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Att upptäcka det oväntade: En studie av begreppet serendipitet och dess förekomst på det digitala folkbiblioteket
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Discovering the unexpected : A study on the occurrence of serendipity in the digital public library (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to examine if digital public libraries are serendipitous environments. Serendipity in this instance is defined as finding something unexpected and valuable, while searching for something else.

A survey was conducted at two Swedish digital public libraries, where the patrons were asked to fill in a questionnaire online. The questions were based on the work on serendipitous digital environments by Lori McCay-Peet, as well as considerations of human factors that could possibly influence serendipity.

The result indicate that a majority of patrons experience serendipity at the digital library, although it’s still more common to do so at the physical library or on other web sites. The result also confirms the importance of taking human factors into account when studying serendipity. The patrons who said they didn’t experience serendipity at the physical library or on other web sites, didn’t experience it at the digital library either – or at least only partially. However, the patrons who didn’t experience serendipity at the digital library still did so in other environments.

A digital library is an environment with many possibilities for serendipitous encounters and discoveries, but what is missing is a better understanding of how serendipity can actually help in finding information. By teaching patrons to actively seek out serendipity, and by offering a serendipitous digital environment in which to do so, the library can further information literacy in our society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
Digital libraries, public libraries, serendipity, digital environments, information search
Keyword [sv]
Digitala bibliotek, folkbibliotek, serendipitet, digitala miljöer, informationssökning
National Category
Cultural Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-32645OAI: diva2:703251
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Library and information science, 180 credits
Available from: 2014-03-07 Created: 2014-03-05 Last updated: 2014-03-07Bibliographically approved

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