The development of young people's information-seeking behaviour

Shenton Andrew, Pat Dixon


This article uses the results of a recent research
project to explore young people's information-seeking
behaviour and how it develops during childhood.
Young first schoolers learn much through practical
experience and conversation with adults but, in the
later stages of this school phase, books, CD-ROM and
the Internet assume increasing importance. In the
middle school, the Internet is used more frequently
and CD-ROM exploitation gradually diminishes. Books
from departmental libraries and textbooks provided by
teachers play key roles in satisfying the academic
information needs of high schoolers. It is in this phase
that use of the Internet is greatest, although many
teenagers are highly critical of it. Whilst the
information-seeking behaviour of high schoolers is
markedly more sophisticated than that of young
children, some essential similarities remain. The article
closes by discussing how the overall findings of the
research have implications for practice, especially
within schools and public libraries.


childhood; public libraries; information literacy

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