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Everyday life information literacy: a review of literature.

Martzoukou, Konstantina; Sayyad, Abdi Elham


Abdi Elham Sayyad


Information literacy (IL) within an everyday life context is connected to searching for, critically evaluating and using information effectively. Everyday life IL is about being able to address a range of information needs (e.g., financial, health, or legal) that relate to everyday practices as well as making informed decisions that are of significant value to individuals and communities. IL is regarded as an important condition for civic participation and engagement, informed citizenship, health, well-being and, generally, people's quality of life (Leung, 2010). However, compared to the vast amount of IL research within educational and workplace settings, there has been relatively little research conducted so far on examining the effective use of information and its impact in relation to people's everyday life situations. For example, although IL has been researched within quite diverse contexts and with a variety of foci, such as age (e.g., older adults/fourth age/retired people, young people/men, early years/preschool, nursery, aging women), different roles (e.g., parents, retired, citizens) and situations (e.g. pregnant women, immigrants, unemployed, job seekers, carers, health issues), the literature lacks a holistic view to this body of research. In addition, so far, IL in everyday life context has received less attention in terms of empirical research when compared to other conceptual lenses that have been adopted within the wider spectrum of user-focused information research, such as that of information seeking behaviour, that do not address the critical positioning and value of IL. Thus, this paper presents a critical review of relevant literature on everyday life IL. It seeks to offer a snapshot of existing research within this area and aims to develop a research agenda for further exploration of the growing everyday life IL domain. We based the review on literature published between 2000-2016 and sourced from a range of different databases (Science Direct, Library and Information Science and Technology Abstracts, ERIC, Emerald, ABI/Inform, Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library Literature and Information Science, and Google Scholar). We conducted the search using two terms, 'information literacy' and 'everyday life' in all search fields of the individual databases. Additional related terms, such as 'community', were found to be closely connected to other contexts, for example, that of education and the workplace, which were beyond the scope of this research. We also excluded from the retrieved results articles that focused directly on students' education and the workplace. Our paper emphasises the importance of examining IL within different everyday life settings and highlights existing gaps that need further development in terms of empirical research. A comprehensive review of everyday life IL research is particularly of importance since it will help us understand the diversity and the dynamic nature of IL needs and activities. It will also help us highlight the implications of the lack of IL and identify the key players in the advocacy of IL within different everyday life settings. The review suggests that the outcome of everyday life IL research has the potential to inform the design and delivery of evidence-based information services offered by decision makers and practitioners in different sectors and communities (Yates and Partridge, 2014). It also demonstrates that this area of research is still in its infancy and more varied contexts need to be explored to nurture a robust understanding of the use and impact of information in people's everyday lives.


MARTZOUKOU, K. and SAYYAD ABDI, E. 2016. Everyday life information literacy: a review of literature. Presented at the 4th European conference on information literacy (ECIL 2016), 10-13 October 2016, Prague, Czech Republic [online]. Available from:

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name 4th European conference on information literacy (ECIL 2016)
Conference Location Prague, Czech Republic
Start Date Oct 10, 2016
End Date Oct 13, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 9, 2017
Keywords Everyday life; Information literacy; Community; Literature review
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