Digital natives or digital refugees? Why we have failed Gen Y?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


IASL and the University of Padua


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science




Combes, B. (2009). Digital natives or digital refugees? Why we have failed Gen Y? Proceedings of 38th Annual Conference of the International Association of School Librarianship incorporating the 13th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship: Preparing pupils and students for the future, school libraries in the picture. Albano Terme, Padova, Italy. IASL and the University of Padua. Available here


This research forum paper presents the conclusion of a much broader PhD study which examines the information-seeking behaviour of the Net Generation or Generation Y. The overarching premise of this study centres on the belief that a greater understanding of how young adults seek and interact with information and the online environment, is an important first step in developing strategies to prepare them for tertiary education, the workplace and a future that will be characterised by an increasingly complex and constantly evolving information landscape. This paper will present the final analysis of the PhD findings, discuss what this means for the current generation of students and examine where schools and particularly teacher librarians need to focus if we are to cater for future generations.