Information Literacy Dialogue as a Wittgensteinian Language-Game: Embedding IL into Curricula

  • Michael FlierlEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 676)


Finding common ground on which to communicate with instructors about embedding information literacy (IL) into curricula is a challenging but worthwhile goal. To address this issue of communication, this paper proposes viewing librarian-instructor dialogue about information literacy as a “language-game,” a concept from the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, where librarians must first understand the meaning of information literacy from an instructor’s disciplinary and cultural perspective. How IL can function as a language-game and librarian perspectives on IL are discussed first. Next, two case studies are analyzed using a language-game approach, highlighting successful and unsuccessful attempts of embedding IL into curricula. Finally, a methodology, similar to a reference interview, is introduced describing how librarians can better understand teacher perceptions of IL in relation to their discipline and pedagogy. A language-game approach to IL can enable librarians to engage in more meaningful dialogue about embedding IL into curricula.


Embedding information literacy Wittgenstein Language-game 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Purdue University, LibrariesWest LafayetteUSA

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