Foundations of Information Literacy—eEditions PDF e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Read an interview with the authors now!

The ideal text for acquainting LIS students and practitioners with this important cornerstone of librarianship, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to information literacy—spanning institutions, cultures, and nations—through the lenses of information, technology, education, employment, engagement, society, policy, democratic governance, and human rights.

It’s not hyperbole to conclude that in today’s world, information literacy is essential for survival and success; and also that, if left unchecked, the social consequences of widespread misinformation and information illiteracy will only continue to grow more dire. Thus its study must be at the core of every education. But while many books have been written on information literacy, this text is the first to examine information literacy from a cross-national, cross-cultural, and cross-institutional perspective. From this book, readers will

  • learn about information literacy in a wide variety of contexts, including academic and school libraries, public libraries, special libraries, and archives, through research and literature that has previously been siloed in specialized publications;
  • come to understand why information literacy is not just an issue of information and technology, but also a broader community and societal issue;
  • get an historical overview of advertising, propaganda, disinformation, misinformation, and illiteracy;
  • gain knowledge of both applied strategies for working with individuals and for addressing the issues in community contexts;
  • find methods for combating urgent societal ills caused and exacerbated by misinformation; and
  • get tools and techniques for advocacy, activism, and self-reflection throughout one’s career.

This book is also available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information.

Acknowledgments and Sanctuary
List of Acronyms

1    Searching for Information (Literacy)
2    Defining Information Literacy
3    Information Literacy in the Context of Information Behavior and Everyday Life
4    The Operationalization of Information Literacy, Part I: Academic and School Libraries
5    The Operationalization of Information Literacy, Part II: Public Libraries, Special Libraries, and Archives
6    Information Literacy Is a Human Right 
7    Controlling Information Literacy
8    Literacy Politics and Literacy Policies
9    Why Libraries?
10    The Field Guide to Incorrect Information 
11    A Brief History of Advertising, Propaganda, and Other Delights 
12    Pandemic-Style Disinformation, Misinformation, and Illiteracy
13    Toward Lifelong Information Literacy
14    Advocacy, Activism, and Self-Reflection for Information (Literacy) Professionals
15    The Social Infrastructure for Information Literacy
16    The Lifelong Information Literacy Society 

About the Authors

Natalie Greene Taylor

Natalie Greene Taylor, PhD, MLIS, is an associate professor at the University of South Florida’s School of Information and serves as the coordinator for the Master of Library and Information Science program. Her research focuses on the intersection of information access, information literacy, and information policy. Dr. Taylor serves as an editor of Library Quarterly and has published articles in School Library Research, Journal of Information Science, Computers & Education, and Journal of Documentation, among others. She has coauthored five books, including Foundations of Information Literacy; Foundations of Information Policy; Digital Literacy and Digital Inclusion: Information Policy and the Public Library; and Libraries, Human Rights and Social Justice: Enabling Access and Promoting Inclusion. She has edited two books: Libraries and the Global Retreat of Democracy and Perspectives on Libraries as Institutions of Human Rights and Social Justice.

Paul T. Jaeger

Paul T. Jaeger, PhD, JD, MEd, MLS, is a professor and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher in the College of Information Studies, director of the Museum Scholarship and Material Culture certificate program, and associate director of the Maryland Initiative for Digital Accessibility at the University of Maryland. He studies the impacts of law and policy on information access and behavior as issues of human rights and civil rights. He is the author of more than two hundred journal articles and book chapters; Foundations of Information Law is his twentieth book. His research has been funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the American Library Association, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Science Foundation, among others. He is an editor of Library Quarterly and an executive editor of Including Disability. He is cofounder and cochair of the Including Disability Global Summit. He has also previously served as an editor for Advances in Librarianship, Government Information Quarterly, the International Journal of Information, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the Information Policy Book Series from MIT Press, but not at the same time. In 2014 he received the Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award. A 2019 study published in Public Library Quarterly named him one of the two most influential scholars of public library research in the past thirty-five years (it was a tie), and a 2020 study published in Library Quarterly found his publications to have the highest prestige value in the field.


"Library workers, information professionals, LIS faculty and graduate students seeking to understand current theories of information literacy should look no further than Taylor and Jaeger’s Foundations of Information Literacy. This engagingly written text provides a robust introduction to information literacy since its emergence in the 'information society' of the 1970s and its continued evolution to address the information disorder of the participatory Web."
— OIF Intellectual Freedom Blog

"Taylor and Jaeger declare libraries the community institutions to best help learners understand information literacy and contend librarians should 'own' the teaching of it and cultivate community collaborations to further their reach. This volume is for librarians charged with infusing information literacy into their teaching and public-facing work."
— Choice

"This is one of the best library and information science books that I have read in years. The authors cover a huge amount of theoretical and practical ground very successfully ... I found the plea to evolve the approach to information literacy to include contemporary issues such as privacy and surveillance timely. As our roles increasingly expand to research data, data governance, rights and data control, a new community requires education and processes that are built on the fundamentals of information literacy."
— Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association

"Taylor and Jaeger provide a well-researched and wide-ranging overview of the topic, grounded in a sense of urgency created by the epidemic of mis- and disinformation ... The definitions of terms as well as historical and policy information would make this a good textbook for information literacy courses, or perhaps a supplemental text for courses that address information literacy, instruction, or community engagement. The guiding questions at the end of each chapter could be useful for framing reflective writing assignments or class discussions."
— Journal of Education for Library and Information Science