Connecting with new information landscapes: information literacy practices of refugees

Annemaree Lloyd (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia)
Mary Anne Kennan (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia)
Kim M. Thompson (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia)
Asim Qayyum (School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 11 January 2013

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of the research reported in this article is to understand how refugees learn to engage with a complex, multimodal information landscape and how their information literacy practice may be constructed to enable them to connect and be included in their new information landscape. Design/methodology/approach – The study is framed through practice and socio‐cultural theories. A qualitative research design is employed including semi‐structured face‐to‐face interviews and focus groups which are thematically analysed through an information practice lens. Findings – Refugees encounter complex and challenging information landscapes that present barriers to their full participation in their new communities. Social inclusion becomes possible where information is provided via sharing through trusted mediators who assist with navigating the information landscape and information mapping, and through visual and social sources. Research limitations/implications – The study is local and situated and therefore not empirically generalizable. It does however provide rich, deep description and explanation that is instructive beyond the specific research site and contributes to theory building. Practical implications – The study highlights the role, and importance, of social and visual information sources and the key role of service providers as mediators and navigators. Governments, funders and service providers can use these findings to inform their service provision. Originality/value – This is an original research paper in which the results provide practical advice for those working with refugees and which also extends theories of information literacy practice as an information practice.

Keywords

Citation

Lloyd, A., Anne Kennan, M., Thompson, K. and Qayyum, A. (2013), "Connecting with new information landscapes: information literacy practices of refugees", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 69 No. 1, pp. 121-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220411311295351

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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