OpenEd@UCL

Items where Author is "Hewitt, Alex"

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What role can affect and emotion play in academic and research information literacy practices?
While significant progress has been made in broadening information literacy’s scope, its conception of the user and their relationship to information remains painfully limited. This is particularly evident when the affective or emotional factors of information seeking behaviour are considered. Thus far, information literacy’s models and discourses have failed to acknowledge emotion’s fundamentally non-cognitive, and disruptive nature and have either ignored, repressed, or misrepresented users’ emotions. This has resulted in a deeply limited and inaccurate conception of the user’s information needs, and this has a particularly harmful impact on marginalised users and users engaging with affectively fraught information. This article seeks to address this oversight, initially by outlining the origins of information literacy’s repression of emotion and then examining the consequences of this repression in the standardised information literacy models; specifically in Carol C. Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process and the ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Subsequently, this essay will examine several critical models of librarianship and information literacy - including Holocaust librarianship and Indigenous conceptions of relationality - in order to illuminate models of information literacy that adopt a relational perspective that enables an engagement with the affective elements of user’s information needs. Finally, this essay will suggest that these relational perspectives facilitate the adoption of an ethics of care that helps address the insufficiencies inherent to our current conceptions of information literacy.

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