ACCESSIBILITY: Anyone Can Lean
Information literacy skills can seem strange unattainable goals. I believe that most people have an individual set of skills they use to analyse, utilize, and discriminate around information. When a librarian has been most effective a student will realize that all the skills they already have will push them towards academic success and research success. When faced with daunting white pages students retreat and forget all of their knowledge of information practices. I seek to remind students of their own strengths around information knowledge.
Understanding the origin and proliferation of information builds comprehension of information in context. If you have never seen a Journal before, how would you know what it looked like, or why you would use it for information instead of another source? Print books have a long tradition of information practices written into how they are produced. The title page is produced to give the reader context about the production of the item they hold in their hand. Understanding the history of these production practices informs the researcher about the context of an information source. This knowledge facilitates a more informed reading of information from any time and place.
Technology Literacy is an increasingly important part of Information Literacy in the lives of students heading into the job market. In every class I strive to advanced user knowledge of technology. While I do not think it is imperative for every student to be thoroughly versed in programming languages, I think it is important to become fluent in the language of technologies. As an advanced user, a student should be able to conceptualize about the strengths and weaknesses of a technological tool. As critical users students should have an idea how on-line information is produced and published. Even a basic understanding about file formats, can pave the way for a student to navigate digital tools and information with expertise. The libraries goals of information literacy must include a long tradition of information literacy around the context of information production, in tandem with structural technical skills to navigate the vast frontier of digital information.