“Something what we                                                     can’t live without”                                ...
Immigrants in SeattleAbout 1 in 6 Seattle residents is foreign-born, rankingSeattle among the top third of large U.S. citi...
Categories of Immigration   •   Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored   •   Employer Sponsored   •   Special Immigrants   ...
Literature ReviewSimilarities• Consensus in types of information  immigrants seek    o   Orellana (2003), Fisher et al. (2...
Literature ReviewDisagreement• Use of internet / technology as sources varied in research  cases   o   Due to different ba...
Literature Review - Anomalies"Information and a Forgotten Minority: Elderly ChineseImmigrants" (Su & Conaway, 1995)Immigra...
Literature ReviewFurther study/forecasting • Further study on the complex roles of different social types   in immigrants ...
Themes in Literature Review• Kinds of information immigrants seek  o Basic human living needs• Information Sources   o Int...
Kinds of Information                                      • Shelter/security                                      • Jobs/e...
Our Berrypicking Approach to      Models & Theories
Pre-Fieldwork Information Behavior Model
Fieldwork Overview     • Refugee Womens Alliance, ESL Class     • Cascadia Community College, "Talk Time"     • Seattle Pu...
Participant DemographicsCountries of BirthBhutan, Cambodia, South Korea, Vietnam, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco,Somalia, Pana...
Fieldwork at Refugee Womens Alliance
Survey ParticipantsDemographic Overview                       Languages spoken at home                       Amharic      ...
FieldworkReWA Survey - Most Sought Information
FieldworkReWA Survey - Healthcare Sources
FieldworkReWA Survey - Employment Sources
FieldworkReWA Survey - Housing Sources
FieldworkReWA Survey - Entertainment Sources
FieldworkReWA Survey - Most Important Information Sources
FieldworkRefugee Womens AllianceFocus Group• 4 focus group participants• Open-ended, topical questions• Major topics of co...
FieldworkRefugee Womens AllianceStaff InterviewMajor Topics:• Barriers   o Culture (Muslims working in markets, dress code...
Fieldwork - CCC Talk TimeFocus Group                      • 7 focus group participants                      • Open-ended, ...
Fieldwork - CCC Talk TimeFocus GroupMost important/common information sources: Family members, church, library, newspapers...
FieldworkSeattle Public Library, Central Library____________________Valerie WonderESL & Literacy Program Manager• Services...
Information Behavior Model
InformationBehaviorModel - 2
Implications - Professional PracticeContinual assessment of changing populationImplementing inclusion and diversity traini...
Implications - Systems Design     Multilingual information retrieval systems     Culturally appropriate indexing language ...
ImplicationsPolicy-MakingState and FederalGovernment         Community Agencies                                     Natura...
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Information behavior of immigrants in the Seattle area

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Slides from a talk given by Monica Barba, Carl Burnett, Gary Gao, Tami Garrard, and Andrea Hermanson for LIS 510: Information Behavior, a University of Washington iSchool class, in Fall of 2010.

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Information behavior of immigrants in the Seattle area

  1. 1. “Something what we can’t live without” Information behavior of immigrants in the Seattle area LIS 510 Monica Barba, Carl Burnett, Gary Gao, Tami Garrard, & Andrea HermansonPhoto: Melissa Tse (flickr.com/photos/piyo02mel)
  2. 2. Immigrants in SeattleAbout 1 in 6 Seattle residents is foreign-born, rankingSeattle among the top third of large U.S. cities. Top countries of origin: 1. Philippines 2. Vietnam 3. Mexico 4. China 5. Canada 6. South Korea 7. Japan 8. Ethiopia 9. Germany 10. United KingdomSource: "Seattle in Focus: A profile from Census 2000," The Brookings Institute (2003)
  3. 3. Categories of Immigration • Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored • Employer Sponsored • Special Immigrants • Diversity Visa Program • Humanitarian o Refugees/Asylum SeekersOur participants were primarily refugees and family-sponsored immigrants.
  4. 4. Literature ReviewSimilarities• Consensus in types of information immigrants seek o Orellana (2003), Fisher et al. (2004), Caidi (2005), Flythe (2001)• Most important sources of information tend to be uniform across studies (interpersonal resources) o Fisher et al. (2004), Flythe (2001)• Children as information mediators o Chu, (1999); Orellana, M. F., Dorner, L., & Pulido, L. (2003); Fisher 2004• Barriers to information o Case (2007)
  5. 5. Literature ReviewDisagreement• Use of internet / technology as sources varied in research cases o Due to different backgrounds, e.g. well-educated immigrant versus refugee
  6. 6. Literature Review - Anomalies"Information and a Forgotten Minority: Elderly ChineseImmigrants" (Su & Conaway, 1995)Immigrant Children Mediatiors (ICM):Information Givers vs. Barriers(Chu, 1999)
  7. 7. Literature ReviewFurther study/forecasting • Further study on the complex roles of different social types in immigrants information behaviour. o as suggested by Fisher et al. (2004) o Example: how do roles in culture (e.g. elders) affect information behaviour of younger people? How does the information elders provide affect the value of information to youth?• Identifying how to facilitate information literacy though programs & services o Greater problem for new immigrants as they are confined by language literacy at the same time; how can professionals help? o How does native language material help immigrants? What kind of materials are most useful to them?
  8. 8. Themes in Literature Review• Kinds of information immigrants seek o Basic human living needs• Information Sources o Interpersonal sources o Ethnic communities• Barriers to Information o Language o Technology literacy
  9. 9. Kinds of Information • Shelter/security • Jobs/employment • Language and communication ability • Health/healthcare • Education Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
  10. 10. Our Berrypicking Approach to Models & Theories
  11. 11. Pre-Fieldwork Information Behavior Model
  12. 12. Fieldwork Overview • Refugee Womens Alliance, ESL Class • Cascadia Community College, "Talk Time" • Seattle Public Library - Central Library Methods Survey Focus Groups Interviews
  13. 13. Participant DemographicsCountries of BirthBhutan, Cambodia, South Korea, Vietnam, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco,Somalia, Panama, Russia, Iraq, Iran
  14. 14. Fieldwork at Refugee Womens Alliance
  15. 15. Survey ParticipantsDemographic Overview Languages spoken at home Amharic Kurdish Arabic Nepali Cambodian Oromo Chinese Somali Dzongkha Tigrinya English Vietnamese Hindi
  16. 16. FieldworkReWA Survey - Most Sought Information
  17. 17. FieldworkReWA Survey - Healthcare Sources
  18. 18. FieldworkReWA Survey - Employment Sources
  19. 19. FieldworkReWA Survey - Housing Sources
  20. 20. FieldworkReWA Survey - Entertainment Sources
  21. 21. FieldworkReWA Survey - Most Important Information Sources
  22. 22. FieldworkRefugee Womens AllianceFocus Group• 4 focus group participants• Open-ended, topical questions• Major topics of conversations o Basic Information Needs o Jobs o English language skills o Internet use (for self and others)
  23. 23. FieldworkRefugee Womens AllianceStaff InterviewMajor Topics:• Barriers o Culture (Muslims working in markets, dress code) o Language (job applications) o Technology (many applications now internet only)• Students exchanging topics between each other o EFL class information [SOUND BITE]• Children as Mediators o Anomaly: some immigrants do not trust children with interpreting content [SOUND BITE]
  24. 24. Fieldwork - CCC Talk TimeFocus Group • 7 focus group participants • Open-ended, topical questions • Participants from: Panama, Korea (2), Morocco, Iran, Russia, & Vietnam • Languages spoken at home: Spanish/Spanglish, Korean, Moroccan Arabic, Farsi, English, & Vietnamese
  25. 25. Fieldwork - CCC Talk TimeFocus GroupMost important/common information sources: Family members, church, library, newspapers and the InternetSeveral sources were used when seeking information on the same topic.Easiest and preferred approach? PeopleThe Internet was an important source of information, but comfort levels varied.Barriers included: • information overload • language ability • cultural differences • difficulty using computers
  26. 26. FieldworkSeattle Public Library, Central Library____________________Valerie WonderESL & Literacy Program Manager• Services• Information Seeking Behavior o outreach & publicity o information seeking o barriers o other
  27. 27. Information Behavior Model
  28. 28. InformationBehaviorModel - 2
  29. 29. Implications - Professional PracticeContinual assessment of changing populationImplementing inclusion and diversity training for staffCollaboration and outreach between varying socialservice, government, educational, andcommunity organizationsMulti-generational programsLanguage, technology, andinformation literacy programmingResearchers, or interpreters, whospeak the native language
  30. 30. Implications - Systems Design Multilingual information retrieval systems Culturally appropriate indexing language Online translation o built into systems or applications Simpler searching, Spelling corrections o "did you mean?" suggestions
  31. 31. ImplicationsPolicy-MakingState and FederalGovernment Community Agencies Naturalization & Citizenship Common English language Funding/GrantsU.S. Department of Homeland Security (2008) Task Force on New Americansimage: http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Oc-Po/Policy-Making-Process.html
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