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Investigación bibliotecológica

On-line version ISSN 2448-8321Print version ISSN 0187-358X

Investig. bibl vol.28 n.62 México Jan./Apr. 2014


Book reviews

Information users in diverse academic and social communities: Research

Luis Alberto Fuentes Gatica1 

1México: UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información, 2013

CALVA González, Juan José. Usuarios de la información en diferentes comunidades académicas y sociales. México: UNAM, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información, 2013.

The coordinator of this edition provides a brief introduction to research on users of information in diverse communities, calling attention to how the NEIN model is applied, which will surely be of interest to researchers in this field.

The studies gathered in this tome apply the NEIN model and help shed light on the needs and behaviors of the individuals attempting to satisfy their information needs in a commu nity. The structure of the collection attends to what is stipulated in a research compilation.

Calva González asserts the importance of this type of study of users in diverse communities in order to discover their information needs and observe how the NEIN model can help them. The research presented attempts to expand the field of action to other social communities, such as those associated with industry and indigenous groups. The NEIN model simply requires the existence of information needs in order to prove its virtues and bring to light such demands.

The introduction is followed by a paper written by Sueli Angélica Do Amaral of the University of Brasilia titled: "The phenomenon of information needs and marketing information studies"; which addresses varied Library Science topics, such as the context of the information society and others, as it attempts to stress the importance of the role of librarians, without ignoring the problem of the business side of information and marketing in a complex society. The researcher emphasizes the role played here by users, who are the basic factor in the library and the reason the librarian exists.

The second paper in the book, by Isabel Villaseñor Rodríguez of the Complutense University of Madrid is: "The phenomenon of the need for information in Spain"; attempts to provide an overview of research and practice associated with the NEIN model and proposes to continue this line of research. The researcher provides an overview of literature published in Spain in the field of Library Science and Documentation, and then discusses the topic of Library Science and Documentation education at the university level. Thereafter, she offers her conclusions and recommendations, where she discusses the scant interest of researchers in the area of information needs, which nonetheless has proven to be very important in the study of users and communities receiving information services.

In the third chapter, José Tomás Palacios Medellín of the UNAM addresses the information behaviors and needs of winemakers in the Mexican states of Aguascalientes, Zacatecas and Durango, arguing that information is a social product required to understand the field of winemaking, its resources and their information sources, showing us their needs, behaviors and the satisfaction obtained, and thereafter explaining the research parameters. He gives an account of the information needs of the community and identifies personal characteristics, the form in which these are manifested and the relationship with information resources and with the identification of the sources used. Palacios discusses the typology of the winemakers and identifies the patterns of their behavior, and thereafter discusses the importance of the environment in which they work. He concludes with a discussion of how he approached these communities and how his inquiry might improve information services provided to these users.

In the fourth Chapter, César Augusto Ramírez Velázquez of the UNAM presents a paper titled "Information, communication and satisfying information needs of the Amuzga community as it undergoes identity change"; which introduces the reader to information needs and how these are determined by each individual within the community until the satisfaction stage is achieved.

The researcher states that his paper is part of a larger research endeavor of indigenous communities and their general needs. He goes on to discuss the nature of information in this community. He points to the loss of information and identity in the Amuzga community as relevant traits, something these human communities have experienced and is patently evident in the communication media that enter into contact with their language and culture. The researcher's conclusions provides an overview of the many modifications produced in these communities that occurring as a result of their manner of living and type of information needs. The researcher then argues that research in information must be interdisciplinary in nature.

In the fifth chapter, Martha Sabelli of the University of the Republic of Uruguay offers her paper "Examination of the information behavior of vulnerable children and adolescents: toward information inclusiveness in Uruguay." She asserts that academia is very important in university life and that it must be integrated in an interdisciplinary way. Moreover, the university must be integrated with society in order to generate proposals that involve the government or otherwise bring it to the table. To describe vulnerable children and adolescents is to address a difficult issue in Uruguay. The use of information resources is a very complex phenomenon which begs further analysis and interpretation. A salient part of this research is the section on research subject-object and the function of mediators, who are none other than public and private sector services that work in the research area and operate as bridges reaching out to vulnerable young people and adolescents, contributing to process es favoring the construction of these communities.

The researcher moves on to discuss the program to promote Information and inclusion of women, vulnerable children and adolescents, providing an overview of 167 documents pro duced by local and national organizations and services, and other institutions that support education and social development, concluding that the supply of information and services targeted at women in the area under study constitute information demands for women and are, at the same time, both barrier and facilitator to achieving the information access they need, while revealing their behaviors associated with information and commu nication technology.

Sabelli concludes by asserting that accurate, true information (that is to say: a demand satisfied by an information need) constitutes a basic good for achieving personal realization, the development of identity, peaceful co-existence and a dignified quality life of as a citizen.

Chapter Six is contributed by Angélica Guevara under the title "Secondary level teachers as users of in formation: a development project." The researchers states that there are no studies referring to the information needs of secondary level educators. She posits her hypothesis and describes the analytical unit to define the object of study, as well as her methods, technique and research instrument.

The next chapter is contributed by Antonia Santos Rosas of the UNAM who presents "Analysis of user satisfaction of the Geographic Information Systems developed in Mexico. Research Project"; which opens by stating that man has developed the activity of preserving and organizing information using systems that allow professionals and researchers to seek and locate the information they require, and has also sought to find the variables involved in the process of user satisfaction. The researcher asks about the profiles of users of the geographic information system and the variables that are entailed in satisfac tion of information needs, whether this exists or not and whether there is a correlation between satisfaction of needs of these users and the way in which information they seek is orga nized, stored and accessed.

The researcher also discusses the specific general objectives of her project and the hypotheses and assumptions she proposes to test and, finally, the method to be used.

The eighth and final chapter is contributed by Juan Antonio Gómez García of the National University of Distance Education of Madrid under the title "The right to information to satisfy information needs, with special reference to its constitutional regime in Mexico." This paper asserts that the human being has the existential need for information as an anthropological precondition, since man exists within an information rich en vironment and his basic condition as a rational entity implies he will make use of this information. With regard to current context of the information society, the researcher discusses the relevance of the phenomenon of information in our current time; where the basic right to information is now viewed as a pre-condition to democracy. The theory of basic rights is contained in the information and offers two alternative rights arguments to this end. These arguments appeal to subjective rights in order to assert that the constitutional right is a key touchstone to support the theoretical facet of the right to information. Gómez García concludes that rights also exert influence in information to arrive at satisfaction of needs, whether for an individual or a community.

As a whole, the studies included in this edition, some already in their final phases and other still underway, contribute to the development of NEIN as a research tool. Moreover, the researchers hope to spur more studies of users in light of these of elements and encourage researchers and grad students to join this line of inquiry.

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