IFLA 2012 Satellite Conference in Riga

Information for Civic Literacy


8 – 10 August 2012


The Small Guild Hall, 3/5 Amatu Street, Old Town, Riga, Latvia


Organised by the IFLA Information Literacy Section and the IFLA Africa Section through its Special Interest Group Access to Information Network - Africa (ATINA/RAIA).

by the Riga Central Library and the National Library of Latvia, in
collaboration with the Education, Culture and Sports Department of the
Riga City Council.

See: pre-conference website


The IFLA satellite conference on "Information for Civic Literacy"
will explore the role of information professionals, educators and
public actors in promoting civic literacy and informed public choices by
citizens. This is not a matter of advocating particular political or
public policy positions, but of education for responsible citizenship
through the ways in which we provide information for citizens' decision
making in the public forum. Issues to be examined might include, for

  • the delivery of reference and information services
    to citizens from multiple sources and viewpoints so as to encourage
    democratic choice, citizen participation and the rule of law;
  • awareness of selective information delivery, propaganda and media bias as a new component of information literacy training; and
  • assistance
    to the public in accessing information from and about governments to
    promote effective popular involvement in governance, democratic
    opposition and economic development.

Special areas of
interest to the conference include the development of civic literacy in
Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well
as increasing professional and public awareness of information control
and manipulation in the Western democracies.

Intended Audience

teachers, information literacy specialists, political thinkers and
journalists interested in the promotion of civic literacy and of
informed public choices by citizens, through library and information
services, educational institutions and the information media.

Preliminary programme and areas of interest for papers and presentations

Wednesday, 8 August 2012:
Registration and welcome - What is civic literacy? Finding a working
definition and an equivalent terminology in different languages -- Why
is civic literacy important? -- The role of librarians, educators and
information literacy specialists in promoting civic literacy - Issues of
professional ethics - Issues of free access to information and
transparency -- Selective dissemination of information, political spin,
propaganda and civic literacy education - Tours of the host libraries
and reception.

Thursday, 9 August 2012: Problems of civic
literacy development in different regions of the world - Postcolonial
Africa - Postcommunist Russia and Eastern Europe - Asia, the Middle
East, Latin America - Media empires, democratic fatigue and the decline
of civic literacy and civility in the West -- Civic literacy development
in controlled societies - Civic literacy development in countries of
dissidence and revolution -- Hard talk with a panel of politicians about
civic literacy in rhetoric and in practice - Dinner and cultural

Friday, 10 August 2012: The changing face of
civic literacy in the 21st century - The Internet, social media,
crowdsourcing and what everybody knows - Jihad on the Web, the Arab
Spring, Occupy Wall Street and the new demagoguery -- Information
professionals and educators as authenticators of civic information and
exploders of civic myths - Online access-to-information networks --
Citizen education for problem solving, creative thinking, critical
judgment, rational communication - Electronic government or holding
governments accountable? - Digital citizenship - Next steps.


See: call for papers

must be prepared to give presentations in person at the satellite
meeting in Riga. The length of the presentations should be approximately
20 minutes. Simultaneous translation will be available in selected
Baltic and IFLA languages.

An online conference registration form
and information on bank payment arrangements are available through the
pre-conference website, where further useful information will also be posted over the coming months.


For additional questions, please contact:

Francis T. Kirkwood
Convenor, ATINA/RAIA
Kirkwood Professional
21A Broadway Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 2V4
Tel.: +1-613-296-5845
Email: kirkwood.professional@sympatico.ca

Conference, Information Literacy

Last update: 4 October 2012