InformAll’s aims stress a crucial and distinct aspect of the enterprise: bringing together partners from different constituencies and professional groups that offer distinctive perspectives on the advancement of information literacy. It offers a framework and a capacity for joint working which draws on these different outlooks to provide a widely-representative view on challenges to be addressed. It constitutes a pool of experts, for the benefit of different communities who wish to develop their interest, policies or activities in information-related knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence. These aims are pragmatic, and if you are interested in helping with this collaborative endeavour, please feel free to join us.
This emphasis on diverse sectors is important because, to date, IL has often been seen as the preserve of specific professions: librarians (particularly academic librarians), who are those most likely to be involved in the practice of IL; and certain academics, notably in the fields of information science and education, whose take on IL may be both theoretical and practical. The work undertaken by these players is undeniably important; but if IL is to be better understood and appreciated more widely across society – which is fundamental to InformAll’s purpose – there needs to be a broadening of the dialogue also to include other stakeholders that have had less or no exposure to the concept of IL, such as teachers, trainers, data managers, professional bodies, career advisors, employers, trade unions, policy-makers, the not-for-profit sector… There is also a need to develop the evidence base on the practice and impact of IL in areas, other than in the realm of librarianship and education, where it is less-well researched. Such research, along with promotion and advocacy, is crucial if the relevance and value of IL is to be demonstrated to players whose awareness of it is low.
InformAll is well-placed to identify and make use of experts and interested parties. In the first instance, we can make use of our connections in the library and research worlds, in the UK and internationally; and we constantly strive to expand our range of contacts and prospective partners in other domains with a view to widening the scope for collaborations.