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Media and Information Literacy:
  strength through diversity

           Sheila Webber
         Information School
        University of Sheffield
                    June 2012
                                  http://infolitglobal.net/logo/en/
Key points
• Information and Media and Information Literacy are
  contextual (to the person, the organisation, the
  nation). The importance of context is a main focus
  for Information Literacy research currently
• Differences matter: media and information are
  important and complex, and affect the heart &
  spirit as well as the mind
• Uncovering and celebrating these differences could
  increase pride, motivation and ownership of MIL
  internationally
Information Literacy
         is not a fashion
   but a human mosaic art
We all conceive it differently and
           we all share
          in designing it


                     Dr Shahd Salha, 2011
• MIL of the individual within his/her family,
  workplace, communities, nation; including the
  conflicts that individuals experience as they balance
  their lives
• MIL of the organisation as it acts and interacts with
  its members inside, and the wider world
   – work by me and Bill Johnston on the Information Literate
     University (Webber and Johnston, 2006)
• MIL of the government and country as it acts and
  interacts with its own citizens and the wider world
  (Webber and Johnston, 2002)
The information literate person in a
                                       changing information culture and society
  Information economy:
  • Law
  • Changes in media                                     Personal goals,
  • Pricing etc                                         values and habits,
                                                            life stage,
                                                          special needs

Technical changes                  Information literate
                                         person


        Organisational culture:                         Local & national
        • Mission; Values; Norms
        • Management style
                                                        culture & society
        • Information strategy
                                                         Bill Johnston & Sheila Webber
What information do I use?
“Empowerment of users’ abilities in relation
to information practices demands a willingness
 to step outside the often general and domain-
  independent perspective librarians have on
              information literacy.”
     Sundin, O., Limberg, L. and Lundh, A. (2008)
Quotation from interview, from research by Dr Shahd Salha
Contextual & Varying views of IL
  Information, and Information Literacy can mean
  different things in different contexts, for example
                                          Subject context

Work context
               Lloyd (2009)



                                        Lupton (2008); Webber, Boon &
                                        Johnston (2005)




                                  United Kingdom        Syria

                                   Thailand       Country or
                                                  cultural context
Differences in information
literacy between cultures
Two research studies
Conceptions of
Information literacy: a
case study of                                 Dr Phussadee
                                              Dokphrom
undergraduate students in
the Faculty of Arts,
Silpakorn University,
Thailand
 Silpakorn Arts Faculty vision is “to
 University develop human beings to
            be balanced physically,
            intellectually, spiritually and
            socially”
Key part of IL are:                   Attitudes                    “An information literate

• Attitude towards obtaining information                           students is a person
                                                                   who is interested in
    –   Enthusiasm                                                 current issues and
                                                                   ongoing things””
    –   Current Awareness                                          (Student, Department
    –   Being observant and curious                                of Thai)

    –   Reading attitude                                            “IL refers to a person
    –   Determination                                               who knows different
                                                                    people and can
    –   Open-mindedness                                             exchange information
                                                                    liberally and diversely
• Attitude towards creating knowledge                               with them” (Student,
    – Well-versed attitude                                          Modern Eastern
                                                                    Languages)
    – Interdisciplinary approach
 “Being enthusiastic about learning is most important, if you are willing to know, you will
 make an effort, if you want to know from whatever medium, you will learn how to use
 them, like if you want to know about this, you will try every way to get the information.”
 (Geography Lecturer)
So … even in a context that has
international similarities (university
education) new things emerge
    from her research, an information literate person is:
“An active, self-directed learner who is
knowledgeable and regularly acquires
new information with understanding, as
well as having the ability to research
and use information with an awareness
of a variety of formats”
Conceptions of information literacy of
Syrian school librarians: a
phenomenographic study
Dr Shahd Salha

   Me
The second phase findings (1)
The second phase findings (2)
Quotation from interview, from research by Dr Shahd Salha
Key points revisited
• Media and Information Literacy is contextual
• Differences matter: media and information are
  important and complex, and affect the heart &
  spirit as well as the mind
• Uncovering and celebrating these differences could
  increase pride, motivation and ownership of MIL
  internationally
• So, in practical terms??
“To achieve its overall socio-economic
    development goals, the appropriate national
 authorities should develop a national information
literacy and Lifelong Learning strategy and vision
    for the country as a whole, and admonish all
other institutions, each sector and citizens to treat
              the area as a high priority”
                                       Horton (2008), 41.
Implications for MIL indicators and
               strategy
• Governments should prioritise development of their
  own vision of what MIL means to their citizens
• Citizens’ key life-stages and occupations could
  provide a focus
• In doing this, Governments should work with
  researchers as well as practitioners, so that the
  three discourses meet (from practitioners, policy-
  makers, and researchers; Pilerot and Lindberg,
  2011)
• Indicators for individual, corporate and Government
  MIL are needed
• Corporate MIL could be focused on specific sectors
  (e.g. health) and could also be a focus for extra-
  governmental engagement with multinationals
• It is important not to lose the heart and soul of MIL,
  the vision driving a need for indicators
  … to finish with another quotation from Shahd Salha’s
  interviewees, talking about Information Literacy…
Quotation from interview for research by Dr Shahd Salha
Sheila Webber
s.webber@shef.ac.uk
http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/
http://www.netvibes.com/sheilawebber#Sheila%27s_Web_
2.0_stuff
Twitter: sheilayoshikawa
Facebook, Youtube & Academia.edu: Sheila Webber
Shahd Salha: salhashahd@live.co.uk
References
• Horton, W. (2008) Understanding information literacy: A primer.
  UNESCO. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/resources/publications-and-communication-
     materials/publications/full-list/understanding-information-literacy-a-primer/

• Lloyd, A. (2009) “Informing practice: information experiences of
  ambulance officers in training and on-road practice.” Journal of
  Documentation, 65 (3), 396-419
• Lupton, M. (2008) Information Literacy and Learning. PhD Thesis.
  Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology.
  http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16665/1/Mandy_Lupton_Thesis.pdf
• Pilerot, O. and Lindberg, J (2011) “The concept of Information Literacy in
  policy-making texts: an imperialistic project? Library Trends, 60, 2, 338-
  360.
• Sundin, O., Limberg, L. and Lundh, A. (2008) “Constructing librarians’
  information literacy expertise in the domain of nursing.” Journal of
  librarianship and information science, 40 (1), 21-30.
• Webber, S., Boon, S. and Johnston, B. (2005) “A comparison of UK
  academics’ conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines:
  English and Marketing.” Library and information research, 29 (93), 4-
  15. http://www.lirgjournal.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/view/197
• Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2002) “Information Literacy and
  Community: a UK perspective." In: Booker, D. (Ed) Information
  Literacy: The Social Action Agenda: Proceedings of the 5th National
  Information Literacy Conference. Adelaide: University of South
  Australia Library. 68-80. http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/adelaide-webber-
  johnston.pdf
• Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2006) “Working towards the
  information literate university.” In Walton, G. and Pope, A. (Eds)
  Information literacy: recognising the need. Staffordshire University,
  Stoke-on-Trent: 17 May 2006. Oxford: Chandos. pp 47-
  58. http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/staffs-webber-johnston.pdf

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Media and Information Literacy: strength through diversity

  • 1. Media and Information Literacy: strength through diversity Sheila Webber Information School University of Sheffield June 2012 http://infolitglobal.net/logo/en/
  • 2. Key points • Information and Media and Information Literacy are contextual (to the person, the organisation, the nation). The importance of context is a main focus for Information Literacy research currently • Differences matter: media and information are important and complex, and affect the heart & spirit as well as the mind • Uncovering and celebrating these differences could increase pride, motivation and ownership of MIL internationally
  • 3. Information Literacy is not a fashion but a human mosaic art We all conceive it differently and we all share in designing it Dr Shahd Salha, 2011
  • 4. • MIL of the individual within his/her family, workplace, communities, nation; including the conflicts that individuals experience as they balance their lives • MIL of the organisation as it acts and interacts with its members inside, and the wider world – work by me and Bill Johnston on the Information Literate University (Webber and Johnston, 2006) • MIL of the government and country as it acts and interacts with its own citizens and the wider world (Webber and Johnston, 2002)
  • 5. The information literate person in a changing information culture and society Information economy: • Law • Changes in media Personal goals, • Pricing etc values and habits, life stage, special needs Technical changes Information literate person Organisational culture: Local & national • Mission; Values; Norms • Management style culture & society • Information strategy Bill Johnston & Sheila Webber
  • 7. “Empowerment of users’ abilities in relation to information practices demands a willingness to step outside the often general and domain- independent perspective librarians have on information literacy.” Sundin, O., Limberg, L. and Lundh, A. (2008)
  • 8. Quotation from interview, from research by Dr Shahd Salha
  • 9. Contextual & Varying views of IL Information, and Information Literacy can mean different things in different contexts, for example Subject context Work context Lloyd (2009) Lupton (2008); Webber, Boon & Johnston (2005) United Kingdom Syria Thailand Country or cultural context
  • 10. Differences in information literacy between cultures Two research studies
  • 11. Conceptions of Information literacy: a case study of Dr Phussadee Dokphrom undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts, Silpakorn University, Thailand Silpakorn Arts Faculty vision is “to University develop human beings to be balanced physically, intellectually, spiritually and socially”
  • 12. Key part of IL are: Attitudes “An information literate • Attitude towards obtaining information students is a person who is interested in – Enthusiasm current issues and ongoing things”” – Current Awareness (Student, Department – Being observant and curious of Thai) – Reading attitude “IL refers to a person – Determination who knows different people and can – Open-mindedness exchange information liberally and diversely • Attitude towards creating knowledge with them” (Student, – Well-versed attitude Modern Eastern Languages) – Interdisciplinary approach “Being enthusiastic about learning is most important, if you are willing to know, you will make an effort, if you want to know from whatever medium, you will learn how to use them, like if you want to know about this, you will try every way to get the information.” (Geography Lecturer)
  • 13. So … even in a context that has international similarities (university education) new things emerge from her research, an information literate person is: “An active, self-directed learner who is knowledgeable and regularly acquires new information with understanding, as well as having the ability to research and use information with an awareness of a variety of formats”
  • 14. Conceptions of information literacy of Syrian school librarians: a phenomenographic study Dr Shahd Salha Me
  • 15. The second phase findings (1)
  • 16. The second phase findings (2)
  • 17. Quotation from interview, from research by Dr Shahd Salha
  • 18. Key points revisited • Media and Information Literacy is contextual • Differences matter: media and information are important and complex, and affect the heart & spirit as well as the mind • Uncovering and celebrating these differences could increase pride, motivation and ownership of MIL internationally • So, in practical terms??
  • 19. “To achieve its overall socio-economic development goals, the appropriate national authorities should develop a national information literacy and Lifelong Learning strategy and vision for the country as a whole, and admonish all other institutions, each sector and citizens to treat the area as a high priority” Horton (2008), 41.
  • 20. Implications for MIL indicators and strategy • Governments should prioritise development of their own vision of what MIL means to their citizens • Citizens’ key life-stages and occupations could provide a focus • In doing this, Governments should work with researchers as well as practitioners, so that the three discourses meet (from practitioners, policy- makers, and researchers; Pilerot and Lindberg, 2011)
  • 21. • Indicators for individual, corporate and Government MIL are needed • Corporate MIL could be focused on specific sectors (e.g. health) and could also be a focus for extra- governmental engagement with multinationals • It is important not to lose the heart and soul of MIL, the vision driving a need for indicators … to finish with another quotation from Shahd Salha’s interviewees, talking about Information Literacy…
  • 22. Quotation from interview for research by Dr Shahd Salha
  • 24. References • Horton, W. (2008) Understanding information literacy: A primer. UNESCO. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/resources/publications-and-communication- materials/publications/full-list/understanding-information-literacy-a-primer/ • Lloyd, A. (2009) “Informing practice: information experiences of ambulance officers in training and on-road practice.” Journal of Documentation, 65 (3), 396-419 • Lupton, M. (2008) Information Literacy and Learning. PhD Thesis. Brisbane: Queensland University of Technology. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/16665/1/Mandy_Lupton_Thesis.pdf • Pilerot, O. and Lindberg, J (2011) “The concept of Information Literacy in policy-making texts: an imperialistic project? Library Trends, 60, 2, 338- 360. • Sundin, O., Limberg, L. and Lundh, A. (2008) “Constructing librarians’ information literacy expertise in the domain of nursing.” Journal of librarianship and information science, 40 (1), 21-30.
  • 25. • Webber, S., Boon, S. and Johnston, B. (2005) “A comparison of UK academics’ conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines: English and Marketing.” Library and information research, 29 (93), 4- 15. http://www.lirgjournal.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/view/197 • Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2002) “Information Literacy and Community: a UK perspective." In: Booker, D. (Ed) Information Literacy: The Social Action Agenda: Proceedings of the 5th National Information Literacy Conference. Adelaide: University of South Australia Library. 68-80. http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/adelaide-webber- johnston.pdf • Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2006) “Working towards the information literate university.” In Walton, G. and Pope, A. (Eds) Information literacy: recognising the need. Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent: 17 May 2006. Oxford: Chandos. pp 47- 58. http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/staffs-webber-johnston.pdf