Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Update May 2003: Information literacy: a crucial role for schools This is by Barrett, L. & Banks, M. It ws published in Library and Information Update, 2(5), 42-44, 2003.

From the paper:

Lynn Barrett and teacher Mal Danks say you need to lay the foundations early. At Dixons City Technology College they have formed a partnership which does exactly that.

In December, TFPL convened a seminar to explore information literacy, with representatives from the business world, colleges and universities — and one school librarian.

It soon became evident that institutions offering further and higher education share a common problem with the business sector. The majority of students and employees cannot handle information effectively, even after 11 or 12 years of compulsory education. Both these sectors would benefit if the skills of information literacy were a greater priority in schools. Young people need a foundation that is applied in all areas of the curriculum so that they can transfer the skills to FE/HE or employment. Further training at these institutions could then focus on specific needs rather than tackling the basics. I was one of several people asked to give a case study of the work in this area — in my case, at Dixons CTC in Bradford.

But what is information literacy and how does it differ from information skills? Is it just another name for something old hat, or is it a developmental concept that needs to be taught and supported through school and into FE/HE and work? I believe it’s the latter, and I don’t think many would disagree with me. However, we must define it clearly.

No comments: