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Taking information literacy beyond the 'library': pursuing the school, workplace and lifelong learning agendas. Crawford & Irving


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Presented at LILAC 2009

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Taking information literacy beyond the 'library': pursuing the school, workplace and lifelong learning agendas. Crawford & Irving

  1. 1. The Scottish Information Literacy Project: working with partners to create an information literate Scotland Taking information literacy beyond the ‘library’ Dr John Crawford & Christine Irving LILAC 2009 (The Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) Cardiff University 30th March - 1st April 2009
  2. 2. Previously on the Scottish Information Literacy Project………………………………… • 2003 – The Drumchapel Project – where it all began • 2004 – The ‘one year’ Information Literacy, the Link between Secondary and Tertiary Education Project launched • 2005-8 - the first draft of the National Information Literacy Framework Scotland completed, piloted and evaluated • Contact and work with Learning and Teaching Scotland and learndirectscotland • Extensive network of partners and contacts from school, FE/HE, workplace, lifelong learning, Adult literacies + overseas • Website developed and more recently blog + PR activities • Initial health and media literacy contacts
  3. 3. Drumchapel Project 2003 An exploratory project – initially ICT skills orientated Community ICT facilities little used - Library and Cybercafés – implications only now being addressed School and School Library are main focus for IT use in deprived areas Little integration of information literacy into the curriculum Levels of ICT ‘deprivation’ did not seem to be high Basic IT skills exist- WP, email, Internet Pupil evaluation of websites poor An asylum seeking issue An information literacy skills/transitional agenda emerged
  4. 4. Our friends in the North
  5. 5. Current key objectives (Esmee Fairbairn Foundation funded) • To develop the Framework to extend the early years, workplace, wider access and lifelong learning components to make it a genuine lifelong learning policy documents • To research and progress the information literacy in the workplace agenda
  6. 6. Putting definitions into practice "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) Information Literacy Definition “Information Literacy was defined as the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address an issue or problem.” Prague Declaration
  7. 7. Information literacy in the workplace study Dec.2007- Jan.2008 – key findings • The traditional ‘library’ view of information as deriving from electronic and printed sources only is invalid in the workplace and must include people as sources of information • The public enterprise with its emphasis on skills and qualifications is a fertile area for further investigation and developmental work • Advanced Internet training extends employees’ information horizons • A skill and qualifications based agenda is an important pre-condition • Most interviewees viewed public libraries as irrelevant for anything other than recreational purposes • Information literacy training programmes must be highly focused on the target audience • An understanding of what constitutes information literacy is widespread in the workplace but is often implicit rather than explicit and is based on qualifications, experience, and networking activities • Organizations which access a wide range of information, of high quality, including sources outwith their organization, will make the best informed decisions
  8. 8. • Contacts should be established with chambers of commerce, skills agencies and other organizations involved in workplace training • Organizations’ information polices which are largely implicit should be made explicit and should include accessing a wide range of information, of high quality, including sources outwith their organization • Preliminary skills audits should be carried out within organizations to determine staff information literacy skills and the organization’s information literacy policy • The viability of developing information literacy training programmes should be further researched • Information literacy training programmes should initially target sympathetic organizations • Advanced Internet training programmes should be offered to all workplace employees • The private sector should be researched further • The provision of information literacy training programmes by public libraries should be investigated • Developmental work should be undertaken with Adult Literacies agencies • NHS contacts should be expanded to progress the health literacies agenda Recommendations
  9. 9. Scurrying about (meetings with) • Glasgow Chamber of Commerce • CBI Scotland • Scottish Trades Union Congress • Skills Development Scotland (Careers Division) • Employability and Skills Division, Lifelong Learning Directorate • Public library services • Aberdeen Business School • Royal Society of Arts • Scottish Government Information Service
  10. 10. Some outcomes (1) • Glasgow Chamber of Commerce – couple of meetings. Agreed to progress by sending out a questionnaire devised by us to all Glasgow Chamber of Commerce members about their information skills training needs. Article written for their magazine • CBI Scotland – one meeting to identify companies who might want to incorporate IL training into their CPD programmes but no takers • Scottish Trades Union Congress – presentation to Everyday Skills Committee of STUC (composed of TU learning representatives) – well received – further action pending • Skills Development Scotland (Careers Division – old Careers Scotland) – meetings led to identification of IL as a career choice, progression, CPD and employability skill. Joint symposium with SDS 27th March • Employability and Skills Division, Lifelong Learning Directorate – meeting which validated our strategy of targeting employers’ and skills organisation
  11. 11. Some outcomes (2) • Public library services – contacts with three services including Inverclyde Libraries who are currently running employability training courses (10 weeks). IL has been incorporated in the courses at our suggestion. (Basic skills courses run by public libraries have IT/Internet training from which IL training can be developed) • Aberdeen Business School – secured £400,000 + EU funding to run ‘bite sized courses’ for local SMEs (up to 12 modules). 20 businesses and 70 learners so far – hope for 175. Exchanged information and role of IL – employers’ don’t know what training they need (RGU finding) • Royal Society of Arts - Opening Minds Curriculum running in 200 schools in England – includes an IL component – Managing information – also strong focus on skills acquisition in education and the workplace • Scottish Government Information Service •Not for us to say!
  12. 12. Skills utilisation ? • 'Skills utilisation is about ensuring the most effective application of skills in the workplace to maximise performance through the interplay of a number of key agents (e.g. employers, employees, learning providers and the state) and the use of a range of HR, management and working practices. Effective skills utilisation seeks to match the use of skills to business demands/needs.' (p.2) • Skills utilisation literature review, a report by CFE for the Education Analytical Services, Lifelong Learning Research, Scottish Government (Executive summary and full text available at
  13. 13. The role of the framework in the workplace and skills development • Framework skills and competencies (CILIP definition) – starting place – used as advocacy tool in discussions re skills strategy / skills needs – link to work related learning – needs to be interpreted to meet the needs of different • sectors , professions • organisations, departments, sections • employers, employees, learners • environments, resources (in all different formats and mediums), experiences – recognition of the nature of information literacy
  14. 14. The Nature of Information Literacy Product Change in behaviour Change in understanding Process Personal development Social participation Skills Attitudes Values Means End A way of being An unappreciated way of being NHS Scotland 2008
  15. 15. The Framework • Draft pdf further developed as a Weblog – static pages (background information, different sectors, levels etc.) – interactive through postings (current activities, developments etc.) National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland) • Still to be further developed – workplace case studies needed, SME’s, large organisations (public and private), different professions
  16. 16. What we have learned • Different groups of people constantly reinterpret IL in the light of their own qualifications, training, experience and needs • IL is a key career choice, progression, CPD, employability and workplace skill • IL is not recognised in any government document produced since 2005 which recognises IL as an independent skill. It is rolled up with IT – this much change! But see Scottish Government website – Education and Training (Information Literacies) • Target skills and employers’/employee organisations • IL skills training in the workplace is feasible but must be carefully planned and targeted • The public library can offer IL training, developed from IT training but again it but must be carefully planned and targeted. Public librarians must be involved in IL skills development • Need to think cross sectorally - Govan High School’s ‘Future Skills’ framework of about 70 skills in association with local employers and involving the pupils. Includes IL. Blane (2008) • Findings of workplace study have been validated
  17. 17. Some further information • Crawford, John and Irving (2008) Going beyond the ‘library’: the current work of the Scottish Information Literacy Project. Library and information research, (32) 102, pp. 29-37 • Crawford, John and Irving (2009) Information literacy in the workplace: a qualitative exploratory study, JOLIS, (41 )pp. 29-38 • McDonald, Natalie and Keenan, Peter (2009) The ‘stuff beyond Google: information literacy in a corporate setting . http://www.information- vm_key=8EDF7462-D5A6-FFAA-AB89D511D74817DA • Crawford, John et al, (2008) Use of information in the Scottish Government, Library & information update, Dec., pp. 48-49 • Interview with Philip Pothen, formerly of JISC, 28.11.08 about the work of the Project g.aspx
  18. 18. Contact details Dr. John Crawford, Christine Irving Library Research Officer, Researcher / Project Officer Milton Street Building Milton Street Building MS004, (ground floor) MS005, (ground floor) Glasgow Caledonian University Glasgow Caledonian University Cowcaddens Road Cowcaddens Road Glasgow, G4 0BA Glasgow, G4 0BA Tel: 0141-273 -1248 Tel: 0141-273 -1249 Email Email Project website Project blog
  19. 19. Questions?