SI 643 week 3: Three Information Literacy Articles

29 Jan
1. Kulthau, C.C (2004) The Information Search process in Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services (2nd edition) Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. pp.29-52.

 This is an empirical report on students’ constructive activity of finding meaning from information in order to extend their state of knowledge on a particular problem or topic. The author conducted an experiment in which twenty five academically high-achieved senior students in a large, eastern, suburban high school were chosen to be subjects and then were asked to write two papers related to English literature in one semester. During the experiment, they were also asked to write their feeling and researching process in their diary. Additionally, they participated in in-depth interview with author.

This study does not explicitly deal with information literacy, but it could be a good starting point of studying when students need librarian’s instruction on gathering and evaluating information. This study shows that students’ uncertainty and anxiety in information-seeking process are integral part of the process: Unlike the conventional wisdom that the more people get information, the less people are anxious, Kulthau finds out that from selecting a topic to finishing the information collection, students keep dealing  with uncertainty and anxiety until they actually start to write a paper. This findings teach us that before students approach a librarian and ask for a specific information about their research topic, librarian’s instructions need to be provided for improving students’ information literacy.

2.Mackey, Thomas. and Jacobson, Trudi. (2011) Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy. College & Research Libraries vol.72 no.1. p.62-78.

We have discussed about information literacy a lot, but I am always wondering what is exactly “information literacy”. What is the definition of information literacy? Why do people talk almost always about technologies of learning when we decide to talk about “information literacy”? What is the difference between information literacy, media literacy, Digital literacy,  Visual literacy, and Cyberliteracy? We can easily find some brief definition of those concepts in quick online resources (like Wikipedia), but if we want to understand when those words were invented under what contexts and when they started to use, we should read this article. In addition, Mackey and Jaconson suggest to develop an overarching and self-referential framework that integrates emerging techniques and unifies multiple literacy types.

3. Oakleaf, Megan, Millet, Michelle, and Kraus, Leah (2011). All Together Now: Getting Faculty, Administrators, and Staff Engaged in Information Literacy Assessment, portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol.11, no.3, pp.831-852.

Many academics found out that even though many students believe themselves to be proficient in information retrieval and use, they tend to overestimate the level of their own information literacy. Furthermore, some faculties do not recognize the importance of teaching information literacy skills. Instead, they believe information literacy is something students already know, something they will “pick up,” or something that cannot be taught. Thus, although most librarians acknowledge the importance of collaborative information literacy instruction, many barriers impede effective faculty collaborations. In this paper, authors studies how Trinity University has established effective strategies for engaging faculty, administrators,and staff in information literacy instruction and assessment. This study offers a model for libraries seeking to actively engage their campuses through 1) establishing a common definition of information literacy; 2) developing workshops and grants; and 3) engaging in campus-wide information literacy assessment using rubrics.


Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “SI 643 week 3: Three Information Literacy Articles

  1. kirstenterry

    January 31, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Jungwon! I didn’t read any of the same articles as you, so it was interesting to read through your recaps. I’m particularly interested in the third article you read because it sounds like it offered an information literacy success story – those seemed to be rare! It sounds like Trinity cracked the code for gaining buy-in, which (as we discussed in class last night) is very helpful to get these kinds of initiatives off the ground.

    • jungwon2

      February 5, 2012 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Kirsten and Halley,

      While I searched articles related to information literacy, I could find some information literacy success stories in academic library. Trinity case is one of them. It seems to me that “buy-in” collaboration with faculties can be happened if librarians are well aware of the process and outcomes. One concern is I could not find any public library’s success story. If you are aware of any success story in public library, I love to hear it. 😉

  2. halleyt

    February 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    I also think that third article sounds very intriguing. It really seems that the best way to make sure these important skills are taught is for an entire community, which in this case is the academic institution, is on board. It is definitely easier to get a new initiative rolling once everyone is on board. It also re-affirms my belief that collaboration is going to be any librarian’s friend.

  3. chris.wolf

    February 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I think it’s really important to consider the emotional experience of information seeking, as Kulthau does in the article you discuss. We, at SI, are trained to be comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty, but being able to emotionally handle those feelings doesn’t come natural. I just had a discussion with my younger sister, who is working on her senior research paper for undergrad. She’s experiencing a lot of what Kulthau talks about–anxiety, uncertainty–all the way through the process (in her words, the resources ‘just keep coming’ and she never feels like she can stop searching and start writing). This is important for us to consider how we tailor our own approaches to meet the needs of our patrons, particularly on where we draw the line between too much and not enough.


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