Digital fluency and ethical use of information
the role of higher education librarians
Keywords:Digital skills; Digital Fluency; Higher Education Librarians; Portugal
In the current digital context, there is an increased concern with access to information, as it has become exponentially mediated by technologies. Several problems can emerge: from restrictions on freedom of access to information or freedom of expression, due to the lack of knowledge to deal with technologies and digital information sources, vulnerability and lack of preparation regarding privacy management, to digital traps, fallacies, misinformation, or fake news. Are Portuguese librarians responding to these challenges? What actions and strategies have libraries been developed to promote digital fluency? What actions should be pursued, since young audiences are not only consumers, but also producers of online information and, at the same time, the internet has become a privileged resource for searching for easy and immediate information? It is important to reinforce skills with strategies that make it possible to detect, with quality criteria, the origin of the information, its diversity, and credibility, without forgetting, at the same time, under what circumstances and in what way the information can be reused ethically and legally. This is the basis for this exploratory study. To this end, a questionnaire survey base on the "European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators: DigCompEdu" is carried out to those responsible for higher education libraries, to understand the pedagogic strategies that have been used with the academic community. Based on the results, we seek to observe the active involvement of librarians, particularly in the training of students, to enhance their critical thinking in the face of digital information, the evaluation of digital information sources, or the problem resolution. They must develop skills to be able to observe and compare information in a critical, creative, and conscious way, particularly in digital media. In this process, the social and ethical premises that support teaching and learning in the mission of higher education libraries should be promoted.