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Behaviors and Preferences of Digital Natives: Informing a Research Agenda (SIG USE)

Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Linda Z. Cooper, Kara Reuter, Nan Zhou and Denise Agosto

(Submission #33)


Panel Proposal sponsored by SIG USE: Prensky (2001) asserts that because of their total emersion in the digital information environment from birth “…today's students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors” (np). This panel highlights ground-breaking research on information-seeking behaviors of digital natives born prior to 1989. Mounting evidence confirms the need for innovative approaches to understand their behaviors and radically different use of electronic sources, services and systems. An urgently needed research agenda is proposed that draws attention to the need to identify the characteristics and preferences of this tech savvy group that surprisingly lacks basic skills in information evaluation and retrieval. Three studies that explore various aspects of the proposed research agenda including: virtual reference services, selection of digital library resources, and collaborative information behavior in online environments will be presented.

This panel shall be an interactive discussion with a substantial audience participation component. It is hoped that the audience for this session will consist of both researchers and library practitioners in virtual environments, as well as those interested in servicing digital natives. This discussion will be led by the moderator.


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