International keynote speakers

Prof Serap Kurbanoglu

Prof. Serap Kurbanoglu (Turkey)

Serap Kurbanoglu received her PhD in Information Studies from Sheffield University, UK. She is a professor at the Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University. One of her main research areas is information literacy. She has numerous publications and is involved in numerous national and international projects and initiatives regarding information literacy. She is the former chair of EUCLID (The European Association for Library and Information Education and Research). She has a good experience in organizing professional conferences both on national and international scales. She is the co-initiator and co-chair of ECIL (European Conference on Information Literacy). She is a member of program committees of numerous conferences and also serves as a referee for scientific journals.

Title: Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era

Abstract: The term "post-truth" - defined as circumstances in which facts and evidence are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotions and personal beliefs - has become increasingly prevalent in public discourse since it was announced as "Word of the Year 2016" by the Oxford Dictionaries. As we enter the post-truth era, facts largely have been replaced by emotions, and "fake news" has become the news that attack one's beliefs. Fake news (disinformation, misinformation), urban myths, and conspiracy theories have always existed, however proliferation of ambiguous information today is at an alarming rate. The post-truth age is marked not only by an increasing amount of ambiguous information and information overload, but also by increased polarization, fractionated media landscape, heuristic thinking, and algorithmic bias. There is evidence that, information behaviour of the individuals of this age are influenced by confirmation bias, filter bubbles/echo chambers, repetition theory, information avoidance, and satisficing.

As a result, the ability and inclination to think critically about information (as well as news) is valued more than ever. Critical thinking demands that individuals develop and maintain a sceptical way of knowing, and cultivate the ability to discern evidence-based and unbiased information in order to make sound judgments. In the post-truth age, critical thinking skills - an important component of information literacy- seems to be the first line of defence. Information literacy skills along with critical thinking can help in evaluating the credibility of sources, recognizing trustworthy sources, and disclosing affiliations and conflicts. Source evaluation is, on the other hand, only one facet of being a literate consumer of information. In today's increasingly complex information landscape, proliferation as well as speed of dissemination of ambiguous information and the blurred line between producers and consumers of information require an extended approach to an information literacy skills set. Attempts should be made to adapt information literacy instruction according to the requirements of the post truth age. Information literacy instruction must address issues not only about finding and evaluating the credibility of information/sources, but also about sifting fact from falsehood, setting aside one's preconceived notions (avoiding confirmation bias), recognizing weak arguments and common traps in arguments, understanding of search-engine rankings and of how algorithms cull and conceal content (i.e. personalized algorithms of social media), and developing fact-checking abilities.

There is no doubt that the post-truth phenomenon is far too complex and there is no single remedy to attenuate the problems related with it. Although it might not suffice to solve the entire problem by itself, offering "extended information literacy" instruction programs, which include critical thinking, digital literacy, media literacy, and news literacy as the prominent components, are valuable. There are no quick fixes and a long time horizon. Thus, information professionals should start redoubling their efforts to equip individuals in the post-truth era with extended information literacy skills.

Prof Irina Zhilavskaya

Prof. Irina Zhilavskaya (Russia)

Irina Zhilavskaya is the Head of the Chair of Media Education Moscow Pedagogical State University, Head of the UNESCO Chair on Media and Informational Literacy and Media Education of Citizens, President of the Association of Media Education Specialists, member of the IFAP National Committee in Russia, member of the Board of the National Association of Mass Media Researchers, Certified Expert of the Federal Roster of Experts in the Scientific and Technological Sphere, Chief Editor of the International electronic magazine Media. Information. Communication, Academic Director of Media Education in the Librarian Sphere and Media Education in Cross-Ethnic Relationship master's programmes. She is also an author of more than 150 books and articles on media, mass media, person's media behaviour, media education and media and information literacy.

Title: Future of Media and Information Literacy: Russian perspective

Abstract: Media education and media and informational literacy (MIL) issues become critically topical in the age of digitalization of our life. 
From the Russian viewpoint, media education development lies in an ecological approach to problem solving. In the context of fourth industrial revolution, two paradigms collide in social conscious. The first, technocratic, associates prosperity and development with digital infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies including big data, neurotechnologies, artificial intelligence, Internet, robotics components, wireless communication and virtual and augmented reality technologies. The list can be expanded with new emerging and developing technologies. The second paradigm is defensive, fighting digital technologies, deliberately or not, resisting dictatorship of algorithms and robotics and advocating for the human right to stay homo sapience with emotions and feelings in our personality organization. 
We believe that the third paradigm exists and lies in between those two. It is the media ecological approach. According to this approach, global development tends to digitalize all types of processes and relations - cultural, economic, social. In the same time, it is very important to consider that only by adopting conscious media behavior mankind can keep its right for existence and not become a stage of civilization development leading to artificial intelligence. MIL can answer various current questions: how to live between real and virtual worlds using the best achievements and minimalizing negative consequences, how to learn using different media, analyse current events, summarize and make decisions, how to collaborate with other people on high level of understanding and empathy.


Prof Trudi E Jacobson

Prof. Trudi E. Jacobson (USA)

Trudi Jacobson, MLS, MA, is the Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany, and holds the rank of Distinguished Librarian. She has been deeply involved with information literacy throughout her career, and co-chaired the Association of College & Research Libraries Task Force that created the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. She thrives on finding new and engaging ways to teach students, both within courses and through less formal means. With Tom Mackey, she originated the metaliteracy framework to emphasize the metacognitive learner as producer and participant in dynamic information environments. She is the co-author or co-editor of 14 books, including three books about metaliteracy and one on digital badging, and numerous scholarly articles.

Title: Creating Shareable Knowledge: Exploring the Synergy between Metaliteracy and Open Pedagogy

Abstract: Open educational resources (OERs) have created conditions for a transformational change in teaching and learning. New models and frameworks provide the basis for innovative, learner-centered pedagogical practices. Open pedagogy, which builds upon the use of OERs and open educational practices, envisages learners as knowledge creators. Metaliteracy proposes a number of active, reflective learner roles, with a particular emphasis in online, participatory environments.  Learners who find themselves in open pedagogical situations may feel anxiety and uncertainty concerning the unaccustomed environment and expectations placed upon them. Metaliteracy provides a comprehensive scaffolding and flexible framework for the learning required in such settings, a development that extends life-long and life-wide. This presentation will explore the synergistic relationship between metaliteracy and open pedagogy that enhances learner engagement and empowerment. Several examples will be explored, including a course in which students edited and created Wikipedia articles within a metaliteracy framework.

Prof Thomas P Mackey

Prof. Thomas P. Mackey (USA)

Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D. is Professor of Arts and Media at the State University of New York, Empire State College. His research examines metaliteracy, a concept he originated with Trudi Jacobson as an empowering pedagogical framework that advances dynamic and participatory learning. Dr. Mackey authored the framing chapter “Empowering Metaliterate Learners for the Post-Truth World” for their third metaliteracy book entitled Metaliterate Learning for the Post-Truth World. He developed an Open edX MOOC about the post-truth society with the Metaliteracy Learning Collaborative, a team of educators at the State University of New York. Dr. Mackey is a member of the editorial team for Open Praxis, the open access peer-reviewed academic journal about open, distance and flexible education that is published by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).

Title: Building Communities of Trust: Metaliterate Learning for a Post-Truth Society

Abstract: Metaliteracy is a reframing of information literacy to develop metaliterate learners as active producers of information in both local and global communities of trust. In today's post-truth society, personal and political beliefs have diminished the meaning and impact of verifiable facts and truthful reasoning. Metaliterate learners are empowered through reflective practice to responsibly consume and creatively produce information in collaborative and participatory social spaces. Through informed civic engagement, individuals take control of their participation while working cooperatively with others to build responsible communities of trust. Visualizations have the power to enhance our understanding of and connections with the metaliteracy framework and several will be shared. An analysis of the Open edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World, will show how metaliteracy is applied as a pedagogical model to the challenges of a post-truth society.  

National Speakers

Prof Bosire Onyancha

Prof. Bosire Onyancha

Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha is a Research Professor at the Department of Information Science, University of South Africa. Prof Onyancha was the Head of the Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, from July 2011 to September 2015. He holds a PhD in Library and Information Science. Prof Onyancha is a C2 NRF-rated researcher. His areas of research interest include Informetrics, Scientometrics, Altmetrics, Information Resource Management (IRM), Management of Information Services, Knowledge management and organisation, user education, ICTs in LIS education and training, and Information Searching and Retrieval (ISR).

Title: The changing face of information literacy: knowledge visualization and mapping perspectives, 1981 to 2018

Abstract: Information literacy (IL) has evolved over time, since its coinage in 1974, in terms of its scope and practice. The concept has evolved from basic but fundamental offerings such as library orientation to more complex and interlinked services, which have become to be known as user education programs. This paper examines the development of the concept over thirty-eight years (from 1981 to 2018) using knowledge visualization of indexing and author-supplied keywords of the IL literature as indexed in the Scopus database. Preliminary results reveal that, in its beginning, IL revolved around computer and information systems but there have been shifts since then to culminate in an emergence of diverse literacies, in the current decade (i.e. 2011-2020), such as digital literacy, health literacy, media literacy, metaliteracy, content literacy, critical literacy, business information literacy, and scientific literacy, among others. Some literacies such as computer literacy are slowly being elbowed to the periphery of co-literacies that are associated with IL. Research has largely focused on information literacy programs and services in libraries in higher education institutions, hence the dominance and high ranking of academic libraries and higher education in the list of the author-supplied keywords of the IL papers. Based on the trend and pattern of IL research, we can deduce that IL is dynamic and tends to change its face depending on developments associated with information processing, right from creation to use. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have played a big role in shaping IL programs. The implications of these and other findings of the study, in relation to information practice, education and training, as well as life long learning are offered in the paper.

Prof Karin de Jager

Prof. Karin de Jager

Karin de Jager obtained her first degrees from Rhodes University and both master's and PhD degrees from the University of Cape Town. She taught library studies at Rhodes until the department there closed in 1988, and then at UCT until her retirement. Her research interests include information literacy, library performance assessment and research support, as attested by her publication record. From 2006-2012 she was a convenor and tutor for the Academies held by the Carnegie-funded Research Libraries Consortium and from 2011-2013 participated in the conceptualisation and writing of the ISO Standard 16439 on methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries. She is still associated with UCT in the capacity of research supervisor and mentor.

Title: From Scylla and Charybdis to the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy: navigating one’s way through the information universe in the 21st century

This presentation will use the metaphor of navigation to chart the field of information literacy from its early appearance in libraries a few decades ago, into the future.  Librarians have always referred to information literacy as a life skill, but the information skills that they originally sought to inculcate, such as library orientation, catalogue and database searching, citation, referencing and source evaluation, might by now be perceived by students as irrelevant to their information needs. The new skills required by the 21st century student will be mapped, and the extent to which modern day students are already acquiring some of these skills, will be considered.

A salient feature of current navigation through the world of information has been the influence of disruptive technology, the most significant of which has recently been the rapid development of the internet, which has profoundly affected libraries and in some views even rendered physical libraries superfluous to the academic enterprise. The internet has brought about the deluge of data in which the world seems to be drowning. Social media has spawned the epidemic of fake news that confuses and misleads information seekers. Researchers are turning to plagiarism and publication in predatory journals to enhance their output. Some voices are even being heard claiming that the struggle against plagiarism is in vain, and that a new era of post-plagiarism is dawning.

While it is obviously not possible to provide a view of where information services will go during the rest of the 21st century, this presentation will briefly consider a few of the more evident disruptive technologies and consider their possible impact on the information landscape. Virtual and mixed realities dissolve distinctions between simulated and physical worlds. Rapid developments in artificial intelligence are fuelled by the convergence of three important advances; big data, massive computing power and sophisticated algorithms - so that neural networks can be built to produce robots that can learn; even robots that can ‘think’. On the horizon is quantum computing, while the ‘internet of things’ is still uncharted territory. This is a very different world which information workers will increasingly need to acknowledge and understand. Their roles in the information universe will shift and constantly be recalibrated as the needs of students and researchers change.

Prof Ina Fourie

Prof. Ina Fourie

Dr. Ina Fourie is a full professor in the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria. Her main research focus is on health information behaviour, current awareness services, information literacy and autoethnography. She is a regular speaker and author in national and international contexts ranging from library and information science and education to healthcare (socio-oncology, palliative care). She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of several international journals e.g. The Electronic Library, Online Information Review and Library Hi Tech, and international programme committees such as ISIC, CoLIS and ICML. Since 2016, she has been the secretary of the ISIC (Information Seeking in Context) Standing Committee. She has been a visiting professor to the University of Alabama, University of Buffalo (NY) and Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), and has collaborated with researchers from the USA, UK, The Netherlands, Australia, Sweden and Israel.

Title: Founding common ground between (boring) IL training and information challenges experienced in workplace

Abstract:  There is no longer a need to argue the value of information literacy (IL) skills and for information literacy training in academic contexts. Information literacy is certainly a life-long skill that is increasingly acknowledged in workplace and even everyday life (Foster, 2017). This applies to university and even school level. Calls for health information literacy, citizen information literacy, digital literacy and digital fluency can also be noted. Regardless of efforts to improve the quality of information literacy training and to make programs more exciting and meaningful, e.g. through game based information literacy training, findings of studies in academic contexts often note lack of enthusiasm and commitment for information literacy training (Smith and Hepworth, 2007). Students often do not see the value (Detlor et al., 2011). Based on data collected in a study by Fourie and Julien (2019), this paper will present typical examples of information challenges graduates face in workplace. The argument will then focus on how more generic examples from workplace information challenges can be incorporated in academic information literacy training to make it more exciting and meaningful. 


Prof Jako Olivier

Prof. Jako Olivier

Jako Olivier is a professor in Multimodal Learning in the School of Professional Studies in Education, Faculty of Education of the North-West University (Potchefstroom campus), South Africa. He also leads the UNESCO Chair on Multimodal Learning and Open Educational Resources at the NWU and is an NRF-rated researcher. He obtained his PhD in 2011 at the NWU in which he researched the accommodation and promotion of multilingualism in schools by means of blended and e-learning. In addition, he heads an NRF-funded research project entitled Multimodal multiliteracies in support of self-directed learning which explores the nature of multiliteracies (including information literacy) within a higher education context. His current research also concerns open access and open education. 

Title: Information ethics literacy for self-directed multimodal learning through open educational resources

Abstract: Within the context of increased interest in open access for research and the use of open educational resources for teaching and learning the implications of information ethics are becoming more relevant especially in multimodal learning contexts. Information ethics focuses specifically on ethics in terms of creating, storing, distributing and accessing information. Regarding open educational resources, these aspects are central to the usage of such resources. In the wider context, a range of multiliteracies is required to be successful in higher education and this presentation proposes an infusion of information ethics literacy in different learning contexts. Furthermore, in order to meet the principles set in terms of information ethics by the Tshwane Declaration on Information Ethics in Africa, legislation and various UNESCO initiatives as well as the needs of self-directed multimodal learning, an implementation framework for information ethics literacy is proposed. To this end, this presentation explores the intersections and consequent diffractive pathways between information literacy ethics, open educational resources and the process of self-directed multimodal learning in order to provide practical guidelines to information literacy practitioners and academics.