before information literacy

field notes on the end of IL


  • nicholae cline Indiana University Libraries
  • Jorge R. López-McKnight Austin Community College



critical information literacy, decoloniality, fugitivity, information worlds, normativity, information literacy, information power, pedagogy


“Information Literacy is empire,” so goes this piece that reflects on the past and present to consider a future of IL as a learning paradigm and pedagogical framework. In sketching out the temporo-spatial and socio-cultural dimensions and consequences of IL, we critically interrogate its normative and disciplinary aspects while positioning and examining it as a product and project of empire. Following from such a premise, we detour through an exploratory meandering of alternative lenses and paths for IL that engage with and support the information worlds and knowledge systems of marginalised communities that have been subjected to epistemological violence through various interlocking logics of dispossession, domination, commodification, and control. This piece, which is really an invitation that is also a story—a groove, moving off vibrations of theories and concepts from critical library and information studies, decolonial imaginaries, fugitivity, and abolitionist modalities gestures towards a decolonial and liberatory vision of IL that is plural, expansive, speculative, collective, improvisational, and oriented towards the liberation and freedom of all beings.






Anniversary of IL Special Issue 2024