Choosing Your Community Discussion

  • OK, as I am sitting here drafting my blog post, I am thinking of switching from senior citizens to people living with AIDS/HIV. And the Band Played On is an incredible book, and it is really fascinating to think about how many people living with AIDS had to band together and become activists (especially gay men in San Francisco and New York),…[Read more]

  • Sorry I’m late to the party! I think I’ve finally settled on researching art communities. Super broad I know. My undergrad was in Studio Art and my sister currently works for a theater in San Francisco that specializes in dance and performance art so I feel like it’s a community I’m somewhat familiar with. I would like to narrow it down to focus…[Read more]

    • @karenp This sounds good. You can apply broader LIS studies related to those in the art community to the Bay Area. One thing to ponder as you right – who makes up the community – artists, those interested in art, etc…?

  • I’ve been reading about the Deaf community and it’s very fascinating. Would that be a good topic to research?

  • Commuter students as an information community… My undergraduate institution was deemed a “commuter school” so I’d find it interesting to research this community… Would this be too broad? Can’t wait to settle down on a topic! Hope all is well, everyone!

  • Okay… tell me what you guys think about this: studying the Baby Boomer generation and how they interface with technology. I am thinking to narrow things down to aspects of social media use and information consumption and sharing.

  • Observing my 13-year-old daughter, I’m thinking teen girls. Is this too broad?

  • V'ger posted an update in the tribe Tribe logo of Choosing Your Community DiscussionChoosing Your Community Discussion 3 months ago

    This week I have been working on narrowing prospective options for my community of focus. I believe I have narrowed it down, and am thinking I am will focus on the information community surrounding interracial families as my choice.

  • I’m thinking about focusing on the genealogical research community. I know it’s a huge community. Should I try to narrow it down to a particular group or aspect, such as the addition of DNA analysis or the effect of the internet on this community?

    • @elenamhunt Genealogists is a great choice and you will find some good stuff. I do not think you need to narrow it down but it might be very interesting too include the DNS sites as a resource or section in your lit review. I wonder if anyone has studied DNA sharing site behavior?

  • I was wondering if it is ok if our focus community changes as we do research. For example, as I begin my research on Undocumented Students in California, I am seeing a lot of interesting information about undocumented immigrants (not necessarily students) in different parts of the country. Their situations are vastly different than Latinos in…[Read more]

    • @renepg Yes – changing is fine. Please broaden out. I think looking closely at the information needs and info seeking behaviors of undocumented immigrants in the US is an important task.

  • I’ve been considering focusing my community interest in the hip-hop community. The particular focus I’m not entirely certain on (artists, listeners, both?), but the generalized idea would center on hip-hop.

    • @jamesadams This sounds good. you may have to apply broader research into info behaviors of music fans as well as other related areas. Also, take a look around for “Hip Hop Librarianship.” It’s a discussion going on out in our field.

  • I’ve been thinking a lot about the community I want to focus on and I’m leaning towards the Supernatural Fandom. I know it’s a long standing and still going community though I only have loose ties to it. @michael is this a good choice? I’m trying for something a little out of the box and I’m not sure if it’ll be a good community for the purposes…[Read more]

    • @gwynethevans Do you mean those interested in the supernatural? That sounds good – you’ll find the serious leisure stuff useful, as well as the work of Henry Jenkins.

      • Supernatural is a TV show with a pretty large and active following, here is their wiki page:

        I was also interested in maybe focusing on, like you said, “those interested in the supernatural” but I thought that might be too broad.

        • Doh! That was my second thought. For sure look at Henry Jenkins and his work on fan culture. I just finished the return of Twin Peaks (long time fan) so I am very interested in the information behaviors of fan communities. You may not find much about Supernatural specifically in LIS research but broader topics of fans, etc would work. And all of…[Read more]

          • Will do, thank you!

            I’ve never seen Twin Peaks but I’m told it was great and that the return episodes didn’t disappoint! It’s always nice to revisit some of your favorite characters and have the second go be on par with the first. 🙂

  • These are the info communities that I am considering: teen parents, reluctant readers, alternative high school students, home school families, migrant students, 1st or 2nd generation Mexican American students, foster children, and students with ADD. I’m leaning towards teen parents as an info community.

    • @krjones Teen parents sounds good. It will bring in research in the info field related to teens, parenting and perhaps even virtual community stuff. The resources libraries create might be interesting too as you get to the research paper stage. Module 4 will help you see what literature there is in LIS related to the group.

    • Hi Kimberley, I was in your shoes, interested in a lot of different communities. I guess the easiest thing to think about a community whose information needs I could pretty easily predict (although I know I’ll modify my focus as I go along).

      • The reluctant reader community seems interesting. I feel like this is a community many education professionals would like research on, ( i.e. how to best reach out to students, or to encourage literacy/ text comprehension productivity etc.)
        Also, I’m crazy about your list of prospective topics. I have no imagination or creativity lately! 🙂 Best wishes!

  • I’m still struggling with my community choice. I’ve decided I want to research teens, but it feels like such a huge topic to cover. I’ve found there is solid research on the info behavior of teens surrounding health (and sex) and around research habits/skills amongst other things. However @michael, when you recommended the book, It’s Complicated,…[Read more]

    • @jdemonte I think this will work because you can still draw from all the LIS research related to information needs and use by teens. If you can find some research related to the experiences of your specific community, that rounds out the picture.

  • Hi guys! Just trying to talk through my ideas here, to see if I can strike gold, or find something substantial. I’m thinking about exploring the information seeking behaviors of Alternative Spiritualists. The umbrella term “Alternative Spiritualists”, for the purposes of my brainstorming, encompasses information users curious about the…[Read more]

    • Hi @glasshour! I don’t feel like I have enough subject knowledge, as this is my first semester, but I think your idea is really cool! I would be interested in others’ takes on it, especially @michael!

    • @glasshour Both of these communities are fascinating. My hesitation is making you sure you can find applicable research into the info needs and behaviors of the group. Broadening out might be good – the information community of those who are spiritual — but that may be a bit removed from your original interest. An individual religion – wicca,…[Read more]

      • Thank you for the feedback, Dr. Stephens!
        I do think I will expand my info community so I can first assess the needs of a larger information community. I feel it will be more fulfilling, and influential to have an understanding of the needs of a larger community in the area of interest first so that I will have a foundation of understanding…[Read more]

  • Hi All,
    I thought I posted this but I think it did not get posted. My library has several senior patrons; I was thinking of using seniors for my community. I imagine there is a lot of interesting research about the needs of seniors…I am also interested in terms of brain elasticity and how seniors (and others!) can keep their minds young and…[Read more]

    • @dianarivers Hi there – I can’t find another post about your choice. Maybe it didn’t publish. Seniors as an information community is a good choice. I would think there is some strong LIS research devoted to the info seeking behaviors of seniors out there in the databases. The brain elasticity angle is interesting. Perhaps it could figure into your…[Read more]

  • I am interested in researching tattoo enthusiasts, I recently got my first tattoo and I’m already itching to get another one! Other communities I would be interested in looking at are Harry Potter or Disney fans.

    • Hi @michaelajacobson You might be able to frame tattoo enthusiasts with some of our information theories but locating applicable LIS research might prove elusive. Any fan-based explorations – Disney, Harry Potter, etc – would be very interesting. I could see the work of Henry Jenkins coming into play as well as research related to online…[Read more]

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