Information Literacy for 21st Century life


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This presentation was given by Sheila Webber at the Oeiras a Ler conference held at Oeiras Municipal Library, Portugal, on 20 May 2010 ( I identify some of the different ways in which various groups of people experience information and information literacy (IL) in the 21st Century, with reference to 21st Century research. I go on to discuss some of the key aspects of IL that need more attention. I see these elements as evolutionary development of IL as a 21st Century concept, not as something completely new and different.

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Information Literacy for 21st Century life

  1. 1. Information Literacy for 21st Century life Sheila Webber, Department of Information Studies: the iSchool University of Sheffield, UK Oeiras a Ler conference May 2010 Pictures &and photo copyright Sheila Webber un otherwise stated Pictures photos copyright Sheila Webber unless
  2. 2. Information Literacy for 21st Century life Sheila Webber, May 2010
  3. 3. Information Literacy for 21st Century life Sheila Webber, May 2010
  4. 4. “Information literacy is the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to identify, through whatever Definition by: channel or medium, information Johnston & well fitted to information needs, Webber leading to wise and ethical use of information in society.” International Information Literacy logo: Sheila Webber, May 2010
  5. 5. browsing wise and searching encountering ethical use of information information behaviour linking creating fun information needs education people web citizen whatever spiritual work sound channel or family medium in society journals pictures text Sheila Webber, May 2010
  6. 6. Behaving with information in an information literate manner…. But what is information? Sheila Webber, May 2010
  7. 7. school , bus, shopping mall, sports fields, parks, home, churches , libraries , restaurants, shops Other young Instant Message people Email Adults Telephone “in nineteen of twenty- five [searches] … tweens used another person as the primary Information: preteens or secondary source of information” (p317) Television “a tween might consult a peer, who Radio recommends a Meyers, E. Fisher, K. and Books Web site, which is Marcoux, E. (2009) “Making Magazines vetted by a parent, sense of an information worlds: the everyday life Websites and ultimately they information behaviour of Search engines together consult a preteens.” Library Quarterly, 79 (3), 301– Organisations store professional.” 341 (p317)
  8. 8. • training manuals Text • books, • written rules • protocols Pics: Microsoft clip art Information: ambulancemen Bodies/ people/ environment • Sound • Speech • Touch Lloyd, A. (2009) “Informing practice: information • Appearance •Colleagues Patients • Movement •Trainers experiences of ambulance officers in training and on- road practice.” Journal of Documentation, 65 (3), “you don’t really know what’s happening until you get 396-419 your hands on the patient and can see breathing, feel a pulse, what’s the blood pressure, are they pale?” (p409)
  9. 9. "An information literate person has a deep awareness, connection, and fluency with the information environment. Information literate people are engaged, enabled, enriched and embodied by social, procedural and physical information that constitutes an information universe. Information literacy is a way of knowing that universe." Lloyd (2004: 223) Sheila Webber, May 2010
  10. 10. Virtual World (Second Life (SL): My students have researched people’s information behaviour in SL Information: SL • Sound • Speech • Appearance • Movement See: Webber, 2010
  11. 11. “Much of my information came Instant Message from talking to Discussion list people, asking questions, finding Face to face in SL what they had People Face to face outside • Books done” (I3 07/08) Email • Journals Twitter • Websites Facebook • Wikis • Blogs • Search Information: SL engines in SL “a wiki might give an example of a piece of code, •Search engines but a blog may tell us a outside SL story of how the author came up with it” • Your own files (Interviewee3 08/09) • SL Shops
  12. 12. Information literacy … and graphic novels “The text is a lot easier, simpler, short, snappy, but you are looking at the pictures and making sense of them, applying the language to them. It sets you thinking a bit more. “ (Interviewee 9) Another Masters student (Caddy, Neill, M. (2008) Graphic 2009) found that novels: a young man’s most UK public superhero or the library’s libraries arranged contemporary villain. MA graphic novels and thesis. Sheffield: UoS. comics in no particular order! Sheila Webber, May 2010
  13. 13. Information Literacy … and computer games Browsing, searching, • Text boxes evaluating, applying “ye I go back and • Game start the level again environment to see if I missed “I learned all about • Non player anything then I camping, how to characters read it is it says light a fire. “ • Game booklet anything for help. “ & box (Interviewee IIb12) (Interviewee • Friends and XIIg12) family Gumulak, S. (2009) Video • Walkthru sites Players try hard to games: the way to attract (last resort) work out the teenagers into the library. MA thesis. Sheffield: UoS. •Review sites answer without •Search engines googling for a •Forums walkthru •Websites Sheila Webber, May 2010
  14. 14. Information literacy … and schoolchildren “The pupils became aware of the importance of developing effective research skills and evaluating both information and their completed piece of work. The pupils learned about a world religion. They were sensitive to the religious and moral issues of a religion. They were also aware of the various religions within the class and used their peers as educators.” Source: Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2009) Craigholme Primary - Researching world religions. Glasgow. sharingpractice/index.asp Sheila Webber, May 2010
  15. 15. Information literacy … and schoolchildren Information literacy for children who cannot yet read e.g. • Told they must answer a question “why is dark necessary” • Told a story about an owl (which contains the answer) • Children draw pictures to answer the question • Choose an animal that comes out at night • Teacher reads out information about chosen animal • Children decide which fact is most Source: Irving, C. (2010) Begin at the interesting beginning - Information and Critical Literacy in Curriculum for Excellence Early & First Level (Nursery & Primary Schools). beginning-information-and-critical-literacy-in- curriculum-for-excellence-early-first-level- nursery-primary-schools Sheila Webber, May 2010
  16. 16. Information literacy … and school librarians • Shahd Salha’s PhD research • Syrian school librarians’ conceptions of IL • Life & spiritual conception for some Sheila Webber, May 2010
  17. 17. Information Literacy … with and for other people • Lay Information Mediary Behavior (LIMB) (Abrahamson , 2008) “those who seek information in a non-professional or lay capacity on behalf or because of others, without necessarily being asked to do so, or engaging in follow-up.” • People work in teams in their jobs and in education; +++ therefore +++ • Library patrons need to develop skills for their everyday lives: – Being good at identifying, and articulating, information needs – Collaborating without cheating (for school/ university work) – Managing information flows between themselves and others – Creating shared documents and shared information spaces Sheila Webber, May 2010
  18. 18. Not just technology I’m not sure It appears that all my that I am “millennial” “millennial” students are millennial … millennials/quiz/intro.php High use of facebook, low use of blogs, online gaming
  19. 19. Example 1: Man sacked for sending tweet saying he would blow up an airport (when angry and stranded at an airport) But technology Wilson, C. (2010) “Top ten twitter disasters: a lot can go wrong in 140 chaarcters as this lot found out.” Mirror . 10 May. can grab lot-can-go-wrong-in-140-characters-as-this-lot-found-out-115875-22248690/ people’s Example 2: Facebook users could see the chat sessions of attention their friends through a facebook error. Perez, J. (2010) “Facebook blunder lets friends get too close: IM service taken down before bug is patched.” Computer world UK. 6 May. media/news/index.cfm?newsid=20145
  20. 20. Summary: Key themes • Importance of people sources: knowing how to be information literate with people – When to trust people as information sources – Good ways to “search” and “browse” different kinds of people (e.g. teacher, friend, employer, unknown expert) – Comparing people sources with other sources – Working with people to share and create information Sheila Webber, May 2010
  21. 21. • Web 2.0 may be “hook” to attract, but people need “old-fashioned” face-to-face skills too • More education for collaborative information literacy e.g. co-creating documents and websites; working on information tasks together; “family” information literacy sessions Sheila Webber, May 2010
  22. 22. Pics: Microsoft clip art Key themes • People are following complex paths to find their answers – Moving between people, websites, print media, physical spaces (shops or libraries), broadcast media etc. – Includes using technology to ask questions and contribute opinions – Are there good paths for particular kinds of information need? – Path includes steps where people create as well as consume Sheila Webber, May 2010
  23. 23. Key themes • Helping people see the information literacy in everyday situations • Drawing out and developing skills in gaming & in reading “visual” texts • “Learners do not separate out vocational learning from personal social development” (Scottish public library study, Crawford 2010) • Learning to “read” information through all the senses (like an ambulance worker, or a person in a virtual world, or a child who cannot read …) Sheila Webber, May 2010
  24. 24. Not just employability and literacy • Information literacy for having a good life (whatever that means to you) • More than empowering people to be “good citizens” Quotation from interview for research by Webber, BoonSheila Webber, May 2010 & Johnston
  25. 25. Quotation from interview for research by Webber, Boon & Johnston Sheila Webber, May 2010
  26. 26. Quotation from interview for research by Shahd Salha Sheila Webber, May 2010
  27. 27. Sheila Webber Sheila Yoshikawa Sheila Webber, May 2010
  28. 28. References • Abrahamson, J. et al. (2008). “Lay information mediary behavior uncovered: exploring how nonprofessionals seek health information for themselves and others online.” Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96(4), 310-323. See also • Caddy, E. (2009) An investigation into the opinions of public library staff on how and where a graphic, comic, and cartoon collection should be shelved. MA thesis. Sheffield: University of Sheffield • Crawford, J. (2010) Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries: evaluating a training programme. Presentation from LILAC conference. training-the-experience-of-inverclyde-libraries-evaluating-a-training-programme • Erdelez, S. (1999) “Information encountering: it's more than just bumping into information.” Bulletin of the American Association for Information Science [Online], 25 (3), 25-29. • Gumulak, S. (2009) Video games: the way to attract teenagers into the library. MA thesis. Sheffield: University of Sheffield • Learning and Teaching Scotland. (2009) Information Literacy: sharing practice. Glasgow.
  29. 29. References • Lloyd, A. (2009) “Informing practice: information experiences of ambulance officers in training and on-road practice.” Journal of Documentation, 65 (3), 396-419 • Lloyd, A (2004) “Working (in)formation: conceptualizing information literacy in the workplace” In Proceedings of 3rd International Life Long Learning Conference, 13-16 June. Rockhampton: Central Queensland University Press. 218-224. • Meyers, E. Fisher, K. and Marcoux, E. (2009) “Making sense of an information worlds: the everyday life information behaviour of preteens.” Library Quarterly, 79 (3), 301–341 • Neill, M. (2008) Graphic novels: a young man’s superhero or the library’s contemporary villain. MA thesis. Sheffield: University of Sheffield. • Reddy, M. and Spence, P. (2008) “Collaborative information seeking: A field study of a multidisciplinary patient care team” Information Processing & Management 44 (1), 242- 255. • Scottish Information Literacy Project: • Webber, S. (2010) Information literate behaviour in Second Life. 3469465