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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Steven Buchanan and Emma Nicol

The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of the challenges of health information literacy (IL) education in disadvantaged and disengaged at-risk…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of the challenges of health information literacy (IL) education in disadvantaged and disengaged at-risk populations; and from the perspective of professionals out with information professions occupying everyday support roles.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative in-depth case study. The participants were a team of UK Family Nurses providing outreach support to young expectant mothers from areas of multiple deprivations, and the mothers themselves. The data collection methods were observation, survey, interviews and focus groups.

Findings

Information needs of mothers are multiple, and not always recognised as information problems, or revealed. Several felt overwhelmed, and actively avoided health information. There is low awareness and/or use of state sources of online health information. Family nurses provide an important information intermediary role, but are unfamiliar with IL concepts and models; consequently, there is limited evidence of client transitions to independent information seeking, or underpinning pedagogical practices to achieve such goals.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required into appropriate pedagogical approaches to IL education adaptable to semi-structured everyday situations. Recognition of information need requires particular attention, including methods of elicitation and specification in the problematic context.

Practical implications

In an era of digital transitions and public service reforms, the authors raise important questions regarding the true reach of public health policy.

Originality/value

The paper holistically examines nurse–client information behaviours, and extends the discussion of low IL in nurses beyond issues of evidence-based practice to issues of developing healthcare self-efficacy in at-risk clients.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2020

Steven Buchanan and Cara Jardine

The purpose of this paper is to holistically explore the information needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged young first-time mothers and associated issues of complexity.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to holistically explore the information needs of socioeconomically disadvantaged young first-time mothers and associated issues of complexity.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used survey and semi-structured field interviews with 39 young mothers (aged 15–23) from UK areas of multiple deprivations.

Findings

Participants reported multiple and complex needs spanning interrelated topics of parenting, poverty and personal development. In the majority of instances, participants were either unsure of their ability to meet their needs or needed help with needs, and several described situations of considerable anxiety and stress. Multiplicity is identified and conceptualised as an important factor contributing to complexity, including three component elements: simultaneous occurrence of needs (concurrency), relationships between needs (interconnectivity) and evolving needs (fluidity). In various combinations, these elements influenced a mother's actions and/or ability to selectively attend to needs, with multiple needs often competing for attention, and compounding issues of cognitive load and affect.

Research limitations/implications

This study draws attention to multiplicity of needs as an understudied topic within human information behaviour and calls for further research into how people recognise and attend to complex needs and influencing factors.

Practical implications

This study raises important questions regarding how we approach complexity of information needs in our design and delivery of information systems and services.

Originality/value

Evidences disadvantaged young mothers to have more extensive and complex information needs than previously understood, and identifies and conceptualised multiplicity as an important factor contributing to the complexity of information needs during major life transitions such as motherhood.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Cheryl Canning and Steven Buchanan

The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of the information behaviours of prisoners, providing insight into their information needs and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of the information behaviours of prisoners, providing insight into their information needs and information-seeking preferences, and the factors influencing their behaviours; to inform education and rehabilitation programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an in-depth qualitative study. The theoretical framework was provided via Chatman’s (1996) concepts of information poverty. Participants were adult male prisoners in a Scottish maximum security prison, and prison staff. Data collection method was semi-structured interviews.

Findings

Prisoners have a broad range of information needs, many sensitive and many unmet. Interpersonal information sources are predominantly used due to a combination of natural preference and restricted access to other information sources. Issues of stigma and trust influence information behaviours. Further issues include restrictive social norms, and disinformation to incite violence. A significant degree of risk is therefore inherent within interpersonal information interactions, fostering self-protective acts of secrecy and deception amongst prisoners. Unmet emotional needs appear particularly problematic.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights the need for further research exploring issues of unmet emotional needs in prisoners; in particular, assistive methods of need recognition and support in the problematic context.

Practical implications

The paper identifies significant unmet information needs in prisoners that impact upon their ability to cope with incarceration, and prepare for successful release and reintegration.

Originality/value

The paper addresses an understudied group of significant societal concern and advances the understanding of information need in context, providing insight into unmet needs and issues of affect in the incarcerated small world context.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 19 November 2021

Steven Buchanan and Zamzam Husain

The purpose is to provide insight into the social media related information behaviours of Muslim women within Arab society, and to explore issues of societal constraint…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to provide insight into the social media related information behaviours of Muslim women within Arab society, and to explore issues of societal constraint and control, and impact on behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted semi-structured interviews with Muslim women resident within the capital city of a nation within the Arabian Peninsula.

Findings

Social media provides the study participants' with an important source of information and social connection, and medium for personal expression. However, use is constrained within sociocultural boundaries, and monitored by husbands and/or male relatives. Pseudonym accounts and carefully managed privacy settings are used to circumvent boundaries and pursue needs, but not without risk of social transgression. The authors provide evidence of systematic marginalisation, but also of resilience and agency to overcome. Self-protective acts of secrecy and deception are employed to not only cope with small world life, but to also circumvent boundaries and move between social and information worlds.

Research limitations/implications

Findings should not be considered representative of Muslim women as a whole as Muslim women are not a homogenous group, and Arabian Peninsula nations variously more conservative or liberal than others.

Practical implications

Findings contribute to the authors’ practical and conceptual understanding of digital literacy with implications for education programmes including social, moral and intellectual aspects.

Originality/value

Findings contribute to conceptual and practical understanding of information poverty, evidencing structural inequalities as a major contributory factor, and that self-protective information behaviours, often considered reductive, can also be expansive in nature.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Dalia Mendelsson, Edith Falk and Amalya L. Oliver

The purpose of this paper is to present the organizational and technological processes and strategic choices that led to the successful digitization project of the Albert…

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3000

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the organizational and technological processes and strategic choices that led to the successful digitization project of the Albert Einstein Archives.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a case study of the major challenges that were associated with the project. These include: the integration of the archives in the academic environment; the management of a project of such magnitude within the university organization and between different stakeholders and the technological aspects of the project and user experience.

Findings

A digitization project requires not only the archival staff expertise but also information specialists, IT staff, analysts and usually the digitization staff for processing the archival material. Finding the common language between all the professionals involved as well as building a good strategic plan are the keys to a successful project.

Research limitations/implications

The planning and implementation of such a project requires a significant budget, manpower project management, hardware, software and intra- and inter-organizational cooperation and coordination.

Originality/value

The phenomenon of digitizing unique and exclusive archival data by universities is becoming an innovative contribution of hidden goods to the public at large. This paper offers strategic insights for the planning of similar digitizing projects, particularly in an academic environment.

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2010

Steven Buchanan

In an era of unprecedented technological innovation and evolving user expectations and information seeking behaviour, we are arguably now an online society, with digital…

Abstract

In an era of unprecedented technological innovation and evolving user expectations and information seeking behaviour, we are arguably now an online society, with digital services increasingly common and increasingly preferred. As a trusted information provider, libraries are in an advantageous position to respond, but this requires integrated strategic and enterprise architecture planning, for information technology (IT) has evolved from a support role to a strategic role, providing the core management systems, communication networks and delivery channels of the modern library. Furthermore, IT components do not function in isolation from one another but are interdependent elements of distributed and multidimensional systems encompassing people, processes and technologies, which must consider social, economic, legal, organisational and ergonomic requirements and relationships, as well as being logically sound from a technical perspective. Strategic planning provides direction, while enterprise architecture strategically aligns and holistically integrates business and information system architectures. While challenging, such integrated planning should be regarded as an opportunity for the library to evolve as an enterprise in the digital age, or at minimum, to simply keep pace with societal change and alternative service providers. Without strategy, a library risks being directed by outside forces with independent motivations and inadequate understanding of its broader societal role. Without enterprise architecture, it risks technological disparity, redundancy and obsolescence. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this conceptual chapter provides an integrated framework for strategic and architectural planning of digital library services. The concept of the library as an enterprise is also introduced.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-979-4

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Book part
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Cheryl Canning and Steven Buchanan

This chapter explores the role of cultural activity within prison libraries for not only the general wellbeing of prisoners, but also as a form of indirect intervention…

Abstract

This chapter explores the role of cultural activity within prison libraries for not only the general wellbeing of prisoners, but also as a form of indirect intervention for addressing unrecognised and/or unaddressed information needs amongst prisoners; particularly important needs of a more sensitive nature often repressed (e.g. remorse, mental health, relationships). Drawing on research to date, the authors discuss the information needs of prisoners, the associated benefits of cultural activity for information need recognition and understanding, and the support role of the prison library; and in relation, identify opportunities for further development of the library as a key change agent in the progressive rehabilitation of prisoners.

Details

Exploring the Roles and Practices of Libraries in Prisons: International Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-861-3

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Katherine Loudon, Steven Buchanan and Ian Ruthven

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the everyday life information seeking behaviours of first-time mothers, as they encounter new, significant and pressing…

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3304

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the everyday life information seeking behaviours of first-time mothers, as they encounter new, significant and pressing information needs which arise alongside their new responsibilities.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach combined narrative interviews with participatory methods to facilitate engagement and remain sensitive to the social context.

Findings

Mothers particularly valued the experiential nature of information received from peers or family members. However, fear of judgement influenced their use of interpersonal sources, both on- and off-line. Their accounts of information seeking contained instances of confusion, tension, conflict and information overload. Feeling under pressure to be “good mothers”, they withheld information needs from others, including healthcare professionals.

Research limitations/implications

There was a notable absence of younger ( < 20 year old) and/or less educated mothers in the study. This corresponds to previous findings which report that very young mothers are reluctant to participate in support groups with older mothers. They remain an understudied and potentially marginalised group.

Practical implications

The findings show how social support groups can mitigate for societal pressures which impact upon mothers’ information behaviour, allowing them to connect and share information within a trusted environment. The study highlights the importance of healthcare and information services professionals remaining sensitive to such pressures. Relatedly, the finding that public libraries are used very little has implications for audience engagement and service provision.

Originality/value

Focused upon first-time mothers’ information behaviours during the early stages of parenthood, the study provides insight into how relationships and experiences with others influence information seeking behaviours. It provides evidence that fear of judgement can influence information seeking behaviour, helping us to understand why some information sources, although considered important and useful, can be used very little.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2009

Steven Buchanan and Adeola Salako

System usability and system usefulness are interdependent properties of system interaction, which in combination, determine system satisfaction and usage. Often approached…

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3726

Abstract

Purpose

System usability and system usefulness are interdependent properties of system interaction, which in combination, determine system satisfaction and usage. Often approached separately, or in the case of digital libraries, often focused upon usability, there is emerging consensus among the research community for their unified treatment and research attention. However, a key challenge is to identify, both respectively and relatively, what to measure and how, compounded by concerns regarding common understanding of usability measures, and associated calls for more valid and complete measures within integrated and comprehensive models. The purpose of this paper is to address this challenge.

Design/methodology/approach

Identified key usability and usefulness attributes and associated measures, compiled an integrated measurement framework, identified a suitable methodological approach for application of the framework, and conducted a pilot study on an interactive search system developed by a Health Service as part of their e‐library service.

Findings

Effectiveness, efficiency, aesthetic appearance, terminology, navigation, and learnability are key attributes of system usability; and relevance, reliability, and currency key attributes of system usefulness. There are shared aspects to several of these attributes, but each is also sufficiently unique to preserve its respective validity. They can be combined as part of a multi‐method approach to system evaluation.

Research limitations/implications

Pilot study has demonstrated that usability and usefulness can be readily combined, and that questionnaire and observation are valid multi‐method approaches, but further research is called for under a variety of conditions, with further combinations of methods, and larger samples.

Originality/value

This paper provides an integrated measurement framework, derived from the goal, question, metric paradigm, which provides a relatively comprehensive and representative set of system usability and system usefulness attributes and associated measures, which could be adapted and further refined on a case‐by‐case basis.

Details

Library Review, vol. 58 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Steven Buchanan and Lauren Tuckerman

The purpose of this paper is to evidence and better understand adolescent information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances, and explore issues of…

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2848

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evidence and better understand adolescent information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances, and explore issues of social integration.

Design/methodology/approach

Interdisciplinary theoretical framework bringing together theories of information behaviour with theories of social capital. Mixed method design incorporating observation, interviews, and focus group conducted in areas of multiple deprivations. Participants’ young people aged 16-19 not in education, employment or training (NEET); and their support workers.

Findings

Heightened access and internalised behavioural barriers found beyond those common to the general adolescent population, the former influenced by technology and literacy issues, the latter by social structures and norms. There is evidence suggestive of deception, risk-taking, secrecy, and situational relevance in information behaviours, and a reliance on bonding social capital characteristically exclusive and inward facing. Low levels of literacy and self-efficacy are significant interrelated issues, with NEET youth dependent upon support workers when seeking and processing information, and demonstrating passive non-motivated information behaviours often abandoned.

Research limitations/implications

Highlights the need for further interdisciplinary research to explore complex relations between social and affective factors, and that seeks to both understand and influence information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances.

Practical implications

Remedial literacy education recommended as an immediate priority for public and third sector agencies.

Originality/value

First study of adolescent information behaviours in disadvantaged and disengaged circumstances. Novel interdisciplinary theoretical framework evidences and draws attention to understudied and enduring information poverty issues of significant societal concern, potentially consigning a significant proportion of the youth population to a stratified existence within an impoverished (small) information world. Sets a focused interdisciplinary research agenda.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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