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The Role of Libraries and Librarians in Information Literacy

*Paper presented during the PLAI-STRLC Regional Conference on Promoting Information Literacy for Lifelong Learning, September 25, 2006 at Capuchin Retreat Center, Lipa City, Batangas

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The Role of Libraries and Librarians in Information Literacy

  1. 1. Regional Conference on Promoting Information Literacy for Lifelong Learning PLAI-STRLC Conference and General Assembly Capuchin Retreat Center, Lipa City, Batangas “The Role of Libraries and Librarians in Information Literacy” By Vilma G. Anday UP Los Baños
  2. 2. Information Literacy <ul><li>“ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information” </li></ul><ul><li>- ALA, 1989 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Information Literate People <ul><li>DETERMINE the nature and extent of the information needed ( 1 ) </li></ul><ul><li>ACCESS the needed information effectively and efficiently ( 2 ) </li></ul><ul><li>EVALUATE information and its sources critically ( 3 ) </li></ul><ul><li>INCORPORATE selected information into one’s knowledge base ( 3 ) </li></ul><ul><li>USE information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose ( 4 ) </li></ul><ul><li>UNDERSTAND the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information ( 5 ) </li></ul><ul><li>ACCESS and use information ethically & legally ( 5 ) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Information Literate People <ul><li>“ Those who have learned to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information and how to use information so that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand” … ALA, 2000 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Core Concepts of Information Literacy (IL) <ul><li>The Learning Individual and the Learning Organization </li></ul><ul><li>- IL prepares the individual library user for lifelong learning </li></ul><ul><li>- A commitment to IL also prepares the library to become a learning organization in which library professionals are prepared to develop new skills and competencies as required </li></ul>
  6. 6. Core Concepts . . . <ul><li>The Teaching Library </li></ul><ul><li>- A commitment to IL involves a mental and practical shift away from the role of expert & toward the role of teacher or facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>- The information literate library professional is always alert to the “teachable moment”, in which he or she may help customers to become more competent and confident in their own ability to learn </li></ul>
  7. 7. Core Concepts . . . <ul><li>The Role of Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>- Information literate organizations recognize that the physical library is no longer the center of knowledge and learning for many citizens </li></ul><ul><li>-Access to information is everywhere. If we wish to promote equitable access and effective use of information, libraries must partner with fundamental social institutions, such as workplaces, schools, communities, organizations, government agencies and social services </li></ul>
  8. 8. Core Concepts . . . <ul><li>Information Use as Process </li></ul><ul><li>- Information literate professionals understand that people use information to solve problems. Information does not become knowledge without context. </li></ul><ul><li>-Effective information use involves a process of critical thought and evaluation that transcends specific research skills, library techniques or sources </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>What started as a Library Orientation , grew to be Library Instruction and Bibliographic Instruction and finally became Information Literacy </li></ul>
  10. 10. From Bibliographic Instruction to Information Literacy Concepts, critical thinking, processes, thinking standards Tools, search interfaces Content focus Pervasive in the curriculum (linked credit courses, competency required) Isolated learning episodes (one-shot, workshop, unlinked credit courses) Placement in curriculum Integral External / tangential Relation to curriculum Collaboration responsibility Librarian-controlled Responsibility / Control Information Literacy (IL) Bibliographic Instruction (BI)
  11. 11. From Bibliographic Instruction to Information Literacy Expanded role, variety of technologies, “technology as lever” Limited, use in inflexible ways Role of technology Focus on unbounded universe of info Focus on specific libraries Relationship to place Competencies, use of standards Limited evaluations , Skill-based measure Assessment Increased (due to multiple learning opportunities, motivation & deep grasp of concepts) Limited (except skills) Learning transfer Librarian/Faculty as guides/facilitators Librarian control / didactic approaches Teaching methods
  12. 12. Importance of IL <ul><li>PUBLIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>All citizens need their own internal navigation system to manage the information rich environment that now surrounds them. They play a special role in bridging the “digital divide” between those with home computers & those without. Citizens who lack the ability to find, evaluate & use information effectively may be left behind in terms of job opportunities, lifelong learning, quality of life and even access to basic services. Like basic literacy and reading, Information Literacy is a natural fit for these libraries. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Importance of . . . <ul><li>ACADEMIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>Students need their own internal navigation system to manage the information rich environment that now surrounds them. Incoming students have far more experience with the Internet and far less experience with print than most of their professors. This often results in a mismatch between academic expectations and student behavior. Academic librarians are the natural in-house experts for teaching both students and faculty colleagues how to find, evaluate and use information effectively. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Importance of . . . <ul><li>SCHOOL LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>Students need their own internal navigation system to manage the information rich environment that now surrounds them. Without the ability to sift, process and evaluate information, students will be literally unable to function. Information literacy requirements are being integrated into state and national curriculum standards. School librarians are the natural in-house experts for teaching both students and colleagues how to find, evaluate and use information effectively. </li></ul>
  15. 15. What’s new in IL? <ul><li>PUBLIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from “how to use the library” towards teaching the information process – recognizing a need, meeting it & evaluating the result </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from general training and towards specific user interest </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from librarian-as-expert towards librarian as teacher </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from the library as a place that provides specific services towards the library as the place that facilitates lifelong learning </li></ul>
  16. 16. What’s new . . . <ul><li>ACADEMIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from the 50-minute instruction session towards class-integrated instruction, quarter-long research classes and self-directed online searching </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from librarian-as-expert towards librarian as teacher </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from librarians as the “handmaidens to research” towards librarians as partners with faculty in creating critical thinkers and competent researchers </li></ul>
  17. 17. What’s new . . . <ul><li>SCHOOL LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from “how to use the library” towards teaching the information process – recognizing a need, meeting it and evaluating the result </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from limited and discrete library assignments towards integrated instruction with classroom teachers </li></ul><ul><li>- moving away from basic technology skills towards information problem-solving skills that may or may not involve technology </li></ul>
  18. 18. Advantages in Shifting to IL <ul><li>PUBLIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- Key places for information access </li></ul><ul><li>- Librarians know what people want and can tailor learning to high interest areas </li></ul><ul><li>- Fascination with Internet use can be used to encourage a wider focus on both technology training and information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>- Concern with Internet use can be used to help government recognize the key role libraries play in both providing access and teaching critical thinking and evaluation skills </li></ul>
  19. 19. Advantages . . . <ul><li>ACADEMIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- Have established instruction programs </li></ul><ul><li>- Often enjoy access to advanced information technology </li></ul><ul><li>- Librarians are often encouraged to research, explore new issues and create new programs </li></ul><ul><li>- Faculty concerns about the Internet use can be used to encourage a curriculum-wide focus on evaluation and critical thinking </li></ul>
  20. 20. Advantages . . . <ul><li>SCHOOL LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- Have a long history of instruction </li></ul><ul><li>- Have a captive audience </li></ul><ul><li>- Often enjoy close working relationships with teachers </li></ul><ul><li>- Librarians often have a teaching background </li></ul><ul><li>- Schools may have computer classes that ensure basic technology skills </li></ul><ul><li>- Community concerns about the Internet use can be used to encourage a curriculum-wide focus on evaluation and critical thinking </li></ul>
  21. 21. Challenges in Shifting to IL <ul><li>PUBLIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- No captive audience, the ambience is diverse and can be hard to reach </li></ul><ul><li>- Public library patrons expect service, not teaching, at the reference desk </li></ul><ul><li>- Public library patrons often need technology literacy as well as IL </li></ul><ul><li>- Instruction is relatively new to public libraries </li></ul><ul><li>- IL standards for public libraries do not exist </li></ul>
  22. 22. Challenges . . . <ul><li>ACADEMIC LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- Faculty often underestimate their students’ need for help in learning the research process </li></ul><ul><li>- Faculty and administrators often remain stuck in their conception of the library as a collection and of librarians as research assistants </li></ul><ul><li>- Librarians are often bound to their self-image as experts and often resist any form of teaching </li></ul><ul><li>- Lower student use of the library and librarians make them hard to reach </li></ul>
  23. 23. Challenges . . . <ul><li>SCHOOL LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>- Libraries and librarians are in danger of being seen as “not necessary now that we have the Internet” by schools under budget constraints </li></ul><ul><li>- School budgets may not allow for advances in information technology </li></ul><ul><li>- Community concerns about Internet use can be used to resist technology and student-driven Internet use </li></ul><ul><li>- Teachers and computer lab staff may resist collaboration and change </li></ul><ul><li>- Students tend to resist evaluation when information is so readily available </li></ul>
  24. 24. Best practices in IL <ul><li>When coordinated with the “core concepts”, the best practices will help identify the resources you will need to implement an effective information literacy program in the library, school, college or community </li></ul><ul><li>In general, an effective literacy program is developed in collaboration with community and academic partners, utilizes a variety of active learning techniques and is subject to regular evaluation and review. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Best. . . <ul><li>More specifically: </li></ul><ul><li>1 . A mission statement for an information literacy program should: </li></ul><ul><li>- be consistent with institutional mission statement </li></ul><ul><li>- include a working definition of information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>- clearly reflect the contributions of and expected benefits to all primary users group </li></ul>
  26. 26. Best. . . <ul><li>2 . Goals and objectives for an information literacy program should be: </li></ul><ul><li>- clearly articulated </li></ul><ul><li>- in concert with the goals and objectives of the library </li></ul><ul><li>- developed with input from various user groups; and, </li></ul><ul><li>- designed to prepare users for effective lifelong learning </li></ul>
  27. 27. Best. . . <ul><li>3 . Planning for an information literacy program should: </li></ul><ul><li>- document budgeting for the program, incldg. administrative and institutional support </li></ul><ul><li>- include current and projected staffing levels; and, </li></ul><ul><li>- include staff development </li></ul>
  28. 28. Best. . . <ul><li>4 . Administrators should: </li></ul><ul><li>- articulate their support for the program </li></ul><ul><li>- give clear identification of resources and responsibility for the program to a person or team </li></ul><ul><li>- include program staffing, budget and continuity education needs in the budget process; and, </li></ul><ul><li>- provide appropriate space for information literacy programming </li></ul>
  29. 29. Best. . . <ul><li>5 . Staff for an information literacy program should: </li></ul><ul><li>- be adequate in number and have appropriate expertise and experience </li></ul>
  30. 30. Best. . . <ul><li>6 . Outreach activities for an information literacy program should: </li></ul><ul><li>- use a variety of outreach channels </li></ul><ul><li>- address the needs of all age groups and levels of experience; and, </li></ul><ul><li>- build on existing collaborative relationships in the library committee </li></ul>
  31. 31. INFORMATION LITERACY: AN INTERNATIONAL STATE-OF-THE ART REPORT (UNESCO) <ul><li>Australia </li></ul><ul><li>France, Quebec and Belgium </li></ul><ul><li>Mexico, Spain and Latin America </li></ul><ul><li>Nordic countries </li></ul><ul><li>United Kingdom and Ireland </li></ul><ul><li>United States and Canada </li></ul>
  32. 32. Demographic Assessment of Information Literacy Competency of Freshmen UPCAT Passers at UP Los Ba ñ os ( MAMIngua, 2006 ) <ul><li>Excelled best in ACRL ILC standards 1, 3 and 4 . Literate in determining the nature & extent of info needed, can evaluate info & its sources & incorporates info into knowledge base & values system, use info effectively to accomplish specific purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Low in standards 2 & 5 . Need to be particular with type of info & should understand economic, legal & social issues on the use of info & access/use info ethically & legally </li></ul><ul><li>Science oriented curriculum got the highest information literacy competency followed by General Secondary & Accelerated Christian Education . The lowest came from Vocational-Technical curriculum. </li></ul>
  33. 34. The Role of Libraries and Librarians in IL <ul><li>Although libraries and librarians are uniquely qualified to support and teach information literacy skills, information literacy is not just a library issue. Because it enables students to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers, it is – a fundamental principal of higher education. </li></ul>
  34. 35. The Role. . . <ul><li>The new pedagogic paradigm emphasizes the empowerment of students & encourages them to take control of their own learning. The student becomes a learner, the teacher becomes a coach; the teacher-centered university becomes a learner-centered educational environment; teaching is transformed into the design and management of learning experiences. This new learning environment for students have a significant impact on academic libraries because they play a central role in the transformation of the learning environment. </li></ul>
  35. 36. . . . Libraries. . . <ul><li>[provide] excitement of penetrating sympathy and aroused understanding </li></ul><ul><li>quench thirst for more [knowledge] </li></ul><ul><li>[serve as] dominant custodians of imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Provoke increased desire to understand </li></ul><ul><li>[provide] details of science and art </li></ul><ul><li>induce engagement, reasoned activity, ability to concentrate </li></ul>
  36. 37. . . . Libraries. . . <ul><li>To take an effective role, they: </li></ul><ul><li>- need to understand their customers, the learners </li></ul><ul><li>- need to know how people learn and how the provision of information and information resources contributes to learning </li></ul>
  37. 38. . . . Libraries. . . <ul><li>They should serve not only as repository of information and place for quiet contemplation but should be a dynamic gateway to information. As such, they should provide active laboratory for students and faculty to explore, investigate and retrieve information wherever it may be found: locally or virtually. </li></ul>
  38. 39. . . . Librarians. . . <ul><li>As partners in information literacy education </li></ul><ul><li>- ALA, 1989 reports that “Information Literacy is a survival skill in the Information Age”. They should be able to take a lead role in developing and delivering learning support strategies to ensure the true meaning of Information Literacy </li></ul>
  39. 40. . . . Librarians. . . <ul><li>As computer literacy mentors </li></ul><ul><li>They should be able to assist users in two core skill areas; namely the World Wide Web (WWW) and the library databases </li></ul><ul><li>As database builders </li></ul><ul><li>- They should provide access to completed studies and researches </li></ul>
  40. 41. . . . Librarians. . . <ul><li>As excellent guides in determining sources that are available </li></ul><ul><li>- They should provide users with limitless warehouse of information. </li></ul><ul><li>As able troubleshooters </li></ul><ul><li>- They should possess and practice a medicum of technical expertise, trouble shooting skills and assist users in interpreting incorrect messages or how to get out of a problematic solution </li></ul>
  41. 42. Perceived Roles. . . <ul><li>Partnering with discipline faculty & other specialists for delivery of information and instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Designing instructional programs for information access </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching students and faculty how to access information or location and how to evaluate what they find </li></ul><ul><li>Serving as consultants </li></ul>
  42. 43. Perceived Roles. . . <ul><li>Developing and implementing information policy </li></ul><ul><li>Creating information access tools </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting, organizing and preserving information in all formats </li></ul><ul><li>Serving as leaders and facilitators in introducing information technologies and ensuring their effective use </li></ul>
  43. 44. Expected Roles… <ul><li>Well trained in professional information and management skills such as anticipating, identifying, analyzing users organizational needs </li></ul><ul><li>Should have technological skills, subject expertise, knowledge of disparate information sources and, know how to access and integrate these </li></ul>
  44. 45. Expected Roles… <ul><li>Familiar with research methods </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to evaluate information, organize and store this for ready retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to add value to information, such as preservation, conservation, editorial and publication skills </li></ul>
  45. 46. Expected Roles… <ul><li>With knowledge on effective delivery mechanisms and means of disseminating information and the legal economic and political aspects of information </li></ul><ul><li>Understand organizational culture </li></ul><ul><li>With skills in strategic planning, financial and change management </li></ul>
  46. 47. Expected Roles… <ul><li>Has communication and marketing skills </li></ul><ul><li>Practice vision and creativity in task performance </li></ul>
  47. 48. Competencies of Librarians. . . <ul><li>“Competencies are a combination of skills, knowledge and behaviors important for organizational success, personal performance and career development” </li></ul>
  48. 49. Competencies of Librarians. . . <ul><li>Professional – relate to the librarians knowledge in the areas of information resources, information access, technology, management and research, as well as the ability to use these areas of knowledge as a basis for providing library and information services </li></ul>
  49. 50. Competencies of Librarians. . . <ul><li>Personal – represent a set of skills, attitudes and values that enable librarians to work efficiently; be good communicators; focus on continuing learning throughout their careers; demonstrate the value-added nature of their contributions and survive in the new world of work </li></ul>
  50. 51. <ul><li>Equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies, librarians are not mere librarians anymore. The expectancies of our role in ICT provide a framework for the technological role we play in library services. Librarians are now employed as: technology consultants, technology trainors, coordinators, heads of Digital Information Literacy, information system librarian, heads of computer services, webmaster, internet services librarian, etc. </li></ul>
  51. 52. <ul><li>Since librarians work in a service-oriented organization, the new roles being played now should also be integrated with total quality service . The philosophy of service quality centers on continuous quality enhancement. Continuous quality enhancement is continuous process improvement which involves improving effectiveness, efficiency and excellence leading to total quality service. </li></ul>
  52. 53. Providing Total Quality Service <ul><li>The philosophy of service quality centers on continuous quality enhancement as shown in the following relations based on terms adopted by Peter Drucker: </li></ul><ul><li>Improving Improving Sustaining </li></ul><ul><li>effectiveness + efficiency + excellence = Total Quality Service </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li> “ doing the “doing the “doing the thing </li></ul><ul><li>right thing thing right well forever” </li></ul><ul><li>the first time” everytime” </li></ul>
  53. 54. <ul><li>Thus, Libraries and Librarians are truly and significant contributors to the success of their organizations or institutions, as well as active partners in information literacy education for lifelong learning. </li></ul>
  54. 55. <ul><li>THANK YOU ! ! ! </li></ul>