Young children’s interest-driven information practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study aims to explore young children’s information practices within the context of their individual interests, examining children’s interest-related information activities, challenges encountered and enablers received. Design/methodology/approach: Participants included 18 children between five and seven years of age and their parents. Data were collected using a multi-stage participatory approach. Children shared their experiences via a book discussion, poster activity, participant-generated photography and a photo-elicitation interview. Parents provided information about family demographics and their perceptions of their children’s individual interests, information practices and digital media use via questionnaires. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Findings: Young children seek information via print and digital objects, other people and experiences, and use information by applying it to their activities and sharing information with others. Challenges to information activities include children’s own capabilities and skills, constraints of information sources and parental restrictions on their activities. Enablers include affordances of technology and parental support. Originality/value: This study takes a holistic approach to understanding young children’s perspectives of their information activities, examining information use and sharing activities in addition to information seeking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-398
Number of pages28
JournalInformation and Learning Science
Volume123
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank Drs. Ross Todd, Marie Radford, Vikki Katz and Roger Hart for their guidance and support in developing this study, as well as the children and parents who generously gave of their time and energy and allowed her to learn from them. This study was supported by a dissertation support grant from the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Keywords

  • Individual interests
  • Information practices
  • Information seeking
  • Information sharing
  • Information use
  • Young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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