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Selecting fiction as part of everyday life information seeking

Selecting fiction as part of everyday life information seeking Purpose – This study seeks to examine, from the viewpoint of 12 adult fiction readers who are members of book clubs, how they go about selecting fiction books to borrow from the public library. Design/methodology/approach – Each participant took part in an individual, semi‐structured, face‐to‐face interview. Using Williamson's Ecological Model of Information Seeking and Use as the conceptual framework, the study examined the role that fiction readers' “internal environments” and “external contexts” played in their book choices. Findings – The selection of fiction books at the public library occurred, to a large extent, outside it. Fiction books were selected as part of everyday life information seeking, influenced by study participants' personal characteristics and circumstances as well as sources from their everyday lives, which typically included family, friends, book club and the mass media. While the public library was the main means by which study participants obtained their fiction books, it was not the first source to which they turned for ideas on what to read. Originality/value – The study moves from a preoccupation of readers' actions at the public library to examine, more holistically, how everyday life information sources influence their choices of fiction books at the public library. It highlights the purposive and serendipitous dimensions of book selections and also underscores the importance of recognizing trust as a determining factor in book selection. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Selecting fiction as part of everyday life information seeking

Journal of Documentation , Volume 67 (5): 25 – Sep 6, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/00220411111164655
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This study seeks to examine, from the viewpoint of 12 adult fiction readers who are members of book clubs, how they go about selecting fiction books to borrow from the public library. Design/methodology/approach – Each participant took part in an individual, semi‐structured, face‐to‐face interview. Using Williamson's Ecological Model of Information Seeking and Use as the conceptual framework, the study examined the role that fiction readers' “internal environments” and “external contexts” played in their book choices. Findings – The selection of fiction books at the public library occurred, to a large extent, outside it. Fiction books were selected as part of everyday life information seeking, influenced by study participants' personal characteristics and circumstances as well as sources from their everyday lives, which typically included family, friends, book club and the mass media. While the public library was the main means by which study participants obtained their fiction books, it was not the first source to which they turned for ideas on what to read. Originality/value – The study moves from a preoccupation of readers' actions at the public library to examine, more holistically, how everyday life information sources influence their choices of fiction books at the public library. It highlights the purposive and serendipitous dimensions of book selections and also underscores the importance of recognizing trust as a determining factor in book selection.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 6, 2011

Keywords: Fiction readers; Everyday life information seeking; Book clubs; Readers' advisory tools; Public libraries; Lending services

References