Thematic analysis of the value of Kuhlthau’s work for the investigation of information behaviour in creative workspaces in academic libraries

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INTRODUCTION. Studies of information behaviour can inform the design of information systems, services and creative workspaces. Creative workspaces are associated with access to tools, expertise, guidance, innovation and constructivist learning. The work of Kuhlthau on information seeking, the information search process (ISP) model, zones of intervention, and later with third space(s) might hold value for the exploitation of creative workspaces in academic libraries. METHOD. A thematic analysis of a selection of key publications of Kuhlthau is presented focusing on the value for creative workspaces. ANALYSIS. Publications were analysed according to key characteristics of creative workspaces using makerspaces as an example: applicability to diverse contexts; provision of access to tools, expertise, and skills; the provision of safe spaces; providing an open environment for expression; space to support a hands-on learning environment for guided and constructivist learning; and providing a space to cultivate character traits important to collective creativity. These were compared with information behaviour themes noted in the work of Kuhlthau. RESULTS. Various issues in the work of Kuhlthau hold potential for creative workspaces; acknowledgement of uncertainty, complexity of tasks, the need for sense-making, and affective and cognitive experiences throughout information searching, seeking and other information activities encompassed by information behaviour. CONCLUSION. Kuhlthau’s work can inform information behaviour studies that guide the development of creative workspaces in academic libraries. Specifically, with reference to the phases of creation, information seeking, information searches, thoughts, feelings, the development of zones of intervention, and third spaces.