Toward a socio-contextual understanding of transliteracy

Isbister, Kathy


Hovious, A. (2018). Toward a socio-contextual understanding of transliteracy. Reference Services Review, 46(2), 178-188. Retrieved from

Summary: This article reviews the works of many researchers to arrive at a current definition of transliteracy. There is discussion on the different ways literacy can be defined, early definitions of transliteracy where it is used to describe the convergence of multiple modes of presenting information, discussion of how this idea intersects with information literacy, and the socio-contextual perspective of transliteracy. In the conclusion, the author states, “Transliteracy then becomes a literacy of literacies, and transliterate individuals transform their literacy practices to successfully participate in the information activity systems to which they belong.”

Evaluation: I sought this article out to help me define transliteracy, and found this very thorough description of how the term can be used across multiple disciplines. For my own purposes, it is helpful to view the concept as one that encompasses using multiple modes both to discover more about an area of interest, and to share that discovery.