On the 23rd of June iilresearch organised the Information Literacy Research Seminar 2010, as part of the CoLIS conference held at the University College London. In her opening address Professor Emerita Louise Limberg welcomed participants from 8 countries and she was pleased to introduce 15 position papers that fitted well within the overall conference theme “Unity in diversity”. The seminar was moderated by Professor Emerita Limberg, Professor Olof Sundin and Dr Annemaree Lloyd and co-chaired by Ola Pilerot and Anna Lundh.
All related to different aspects of information literacy in a wide range of contexts, the papers created an excellent starting-point for fruitful discussions. Important questions regarding why information literacy research is needed and where and by whom this research can be conducted were raised and thoroughly discussed. A common thread in the discussions was that of contextualisation and the study of information literacy in different physical and virtual environments; the need to talk about information literacies in the plural instead of as a universal, ethnocentric and standardised set of skills was acknowledged. At the same time questions about assessments and connections between environments were raised.
One might perhaps have thought that a seminar with researchers within the field would start from a common understanding of the concept of information literacy – but instead a large part of the discussions was devoted to the question of what our research object might be constituted of. Different views were articulated in the discussions. The seminar could however agree on the need to see not only information seeking, gathering and evaluation as parts of information literacy but also information organisation, management and production.
To sum up, the Information Literacy Research Seminar showed that the field indeed needs this kind of forum where fundamental questions underpinning information literacy research can be raised. The seminar provided a promising start to creating such a forum and we are committed to developing it further in the future. Stay tuned here at the blog and through our newly created Facebook group “International Information Literacies Research Network”.