Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Information Literacy in the Electronic Arts Library: Strategies for the Hybrid Professional

Information Literacy in the Electronic Arts Library: Strategies for the Hybrid Professional. This essay is by Aniko L. Halverson. It was presented at the 65th IFLA Council and General Conference. in Bangkok, Thailand in 1999.

From the site:

"To be Information Literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." This definition comes directly from the 1989 Final Report of the American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy1. Two arts schools from opposite sides of the globe which have acknowledged the critical role of information literacy at the administration level are the Institute of the Arts at the Australian National University, where the Library is implementing an action plan to achieve the goals of improving student and raising staff information literacy2, and California Institute of the Arts, where the Dean of Library and Information Resources has demonstrated a commitment to the use of technology in the curriculum on many levels, including hiring an Instruction Librarian devoted to designing instructional programs based on the tenets of Information Literacy.

The turn-of-the-millennium library calls for Information Literacy to be applied in a world of vast formats, including traditional print sources, digital media and online information. We use this electronic, nearly-21st century context as a springboard for a discussion of how the academic arts library can best serve users' needs by adapting information technologies toward reaching a goal of an Information Literate user population. A new brand of Librarian, a "Hybrid Professional", is required to combine the traditional knowledge base and research principles of the librarian with competencies and leadership in technology. The Librarian becomes the Hybrid Professional when responsibilities evolve to include each of the following: an understanding of library resources, both traditional and electronic; knowledge of hardware and software for multiple platforms; subject knowledge; teaching ability; a public relations sensibility for keeping administration aware of users' needs, and to conduct outreach; and a forward-looking approach to collection development. A significant new responsibility for the Hybrid Professional is the ability to work closely with the systems personnel who are responsible for maintaining hardware and networks. The Hybrid Professional must have a user-driven perspective, and must be an advocate for users' needs when it comes to the installation and maintenance of resources.

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