In researching information behavior theory, a significant gap has been revealed: How can information behavior theory comprehensively identify the information behaviors and needs of information communities without the foundational understanding of information, communication, and community, and their intersection? It is asserted in this paper that information behavior theory must clearly define information, communication and community, and how these terms intersect, to comprehensively identify information communities’ information behaviors and needs. To test this thesis, a qualitative study on the tourist information community has been conducted. Seen through the lens of the novel central-peripheral information behavior (CPIB) theory, the tourist information community’s central information behaviors are acquisitional (encountering, seeking, browsing, and searching) and emotional (reacting and sensing). The community’s peripheral information behaviors are collaborating, sharing, and creating. Key information access needs are Internet and mobile technology. Prominent information use needs include mobile applications (e.g., Tripit), social media sites (e.g., Pinterest, and blog sites), Travel 2.0 websites (e.g., TripAdvisor), and e-commerce sites (e.g., Expedia). The paper’s key findings about tourist information behaviors and needs can guide libraries in tailoring services to the tourist information community or hybrid (online and offline) information community member. Libraries have an opportunity to better serve the tourist information community by providing a trustworthy virtual space for members to get together through non-commercial travel cafes. Libraries are also uniquely positioned to help travelers become more culturally competent. In physical spaces of libraries, tourists can be attracted by offering strategically placed and spacious mobile device charging stations.
Maw, L. (2021). Central-Peripheral Information Behavior Theory. School of Information Student Research Journal, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.31979/2575-2499.110105 Retrieved from https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/ischoolsrj/vol11/iss1/5