Seeking Information: A study of the use and understanding of information by parents of young children

Christopher Guy Walker
2009, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 53-63


This paper presents the preliminary findings of research examining the information seeking of parents. It is the belief of the author that information seeking theory is an important foundational concept of information literacy. The hope is that this investigation, which focuses on the everyday life information seeking of parents, will help to add a different perspective to the concept of information literacy and how it can be relevant to everyday life.

The research has been carried out as part of a PhD project and primarily comprises of 33 interviews with parents of primary school aged children in Leeds, UK. Participant observations and informal discussions with professionals supported the interviews.

The data is in the process of being analysed. However, at this stage of analysis, there are a number of emerging themes. These themes have been termed as: assessing; catalysts; emotions; hindrances; internet; people; places; questions; system; and trust. This paper will present a summary of these themes as they currently stand.

The research focuses on the everyday life information seeking of parents of young children, an area of study that has not received much attention from the LIS community. It is hoped that the research will help provide a fresh theoretical perspective of how information literacy theory can be developed in the context of everyday life information seeking.


information literacy; parents; information seeking; everyday life; children; social class; UK

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