Information literacy of Polish state administration officials in the context of the concept of "good governance"

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Zbigniew Osiński


The article presents the results of research on information literacy (IL) of employees of selected state administration offices, those in which the concept of improving the quality of work, named "good governance", has been implemented. The first aim of the study was to determine the components of IL necessary for state administration employees and the deficiencies occurring in this respect. Another goal was to develop research methods and techniques which would be useful to achieve the first aim and to identify challenges of this study. The research was conducted in two stages. The first of them, carried out at the Lublin Provincial Office in Poland, was aimed at determining the information needs of individual official positions, identifying the IL essential for officials and the shortcomings in this regard. At this stage, the following research methods have been used: analysis of cards describing individual job positions in the office, the method of mapping knowledge in the office and the method of focused group interview. The second stage of the research was carried out in five provincial offices. This time, the main goal was to check whether the questionnaires developed by Polish researchers to study the information culture (the system of human attitudes towards information) of various social groups could be effectively used to study the IL of officials. It was assumed that the information culture of staff determined their ability to undertake information activities, including untypical ones, expected from them in line with the concept of "good governance".

The conclusion reached was that IL of employees was underestimated in the current practice of state administration. A set of components of the information skills useful for working in various office job positions have been developed. It was reported that the information culture of the studied group was characterised by an optimistic perception of their own skills and their professional usefulness. Studies have shown that obtaining conclusive results indicating the level of specific information skills in the office environment is often not possible for reasons beyond the control of a researcher. Traditional IL testing methods are assumed to fail there. This is due to the Dunning-Kruger effect (Kruger & Dunning, 1999), as well as constraints imposed by the way offices function and decisions of the management of the office. It seems that achieving more precise results requires establishing close cooperation with the management of an examined group. Undertaking such research is necessary in the context of implementing the concept of "good governance" and a model of one of the methodologies has been presented in the article.

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How to Cite
OSIŃSKI, Zbigniew. Information literacy of Polish state administration officials in the context of the concept of "good governance". Journal of Information Literacy, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 2, p. 4-25, june 2021. ISSN 1750-5968. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 15 june 2021. doi:
Research articles (peer-reviewed articles)