Category: Information Literacy

Information literacy in the workplace: a different phenomenon

In this guest blog, Marc Forster, editor of recent Facet book, Information Literacy in the Workplace, explores how information is experienced in the workplace and the ethical implications for ensuring that students are equipped with the right skills to ensure they are information literate when they enter the workforce.9781783301324

Isn’t information literacy in the workplace just ‘information literacy’?

Information literacy (IL) has been defined (and redefined) and widely written about; why bother to draw attention to how it’s experienced in a ‘workplace’ setting? The answer comes (as it should) from research which has made it clear that we can’t be confident that existing assumptions, definitions of IL and methods of development continue to be relevant and appropriate for the workplace, surely one of the largest and most important contexts in which information is used. IL doesn’t appear to be quite the same phenomenon in the workplace as the more familiar version developed in, and for, the academic world. Young professionals, confronted by a way of dealing with information quite different to the academic, find themselves having to think about their relations to information in new ways: in terms of meaning, value, and purpose. How can librarians, LIS academics and researchers address this problem?

Thinking about information literacy in the workplace

Do we know in what way information experiences in the workplace are significant to professionals themselves, their employers and educators and society at large? Indeed, what is the ‘workplace’ in an increasingly virtual information world? Thinking about, and understanding workplace IL should be a task for librarians and LIS academics, and it is. Our book Information literacy in the Workplace presents some of that thinking, much of it based on research into how individuals, teams and organizations use information to achieve their objectives. Research which has required and developed new approaches in order to investigate the work environment.

We describe, from new perspectives, several aspects of IL’s nature and role in the contemporary information driven workplace, and how academics, librarians and researchers can understand and develop it. Our authors engage in a range of contexts, including IL’s role in assuring competent practice, its value to employers as a return on investment, its translocational nature; and its function as an ethical safeguard in the duty and responsibilities professionals have to clients, students and employers.

Information literacy experience

Several of us have made use of the research methodology phenomenography to find just how individuals experience IL in the workplace. How can library professionals know how, when and why information is used in the workplace? Such knowledge, potentially acquirable through this kind of research, shows librarians how they can more profoundly engage with workplace professionals and their needs and ambitions. Using research evidence from a phenomenographic study of information ‘experiences’, they can more precisely focus their information resource provision; potentially achieving both a superior service and a more cost-efficient one. There is also the possibility of more effective programmes of IL education, tailored as they could be to the information culture of the organisation and the actual range and focus of the information experiences of workers. The continuing call for evidence-based practice in the library and information professions finds an echo in our book.

 Workplace information literacy is collaborative

One of the key aspects of workplace IL which comes strongly to the fore is its co-operative and team-based nature; IL in the real world is often a joint venture. Employees often work in teams and always as part of larger organizations and companies. Information use is often, even if on individual initiative, a means of contributing to the knowledge development, and so capacity to act effectively, of a wider group. In several contexts and chapters we give details of this ‘social’ IL and how it seems to function as the backbone of organizational operations. In fact one of the chapters of our book describes how IL can be made the fundamental basis of a creative and effective organization through its role in ‘Informed Learning’.

Information literacy or death?

IL isn’t just a tool for learning or empowerment but a means through which one can save lives.

Some professions must be aware of and locate, correctly interpret and apply research evidence, research-based professional guidelines and other more local and personal sources of information, in the varying ways that contribute to that fully informed practice that has the best chance of achieving successful outcomes for the patient or client. To be unable to do this invites failure of competence and care. Not to have the necessary information skills is a professional but also ethical failure as information illiteracy means that the most up to date research evidence or other relevant information may not be identified and applied. Without the correct information or best research evidence, inappropriate or out of date practice may be the result; practice which risks the health, social, legal or financial wellbeing, or even life, of the patient or client.

This new way of looking at IL, discussed in chapter 7 of our book, is one which implies that IL in some professions is absolutely essential to professional, even personal, development. Professional education’s awareness of this remains patchy, but this new understanding of IL’s role promises a means of raising its profile.

Developing information literacy in the workplace

How can IL be developed in this key environment; one which is so important to the financial, medical and personal wellbeing of our fellow citizens? If IL in the workplace isn’t identical to its manifestation in the academic sphere then simply teaching database searching and essay/dissertation based methods of using information might well be found to be irrelevant and wrongheaded. Managing the transition to the workplace must involve a recasting of pedagogical practices to better accommodate the transition to work. There is the additional problem of making the world of work aware of the value of IL. We describe in detail how the development of IL amongst a workforce might be facilitated through applying strategies that bring IL to greater prominence in corporate thinking and through promoting a better understanding of the social/contextual dimensions of information use. We look at how academics can address the needs of students who will soon be using information in the professional workplace; and how new methods for formulating evidence-based IL educational interventions and monitoring educational progress can be developed from research data.

The workplace remains a ‘new frontier’ for those who research and think about IL. Our book is a contribution to the ongoing process of research, theory-building and professional understanding. In the modern world of expanding information-based professions, information overload and false news, such work is as important in both the narrowly practical, and the broadest human context, as ever.

Find out more about Information Literacy in the Workplace on the Facet website

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The workplace remains a ‘new frontier’ for those who research and think about Information Literacy

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Information Literacy in the 9781783301324Workplace, edited by Marc Forster with a foreword by Jane Secker

 In today’s information-driven workplace, information professionals must know when research evidence or relevant legal, business, personal or other information is required, how to find it, how to critique it and how to integrate it into their knowledge base. To fail to do so may result in defective and unethical practice which could have devastating consequences for clients or employers. There is an ethical requirement for information professionals to meet best practice standards to achieve the best outcome possible for the client. This demands highly focused and complex information searching, assessment and critiquing skills.

 Using a range of new perspectives from contributors including Christine S Bruce, Annemaree Lloyd, Bonnie Cheuk, Andrew Whitworth and Stéphane Goldstein, Information Literacy in the Workplace demonstrates several aspects of IL’s presence and role in the contemporary workplace, including IL’s role in assuring competent practice, its value to employers as a return on investment, and its function as an ethical safeguard in the duty and responsibilities professionals have to clients, students and employers.

Editor, Marc Forster said,

“This book includes new theories on how IL functions and manifests itself in the workplace; and new methods for developing IL in professional groups, and fostering information-literate workplaces. All of this should be of value to library and information professionals  and researchers as they attempt to survey the wide and complex workplace information horizon.”

Dr Marc Forster is a librarian at the University of West London, looking after the needs of the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare. His research interests include Information Literacy’s role in learning and in the performance of the professional role.

Contributors:

Jane Secker, Copyright and Digital Literacy and Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group

Christine S. Bruce, Professor, Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology

Bonnie Cheuk, Executive, Euroclear

Stéphane Goldstein, Executive Director, InformAll

Annemaree Lloyd, Professor, Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås

Stephen Roberts, Associate Professor, Information Management, University of West London

Elham Sayyad Abdi, Associate Lecturer, Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology

Mary M. Somerville, University Librarian for University of the Pacific Libraries in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Stockton, California, USA

Andrew Whitworth, Director of Teaching and Learning Strategy, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester

 

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Kroski’s hands-on sourcebook for makerspaces

makerspace

Makerspaces are drawing new users into libraries and engaging them as never before. Edited by technology expert Ellyssa Kroski, The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook, is a must-read for any librarian using technology in teaching and learning as well as those considering whether to set up a makerspace, or with one already up and running.

Ellyssa Kroski said,

The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook aims to be an essential all-in-one guidebook to the maker realm written specifically for librarians. I hope it will inspire readers through practical projects that they can implement in their libraries right now. The book is jam-packed with instruction and advice from the field’s most tech-savvy innovators, and will be well-suited for any librarian seeking to learn about the major topics, tools, and technologies relevant to makerspaces today.

The book:

  • Shows readers how to start their own makerspace from the ground up, covering strategic planning, funding sources, starter equipment lists, space design, and safety guidelines
  • discusses the transformative teaching and learning opportunities that makerspaces offer, with tips on how to empower and encourage a diverse maker culture within the library
  • delves into 11 of the essential technologies and tools most commonly found in makerspaces, ranging from 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and wearable electronics to CNC, Lego, drones, and circuitry kits.

Find out more about The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook

Ellyssa Kroski is Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute, as well as an award winning editor and author. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at Drexel and San Jose State Universities, and an international conference speaker. Her professional portfolio is located at www.ellyssakroski.com.

Exploring a workplace information literacy design

SONY DSCA sample chapter from Information Literacy in the Workplace is available to view and download from the Facet Publishing website.

The chapter, Learning within for beyond: exploring a workplace information literacy design, written by Annemaree Lloyd, discusses:

  • how the intensification of work and creation of new ways of working can present librarians with challenges in terms of creating information literacy education that provides scaffolding for students’ transitions into professional or vocational practice.
  • how by addressing this need, librarians must balance students’ transitions at both ends of the process – into higher education or vocational settings, and then into the workplace. This complexity requires a recasting of pedagogical practices to accommodate changes in the nature of work. With this in mind, common themes drawn from practice-based research are used to construct a conceptualization of workplace information literacy instruction.

Information Literacy in the Workplace, edited by Marc Forster, explains how information literacy is essential to the contemporary workplace and is fundamental to competent, ethical and evidence-based practice.

More information about the book and the open access chapter are available on the Facet website.

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Meet the challenge of digital scholarship

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Developing Digital Scholarship: Emmackenzie-m_developing-digital_cover-01erging practices in academic libraries

This new book, edited by Alison Mackenzie and Lindsey Martin, provides strategic insights drawn from librarians who are meeting the challenge of digital scholarship, utilizing the latest technologies and creating new knowledge in partnership with researchers, scholars, colleagues and students.

The impact of digital on libraries has extended far beyond its transformation of content, to the development of services, the extension and enhancement of access to research and to teaching and learning systems. As a result, the fluidity of the digital environment can often be at odds with the more systematic approaches to development traditionally taken by academic libraries, which has also led to a new generation of roles and shifting responsibilities with staff training and development often playing ‘catch-up’. One of the key challenges to emerge is how best to demonstrate expertise in digital scholarship which draws on the specialist technical knowledge of the profession and maintains and grows its relevance for staff, students and researchers.

Developing Digital Scholarship spans a wide range of contrasting perspectives, contexts, insights and case studies, which explore the relationships between digital scholarship, contemporary academic libraries and professional practice.

The editors said,” Our book demonstrates that there are opportunities to be bold, remodel, trial new approaches and reposition the library as a key partner in the process of digital scholarship.”

Alison Mackenzie is the Dean of Learning Services at Edge Hill University. Alison has been an active contributor in the development of the profession having held roles on the SCONUL Board, and as Chair of the performance Measurement and Quality Strategy group. She is currently a member of the Northern Collaboration steering group and is co-editor of this book.

Lindsey Martin is the Assistant Head of learning Services and is responsible for the learning technologies managed and supported by Learning Services. She has responsibility for the virtual learning environment and its associated systems, media production, classroom AV, and development of staff digital capability. Lindsey has worked in academic libraries for the past 20+ years in a variety of roles. She has been active on the Heads of eLearning Forum Steering group (HeLF) for a number of years and is currently its Chair. She is co-editor of this book.

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Interpret, understand and teach the ACRL’s new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

Facet Publishing have announced the publication of Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners by Joanna M BurkBurkhardt_FACET COVER_01.jpghardt.

This book offers a starting point to understanding and applying teaching practices to the six threshold concepts listed in the Association for College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, an altogether new way of looking at information literacy.

Bestselling author and expert instructional librarian Burkhardt decodes the Framework, putting its conceptual approach into straightforward language and offering more than 50 classroom-ready Framework-based exercises.

Each chapter focuses on one of the six concepts and offers sample exercises that can be applied in single lecture periods or over semester-long courses. The book offers best practices in creating learning outcomes, assessments, and teaching tricks and tips. Finally, it offers perspectives on how learning, memory, and transfer of learning applies to the teaching of information literacy.

This book will assist librarians in teaching information literacy and enable their students to cross the threshold and become information literacy experts.

New edition of the seminal guide to copyright issues in online learning

Facet Publishing have announced the publication of Copyright and E-learning: A guide for practitioners, 2nd edition

Fully up-to-date with recent changes to copyright law throughout the world, C
opyright and E-learning
has been completely revised by co-authors
Jane Secker and Chris Morrison.

The book provides practical advice about a variety of copyright issues for those working in the broad field of online learning. It seeks to challenge the notion that copyright is always an obstacle to teaching with digital technology, or that copyright laws are out of step with the ways in which modern teachers and students wish to work.Copyright and E-Learning

Jane Secker said, “As with any book about technology, five years is a long time, and technological developments made much of the contents of the first edition in need of real updating. The book is designed to be read by practitioners and so it offers pragmatic advice on a range of issues from digitising orphan works, to lecture recordings, the use of social media and MOOCs. We wrote the book in a jargon-free easily digestible way, to make it a practical guide for learning technologists, but also teachers, lecturers and other learning support staff in higher education, schools, further education and even in a workplace learning setting, where online learning is used extensively”.

The book is based on best practice developed by leading institutions that are supporting students in a blended learning environment and contains seven case studies illustrating copyright and e-learning in practice throughout the world.

Copyright and E-learning will enable readers to be more confident that they are using technologies legally and they are not exposing their institution to the risk of legal challenges from publishers and other rights holders. It will also help readers to understand how copyright exceptions and licences can help to provide access to resources for their students and provide a framework for dealing with copyright queries and for offering training and support in their institutions.