AbstractThere are several seminal works in Library and Information Science disciplines focusing on the role of mediation in information-seeking behaviour by individuals or groups such as students, engineers, and lawyers. Yet to the best of the author’s knowledge and based on the literature search conducted, exploring information behaviour, in the context diplomatic service has been little researched. The study is therefore considered novel. Aim. This research aims to offer an explorative, case study analysis of the role of mediation concerning the work of diplomats in a government library. The term mediation is defined as a process of “ assisting, guiding, and enabling, and otherwise intervening in another person’s information search and needs process.” A career diplomat is “a person trained and employed in the art of diplomacy” to represent his or her country abroad for a period whose functions are defined by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Methodology. A case study approach was employed using extensive interviews comprising forty (40) career diplomats who had served at the High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, London during the research period. In addition, a theoretical overview of stories and storytelling as a unique narrative form was employed to allow storytelling and stories to be collected as one of the methodologies employed. A review of the literature on the broad topic of knowledge and knowledge management and library practice was also undertaken. Findings. The significant role of mediation in the work of diplomats in the information seeking and use process at the High Commission was identified through several collaborative activities which take place between patrons and career diplomats. Stories and storytelling play a significant role in the mediation process as they help to initiate, facilitate, and interpret a myriad of information, and access diplomats’ experiences that other research methodologies might lack. Research Limitations. This research is limited in its scope by conducting interviews of only career diplomats located in one location.
Originality. This research is original in assessing the views of career diplomats regarding the role of mediation in a government library concerning the work of the Nigeria High Commission Library. The research also adds to the sparse literature on the role of mediation in government libraries and contributes widely to the literature regarding the capabilities of libraries and a diplomatic mission for supporting learning. Recommendations. The creation of a database of stories in the mediation process as an aid to training is recommended. The content on the database is to be updated as new stories become available during the mediation process. The use of storytelling is considered vital to the role of the mediation process in such an organisation as a government library. The research suggests that diplomats in their collaborative activities need to broaden their understanding, change their traditional mindset, and apply an integrated approach to the mediation process regarding information-seeking and the information needs of patrons. Practical implications. The research serves as a first step toward understanding the role of mediation in the information-seeking process
in the work of diplomats in a government library. In this respect, the role of mediation is considered important because they provide an essential bridge between the patrons of the High Commission and their appropriation of information and knowledge.
|Date of Award||2023|
|Supervisor||Hugh Preston (Supervisor)|
- diplomatic mission
- knowledge (tacit/explicit)