Information environment and The Cellist of Sarajevo

Writing an article on students’ views of the workplace information environment while on work experience, I realised that I had used the term information environment many times in my writing, and I also teach a subject called The Information Environment. However, I had never thought about providing a definition of the information environment, so I set out to find some definitions – not an easy task. I did find one academic article which referred to information resources, information objects and the technology used to organise information. My own definition is that a school’s information environment is  the context in which information needs exist, the sources of information available, the technologies used to retrieve, organise and manipulate information, the information practices of people, and the culture of information use, in that context. What do you think your school’s information environment consists of  and how do you contribute to it?

I’ve recently read The Cellist of Sarajevo, a novel by Steven Galloway. It is set during the 1990s war which affected Bosnia and other countries in that region. It’s a very tense novel, extremely well plotted and with 4 interlinked characters who are all based within the besieged city and are all at risk from snipers in the hills around the city. It’s  story of despair, tragedy but also hope and also a reflection on war, but not a didactic one. The cellist was a real person who played for 22 days in the open, risking his life, to commemorate people killed while queuing for bread. The cellist himself is part of the context and not a leading character. I would recommend this very highly.

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