Other collected papers and chapters

Smith, A. (1999) Information technology and the myth of abundance, in Mackay, H. and O’Sullivan. T. (eds) The media reader: continuity and transformation, London, Sage/OU, pp. 121-137.

Mokhtar, I. A. and Majid, S. (2006): Information literacy education in the context of project work: Application of multiple intelligences and mediated learning, at http://dlist.sir.arizona.edu/1383/01/30.Intan_Azura_Mokhtar_pp207-218_.pdf
Google Scholar will easily reveal further publications from this project team, incidentally. This is a more complex and involved paper, and as its title implies, considers IL from the cognitivist point of view.

Andretta, S., Pope, A. and Walton, G. (2008): “Information Literacy Education in the UK:Reflections on perspectives and practical approaches of curricular integration“, Communications in Information Literacy 2/1. Not bad – despite its clunky title. Makes the point that perceptions of IL will vary between professional groups in an institution.

Andretta, S. (2005): Information Literacy: A Practitioner’s Guide, Chandos, Oxford. Chapter 2 should prove a useful general introduction to the development of the idea of IL and the way it gets interpreted in different (English-speaking, developed) countries.

The whole of volume 5, issue 1 of ITALICS is relevant. The papers by Bruce et al and some Manchester-based hack deal with the idea of expanding IL into fields beyond the functional. The remaining papers are more teaching-based, but still interesting, here and later in the course. Incidentally, this special issue led to Susie Andretta’s edited collection Change and Challenge: Information literacy for the 21st century, Auslib: Blackwood. There’s a copy in the JRUL. I expanded and (I think) improved the online ITALICS paper into a chapter in that book – and it was then further developed into, basically, chapter 7 of Information Obesity. The basic arguments remain the same throughout, though, and we’ll look more closely at them in topic 8.

Also, from Christine Bruce (one of the authors of an ITALICS paper), see her “Seven Faces of Information Literacy” – this is actually a PPT presentation (turned into a PDF), which may make it seem of dubious value as a resource, but actually it’s pretty good. Bruce is possibly the most significant name in IL all in all – between this and her jointly-authored paper in ITALICS, you will get the gist of her position.

Johnston, B. and Webber, S. (2005): “As We May Think: Information Literacy as a discipline for the information age“, Research Strategies 20/3. As the abstract says: “The aim of this paper is to propose information literacy as a soft applied discipline, of key importance in the information society. This is contrasted with the characterization of information literacy as a personal attribute in the U.S. and Australian Information Literacy standards.” Interestingly they then suggest this can be done by using more indicators, thus moving from a subjective to a more formal approach – instead of my suggested move to a critical approach. But that doesn’t mean it’s a false opinion, just different. Worth a read.

O’Sullivan, C. (2002): Is information literacy relevant in the real world?, Reference Services Review 30/1: 7-14. An easy-to-read and interesting paper. By the ‘real world’ O’Sullivan actually means the business world, but bearing that bias in mind, it’s a useful assessment of the relationship between the world of business and industry (for which, remember, most educators are being exhorted to specifically prepare their learners) and the ways information literacy is usually described and pitched.

At King’s College London I found this page, which at the moment remains publicly accessible: “Fundamentals of the digital humanities: How to find things (and people) online“. Actually you’ll probably find this of most use as a guide to how to do ‘what it says on the tin’ – particularly if you are a distance learner. Feel free to use it in that way, of course. But it’s also a good and representative example of the sorts of IL teaching which now appears in many first-year undergraduate courses. (Note that I include this partly because of its brevity: there are many more IL resources out there, some quite substantial, such as TILT [Texas Information Literacy Tutorial]. I am sure you can track down others.)

Purdue, J. (2003): Stories, not information: Transforming Information Literacy, portal: Libraries and the academy 3/4: 653-662. I like this paper and wish I’d read it before writing Information Obesity, as it deserved a citation in there (most obviously in chapter 10). On the other hand you might find it talks a good story, but ends up having just discussed a lot of vaguenesses, without concrete plans for moving forward. Nevertheless, it’s worth a read, and is not too long. I like the abstract too:
“Information Literacy is firmly ensconced within libraries, but it does not always travel well to other disciplines. One reason may be the words “information” and “literacy” themselves. This article looks at some of the embedded notions in these terms and suggests an alternate approach derived from the critic Walter Benjamin.: “These are days when no one should rely unduly on his competence. Strength lies in improvisation. All the decisive blows are struck left-handed. ” (Benjamin, “One Way Street”.)

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