Principles of awareness-raising for information literacy: a case study

This handbook has been written to provide guidelines for developing process of awareness-raising. Theories, principles and techniques are offered in this manual based on the experiences of those who have developed practices that were successful and that met certain expectations. Rather than presenting generalizations, the handbook focuses on one event, the United Nations Literacy Decade 2003-2012.

 

This handbook introduces the principles of public awareness-raising with particular emphasis on global efforts to promote awareness of Information Literacy. Information Literacy is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries in the United States as "the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information." These skills are viewed by many policy makers and educators as critical to the creation of an equitable global 'Information Society' in which both developed and developing nations can share in social and economic development.

This handbook has been developed primarily as a resource for administrators, librarians, teachers, lecturers and community leaders charged with responsibility for raising public awareness about Information Literacy. It is hoped that the various approaches and strategies suggested in this publication will serve to stimulate further discussion about Information Literacy and inspire innovative new awareness-raising campaigns. The outcomes of these campaigns may in turn be shared with others through the International Information Literacy Resources Directory recently launched by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and UNESCO.

Raising public awareness of any issue is not an easy undertaking and achieving lasting behavioural change is harder still. However, as this handbook demonstrates, with a basic understanding of human communication, some knowledge of effective approaches to awareness-raising, and a measure of simple planning, it is possible to affect positive, equitable and sustainable change.

The objective, through this handbook, is to offer a helping hand to everybody involved in awareness-raising processes by endowing them with comprehensive information about what, how and when issues are to be raised in order to embark successfully on the journey to raising awareness.

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