Title: The Roots and Future of Information Literacy: Reflections from 11+ Years Working with Paul G. Zurkowski, Esq.
Abstract: As we approach the 50th anniversary in 2024 of first Information Industry Association president Paul Zurkowski’s 30-page founding report to the U.S. Commission on Libraries and Information Science, Washington, DC where he has been recognized as the first to publicly identify, name and define information literacy (IL), it is important to reflect on the roots, development and future of IL. Reflections are based on 11+ years learning, working and traveling with Mr. Zurkowski until his passing in January of 2022. Reflections will also be based on studying information as a stand-alone subject sparked by an email exchange in 1999 with 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics recipient Quantum Information Physicist, Professor Anton Zeilinger. Other important IL perspectives such as by Dr. Indrajit Banerjee, former director of Media Literacy, Knowledge Societies Division at UNESCO and Dr. Daniel Boorstin, twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress will be presented. Mr. Zurkowski’s “Report to the Commission” “The Information Service Environment Relationships and Priorities” that launched IL in 1974 at the dawn of the Information Age as part of the National Program for Library and Information Services designated as “Related Paper Number 5” (of 25), is even more relevant today and will be presented and explored including many of his quotes on democracy, active citizenship, and libraries in context of IL. The development and vision of the future of IL such as information optics and action literacy will also be presented. Lastly, the key events that led to starting an international professional nonprofit educational public charity association to represent IL professionals worldwide and the growing international IL community supporting an inclusive and harmonious sustainable 21st century global information society will also be presented.