Information Science Head of Department edits and publishes new research collection, Autoethnography for Librarians and Information Scientists

Posted on July 05, 2021

Head of Department, Professor Ina Fourie, has recently published and edited a research collection titled Autoethnography for Librarians and Information Scientists, with contributions from leading international experts on autoethnography such as Professors Carolyn Ellis, Art Bochner and Kathy-Ann Hernadez.

As part of the 12 chapters of the book, three research personnel of the Department of Information Science have contributed five chapters to the collection. Anika Meyer and Ina Fourie wrote a chapter titled Ethical challenges and protection of privacy, while Naailah Parbhoo-Ebrahim and Ina Fourie included a chapter titled Autoethnography, law enforcement and an opportunity for libraries. Ina Fourie also sole authored three chapters, What is autoethnography?, Analytic autoethnography, and Taking on social challenges, personal growth and keeping momentum as autoethnographic reader and writer.

The book description reads as follows:

Autoethnography for Librarians and Information Scientists illustrates that autoethnography is a rich qualitative research method that can enhance understanding of one’s own work experiences, whilst also facilitating the design of tailored experiences for a variety of audiences.

Starting with the position that librarians and information scientists require deep insight into people’s experiences, needs and information behaviour in order to design appropriate services and information interventions, this book shows that using only conventional methods, such as questionnaires and focus groups, is insufficient. Arguing that autoethnography can provide unique insights into users’ cultural experiences and needs, contributors to this volume introduce the reader to different types of autoethnography. Highlighting common challenges and clarifying how autoethnography can be combined with other research methods, this book will empower librarians and information scientists to conceptualise topics for autoethnographic research, whilst also ensuring that they adhere to strict ethical guidelines. Chapters within the volume also demonstrate how to produce autoethnographic writing and stress the need to analyse autoethnographies produced by others.

Autoethnography for Librarians and Information Scientists is essential reading for any librarian, information scientist or student looking to deepen their understanding of their own experiences. It will be particularly useful to those engaged in the study of service provision, user studies and information behaviour.

The title is now available for purchase on Routledge’s website:

- Author Anneke Nel

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