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THEORY AND PRACTICE OF INFORMATION LITERACY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS: DEVELOPING A MODEL FOR LIFELONG LEARNING KIM BAKER.

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Presentation on theme: "THEORY AND PRACTICE OF INFORMATION LITERACY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS: DEVELOPING A MODEL FOR LIFELONG LEARNING KIM BAKER."— Presentation transcript:

1 THEORY AND PRACTICE OF INFORMATION LITERACY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND MUSEUMS: DEVELOPING A MODEL FOR LIFELONG LEARNING KIM BAKER ACURIL June 2014, Nassau, Bahamas

2 FROM CULTURAL HERITAGE TO INFORMATION LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING Information literacy theory and practice well established, and applied in libraries Different approaches and levels depending on whether academic; public; school or special library Information literacy training delivered on-site and in person, but increasingly online Information literacy is intellectually based, designed to impart the ability to form search strategies, discover, evaluate, consolidate and use information, ethically Cultural heritage is personal, emotional, experiential and thus involves the senses – to combine information literacy with cultural heritage, we first need to understand more about the field of cultural heritage

3 CULTURAL HERITAGE – WHAT IS IT?

4 CULTURAL HERITAGE - DEFINITIONS An extensive Literature review found no clear definitions of Cultural Heritage in the Library context, but several partial definitions in other contexts; In order to map a shared territory to facilitate further exploration of Cultural Heritage in the Museums, (including Galleries), Archives and Library context that was suitably encompassing, a frame of reference was constructed in place of attempting a definition.

5 CULTURAL HERITAGE: FRAME OF REFERENCE FOR MUSEUMS, ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES “ Libraries contain collections of documents, and located within these documents are records of the cultural and intellectual life and history of the people of the world. The recorded culture can be considered to contain part of the material (tangible), as well as the intangible cultural heritage of the people of the world, and this is constantly changing up to present time….

6 CULTURAL HERITAGE: FRAME OF REFERENCE FOR MUSEUMS, ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES (CONT.) “…Culture embraces a broad set of reflections of human endeavour including traditions, customs, beliefs, values, religions, arts, social behavior, knowledge systems, rituals and laws. In many contexts, political systems shaped and changed cultural practices, and the factors that influence and shape the culture of people form an intrinsic part of that heritage….”

7 CULTURAL HERITAGE: FRAME OF REFERENCE FOR MUSEUMS, ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES (CONT.) “……In deference to the school of thought that is postmodernism, the formation and creation of these documents in their social and political context thus form part of the interpretive narrative within the environment of cultural heritage.” (Baker, K Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage: developing a model for lifelong learning. Oxford: Chandos: p8)

8 POSTMODERNISM: WHAT IS IT? There is extensive exploration of Postmodernism in both the Museums and Archival fields, but libraries have not yet really engaged with Postmodernism and how it relates to Cultural Heritage MUSEUM SCIENCE: Among many scholarly articles and books, Mason identified Jacques Derrida (Mason, 2006: 21) and Michel Foucault (ibid.: 23) as having a significant influence on museum theory and practice, with postmodernist deconstructions challenging traditional practices. This influence is evident in museums who have thoroughly re-examined their role in collecting, preserving, presenting and interpreting cultural heritage.

9 POSTMODERNISM: WHAT IS IT? (CONT) MUSEUM SCIENCE (continued): Kraeutler : issues of heritage learning in museums seen as representative of a particular time, embedded in the contextualities of social and political climates. Heritage can be expressed in both materiality (collections of objects) and also in mindsets, including relations, languages and mentalities. Heritage is not neutral and thus museums are placed to play a powerful role in connecting collections and communities, and interfacing between the tangible and intangible aspects of heritage. (Kraeutler, 2008: 19)

10 POSTMODERNISM: WHAT IS IT? (CONT.) ARCHIVAL SCIENCE: Cook: Postmodernism is encouraging, through the critical analytical tool of deconstruction, the fragmenting of the former modernist paradigm while encouraging ambiguity and multiple ways of seeing. The archive is the place where social memory is constructed, and this construction occurs in support of the metanarratives of the powerful. The archival record itself is now viewed as a mere trace of a missing universe, and is a mirror that both distorts and reflects the intentions of the creator and the audience – The archive is an ever-changing cultural construct rather than a record of empirical fact (Cook, 2001: )

11 WHY WAS POSTMODERNISM SELECTED? Postmodernism allows the for idea that cultural heritage and the recording, interpretation, classification and presentation of it is CONSTRUCTED and SUBJECTIVE; It allows for MULTIPLE VIEWPOINTS and emphasizes CONTEXT; It allows for the recognition of MEMORY as an intrinsic component of cultural heritage and takes into account the fact that MEMORY is subjective and subject to distortions and interference; It allows for CONTESTED HISTORY to enter the interpretative narrative, thus opening the way for critical thinking and debate. It thus moves away from EXCLUSION to INCLUSION.

12 WHY IS THE PRESENTATION OF MULTIPLE VIEWS IMPORTANT IN CULTURAL HERITAGE NARRATIVES?

13 WHY IS MEMORY SUBJECTIVE? Appaiah: Archives are a construct of history, often directed by state officials, and thus the politics of memory influences every state and every creation of identity - which means that memories become political, and always, there are groups of people selected for inclusion, and others for exclusion. (Appaiah, 2011 : 99–100). Jimerson: Four categories of memory - personal, collective, historical and archival. Collective memory as social memory is seldom examined for reliability, authenticity and validity. Personal memory as eyewitness testimony is subject to the fact that memory can change over time or be influenced by distorting personal biases. (Jimerson, 2003: 89 – 90)

14 QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED WITH REGARD TO PRESENTING CULTURAL HERITAGE Museums and archives have been asking these questions for more than a decade: Who defines cultural heritage? Who created it, and what were the contextual influences on them and their creation of it? In selecting what to collect, preserve and present: Who decided? What influenced their decision on what to include, and what to exclude, and why? Who described it, and what are the personal biases they had? Are all these contextual factors included with the narrative? Libraries have very seldom asked these questions when embarking on digitization projects of cultural heritage.

15 CULTURAL HERITAGE IN DIGITAL INFORMATION CONTEXTS Marshall: The reduction of data into binary code (digitization) meant that it can be altered and manipulated – thus integrity of data is not always a given (Marshall: 2004: 17) Lacey: Digital images convey a representation, with the development of digitization comes the increase in power to manipulate images, change them and transmit them instantly and widely. As more people become media literate and aware that the media deals with representation and not reality, the more likely they are to question reporting of the news and not just accept reports at face value (Lacey, 1998: ).

16 CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD: CHALLENGES TO TRADITIONAL GATEKEEPERS Tredinnick: Transglobal cultural formations not shaped by corporate organizations are now possible in the digital world, and thus interactions are no longer being shaped from the top down but, rather, from the bottom up. From this, it can be noted that the traditional institutions of museums, archives and libraries’ role as exclusive purveyors of cultural heritage are being significantly challenged. (Tredinnick: 2006: 65). Cameron: The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme has little critical reflexivity as to what heritage means in the context of the current heritage debates. Digital heritage is a selective pool of materials deemed worthy for preservation for posterity, and this considered a Eurocentric idea for producing identity (Cameron: 2008: 172).

17 CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD: CHALLENGES TO TRADITIONAL GATEKEEPERS (CONT.) Cameron: Items selected to be preserved rely on selection criteria of what is deemed to be valuable, and thus other items are silenced (ibid.: 177). UNESCO exercises cultural authority over the processes of making meaning (ibid.: 179–80). Groups who are excluded from the authorities (UNESCO and other official bodies), are using their own criteria to craft their own identities and cultural materials in digital format, and this is being facilitated by social media. The Internet enables independent definition of position and allows bypass of authorities such as UNESCO. Communities are thus ignoring the cultural domination of traditional institutions. Individuals can use social media to reconstitute their own cultural codes and disrupt, challenge and subvert established hierarchies of digital heritage selection (Cameron: )

18 CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD: CHALLENGES TO ACCESSIBILITY AND USABILITY A few of the challenges are highlighted here: Two thirds of the world do not as yet have access to the Internet; Of the one third that has access, many cannot afford the costly bandwidth packages that allow for viewing of high bandwidth digital collections – specifically videos) Placing content of cultural heritage on the Internet does not imply discoverability - even if discovered, this does not imply integration of the information, critical analysis, and use of it to create new knowledge. Data on “number of hits” is quantitative and does not provide qualitative measure of how and if the material is used

19 ENTER THE LIBRARIES: INFORMATION LITERACY Libraries have the opportunity to make themselves relevant to the cultural heritage sector, as they have a unique asset to offer: the well developed pedagogy of Information Literacy (Or, Media and Information Literacy as it is now termed).

20 LIBRARIES AND THE ROLE OF INFORMATION LITERACY IN TEACHING CULTURAL HERITAGE AWARENESS Libraries have a well developed pedagogy of Information Literacy which can easily be integrated with Cultural Heritage training in Museums, Archives and Libraries; Review of the main models of Information Literacy: The Big6™; the Stripling and Pitts Research Process Model (REACTS), Pappas and Tepe’s Pathways to Knowledge Model; the Digital Information Fluency Model (21CIF); Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process Model; the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Skills Model; ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education; the ANZIL (Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy) Framework; and the UNESCO Information Literacy Indicators – revealed none were found to be completely suitable for the purpose of teaching cultural heritage awareness.

21 MODELS OF INFORMATION LITERACY STAGES AND PROCESSES: The Big6™ (Developed in 1990 by Eisenberg and Berkowitz, and was used in American schools). The “big six” are: task definition (defining the problem and information needed); the formulation of information-seeking strategies (finding out what is available, and selecting the most applicable sources to be accessed); the location and access of the information required; using the information (this part entails reading the information, and extracting what is relevant); synthesizing the information (organizing and presenting it); and evaluating the information to judge whether it met the requirements of the desired outcome. (Eisenberg and Berkowitz, 1990)

22 MODELS OF INFORMATION LITERACY STAGES AND PROCESSES: The Stripling and Pitts Research Process Model (REACTS) (1998) This model was developed specifically to facilitate the research process in an academic environment, and has ten steps: 1 - choice of a topic; 2 - gain a broad overview of the topic; 3 - narrow down the topic; 4 - formulate a thesis; 5 - identify research questions; 6 - plan the research; 7 - search for information and evaluate the applicability of the resources; 8 - evaluate the sources found and construct a bibliography; 9 - compile all the information gathered into a framework, review the validity of the sources, assess arguments; 10 - final writing and presentation of the assignment/report/paper. Suitable for an academic approach to research, but too advanced for the context of assessing different cultural heritage sources.

23 MODELS OF INFORMATION LITERACY STAGES AND PROCESSES: Pappas and Tepe’s Pathways to Knowledge Model (1995) The model provided detailed descriptions of: the principles of learning; content standards; the tenets of democracy; technology; and the knowledge and behavior required by teachers As a model of process, aspects that would be applicable to information literacy and cultural heritage awareness in the context of lifelong learning are technological competencies; and emphasis on teacher knowledge and behavior, but this was devised specifically for learning in schools The promotion of the tenets and values of democracy was not suitable for the development of the generic model of information literacy and cultural heritage, since promoting one set of values as preferable to those held by other cultures would defeat the objectives of the model (generic)

24 MODELS OF INFORMATION LITERACY STAGES AND PROCESSES: The Digital Information Fluency Model (21CIF) Specifically shaped around digital information. Described digital information fluency as the ability to locate, analyse and use digital information in an effective, efficient and ethical manner. Digital information fluency included the ability to distinguish the differences between digital and print information. The model is a circular one, begins the process with a series of questions: What information am I looking for? Where will I find the information? How will I get there? How good is the information? How will I ethically use the information? Sanderson questioned the models’ use in the context of different cultures and approaches to learning, noted that some learning behaviours may be different to Western approaches to critical thinking (Sanderson, 2011: 15).

25 MODELS OF INFORMATION LITERACY STAGES AND PROCESSES: Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process Model Summary : T he bibliographic paradigm is framed by certainty and order, while the users’ process of construction is shaped by feelings of confusion and uncertainty at various stages (Kuhlthau, 2004 : 8). Six intervention strategies for the librarian to follow: seeking process: facilitating collaboration (working with others); continuing (going forward from more than one point); choosing (what the user considered to be relevant); charting (visualizing ideas, mapping strategies, posing questions and identifying issues); conversing (dialoguing with the librarian and others to seek clarity and identify further questions); and composing (writing down what has been formulated and identified as missing). (Ibid: 135)

26 MODELS OF INFORMATION LITERACY STANDARDS, COMPETENCIES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS : Evaluated were: SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Skills Model; ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education; the ANZIL (Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy) Framework; 21C IF and the UNESCO Information Literacy Indicators While any group wishing to adapt the generic model to their own context is free to incorporate any of these models, it was found that for free choice, lifelong learning, the system of PMM (Personal Meaning mapping) developed for museums is most suitable for assessing the general public

27 A NEW MODEL: INFORMATION LITERACY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE FOR LIFELONG LEARNING The new model developed for Museums, Archives and Libraries to converge to teach Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage awareness for lifelong learning for the general public, is generic, and is a dialectic synthesis of the Didactic, Positivist tradition of Libraries, and the Constructivist, Postmodernist approach of Museums and Archives for both Digital and Non-Digital contexts.

28 SUMMARY OUTLINE OF THE MODEL Catalysts: The learning environment – museums (including galleries); archives; libraries Components : Carrier, Content and Context Core processes and tasks: Discover; Learn; Evaluate; Create; Share; Feedback; Modify Generic learning outcomes: Skills; Attitudes and values; Knowledge and Understanding; Behaviour and activity; Enjoyment, inspiration, creativity. Measurement: Personal Meaning mapping (PMM) Contextual fluidity: (Allows for the model to be adapted to different cultural contexts, political environments and rapidly changing technologies and developments)

29 THE CORE CONTRIBUTION FROM LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION LITERACY: How to discover, assess, critically evaluate arguments, learn logical thinking, and use information to create new knowledge.

30 CORE CONTRIBUTION FROM MUSEUMS AND ARCHIVES: CULTURAL HERITAGE AWARENESS Understand cultural heritage in terms of context, memory and contested history, learn about different worldviews without being threatened by them (worldview literacy; tolerance and respect for different cultures locally and globally)

31 REFERENCES 21CIF (21st Century Information Fluency Project) (2011) Digital Information Fluency Model. Available from: (accessed 7 August 2012). ACRL (2000) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Available from: (accessed 7 August 2012).http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency Appaiah, K.A. (2011) Identity, politics, and the archive. In X. Mangcu (ed.), Becoming Worthy Ancestors: Archive, Public Deliberation and Identity in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press (pp ). Baker, K. (2013). Information Literacy and Cultural Heritage: developing a model for lifelong learning. Oxford: Chandos (pp.8). Cameron, F. (2008) The politics of heritage authorship: the case of digital heritage collections. In Y.E. Kalay, T. Kvan and J. Affleck (eds.), New Heritage: New Media and Cultural Heritage. London and New York: Routledge/ Taylor & Francis (pp. 172–180). Cook, T. (2001) Fashionable nonsense or professional rebirth: postmodernism and the practice of archives. Archivaria 51: Eisenberg, M. and Berkowitz, R. (1990) The Big6. Available from: (accessed 7 August 2012). Jimerson, R.C. (2003) Archives and memory. OCLC Systems & Services 19(3): 89–90.

32 REFERENCES (CONTINUED) Kraeutler, H. (2008) Rich issues with reason – museums and heritage learning. In H. Kraeutler (ed.), Heritage Learning Matters: Museums and Universal Heritage. Proceedings of the ICOM/CECA 2007 Conference, Vienna, 20–4 August 2007: 19 Kuhlthau, C.C. (ed.) (2004) Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services, 2 nd edition. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Lacey, N. (1998) Image and Representation: Key Concepts in Media Studies. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave. (pp. 222 – 224) Marshall, P.D. (2004) New Media Cultures. London: Arnold. (pp. 17) Mason, R. (2006) Cultural theory and museum studies. In S. Macdonald (ed.), A Companion to Museum Studies. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing (pp ) Pappas, M. and Tepe, A. (1995) Pathways to Knowledge. Illinois: Follett Software Company. Available from : ( accessed 7 August 2012). Stripling and Pitts Research Process Model (1988). Available from: (accessed 7 August 2012). Tredinnick, L. (2006) Digital Information Contexts: Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Digital Information. Oxford: Chandos Publishing. (pp. 65).

33 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION Kim Baker Blog:


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