Presenters: Donna Witek, Mary J. Snyder Broussard, and Joel M. Burkholder
LOEX 2016, Pittsburgh, PA, May 5-7, 2016
Abstract: The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy offers instruction librarians an opportunity to reconsider not only how they teach but also how they think about research and information. This new thinking has the potential to reinvent instructional practices, resulting in learning that is both situated and transferable. The discipline of rhetoric can inform this effort.
This presentation will consider three traditional “steps” of the research process: question formulation, information search, and source evaluation. Traditional approaches over-simplify each activity: broaden the question by including related elements or narrow it by concentrating on a specific time/area/population; follow these steps to find the “correct” number and types of sources; and evaluate information based on the presence of external characteristics.
Yet when information literacy is approached rhetorically, librarians can partner with classroom faculty to teach much more meaningful and transferable information literacy knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Librarians can then guide students in the complex processes of navigating the expectations of disciplinary audiences and developing a critical self-awareness of themselves as scholarly contributors; engaging with search tools, strategies, and processes in ways that are flexible, iterative, and exploratory by design; and comprehending more fully their information sources for deeper evaluation that better meets their own rhetorical goals. In an interactive presentation, the presenters will explore how rhetoric and composition theories have the potential—with creative and strategic thinking—to work in synergy with the Framework, make information literacy more authentic and meaningful, and develop true lifelong learners.