What is Information Literacy?
Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.
Cilip, Information Literacy Definition, Source: http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/advocacy/information-literacy/pages/definition.aspx [Accessed 17/2/2013]
It is one of the key areas of work for the Liaison team. It’s not just a skill for getting through university which is then discarded at graduation. Information Literacy is a lifelong skill for academic, work and everyday life. It starts (or should start) well before a student gets to university and should continue throughout our lives.
Some examples of lifelong IL would include
- using your your IL skills to assess online offers e.g. are you being ripped off by an online scam? Is the offer too good to be true?
- A student about to go on a workplacement researching their employer, finding out their journey to the placement and assessing the work culture required e.g. what clothing is suitable for a work placement in an office rather than in a factory
- Making sure you’ve used copyright free images or lyrics on a party invitation or on your blog
- Referencing web resources clearly in a project report for your employer
- Not falling for an internet hoax
The lifelong importance of Information Literacy is shown via Barack Obama’s Presidential Decree
Information Literacy Theory
There are lots of theories on Information Theory which allow us to benchmark our services against other institutions. These are some of the most well known:
SCONUL Seven Pillars
American Library Association (ALA) Information Literacy Standards
ACRL Competency standards ACRL is the Association of College and Research Libraries division of the ALA
Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework(ANZILL)
Six Frames for Information Literacy Education
I have put some articles and useful links in the 23things Diigo Group, you can view them here.
Methods of Information Literacy Delivery
Information Literacy is a large area and can be delivered in a variety of ways. For example on YouTube, face to face or online via Moodle.
These are some good examples:
Our new Moodle Area
Cardiff University Information Literacy Resource Bank (I have used some of this in the Moodle area)
This week’s things look at Search Engines Beyond Google and also Memrise which is a type of Information Literacy tool.
Don’t forget to look at the Cool Extra thing this week – lots of interesting things that Google can do!
This week’s theme is ‘Office 2.0’ and we’re kicking off with Google’s attempt to replicate traditional office programmes: Google Drive (formerly Google Docs).
Google Drive offers versions of typical Office programs: Word documents, Presentations (see the posts on Prezi and Slideshare for other ways to create a presentation), Form builders, Drawing tools and Spreadsheets. They can’t do quite as many things as the programs we’re all used to, but are an easy, web-based way of working on documents – and you can download them easily as .doc files (Microsoft Word) or PDF files, among others. You can organise your files into folders, and they’re easy to manage and delete (especially if you’re used to the Google interface).
Many of us have to work on documents with colleagues, and the Google Drive allows this very easily. It’s useful if you work from a number of machines, and can’t remote desktop, as it saves you having to carry a USB stick and hope that the computer you’re using has the correct software to access your file: Google Drive documents are standard, as they are web-based.
One of the main purposes of Google Drive s to allow multiple people to edit the same document, spreadsheet or presentation without creating duplicate copies. Documents can either be uploaded from your PC or created from scratch within Google Drive and the fact that everyone can access the file in one place means that it is much simpler to edit and update. This can be very useful for researchers who are collaborating on a project; for example, and for this 23 Things programme the team used Google Docs to store and share post content and schedule.
This is quite useful for researchers who are working with colleagues in different countries, or librarians in different offices. The University of Sheffield have rolled out a number of Google services instead of their own internal email and other (expensive) collaborative tools, and have referred to themselves as “The University of Google”.
Accessing Google Drive is quite straightforward:
- simply login with the same username and password that you would use to access your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can quickly set one up by clicking here and completing the online form.
- Once you have logged in to Google Drive, click ‘Create’ and choose what kind of document you would like to create – such as a spreadsheet, word-processing document or a presentation.
- Create your document and it will save automatically, or you can force a save by pressing Ctrl+s.
- Now you are ready to share your document, either with a colleague or even with another 23 Things participant if you wish! Click on the ‘Share’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- Change the ‘Who has access’ section from ‘Private’ to ‘Anyone with the link’ or ‘Anyone on the web’ IF you want to make the document completely public. If you’d like people to be able to edit, click ‘Can view’ and change to ‘Can edit’. This allows anyone with the link to edit the document. Click ‘Save’.
- In the ‘Add People’ box, enter the email address of the person with whom you would like to share the document and decide whether you will allow them to edit the document or just to view it. Click ‘Share’ and this person will now receive an email with a direct link to your document.
Compare this with last week’s Evernote and other file-sharing tools. Do you think it would be useful in your work at all?
What is Google Reader and what are RSS feeds?
- Use Google Reader to keep up with websites that have frequent updates, e.g. blogs.
- Google Reader uses stuff called RSS feeds – found on loads of websites.
- If you see this symbol, you can add the site to your feed reader:
- Efficiency: you only have to check one place
- Remember sites of interest to you
- Basically, you’re personalising the internet
Other possible uses of RSS in libraries
- Create an RSS feed for new additions to the catalogue
- Use feeds from publishers for new editions
- Create an RSS feed for events and news posted on the library website
Set up Google Reader and follow some blogs
- Add some feeds, trying both these methods:
- Subscribe button
- Go to a blog & click the orange RSS button.
Full instructions here.