Information literacy librarians (correctly) teach students to evaluate the websites they use for papers and other academic purposes by looking at features such as the site’s domain, its appearance, who the author is, etc. These are necessary steps, but there are increasing calls for evaluation to be broader. Mike Caulfield’s Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers, for example, encourages “lateral reading,” an approach that involves reading “about” a website or other source in addition to reading and analyzing the source itself. Lateral reading of a website involves a short scan of the site followed by researching its ownership and what other sources say the site to help decide whether the information there can be trusted or not.
The new year is here and that means ALA Midwinter is almost upon us. This year it’s in Seattle, WA, from January 25-28.
End-of year-roundups are popping up all over right now. Our advice is to skip the 100th “best gifts” list that landed in your mailbox--instead enjoy NiemanLab’s latest set of predictions for the year ahead in journalism. The annual feature interviews numerous people in the world of journalism, technology, and publishing about what they think the new year will bring. This time round, news accuracy, ways of ensuring it, and predications about how the public will react to disinformation in 2019 are frequently raised topics.
By Liz King and Raymond Pun
Raymond Pun recently spoke with Liz King, the Humanities Librarian at Alkek Library in Texas State University. Liz shares her techniques for connecting information literacy to things they do every day, how she overcomes misconceptions about the nature of research in the humanities field, and which resources she leans on when designing instruction.
The International Federation of Libraries and Associations (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 2018 just ended last week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Over 3500 attendees came to this year’s conference in Malaysia. Participants came from all over the world including Myanmar, Brazil, New Zealand, Serbia, Sierra Leone, and Spain, and the topics of discussion ranged from scholarly communication to sustainability to linked data.
Last week, the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) brought together comic art and graphic novel fans, illustrators, artists, gamers, celebrities, educators, and librarians. Numerous events and seminars across the San Diego Convention Center and the San Diego Central Library (SDCL) covered diverse topics ranging from “Designing the Costumes of Wakanda” to “A Crash Course to European Comics.” This conference provided a great opportunity for librarians seeking to learn more about the latest publications, trends, and scholarly works on comic research.
Addressing information literacy with first year students is a multifaceted challenge. Librarians may be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the Framework for Information Literacy’s threshold concepts. Faculty buy-in (or lack thereof) can help or hinder. Students potentially hold misconceptions, as illustrated by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe’s research. Finally, some institutions, such as my community college, do not provide 1) a formal first year experience and/or 2) a credit-bearing IL course. You know where this leads: a Framework-skittish instructional librarian standing for about an hour in front of students who think they can Google the answer to anything and faculty who just want you to “show some databases.”
Did you know that selected regional accreditation programs may include information literacy as a core competency skill? Are you involved in the accreditation process for your school or library? Today, many academic libraries are tasked with providing students’ IL learning data for accreditation purposes.
Bryant University is known for its vigorous academic program, a design thinking experience for first year students, and a campuswide focus on student success. The culture at Bryant provides fertile ground for innovation at all levels of the university. The Douglas and Judith Krupp Library embraces this culture and the elements of flexibility, experimentation, and collaboration, offering library staff the opportunity to innovate within the library and with campus partners.
The success of our information literacy program was achieved largely through continuous and collegial collaboration between the library and its campus partners. The Writing Center, faculty, and various committees have all participated in a productive give and take that helps ensure students pick up IL skills early and use them often.