Fandom and Info lit

People gathered together with cell phones
People gathered together with cell phones

Alexandra Samuel (2018) poses three questions about online fandom.  While the questions defy simple answers, some fan practices model information literacy.

For example fans can often expound on a question of interest with evidence from the book, movie, or show.  In research don’t we identify a problem of interest to our communities (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2016, Research as Inquiry section)?

The operative word above is communities.  Fans engage with each other and with the source material.  When they create fan fiction or other  art, they add to the group’s conversation.  Likewise we develop as contributors to the scholarly conversation (ACRL, 2016, Scholarship as Conversation section,  Dispositions subsection).

Of course fans can forget to adjust their talk for non-fans.  That point guides Samuel’s third question (2018, How do You Get an Online Fan to Stop Annoying You? section).  The Information Creation as a Process frame even mentions “the value that is placed upon different types  of information products in varying contexts” (ACRL, 2016).  A piece of scholarship might not speak to a layperson.  Conversely a popular piece might not meet the needs of a scholar.  Though I oversimplify, pieces are created for an intended audience.

By the way the other two questions are:

  1. Is fandom healthy?
  2. Can I blame tedious fandom on the internet?

Samuel (2018) brings together a number of sources speaking to each of the questions.  Thus her piece reflects inquiry (ACRL, 2016).


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2016). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website:

Samuel, A. (2018, June 19). 3 questions to ask about online fandom (and teen fans).  JSTOR Daily. Retrieved from




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