Vol. 4 No. Special (2019)
Essays and Opinion Pieces

For an impact-not-access future, curiosity must survive childhood

Jason Kelly Alston
University of Missouri

Published 2020-12-20


  • curiosity,
  • information literacy,
  • bias

How to Cite

Alston, J. (2020). For an impact-not-access future, curiosity must survive childhood. Journal of New Librarianship, 4(Special), 439–448. https://doi.org/10.21173/newlibs/7/14


“Knowing” is an essential component to action itself. ‘Knowing’, however, requires that information be not merely encountered, but engaged and evaluated. Personal biases may prevent adults from engaging and evaluating information, but the results of a recent study suggest that curiosity may be the attribute that prompts adults to engage with information that does not conform to their pre-held biases. In keeping with the Knowledge School tenet of practitioner-informed and influenced knowing, this article argues that practicing K-12 teachers should have a large role in any attempt to foster curiosity within the minds of older juveniles. Information professionals such as practicing librarians, however, also play a key role in fostering curiosity in youth, engaging these young people in ways that the classroom is not equipped for.