Struggling to Define Information Literacy

8 12 2009

There have been a couple of interesting discussions online lately about how to define information literacy. A thread started in FriendFeed by Iris Jastram from Carleton College got the ball rolling and then led to a couple of notable blog posts.

Steve Lawson from Colorado College then wrote a nice post on his blog, See Also…, which offered a great description of what students are supposed to be doing with multiple viewpoints they should be searching for when doing research:

We often talk about finding sources so the student can “join the conversation,” and I sometimes say they need to find multiple viewpoints they can get in their papers “and make ‘em fight.” In that case it seems less like finding “information” than it seems like finding “dinner party guests” or “sparring partners.”

Iris Jastram then wrote a post on her blog, Pegasus Librarian, in which she provided a link to the PDF of a nice handout she and her colleagues at Carleton put together: “Finding, Evaulating, and Ethically Using Information: Information Literacy in the A&I Seminars.”

Jastram, Iris. “What Is Information Literacy Anyway?” Pegasus Librarian, 7 December 2009. Web.
Lawson, Steve. “Information Literacy: A Non-Definition.” See Also…, 7 December 2009. Web.


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