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Topic 4.1 Introducing information literacy

Posted by arlekeno on May 6, 2009

Just looking at the opening from the Alberta Dept of Education, I agree in the description of the ‘now’ generation ( but would mention their inability to realise what IS relevant to them).

I especially like the line from Naisbett “Drowning in information but starved for knowledge”. I guess that is where we come in.

Schools must teach these critical thinking skills if students are to meet the future with confidence and hope. The teaching of these crucial generic skills is the responsibility of all members of a school’s instructional staff. The school library, with its human and material resources, has a significant role to play in this cooperative endeavor.

Responses to:Bruce, C. (1997). Chapter 2: Descriptions of information literacy. In The seven faces of information literacy: Descriptions of information literacy. Blackwood, SA: Auslib Press, pp.20-41,

Interesting to see the concepts behind the idea of info literacy.pg20

  1. Information technology literacy
  2. computer literacy
  3. library literacy
  4. information skills
  5. learning to learn.

I would argue though, that the first 4 are very similar. IT lit and Comp Lit are almost the same thing these days, and I think Library lit is a part of info lit.Will be good to read the definitions of each.

ITL: In the broadest sense, ITL is the knowledge which allows an individual to function and effectively, in whatever circumstances one finds him/herself in a technologically oriented society. (from Encyclopedia of L&IS)

Makes sense, ( i think something may be missing there though). As an aside. BOOKS ARE TECHNOLOGY TOO!

The 8 competencies listed are also good, Not sure if most people get 2. though. Understand how subsytems fit together to form systems or networks.

Computer Litereacy: Is an understanding of what computer hardware and software can do (pg22).

EEP! I can’t programme computers, I am illiterate 😦

Library Literacy: The Ability to use libraries. (YAY!)

Not just to find the info, but to understand/evaluate it as well? HHMmm, I am not sure if that is LIBRARY litereacy, it is an essential skill, but an essential part of library lit? Up for debate there.

Information skills: The intellectual process of information use.

This looks like the assignment here on page 24/5 starting with the big 6. Marland’s looks easy to explain ona poster though.

Learniing to learn and lifelong learning: A developmental process in which peoples conception of learning evolves.

Accurate I suppose, but a bit vague. Mind you, a lot of people do not know how to learn ( or study etc), it would be good if people looked at how they best learned. ( Maybe a bit of NLP here would help).


The description on pg 27, looks a lot like the info process models. at least four of the big 6 are there.

Lots of interesting definitions there, the one that interests me the most though is Huston, pg 30, that to be information literate is to aquire a mental model. It does make sense.  Mind you, you need to aquire the skills, but you need a model ( even if you make your own) to get it all together.(mind you, you could call that a process, a lot of these definitions all say the same things in different ways.. . you have to get published somehow I suppose).Mind you I like the idea of Info Lit, just being part of regular literacy. I see a LOT of sense in this. 200 years ago, a literate person had access to information and entertainment in the written form… modern literacy is more or less the same thing, but with other media.

IT then goes on to critically look at the theoretical base behind the models and criticise some aspects of them. Etc etc.

Respons to: McGregor, J.H. (1999). Chapter 2: How do we learn? In B.K. Stripling (Ed.) Learning and libraries in an information age: Principles and practice, Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, pp.25-53

Behavioural Approach: pg 27. I think  Conditioning would be good to teach the skills.  Continual practice of how to use the info and being told explicitly what the processes are etc.

Cognitive psychology/constructivism: pg 29. I like the idea of students working out their own processes ( if they are right).

I can see models like the big 6 being used by both of these theories to a degree. the Skills could be drilled, but the active tasks in the library would allow for student centred learning. pg 33 is really quite interesting.

LOTS of definitions of models of learning are next, inquiry learning, cooperative learning, brain based learning etc.

This is a pretty good overview of A LOT of theories. AND this article gives ways to collaborate more effectively by putting the theory into practice.

The last few pages of this article are VERY relevant to how a T.L. could build info literacy and collaboration in their school. While it is good to know all the theories, actually having a list of what to do can be FAR more helpful.

The models in the previous article are also useful. Again, I like lists.

Response to:Teaching information problem solving in primary schools: An information literacy survey, available

information problem solving. (instead of info Lit) I like this name.

Good point, if teachers do not know how to use or access the library, their students won’t either. pg 2.

Things look pretty bleak in NZ though, no T.L.? In fact, the whole thing looks very depressing and makes me think back to the word, ADVOCACY.

Response to:Behrens, S.J. (1994). A conceptual analysis and historical overview of information literacy, College and Research Libraries, 55(4), 309–322,

interesting to see something I suspected already written down. “The adoption of the information literacy goal was the library profession’s response to having its role essentially ignored or overlooked in the educational reform process”. pg 313

Response to: Henri, J. (2005)

Wish I had read this before I did Task 1!

When the information literacy focus shifts from students to teachers then the
role of the teacher librarian and of the principal as information leaders must shift too. Teacher librarians must shift their services and their allocation of time towards teachers. Principals must make that happen


the teacher librarian cannot expect to achieve radical change on her/his
own and therefore must develop a strategy based on alliance-making.

This is very important to me ( and the first essay which I have already handed in… DAMN IT!) We have to change the way the school and principal look at ILSC and the T.L. but since the Head master won’t be reading this article we have to convince him/her.

The definition of an ILSC is abit vague at times. (pg2) But I do agree that there has to be a culture of accepting change, and we need policies to support this ( again back to the executive). I believe I am in a STUCK SCHOOL (pg 3) sometimes. (does the teachers Fed like change? Can we bridge the Digital – divide?).

I like the interesting points on page four, e.g. “knowing someone” is different now, I  “know” lots of people who I have never met in person as I have met them online.  More seriously though. I do like the line about 20 years ago students could not find info on a few subjects, now students can find info on every subject, but have to work out its worth.

Oh, and again on pg5/6 the role of the T.L. (which I have only seen met by private schools) 😦      T.L.s are the school information experts DAMN IT! Using the Role statements though, an understaffed Library cannot meet all the roles, so how do we PRIORITISE? (good question Henri!)

Response to: Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2006). A teacher librarian advocate’s guide to building information literate school communities – ASLA advocacy kit. Zillmere, Qld: Australian School Library Association, available

I would really like to do a presentation on this somewhere… P&C maybe?

I would also like to know where they got the Statistic that 70% of health info on the web was wrong… Hmm, can I trust ASLA?


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