Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ALA Annual: LRRT Research Roundtable...part 2

Lynn Westbrook presented results of some ongoing research into the information needs of victims of domestic violence during this same session on Saturday morning. As usual, her passion for her topic was really overwhelming. I think that is part of what makes her a good qualitative researcher (and reporter of her research). She mentioned that she would put her power point slides from this presentation up on her website but I haven't found them there yet. However, her site does contain a description of her research agenda for this topic as well as some of the products (e.g. reports and articles) that she has published thus far. You can find this at

She brought up a concern that had never occurred to me during her presentation: that victims of domestic violence may put themselves at risk by seeking information about their problems, for instance if their abuser discovered that they were seeking information about how to extract themselves from the violent situation learned (for instance by viewing the history of web sites they visited). And yet Westbrook's research uncovered only a very small number of web sites that warned of this possibility (something on the order of 1 or 2%). That's a particularly important point for librarians who might be assisting a victim to find information.

It would also be interesting to think about how Westbrook's model for this type of information seeking might be applied to similar types of information seekers like victims of other types of crimes or an illness.

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I am... a wife a daughter a sister/sister-in-law an aunt a reader a librarian a doctor a quilter a niece a grandmother ;-) a cat owner 6 feet 1 inches tall a yoga enthusiast a cook