Advocacy engagement The role of information literacy skills

Main Article Content

Peggy Nzomo, PhD Paul Fehrmann


The current research sought to identify what skills, knowledge, and behaviours (SKBs) in advocacy engagement are closely associated with information literacy skills. The paper examines what role information literacy (IL) skills play in making one an effective advocate by drawing on everyday life situations that involve advocacy such as self-advocacy, social advocacy, patient advocacy, parent advocacy, and policy advocacy. A rapid scoping review was completed using articles published within the last ten years (2008–2019). The articles were retrieved from Academic Search Complete, a multidisciplinary database. The aim of our initial review was to identify what skills, knowledge and behaviours are deemed essential for everyday life situations that involve advocacy. Charting of the literature was then used to map the skills, knowledge and behaviours mentioned in relation to advocacy to information literacy skills. Results showed how the knowledge component in advocacy engagement is closely associated with various IL skills such as finding information, evaluation of information and sharing information. Implications of the study point towards the importance of emphasising IL instruction in broader contexts beyond higher education and/ or academic libraries. The study shows that IL skills are important in the public realm and in primary (elementary) and secondary (high) school contexts as well. Therefore, public librarians and school librarians should be just as engaged in equipping their patrons/clientele with IL skills that may be needed for different types of advocacy such as self-advocacy, parent advocacy and patient advocacy. The study also has implications for humanitarian research and research that involves situations of information poverty as these contexts will often involve advocacy work as well.

Article Details

How to Cite
NZOMO, Peggy; FEHRMANN, Paul. Advocacy engagement. Journal of Information Literacy, [S.l.], v. 14, n. 1, p. 41-65, june 2020. ISSN 1750-5968. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 08 aug. 2022. doi:
Research articles (peer-reviewed articles)