Monday, August 19, 2013

Civic literacy projects in libraries: acting in the present, thinking in the future #wlic2013

Civic literacy projects in libraries: acting in the present, thinking in the future from Vera Maria Da Silva (Public Library of Seixal, Seixal, Portugal) and Francisco Vaz (Escola de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal) is the final presentation in the Civic Literacy session at the IFLA World library and Information Conference in Singapore. It is being presented in Spanish, and my Spanish is very patchy, so I will just attempt to the points that I grasp. Their full paper is at
Part of the talk described a project "Derechos por derechos?", a project to promote and understand human rights and freedoms, and the ambition is to promote reading and develop citizenship and information behaviour. Objectives include to introduce concepts of huiman rights are intrioduced, to foster reflection and debate and develop an idea of citizenship. This is not seen as an abstract idea, but one of real life. They prepared various material for the initiatives including promotional and teaching material. Pedagogic material included books, conceptual maps, but also paintings (ones which portayed situations or emotions relevant to civic literacy e.g. I think one was Picasso's Guernica, for discussion) and music. There were preparation sessions for the teachers and the speaker described various activities and the form of the curriculum. One statistic I grasped near the end of the presentation was that 80% of the evaluations of the project said it was good, and 20% very good! Also the need for a pedagogic approach based on critical engagement (not passive consumption) was emphasised. There was a lot of interesting detail in this presentation and so it is worth looking at the paper, which is in English.

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