Thursday, September 27, 2018

Advocacy in everyday life: the role of information literacy skills #ECIL2018

My next liveblog is Advocacy in everyday life: the role of information literacy skills, given by Peggy Nzomo. She started by defining advocacy (see photo), and quoted Malala in saying that speaking up is powerful. Nzomo identified that there are several types of advocacy e.g. for health, for causes, for groups and individuals. However self-advocacy may be the most common form of advocacy, (quoting Martin Luther King) there comes a time when you have to speak for yourself.
Nzomo went on to talk about advocacy for libraries, but pointed out that librarians advocate for other things, such as multilingual information access, or underserved populations such as refugees. They reseaechers carried out a systematic review to look at the skills, behaviour and knowledge needed for advocacy work, and to see whether there was a link between skills, behaviour and knowledge identified with information literacy and those identified for advocacy. The review looked at 2008-2018 and some studies might have been excluded by the search terms used, there was also a concentration on English language, and decisions to include were based on the abstracts. Nzomo described some further incusion and exclusion criteria. The main starting points for thinking about IL skills were the ACRL Standards and ACRL Framework.

Moving to analysis and findings: the largest category for relevant advocacy studies related to health advocacy, and health professionals were the most engaged in advocacy (other studies had found that social workers were strong advocates). Other important categories were self-advocacy, legal advocacy, and advocacy in education. The largest number were from the USA. 60% of the selected studies used qualitative research. 12% were opinion pieces, and storytelling was a recurrent theme.
The 2nd photo shows some of the skills etc. that were identified in the studies. Nzomo pointed out how a number of these overlapped with skills etc. that are identified as part of information literacy. They are aiming to do more work in this area.

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