A personal reflection on researching and writing my dissertation: "The effect of homelessness on information access, identity formation and social interaction".

Thomas Muggleton

Abstract


This is a brief account of research undertaken for a dissertation, The effect of homelessness on information access, identity formation and social interaction, submitted to the University of Strathclyde in 2010 for the degree of M.Sc. Information and Library Studies. The dissertation aimed to add to the information science literature on homelessness, which often focuses on practical information needs, by considering access to information sources – specifically newspapers, television, radio, books and the internet – that may affect ‘higher-level’ needs. The findings contradicted initial expectations regarding the extent to which homelessness would restrict access to these information sources, but the decision to address higher-level information needs proved well-founded, since participants clearly pursued these alongside more basic physiological needs. The research has implications for the provision of information and services within both organisations serving the homeless and public libraries. This paper presents the research and its findings from a personal perspective.

Keywords


homelessness; social interaction; identity formation; information provision; public libraries

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CILIP Registered Charity no 313014

ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)