We envision empowered individuals creating and using information responsibly.
Information often seems simple—most of us think we know how to hold a conversation, view a picture, watch a movie or TV show, or listen to music we like. We often forget that the technologies of talk, photography, film/TV, and music have changed completely even over the past few years. We forget that linguistic, visual, and musical vocabularies have evolved too; we've had to learn to comprehend new structures like quick-cut movies, photoshopped pictures, electronic dance music (EDM) or online print, and learn when to drop the old.
We forget that the sources, spread, reach, and content of this information—who can speak with, listen to, photograph, or share what content with whom, how, and where, both technologically and in terms of social, political and cultural norms—have also transformed over a very short time. Information literacy—the ability to locate, evaluate, use, and communicate information—is a learned skill that rests on a constantly evolving, culturally-specific, social, technical, economic, political, and content base, and it's not simple. Responsible, engaged participation in the modern world, where many more participants produce, find, evaluate, and use information than ever before, requires high information literacy. iSchool researchers are building new ways of understanding and fostering information literacy. We investigate the barriers to information literacy in all these dimensions, and work to develop the means to overcome them. iSchool research on improving information literacy integrates many disciplines, and aims to create a society in which all people have the information skills to participate openly, creatively, effectively, and responsibly.
Contributing research areas: Computational Social Science, Social Computing; Computing for Social Good; Community Informatics; Cultural Informatics and Heritage; Digital Humanities; Digital Libraries; Diversity and Social Justice; Education of Information Professionals; History of Information; Information Literacy; Information Practices and Behaviors; Knowledge representation, Ontologies; Youth Literature, Culture, and Services