Chapter 2

Information Seeking

Every one has daily, hourly, and momentary need of ascertaining facts which he has not directly observed.

— John Stuart Mill

Mankind is an endless pursuer of knowledge. Philosophers and scientists through the millennia have gathered in libraries and universities to investigate the inner workings of our world; yet there is also a humbler, more pragmatic form of inquiry at work in every individual.

Whether planting vegetables, repairing a car, or building software, individuals regularly need access to information that they don’t yet possess. We bridge this knowledge gap by asking those around us for advice, turning to books and encyclopedias, and, increasingly, searching the Internet. This journey between need and fulfillment ...

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