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Bringing Together Children and Books: An Initial Descriptive Study of Children's Book Searching and Selection Behavior in a Digital Library

Kara Reuter, Allison Druin,

Presented at ASIST 2004 Annual Meeting; "Managing and Enhancing Information: Cultures and Conflicts" (ASIST AM 04), Providence, Rhode Island, November 13 - 18, 2004


This study describes how elementary school students search for and select books using a digital library. This work was done as part of the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL) project in order to explore and discover new directions for the development of digital library interfaces for children ages 3-13. Children used two versions of the ICDL software to search for, select, and read books. We performed a frequency analysis of the number of queries run, books selected, and books opened, and compared book selection rates and book opening rates. Popular query categories and titles selected are tallied. We found differences in book searching and selection behavior, query category preferences, and titles accessed by gender and age and no differences by software version.

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