Information Literacy and Democracy: Cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegowina
Information literacy is a construct in Information Science which encompasses competent handling of information including the ability to critically assess content. Information literacy is a basic requirement for civil discourse and consequently for democratic processes. The project aims to explore the role of school libraries for the long-term improvement of information literacy in West Balkan countries. School libraries are an excellent asset for educating students to be more literate in modern complex digital information environments.
In order to implement meaningful introduction of information literacy in the education system, a previous research project in Bosnia and Hercegowina (led by University of Sarajevo) has reached to new model of integration. The new model considers the school library as the information hub of every school. Library and librarians would be and asset for extra-curriculum activates for pupils and their parents.
The proposed project intends to organize an event at the Univ. of Sarajewo which presents the connection between democratic processes and information literacy and discusses best practices and required resources to improve the abilities of information professionals and in particular school librarians. On a second day, the event reaches out to the civil society, presents the role of school librarians and trains librarians. To enhance networking between the West Balkan countries, a group of students from the Univ. of Osijek will also participate in the conference.
For preparing the event, two mutual visits are planned. During these visits, the experience from previous projects are adopted to the planned project. By discussing and promoting modern concepts of information literacy in an international event, the event also makes a contribution to strengthen and enhance Information Science education in Bosnia and Herzegovina mainly with regard to the fields of digital information and online communication. The event also improves the visibility of Information Science within Bosnia and Herzegovina and shows its relevance for education and society. The proposed project expands cooperation between Information Science and Political Science for both main partner institutions.