Hobby Quilting Websites and Voluntary Provision of Information

Rhiannon Gainor


The purpose of this essay is to explore how the “information behaviors” of quilting website hobbyists point to principles that could be applied to professional work environments in fostering employee contributions to institutional information repositories.  Using a Library and Information Studies (LIS) perspective, this qualitative and interdisciplinary study investigates the information behaviors of twenty-five hobby quilters who own websites and blogs. Items for investigation and analysis within the data set include statements of motivation, teaching tools, and expressions of personal creativity.

The research findings show that the websites demonstrate themes of creativity, teaching, and community, all of which seem to be inextricably tied not only to the larger quilting community and traditions, but to the quilt object itself. In extrapolating principles for professional work life contexts, the findings demonstrate that the accepting, nurturing, mentoring, and creative environment that the quilting community embodies allows the spontaneous and voluntary development of information resources for community and non-community members alike.

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