First-generation students’ information literacy in everyday contexts

Ilett / Journal of Information Literacy / December 2019

female with glasses in library

Historically, muchof the Library and Information Science (LIS) literature on first-generation students (FGS) framed them using deficit thinking, emphasising what they lacked to be successful in higher education. In contrast, recent scholarship has turned to asset-based pedagogies, shifting the focus onto the strengths that FGS bring to college. Further, LIS research on FGS has examined how students engage with information solely in academic contexts, such as completing research papers or navigating higher education procedures. The current study contributes to the discussion of asset-based pedagogies by using a funds of knowledge approach to explore the ways in which FGS at a mid-sized university in the US engage with information, and it expands the scope of inquiry to several everyday contexts, including students’ households, workplaces, and communities. The findings reveal a variety of funds of knowledge concerning participants’ information literacy (IL) and lay the foundation for IL instruction that meets FGS where they are, thus serving them more equitably.