Diana L. Ascher
UCLA, United States of America

Tuesday, November 10, 8:30am

This paper describes an exploratory ethnographic study of the information-seeking behavior of visitors in the Surgical Waiting Lounge at the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion in December 2013. A model of information practice is examined in relation to existing information-seeking behavior theories, frameworks, and approaches. The finding that visitors’ information poverty and inhibited information-seeking behavior manifested in a process of information gleaning, notable for its hypervigilance and meaning inference is discussed. Similarities are drawn between this behavior, crisis situations, and situational anxiety disorder. Finally, recommendations are described, including de-biasing techniques in traditional information provision and setting expectations for technology-enabled, scheduled information provision.