Thursday, August 12, 2010

IFLA Report: Delivering information literacy programmes in the context of network society and cross-cultural perspectives

This report on a talk by Huy Nghiem continues blog posts from the 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, held 10-15 August 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference site is at There is a podcast of this talk here, courtesy of Niels Damgaard. The full paper is:
Huy Nghiem (College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam) Delivering information literacy programmes in the context of network society and cross-cultural perspectives
Huy started by briefly indicating recent trends. He noted that there are many theories and frameworks on IL (e.g. SCONUL, Big 6). There is a new information lanscape, with social networking tools, and the way we use these digital tools has changed our information landscape and also opportunities for cross-cultural communication.
Nuy presented a diagram (shown in the full text paper) that illustrated that individuals on the one hand are receiving information from many channels, often passively (with channels that cannot be controlled or customised), but also with opportunities for sharing and communicating. Also individuals are retrieving material (e.g. from wikis, paper based surces) to learn or make meaning, education, social inclusion or employability. Information literacy is important in helping to achieve this.
In terms of the network society, so much is powered by networks and technology nowadays. What is important is the principle of inclusion. The network society can have an impact that is related to culture, country etc.
Huy quoted Spiranec and Zorica (2009) “IL [IL] has its root in the activities of particular groups and communities; it evolves in disciplinary and other contexts and is practiced by communities using their corresponding technologies”, emphasising that is social as well as technical issue.
Huy presented a table which identied the current context and next context for some core elements of IL.
For example: if the core element is "information concerns"; the current context is personal information needs and the new context involves communities concerns, communicating and living in different cultural and social environments. Another example is that if the core element is "information evaluation", the current context is based on formal knowledge and learning and the future context is based on the judgement of the community. A further example in the Vietnamese context is that if the core element is "learning", then the current context is passive learning and the impact of Confucianism (e.g. face saving), and the new context is flexible space, community based learning, cross cultural perspectives and rich resources.
Huy proposed Flexible Learning Communities as the ideal way of developing IL. This requires social and technological conditions for people to develop their IL in community, with their own leraning goals and using whatever technology is suitable. Huy saw librarians as nodes, with the role of libraries including building & developing learning communities and using social networking tools.

Reference: Spiranec S, Zorica M, 2009, ‘Information Literacy 2.0: hype or discourse refinement’, Journal of Documentation, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 140-153
Photo by Sheila Webber: Exhibition

1 comment:

xHuy said...

Thank you so much for your summary. Huy Nghiem