Information literacy, policy issues
and employability
Dr John Crawford
Chair,
Information Skills for a 21st Century
Scotla...
Paul Zurkowski, the founder of
information literacy
Definitions
Information Literacy definitions
"Information literacy is knowing when and why you need
information, where to find it, and...
Information literacy is about...
• ‘…not only the evaluation and use of traditional
‘library’ sources but also social poli...
Historic debates about what IL is
‘...effective policy formulation and
implementation rely on an unambiguous
definition of...
The long haul
‘The top priority of the National Commission on
Libraries and Information Science should be
directed towards...
Finding reliable information
What is information
‘Information is what human beings transform
knowledge into when they want to communicate it
to other p...
The Information Society
Term defines a society in which the creation, distribution
and treatment of information have becom...
Alexandria Proclamation
• comprises the competencies to recognise information needs and to locate,
evaluate, apply and cre...
IFLA Media and Information Literacy
Recommendations
• Commission research on the state of Media and Information Literacy a...
Skills strategies
and compulsory education
• Young people’s education, from the early years of a child’s life through the ...
Information literacy
development and research
• Most work is done in higher education and schools, is linked
to an assessm...
A changing role
And now
The public library
• Learning is informal
• Staff rarely trained in teaching methods
• Learning activities in public libra...
The school library
• Provides a wide range of non-fiction and fiction that expands pupil’s minds
and horizons
• By seeing ...
Some workplace factors
• Information seeking is not always necessary
• Information seeking is by trial and error
• Getting...
Information literacy in the workplace study
Dec.2007- Jan.2008 – key findings
• The traditional ‘library’ view of informat...
Alison Head’s findings (1)
Information problems in the workplace often call
for retrieving information using a variety of ...
Alison Head’s findings (2)
• Employers expected new recruits to explore a
topic thoroughly upon being presented with
an in...
Finding partners
• Skills development agencies
• Employers’ organisations
• Trades Unions – workers’ organisations
• Commu...
Needed employability skills
• selecting and evaluating sources, assessing quality, filtering
the information;
• evaluating...
Is it just a utilitarian agenda?
Contact details
John Crawford
johncrawford705@yahoo.co.uk
Chair
Information skills for a 21st century Scotland
www.therigh...
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Information literacy policy issues and employability

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Information literacy policy issues and employability

  1. 1. Information literacy, policy issues and employability Dr John Crawford Chair, Information Skills for a 21st Century Scotland Workshop on promoting employability through specific literacies 11.03.14
  2. 2. Paul Zurkowski, the founder of information literacy
  3. 3. Definitions
  4. 4. Information Literacy definitions "Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner." CILIP (2004) www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/advocacy/information-literacy/pages/default.aspx “Information Literacy was defined as the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address an issue or problem.” Prague Declaration (2003)
  5. 5. Information literacy is about... • ‘…not only the evaluation and use of traditional ‘library’ sources but also social policy issues, relating to the relief of inequality and disadvantage, skills development for a post industrial society, critical thinking and lifelong learning, an activity which information literacy informs and supports, digital literacy, school and higher education curricula, early years learning, health issues, the dynamics of the workplace, learning and teaching skills and strategies with an increasing emphasis on teaching and learning in informal situations.’ • Crawford and Irving (2013:251)
  6. 6. Historic debates about what IL is ‘...effective policy formulation and implementation rely on an unambiguous definition of the problem, while information literacy remains difficult to characterize.’ (Haras and Brasley 2011)
  7. 7. The long haul ‘The top priority of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science should be directed towards establishing a national program to achieve universal information literacy by 1984’ (Zurkowski 1974)
  8. 8. Finding reliable information
  9. 9. What is information ‘Information is what human beings transform knowledge into when they want to communicate it to other people... . So we can usefully think of it as the food of knowledge..’ The idea of information as a form of enrichment the idea of reducing uncertainty (Orna 1999: 8-9)
  10. 10. The Information Society Term defines a society in which the creation, distribution and treatment of information have become the most significant economic and cultural activities. An information society also covers many related sectors which include industrial and economic policy, technology policy, telecommunications policy and a huge sector: social issues and policies that comprise e-government, education, e-health, media policy and cultural issues within which much of the material of information literacy lies. (UNESCO 2009:123-124).
  11. 11. Alexandria Proclamation • comprises the competencies to recognise information needs and to locate, evaluate, apply and create information within cultural and social contexts; • is crucial to the competitive advantage of individuals, enterprises (especially small and medium enterprises), regions and nations; • provides the key to effective access, use and creation of content to support economic development, education, health and human services, and all other aspects of contemporary societies, and thereby provides the vital foundation for fulfilling the goals of the Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on the Information Society; and • extends beyond current technologies to encompass learning, critical thinking and interpretative skills across professional boundaries and empowers individuals and communities. The Alexandria Proclamation (2005)
  12. 12. IFLA Media and Information Literacy Recommendations • Commission research on the state of Media and Information Literacy and produce reports, using the Media and Information Literacy indicators as a base, so that experts, educators, and practitioners are able to design effective initiatives; • Support professional development for education, library, information, archive, and health and human services personnel in the principles and practices of Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning; • Embed Media and Information Literacy education in all Lifelong Learning curricula; • Recognise Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning as key elements for the development of generic capabilities which must be demonstrated for accreditation of all education and training programmes; • Include Media and Information Literacy in the core and continuing education of information professionals, educators, economic and government policy-makers and administrators, as well as in the practice of advisors to the business, industry and agriculture sectors; • Implement Media and Information Literacy programmes to increase the employability and entrepreneurial capacities of women and disadvantaged groups, including migrants, the underemployed and the unemployed; and, • Support thematic meetings which will facilitate the acquisition of Media and Information and Lifelong Learning strategies within specific regions, sectors, and population group
  13. 13. Skills strategies and compulsory education • Young people’s education, from the early years of a child’s life through the compulsory education, coincides with a period of rapid development and lays the foundation of skills for life and work. What they learn and how they learn have a major bearing on wider outcomes including employability and participation in society, in later life. (Scottish Government 2007) • "the need to move children beyond a basic level of literacy in order that they can fully engage with modern society and the workplace" (2009, p14-15) Vision for Scotland: The Report and Final Recommendations of the Literacy Commission • To meet the aspirations of Curriculum for Excellence, there will need to be changes in the way people think about curriculum, shifting the focus from a view of curriculum content as either ‘academic’ or ‘vocational’, towards curriculum as encompassing the whole range of knowledge, skills and attributes that contribute to the four capacities. As we move forward, we need to build on and strengthen the development of skills across the curriculum. The focus will need to shift from the route to learning, and the settings where learning takes place, to the outcomes of learning, and the skills that young people need for their learning, life and work. Curriculum for Excellence 4: Skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work (2009, p4)
  14. 14. Information literacy development and research • Most work is done in higher education and schools, is linked to an assessment culture and is librarian directed • Much less interest in the workplace and the wider community • The public state sector is more interested in information than the private sector • Subject/industry sector is a big factor in information usage • The SME presents particular problems • Information usage in the workplace is a collaborative and frequently unstructured activity and not librarian directed
  15. 15. A changing role
  16. 16. And now
  17. 17. The public library • Learning is informal • Staff rarely trained in teaching methods • Learning activities in public libraries linked to disadvantage • Learners often have had negative experiences in scholastic education • Learners may have had previous negative experiences of library use • Public librarians have excellent customer care skills
  18. 18. The school library • Provides a wide range of non-fiction and fiction that expands pupil’s minds and horizons • By seeing the same pupils in different classes, help pupils recognise and develop transferable skills • Encourage pupils to develop good information literacy skills with books and internet; and safe use of the latter • Provide lunchtime/post-school opportunities for pupils to explore/develop areas of personal interest, including careers • Help pupils develop self-confidence, self-esteem and articulacy • Provide opportunities for pupils to become library helpers-which gives them experience of interviews, working on a range of tasks, developing organisational skills • Assist pupils with college/university/job applications and personal statement process • With thanks to Ian McCracken
  19. 19. Some workplace factors • Information seeking is not always necessary • Information seeking is by trial and error • Getting information is not equal to getting the answer • Information seeking is not linear • Information seeking is not a one man job • Information relevance criteria change (Lloyd 2010: 75-76)
  20. 20. Information literacy in the workplace study Dec.2007- Jan.2008 – key findings • The traditional ‘library’ view of information as deriving from electronic and printed sources only is invalid in the workplace and must include people as sources of information • The public enterprise with its emphasis on skills and qualifications is a fertile area for further investigation and developmental work • Advanced Internet training extends employees’ information horizons • A skill and qualifications based agenda is an important pre-condition • Most interviewees viewed public libraries as irrelevant for anything other than recreational purposes • Information literacy training programmes must be highly focused on the target audience • An understanding of what constitutes information literacy is widespread in the workplace but is often implicit rather than explicit and is based on qualifications, experience, and networking activities • Organizations which access a wide range of information, of high quality, including sources outwith their organization, will make the best informed decisions
  21. 21. Alison Head’s findings (1) Information problems in the workplace often call for retrieving information using a variety of formats. Although graduates demonstrated a high level of skill in searching the internet, employers found new recruits were less likely to use other sources, such as offline documentation, specialized databases, and sources of tacit knowledge within their organizations. Head (2013)
  22. 22. Alison Head’s findings (2) • Employers expected new recruits to explore a topic thoroughly upon being presented with an information problem. Instead, employers found graduates lacked both patience and persistence in engaging with a research topic, and were eager to find the one “right” answer, rather than approaching information work as a solid base for building personal knowledge in the workplace.
  23. 23. Finding partners • Skills development agencies • Employers’ organisations • Trades Unions – workers’ organisations • Community development workers • Chambers of commerce • Public library services • Departments of education • Governments and public bodies
  24. 24. Needed employability skills • selecting and evaluating sources, assessing quality, filtering the information; • evaluating, prioritising and identifying the significance of information; • analysing and interpreting, making inferences and deductions and understanding the significance of information; • synthesising, translating, drawing implications and making recommendations; • using available tools, e.g. Google, internal search engines etc.; • managing e-mail, e.g. organising e-mail received and sent. • Reedy et al (2013)
  25. 25. Is it just a utilitarian agenda?
  26. 26. Contact details John Crawford johncrawford705@yahoo.co.uk Chair Information skills for a 21st century Scotland www.therightinformation.org/

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