Information literacy has long been a core activity for academic libraries providing access to information and knowledge and facilitating its effective use. Information literacy has changed its form over recent years to address the newer challenges and opportunities in research and learning brought about through ICT.
In addition to traditional info literacy skills such as locating, evaluating and managing information, researchers and Bachelor, Master or PhD students need more streamlined guidance on communicating outputs. This includes topics such as plagiarism, copyright, information integrity and ethics, publishing, and data and online profile management.
As part of current consultancy work, I would like to share some of the arguments that connect with university stakeholders (heads of research, education, service centres and boards) if you seek to expand your information literacy services.
1. A more thorough university-wide co-ordinated approach (together with university management, faculty, ICT, other service centres) has the potential to increase research and learning quality standards across your institution through better digital skills.
2. A new broader institutional approach can help see the library as a facilitator to help advance efficiency across the institution by streamlining the provision of information literacy.
3. Library staff and expertise can be more broadly deployed across the university through more institutional collaboration outside the library. Staff can hereby showcase its knowledge and collaborate on new innovative ideas related to information literacy with various stakeholders: old and new.
4. The library can build more partnerships and communities with faculty leads, pedagogues and researchers. It can explore how a generic modular approach to information literacy can be combined with faculty needs for more domain-specific services for buy-in on several levels.
6. Improved information literacy contributes to the good reputation of your institution/faculty/department/service centre
- Relooking at information literacy skills can bring new quality standards in education and research – also by making information literacy a core competence in your curricula.
- Well-trained / informed personnel and students, have the potential to attract more strong professors, lecturers, researchers and students to your institution.
7. Strong information / academic literacy skills help achieve learning objectives
- Helps increase academic understanding and performance
- Supports independent learning, collaborative as well as blending learning goals
- As a facilitator of learning, the library supports the development of a new online digital set of skills to support tomorrow’s student entrepreneur or employee preparing them for lifelong learning skills
- Has the potential to increase the quality of pedagogy across the institution
- More researchers know how to effectively search, organise and disseminate their research in an up-to-date and efficient way
- Supports creating greater visibility to your institution’s research
- Helps reduce the administrative burden of administrative work / reporting for researchers
- Information literacy training can help avoid issues with copyright, privacy, plagiarism, by providing streamlined guidance in one unified voice
9. Has the potential to improve relations with other service centres across the institution.
- Further builds relationships with IT, student services or language centres by exploring how your library/ies can work more closely and efficiently together with common aims
- The better students and staff are informed, the less of a burden on others such as faculty staff and IT services.
10. Information literacy services can keep your alumni happy by keeping them informed and up-to-date.
If you are interested in further developing your information literacy programme, and you think I can help you
- get an overview of what is being done in your institution
- tell you about what is going on elsewhere
- advise you on your future strategy or
- support you in the implementation of your plans
please don’t hesitate to contact me by mail or skype: vanessaproudman
What other arguments have worked for you when seeking to improve your information literacy offer? Please share them below.