Library Services from the Outside-In Transforming the Tactic Religious Information Practices of the Theological Students from Unregistered Christian Churches in China

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Cindy Lu


The purpose is to inform the seminary libraries to design library services based on an outside-in strategy to meet the information intents of the theological students from clandestine, unregistered Christian churches in China. Specifically, the goals of this research are to: 1. Examine how the previous tactic information practices—walking, poaching, reading, and deception—exercised routinely in the unregistered Christian communities in China were shaped by the information-impoverished situations. 2. Stratify how information intents could change their tactic practices in finding religious information, when members from these information-impoverished communities come to study at theological seminaries in the United States, where information is rich and freely accessible.  The study applies Todd’s extended six categories of information intents to analyze de Certeau’s four types of tactic information practices in walking, poaching, reading, and deception/disguise, as demonstrated in the interviews and information world maps of the seventeen theological students from China.

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