Monday, November 19, 2007

Information Literacy for Branch Campuses and Branch Libraries

Library Philosophy and Practice has an article up titled Information Literacy for Branch Campuses and Branch Libraries. It is by James Hooks, Carl Rahkonen, Chris Clouser, Kelly Heider, and Rena Fowler.

From the introduction:

Teaching students how to use the college library has been a challenge for academic librarians for most of the twentieth century and has emerged as a high priority for academic librarians in the twenty-first century as well. A cursory comparison of objectives of library instruction from Shores (1939) shows that they are not significantly different from those in current information literacy texts; however, instructional methods have changed significantly. Technology has been both a blessing and a curse for information literacy. Technology provides distant library users with more options, but there are fewer universal standards of access. In the pre-digital age, all academic libraries used the same access tools and most card catalogs used Library of Congress subject headings, ALA filing rules, etc. Students were better able to transfer research skills learned in one library to other academic libraries. Transferring literacy skills in a digital age is more difficult because of the differences in computer systems.

Although information literacy objectives are a constant, teaching methods and pedagogy must be structured differently in different teaching-learning environments. Information literacy programs may be informed by examining experiences outside the norm, outside the usual or the assumed settings, in the borderlands of a library's operations. This requires expanding the proverbial box, adapting administration, revising programs, and establishing new policies for success and for student learning. Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) is a public university with 14,000 students and three campuses. The main campus is in Indiana, Pennsylvania, with branch campuses in Northpointe and Punxsutawney. Although information literacy objectives for branch campuses are identical to those of the main campus, teaching methods and pedagogy must be different.

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