Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


“I'd Rather Not Know":
Ways of Thinking and Talking about Information Avoidance

A jointly hosted event by the State Library of New South Wales and the Information Practices Research Group, School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University

5:30-7:00pm   Monday, 29 April 2013

State Library of New South Wales Metcalfe Auditorium, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000  (Meet in the Macquarie St foyer)

RSVP (strictly limited numbers):  
State Library of NSW Bookings Office
Telephone: 02 9273 1770 / Facsimile: 02 9273 1248
or to book online please visit

Event summary: Many researchers focus on how people seek information to address particular questions, such as side-effects of a medical treatment, or how to improve their grades at school. Yet we know that people may avoid information if paying attention to it might cause mental discomfort. Many psychological concepts are relevant to the decision not to learn, acknowledge, or act upon, uncomfortable facts: repression, denial, avoidance, distraction, escape, selective exposure, cognitive consistency, coping, terror management, uncertainty management, and uncertainty navigation, to name the more prominent labels. How do each of these concepts relate to a decision, or tendency, not to seek information? What are the implications for members of the public when looking for information to make choices in their daily lives?

State Library of New South Wales 

Donald CaseProfessor Donald Case has been interested in studies of information behaviour for over 30 years. He is the author of over 40 journal articles on information seeking, information technology and other topics. Case's book, "Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior" (2002) was given the "Best Book of the Year" Award by the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T). A third edition of "Looking" appeared in 2012.  During 2008-2009, Donald was President of ASIS&T, and currently serves on the Editorial Board for JASIS&T. He has held the post of Professor in the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Studies since 1994. Before joining UK Case was a faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles, from 1983 to 1994. During 1989 he received a Fulbright Fellowship to lecture at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, and during fall of 2011 he undertook a one-month Fulbright lectureship at three Finnish universities.