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Scientific literacy, librarians and information literacy in the post-truth era

Donna Ellen Frederick (Donna Ellen Frederick ( is based at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Article publication date: 23 November 2021

Issue publication date: 7 December 2021




The purpose of this paper is to challenge librarians to reconceptualize their professional self-image and practice so that it more closely aligns with the information science discipline that is part of the Masters of Library and Information Science degree.


This column is primarily theoretical and philosophical but also draws on the author’s observations of trends and patterns in both librarianship and changes in information needs in recent years.


Urgent, high-cost information needs created by COVID-19 and climate change coexist in a reality where technological change has made traditional librarian roles and functions less critical. By developing their information science skills and strengthening their professional identity as information scientists, librarians have the opportunity to address the urgent information needs of the day while remaining highly relevant professionals.

Practical implications

Librarians will need to strengthen their science-related skills and knowledge and begin to promote themselves as information scientists.

Social implications

Librarians are in a position to make a meaningful contribution to two of the most pressing challenges of the day, climate change and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.


This paper is relevant to all librarians at any stage of their career. It will help them to reflect on both their skillset and career path and to make any needed adjustments so that they can remain relevant in a volatile and demanding information environment.



Frederick, D.E. (2021), "Scientific literacy, librarians and information literacy in the post-truth era", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 38 No. 9, pp. 1-7.



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