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Title:Attempting To Critically Engage: Researching GBTQ Youth Information-Seeking-Behaviors
Author(s):Hawkins, Blake
Subject(s):Library and information science education
Abstract:University of British-Columbia It has become apparent that many students in my Master’s in Library and Information Studies program wish that theory was more prevalent. This is likely a challenge for faculty due to the nature of varying program outcomes amongst students. For many people in my cohort, they do not anticipate being researchers and/or research librarians. Hence, they do not understand the significance to include more than the already present amount of theory. I am going to talk about my personal experience and how I have used the challenge as a chance to grow, and hopefully expand certain aspects of the information discipline. In my paper, I will discuss my intended thesis research related to GBTQ youth men information seeking behavior (ISB). My research will track connections between health and place, access to resources, and ISB. Then use autoethnographic methods to collect reflective work from them detailing their everyday health ISB. I will embed their stories within broader evidence bases and correlate the more personal data with broader metrics derived from tracking ISB activities of young men at key sites of knowledge gathering, including public libraries, school libraries, etc. Research in the field of ISB has a tradition of gender-focused studies, but has only recently begun to critically review the role of place in interaction with information. An initial review of the literature suggests that there are few studies of this topic in the context of GBTQ men in Canada or elsewhere (see Fikar & Keith, 2004; Morris & Roberto, 2013). Findings to-date acknowledge that nuances exist regarding GBTQ ISB. The fields of GBTQ young men’s health, ISB, and autoethnography are all experiencing a period of change. Recent examples connecting young men and differing aspects of health demonstrate problematic patterns (Gahagan et al. 2007; Knight et al. 2012; Shoveller et al., 2010). This literature demonstrates that many determinants are impacting health outcomes for young men (both GBTQ and hetero). Furthermore, young GBTQ men are left out of the “Where are the men?” document. Through my research, I intend to shed light on issues which have not been thoroughly researched in Northern BC. In the 2010s, gender and health research has been increasing in ISB literature. This includes attempts to better understand men’s and GBTQ ISB regarding health information (Mehra & Braquet 2011; Wellstead 2014). I also want to share some less ambitious methods which grad students can take to further engage in critical topics and then integrate them into their research. Hopefully, my current attempts to engage in non-normative information topics might help fellow and future graduate students.
Issue Date:2015-04-11
Series/Report:Proceedings of the 2015 Symposium on LIS Education
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Rights Information:Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-06-16

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