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Conflicting Approaches to User Information Seeking Education in Scandinavian Web-Based Tutorials

Olof Sundin

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


The purpose of this paper is to make visible different approaches to university librariansí professional expertise such as they are mediated through the librariansí pedagogical methods. The empirical basis of the study consists of an analysis of 31 web-based tutorials for information literacy accessible via Scandinavian university librariesí web-sites. The results make apparent four, sometimes conflicting, approaches to user information seeking education expressed in the tutorials: a source oriented approach, a behavior oriented approach, a process oriented approach and a communicative oriented approach. These approaches disclose different ways of defining central concepts such as information, information seeking and the user. A study of attitudes to user education is important as attitudes entail practical consequences for the operation of user education. The contents of the tutorials are also analyzed as an expression of librariansí professional knowledge claims.

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