Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Abstract

This study assessed the information behavior and information literacy skills of individuals during the 2021 General Election in Zambia. Similar studies have been conducted in the past in the United States of America and Europe whose results revealed that information literacy and civic engagement are related and extremely important to the political process. Using the SCONUL seven pillars of information literacy (2011), this study adopted qualitative research methods to interview fifteen (15) students of Library and Information Science and Records Management to determine their information behavior and information literacy skills during the 2021 Zambia General Election. Findings revealed that information encountering was the dominant behavior compared to information seeking. It was also discovered that students favored social media as a source of information rather than traditional news outlets such as radio, newspapers and television. Students expressed strong awareness of media biases from the different sources and practiced information avoidance or disregarding. Based on the SCONUL seven pillars of information literacy, LIS and Records Management students were found to have strong evidence of identifying, managing, evaluating and presenting skills pillars. In conclusion, information literacy is important in ensuring effective participation in civic matters and there is need for further research in this area.

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