call for Teacher-Librarians
Dr Linda Selby and Maureen
While there is a plethora
of writing about conceptualising, developing and implementing
information literacy, it is apparent that information literacy
is defined differently by various schools of thought.
Information literacy is a
field of study in its own right. However it also has obvious pedagogical
links to other educational areas, for example, independent learning,
metacognition, information technology, higher order thinking skills
and lifelong learning.
Langford (1998) notes that
because information literacy is connected to these major educational
topics, one would expect it to be firmly embedded in the practices
and outcomes of education in an information age. NOT SO! Teachers
and school managers are not always clear about what information
literacy really means. This is hardly surprising given the many
different definitions and frameworks. The labels information literacy,
information skills, information literate community are woolly
labels and teachers do not always know what is meant by these
terms in relation to classroom practice. This confusion of meaning
often leads to information literacy being treated as an add on.
Information literacy is a complex and dynamic process, it is not
linear and the process cannot be taught in isolation. Information
literacy is about being able to find, read, analyse, interpret
and apply information with critical discrimination to build and
communicate knowledge (Gawith, 2000).
Part of the reason for this
confusion about information literacy is that the very people who
hold the key to understanding and implementing information literacy
strategies are teacher librarians and not all schools have these
valuable people on their staff. It is the teacher librarian, as
a specialist teacher who is best placed to lead these developments.
Gawith, G. Good Teacher Term 3 2000
L. (1998). School Libraries Worldwide, Vol 4 No 1