Principles of awareness-raising: Information literacy, a case study

12 May 2009

A UNESCO guide outlining Principles of Awareness-Raising for Information Literacy, is now available in Russian for administrators, librarians, teachers, lecturers and community leaders.

Focusing especially on the United Nations Literacy Decade 2003-2012, the manual proposes theories, principles and techniques that are based on the experiences of those who have developed practices that were successful and that met certain expectations.

"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", states the introduction to the manual.

The outcomes of awareness 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.

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.

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.

Promoting information literacy as one of the three main priorities of UNESCO's Infomation for All Programme, which recognizes it as an efficient tool for empowering people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals.

Bibliographic reference:
Sayers, Richard: Principles of awareness-raising: Information literacy, a case study. Bangkok: UNESCO, 2006
Building Knowledge Societies; media and information literacy

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