Beyond borders: the influence of librarians, libraries and access to information for Papua New Guinean women participating in Australian university education

LIPU, Suzanne (2013) Beyond borders: the influence of librarians, libraries and access to information for Papua New Guinean women participating in Australian university education. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 - Singapore - Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities in Session 189 - Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/228
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/228/1/189-lipu-en.pdf

Abstract

Beyond borders: the influence of librarians, libraries and access to information for Papua New Guinean women participating in Australian university education

Information literacy instruction has been a mainstay in university libraries across Australia for several decades now. Appropriately, much of this instruction remains geared towards assisting students achieve academic success. This paper provides a window into how libraries, librarians and access to information in a country like Australia can go beyond these educational goals however to greatly affect women’s lives from a developing country when they return to their own socio-cultural contexts. In particular the paper is based on data collected for a current PhD study from twenty three women, representing all four regional areas in the diverse nation of Papua New Guinea. The women articulated their experiences and described how they negotiated their traditional information systems with those of the expansive information environment they had been immersed in during their time in Australia. They gave examples of how libraries (including those beyond their universities), librarians and almost unfettered access to information had influenced them. They also provided a number of stories about how they were subsequently using information differently to improve other Papua New Guinean women’s lives and contribute to the ongoing struggles for gender equality in the largely male-dominated nation.

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