Library Futures 2: understanding information and digital literacy in undergraduates.
  • September 27, 2017

Library Futures 2: understanding information and digital literacy in undergraduates.

A new collaborative research project.

In early 2017, eleven university libraries worked with us to complete our first ‘Library Futures’ project where we explored the preparedness and expectations of 16 to 18-year olds for their academic career at university. Now, we are turning our gaze to the undergraduate student population. This second collaborative ‘Library Futures’ research project will capture new evidence about undergraduate’s information and digital literacy, skills, attitudes, and behaviours.

Library Futures 2 will explore:

How do undergraduates approach finding and managing information for their studies?

How are they using digital technologies in their academic and wider lives?

How confident and able are students when finding and managing information online?

What do undergraduates expect from their university library, and how does this compare to their current perception and experience?

At the core of our methodology is a large-scale online quantitative survey and we will also use in-depth qualitative research methods, including personal diaries, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups to explore behaviours and perceptions further.

The Library Futures 2 participants are: University of Glasgow, University of Leicester, University of Reading, UCL, Aston University, University of Aberdeen, Brunel University, University of Dundee, University of Huddersfield, University of Liverpool, and University of York.

Context for information and digital literacy:

The way in which students learn is changing rapidly with the continued growth of online technologies. Students now have an overwhelming level of information at their fingertips, from traditional publications to video tutorials, social media and wikis. A deeper understanding of the skills, experiences and behaviours of today’s students will enable university libraries to provide support and services to help their students get the best out of their academic studies and future careers.

The project will be used by participating institutions to inform both strategy and action around digital and information literacy.

To find out more about the collaboration, or to get involved in the next one, please contact Zara Lawson, Library Futures Lead, on 0161 605 0862 or

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