Workplace Information Literacy: Cultivation Strategies for ‘Working Smarter’ in 21st Century Libraries


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This presentation demonstrates a hybrid framework of Swedish cultural practices and Australian grounded theory for organizational development and suggests practical strategies for ‘working smarter’ in 21st Century libraries. Toward that end, reflective evidence-based practices are offered to incrementally build organizational capacity for asking good questions, selecting authoritative sources, evaluating multiple perspectives, organizing emerging insights, and communicating them to inform, educate, and influence. In addition, to ensure the robust information exchange necessary to collective workplace learning, leadership traits are proposed for ensuring inclusive communication, decision making, and planning processes. These findings emerge from action research projects conducted from 2003 to 2008 in two North American libraries.

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Workplace Information Literacy: Cultivation Strategies for ‘Working Smarter’ in 21st Century Libraries

  1. 1. Workplace Information Literacy: Cultivation Strategies for ‘Working Smarter’ in 21 st Century Libraries <ul><li>Zaana Howard (Australia), Anita Mirijamdotter (Sweden) & Mary M. Somerville (USA) </li></ul>
  2. 2. Outline Workplace information literacy ‘ Working Smarter’ processes Effectiveness results
  3. 3. Soft Systems Methodology Learning Process (after Checkland, 2000)
  4. 4. Framework Framework of Ideas – F, Methodology – M, Area of concern – A (after Checkland and Holwell, 1998)
  5. 5. Framework of Ideas <ul><ul><ul><li>Informed Learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from encounters with information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participatory Action Research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learning with and for beneficiaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Systems Thinking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Big picture understanding of interrelationships </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Soft Systems Methodology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Process of learning one’s way </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Organizational effectiveness results <ul><li>Amplify paraprofessional public service roles </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate college-based librarian liaison model </li></ul><ul><li>Co-design disciplinary research portal </li></ul><ul><li>Co-create and evaluate course assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Evolve learning partnerships in learning commons </li></ul>
  7. 7. Working smarter elements <ul><li>Informed learning: </li></ul><ul><li>Using information to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory action research: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning with and for beneficiaries </li></ul><ul><li>Systems thinking: </li></ul><ul><li>Develop holistic understanding </li></ul><ul><li>‘… learning our way to change’ </li></ul>
  8. 8. Organizational leadership priorities <ul><li>Design collegial information access, exchange, and reflection environments </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage continuous research, implementation, and evaluation culture </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate financial and human resources to ‘incentivize’ collaborative innovation and creativity </li></ul>
  9. 9. References C. S. Bruce (2008). Informed Learning . Chicago: ACRL. P. Checkland & S. Holwell (1998). Information, Systems and Information Systems - Making Sense of the Field . Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. P. B. Checkland (2000). Soft systems methodology. Systems Research & Behavioural Science . Z. Howard & M. M. Somerville (2008). Building knowledge capabilities: An organizational learning approach. Proceedings 11 th Annual Conference on Knowledge Management, Australia. Mirijamdotter & M.M. Somerville (2009). Collaborative design: An SSM-enabled organizational learning approach. International Journal of Information Technologies and Systems Approach .
  10. 10. Questions?