Understanding and exploiting idiosyncrasy in the use of ICT devices such as tablets: Setting the background

Ina Fourie (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Publication date: 8 June 2012



When using information communication technology (ICT) devices it is easy to be trapped by purely the purpose of their design, how they are marketed, product reviews and noting, or even copying, the behaviour of the younger, Net Generation. The purpose of this column is to argue for encouraging all to contribute to deepening our understanding of fully exploiting technology. This includes encouraging people who may be less techno‐savvy but with a richer life‐world and life‐experience to share their use of devices such as tablets, and to allow all to benefit from the idiosyncrasy in use that should be aimed at a life‐fit with personality, learning style, preferences, etc., and widening information spaces and information horizons.


The column is written against the background of research from information behaviour, and the learning sciences (especially andragogics).


There are many reasons to explore more than the obvious ways in which ICT devices such as tablets can be used, and for encouraging a spectrum of users to share the idiosyncrasies in their use thereof. Library and information (LIS) services should move from merely teaching people information literacy and ICT skills to creating grounds for sharing practices and experiences in using devices such as tablets. The focus should move to exploiting the benefit of exploring idiosyncrasies in ICT use and how to encourage people to reflect their life‐world and life‐experience in their use of ICT devices such as tablets to widen their (and our) information spaces and information horizons.


Although much has been published on ICT in the library and information science literature and more recently in relation to the Net Generation, the author is not aware of publications exploiting idiosyncrasy and the value that can be added by considering the life‐world and life‐experience of people in their choices in using ICT devices such as tablets. This paper sets the background for further reflection.



Fourie, I. (2012), "Understanding and exploiting idiosyncrasy in the use of ICT devices such as tablets: Setting the background", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 359-366. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378831211240012

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