Kenyan public librarians’ role in mobile-centric information access

Abstract

Mobile phones and smartphones have become the entry point to the internet for billions of people around the world. In these mobile-centric contexts, accessibility, manifestation of social ecosystems, and the affordances of mobile devices shape people’s participation in the digital world. Through these changes, public libraries continue to connect people to information. Informed by Burnett and Jaeger’s theory of information worlds, this research examines how, in a mobile-centric environment, Kenyan public libraries and librarians play a critical role in the physical, intellectual, and social information access in their communities. Influenced by their personal technology engagement, information worlds and behavior, and perceived community need, Kenyan librarians' individual diversity of access directly impacts how mobile-centric community members access information. These findings were elucidated in March, over the course of a Mobile Information Literacy (MIL) training developed by the Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) at the University of Washington Information School. Addressing the technological and information literacies needed for smartphone internet use, public library specialists completed their training and have begun developing their own trainings which will cascade down to their communities.

Recommended Citation

Wedlake, S., Lothian, K. (2018). Kenyan public librarians’ role in mobile-centric information access. Seattle: Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington Information School.

Keywords

mobile information literacy, kenya, digital literacy, myanmar