Information Literacy, Digital Capability, and Individual Agency

  • Bill Johnston
  • Sheila MacNeill
  • Keith Smyth
Part of the Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


In this chapter the subject field of Information Literacy is reviewed and related to holistic themes of digital capability, agency, and personhood as preferred characteristics of the digital university. Information in society (Buckland, Information and society. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA/London, 2017) and Information Literacy in the curriculum (Anderson and Johnston, From information literacy to social epistemology: insights from psychology. Chandos Publishing, Kidlington, 2016; Webber and Johnston, J Inf Lit 11(1), 2017) are discussed as being at the intersection of economy, education, and democracy and not simply as a set of information and digital skills. Information Literacy is a key quadrant of the Matrix detailed in Chap.  3; however it is seen as marginal in university academic development and in need of significant attention at all levels of digital university organisation. Related literacies—digital and media—are discussed and related to Information Literacy (Koltay 2011). The UNESCO programme of Media and Information Literacy is proposed as an emerging focus for curriculum development work on critiques of the globalisation of the information industry and the implications of monopolistic ownership for democracy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Johnston
    • 1
  • Sheila MacNeill
    • 2
  • Keith Smyth
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychological Science and HealthUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Academic Quality and DevelopmentGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Learning and Teaching AcademyUniversity of the Highlands and IslandsInvernessUK

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