Youth Online Projects


Understanding School and Public Library Social Media Practice and Policy

We recently conducted a national survey of public and school libraries in the U.S. about their use of and policies on social technologies to support library services. We targeted these libraries to better understand how libraries that serve different populations use social media to interface with patrons and for what purposes. These data will be used to help support the development of recommendations for best practices to support youth services in public and school libraries.

This project is part of the IMLS grant Libraries and the Social Web: Developing the Next Generation of Youth Information Services.


Youth and Social Search

This project seeks to investigate the social search habits of high school students, with emphasis on how they interact in social network sites to ask and answer questions of their peers and others. Young people are notoriously active users of social media: in 2009, 93% of American teens were online and 73% of those used social network sites, yet little research has been done to understand how this explosion of online socializing plays out in social information seeking behaviors. In previous work, our team has explored different aspects of information literacy and youth: how teens make sense of novel information sources like Wikipedia and use their understanding of social media to assess the information they find online, and how information plays distinct roles in different developmental areas of young adult life. Our next step is understanding how young people make sense of and leverage social resources when they search for information.

This project is part of the IMLS grant Libraries and the Social Web: Developing the Next Generation of Youth Information Services.


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