Fasick, A. M. (2011). From Boardbook to Facebook: Children’s services in an interactive age. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
Chapter 5 in this book, titled, “Changing Literacies for the 21st Century,” deals with the various types of Information Literacies that have arisen due to the changes in technology. At the opening of this chapter, it uses the 2004 United Nations definition of literacy as the starting point to begin discussion on the various types of literacies. The United Nations defines literacy as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts…and involves a continuum of learning enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential and to participate fully in their community and wider society (Fasick, 58).” Throughout the chapter the author discusses 5 different literacies: print literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, media literacy, and multicultural literacy. Fasick outlines how illiteracy is tied to economic and gender inequality. She points out how poverty is one of the greatest predictors of illiteracy and that, generally, literacy rates for women around the world are lower than men. In her discussion on Multicultural literacy, Fasick points out how publishers are starting to reach out to authors and illustrators from diverse backgrounds and how libraries have a responsibility to build a more multicultural library collection.
Even though an overview of literacies was covered in one chapter, Fasick was effective in underlining one main point: that literacy is not only a basic human right, but that by pursuing universal literacy through libraries, we are pushing for other human rights. I thought that this argument of hers was powerful, and thus, made reading this chapter engaging. I liked how she stresses that, because of America’s diversity, there is no “typical” American child and how we have a responsibility to serve all types of patrons.