In response to the question, “Can we assume all students are competent at seeking and using information?”
In the provision of information services, we cannot assume all students are “competent at seeking and using information.” The age and education level of the students in question have a significant effect on their info seeking abilities. That said, I have seen students make it all the way through high school without developing proper research skills. It seems to me that individuals who are students by choice, such as college students, are more likely to be skilled info seekers, and are certainly more likely to improve their info seeking skills the longer they pursue their education. K-12 students, who must attend school by law whether they want to learn or not, may be less inclined to develop their info seeking skills than individuals who have chosen to attend school and have paid a lot of money to do so. Avoiding assumptions about customer skill level, among other characteristics, will enable information professionals to provide information services more efficiently and effectively.