Wednesday, March 10, 2004

ALA | What Do Latino Students Know Anyway about Information Literacy? This is a good article which looks at one group (Latino students) and their knowledge of information literacy. Nothing too earth shaking here but it is an informative read.

From the site:

With some notable exceptions, there's not a lot in the literature of academic librarianship on library and information services to the largest minority group in the United States -- Latinos and Latinas. Librarians who are members of Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, have a lot of knowledge about Latinas and Latinos, and have been at the forefront in the profession even as the profession has not noticed their efforts. Reformistas, like John Ayala, Luis Chaparro, Ana María Cobos, Ron Rodriguez, Susana Hinojosa and Richard Chabrán, have written about library service to Latino students. Librarian Susan A. Vega has produced extensive websites that document practical approaches to crossing information literacy with Latino Studies in particular and with Ethnic Studies in general. And there is the work of individual librarians like Lori Mestre, who has focussed on library instruction for Latinos students.

Information literacy is becoming a popular concept in higher education. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has made information literacy one of its key initiatives. Courses on information literacy are showing up in many universities, colleges and community colleges. As an indication of its popularity in the field, note that the online library literature index, LibraryLit, showed 338 hits in July 2001 on the exact phrase “information literacy,” 146 of these since 1998. In comparison, only 71 items showed up with the keyword “Latino” and since 1998 only 26. Only 14 items came up with the keyword "Latina" and many of these were not about Latinas but about América Latina! So it would seem that as a profession, librarianship knows more about information literacy than it knows about Latinos. Interestingly, when I searched for articles that combined the keywords “information literacy” with “Latino” or "Latina" I got 0 (zero) hits.

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