“Information literacy for all”: Interfacing academic and public librarians in developing a legal information literate society in Zimbabwe

MUSEMBURI, Darlington and NHENDO, Collen (2016) “Information literacy for all”: Interfacing academic and public librarians in developing a legal information literate society in Zimbabwe. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 179 - Law Libraries with Public Libraries and Government Information and Official Publications.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1383
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

“Information literacy for all”: Interfacing academic and public librarians in developing a legal information literate society in Zimbabwe

In this era dubbed the information age, access to justice and legal information by the public is no longer impeded by physical location. The Declaration on Free Access to Law states that: Public legal information from all countries and international institutions is part of the common heritage of humanity and public legal information is digital common property and should be accessible to all on a non-profit basis and free of charge. Maximizing access to this information promotes justice and the rule of law. This paper examines the provision of access to legal information services in the public libraries and the ICTs resources in place to support access to electronic resources. It also ascertains the availability of user education and information literacy programmes in place for users to ensure effective and efficient use of the legal information. A survey research design was used and semi structured interviews were the main data collection instrument. Of particular interest is that legal information collection in public libraries is mainly in print and many of the public librarians interviewed were not aware of the freely accessible online legal resources provided by various arms of government and independent organisations. There was a consensus on the absence of structured or formal user education and information literacy among the librarians interviewed. The paper concludes by outlining various interventions which can be implemented for developing a legal information literate society.

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