Everyday Life Information Seeking - Articles

Lu, Y.-L. (2009). Children's information seeking in coping with daily-life problems: An investigation of fifth- and sixth grade students, Library & Information Science Research.
Researchers have increasingly paid attention to the personal and emotional growth of youth. However, little research has examined how exactly young people use or seek information for their personal development and growth. The primary goal of this study, therefore, is to explore the students' use of "information seeking" to cope with their day-to-day personal stressors and problems. The sample consisted of 641 children in fifth- and sixth-grade classrooms from an urban public elementary school in Taiwan. Data were collected through semistructured, open-ended surveys. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to analyze the data. This study found that in coping with daily-life problems, nearly two thirds of the participating children would seek information; that sixth graders were more likely to do so; and that gender did not make information seeking more (or less) probable in this coping context. Findings also revealed some major reasons for children's information seeking in this coping context, for example, to solve problems, to escape, and to find a transition. Finally, five major different information seeking behaviors related to coping emerged from the findings: information seeking for problem solving, information seeking to escape, information seeking for a transition, information seeking to change mood, and information avoidance, which can be used as a platform to develop an explanatory and possibly predictive framework for future studies.

Lu, Y.-L. (2009). Children's strategies in coping with daily life: Does information matter? In Proceedings of annual conference of the American society for information science. Vancouver, Canada. Available from http://www.asis.org/Conferences/AM09/open-proceedings/openpage.html.
This article offers empirical evidence of children's information behaviors in coping with daily life experiences. One hundred thirty-three children in Taiwan, ages 11 and 12, participated in the study. Each participant kept a semi-structured journal for four days. The study elicited five different information behaviors related to coping: Information Seeking for Problem Solving; Information Seeking for Problem Analysis; Information Use for Escape; Information Use for a Transition; and Information Avoidance. This is an exploratory study, but it provides insights into issues related to children's information behaviors and information services in a coping context.

Lu, Y.-L. (2008). Coping assistance vs. Readers' advisory: Are they the same animal? Children & Libraries 6(1): 15-22.
This exploratory study investigates the heretofore overlooked phenomenon of "coping assistance" for children in examining how children and their primary caregivers approach the children's librarian for coping assistance, how they interact with the librarian, and how the librarian responds. It aims to investigate whether coping assistance is provided in the public library in ordinary times, that is, times not marked by national crises, and if so, how coping assistance is done. This study takes place in three public libraries in southern California. Data were collected through observation, interviews, and journal-keeping. Findings show that coping service does exist in the public library, and children's librarians display a wealth of particular information behaviors in the provision of this type of library service. Coping assistance is found to be different from the way that we ordinarily construe readers' advisory. The responses of librarians point to the need to further explore and evaluate this persistent phenomenon.

Lu, Y.-L. (2008). Helping children cope: What is bibliotherapy? Children & Libraries 6(1): 46-48.
Children's librarian's wear many hats: human search engine; program designer; outreach professional; cataloguer; teacher; artist; storyteller. But ask a children's librarian whether or not the library provides specific services to help children cope with personal problems, such as the loss of a loved one, fear, moving, bullying, etc., and you are likely to get one of two answers: "Yes, we occasionally have this kind of request," or "No--that's bibliotherapy. We aren't qualified to give medical advice; nor do library patrons ask for it." It is difficult to argue which assertion is more prevalent, when there is little evidence in library research for what kind of "coping assistance" actually occurs in libraries. Perhaps even more problematic is the underlying assumption that providing any coping assistance is equivalent to performing bibliotherapy. What exactly is bibliotherapy? Is providing coping assistance bibliotherapy and if so, should children's librarians provide this service? These questions are the focus of this article.

Todd, R. J. (2008). Youth and their Virtual Networked Words: Research Findings and Implications for School Libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 14 (2), 19-34.
This paper reviews recent literature focusing on young people's use of the Web environment, particularly their use of Web 2.0. It identifies emerging Internet use patterns, and presents a set of challenges for school library leaders as they engage developments and continue in their acknowledged leadership role in building information technology environments in schools.

Todd, R. J. (2004) "Adolescents' information seeking and utilization in relation to drugs" in MK Chelton and C Cool (eds). In Youth information seeking: Theories, models and approaches. Scarecrow Press.
This chapter explores the concept of information utilization by looking at adolescents in the context of life concerns, particularly that of drugs. It reports findings derived from the ongoing analysis of data from Australian research undertaken by Edwards and Poston Anderson (1995-99) and Todd (1999). Using an analytical framework based on the propositional statements of Chatman's Theory of Information Poverty, it shows that the interplay of several factors, particularly notions of insiders and outsiders, judgments about risks, costs and benefits, and social norms appears to have created an information world rich in potential sources but in reality for these adolescents a world that is devoid of sources of information that they can utilize in relation to their needs about drugs.

Gordon, C. (2000). "Putting the Learner in Charge: Are Information Literacy Skills Enough?" Scan, 19(1), 32-38. Available at: http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~cgordon/documents/gordon_putting_the_learner_in_charge.pdf .
Performance-based learning and assessment structured a self-elected learning task for 100 grade nine students in an independent school. The study focused on the effects of a personalized, independent project. Self-regulated learning and accurate self-assessment guided the design of the inquiry. The absence of mandated academic content shifted the focus to personal interests and project management. Data were collected in student journals and self-assessments guided by a rubric. Information searching was just-enough-just-in-time.. Resources were home and community, rather than library-based. Students were guided by an adviser of their choice. Qualitative summative assessment through exhibition and demonstration was executed by parents, teachers, and community members. The role school librarian provided support for self-assessment and the affective aspects of information searching and learning. Student engagement was high, as evidenced by completion of the projects by 100 percent of the students. There were strong trends toward ethnic-related projects that involved families and favored the arts and non-existent curriculum subjects (e.g., design technology, crafts), or "šminor subjects"› (e.g., art, music, dance, theatre). Non-native English speakers preferred to work in groups were homogeneous with regard to gender and culture. Users who chose concrete outcomes were more focused on product; those who created activist or performance outcomes focused on process and learning goals, and demonstrated meta-cognition more frequently. There is strong evidence from this study that users are responsive to performance assessment based learning, sustaining self-discipline, organizational skills, and commitment to complete their projects.

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