Saturday, September 04, 2010

Study on school leavers' information behaviour

I am in Uppsala (Sweden), and yesterday gave a presentation about the Information Literate University to staff and students at Uppsala University (the pictures are of a workplace in their (very) old Carolina library and some books on the shelves of the old reading room). I have been busy with this and also have had a bad cold, so haven't got time at the moment to write this up properly. Instead here is information on a Swedish dissertation (quicker to post!)
Approaching the future: a study of Swedish school leavers' information related activities is a PhD thesis by Frances Hultgren from the University of Borås. Swedish School of Library and Information Science, published 2009 (in English with a Swedish summary). "The focus of the thesis is on how school leavers deal with the flood of information, advice and expectations that are directed towards them at a structurally induced turning point in their lives. ... The study is based on qualitative research interviews with twenty one school leavers during their last year at school and on a minor discourse oriented study of a selection of the information produced by major actors in the careers guidance system. ... Four approaches to information seeking emerged from participants’ accounts: 1) They use information seeking as a tool in making connections between educational interests and the future labour market 2) They use information seeking both as a tool in finding pathways to occupations and as a means of orienting within an occupational domain 3) Study and career information seeking is put ‘on hold’, and information seeking is associated with planning extended transitions, and 4) Study and career information seeking is avoided as potentially threatening or as meaningless. ... A greater focus on the development of an information literacy is suggested as a means of better supporting young people in the process of making study and career decisions."

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