Developing Information Literacy in Dependent and Disadvantaged Circumstances: A Transitional Approach in the Digital Health Context

  • Steven Buchanan
  • Cara Jardine
  • Ian Ruthven
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 810)


The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of approaches to information literacy skills development in disadvantaged and dependent circumstances, and the role of information behaviour investigations in informing meaningful interventions in context. We report on work with young mothers (<25) from areas of multiple deprivation, seeking to better understand their information needs, and the factors influencing their selective and infrequent engagement with state and voluntary sector information services. We evidence limited progress in addressing digital divide issues, and report young mothers as having multiple and complex information needs, and a dependency upon human information intermediaries due to access and behavioural issues. We discuss design and trial of a tailored digital resource to encourage digital access and use, and in turn literacy development; and report that while found useful by young mothers, usage is likely to be low without human intermediary led intervention. A transitional approach is discussed.


Information literacy Information behaviour Digital health 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information SciencesUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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