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Information saturated yet ignorant: information mediation as social empowerment in the knowledge economy

Wallis, J. (2003) Information saturated yet ignorant: information mediation as social empowerment in the knowledge economy. Library Review, 52 (8). pp. 369-372. ISSN 0024-2535

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Abstract

In today's information society, the information citizen must face a variety of challenges in order to make the most of their role in the knowledge economy. The role of information as knowledge capital means that there is a danger of inappropriate commercialisation of information, which can militate against the optimal social use of this resource. Similarly, low levels of information literacy can exclude the individual from full membership of the information society. Information professionals are in a prime position to address these problems, since the information mediator can both act against inappropriate commercialisation of information and can, in a pedagogic role, offset the social disadvantages of information illiteracy. The social impact of information mediation has never been more important. Consequently, if the information professional does not rise to the challenge of leadership within the new information order, there is a danger that society at large will become 'information-saturated and simultaneously ignorant', leaving any higher vision of information citizenship as a devalued and unachieved ideal.