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Information Literacy in participatory environments: The turn towards a critical literacy perspective

Sonja Spiranec (Universtiy of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Mihaela Banek Zorica (Universtiy of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Denis Kos (Universtiy of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 14 March 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make a contribution to the theoretical and pragmatic positioning of critical information literacy by interpreting it in the light of epistemological shifts brought about by Web 2.0. Epistemological shifts are elaborated from educational and institutional perspectives as well as from that of scientific research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper brings a theoretical analysis drawing on relevant literature for the purpose of identifying the grounds for the mapping of concepts associated with critical information literacy and participatory information environments. Based on descriptive analysis, the paper clarifies distinctions between/participatory/and /information bank/environments and identifies correlations existing between CIL and participatory information environments.

Findings

There are conceptual disagreements between IL as it was defined and perceived by Zurkowski and how it has to be perceived in the context of contemporary participatory information environments. Current environments are congruent with the core principles and values of critical information literacy and call for the reshaping of IL by introducing into it critical and transformative elements. Not technological aspects of Web 2.0 are crucial in this regard, but epistemological shifts.

Practical implications

Owing to the fact that Web 2.0 and critical information literacy share many similar features, information environments based on participatory technologies and services provide a context ideally suited for the application of the principles of CIL.

Social implications

The paper highlights the correlating dimensions between Web 2.0 and critical information literacy and proposes that Web 2.0 makes necessary a more critical outlook on information literacy.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the correlating dimensions between Web 2.0 and critical information literacy, indicates specific differences between information literacy and critical information literacy and closes with the conclusion that Web 2.0 makes necessary a more critical outlook on information literacy.

Keywords

Citation

Spiranec, S., Banek Zorica, M. and Kos, D. (2016), "Information Literacy in participatory environments: The turn towards a critical literacy perspective", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 72 No. 2, pp. 247-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-06-2015-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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