Stuart Ferguson (2010) Social capital, lifelong learning, information literacy and the role of libraries, ANZCA Conference
The role of libraries in lifelong learning is examined, with specific reference to information literacy. The paper discusses the concept of social capital and the significance of lifelong learning to theories of social capital, which address issues of democratic health and civic participation, as distinct from economic issues such as the need to reskill the workforce. It argues that information literacy is a strong component of the learning process and that, if lifelong learning is to be fostered, so too must information literacy, which is part of the mission of many libraries, especially in the educational sector. The paper examines some of the most relevant issues facing libraries, such as the increasing reliance of many clients on Google, the relative lack of information literacy skills, even among younger clients with strong digital literacies, and the uptake of Web 2.0 for information literacy instruction. It concludes with a discussion of areas of research, such as evaluation of information literacy programs and questions about the transferability of information literacy skills from one context to another.
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