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Diversifying Information Literacy Research: An Informed Learning Perspective

Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice

ISBN: 978-1-78350-815-0, eISBN: 978-1-78350-816-7

Publication date: 12 August 2014


This chapter uses the idea of informed learning, an interpretation of information literacy that focuses on people’s information experiences rather than their skills or attributes, to analyse the character of using information to learn in diverse communities and settings, including digital, faith, indigenous and ethnic communities. While researchers of information behaviour or information seeking and use have investigated people’s information worlds in diverse contexts, this work is still at its earliest stages in the information literacy domain. To date, information literacy research has largely occurred in what might be considered mainstream educational and workplace contexts, with some emerging work in community settings. These have been mostly in academic libraries, schools and government workplaces. What does information literacy look like beyond these environments? How might we understand the experience of effective information use in a range of community settings, from the perspective of empirical research and other sources? The chapter concludes by commenting on the significance of diversifying the range of information experience contexts, for information literacy research and professional practice.




The preparation of this chapter was made possible through an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant focussed on health information literacy, two Institute of Museum and Library Services Awards, and the University of Colorado President’s Initiative Fund for Diversity and Excellence. The Native American video projects were funded by The Kenneth King Foundation in Denver, Colorado.

We are also indebted to Ben Sherman, Dana Echohawk, Lyndelle Gunton and Sharon Bunce for their critical insights which have assisted in the writing of this chapter.


Bruce, C., Somerville, M.M., Stoodley, I. and Partridge, H. (2014), "Diversifying Information Literacy Research: An Informed Learning Perspective", Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 169-186.



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