Award winning conference paper to be presented at ASIST by Joan C. Durrance, Dana Walker, Maria Souden, and Karen E. Fisher The Role of Community-Based, Problem-Centered Information Intermediaries in Local Problem Solving

Paper published Durrance, J. C., Souden, M., Walker, D., & Fisher, K. E. (2006). Civic problem­ solving viewed as an information use environment. Information Research, 11.4, paper 262 (Paper given at the ISIC Conference, Sydney, Australia, 2006).

Hartford Public Library

National Neighborhood Indicators Project

Hartford Community Information Center:
Enhancing Local Public Policy Decision Making (2003-04)

As the charter member of the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Project (NNIP), the Hartford Public Library is building a Community Information Center (HCIC) that will provide information and referral services to residents and varied organizations for the purpose of building community.

Identifying the everyday information needs and other behaviors of potential users—a formative component of this initiative—will be aided by IBEC. Beginning early Winter 2003/04 we will conduct interviews and focus groups with different stakeholders regarding their everyday information needs and seeking patterns, especially regarding civic engagement and community building.

The IHIG Project is part of our IMLS-funded series, “Approaches for Understanding Community Information Use” (2002-04), which is deriving a general, multi-component model of everyday information behavior that builds upon tenets discussed by Harris and Dewdney (1994) and Case (2002). The model is based on findings from several studies—such as the IHIG Project—each targeted at a specific problem or set of questions. Each study’s methodology is additionally tested for how it might be adapted for use by information providers in varied organizations.

Anticipated themes for which series data are analyzed include:

  • How people express information needs
  • People’s motivations for seeking information
  • The role of proxy searching
  • Why people prefer particular sources when seeking information
  • The role of serendipity
  • How people use information
  • How people devise and use particular strategies when giving information
  • The role of information grounds

The results from the HCIC Project and related studies will be integrated with our past findings to derive a general, multi-component framework of information behavior in everyday contexts.