Today I met with one of our campus librarians to discuss developing a “collection profiling” plan to support “people in practice”. I have offered to work with her to focus on an area of her collection to examine. I have offered to send her a shelf-list and circulation report, so she can begin to examine her collection to determine if it is effective in reflecting workplace information.
Here is an overview of People in Practice that I put together from some of the resources I’ve identified throughout my LCP:
Lloyd (2013) introduces the concept of “information resilience”, which she describes as the ability to operationalize information skills and activities in the workplace (p. 220). She points out that employers are reporting that students leave formal education lacking “critical information literacies that enable them to think creatively, to find solutions to real-world problems” (p. 221), and she proposes a “people-in-practice” model which encourages practitioners to “connect with the workplace knowledges of their disciplines” (p. 226).
Monge and Frisicaro-Pawlowski (2013) traditional “college-centric” information literacy (IL) practices do not prepare students for the “social and contextual” learning that is required in workplaces and recommends that librarians and faculty collaborate to create “discipline-specific” IL guidelines (p. 60). They recommend “abandoning the concept of information literacy as a stand-alone universal skill set” and propose the following practices (p. 66):
- Establishing learning guidelines by discipline and course;
- Establishing a collaborative, flexible relationship with teaching faculty;
- Creating assignments to be collaborative and reflective of workplace projects;
- Teaching students to create personal learning environments (eg, web-based calendars, blogs, online study groups).
Bird & Williams (2014) describes an information literacy program design in which the librarian works with students to:
- Explore job characteristics for their program by examining job descriptions and government information for career exploration. In their sessions the authors used words brainstormed by students in their class to create a “word cloud” which highlighted the importance of information skills in that field of study.
- Brainstorm likely problems that could arise in the workplace and discuss how these information needs would be solved.
Hicks (2015) advocates that information literacy is context-specific and not a generic, transferrable skill (p. 26). He recommends conducting interviews with people in the particular field to help students understand how information is used in their field.
Bird, N. J., & Williams, T. (2014). Casting a wider net: O*NET, workforce development, and information literacy. RUSQ: Reference and User Services Quarterly, 53(3), 227–231. Retrieved from https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/N_Bird_Casting_2014.pdf
Hicks, A. (2015). Drinking on the job: integrating workplace information literacy into the curriculum. LOEX Quarterly, 41(4), 9–15. Retrieved from http://scholar.colorado.edu/libr_facpapers/59/
Lloyd, A. (2013). Building information resilient workers: The critical ground of workplace information literacy. What have we learnt? In S. Kurbanog˘lu, E. Grassian, D. Mizrachi, R. Catts, & S. Špiranec (Eds.), Worldwide commonalities and challenges in information literacy research and practice (Vol. 397, pp. 219–228). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-03919-0_28
Monge, R., & Erica Frisicaro-Pawlowski, E. (2014). Redefining information literacy to prepare students for the 21st century workforce. Innovative Higher Education, 39 (1), 59–73. doi:10.1007/s10755-013-9260-5