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An elephant in the room:
information literacy in the
narrative of UK public libraries
Diana Hackett
UCL MA LIS dissertatio...
An elephant in the room…
• Introduction
• Information literacy
• Public libraries
• The project
• Aims
• Methodology
• Fin...
Information literacy
• ‘Information literacy is knowing when and why you need
information, where to find it, and how to ev...
Information literacy
• Problems of definition
• Interchangeability with bibliographic instruction
• Interchangeability bet...
Public libraries
• Lifelong learning:
• Legally bound to ‘provide a comprehensive and efficient library
service for all pe...
An elephant in the room?
Both information literacy
and public libraries are
suffering from an
advocacy failure:
the failur...
The project
• Aim: determine how information literacy is currently positioned in
public library advocacy narratives in the...
Organisation Documents/materials Year
CILIP What makes a good library service 2009
Information literacy statement 2014
Dri...
Methodology
• Qualitative textual analysis
‘a form of analysis in which an understanding and interpretation of the
text pl...
The findings
DIGITAL DOMINANCE
• Information literacy is barely mentioned in public library advocacy
materials
• Focus pla...
Roles for public libraries
Roles for public library
staff
The findings
PASSIVE DIRECTORY VS ACTIVE DELIVERY
• Libraries provide ‘access’ and ‘support’
• Access mostly refers to phy...
The findings
INTELLECTUAL ISOLATION
• No relationship presented between information literacy and public
libraries in eithe...
The findings
ADVANCING ADVOCACY
• Gap between advocacy of government and associated bodies (ACE,
SCL, DCMS, Tinder, Go ON ...
Recommendations
• Greater collaboration between the academic research community,
academic libraries and public libraries
•...
References
All elephant photos: ©Carrie Wessels and Anton Wessels.
Used with kind permission – not to be reproduced withou...
Materials analysed
• Arts Council England. 2013. ‘The library of the future: a response to Envisioning the library of the ...
An elephant in the room: information literacy in the narrative of UK public libraries - Diana Hackett
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An elephant in the room: information literacy in the narrative of UK public libraries - Diana Hackett

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Presented at LISDIS 2016, Saturday 5 November 2016

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An elephant in the room: information literacy in the narrative of UK public libraries - Diana Hackett

  1. 1. An elephant in the room: information literacy in the narrative of UK public libraries Diana Hackett UCL MA LIS dissertation, 2016 Twitter: @BeetleBook
  2. 2. An elephant in the room… • Introduction • Information literacy • Public libraries • The project • Aims • Methodology • Findings • Recommendations •References
  3. 3. Information literacy • ‘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) • ‘basic human right in a digital world’ UNESCO (Garner 2006:3) • ‘a survival skill in the Information Age’ (ALA, 1998) • ‘the defining characteristic of the discerning scholar, the informed and judicious citizen and the autonomous learner’ (Coonan et al. 2012:5)
  4. 4. Information literacy • Problems of definition • Interchangeability with bibliographic instruction • Interchangeability between information literacy / digital literacy / internet literacy / ICT literacy / media literacy and more… • Models and frameworks • SCONUL 7 Pillars, ACRL Standards/Frameworks, ANCIL
  5. 5. Public libraries • Lifelong learning: • Legally bound to ‘provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons desiring to make use thereof’ (PLMA, 1964) • Must provide resources to meet the ‘general and special requirements’ of community members alongside ‘advice as to its use’ (PLMA, 1964) • Information literacy: • Rarely used as a term • Rarely discussed in public library research literature
  6. 6. An elephant in the room? Both information literacy and public libraries are suffering from an advocacy failure: the failure to effectively communicate their benefit to society
  7. 7. The project • Aim: determine how information literacy is currently positioned in public library advocacy narratives in the UK. • Objectives: • Identify the terms used in advocacy narratives to refer to information literacy • Examine what these terms suggest about the value placed on information literacy within these narratives • Analyse public sector stakeholder narratives to determine possible intersections between policy and public library information literacy capabilities • Formulate recommendations for ways in which information literacy could be better placed in advocacy narratives to align public libraries with wider national policy.
  8. 8. Organisation Documents/materials Year CILIP What makes a good library service 2009 Information literacy statement 2014 Driving digital inclusion 2014 My Library By Right 2015 SCL Inspiring people, connecting communities 2014 The universal offers for public libraries 2015 Tinder Foundation Doing digital inclusion 2015 Carnegie UK Trust A new chapter 2012 Speaking volumes 2014 IFLA Media and information literacy recommendations 2011 Moscow declaration on media and information literacy 2012 Statement on libraries and development 2013 ACE The library of the future 2013 DCMS Independent library report for England 2014 Libraries deliver – ambition for public libraries in England 2016-2021 2016 Go ON UK Basic digital skills framework 2015
  9. 9. Methodology • Qualitative textual analysis ‘a form of analysis in which an understanding and interpretation of the text play a far larger role than in classical content analysis’ (Kuckartz, 2014:33) • Research questions: • Is information literacy referenced in the material? • What roles are posited for public libraries? • Is a relationship between information literacy provision and public libraries explicitly or implicitly presented?
  10. 10. The findings DIGITAL DOMINANCE • Information literacy is barely mentioned in public library advocacy materials • Focus placed on libraries delivering digital inclusion and digital literacy • Provision of technology favoured over provision of transferrable information literacy abilities
  11. 11. Roles for public libraries Roles for public library staff
  12. 12. The findings PASSIVE DIRECTORY VS ACTIVE DELIVERY • Libraries provide ‘access’ and ‘support’ • Access mostly refers to physical technology or to ‘signposting’ • Support is undefined - very little mention of skills of professional library and information workers
  13. 13. The findings INTELLECTUAL ISOLATION • No relationship presented between information literacy and public libraries in either direction • Lack of academic focus on information literacy provision in public libraries • Lack of cohesive support, models or frameworks for information literacy therefore allows digital skills to dominate
  14. 14. The findings ADVANCING ADVOCACY • Gap between advocacy of government and associated bodies (ACE, SCL, DCMS, Tinder, Go ON UK), and that of professional organisations and library charities (CILIP, IFLA, Carnegie UK) • Focussing the public library narrative on government digital inclusion goals claims only a narrow role for libraries • Natural intersections between government policy goals, public library capabilities and the benefits of information literacy unexploited
  15. 15. Recommendations • Greater collaboration between the academic research community, academic libraries and public libraries • Linking of digital and information literacy in advocacy narratives • Greater recognition of the contribution of library professionals in advocacy narratives
  16. 16. References All elephant photos: ©Carrie Wessels and Anton Wessels. Used with kind permission – not to be reproduced without written consent. • American Library Association. 1998. ‘Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: final report’ [online]. Available from http://www.ala.org/acrl/publications/whitepapers/presidential [Accessed 1st June 2016] • Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. 2000. ‘Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education’ [online]. Available from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency [Accessed 1st June 2016] • Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. 2015. ‘Framework for Information literacy for Higher Education’ [online]. Available from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework [Accessed 1st June 2016] • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 2004. ‘Information Literacy – Definition’ [online]. Available from http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/advocacy-campaigns-awards/advocacy-campaigns/information-literacy/information-literacy [Accessed 4 June 2016] • Coonan, Emma, Secker, Jane, Wrathall, Katy, and Webster, Helen. 2012. ‘ANCIL in action: progress updates on a new curriculum for information literacy’, in SCONUL Focus, 55, pp. 4-8. • Garner, Sarah Devotion. 2006. High-level colloquium on information literacy and lifelong learning. Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt, November 6 – 9, 2005. Report of a meeting sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), National Forum on Information Literacy (NFIL) and the International federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) [online]. Available from: https://core.ac.uk/display/11876051[Accessed 1st June 2016] • Great Britain. Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. Chapter 75. (1964) London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. • Kuckartz, Udo. 2014. Qualitative text analysis: a guide to methods, practice and using software. London: Sage Publications. • SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy. 2011. ‘The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model for Higher Education’ [online], SCONUL. Available from http://www.sconul.ac.uk/page/seven-pillars-of-information-literacy [Accessed 4th June 2016]
  17. 17. Materials analysed • Arts Council England. 2013. ‘The library of the future: a response to Envisioning the library of the future by Arts Council England Chief Executive Alan Davey’ [online]. Available from: www.artscouncil.org.uk/sector-resilience/envisioning-library-future [Accessed 5th July 2016] • Carnegie UK Trust. 2012. ‘A new chapter: public library services in the 21st century’. Discussion paper, written by Liz Macdonald, Senior Policy Officer [online]. Available from: http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/project/future-of-public-libraries/?download=view [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Carnegie UK Trust. 2014. ‘Speaking volumes: the impact of public libraries on wellbeing’. Leaflet [online]. Available from http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/project/future-of- public-libraries/?download=view [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 2009. ‘What makes a good library service? Guidelines on public library provision in England for portfolio holders in local Councils’ [online]. Available from http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/advocacy-awards-and-projects/advocacy-and-campaigns/public-libraries/briefings-and-resources-2 [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 2014a. ‘Information Literacy – Statement’ [online]. Available from http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/advocacy-campaigns- awards/advocacy-campaigns/information-literacy/information-literacy-0 [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 2014b. ‘Driving digital inclusion: the role of library and information professionals’ [online]. Available from http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/advocacy-campaigns-awards/advocacy-campaigns/information-literacy/digital-inclusion [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. 2015b. ‘My Library By Right’ [online]. Available from http://www.cilip.org.uk/advocacy-campaigns-awards/advocacy- campaigns/support-your-library/my-library-right [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Go ON UK. 2015. ‘Basic Digital Skills framework’ [online]. Available from https://doteveryone.org.uk/digital-skills/digital-skills-framework/ [Accessed 5th July 2016] • International Federation of Library Associations. 2011. ‘IFLA Media and Information Literacy recommendations’ [online]. Available from http://www.ifla.org/publications/ifla- media-and-information-literacy-recommendations [Accessed on 23rd June 2016 • International Federation of Library Associations. 2012. ‘Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy’ [online]. Available from http://www.ifla.org/publications/moscow-declaration-on-media-and-information-literacy [Accessed on 23rd June 2016] • International Federation of Library Associations. 2013. ‘IFLA Statement on Libraries and Development’ [online]. Available from http://www.ifla.org/publications/ifla-statement-on- libraries-and-development [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Society of Chief Librarians. 2014. ‘Inspiring People, Connecting Communities: a policy briefing’ [online]. Available from http://goscl.com/about/resources/ [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Society of Chief Librarians. 2015. ‘The Universal Offers for Public Libraries’, brochure [online]. Available from http://goscl.com/about/resources/ [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • Tinder Foundation, in partnership with the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce and SCL. 2015. ‘Doing digital inclusion: libraries handbook’ [online]. Available from http://www.tinderfoundation.org/our-thinking/research-publications/doing-digital-inclusion-libraries-handbook [Accessed 23rd June 2016] • United Kingdom. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2014. ‘Independent Library Report for England’, presented to Government by William Sieghart and panel [online]. Available from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-library-report-for-england [Accessed 9th February 2016] • United Kingdom. Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2016. ‘Libraries Deliver: ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016-2021’, presented by the Libraries Taskforce [online]. Available from https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/libraries-deliver-ambition-for-public-libraries-in-england-2016-2021/libraries-deliver-ambition-for-public- libraries-in-england-2016-2021 [Accessed 23rd June 2016]

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