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Information Literacy in the Workplace


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Exploration of how academic librarians can help enhance workplace information literacy, encourage lifelong learning and meet corporate demands for graduates with "21st Century Skills".

Published in: Business, Education
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Information Literacy in the Workplace

  1. 1. Information Literacy in the Workplace Laura L. Leavitt, MSLIS Labor Relations & Business Librarian Michigan State University SLA Annual Conference - June 14, 2010
  2. 2. Research Questions <ul><li>Do the skills we impart (via information literacy instruction) extend to the workplace? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they the skills that employers want and employees need? </li></ul><ul><li>If not, how can we realign our instructional strategies? </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ Our fundamental competitiveness is at stake . And a cynic would say that the only way you’re finally going to get into the end zone on this issue is for some of our important industries to lose competitiveness globally. The fact is, this is already happening in a number of cases…” </li></ul><ul><li>W. James McNerney, Jr. </li></ul><ul><li>Chairman, President, and CEO </li></ul><ul><li>The Boeing Company </li></ul>Source: Susan Stewart (2009), “Will You Want to Hire Your Own Kids? (Will Anybody Else?),” The Conference Board Executiveaction Series, No. 313
  4. 4. Some Definitions <ul><li>Information Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Business Information Literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Workplace Information Literacy </li></ul>
  5. 5. Recent HS Graduates <ul><li>40% of High School Graduates Not Prepared for College or Workforce </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Math & Science </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reading comprehension </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conducting Research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and students AGREED! </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Source: Peter D. Hart Research Associates, (2005) Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work ? Conducted for Achieve, Inc.
  7. 7. Source: Peter D. Hart Research Associates, (2005) Rising to the Challenge: Are High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work ? Conducted for Achieve, Inc.
  8. 8. Recent College Graduates Source: Casner-Lotto, J., Rosenblum, E. & Wright, M. (August 2009) The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce, Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training , The Conference Board Research Report.
  9. 9. 7 Survival Skills: The Competencies Workers Need and Schools Don’t (Adequately) Teach <ul><li>Critical thinking and problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration across networks and leading by influence </li></ul><ul><li>Agility and adaptability </li></ul><ul><li>Effective oral and written communication </li></ul><ul><li>Accessing and analyzing information </li></ul><ul><li>Curiosity and imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Initiative and entrepreneurialism </li></ul>Source: Tony Wagner, 2008, The Global Achievement Gap , p.67
  10. 10. Employer Initiatives <ul><li>Ford Motor Co. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Boeing </li></ul><ul><li>YUM! Brands </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>American Express </li></ul>
  11. 11. Houston… We Have a Problem! <ul><li>Public education system, colleges / universities and employer-based training programs are not improving the situation very much…. </li></ul>
  12. 12. LIR 823: The Assignment <ul><li>Research a company and present the information you find. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Strategy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Competitors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment of future prospects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Recommended d/bases and resources </li></ul>
  13. 13. LIR 823: Assessment
  14. 14. LIR 823: Results <ul><li>Librarian “interventions” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research guides and quick in-class tutorial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback on two practice rounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-on-one meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessments – Students Improved </li></ul><ul><li>Alumni/Employer feedback </li></ul>
  15. 15. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Preliminary instruction on “basic skills” needed </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis and synthesis of information was most difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Previous work experience seemed to give some students an edge </li></ul><ul><li>Social aspect of learning was important and might need to be leveraged more in the future </li></ul><ul><li>More improvement is needed to meet employer expectations </li></ul>
  16. 16. Next Steps / Future Directions <ul><li>Online tutorial on business research </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving pedagogy & rubrics </li></ul><ul><li>Further interviews and survey of human resources professionals / alumni </li></ul><ul><li>Increased collaboration with faculty, career services and HR professionals necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy </li></ul>
  17. 17. Thank You <ul><li>Laura L. Leavitt </li></ul><ul><li>Labor Relations/Business Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Gast Business Library </li></ul><ul><li>Michigan State University </li></ul><ul><li>50 Law College Building </li></ul><ul><li>East Lansing, MI 498824-1300 </li></ul><ul><li>517-355-4647 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>