) during her field work at community clinics on how nurses, the elderly and other individuals share human services information. Using a social constructionist approach, she defined information grounds as synergistic “environment[s] temporarily created when people come together for a singular purpose but from whose behavior emerges a social atmosphere that fosters the spontaneous and serendipitous sharing of information” (p. 811). Fisher, Durrance and Hinton (2004, pp. 756-757) identified seven propositions of information grounds:

1.          Information grounds can occur anywhere and are based on the presence of individuals.

2.          People gather at them for a primary, instrumental purpose other than information sharing.

3.          Information grounds are attended by different social types, most—if not all of whom—play expected and important, albeit different, roles in information flow.

4.          Social interaction is a primary activity such that information flow is a byproduct.

5.          People engage in formal and informal information sharing, and information flows in many directions.

6.          People use information obtained at information grounds in alternative ways, and benefit along physical, social, affective and cognitive dimensions.

7.          Many sub-contexts exist within an information ground and are based on people’s perspectives and physical factors; together these sub-contexts form a grand context.

Our panel will discuss information grounds with regard to research on four distinct populations/settings: (1) baby story times in Canadian public libraries, (2) Seattle’s Polish Community, (3) Hispanic Farm Workers in Yakima Valley, WA, and (4) college students, as well as (5) The Virtual Jaamati project, which involved using location-specific computing to facilitate information grounds at coffee shops.

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