The first of the seven articles that I recently co-authored for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS) has now been published as an OnlineFirst paper, with the option to download it as a PDF.
In the paper entitled ‘Practices of community representatives in exploiting information channels for citizen democratic engagement‘ my co-authors Peter Cruickshank and Bruce Ryan and I explore how elected (yet unpaid) community councillors in Scotland exploit information channels for democratic engagement with the citizens that they represent.
We demonstrate that community councillors engage with a range of information sources and tools in their work, the most important of which derives from local authorities. We highlight a number of ways in which community councillors could be better supported in their information use, and conclude with a set of recommendations that relate to (i) information literacy training; (ii) valuing information skills; and (iii) the role of the public library service in supporting community council work.
This work is an output of the Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement (IL-DEM) project that Peter and Bruce and I undertook between October 2016 and January 2017 with the support of a research bursary from the Information Literacy Group (ILG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). The article was developed from a conference presentation that Peter delivered on behalf of the project team at Information: interactions and impact (i3) 2017.
The full set of outputs from the IL-DEM comprises:
- Project summary for the Information Literacy Group web site (January 2017)
- Full project report prepared for the Information Literacy Group (January 2017)
- Slides from Peter Cruickshank’s presentation on the project findings delivered at i3 (June 2017)
- Liveblog by Sheila Webber of Peter Cruickshank’s presentation on the project findings delivered at i3 (Aberdeen, June 2017)
- Slides from a presentation entitled ‘Exploring information literacy through the lens of Activity Theory’ on the project methods delivered by Bruce Ryan at the 5th European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) (St Malo, France, September 2017)
- Full text of the paper delivered by Bruce Ryan at ECIL 2017: from the publisher with subscription access (or manuscript accessible free of charge from the Edinburgh Napier repository)
- Slides from a presentation entitled ‘Information literacy in a volunteer workplace: the case of hyperlocal goverment in Scotland’ delivered by Hazel Hall at the Workshop on Information Literacy and an associated blog post that summarises the talk (Turku, Finland, December 2017)
- Full paper on the findings of the project published in the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS): on the OnlineFirst web pages (May 2018). (The manuscript of the paper is also available from the Edinburgh Napier repository.)