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Information Services and Digital Literacy - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843346838, 9781780633497

Information Services and Digital Literacy

1st Edition

In Search of the Boundaries of Knowing

Author: Isto Huvila
Paperback ISBN: 9781843346838
eBook ISBN: 9781780633497
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 4th October 2012
Page Count: 200
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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
    • Abstract:
  • Chapter 2: Knowing what we know
    • Abstract:
    • The economy of ordinary knowledge
    • Boundaries of knowing
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 3: Information services and digital literacy
    • Abstract:
    • Information services
    • Digital literacy
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 4: Technologies of abundance
    • Abstract:
    • Networking
    • Personal information technology
    • Usability
    • Convergence
    • The consequences of technology
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 5: The culture of participation
    • Abstract:
    • Communal and individualist participation: ‘talko’ work and ‘broadcast yourselfism’
    • Commercialism and freedom
    • Roles and rules of participation
    • Economy of participation and non-participation
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 6: The 'new' user
    • Abstract:
    • Learned or born
    • Behaving differently with information
    • Reading differently
    • Users and non-users
    • Identity
    • The making of a ‘new’ user
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 7: Information
    • Abstract:
    • The form of information
    • The emergence of information
    • Qualitative and computational viewpoints
    • A pig in a poke?
    • Abundance and scarcity
    • Conclusions
  • Chapter 8: Information services and digital literacy as boundary objects
    • Abstract:
    • The pieces that do not fit
    • Across the boundaries
    • References
  • Index


Despite new technologies, people do not always find information with ease. Do people still need help in finding the information they need, and if so, why? What can be made easier with new tools and techniques?

Information Services and Digital Literacy is about the role of information services and digital literacies in the age of the social web. This title provides an alternative perspective for understanding information services and digital literacy, and argues that a central problem in the age of the social web and the culture of participation is that we do not know the premises of how we know, and how ways of interacting with information affect our actions and their outcomes. Information seeking is always a question of crossing and expanding boundaries between our earlier experiences and the unknown. We may not yet be well enough acquainted with the landscape of digital information to understand how we know, where the boundaries to our knowledge lie, how to cross them, and what consequences our actions may have.

Key Features

  • Presents a new approach for understanding how information services help and hinder people in becoming informed
  • Provides an overview of how to conceptualize information services and digital literacy
  • Provides a model for developing new types of library and information service


Researchers, practitioners and students in Library and Information Studies


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2012
4th October 2012
Chandos Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


"If you are struggling with delivering information services and digital literacy, this exploration may be able to help you redefine exactly what it is, who your audience is or should be and directions you should take with them. It may well help you to break down boundaries that may be impeding a successful outcome for your library programmes. For this alone it is well worth the investment."--The Australian Library Journal, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2014
"an excellent text for those wishing to research the history and theories of digital literacy."--Journal of Information Literacy

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Isto Huvila

Isto Huvila is a research fellow at the Department of Archival Studies, Library and Information Science and Museums and Cultural Heritage Studies at Uppsala University in Sweden. His work spans a broad range of topics, including information work; information management; knowledge organisation; information service; and information literacy in the context of the social web.

Affiliations and Expertise

Uppsala University, Sweden