Information Seeking in the Context of a Hobby: A Case Study of a Young Adult with Asperger’s Syndrome

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By Katie O’Leary

Abstract

This case study focuses on a young adult with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) whose hockey hobby necessitates significant information seeking that satisfies cognitive, affective, and social needs to the point that it precludes the development of practical self-help skills (i.e. cooking, laundry, grocery shopping). Such an extreme case points to implications for LIS research and practice in developing information seeking models based on an understanding of the ends served by information seeking and use, particularly in the context of a hobby. A model of information seeking in the context of a hobby is developed based on evidence in this case that hobby-related information seeking enables identity construction and social connections.

How do different cognitive processing styles impact and shape approaches to information literacy development? How is information used in everyday decision-making, and how are people motivated to use information? Ross Todd asked these questions as prompts for the future direction of research in information literacy.1 No single study can answer these questions since myriad groups and individuals will supply different answers, creating a rich and complex picture of the role of information in people’s lives. As Todd phrased it, developing information literacy promotes the effective use of information, or the “moving on, enabled and empowered by information.”2 In this study, the researcher narrows Todd’s questions to focus on a group whose cognitive processing, decision-making, and information use are affected by Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs). This case study focused on a young adult with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) whose hockey hobby necessitated significant information seeking that satisfied cognitive, affective, and social needs to the point that it precluded the development of practical self-help skills (e.g., cooking, laundry, grocery shopping). Such an extreme case points to implications for library and information science (LIS) research and practice in developing information seeking models based on an understanding of the ends served by information seeking and use, particularly in the context of a hobby. The primary conclusion of this study is that the hobby-related information seeking of young adults enables identity construction and connection to a social world.

The view of user studies as vehicles for studying the ends served by information seeking rather than the means is borrowed from Wilson.3 In 1981, Wilson voiced the concern that “a great deal of user studies research has suffered from a concentration on the means by which people discover information rather than upon the ends served by information-seeking behavior.”4 Since then, the work of Brenda Dervin and others has reversed this trend; however, there is much work to be done on identifying specific ends served by information for specific groups in society. Since user studies are, in a sense, inexhaustible, models of information behavior such as those developed by Wilson are important for amalgamating, comparing, and developing user studies. Basing an understanding of information seeking and needs on Wilson’s “conception of information (facts, data, opinion, advice) as one means towards the end of satisfying fundamental needs” such as physical, cognitive, and affective needs, in this study, the researcher developed a model of information seeking in the context of a hobby.5

Literature Review

Researching the information behavior of young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and the related implications for public librarians requires interdisciplinary work that spans literature in psychology, sociology, and library and information science (LIS). Literature from these fields forms a picture of how the cognitive, social, and affective dimensions of information behavior influences information literacy and use in the everyday world of young adults with AS. The picture is complex, revealing deficits in LIS literature on disabilities and on everyday information seeking by adults, signaling opportunities for research and development in practice.

The majority of LIS literature on effective service for patrons with disabilities is dated, having been published in the decade following the installment of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. A search of the Library, Information Science, and Technology Abstracts (LISTA) database in February 2009 revealed only ten articles about libraries and disabilities published in the last ten years in peer-reviewed journals. Books published show similar trends of concentration in the 1990s, and a bias towards the American context, with the exception of the International Resource Book for Libraries Serving Disadvantaged Persons.6 Studies of library literature revealed some problematic trends, such as referring to people with disabilities as “challenged patrons” or “problem patrons,” pejorative misnomers that incorporate the homeless, the mentally ill, young adults, older adults, and the deinstitutionalized and disabled.7 The only article retrieved from LISTA having to do with autism and public library service was an article by a practitioner from the Children and Libraries. Though not peer-reviewed, the article’s author Halvorson expressed the positive view that libraries can be important places for children as they get older, and that librarians can help the young person with AS to develop and nurture their special interest area (SIA).8

A defining characteristic of a young adult with AS is his or her SIA. Official diagnostic criteria support this fact, including the current criteria established by the World Health Organization and those written by Hans Asperger, who named the syndrome in 1944.9 However, only seven articles on SIA were discovered in a search of key journals in ERIC and PsycINFO databases. One is by Winter-Messiers, who conducted a qualitative study aimed at evaluating the impact of SIA on youth with AS, and the implications for teaching and care.10 From her data collected from twenty-three interviews with youth, three theories about SIA emerged: SIA are fused with core self-image; SIA are a means to an end when used in teaching; and SIA diminish the deficits typically recognized in youth with AS. Considering the positive impact of SIA on youth with AS, research into this key area is important for developing effective service models for this demographic. In particular, the implication of such research for the development of information literacy programs is an exciting prospect.

Since people with AS are not the only pursuers of special interests, it is logical and fruitful for research to place them within a larger demographic of people who pursue serious hobbies. Stebbins was the first to develop a theory of “serious leisure” from 1982 to the present, describing it as a “career centered on acquiring and expressing a combination of its special skills, knowledge and experience.”11 He speculated that 20 percent of the population engages in a serious hobby, representing a significant demographic that engages in deliberate and dedicated information seeking that, importantly, connects them to a social world.12 So far, few LIS scholars have researched serious hobbyists, Hartel being a notable exception. She explored the information behavior of hobby chefs and described serious leisure as “an exciting and virtually unexplored frontier for the library and information studies field.”13

While young adults with AS share the pursuit of serious leisure in common with the general population, they have a unique cognitive profile and set of clinical features that set them apart. There is a plethora of literature on PDDs that discuss these features, much of it synthesized in the two-volume Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders.14 Of particular import to the development of information literacy for the effective use of information in everyday life by young adults with AS are: 1) the features of AS that are strengths in relation to the pursuit of a hobby and 2) weaknesses that can be addressed through participation in hobby-related information seeking at the public library. These strengths and weaknesses of people with AS include: a preference for verbal communication and language as a primary medium through which they learn about themselves and the external world; their weakness with visual or other sensory information; their comfort and exceptional abilities with factual information; and their weakness with affective or socio-contextual information.15 Another feature of the syndrome is the occurrence of comorbid disorders, usually anxiety and depression expressed in as much as 65 percent of people with AS.16 Comorbid disorders are prevalent in people with AS as a result of being “chronically frustrated by their repeated experiences of failure to engage with others and form friendships.”17 A dissertation by Shtayermman suggests that suicide ideation in young adults with AS is linked to AS symptomatology, age of diagnosis, employment status, peer victimization and stigma.18 Librarians serving and meeting the needs of people with AS need to be aware of these clinical features in order to have an understanding of how the cognitive and affective dimensions of AS impact learning, information literacy, and information use.

Finally, the basis for my understanding of information literacy in the context of the everyday world of adults comes from Ross Todd’s article “A Theory of Information Literacy: Information and Outward Looking.”19 This article emphasizes information as a transformational process: “a process of ‘inward forming’ or ‘in-formation.’”20 He presents four fundamental concepts on which a theory of information literacy–with a focus on information rather than literacy–can be built. These four concepts are:

  1. A view of people as active consumers of information,
  2. The centrality of cognitive activity,
  3. A constructivist conception of information where information is that which enables people to construct sense of their world, and
  4. A focus on enabling the purposeful utilization of information.21

Todd emphasizes the word enabling, reflecting his view of information literacy “as an essential dimension to personal empowerment and to the quality of life beyond formal schooling.”22 Todd’s powerful work is central to the development of this research on the ends served by–in other words, the meaning of–the hobby-related information seeking of a young adult with AS. What is exciting for the future of LIS is the statement of Todd’s that, as for the process of “in-formation” in everyday information seeking and use, “[t]he information literacy literature to date gives little attention to this aspect.”23

Research Questions

Following from the deficits and opportunities revealed in the literature, my research is one manifestation of how LIS research can venture forth into the territory of everyday information seeking and use, and the process of “in-formation.” Because of the dearth of literature on patrons with disabilities, and on the SIA of people with AS, it was deemed valuable to conduct this study with a focus on such individuals. This small study was also seen as an opportunity to illustrate the value of qualitative methodological approaches in user studies for gaining insight into how library services impact lives, instead of how patron behaviors and problems impact services.

The primary questions addressed in this study are:

  1. What are the ends served by the information seeking behavior of young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome?
  2. What are the subsequent implications for researchers and the public librarian’s development of information literacy programs for such individuals?

Essentially, the intent of the research presented here is to determine what meaning SIA-related information and the public library has for young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome given that these may represent their only connections to the larger social world.

Method

Participants

As this was a pilot study conducted within the scope of an LIS seminar, the sample consisting of one twenty-three-year-old young adult male with AS and his father was one of convenience. The young adult referred to in this study by the pseudonym Alex had a special interest in hockey that he pursued daily at the public library and was therefore considered to be an excellent candidate for this particular study. Alex’s father was the chosen parent to be interviewed because he shared Alex’s interest in hockey and was in a position to give insight into the role of the hobby in Alex’s life.

Instruments

Qualitative methodology was deemed the most appropriate considering the sample size and information sought. Semi-structured interview and semi-structured observation were the two methods used. A unique set of interview questions were composed for each participant, the aim being to use the father’s testimony to triangulate and expand upon the young adult’s. Wilson’s view of information as facts, advice, and opinions, and Kulthau’s information search process methodology and instruments were used in the creation of the interview protocol.24 The semi-structured observation was conducted only with the young adult to collect data on information literacy skills and information seeking behavior on the Internet in relation to his special interest. The observation was conducted like a “think-aloud” session wherein Alex was prompted to explain what, why, and how he was seeking information on the Internet.

Procedure

The young adult interview was conducted at Alex’s parent’s home, in their computer room. This setting was chosen because it was one with which Alex was familiar and comfortable, minimizing the stress potentially induced by participating in the interview and observation. Alex’s father was interviewed at a coffee shop. Alex was not present during this interview.

Data Collection and Analysis

Detailed notes of what was said and exhibited behaviorally during each interview and the observation were subsequently transcribed and coded. Coding themes were developed and identified in consultation with literature on serious leisure and SIAs.25Out of these themes and their relationship to the literature, a theory of information seeking behavior in the context of a hobby was developed and implications for public library practice were identified.

Results

The data revealed six major themes: belongingness, personal fulfillment, self-image, social interaction, self-regulation, and information skills.

Belongingness

Alex’s father described how Alex’s interest in hockey grew out of family activities such as family road hockey games and watching hockey games on TV together. The special interest in hockey is something that Alex’s dad shares with him: “Hockey’s number one for me. It’s about my health, my personality, and being in physical shape.”

For Alex, wearing his hockey jerseys representing his favorite team, the Minnesota Wild, makes him a visible member of a larger community. “Like I wear my number nine and all the people who wear the number nine, we’re supporters. We have an understanding of what he’s doing out there.” His father said that Alex wears his jerseys “almost all the time. He has six jerseys.” Belongingness is important to Alex, whose team is not an intuitive choice considering that he has no previous history in Minnesota, they’  are not the top-ranked team, and they are not a long-standing team. His choice of team seems to hinge on the fact that “everyone in Minnesota loves the Wild, they won’t turn you down if you’re a hockey fan.” Alex’s dad confirmed the fact that “Minnesota has never not sold out a game.”

Alex described belonging to a community who can talk about hockey. “It’s called being a hockey talker” which includes people he meets at the mall. “There’s a hockey store in the mall… we’re all in the same scoop.”

The other aspect of belongingness that Alex mentioned was a sense of belonging at the library where he seeks information. Alex described the library as “peaceful,” “a joy,” his “preferred thing to be at,” “like a home,” and “welcoming.” The library is a haven where Alex can go to express himself and also to be in the company of others. “The library isn’t known as a social place but it is…there’s people who I notice over time and now they are my acquaintances.”

Personal Fulfillment

Hockey is not just a pastime for Alex, who described it as similar to a basic need: “It’s not like basics, like necessary as in having to eat, but I love it that much, it’s a fundamental interest.” He also emphasized, “It’s beyond the stats for me, it’s a philosophy, there’s many aspects.” Hockey knowledge is a source of deep fulfillment for Alex, who said, “It’s the passion in my life.”

Seeking information about hockey always yields personal satisfaction. “You love to just search and search and search,” said Alex, who only stops “when I’ve found some success, when I have some satisfaction.” His dad described the fulfillment as a cognitive reward: “It feeds his brain,” challenging his “selective memory ability, calculation, concentration, following information, and absorbing.” With all of this information processing, “He’s becoming the expert, that’s important to him,” said his dad. Alex confirmed this when he said, “I very much so value it.”

Self-Image

Alex’s dad described hockey as “vital” to Alex because it’s part of his identity. “Minnesota is ‘his’ team. He’s always saying ‘my team’ and ‘we,’ there’s a real sense of ownership there, a real sense of commitment.” Because being a fan is closely tied to his self-image, it can have negative consequences, like when Minnesota did not make it to the playoffs. Alex’s dad said, “He stopped wearing his jersey, he was going to quit his team.”

Alex identified himself as a “hockey talker,” which can be a major source of confidence but also sometimes necessitates hiding information: “There’s a shame factor, I don’t want to admit that I don’t know something…you don’t want them to think you’re a dud.” Being a hockey talker is about being an expert and information plays a key role in the maintenance of his self image as a hockey talker.

Self-Regulation

Controlling anxiety, managing loneliness and depressive feelings and feeling empowered are key benefits of Alex’s special interest. When he feels down or mad about hockey, he looks to online forums and other information for support and “ways to think about it.” Alex mentioned that hockey is “about how I feel which is important, there’s no necessity, it’s a joy.” Information seeking for hockey is a non-stressful activity that Alex can do to feel excited, passionate, and confident.

Other information seeking, such as looking for music videos on YouTube, is also something he looked forward to: “I like getting passionate and sitting back, getting comfortable.” Again, the rules in the library seem to make it a safe space where he can learn to accept certain limits. Talking about approaching the reference librarian, he said, “There’s a time limit, you can’t go over there for a half an hour,” and when on the Internet, “You have to have patience, don’t get all anxious, just wait.”

Alex’s father talked about the benefits for authorities when using his special interest to help regulate his behavior. “It’s a good tool to redirect him and get his attention,” he said, adding, “To be effective, you should know his interest…it’s an incentive you can use to keep him engaged and less in his head.”

Social Interaction

Alex identified hockey as “a way to be social.” He said, “It gives you the basis of talking about hockey, you know it’s an organized thing…like we’ll be talking about hockey and someone might say, well, what do you think?” Alex described hockey talk as a pattern of conversation that he understands and can participate in successfully.

Alex’s father described hockey as “a connection we wouldn’t have otherwise, absolutely not.” The extent to which hockey, for Alex, is a core basis for social interaction is illustrated nicely by this anecdote given by Alex’s dad: “We’ll be in the car with Mom and he’ll be talking away, and I’ll say, ‘Alex, let’s include Mom,’ and he’ll say, ‘Okay, Mom, what do you think about Gaborik?’ He can’t change the topic!” This confirms Alex’s point that hockey is a basis for talking to others.

Alex mentioned that he talks to people at the mall, at the grocery store, “a lot of people” about his interest. His dad confirmed, “It’s a huge social thing for him, he’ll talk to anybody with a jersey on.” His dad emphasized that Alex “loves people” and hockey provides him with a tool for interacting, connecting, and relating to others.

Information Skills

Alex’s information skills were observed to be highly developed in relation to his special interest. He would analyze the title, date, citation, and URL before clicking on a result, and would use this information to rephrase his search. He said, “Sometimes you have to add fancy terms to get an answer to your question, like slang to sound cool.” He also exhibited sophisticated information literacy in his ability to compare and contrast sources and differing points of view: “You don’t want to rely on one source only, you want as much opinions as you can get.” He also pointed out, “You don’t go to www.wild.com for opinions because of course they have good things to say about their team,” indicating an ability to detect bias and read critically.

Both Alex and his dad emphasized that while people are important for sharing information with, official information sources like the TV and Internet were identified as key sources of information. His dad asserted, “He always respects the experts,” suggesting that he identified authoritative information and weighed it against less reputable sources. He was able to use the information to summarize teams, make predictions, calculate averages, match players, and create a dream team. He was also able to use his stats knowledge to help him verify or test the validity of rumors and to test his own beliefs, saying, “You’ve got this belief yourself, and you’re juggling it.”

Discussion

Returning to Todd’s questions stated in the introduction of this study, it is possible to analyze how the themes of belongingness, personal fulfillment, self-image, social interaction, self-regulation, and information skills give clues as to how Alex’s cognitive processing style shaped approaches to his information literacy development, how he used hobby-related information in everyday decision making, and how he was motivated to use information. This analysis helped to clarify the meaning hobby-related information seeking had for Alex.

The themes of belongingness and social interaction revealed that the unique culture or ethos of a hobby, described by Stebbins “as manifested in shared attitudes, practices, values, beliefs, goals,” set the tone for information behavior and, by extension, information literacy development.26 Only certain channels were deemed relevant sources of information because of their association with authorities in the field or their acceptance by the hockey talker community. Alex’s cognitive style, characterized by strong verbal skills/auditory memory, rote memory, and calculation, also impacted his preference for certain kinds of information and information channels over others, such as hockey statistics on the Internet versus on the radio, and sharing rumors by talking to others rather than by posting to forums. The fact that the culture of hockey talk implied a certain pattern of communicating and exchanging facts, advice, and rumors allowed Alex to overcome some of the social barriers of AS such as one-sidedness and “approaching others in an inappropriate or eccentric fashion.”27 Information literacy development should be shaped with these factors in mind.

The themes of self-regulation and information skills are indicative of how Alex uses information in everyday decision-making. Young adults with AS often become overwhelmed by everyday decision-making and can experience negative emotions in response “to the challenges inherent in trying to navigate a complex social world.28 In order to cope with such emotions, Alex made a conscious choice to visit the library every weekday and to use information resources to soothe, relax, and bring joy into his life. Alex said he got “a lot of joy out of picking up hockey facts.” Winter-Messiers similarly found that the participants in her study “felt positive emotions, including enthusiasm, pride and happiness, when actively engaged in their SIA” and that it helped them to cope.29 Alex also used favorite YouTube videos and music to manage his emotions. Alex’s decisions about who to trust, what to believe is true, how to respond to adversity, and how to approach social interactions were all informed by participation in his hobby. When Alex described hockey as a “major fundamental interest” and “a philosophy,” it was clear that hockey information was a way for him to make sense of the world and “move on” within it.

Finally, the themes of personal fulfillment, self-image and, again, social interaction revealed how Alex was motivated to use information. Alex’s father described hockey as “a connection with people he wouldn’t have otherwise,” “he enjoys that connection,” and “it’s part of his identity.” Alex explained his role as “being a hockey talker” and that he didn’t want other hockey talkers to “think [I’m] a dud.” These responses implied that the motivation to use information comes from a deep desire to connect to others, be recognized, and accepted. This finding confirms Wilson’s information seeking model that shows physiological, cognitive, and affective needs as the driving forces behind information seeking and use.30

Scholarly and Practical Implications

Both the parent and the young adult emphasized that the special interest went beyond a leisure activity to encompass a sense of self and a way of relating to others. Seeking information about the special interest was not just an end in itself but a means to much larger ends such as friendship, belonging, communicating, managing negative emotions, and personal fulfillment. These ends of information seeking for Alex are indications of what meaning the information seeking process has for him, and how information literacy empowers and, in the words of Todd, “in-forms” him.31Considering the role of information literacy in the effectiveness of information seeking and use, the implications for public library services are significant. Developing information literacy programs for people with AS and, for that matter, for people with serious hobbies, is tantamount to developing programs that enable them to connect through their hobby to a social world and construct the lens through which they view the world.

Figure 1 incorporates Wilson’s view of information seeking and needs as antecedent to and in service of more basic physiological, cognitive, and affective human needs.32 If we were to map Alex’s hobby-related information seeking onto this model, we would find that hockey is as much a part of his “Person” as it is his “Hobby” and that the librarian, the Internet, TV and radio are the mediators and channels through which he gains the information necessary to participate, contribute to, and belong in the social world of hockey talkers. As potential mediators of hobby-related information and experts of information channels, public librarians have the opportunity to play a role in a person’s sense of belonging, fulfillment, identity, and worldview.

In providing services and programs to people with AS or other PDDs in particular, some notable practical information came out of the interviews. First, library rules established and reinforced by the librarian are important for the young adult with AS in order to facilitate their ability to navigate the library space effectively and establish a sense of belonging at the library as an autonomous being with the same rights as others. Alex has two hours on the library computers and must follow the rules of computer use just like everyone else. The boundaries and rules established at the library help Alex to navigate this space as successfully as others without the disability. Second, establishing trust and authority with a young adult with AS will involve learning their SIA and communicating with them about it, as well as being consistent in enforcing rules while allowing second chances. As Alex’s dad said, “If you want to be effective, you should know his interest.” Young adults with AS may need a second chance to prove that they can adhere to rules and respect authority, and will be the most diligent patrons at this once they have learned. Third, this case study illustrates that Alex identifies with his special interest, not his disability. When developing any programs for people with AS, it would be wise to target their hobby, rather than their disability.

Limitations

The limitations of this study were primarily due to the fact that the sample size was small and the participants had personal relationships with the researcher. As a consequence, results may be biased since the participants were well aware of the researcher’s high valuation of libraries and the profession, and generalizability is questionable. It should also be noted that Alex’s special interest is socially acceptable and exceptionally useful for connecting with others, which is not always the case for people with AS. SIAs can range from hockey to airplanes to industrial fans and toilet brushes.33 Therefore, the ends served by Alex’s information seeking may not be the same as those for others with AS.

Future Work

The model of information seeking in the context of a hobby developed in this case study needs to be tested for its validity with other adult hobbyists. Even beyond service to people with ASDs, there is considerable value in LIS research focused on the formidable information needs of participants in serious leisure. While LIS “favors academic contexts as research subjects,” adult information seeking in the context of a hobby could be an avenue for instigating community outreach and information literacy programs that bring people together, regardless of ability or disability, around common information needs and interests.34

Note: This article received the Pratt Severn Best Student Research Paper Award in 2009 from the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and was presented at the 2009 ASIS&T Conference.

Acknowledgment: The author would like to thank Dr. Heather O’Brien and Shaun O’Leary for their contributions to this work.

References

  1. Ross Todd, “A Theory of Information Literacy: In-forming and Outward Looking,” in Information Literacy Around the World, eds. Christine Bruce & Phillip Candy (New South Wales: Center for Information Studies, 2000), 163-175.
  2. Todd, “A Theory of Information Literacy,” 169.
  3. Todd Wilson, “On User Studies and Information Needs,” Journal of Documentation 62, no. 6 (2006), 658-670.
  4. Wilson, “On User Studies,” 665.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Joanne Locke, and Nancy Panella, International Resource Book for Libraries Serving Disadvantaged Persons (New York: K. G. Saur, 2001).
  7. Beth McNeil and Denise Johnson, Patron Behavior in Libraries: A Handbook of Positive Approaches to Negative Situations (Chicago: ALA, 1996).
  8. Holly Halvorson, “Asperger’s Syndrome: How the Public Library Can Address These Special Needs,” Children and Libraries 4, no. 3 (2006), 19-27.
  9. World Health Organization, “Chapter 5: Mental and Behavioral Disorders, F84.5 Asperger’s Syndrome,” International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, version 2007 (ICD-10) http://www.who.int/classifications/apps/icd/icd10online/; Fred Volkmar, Rhea Paul, Ami Klin, and Donald Cohen, eds., Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, 3rd edition (New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2005).
  10. Mary Ann Winter-Messiers, “From Tarantulas to Toilet Brushes: Understanding the Special Interest Areas of Children and Youth with Asperger Syndrome,” Remedial and Special Education 28, no. 3 (2007), 140-152.
  11. Robert Stebbins, Serious Leisure (New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2007), 5.
  12. Stebbins, Serious Leisure, 134.
  13. Jenna Hartel, “The Serious Leisure Frontier in Library and Information Studies: Hobby Domains,” Knowledge Organization 30, no. 3/4 (2003), 228-236; Hartel, “Serious Leisure,” in Karen Fisher, Sanda Erdelez, and Lynne McKechnie, eds., Theories of Information Behavior (New Jersey: Information Today, 2005), 313-317.
  14. Volkmar et al., Handbook of Autism.
  15. Katherine Tsatsanis, “Heterogeneity in Learning Style in Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism” Topics in Language Disorders 24, no. 4 (2004), 260-270.
  16. Volkmar et al., Handbook of Autism, 100.
  17. Ibid, 99.
  18. Oren Shtayermman, “An Exploratory Study of Suicidal Ideation and Comorbid Disorders in Adolescents and Young Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome,” Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences 67, (2006), 2323.
  19. Todd, “A Theory of Information Literacy.”
  20. Ibid, 168.
  21. Ibid, 171.
  22. Ibid, 164.
  23. Ibid.
  24. Wilson, “On User Studies”; Carol Kulthau, Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services (New Jersey: Ablex Corporation, 1993).
  25. Stebbins, Serious Leisure; Winter-Messiers, “From Tarantulas to Toilet Brushes.”
  26. Stebbins, Serious Leisure, 12.
  27. Volkmar et al., Handbook of Autism, 99.
  28. Ibid, 100.
  29. Winter-Messiers, “From Tarantulas to Toilet Brushes,” 146.
  30. Wilson, “On User Studies.”
  31. Todd, “A Theory of Information Literacy.”
  32. Wilson, “On User Studies.”
  33. Winter-Messiers, “From Tarantulas to Toilet Brushes.”
  34. Hartel, “The Serious Leisure Frontier,” 228.

About the Author

Katie O’Leary has an MLIS from the University of British Columbia. Her research interests focus on factors in technology adoption and effective use by people with disabilities, particularly cognitive impairments. She welcomes feedback and dialog as she prepares for PhD work in this area.

About Anna Lam

Anna Lam is a Communications Specialist for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).
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