AM Panels & Technical Sessions 2009 START Conference Manager    

Towards Positive Information Science?

Jarkko Kari, Jenna Hartel, Robert Stebbins, Marcia Bates

(Submission #10)


Abstract

This panel offers a refreshing counterpoint to the predominantly problem-oriented perspective of theory and research in information science. Drawing inspiration from the fields of positive psychology and sociology, we propose the idea of a positive information science. This line of inquiry focuses on the positive qualities of information systems and the positive characteristics and habits of information users, as well as on the positive contexts of or factors in information phenomena. Insights into positive information phenomena provide a benchmark and target for improving information environments. The positive perspective also reflects a new generation of information-users who harbor an upbeat sensibility concerning the tools and practices of the Information Age. The panel makes its case by 1) offering an interdisciplinary comparison to positive social sciences, 2) reporting results from two positively-oriented investigations of information use in gourmet cooking and spirituality, and 3) viewing the idea in the context of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (Bates & Maack, forthcoming), an important benchmark and rubric of the field. To encourage a dynamic session, panelists and audience will see a list of positive features compiled and displayed in real time, serving as a basis for lively discussion.

Category

SIG SPONSORSHIP?: Information Needs, Seeking and Use (USE)

  
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