Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version

Fall 9-14-2019


This paper traces the historical developments using selected literature related to ‘library anxiety’, ‘information seeking anxiety’ and ‘information anxiety’. These concepts existed independently and parallelly and attracted much attention from the researchers of their respective fields. The existing literature lacked a study establishing a relationship among these three concepts which led to the idea of a general model of information anxiety to inform researchers as well as professionals dealing with policy and practice. This model represents information anxiety as the general and broader concept nesting information seeking anxiety as its sub-set and library anxiety as a further sub-set. It highlights the development of library anxiety, information seeking anxiety, and information anxiety over time. It also outlines the theoretical and practical implications of information anxiety for information services, especially information literacy (IL) instruction, as previous research reported it as a potential determinant of lower levels of information anxiety. The researchers emphasize the necessity for a need-based IL curriculum for the alleviation of users’ anxiety related to information related tasks. The future directions for research on the proposed area considering the contemporary information environment have been discussed towards the end.



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