Doctoral candidate Aiko Takazawa successfully defended her dissertation, "'Tutteli to Japan': a Case Study of Spontaneous Collaboration in Disaster Response," on May 17.
Her committee included Professor Michael Twidale, chair and director of research; Professor Linda C. Smith; Professor Bertram C. (Chip) Bruce; and Preben Hansen, docent and associate professor at Stockholm University.
From the abstract: Japanese women living in Finland became organizers of a self-organized humanitarian effort in response to the 2011 Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in Japan. The way these volunteer individuals managed to send bulks of baby formula, Tutteli, from Finland to Japan is a fascinating case to study for better holistic understanding of how people collaboratively seek, search, and use information and act on that information with technologies. Since this effort emerged in a natural setting without being guided through an established affiliation among participants or managed by an outside source, its emerging process of self-organizing provides deep insights into the substantive context for intertwined individual and collaborative information activities. Through a case study method, my dissertation advances a further explanation for an effective assemblage of individual information behavior as a process of collaborative information activities and learning. From the perspective of library and information science research, this case demonstrates the potential for expanding existing concepts of information seeking and search by looking at its gradually constructed information needs, resulting from browsing in social context, serendipitous searching, and collaborative learning.