Informatics moments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The informatics moment is the moment when a person seeks help in using some digital technology that is new to him or her. This article examines the informatics moment in people's everyday lives as they sought help at a branch public library. Four types of literacy were involved: basic literacy (reading and writing), computer literacy (use of a mouse, buying a computer), library literacy (navigating online catalogs and databases), and domain literacy (most commonly and urgently, looking for work in a world where practically all job postings and applications are online). Social capital is also associated with many of these informatics moments: people seek help from those with enough skill who are close at hand, approachable, and familiar, and they collaborate with others in their networks to do so. Understanding the informatics moment could accelerate people's (and society's) anxious transition to an inclusive digital age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-73
Number of pages27
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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