by Jane Harding
Australian Library Journal – 1 August 2008

There has been much talk about libraries, including public libraries, being uniquely positioned to act as key agents for developing the critical skill of information literacy in their communities. Yet there is a notable lack of literature addressing information literacy and the public library, especially when compared to the volume of material on the topic in relation to school and academic libraries, which might suggest that public libraries are not actively engaged in information literacy efforts. In light of this, a literature review was undertaken to discover why public libraries are viewed as such valuable agents in developing information literacy and what efforts, if any, have been undertaken by public libraries. The literature reveals that, despite myriad challenges, public libraries worldwide are embracing this imposed responsibility and have implemented a wide array of information literacy programs. Not only have public libraries talked the talk, they are walking the walk with respect to furthering information literacy in their communities, albeit along a poorly-defined and obstacle-strewn path.

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