“I’m learning new things, and it brings up new things”: Information seeking for informal lifelong learning as a serious leisure

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This paper presents selective findings of an ongoing research project about information behaviour in the context of serious leisure. Serious leisure includes a wide range of hobbies, amateurism and volunteer activities that people choose to do in their free time with a high level of passion and commitment during a long period of time (Stebbins, 1982; 1992; 2001). For example, gourmet cooking (Hartel, 2006; 2010), food blogging (Savolainen, 2010; Cox & Blake, 2011), amateur photography (Cox, Clough & Marlow, 2008), birdwatching (Lee, McMahan & Scott, 2015), gardening (Cheng, Stebbins & Packer, 2017), urban exploration (Fulton, 2017), ultra-running (Gorichanaz, 2015; 2017), genealogy (Fulton, 2016), liberal arts and lifelong learning (Hartel, 2014; Jones & Symon, 2001) are among the long list of serious leisure. Serious leisure is different from other kinds of leisure, such as casual and occasional leisure because it requires specific skills and knowledge and usually helps the participants to form a new identity around their chosen activity. As a result, it entails a continuous pursuit of knowledge and involves various information actions including information seeking, searching, browsing, retrieving, saving, organising, sharing, evaluating, using and producing. At the same time, all these actions are embedded into an ongoing lifelong learning process. This project is a qualitative research using semi-structured interview as its data collection tool and thematic analysis as its data analysis method. Up to this stage, the results show serious leisure participants are involved in a long term learning journey with a high level of dedication and enthusiasm. However, they usually learn through informal settings such as joining clubs, exploring social media and attending informal gatherings. Moreover, most of them are passionate readers and friends of libraries (Mansourian, 2019; 2020; Mansourian & Bannister, 2019). This paper concludes serious leisure participants are typically serious learners and have long term interaction with information resources. Their information behaviour is mainly purposeful and they not only seek information but also look for new meanings for life and are enthusiastic about learning new skills in their chosen field.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2020
EventALIA LARK (Library Applied Research Kollektive) 2020 Symposium - Presbyterian Ladies College, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 22 Apr 202022 Apr 2020
https://lark-kollektive.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html (program overview)


SeminarALIA LARK (Library Applied Research Kollektive) 2020 Symposium
Abbreviated titleInformation for learning
OtherSymposium postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19
Internet address


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