23 September 2006

What is Library Literacy and how do you best impart this to public library users?

What is Library Literacy (information literacy) and how do you best impart this to public library users? OR Information Literacy analogy for Public Librarians.

Quote this post: “Education today, more than ever before, must see clearly the dual objectives: Education for living and educating for making a living.” James Mason Wood


INFORMATION ROADMAP (An example information seeking journey, from Map A to Map H)

A. PLAN YOUR JOURNEY (What do I want/need to know?)
* Phrase your information question so that you are asking for information about what you really want to know? Be as specific as you can if you are asking for help to find this information.
* If you are searching for a new book by a popular author, ask if it’s a standing order, some libraries will automatically receive copies of all new titles by particular authors.
* If you know the publication details (saw it in Women’s Weekly book review) then bring these details with you to the library. When you know the publication details you can start at Map D below.
* When you have no publication details and are wanting information on a specific topic, you start at Map B.
* For example if you want to know how to get an International Drivers’ licence to drive around in Europe, that’s what you ask for, not Where are your travel books on Europe?
* To identify key concepts with research topics, use a thesaurus for alternative terms such as teenager, adolescent, youth, teens,
B. WHERE HAVE YOU COME FROM? WHERE ARE YOU NOW? (What information do I already have?)
* What do you already know about the subject?
* What sources of information do you already have?
* What types/sources of information do you wish to find? Journal articles, newspaper articles, books, conference papers, genealogical websites, local history.
* What ‘concept’ terms or search terms will you use to find the information you are looking for?
C. WHEN YOU FIND SOMETHING, WHAT WILL YOU KEEP SO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN THERE? (When I find sources what do I need to write down?)
* Bibliographic details: Books: Title, Author/s, year of publication,(edition if not first edition), place of publication and publisher, (pages if relevant such as direct quoting)
* Journal articles: Article title, article author/s, Journal title, Year, volume, issue or number and pages.
* Websites: Title of website, author of website/web document, date website/web document was authored, web address of site/document, date you accessed website/web document.
D. WHAT’S THE BEST VEHICLE TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? (Which search tool will I use and why?)
* Library Catalogue
* Online Databases
* Internet search Engines
E. HOW DO I DRIVE EACH TYPE OF VEHICLE? (How do I search this tool? Where are the Instructions, Tips, Online Help or Frequently asked questions, so that I can learn how to use this tool?)
* My public library catalogue
* Other Shire council catalogues
* Search SLQ catalogue
* Search AustraliaFirst (Kinetica) catalogue
* Online databases through library subscriptions (check your library website under online reference or Electronic sources)
* Internet search engines
F. WHAT IF THE INFORMATION I WANT IS NOT FOUND HERE? (What if my library does not hold the item?)
* Visit a library that does hold the item if you require it urgently and can travel
*Place a reservation on the item through the online catalogue [fees may apply]
* Place an online Request for an inter-library loan (library outside of the Shire or local area) [fees may apply]
* Ask for a referral
G. HOW DO I CHECK OUT THE QUALITY OF THE TOWN? (How do I know the information is any good?)
*Who wrote it?
*Are they qualified?
*What is the publication date?
*Is it biased?
*Is it up-to-date?
Other important evaluation criteria
H. LOST? Ask for help, you may be looking at the wrong map, driving an inappropriate vehicle (need to use the library catalogue to look for books in the library, not Google,) or you may need to alter your plan of journey (initial question may have been insufficiently phrased).

Remember: not every journey goes according to plan, sometimes you need to retrace your steps and sometimes you end up on sidetracks. It’s the same with finding information, every information need is unique and while some processes are common to every journey, there will also be unique requirements which will not necessarily be found in the usual way. If in doubt, ask your librarian.

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