Dr Jesus Lau

Professor at Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

A leader and spokesperson for information literacy/information skills for learning, Dr. Lau has travelled professionally to more than 65 countries as a passionate advocate for the role information competencies play in our global knowledge society, and the potential of information to transform lives.  Having led four academic libraries, with the responsibility for raising funds and building new library facilities at two of them, Dr. Lau currently is a Professor at Universidad Veracruzana, the fourth largest public university in Mexico.  With a Ph.D. in Information Science, Sheffield University, England; a Master’s Degree in Library Science, Denver University; and Law Degree at Sinaloa University, Mexico. He has been awarded the title of National Researcher for several consecutive three-year terms, 1989-2018 (Mexico).

He has played a national and international leading role as a member of the Board of Directors of the Special Libraries Association (USA)--the first foreigner to have this role in its 100-year history.  In addition, representing SLA at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA - The Netherlands) in several roles, among them serving two terms on the Governing Board; on the Executive Committee; and was the first Chair of IFLA’s Information Literacy Section.  Dr. Lau is Past-President of the Mexican Library Association (AMBAC).  The author of more than 200 papers and articles and 20 monographs, including the IFLA Information Literacy Guidelines (translated into 12 languages) and an InfoLit Marketing manual.  As well as author/researcher of UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Global MIL Assessment Framework manual, among other UNESCO MIL publications. 

The recipient of numerous awards recognizing his professional contributions, including the Global MIL Award 2017 from the United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and The Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL); as well as Librarian of the Year by the Border Regional Library Association (Texas -New Mexico Border) in 1998; the 2011 Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) Librarian of the Year Award, the highest of its kind in Mexico; and the John Cotton Dana award to recognize his lifetime of achievement and exceptional service to Special Libraries Association (USA) and the library and information profession; the IFLA Medal by the International Federation of Library Associations for his distinguished service to IFLA and international librarianship, and in advancing information literacy as a critical skill, and the INFO 2014 Award (Cuba) for his contribution to information development in Latin America.  He has been named Outstanding Citizen of Sinaloa, and is part “Sinaloenses Ejemplares en el Mundo” in his home state.


The new social media and cyber information culture demands more information-skilled citizens to cope with the increasing and disruptive information that constantly flows through smart cell phones and other media to people, who have limited time to discern objectivity and reliability of received data. This social trend will be discussed in this presentation, from the point of view that Libraries and educational systems have a big challenge and a great opportunity to train students in assessing the whirlwind of message content, and to contribute to create a strong media and information culture in their communities.