Cover image for Seeking meaning : a process approach to library and information services
Seeking meaning : a process approach to library and information services
Kuhlthau, Carol Collier, 1937-
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Libraries Unlimited, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 247 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


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Z711 .K84 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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First published in 1993, this book presents a new process approach to library and information services.

Author Notes

CAROL COLLIER KUHLTHAU has been on the faculty of school of communication, information, and library studies, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, since 1985. She has served as chair of the department and director of the Library and Information Science Master's Degree Program. She has had many awards including the American Library Association Jesse Shera Award for Outstanding Research, the Lazerow Distinguished Lectureship, Department of Library and Information Science, University of California, 1995, the Educational Media Association of New Jersey President's Award, 1997, and the American Association of School Librarians Distinguished Service Award, 2000. Her publications include many books, including the highly regarded first edition of the current book and numerous research articles.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Chapter 1 The Constructive Process in Library and Information Science Theoryp. 1
Theoretical Foundations of Library and Information Servicesp. 1
Toward an Understanding of the User's Perspective on Information Seekingp. 3
Cognitive Process in Information Seekingp. 5
Affective Experience in Information Seekingp. 6
Anxiety and Uncertainty in Information Seekingp. 7
Uncertainty Principlep. 8
Theory to Practicep. 8
Chapter 2 Learning As a Processp. 13
John Dewey: A Philosophical and Historical Perspectivep. 14
George Kelly: A Psychological Perspectivep. 17
Jerome Bruner: An Integrated Perspectivep. 21
Summary of the Constructive Processp. 25
Kelly's Phases of Construction and Taylor's Levels of Information Needp. 26
Chapter 3 The Information Search Processp. 29
Application of Methods in Library and Information Servicesp. 30
A Qualitative Beginningp. 31
Analysis of Qualitative Datap. 37
Patterns in the Constructive Process of Information Seekingp. 38
An Emerging Modelp. 40
Criteria for Making Decisionsp. 42
Strategies, Expectations, and Attitudesp. 43
Model of the Information Search Processp. 44
Summary of Major Findingsp. 51
Chapter 4 Verification of the Model of the Information Search Processp. 53
Hypothesis for Further Study: A Modelp. 53
Large-Scale Verificationp. 54
Study of Diverse Sample of High School Seniorsp. 54
Study of the Search Process of Academic, Public, and School Library Usersp. 58
Differences Among the Groups Studiedp. 67
Major Findings and Implicationsp. 68
Chapter 5 Longitudinal Confirmation of the Information Search Processp. 71
Longitudinal Verificationp. 72
Perceptions of Information Seeking After Five Yearsp. 75
Longitudinal Case Studiesp. 77
Summary of Case Study Findingsp. 81
Verification and Expansion of the Model of the Information Search Processp. 81
Major Findings and Implications for Mediationp. 84
Emerging Theory of a Process Approach to Information Seekingp. 86
Chapter 6 Uncertainty Principlep. 89
Personal Construct Theory As an Example of Theory Buildingp. 91
Uncertainty Principlep. 91
Process Corollaryp. 92
Formulation Corollaryp. 94
Redundancy Corollaryp. 96
Mood Corollaryp. 98
Prediction Corollaryp. 100
Interest Corollaryp. 101
Summary of the Uncertainty Principle and Corollariesp. 103
From Uncertainty to Understandingp. 105
Chapter 7 Roles of Mediators in the Process of Information Seekingp. 107
Users' Perception of the Role of Mediatorsp. 107
The Role of Formal Mediatorsp. 109
Call for Formal Mediators in the Process of Information Seekingp. 110
Providing Information for the Process of Constructionp. 111
Levels of Mediationp. 114
Levels of Educationp. 120
Chapter 8 Zones of Intervention in the Process of Information Seekingp. 127
Intervention Based on an Uncertainty Principlep. 127
The Concept of a Zone of Interventionp. 128
Zones of Interventionp. 129
Levels of Mediation and Education in the Zones of Interventionp. 131
Studies Indicate a Need for Process Interventionp. 132
The Counselor in the Information Search Processp. 133
Strategies for Intervening in the Information Search Processp. 134
Process-Oriented Library and Information Servicesp. 143
Chapter 9 Implementing the Process Approachp. 145
Information Search Process in Educationp. 145
Library Media Programs Based on the Process Approachp. 146
Implementing the Information Search Process in Schoolsp. 148
Information Search Process Institutesp. 148
Large-Scale Study of Implementation of a Process Approachp. 155
A Closer Look at Three Schoolsp. 159
A Process Approach for the Information Age Schoolp. 163
Chapter 10 Information Search Process in the Workplacep. 165
Studies of Information Use in the Workplacep. 166
Information Search Process of a Securities Analyst: A Longitudinal Case Studyp. 167
Information Search Process of Lawyers: An Exploratory Studyp. 175
Potential Roles for Librarians in the Information Search Process of Information Workersp. 187
Chapter 11 Process-Oriented Library and Information Servicesp. 189
Longitudinal Methods for Developing Conceptual Frameworksp. 190
The Information Search Process As a Conceptual Frameworkp. 193
Criteria for Choices in the Information Search Processp. 195
A Principle of Uncertainty As a Conceptual Frameworkp. 199
Levels of Library and Information Servicesp. 201
Diagnosing for a Zone of Interventionp. 202
Developing a Process Approachp. 202
Application in Library and Information Servicesp. 207
Challenges for Information System Designersp. 208
Developing Services and Systems for the Information Agep. 209
Referencesp. 211
Subject Indexp. 221
Author/Title Indexp. 241