Thursday, January 17, 2008

British Library Study Shows Google Generation A Myth

A report commissioned by the UK Joint Information Systems Committee and the British Library - Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future - claims that the widespread assumptions about the existence of a 'Google Generation' of younger, tech-savvy people whose information-seeking behaviour is very different from that of their older peers may be a myth. In fact, their information literacy skills are often sadly deficient, as are those of the members of other generations.

From the press release:

"... although young people demonstrate an ease and familiarity with computers, they rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web. The report (...) also shows that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors."

"The study calls for libraries to respond urgently to the changing needs of researchers and other users and to understand the new means of searching and navigating information. Learning what researchers want and need is crucial if libraries are not to become obsolete, the report warns."

"The findings also send a stark message to government - that young people are dangerously lacking information skills. Well-funded information literacy programmes are needed, it continues, if the UK is to remain as a leading knowledge economy with a strongly-skilled next generation of researchers."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:04 pm


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