International Literacy Day 2017

Posted by Theresa Quill, Social Sciences Librarian
Cartoon poster with people reading books, graphs, and texts on laptops, tablets, and phones

Each year on September 8, we celebrate International Literacy Day. This holiday, first created by the United Nations in 1965, attempts to examine literacy, promote it and increase efforts to create a literate world. This year the theme of International Literacy Day is “Literacy in a digital World” which looks at skills and things we will need to exist in our increasingly digital world.

One way in which we hope to increase literacy is in a relatively new field of geo-literacy. Geo-literacy encompasses how we understand things geographically and how our understanding of location affects our lives. Geo-literacy focuses on three overarching ideas that include our connections, our interactions and the implications place has on our experiences and decisions.

Incorporating geo-literacy in the digital era means taking on and learning how to understand geography in digital settings. Software such as GIS allows us to connect data to places, make connections between data and helps up make predictions, just to name a few. But you don’t have to learn software to learn and increase your digital literacy.  One easy way just to get a sense of our geography can be as easy as using google earth or even a maps app. 


For more information on International Literacy Day and UNESCO:

For more information about geo-literacy:

For more information on GIS and other digital mapping resources at IU:


Post by Lydia Curliss