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Metaphor me that: using metaphor to aid information literacy understanding - Brown


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Presented at LILAC 2017

Published in: Education
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Metaphor me that: using metaphor to aid information literacy understanding - Brown

  1. 1. using metaphor to aid information literacy understanding Elizabeth Brown Assistant Professor, Instruction Coordinator Brooks Library, Central Washington University, Washington State, USA METAPHOR ME THAT:
  2. 2. Workshop Agenda §  Why metaphors §  Definitions §  Metaphor and information literacy §  Your metaphors §  Our metaphors
  3. 3. Where in the world is Central Washington University?
  4. 4. James E. Brooks Library
  5. 5. Langston Hughes Shakespeare Dreams, 1994 Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly. “All the world’s a stage”
  6. 6. “A figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another.” - Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory
  7. 7. Why use metaphors? §  Draw from previous knowledge §  Create conceptual bridges §  Allow understanding of theoretical concepts through literal meaning §  Connect what we know with what we want to understand Bridge of the Gods, WA-OR
  8. 8. Plum Pudding Model §  J. J. Thompson used a popular English dessert to explain electron distribution within an atom
  9. 9. Why do metaphors matter? Is society a salad bowl or a melting pot?
  10. 10. Metaphors in Library Science §  Pearl growing §  Research as a journey §  Research has a nucleus §  Scholarship as conversation
  11. 11. YOUR TURN What information literacy metaphors do you use?
  12. 12. What to Look For §  Phrases where something is described in terms of something else §  Phrases where something literal is used to describe something figurative §  Phrases that draw attention to similarities
  13. 13. Areas of Information Literacy §  Evaluation §  Searching §  Exploring §  Attribution §  Synthesis §  Discernment §  Interpretation
  14. 14. Information Literacy Metaphors §  Information is a nutrient §  “The ideas in this article fed into my conclusions” §  “This book should strengthen my argument” §  Research is a hunt §  “We’ll need to track down those citations” §  Research is a journey §  “It was a rough start” §  “Hopefully I can avoid the same potholes from my last paper” §  Researchers are excavators §  “I really had to dig to find these resources”
  15. 15. What Student Use §  “I found out … adding keywords can open up a lot of articles” §  “smooth sailing” §  “A lot of the time it can be difficult to narrow down what you're looking for” §  “How to navigate [the] library search engine” §  “sorting through some [of] the garbage Google spits out.” §  “a whole new door to research” §  “I am only a freshman and feel like I have a weapon that others don’t”
  16. 16. YOUR TURN What information literacy metaphors could you start using?
  17. 17. Intentional Metaphors §  What are metaphors you like and want to keep? §  What metaphors work well? §  What categories of metaphor thinking would you like to maintain? §  Are there metaphors that don’t have helpful associations that you’d like to stop using?
  18. 18. SHARE What information literacy metaphors could you start using?
  19. 19. References §  Cuddon, J. A. (1998). Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory. London, England: Penguin Books. §  Gibbs, R. W. (1998). Poetics of the mind: figurative thought, language, and understanding. NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. §  Katz, A., Cacciari, C., Gibbs, R. W., and Turner, M. (1998). Figurative language and thought. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. §  Images –  (2005). Soubor:Schematicky atom.png. Wikipedie. Retrieved from –  (n.d.). William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Perry-Castañeda Library, University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved from –  Delano, J. (Artist). (1942). Langston Hughes, half-length portrait, facing left [Photograph]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. –  (2007). The Bridge of the Gods from Cascade Locks, Oregon [Photograph]. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from