Rutgers University Libraries in Newark, Roberta Tipton, one of the three Business Librarians, informs us about an interesting project on standards for information literacy. A task force, which includes librarians of the New Jersey Library Association College and University Section as well as of the Association of College & Research Libraries New Jersey Chapter , has more precisely defined for practice the well-known Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). This became the “New Jersey Progression Standards for Information Literacy“, the goal of which is to form the basis for the conceptual framework of information literacy, supporting the collective understanding between faculty and library of the educational goals which students may expect. The Progression Standards for Information Literacy explain in detail which skills students should have acquired by the end of their first and second years in college. This “translation aid” serves, on the one hand, to communicate with faculty, and on the other as a way to continually test one’s own instructional courses for their effectiveness and usefulness.
The first standard of the ACRL Standards (“identifies and addresses information need“) is a skill which, according to the Progression Standards for Information Literacy, students should be able to utilize after the first year of study to:
a) identify research topics or information need
b) draft research question(s) relevant to thesis or information need using unambiguous language
c) use general information sources to identify relevant concepts/vocabulary and inform basic understanding of the research topic or information need.”
At the end of the second year of study, students should be able to:
a) use subject or discipline-specific information sources to better inform an understanding of the research topic or information need and to determine the extent of available information sources before proceeding
b) establish realistic timeline to accomplish research
What I particularly liked about these stages of study is the fact that information literacy is a process – something one acquires gradually during one’s studies. To comprehend that information literacy is an activity that needs to be continually carried out and acquired is, of course, nothing new – but projects such as the Progression Standards for Information Literacy help enormously when applying this to one’s own courses. It is of help, precisely in the planning of courses, in avoiding the tendency to include EVERYTHING. Rather, one should concentrate on ONE sub-goal of ONE standard – and clearly communicate to partners what courses focus on in the learning process and what they do not.
in many US libraries – the localization of work with information resources as an essential part of the research process and of research methods is stressed much more strongly in the US than in Germany. At first glance this seems merely a detail, but a second glance makes fundamentally clear to students the role of libraries in their studies. The cry, “We’re here to save your time – so ask us”, uttered during a class in Newark by Ka-Neng Au, also a Business Librarian at Rutgers University Libraries, sounds quite different in this context – like an offer one dare not refuse in terms of successfully concluding one’s studies…
Wednesday, 26. September 2012
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