In conjunction with UNESCO’S Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2023, the IFLA Information Literacy Section (ILS) is holding a free webinar on 16 November 2023 under the theme Not just user error: what societal infrastructure is needed for information literate citizens to thrive? Attendance is free but registration is required.

Schedule (Time Zone: New York)

  • 9:00 – 9:10: Welcome
  • 9:10 – 9:15: Introduction
  • 9:15 – 10:00: Live Panel Discussion
  • 10:00 – 10:30: Live Q&A


  • Host: Ning Zou, Chair, Information Literacy Section, IFLA|Associate Director for Student Academic Services and Learning Design at Harvard University Graduate School of Education
  • Panel Chair: David Schley, Deputy Director, Sense about Science
  • Angeline Djampou, Head, Knowledge and Publications Management Unit, UN Environment Programme 
  • TBC Deborah Jacobs,  Stichting IFLA Global Libraries (SIGL) Board of Directors 
  • Stephen Wyber,  Director of Policy and Advocacy, IFLA 

Theme and Focus

When the introduction of disposable beverage containers increased litter in the US, the response of producers was to launch a keep America beautiful campaign that placed the blame on consumers – the end users. In many countries it has taken over half a century for regulators to step in and deal with the problem of waste by, for example, prohibiting the use of free plastic bags or by making retailers take back unwanted packaging. But we still largely blame consumers for waste, despite them having little choice in practice about how goods are packaged.

Are we at risk of doing the same for consumers of information, overwhelmed by the volume of material available but not in control over what content is presented to them– by blaming poor information literacy for the spread of false information and misunderstanding?

While empowering citizens with information literacy is unquestionably good, is it enough? Or are we setting people up to fail in an attention economy where information providers surface content that maximised engagement, with no interest in whether it is accurate or useful? Is it fair to blame someone for naïvely sharing bad information when they are only fed corroborating material, or should we challenge the absence of regulation and oversight of how information is curated by social media platforms and search engines?

What infrastructure is needed for people to access sound evidence, find trustworthy sources, and genuinely engage in informed societal debate?

Join the IFLA Information Literacy Section and the School Library Section co-sponsored Global MIL Webinar and have a rich conversation with the invited panelists.

Registration is required and free.