Role of Information Literacy Services in Moulding Developing Countries into Knowledge-Based Economies: A case of Migrant Workers in Qatar

AHMED, Zenab (2017) Role of Information Literacy Services in Moulding Developing Countries into Knowledge-Based Economies: A case of Migrant Workers in Qatar. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 189 - Asia and Oceania.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Role of Information Literacy Services in Moulding Developing Countries into Knowledge-Based Economies: A case of Migrant Workers in Qatar

This paper aims to understand the importance of libraries for inclusive knowledge-based development of a country. The focus is to understand the role of information literacy and to highlight where the working population needs it most, for a developing economy to become a knowledge-based economy. To this end, the case of immigrant manual laborers within Qatar’s working sector are identified as the focus group. A combination of qualitative and deductive approach is undertaken. A broad literature review encompassing concepts significant for arguing for need of information literacy of manual laborers for knowledge economic development and, likewise, realization of this need by aspiring knowledge economies for an inclusive economic development, serves to highlight gaps in theory and practice of librarianship and information literacy in a non-academic context. A basic yet comprehensive statistical survey through random sampling method was carried out to gather primary data. The elaborate questionnaire helped in two-fold assessment of firstly, situation of information literacy services of libraries and secondly their needs demanded by manual workers in context of knowledge-based economic development. Survey findings indicated inequitable levels of emphasis of libraries and their services towards knowledge-economic development and suggests recommendations for libraries as mediating institutions. The Middle-Eastern hydrocarbon-rich country’s aspiration of becoming a knowledge-based economy with a recently progressing library and information culture on one hand, and its major migrant working population on the other is a novel case study. The inter-disciplinary nature of this research is useful to kindle understanding of information literacy amongst marginalized groups in other Asia-Oceania nations aspiring to become knowledge-based societies or countries in an all-inclusive way.

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