Our survey investigating community councillors’ information literacy is now live. If you are a community councillor, please go to https://survey.napier.ac.uk/n/LILDEM.aspx to take the survey. If you’re not a community councillor, please pass on this link to any community councillors you know.
(Originally posted on Professor Hazel Hall’s website on 2 December 2016)
The Centre for Social Informatics is currently undertaking a project entitled Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement (IL-DEM). Supported by a grant from the CILIP Information Literacy Group, our work investigates levels of digital and information literacy within Scotland’s Community Council system.
Specifically Peter Cruickshank, Dr Bruce Ryan and I are exploring how community councillors develop the skills required to inform and engage with the citizens that they represent, and how libraries support this work. In doing so we’re extending two established research streams within the Centre for Social Informatics: Cruickshank and Ryan’s work on digital engagement in local democracy (such as our DigiCC workshops), and mine with Christine Irving on information literacy and life-long learning. This work also builds upon our group’s track record in library and information science research.
The IL-DEM project is designed to answer three research questions which we set out in the post on 23 October. This post is our chance to start exploring elements of the third question:
What are the actual, and envisaged, roles of public library services in supporting the work of Community Councils, particularly with reference to the acquisition of information literacy amongst Community Councillors?
The IL-DEM project is designed to answer three research questions which Bruce set out in his post on 23 October. This post is our chance to start exploring elements of the second question:
What are the relationships between (1) information behaviours, (2) literacies (skills and capabilities), (3) resources, and (4) knowledge and experience, in the acquisition of information literacy amongst Community Councillors?
Work on the IL-DEM project is now underway. Hazel has introduced the project already, but here I hope to explain what we’ll actually be doing. We’ll start from the belief that information literacy – the ability to source, process, store and pass on information – is a key part of community councillors’ duties.
This stems from the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973,
In addition to any other purpose which a community council may pursue, the general purpose of a community council shall be to ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authorities for its area, and to public authorities, the views of the community which it represents, in relation to matters for which these authorities are responsible, and to take such action in the interests of that community as appears to it to be expedient and practicable.