ASIS&T 2006 START Conference Manager    

HOW LIBRARIES, INTERNET BROWSERS, AND OTHER SOURCES HELP: A COMPARISON OF SENSE-MAKING EVALUATIONS OF SOURCES USED IN RECENT COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY AND PERSONAL LIFE SITUATIONS BY FACULTY, GRADUATE STUDENT, AND UNDERGRADUATE USERS

Brenda Dervin, CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Zack Y. Kerr, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Chandra Prabha, and Lorraine Normore, with Mei Song, Elizabeth Kelley, Sarah Adamson, Teena Berberick, Kasey Martini, Noelle Karnolt

(Submission #273)


Abstract

Dervin's Sense-Making Methodology meta-theory posits that information and the sources/channels from which inputs are obtained are but means to life-facing ends -- that source-usings and evaluatings are constantly in flux. Any situation which is described by experts as an "information seeking situation" is usually comprised of many steps and micro-moments of encounters and evaluations. While traditionally the user has been seen as the focal unit of our attentions, in actuality the encountering moment may be more heuristically useful. 

Our purpose is to take a methodologically innovative look at how users see sources of input helping them in their sense-making situations. Our working hypothesis is that users evaluate the same sources of input differently depending on situational circumstances and that conducting research helpful for designing systems and services requires looking at units of analysis smaller than users or the sources they turn to. We hypothesize that it is not differences between sources as essential categories that are the important differences for users, but how users evaluate sources as helping them. 

If our working hypothesis is confirmed, one implication would be that sources that want to be more used and evaluated more favorably will want to focus not so much on what we see as the essential differences between sources or between users, but on how users find value from all sources when they are helpful. We also hypothesize that all sources will in some of the micro-moments of user-source encounters be evaluated as not helpful and in some as helpful. No source or category of sources can be seen as under all conditions more helpful than another. 

Category

proposals: Contributed Posters / short papers

Keywords

User, organizational and cultural analyses of information realities
New theoretical perspectives on information use and management
Implications for information (seeking) behavior and retrieval
Enhanced access to multi format and multimedia information

File(s)

[proposal (PDF)]  

For full working paper, power point presentation, and 4' x 6' poster image, go to:
http://imlsosuoclcproject.jcomm.ohio-state.edu/imls_papers/asist06poster_list.html

 


  
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