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Research Group:

"Everyday Life Information Seeking Behavior in Adolescents." C. Foster and S. Buchanan. Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC 2012), 11th-13th April, Glasgow.. 2012. (BibTeX)

Libraries are in an excellent position to support adolescents in their information needs, however, library usage declines dramatically during adolescence. To make library services useful and relevant to adolescents, we need to understand their information needs and behaviours. We have limited evidence about how adolescents behave in their everyday life information seeking (ELIS). This study will address this knowledge gap. This research has three goals: 1)To gain deeper understanding of adolescent ELIS; 2) To explore relationship between attainment and ELIS behaviours; 3) To better understand factors influencing adolescent use or non-use of libraries for ELIS. Research questions include: What everyday life information needs do adolescents have? Why do they choose information sources and how do they determine reliability? Are they successful in their ELIS? How do they decide if they have been successful? What are their attitudes towards libraries as a potential source of support for ELIS?
This study has two unique features. Firstly, it will take an ethnographic approach, using participant observation to gather data over a 9-month period. This approach will be conducive to capturing in detail any observed ELIS and, crucially, the context of individual adolescents. Secondly, it will investigate how attainment relates to ELIS. It will test the hypothesis that negative behaviour traits will be found in the low attainment group. Participants will be drawn from one or more schools, from S4, a crucial point of transition for adolescents. The findings of this study will be of value to information and education professionals, service providers, and 3rd sector bodies. It will inform information service provision and provide evidence for the need to equip this age group with information seeking skills to help with their life decisions.