Information Phenomena in Serious Leisure - Research by Jenna Hartel
"In library and information science (LIS), we seek to understand the nature, organization, and use of information in life. Scholarship, to this end, has been unevenly distributed. Research has predominantly focused on academic or professional contexts, which are a narrow slice of the human experience. There are a minority of studies of information phenomena within everyday situations, and only a few about the universally cherished realm of leisure. As a result, theoretical insights about the engagement with information are unduly narrow and rational in character, and information provision to everyday life and leisure settings may fall short of potential. To broaden understanding and to better serve leisure audiences, I am exploring information phenomena in the context of serious leisure (Stebbins, 2001). To organize my research career, I draw upon the Serious Leisure Perspective (SLP), a grounded theory of leisure introduced in 1973 by sociologist Robert A. Stebbins. Serious leisure is the systematic pursuit of, "an activity that participants find so substantial and interesting that, in the typical case, they launch themselves on a leisure career centered on acquiring and expressing its special skills, knowledge, and experience" (Stebbins, 1992, p. 3)."