Eszter Hargittai to discuss 'digital natives' and 'digital naives' at AASL national conference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/23/2015


Jennifer Habley

Manager, Web Communications

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)


CHICAGO – Eszter Hargittai, a Delaney Family professor in the communication studies department at Northwestern University, will share her research on the social implications of digital media during the closing general session of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 17th National Conference & Exhibition. The conference, themed “Experience Education Evolution,” will be held Nov. 5-8, in Columbus, Ohio. Full conference details can be found at

“’If we assume young people know everything they need to know about technology, we risk denying them opportunities to learn or ask questions,' contends Eszter Hargittai,” said Kathy Lowe, national conference co-chair. “She believes the concept of the ‘digital native’ is a myth, and that in fact, many young people are ‘digital naives.’”

In her research on digital media, Hargittai examines how differences in people's Web-use skills influence what they do online. Her projects have looked at the evolution of search engines and the organization and presentation of online content, and how information technologies are influencing the types of cultural products people consume. She has found that people from less privileged backgrounds are less digitally savvy.

“In observing the behaviors of students in her ‘Managing Your Online Reputation’ course at Northwestern University and through her years of research on the online skills of millennials, Ms. Hargittai has concluded that students’ socio-economic status has a significant impact on how they navigate the Internet and develop their online personas,” explains Lowe. “I think she will send school librarians and administrators off with new insights into their students’ ability to use online resources and social media smartly and safely.”

The AASL National Conference & Exhibition is the only national conference dedicated solely to the needs of school librarians and their roles as educational leaders. The 17th National Conference & Exhibition, “Experience Education Evolution,” taking place Nov. 5-8, 2015, will feature preconference workshops, concurrent sessions and an exhibition featuring companies relevant to the profession.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.