Association of American Colleges and Universities Embraces Information Literacy

Today on the Association of College and Research Libraries’ blog, ACRLog, Barbara Fister reported that, while attending the AACU Midwinter meeting, she “was struck by how much faculty and administrators embraced information literacy as one of several key intellectual and practical skills, identified in the AAC&U’s Greater Expectations report and revisited in a just-released publication, College Learning for the New Global Century.”

She also reported that, “also discussed at the conference, and worth a read, is a survey of business leaders and new graduates about what areas they feel need more emphasis in college. Seventy percent of the employers surveyed said colleges and universities should place more emphasis on learning how to locate, organize, and evaluate information. (The recent graduates were less convinced; only 48% felt it should receive more attention – but still, that’s nearly half!) “.

I am so encouraged by this and it further supports what we are seeing on our campus. Faculty members are beginning to understand the value that teaching information literacy concepts can bring to their curriculums. We are currently testing our new pilot information literacy program in English Composition, Exercise Science, and Mass Communications courses. The next crucial step is to convince administrators and curriculum committees on campus. These concepts are so important in helping our University meet its goals to educate students for today’s technologically rich and information saturated society. The challenge for librarians is to provide enough staff to meet demand. Is it more beneficial to the library to explore models where we provide training and resource material for faculty so that they can incorporate information literacy lessons into their courses? Or is it more beneficial to the library in the long run to teach the sessions ourselves so that we remain part of the teaching process. I believe that, because of our lack of staffing, we may have to look at implementing the first model to some extent, but I do value the face to face time I get with students and would hate to see that disappear completely.

Have a great day!

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