Information Avoidance Experienced by Academic Librarians in USA : A Phenomenological Hermeneutic Approach
This master’s thesis describes and analyses the experiences and beliefs of academic librarians working at universities in USA in relation to the phenomenon information avoidance.
Heidegger’s, Gadamer’s, and Ricoeur’s theories about hermeneutics and phenomenology are used as a basis for the interpretations and the method in the investigation. The method is in part a thematic analysis and the results of this analysis are interpreted and discussed. Hayden White’s model for narrative modes is also used in some parts of the analysis. Heidegger’s theories are used in relation to the interpretation of texts and of human behavior.
The librarians believe that information avoidance is caused by information overload, lack of time, indolence, fear and lack of interest in the information’s content. They also believe that customized search results and customized news on the Internet can lead to information avoidance and that people can have a tendency to avoid information that contradicts what they already believe and their opinions.
The librarians claim to have different experiences and beliefs in relation to information avoidance; some have much experiences of it also among students at the universities, while others have less or no experiences of the phenomenon and don’t consider it to be a major problem. Finally a ”scale” is suggested for the evaluation of an individual’s level of desire to avoid information.
This is a two years master’s thesis in Archive, Library and Museum studies.
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