Article Summary – Dervin, Brenda. “Libraries reaching out with health information to vulnerable populations: guidance from research on information seeking and use.”

Dervin, Brenda. “Libraries reaching out with health information to vulnerable populations: guidance from research on information seeking and use.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 93.4 (2005) : S74-S80. Web. 2 June 2014.

 

 

Brenda Dervin, in this article, discusses similarities and differences between library science and communication. In the communication field, people study was to broadcast a message, to get others to pay attention to it, and hopefully persuade them to change their practices. Of course we have a message, but people don’t necessarily just passively listen and absorb the message, they might react. Library scientists, a bit more altruistically, on the other hand, examine people’s information needs, how they look for answers, and how information can best be ordered to find it again, as needed. With regards to communication, if the person composing or broadcasting the message is arrogant or condescending, people aren’t going to respond well. An important thing to look at then, for communicationists, is do messages actually get people to change how they behave, and what about a message actually gets people to do this (most effective practices). On page S76, she remarks that people are more likely to listen up and do something if they can see similarities between themselves and the recomendees (a listener might think why should I listen to this person? Does he or she actually understand and/or care about my life? Does what he or she is  talking about actually affect me at all?); and sometimes people broadcasting the message might make bad assumptions, and that can’t really help get a message across. Also, on page S76, Dervin notes that people  realize that something somebody with expertise might say today could be totally bashed by somebody else, and tend to distrust establishments more and more. She suggests, we should treat a message more as a dialog, than just thinking somebody passively will soak up a message. Dervin also notes that somebody without familiarity with a subject doesn’t have the same protection as sombody steeped in the necessary knowledge and understanding.  And sometimes people might need more than information, no matter its importance (Dervin, S77).

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Article Summary – Dervin, Brenda. “Libraries reaching out with health information to vulnerable populations: guidance from research on information seeking and use.””

  1. I’m curious about what you thought of this article – I read it also. I really like Dervin (I think I’ve read something of hers in just about every class so far), but I’m not so fond of her writing style… maybe it’s the fatigue setting in, who knows.
    It seemed to me that she was also on the verge of saying “communication and LIS practitioners are wrong, but communication people are MORE wrong. and also, we are better people”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s