Information Behavior of Elderly Citizens in Search for Information on Current Events

Helena Lipkova, Radka Rimanova, Adela Jarolimkova, Iva Zadrazilova

Abstrakt


Interest in current events and topics is one of the manifestations of active participation of elderly citizens in society. Access to relevant, accurate and credible information therefore constitutes one of the conditions as well as forms of social inclusion as it helps to anchor and integrate individuals in the society. It also prevents manipulation of elderly citizens. The novelty and scope of topics and increasing breadth of information resources represent a challenge for application of information literacy skills by elderly population, especially in terms of the competency framework.

The objectives of this research were to determine how seniors gather and analyze information about current events, how they seek relevant and reliable resources, which resources they trust, what types of information they prefer and how well they understand information presented. Research was carried out within the target group of elderly students attending the University of the Third Age at Institute of Information Science and Librarianship, Prague and the University of the Third Age at Masaryk University in Brno. 

Research methodology included qualitative research methods and techniques like questionnaires as well as observation techniques to monitor information seeking behavior to the given topics. 

The analysis of gathered findings concentrated on the application of information literacy skills, in particular selection of information resources, their prioritization, evaluation and relevance assessment etc.

Conclusions: the usage of online information resources vis-a-vis daily events among respondents from our target group progressively increases, in some aspects electronic information sources are more used and/or preferred than traditional media. Information literacy skills correlate with the acquired level of computer handling skills. Despite theoretical knowledge of literate

 

information behavior, there is still large space for improvement particularly in the field of its practical application. Research outcomes are used to improve information literacy curriculum for elderly students at the University of the Third Age (further only U3A) 

Klíčová slova


elderly, information behavior, information seclusion, survey, information literacy, information seeking

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