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The Information Behavior of a New Generation

Children and Teens in the 21st Century

Edited by Jamshid Beheshti and Andrew Large

Has the information behavior of children and youth changed significantly over the last two decades? The Information Behavior of a New Generation: Children and Teens in the 21st Century attempts to answer this question from a variety of viewpoints. Thirteen researchers from educational psychology, computer science, education, and information studies have contributed to eleven chapters on models of information behavior, the cognitive development of youth, information literacy, everyday information behavior, cyber-bullying, gaming in virtual environments, learning labs, social networks, intellectual disabilities, and current and future systems.

Whether they are referred to as digital natives, the Google-generation, or generation M, today’s youth are active consumers and avid producers of digital information. Smart phones are the new generation’s communication tools, social networks are their interaction venues, and virtual environments are their new playgrounds. This new digital communication era has prompted researchers from a variety of disciplines to contribute to this book on the information behavior of children and teens.

One of the many conclusions that may be drawn from the chapters in the book is that information behavior is a multifaceted phenomenon, evolving alongside the rapid developments in information and communication technologies. The new generation tends to multitask, managing many activities simultaneously, such as scanning for and skimming information, texting brief messages, and posting audio and visual information on social media. While children and teens are tech savvy, they lack certain information and media literacy skills essential in today’s digital environment.

For researchers, the authors pose questions for further investigation in the hope that innovative services will be offered and novel systems will be developed to help the new generation. For teachers and information professionals, the authors provide a broad background to assist them with a more in-depth and thorough understanding and appreciation of children’s and teens’ information behavior.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 262Size: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-8594-3 • Paperback • November 2012 • $64.00 • (£42.95)
978-0-8108-8595-0 • eBook • November 2012 • $60.00 • (£39.95)
Jamshid Beheshti, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Information Studies at McGill University, where he was the Director of the School for six years. He was also appointed as the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education, and the Interim Dean of the Faculty. Dr. Beheshti is the principal investigator on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant on Virtual Environments as an Intervention Agent in the Information-Seeking Process of School Students. His areas of expertise are children-computer interaction, and information behaviour.

Andrew Large is CN-Pratt-Grinstad Professor of Information Studies in the School of Information Studies at McGill University, and currently Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Students) in its Faculty of Education. His research interests lie in the areas of information retrieval, interface design and usability, especially in the context of children as users. He has published and spoken widely on these and other research themes, and is co-editor of the quarterly journal, Education for Information.
Andrew Large and Jamshid Beheshti
Chapter 1: Concepts, Propositions, Models and Theories in Information Behavior Research
Charles Cole
Chapter 2: Cognitive Development and Information Behavior
James P. Byrnes & Matthew L. Bernacki
Chapter 3: Information Literacy
Leanne Bowler & Valerie Nesset
Chapter 4: Everyday Life Information Behavior of Young People
June Abbas & Denise E. Agosto
Chapter 5: Digital Age Libraries and Youth: Learning Labs, Literacy Leaders, Radical Resources
Eliza T. Dresang
Chapter 6: Youth and Online Social Networking: What Do We Know So Far?
Denise E. agosto& June Abbas
Chapter 7: Gaming and Virtual Environments
Giovanni Vincenti
Chapter 8: Everyday Life Information in Support of Enhanced Quality of Life for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Dana Hanson-Baldauf
Chapter 9: Defining the Line on Cyber-bullying:How youth encounter and distribute demeaning information
Shaheen Shariff
Chapter 10: Systems
Jamshid Beheshti & Andrew Large
Chapter 11: The Future
Jamshid Beheshti & Andrew Large
As theological libraries both at seminaries and universities prepare for the future, The Information Behavior of a New Generation: Children and Teens in the 21st Century and other texts of this nature provide valuable insights for both long-range and short-term planning. ... This text provides ten different voices on various aspects of the theological library’s next generation of users, and an eleventh chapter that brings these voices into conversation on the future of information services. ... This is a well-written text with a good index and well-developed bibliographies after each chapter. It is recommended for library directors and would make an excellent conversation starter for presentations with faculty and administration.
Theological Librarianship

The editors have allowed the authors free rein in using their own voice, giving way to a book that has multi-styled chapters. This was a concern at first, thinking this would upset the ‘flow’ of the text. However, it does actually make for a more interesting read and the chapters do dovetail nicely with each author’s opinions. ... This has been a fascinating read. It is well written and offers a wealth of references at the end of each chapter for further investigation. Librarians from all sectors, particularly within educational establishments would find this book useful. Academics wanting to know more about people’s information behaviour would enjoy this book to help with understanding how young people exploit information effectively. It is also very likely that library and information science students will make good use of this book.
Multimedia Information & Technology

In this work, editors Beheshti and Large provide a compilation of essays the inform this complex discussion from multiple perspectives. One of the strengths of this collection is the diversity of disciplines that the authors draw from including education, educational psychology, computer science, and library science. . . . this collection aims for and achieves a wide-angle lens approach to the topic of [youth behavior and information practices]. Beheshti and Large have a long academic history in the study of children, information, and evolving technology and media. They bring this expertise to the book and provide a detailed introduction as well as the final two chapters of the book. ... This work provides a glimpse at relevant research theory and practice dealing with the new generation of information users. Readers who are seeking a wide-angle approach and a broad array of research on the information behavior of current young people will find this book relevant and useful.
Library & Information Science Research

This collection of papers is a valuable complement to studies of user behaviour in general. It successfully covers broad content in depth, charting progress through then comprehensive lists of references. For those interested in how the Internet is changing our professional domain this is a must.
Australian Library Journal