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Information literacy: marketing and educational views … and some research
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Information literacy: marketing and educational views … and some research

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Sheila Webber presented this at the 2007 Conference of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL). She identifies a tension between the librarian's role as marketer and educator, and …

Sheila Webber presented this at the 2007 Conference of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL). She identifies a tension between the librarian's role as marketer and educator, and proposes relationship marketing as a context for lessening this tension. Research into chemistry and marketing academics' conceptions of information literacy is described. Sheila proposes how this might be applied to a legal environment, and says that understanding your clients’ approaches to information literacy could be fruitful for training and marketing. The presentation finishes by giving highlights into recent research by O'Brien and Rhodes into legal information professionals’ priorities for information literacy research.

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  • 1. Information literacy: marketing and educational views … and some research Sheila Webber University of Sheffield Department of Information Studies June 2007 Photographs and text copyright Sheila Webber, 2007, Sheila Webber, June 2007 s.webber@sheffield.ac.uk
  • 2. Outline • Marketing and Education? Tensions • Different ideas of information literacy • Application to law • Research into research priorities in IL Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 3. “Information literacy is the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to identify, through whatever Johnston & channel or medium, information Webber well fitted to information needs, leading to wise and ethical use of information in society.” Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 4. Marketing and Education Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 5. L/IM= library, information or knowledge manager Tension L/IM as: L/IM • Consultant Service role • Mentor • Fee-earner Customer always right • Educator Demystifying, downplaying expertise • Change agent Need to justify & benchmark what you do Expert judgement Robust opinions Body of knowledge, commanding respect Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 6. Colleagues as Colleagues as fellow clients professionals • Collaborating on creating • Identifying customer knowledge base needs and wants • Partners in meeting client • Tailoring products and needs services to needs and wants • Expert contribution valued • Don’t try to educate the user about quot;needsquot; • “Challengingquot; “Creatingquot; they don't quot;wantquot; (costly waste of time) • quot;Helpfulquot; quot;Supportivequot; Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 7. “A CKO needs to have the charisma to carry any sceptics and to have the Webb (2006) personal authority to leave colleagues in no doubt that as the CKO s/he means business.” Note: removed in this version: screenshot of article Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 8. Relationship Marketing “Relationship marketing is marketing based on interaction within networks of relationships” Gummesson (2002) p3 Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 9. And librarians!! quot;.. Relationship marketing has been practised for centuries by professional bodies such as accountants and lawyers by the very nature of the services they provide.quot; Harris, M. and Cohen, G. (2003) “Marketing in the Internet age: what can we learn from the past?” Management Decision, 41 (9), 944 – 956 Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 10. RM : suitable for KM, Web 2.0 environment? • Creation & recognition of mutual value (win-win for client and supplier) • Everyone is active (client is not passive e.g. may be helping to quot;createquot; products/services) • Planned, managed relationships through their life cycles (inc. deciding which relationships you won't spend time on) • Managing your quot;relationship portfolioquot; Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 11. • Analysing your colleagues’ approaches to information literacy as part of marketing and education strategy • Will describe what we discovered …. one thing was: you can learn a lot by letting someone chunter on about information, just saying “great” now & then to keep then going Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 12. The project Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 13. • Three-year Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) - funded project (Nov 2002- Nov 2005) To explore UK academics’ conceptions of, and pedagogy for, information literacy • Sheila Webber; Bill Johnston; Stuart Boon (Research Assistant: now lecturing at Strathclyde) Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 14. Key research questions 1. What conceptions of information literacy do UK academics have? 2. What do academics say they are doing, and what are their aims, as regards students and information literacy? 3. Are there differences between disciplines? Chemistry, Marketing, Civil Engineering, English Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 15. quot;Phenomenography is the empirical study of the differing ways in which people experience, perceive, apprehend, understand, conceptualise Marton (1994) various phenomena in and aspects of the world around us.” Qualitative research aiming for insights Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 16. Insights Interviewee Us What is key focus of IL for the interviewee? ? 20 x 4 interviewees from 26 different universities Information Literacy Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 17. Identify “categories” for different ways of thinking about information literacy Identifying what people keep coming back to as the central focus Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 18. Disciplines most like law??? I thought ….. Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 19. Marketing: Information literacy as… 1. Accessing information quickly and easily to be aware of what’s going on 2. Using IT to work with information efficiently and effectively 3. Possessing a set of information skills and applying them to the task in hand 4. Using information literacy to solve real-world problems 5. Becoming critical thinkers 6. Becoming a confident, independent practitioner Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 20. Chemistry: Information literacy as… 1. Accessing and searching chemical information 2. Mastering a chemist's information skill set 3. Communicating scientific information 4. An essential part of the constitution/ construction/ creation of knowledge Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 21. Relating it to legal context • Perhaps can “diagnose” or “segment” people in your workplace • This includes library and information professionals, professional support lawyers etc • Gives a clue about how to work with them and “push their buttons” • Seemed to me that chemistry categories might work well…. (but could mix and match even if not v. “scientific” ;-) Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 22. Chemistry Law, IL as…. 1. Accessing and searching legal information • Handling information is part of legal practice • IL relates to searching formal legal sources • So this might be the only aspect where librarians would be seen to have a role Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 23. Chemistry Law, IL as…. 2. Mastering a legal practitioner’s information skill set • Handling information is part of legal practice • IL is acknowledged as a separate skill area (not just “part of law”), so librarians have a more expert role in developing the skills • Information includes a wider range of material including case notes, internal reports etc. Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 24. Chemistry Law, IL as…. 3. Communicating legal information • Handling information is part of legal practice • IL is acknowledged as a separate skill area (not just “part of law”), so librarians have a more expert role in developing the skills • Information includes a wider range of material including case notes, internal reports etc. • IL includes communicating and sharing information, so IL experts (librarians) could have a bigger role there too Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 25. Chemistry Law, IL as…. 4. An essential part of the constitution/ construction/ creation of knowledge • Handling information is part of legal practice • IL is acknowledged as a separate skill/knowledge area (not just “part of law”) (etc) • Information includes a wider range of material including case notes, internal reports etc. and tacit knowledge • Knowledge is at the heart of what the legal profession is about, and there is an identifiable set of information skills (IL) to do with creating, innovating & communicating: IL experts (librarians) could have a big role in this process Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 26. Find out through… • What you know already • Asking what they think are priorities, what should new entrants learn about, what causes most problems, what should we spend more money on, what should the librarians be doing (etc etc) i.e. “let them chunter on” strategy • What is in HRM strategies, strategic documents etc.: Could identify what category the organisation falls into and where you would like to be Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 27. Creating relationships • Different strategies appeal to different categories • People can be put off by strategies that push an approach to IL that isn’t theirs • Could build a training programme round the different categories • Ideally – people extend their ideas about IL through learning about other ways of seeing it Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 28. Part 2! Research priorities for IL: What are the really important questions and topics that should be researched? Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 29. Note: photo not Research project copyright of SW • Researchers: James O’Brien and Christopher Rhodes • Delphi technique – Experts rate (in this case) IL research topics/ questions: are they important? – Use statements from literature and participants – Aims to get agreement on what is important • 1st round: 20 people; 2nd round 18 • Info pros from legal firms & law Departments Thank you! Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 30. • 35 items, including 9 added by participants • Looking for: – High rating (4 or 5 out of 5) – High level of agreement about whether it was important • The winners were…… Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 31. Highest priority (5) • How much time do legal workers spend searching for legal information? • How much money could professional information literacy training save legal firms by improving workers legal information searching skills and therefore saving them? • Why do trainee solicitors find it hard to transfer legal research and information literacy skills from the LPC course into practice within their firm? Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 32. Highest level of agreement • How much time do legal workers spend searching for legal information? (priority 5 – the winner!) • What are effective information literacy training methods in the legal workplace? (4) • Are the skills of legal practitioners transferable to new IL problems involved with database/web searching? (4) • To what extent does IL enhance productivity in the legal workplace? (4) Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 33. Most focus on • Workplace efficiency • Training issues Are they by any chance related? I noticed this quote (Gray et al, 2007) Note: removed in “Obviously, training is a way of this version: screenshot of encouraging the efficient use of article resources, and to justify expenditure on these expensive materials.” Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 34. Sheila Webber s.webber@shef.ac.uk http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ Sheila Yoshikawa http://adventuresofyoshikawa.blogspot.com/ Sheila Webber, June 2007
  • 35. References • Gray, K. et al. (2007) “Training the Trainer.” Legal information management, 7 (1), 20-22. • O’Sullivan, C. (2006) “Is information literacy a basis for life- long learning? Observations from the workplace.” Paper presented at the 6th ANZIIL Symposium. http://www.anziil.org/events_meetings/2006/events/sympos ium-series-six/overview.htm • Webb, J. (2006) “Leadership in KM and the role of the CKO.” Legal information management, 6 (4), 267-270. Sheila Webber, June 2007