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Media and Information Literacy: strength through diversity
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 artWe 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 needsTechnical changes Information literate person Organisational culture: Local & national • Mission; Values; Norms • Management style culture & society • Information strategy Bill Johnston & Sheila Webber
“Empowerment of users’ abilities in relationto 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 contextWork context Lloyd (2009) Lupton (2008); Webber, Boon & Johnston (2005) United Kingdom Syria Thailand Country or cultural context
Differences in informationliteracy between culturesTwo research studies
Conceptions ofInformation literacy: acase study of Dr Phussadee Dokphromundergraduate students inthe 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 hasinternational similarities (universityeducation) new things emerge from her research, an information literate person is:“An active, self-directed learner who isknowledgeable and regularly acquiresnew information with understanding, aswell as having the ability to researchand use information with an awarenessof a variety of formats”
Conceptions of information literacy ofSyrian school librarians: aphenomenographic studyDr Shahd Salha Me
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 informationliteracy and Lifelong Learning strategy and vision for the country as a whole, and admonish allother 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
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