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Rethinking Information Literacy

Rethinking Information Literacy

Jane Secker | Emma Coonan


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A vision for the future of information literacy teaching Based on groundbreaking research, undertaken by the authors as part of the prestigious Arcadia Programme at Cambridge University, this presents a new and dynamic information literacy curriculum developed for the 21st century information professional. The curriculum adopts a broad definition of information literacy that encompasses social as well as academic environments and situates IL as a fundamental attribute of the discerning scholar and the informed citizen. It seeks to address in a modular, flexible and holistic way the developing information needs of students entering higher education over the next five years. Interweaving the authors' research and the reflections of internationally-recognised experts from the library, education and information literacy sectors, it will illustrate how and why this new curriculum will work in practice. Contributors include: Sarah Pavey, Boxhill School Andy Priestner, University of Cambridge Geoff Walton, Staffordshire University Susie Andretta, London Metropolitan University Libby Tilley, University of Cambridge
Jane Secker (B.A., Ph.D., PGCertHE, FHEA) is Copyright and Digital and Literacy Advisor at LSE, where she has responsibility for the digital literacy programme for staff and PhD students. She also advises staff about copyright issues particularly related to their use of digital resources and e-learning. She has published widely and led several externally funded projects, most recently being project manager for the DELILA (Developing Educators Learning and Information Literacies for Accreditation) funded by JISC and the Higher Education Academy to release digital and information literacy materials and open educational resources. Emma Coonan (M.St., Ph.D., M.Sc.) is Research Skills and Development Librarian at Cambridge University Library, where she has responsibility for designing and teaching classes on various facets of information finding, handling and management. She blogs as the Mongoose Librarian and Tweets as LibGoddess.
"As information becomes ubiquitous and easy to access, so we – as a society – become less discerning and critically engaged with its content. This is perhaps the central paradox of the Information Age. The stakes are higher and the repercussions broader than the UK higher education context that this excellent book focuses on: the totality of our society, including its democratic principles and enlightenment ideals, is at risk when we cease to engage critically with this overflow of information. Editors Secker and Coonan issue a rallying cry to address this state of affairs, a call that is issued primarily to their fellow academic librarians. However, the stated hope is that the importance of information literacy (IL) will penetrate through the walls of the library to the lecturers, administrators and education policy makers beyond who perhaps hold more sway and are better positioned to effect change." - Journal of Information Literacy