Undergraduate Students in the Digital Library: Information Seeking Behavior in an Heterogeneous Environment

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Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) National Conference


There is a paucity of research on general undergraduate user behavior particularly in the emerging digital library environment. This paper presents the results of a preliminary study of information seeking among sixty undergraduates at Skidmore College. The study was designed to 1) assess students' information seeking behavior in general; 2) elicit information about the search process; and 3) discern how students had acquired their knowledge of online searching and their level of expertise with online searching, computer applications and libraries. Our results indicate that most undergraduates have a relatively poor understanding of the information environment and that the "digital library" exaggerates and magnifies these problems.