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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS029001)

Meaning and Understanding in Human Information Uses: A Critical Study of Information Needs Based on the Sense-Making Concept
No.29, p.1-19
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A paradigm shift from ‘traditional’ has been called for in research on information needs and uses. This paper is an interdisciplinary attempt to present an alternative framework for this elusive research area by exploring the recent conceptions and theories in the social, or human, sciences. Becoming critical to the present epistemological and methodological attitudes in library and information science, which have been behind other social sciences, gives us an insight into information as process rather than as thing. In this perspective of the question, a critical issue to be examined is not how to explain human information seeking behavior, but how to understand another person’s information needs. The categorization of human understanding in the context of information provision is explored based on the theory of social phenomenology, and then, is correlated with the typology of information which has been pursued in communication studies. The alternative framework is constructed around the conceptions of personalization of information, insharability of information needs, and reflexivity of information provision. This framework leads to some implications for theory and practice of information uses and provision.

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