Information Literacy Makes All the Wrong Assumptions


Academic librarians were quick to react to the threat posed by Internet competition. In 1989, half a dozen years before the first official release of Netscape, they recognized the explosion in networked information and proposed "information literacy," a reinvention of the educational function of the academic library.

Stanley Wilder goes on to criticize academic libraries for their choice and suggests a different method for teaching students.
See the full story at The Chronicle.


My high school students are not discerning. They sure don't know how to conduct a good search. Once the results are listed, they start clicking and don't even bother to read the summaries in the web results. I do some information literacy on the fly but would love to have the time and equipment (like a LCD panel) to conduct information literacy classes. So, I disagree with this analysis. However, I have never worked in an academic library. What do those of you who work there think?

I'm an academic librarian at a community college, so we get the kids right after they graduate. True, they certainly don't know how to search and they don't read summaries, but they are okay (and no better) at discerning BS from the more reliable. I try to give them the tools to figure it out, and help them to find good sources. The folks who really have trouble are the returning students who are just not computer or internet savvy, and students who aren't interested or engaged in the first place.

He sets up a straw man and then has no problem knocking it down.
He doesn't take into account the information literacy efforts where librarians collaborate with teaching faculty.
There has been a discussion on this on the ILI-L list for the past couple days.

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