Immigrant information seeking behavior in everyday life: Photovoice study

MATUSIAK, Krystyna K., ASSEFA, Shimelis, BONGIOVANNI, Emily and NAUMOV, Angela (2018) Immigrant information seeking behavior in everyday life: Photovoice study. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 153 - Poster Session.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Immigrant information seeking behavior in everyday life: Photovoice study

Immigrants need access to information resources so they can navigate their new environments and fully participate in economic, political, and cultural life. However, very little is known about the ways new immigrants search, access, and use information in everyday life. This poster presents the findings of a study that explored how recent immigrants in United States (US) find information resources that enable them to build a new life, to maintain cultural identities, and to solve problems in their daily activities. This study employed photovoice to gather data about participants’ information seeking practices. Recent immigrants from Ethiopia, and from various Russian and Spanish speaking countries were recruited for this study. Their length of stay in US was from three months to six years. The participants were asked to take pictures of their information seeking activities related to job searching, housing, education, health, and personal interests. Next, they participated in follow-up interviews to discuss the pictures and their experiences. The study indicates that although recent immigrants use the Internet and social media to seek information, they often feel overwhelmed and face many socio-cultural obstacles. People in their immigrant communities, public libraries, and social organizations are the major sources of information and support. The preliminary findings of this study suggest the need to strengthen community organizations and public libraries with relevant information that support the smooth transition and eventual integration of new immigrants in their new host country.

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