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Entries in Iinformation literacy (2)


Do you Trust What You 'Like'?: Navigating Politics and Social Media

Stevenson Trust for Citizenship
Date: Monday 15 October 2018
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Venue: Sir Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre
Category: Public lectures
Speaker: Professor Kenneth Rogerson

We are living with information overload. Sometimes we revel in it and sometimes we just turn it off. In a world where more information flows than we can ever successfully navigate, is it even possible to sift through it to know what is true and relevant to the choices we must make as citizens?



Spreading the benefits of digital participation

Last year the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) launched an enquiry entitled ‘Spreading the benefits of digital participation’. About ten evidence submissions were sent in from the Library and information sector in Scotland, including the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS) and the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). I submitted evidence as chair of the community of practice, Information Skills for a 21st Century Scotland, and there were some seven other evidence submissions from individuals including members of the community of practice.

All these evidence submissions were ignored in the report and libraries are only briefly mentioned on p.49. There was a high level of consistency in the submissions with much of the evidence focusing on information literacy although it is nowhere mentioned in the report.

An analysis of the references cited in the interim report show that none of them are drawn from the LIS literature. This, despite the fact that two evidence submissions (John Crawford and Bill Johnston) contained citations which are more than adequate bibliographical cues for the report authors. Ian McCracken also raised concerns with the RSE regarding the very limited nature of the questions it was posing.

The draft report is primarily concerned with access and infrastructure issues and motivation. Issues of training and skills development are insufficiently considered.

The contention is that had evidence from the LIS sector been considered the interim report would have been much stronger, especially in respect of training and skills development. This applies particularly to the SLIC evidence. The report authors themselves say, p. 4:

‘...our final report will evolve considerably, particularly in elaborating recommendations that address the key challenges.’

The recommendations in the interim report are too general and do not challenge the Scottish government to achieve specific skills development targets for clearly identified stakeholders groups nor are there recommendations on the content and costing of programmes beyond a rather vague suggestion for refresher courses for teachers.

On the 24th of January, John Crawford, Ian McCracken, Bill Johnston and Abigail Mawhirt met Gillian Daly at the SLIC offices where it was agreed that both SLIC and the Community of Practice would submit responses to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, expressing disappointment that their evidence had been ignored and making practical suggestions as to how the final report could be improved.

This has been done and SLIC staff has also had a positive meeting with representatives of the Committee overseeing the production of the report and RSE staff. The RSE’s initial reaction to the Community of Practice’s response has been conciliatory and assurances have been given that the final report will give due weight to the role of libraries in spreading the benefits of digital participation. CILIPS has also submitted a response. We await the appearance of the final report which is to be published ‘early in 2014’.

The report and contact details may be found at


John Crawford