Week 7: Information and digital literacy

What’s on in Week 7

I’m still sick and I don’t really want to be on YouTube looking not-so-great and sounding pretty rough too. So, I’m going to give you a text run down of things I wanted to chat to you about this week instead of a video. I hope you don’t mind!

Here’s what I wanted to talk to you about this week…

Assignment 1 checkpoint this Sunday

Our first check point for Assignment 1 is this Sunday night at 11.59pm. That means that your posts from Week 2 through Week 7 will be marked after that time. You can edit your posts right up til that time. There’s a blog post scheduled for Tuesday night that will run you through a checklist of things to look at to help you polish up your posts.

Assignment 2 and 3

I will be posting a briefing video on A2 and A3 later this week, as soon as my voice is back!

If you haven’t yet started looking for an assignment partner/group, I recommend you start doing that now. The best way to do it is to post on your blog about what you would like to focus on in the assignment, your expectations in terms of the grade you are looking to achieve, and any important information about how you like to work that your peers should know.

Once you have found a partner or a group, you can sign your group up on the sign up sheet.

Next week’s class will focus on authoring planning and proposing programs, and we will be going through an approach to writing proposals in detail, which you can apply to you A2 and A3.

I have added an assignment clinic class to Week 9, immediately following our Twitter chat, to discuss any questions you have about A2, which is due at the end of Week 9. This session will be online-only and is now on the class schedule.

Twitter chat

When Monday 5 September, 6pm – 7pm
Topic Information and digital literacy
Twitter Chat Champions This week’s Twitter Chat Champions are:

  • Rebecca Mutch
  • Jen Nicholls
  • Lisa Hetherington
  • Katie Ferguson
  • Bec Randall
  • Neil McNaught
  • Zoe MacDonald
  • Michele Smith
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 our Twitter chat tips.

Upcoming due dates

This week

Type What When Where
Assessment Week 7 Reflection Sunday 11 September, 11.59pm Scroll down to the bottom of this page for the prompt and post to your blog
Assessment A1 Checkpoint 1 – make sure you have completed activities from Weeks 2 to 7 inclusive Sunday 11 September, 11.59pm Check the weekly pages for the prompts

Next week

Nothing due! Woo!


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.

Blog post: Critical reflection activity

assessment-iconWeekly learning activity

It’s time for another critical reflection blog post, this time on the topic of information and digital literacy!

Types of posts

You can write about whatever you want related to the topic of the week.


  • One of your activities must be a program review.
  • One of your activities must be a service review.

For your other posts, you can choose a type of activity from the list below, or you can write a critical reflection on a topic off your choosing:

  • argue a point
  • program review
  • service review
  • issues-based reflection
  • trends reflection.

For a description of the different types of posts you could write, check out the Assignment 1 page.

Argue a point of view

If you’re doing the ‘argue a point of view’ topic this week, here are some topics you might like to tackle (argue for or against the statement). It’s not a definitive list – you can choose your own topic. 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.


  • Anitra

    Kate, you talk about a video… n the video below, former Vice President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, speaks about ICT skills… but i cannot seem to find the link? i have found some press releases from her & they are very rousing! Thanks Anitra

    • Kate

      Sorry Anitra! WordPress has been stripping the video embed codes for some reason and I keep missing the missing videos! All fixed now.

Leave a Reply