The purpose of this paper is to apply to the study of information needs the Johari Window framework that has long been accepted as a useful model for understanding interpersonal communication.
The work presents a newly‐constructed version of the Window to delineate a typology of information needs and to identify implications that emerge for information professionals.
The paper finds that information needs can be seen to fall into five broad categories: needs that are known to the individual but not to the information professional; needs that are known to both parties; needs that are known to the information professional but not the individual; needs that are misunderstood by the individual; and needs that are not known to either the individual or the information professional.
Conceptualising information needs in terms of the revised Johari Window highlights how information professionals are of crucial importance in helping clients satisfy their information needs, even in an era in which much information searching is done by end‐users themselves.
No previous paper has applied the Johari Window to the investigation of information needs and few authors have made an attempt to use the framework in any area of library and information science (LIS) whatsoever. The fact that the work deals with both theoretical and practical dimensions will interest LIS academics and library professionals who work regularly with information users.
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