Monday, April 16, 2007

TLA 2007 Conference Notes, Day 1: Contributed Paper on Information Literacy

Contributed Paper: Joel C. Battle, "Information Literacy: Are We Meeting Students' Needs?"

  • Are the skills [of information literacy] transferring when they go into the real world? The initial answer as the professor asked this question was no.
  • His study was based on an information literacy course for education majors. The course was required; it will be no longer required, though he will try to argue for his campus, TWU, to keep it as a requirement.
  • Information literacy provides skills that education majors need: information literacy skills, the skills to understand and teach information literacy to others, and the skills to work with librarians.
Book reference to check out: Information Literacy for Educators by Shinew and Walter. New York: Haworth, 2003.

(I am thinking as I listen to this paper, that for us in my setting, we can and should develop pre- and post-instruction surveys. However, we work in a situation that relies on one-shot sessions. This is different than having a course, but the idea still applies).

  • The time has arrived that these skills are needed in order to solve the serious problems facing our world.
(Overall, an interesting paper, but I did not find anything earth-shattering so to speak. However, it gives me food for thought and makes me wonder if maybe we should consider having a course on IL in my campus).

Update note (10/12/2007): Mr. Battle went on to publish a version of this presentation in the Texas Library Journal (Fall 2007) as "Information Literacy Instruction for Educators and the Role of School and Academic Libraries." My new director just passed the article to me to read, thus I am seeing the material again. Much of what I posted previously about the presentation still applies. However, now that I am going to be working as a liaison for the Education Department here at Tyler, it does give me a bit more food for thought. I need to think about and explore ways to help out with the pre-service teachers as they learn about information literacy and about best practices to teach their students about it. There were a couple of lines from the article that caught my eye:

  • The idea of instructional outreach, "i.e. , a model in which academic librarians and classroom faculty collaborate to infuse information literacy instruction throughout an academic program by facilitating communication between their units and fostering faculty development in the area of information literacy instruction and assessment" (Johnson, McCord & Walter 2003)" (121). The citation comes from an article in Reference Librarian vol. 82, pgs. 19-37 entitled "Instructional Outreach Across the Curriculum: Enhancing the Liaison Role at a Research University." I may have to go back and take a look at it.
  • "The academic library should make available to each student the basic skills to enable them to find, evaluate, and use information resources from information storage and retrieval systems (i.e., online catalog, online databases, and Internet-based sources)." In essence, this is our line of work. Write a bit differently, and we could put it into some of our academic library mission statements.

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