Houston, we still have a problem.

This is an extremely thorny coupling of quotes, but I’m hoping that in the tangle, we can start to think critically about how we address and adopt new technologies in information literacy instruction. These are real and ongoing issues that have been around for 20+ years and still are not even close to being out in the open in the IL literature. Searching LISTA with “information literacy” and either “race,” “ethnicity,” or “digital divide,” the most you’ll get is 49 results. Instead, the 826 articles hat come up with the “digital divide” search come from information and communication science and research.

There are connections between information literacy and information technology that have real impacts that are wholly unexamined. Despite our best intentions, we’re all a part of it.


“As a first step, we might do well to dispel the notion that information literacy is something that comes neatly packaged with information technology. Not only are there practical limits to the diffusion of technology, there are still greater limitations on the ability of machines, in and of themselves, to inform and instruct.”-William Demo, The Idea of “Information Literacy” in the Age of High-Tech, p.20.


“Toward the end of making the Digital Divide a central issue in curricula and pushing professional organizations to take public stands on technology policy issues, Selfe and Moran call on teachers to find ways to use any and all tools available in the project to expand access now. They suggest that given the expense of cutting edge technologies and the fact that here is always some new cutting edge software package or hardware tool being sold as the next great answer, the job of promoting digital literacies and writing abilities might often be best accomplished with lower end tools.” -Adam J. Banks, Race, Rhetoric and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground, p.19.

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