Monday, December 27, 2004

Students and the Information Search Process: Zones of Intervention for Librarians. This article is by Carol C. Kuhlthau. It was published in Advances in Librarianship, Vol. 18. 1994.

From the site:

Librarians have a long and distinguished tradition of services assisting students to find information for research assignments in a variety of courses and in various disciplines. In one sense, these services are interventions for improving access and learning. Interventions, as I use the term, refer specifically to those situations in which librarians directly interact with students who are in the process of information seeking or expect to be in the near future.

There are two basic library services in which the professional librarian is involved in such intervention: reference and bibliographic instruction. Reference is mediation with the student to help in the location and use of sources and information. We might think of mediation as occurring on different levels, from a simple response to a specific question to getting involved in a student's extended search process. Bibliographic instruction is education for learning tools, sources, and concepts of information and strategies for locating and using tools and sources. Bibliographic instruction, also, may be described as occurring on different levels, from general introductory sessions to instruction on identifying and interpreting information to consultation on an evolving problem.

All services of the library are directly related to students' information seeking behavior. Recent studies of the information search process of secondary students and undergraduates reveal a complex, constructive process of learning from a variety of sources (Kuhlthau, 1989). These studies indicate important directions for services in reference and bibliographic instruction.

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