Information literacy in Italian public libraries

Being an information literate person presupposes the recognition of an information need and knowing how to search, evaluate and use information in a conscious way in order to create new knowledge.

Librarians are information professionals and deep connoisseurs of the world of documents, so they can play an important role in this area by offering their skills at the service of a varied audience that, today as never before, is submerged in a dense and complex information reality.

Information literacy therefore is a new challenge for libraries and at the same time the natural evolution of the reference service and user education in a new and changed technological and information context.

The Italian Libraries Association, recognizing the importance of this activity for libraries, created in 2011 a specific study group for information literacy (GLIT).

During 2021, the AIB study group carried out a survey with the aim of collecting descriptions of information literacy activities held in the libraries during the years 2019 and 2020 and to stimulate the sharing of good practices within the community.

The widespread questionnaire of 26 questions was addressed to all types of libraries. On 28 February, the Study Group presented the results regarding public libraries and in the next webinars they will also provide data from other types of libraries.

The responses from public libraries were 238, 105 of which were valid and pertinent to the topic (the remainder mainly concerned reading promotion activities). The courses mostly concerned the use of research tools, the methodology of searching for information, the use of specific digital tools and the critical evaluation of sources. These training activities were mainly carried out by the librarians themselves, but also by teachers or experts and were mostly addressed to students, teachers and other librarians. The regions in which libraries have been most involved in these activities are: Marche, Lombardy and Piedmont.

See the presentation of the results regarding information literacy activities carried out in public libraries at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/associazioneitalianabiblioteche/videos/1147107796088624

By ICCU

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash

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