How Young Adult Readers Select Fiction in Public Libraries: A Study of the Factors Which Influence Information-Seeking in Context
Research Problem: The purpose of this research paper is to observe the information-seeking behaviour and book selection methods of the youth today, mainly in the public library context. There are so many questions, and prescribed answers as to how young adults seek reading material for themselves, who and what influences them, what is the best way to communicate with them, as well as how technology effects these processes. There are few recent research articles on this topic, and no qualitative-research examples, which prevent us from uncovering rich, genuine data about how young adults respond to aspects such was Web 2.0, peer influence, family influence, teacher/librarian influence, the introduction of new collections, book displays, youthful-looking book covers and so forth. Methodology: Qualitative research methods used. Focus groups were conducted with 3 groups, each consisting of 8-11 teenagers, who are members of Auckland Libraries. Results: We can observe that for optimal effect on young adults, public libraries (or even publishing houses, bookstores and schools) is to be wiser and more focused with some services, and to understand what young adults are actually seeking. It is about giving a facelift to some current services, re-organizing the collection, re-thinking how the web and Web 2.0 is used, and being more strategic in establishing personal relationships with young adults. Implications: This research offers theoretical grounding within a comprehensive literature review of as much current information examples as possible. It also offers practical lessons, offered by the examples given from the young adults themselves, which public libraries may or may not choose to employ, in order to draw young adults to their services, to use their collections, and to stay as members for life.