The development of young people's information-seeking behaviour


  • Shenton Andrew
  • Pat Dixon



childhood, public libraries, information literacy


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.




Research Articles