Making Public Information Meaningful: libraries and democratic engagement in the digital age Lauren Smith PhD Research Student University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland [email_address] twitter: @walkyouhome BOBCATSSS Conference, Amsterdam 23 rd - 25 th January 2012
“ Citizenship describes the relationship between the citizen and the state and the need for citizens to understand the political and economic processes, institutions, laws, rights and responsibilities of our democratic system.” (Institute for Citizenship, 2012)
“ A good democratic system attempts to ensure informed and reflective decisions.” (Sunstein, 2001)
Risk of selective exposure : “True democracy thrives when people seek out new information and ideas rather than information that only bolsters their current beliefs and attitudes”. (Sunstein, 2001, in Borgida & Stark, 2004)
However, little evidence that people are using the Internet to actively seek or avoid political difference. (Brundidge, 2010)
People with high levels of knowledge/engagement more likely to participate (Price & Cappella, 2001)
Citizens learn how to “find, evaluate and use the information essential for making decisions that affect the way we live, learn, work, and govern ourselves” (Kranich, 2001)
“ I helped a person who can barely read register to vote. Without me, they couldn't have participated in our democracy. I hold sessions for people to give their views on local & national government consultations because libraries are one of the few places that hold copies of physical documents and also have computers to submit an online response. The library is a meeting space for the local walking group and Neighbourhood Forum meetings as well as out of hours computer training. It's also the venue for our local councillor drop in service as well as our PCSOs and MP.” (Librarian commenting on Guardian website, 2010)
Andersen, J. (2006). “The public sphere and discursive activities: information literacy as sociopolitical skills”. Journal of Documentation, 62(2), 213-228.
Borgida, E. & Stark, E. (2004). “New media and politics: some insights from social and political psychology”. American Behavioral Scientist , 48 (4), 467-478. http://proxy.lib.strath.ac.uk/login??url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/57120252?accountid=14116
Brundidge, J. (2010). “Encountering “Difference” in the Contemporary Public Sphere: The Contribution of the Internet to the Heterogeneity of Political Discussion Networks”. Journal of Communication , 60 (4), 680-700.
Cabinet Office (2010). The Coalition: our programme for government . London: Crown Copyright. http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/409088/pfg_coalition.pdf
Canadian Index of Wellbeing (2010). Indicators of Democratic Engagement . Toronto: Canadian Index of Wellbeing. http://www.ciw.ca/en/TheCanadianIndexOfWellbeing/DomainsOfWellbeing/DemocraticEngagement.aspx
Coleman, S. (2005). “e-Democracy: what's the big idea?”. Manchester: British Council. http://www.britishcouncil.org/bc-edemocracy-2.doc
Duff, A. (2011). “The Rawls-Tawney Theorem and the Digital Divide in Postindustrial Society.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology . 62 (3), 604-612.
Hansard Society (2009). Audit of Political Engagement 6: Political Engagement Indicators . London: Hansard Society. http://www.hansardsociety.org.uk/files/folders/1755/download.aspx
Hill, C. (2009). “Inside, outside & online”. American Libraries , 40 (3), 38-42.
Institute for Citizenship (2012) “What is Citizenship?” http://citizen.org.uk/What_is_Citizenship.htm
Jensen, M. Danziger, J.N. & Venkatesh, A. (2007). “Civil society and cyber society: the role of the internet in community associations and democratic politics”. The Information Society , 23 , 39-50.
Madsen, M.C. (2009). "The library as democratic hothouse". Scandinavian Public Library Quarterly, 42 (1), 10-11.
Moy, P. & Gastil, J. (2006). “Predicting deliberative conversation: the impact of discussion networks, media use, and political cognition”. Political Communication , 23 , 443-460.
Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (2008). Generic Social Outcomes . http://inspiringlearningforall.gov.uk/toolstemplates/genericsocial/
Print, M. (2007). Citizenship education and youth participation in democracy". British Journal of Educational Studies , 55 (3), 325-345. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com.eresources.shef.ac.uk/cgi-bin/fulltext/118492668/PDFSTART
Sunstein, C. (2001). republic.com. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press.
Tapia, A. H. & Ortiz, J. A. (2010). "Network Hopes: Municipalities Deploying Wireless internet to Increase Civic Engagement". Social Science Computer Review , 28 (1), 93-117. http://ssc.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/28/1/93
Uitermark, J. & Duyvendak, J. W. (2008). "Citizen participation in a mediated age: neighbourhood governance in The Netherlands". International Journal of Urban and Regional Research , 32 (1), 114-134. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com.eresources.shef.ac.uk/cgi-bin/fulltext/119403656/PDFSTART