EnIL: a network for a Culture of Information in Europe

Carla Basili
National Research Council - Italy

Culture of Information: a European discourse

EnIL (European network on Information Literacy) is an initiative of the Institute for Studies on Scientific Research and Documentation (Isrds), within the Italian National Research Council, started in 2001.

The idea of opening a European discourse on Information Literacy (IL) stemmed from the evident absence of a "European voice" in the IL debate, where - since more then a decade - USA initiatives appeared to dominate.In fact, while in the USA the IL goal is clearly a national policy issue since 1989, in Europe it is still pursued only in episodic and fragmented forms, with efforts and costs duplication.

Information Literacy is an interdisciplinary goal at the crossroad between Information and Education policies.Nevertheless, IL seems to be a neglected issue in both Information and Education policies of the European Union.

In fact, with respect to the 3C model - connectivity, content, competencies - for a national information policy,the EU policy has been focused mainly on the "connectivity" dimension, related to the establishment of an efficient ICT infrastructure, and the "content" dimension, related to the development of a strong supply of public electronic services (e.g. e-government, e-health, …). As to the third C - competencies - the EU has promoted and supported an ICT Culture, but not yet an Information Culture. [Basili, 2003].

In view of this, the EnIL initiative was launched by Carla Basili with the main goal of defining and pursuing a common Europe-wide research agenda.

The philosophy underlying the entire EnIL programme is based on:

Common, sharable and comparable results, in fact, will give a Europe-wide methodological value to the EnIL actions. Furthermore, operating as a network, EnILcan empower the promotion of its goals.

Source: BASILI, Carla. The European network for Information Literacy: towards a common approach within the European Union for the promotion of a culture of information (original title:Le Réseau européen pour la culture de l’information (EnIL): vers une approche commune dans l’Union européenne pour promouvoir l’usage de l’information), In: 3èmes Rencontres FORMIST, June 12th 2003. La formation à la maîtrise de l'information à l'heure européenne: problèmes et perspectives /Sylvie Chevillotte (ed).Villeurbanne: Presses de l'Enssib, 2004, pp. 37-54

Basili, Carla. (2001). Information Literacy: a concern only in the USA? (original title: Information Literacy: Un concetto solo statunitense?) «AIDAInformazioni. Rivista di Scienze dell'informazione», 19(2), 10–13.