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The nature and impact of social settings on information flow: Espresso Royale Cafe at an Undergraduate Library

Fredrick Kiwuwa Lugya


Fisher, Landry, and Naumer’s 2006 information grounds study and subsequent scholars on the role of social settings in information behavior research have developed lists and descriptions of social settings from where different categories of people meet and exchange information. In their 2007 paper Fisher, Landry, and Naumer grouped these categorical factors into three broader headings related to people, place and information. This paper goes beyond understanding the ranges of information grounds and there categorical groupings to gain a better understanding of how the design, decoration and furnishings contribute to how coffee shops are perceived as the best places for information sharing. Taking four hours of field observation of café goers located at an Undergraduate Library, the researcher established that movable and lightweight furniture allows flexibility in the internal arrangement, permitting unobstructed movement and a clear visual of the activities from within and outside, increasing close proximity gives a sense of feeling, connectedness among peers and offer opportunity for multiple activities to occur simultaneously for small and big groups. Color selections should be used to align emotions and behaviors with the purpose of the coffee goers; and telecommunication technologies are a source of leisure and allow users to stay connected and continuously engaged with their work, family and interests hence the need to full integrate them into cafe spaces.

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