Political information literacy

William Henry Harrison campaign buttons
By Cornell University Library (William Henry Harrison Campaign Buttons, ca. 1840) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
Election Day is a great time to think about civic literacy.  Though there is little consensus on what the terms mean (Indiana University Center for Civic Literacy, 2016), some commonly associated behaviors relate to information literacy.

Abram (2016, Google and Other Search Engines section, para. 1) notes how we need to ask ourselves questions of online search results:

  • How are they ranked?
  • How does advertising impact them?
  • Who has an interest in them?

Of course we can apply these questions to the news we read.

We are reminded of the Information has Value frame, which notes “how the commodification of. . .online interactions affects. . .the information they (users) receive” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015).  The Research as Inquiry frame mentions information evaluation as well (ACRL, 2015).  Fortunately Abram (2016) also links to some vetted fact-checking sites.

Civic literacy and political literacy (I use the terms interchangeably.) apply information literacy to an important context.  Use your information literacy and vote.


Abram, S. (2016, September 1). The pipeline: Political literacy can be learned. Internet @ Schools. Retrieved

from http://www.internetatschools.com/Articles/Column/The-Pipeline/THE-PIPELINE-Political-Literacy-Can-Be-Learned!-113652.aspx

Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015).  Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website:


Indiana University Center for Civic Literacy. (2016). Defining civic literacy.  Retrieved from http://civicliteracy.iupui.edu/defining-civic-literacy/


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