Week 7: Information and digital literacy

What’s on in Week 7

Twitter chat

When Monday 31 August, 6pm – 7pm
Topic Information and digital literacy
Guest tweeters  TBC
Twitter Chat Champions This week’s Twitter Chat Champions are:

  • Chris S
  • Caitlin
  • Kym
  • Peldon
  • Robynne
  • Shannon
  • Will
Hashtag #ifn614infolitchat
Questions  Q1 Why are information and digital literacy programs important?

Q2 What does it mean to be information and technology literate?

Q3 To what extent should all library staff have the skills and knowledge to support customers’ use of tech?

Q4 What types of programs, products and services should libraries offer to support information and digital literacy?

Can’t participate in the Twitter chat? Check out the Storify archive

New to Twitter chats? Check out the post on participating in a Twitter chat.

Synchronous Twitter chat debrief session

When Monday 31 August, 7.15pm – 7.45pm
Where Adobe Connect
What  We’ll debrief our Twitter chat in Adobe Connect right after the Twitter chat.
Can’t make it to the debrief? Access the recording (passcode: week7)


I think this is one of the most important topics we’ll cover this semester. I’ve talked before about how I think the role of libraries is to empower people, and along with traditional literacy, information literacy (IL) and digital inclusion are the key spaces where we have the opportunity to do this.

This week I’ve selected some readings about information literacy, designed to give you an overview of theory and practice related to IL. Along with those, I’ve selected some readings about digital literacy and digital inclusion designed to help you understand why this is such an important topic.

Here’s the thing: public libraries don’t just teach elderly customers to use Facebook so they can contact their grandkids. They teach elderly customers to use Facebook to allow them to develop skills and knowledge to participate in digital life more generally.


What is information literacy?

Information literacy has been defined in a number of ways. The readings below provide insight into these definitions, but here are a couple of basic definitions for you to keep in mind as you read:

According to the Association of College and Research Libraries

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”

What is digital inclusion?

“Digital inclusion is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies.” From “Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action”, 2011

From: Web Junction

Things to read and watch


Information literacy

Chapter 2: Information literacy and Library 2.0: An update in Godwin, P. & Parker, J. (Eds.) (2012). Information Literacy Beyond Library 2.0. London: Facet.

Chapter 20: Information literacy: A path to the future in Godwin, P. & Parker, J. (Eds.) (2012). Information Literacy Beyond Library 2.0. London: Facet.

Designing information literacy programs

Bruce, C. (2004) Information Literacy as a Catalyst for Educational Change. A Background Paper. In Danaher, P. A. (Ed.) Proceedings “Lifelong Learning: Whose responsibility and what is your contribution?”, the 3rd International Lifelong Learning Conference, pages pp. 8-19, Yeppoon, Queensland.

Digital literacy and digital inclusion

In the video below, former Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, speaks about ICT skills and digital inclusion in Europe. Here’s a stand out quote from the video:

Exclusion from the digital world will have progressively worse social implications… over time. It will imply exclusion from information, economic opportunity, social contact, even health, education or government services.

Most worryingly, those most at risk of this digital divide tend to be already at risk of isolation and exclusion in other ways…

Chapter 5: Libraries as institutions of digital literacy and inclusion in Thompson, K. M., Jaeger, P. T., Taylor, N. G., Subramaniam, M., & Bertot, J. C. (2014). Digital Literacy and Digital Inclusion: Information Policy and the Public LibraryLanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

The internet is important to everyone

Check out this infographic on digital inclusion from Web Junction.


Designing digital literacy programs

This video provides an overview of an 8 step process for developing and running digital literacy programs. It’s a formula that will work in any context.

Instruction in libraries

Chapter 4: Instruction in Evans, G.; Saponaro, Margaret; Christie, Holland; Sinwell, Carol (2015). Library Programs and Services: The Fundamentals, 8th Edition.

Want more?

Web Junction has a great guide to digital inclusion, which you might find useful if you’re looking at a program, product or service designed to promote digital inclusion for Assignment 2 and 3.

Things to do

assessment-iconWeek 7 learning activity post

You need to complete your Week 7 learning activity. You can complete any of the six activity types that are included in Assignment 1 but remember you need to complete one of each type of activity over the course of the semester.

Marks for submission date

Remember, there are additional marks for submitting this activity within particular time periods. The breakdown is:

  • Submit by the end of the nominated week: 2 additional marks
  • Submit by the end of the following week: 1 additional mark
  • Submit after the end of the following week but before the next check point: 0 additional marks

Argue a point of view

If you’re doing the ‘argue a point of view’ topic this week, you can choose from one of the following topics (argue for or against the statement). Please note I may not agree with all of these!

  • Information literacy instruction should be the role of libraries in educational institutions.
  • The NBN will close the digital divide in Australia.
  • Access to the internet is a fundamental human right.
  • Answering questions about how to use software is not the job of a reference librarian.
  • Information technology is everyone’s business. All librarians should be interested in and on top of developments in consumer tech.

Alternatively, you can pick your own topic.