The 5th European Conference on Information Literacy takes place in St-Malo, France this week between Monday 18th and Thursday 21st September 2017. My colleague Dr Bruce Ryan is travelling to France to join the conference and deliver a presentation on a recent project that he and I completed with our Centre for Social Informatics colleague Peter Cruickshank.
Our paper Exploring information literacy through the lens of Activity Theory will be presented alongside three others in session entitled Information Literacy Research chaired by Dr Jesús Lau on Wednesday 20th September between 11:10 and 11:35 UK time (12:10-12:35 in France). The slides are already available on SlideShare and below.
In the presentation Bruce will discuss the value of Activity Theory with reference to the Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement project (IL-DEM for short). This project was funded by the CILIP Information Literacy Group in 2016 to investigate the ways in which community-level elected representatives (community councillors, working as unpaid volunteer members of community councils) in Scotland undertake two related information activities: (i) seeking and sharing the opinions of the citizens that they represent with higher tiers of government, and (ii) finding and sharing information from higher tiers of government with the citizens that they represent. We have already presented the main findings of the empirical work at the Information, Interactions and Impact (i3) conference in June 2017, the details of which were live-blogged by Sheila Webber on the Information Literacy Weblog.
The main focus of the analysis in our ECIL paper is not the project findings per se, but rather the value of the decisions we made in terms of its research design. We conclude that Activity Theory is valuable in projects that investigate group information practices, and can contribute to the generation of findings that relate to existing Information Literacy models.
Our full paper will be published in due course by Springer in the ECIL conference proceedings as part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science series. In the meantime, for further information about IL-DEM and related work conducted by members of the Centre for Social Informatics, please see the Community, Connections and Knowledge web site.