Developing information literacy in dependent and disadvantaged circumstances: a transitional approach in the digital health context

Steven Buchanan, Cara Jardine, Ian Ruthven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

5 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


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 extremely low without human intermediary led intervention. A transitional approach is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFifth European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL), Sep 18-21 2017, Saint-Malo, France
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-74333-2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


  • information literacy
  • information behaviour
  • digital health

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