International Journal of Libraries and Information Studies
Editor-in-Chief: Albright, Kendra S. / Bothma, Theo J.D.
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.500
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CiteScore 2017: 0.52
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Information Literacy as a Human Right
A clear line of argument can be set out to link the (passive) intellectual freedom rights offered by Article Nineteen of the United Nations' Universal Declaration on Human Rights, to a consequent responsibility on governments, professionals and civil society activists for the (active) creation of suitable conditions for the effective exercise of intellectual freedom. Commentators on media in society and socially responsible computing are also increasingly drawing conclusions of this kind and stressing the importance of Media Literacy and Computer Literacy. This line of argument naturally directs attention towards the rationale currently offered for Information Literacy as a focus of professional activity. Whilst there are many elaborately worked-out programmes for Information Literacy instruction, these have so far been largely derived from practical perceptions of need. However, broad statements such as the Prague Declaration ‘Towards an Information Literate Society’ of 2003 and the Alexandria Proclamation of 2005 can be seen as beginning to point towards a rationale for Information Literacy activities rooted in human rights, Article Nineteen in particular. The contention is that starting from a human rights perspective leads towards a strong, inclusive interpretation of Information Literacy. This subsumes Media Literacy, Computer Literacy, Web Literacy and, to a considerable extent, Civic Literacy into a model that serves human needs rather than the established priorities of information professionals. The value of this approach for both practice and research is stressed.
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