This book explains how and why information literacy can help to foster critical thinking and discerning attitudes, enabling citizens to play an informed role in society and its democratic processes.
In early 21st century societies, individuals and organisations are deluged with information, particularly online information. Much of this is useful, valuable or enriching. But a lot of it is of dubious quality and provenance, if not downright dangerous. Misinformation forms part of the mix. The ability to get the most out of the information flow, finding, interpreting and using it, and particularly developing a critical mindset towards it, requires skills, know-how, judgement and confidence - such is the premise of information literacy. This is true for many aspects of human endeavour, including education, work, health and self-enrichment. It is notably true also for acquiring an understanding of the wider world, for reaching informed views, for recognising bias and misinformation, and thereby for playing a part as active citizens, in democratic life and society.
This ground-breaking and uniquely multi-disciplinary book explores how information literacy can contribute to fostering attitudes, habits and practices that underpin an informed citizenry. The 13 chapters each come from a particular perspective and are authored by international experts representing a range of disciplines: information literacy itself, but also political science, pedagogy, information science, psychology. Informed Societies: Why Information literacy matters for citizenship, participation and democracy covers:
why information literacy and informed citizens matter for healthy, democratic societies
information literacy's relationship with political science
information literacy's relationship with human rights
how information literacy can help foster citizenship, participation, empowerment and civic engagement in different contexts: school students, refugees, older people and in wider society
information literacy as a means to counter misinformation and fake news
the challenges of addressing information literacy as part of national public policy.
The book will be essential reading for librarians and information professionals working in public libraries, schools, higher education institutions and public bodies; knowledge and information managers in all sectors and student of library and information science students, especially those at postgraduate/Masters level who are planning dissertations. Because of the topicality and political urgency of the issues covered, the book will also be of interest to students of political science, psychology, education and media studies/journalism; policy-makers in the public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors and politicians implications of information use and information/digital literacy.