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The seven voices of information literacy (IL).

Cunningham, Veronica; Williams, Dorothy


Veronica Cunningham

Dorothy Williams


The purpose of this research was to discover the conceptions of information literacy (IL) prevalent across multiple stakeholder groups in an international middle school community. The research involved students, parents, teachers, librarians, IT personnel, administrators and leadership in recorded focus group discussions. Using a phenomenographic approach the qualitatively different ways that stakeholder groups understood IL were revealed. The study found extensive variation in the ways IL is understood, revealing 27 different conceptions of IL shared to varying degrees across stakeholder groups. The findings add to our knowledge of IL in several ways: several new conceptions of IL surfaced from this more diverse sample and new light was shed on the way that people’s perceptions and experience of their information context influences their thinking about IL. The article fills a gap in the literature on two levels: firstly, by providing a multi-stakeholder perspective on IL offsetting the multitude of single stakeholder IL studies and secondly by focusing on an international middle school environment which has not been a context for IL research in the recent past.


CUNNINGHAM, V. and WILLIAMS, D. 2018. The seven voices of information literacy (IL). Journal of information literacy [online], 12(2), pages 4-23. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 26, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 4, 2018
Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2018
Journal Journal of information literacy
Print ISSN 1750-5968
Electronic ISSN 1750-5968
Publisher CILIP, Information Literacy Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Pages 4-23
Keywords Conceptions; Information context; Information literacy; Multi-stakeholder; Middle school; Phenomenography
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