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Mixing the library

Mixing the library: information interaction and the DJ

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Daniel Norton

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date2013

Abstract

Digital collections have been amassed by institutions and individuals for over two decades. Large collections are becoming increasingly available as resources for research, learning, creativity, and pleasure. However, the value of these collections can remain elusive. Systems and methods are needed to unlock the potential held within collections, to access the knowledge and to make new discoveries with the available information.
The aim of this research is to identify and describe a system for interacting with large volumes of digital material that supports both learning and creative development. This is done by investigating the Disc Jockey (DJ) who works with electronic media files. DJs have worked with large digital collections since the birth of file sharing in the 1990s. Their activities necessitate a library system that supports retrieval, creative play, and public presentation of material. The investigation will develop a model of information interaction from their activities.
To examine the practice, the research employs an autoethnographic diary study, video interviews, and a practice-led method that combines Grounded Theory with digital interface development.
Findings indicate a model of interaction which facilitates learning through the development of a personal collection, and allows creative innovation through key information behaviours of selecting and mixing. The research distinguishes fundamental interface requirements that support the process, and demonstrates transferability of the model to other data representations.

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