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1 Information Literacy: more than just a library induction Michele Davies & Lori Havard (Library & Information Services)

2 Outline What is information literacy? Why are information literacy skills important? Students’ information skills at Swansea Swansea’s Information Literacy Strategy Delivering IL at Swansea University A way forward

3 What is Information Literacy?

4 Everyone can search – so what’s the problem? Overuse of Google Horizontal information seeking Navigation Viewing time Squirreling behaviour Only accessing full-text when available online (ignoring print even when it’s the only source)

5 Why Information Literacy is important to Swansea Equips students with the skills needed to search, retrieve and evaluate information for their academic work. To support SU’s Learning & Teaching strategy. To develop research PG students. Aids student retention. To meet the requirements of educational bodies in the UK. To develop lifelong learning skills. To ensure employability in a knowledge economy.

6 Why now? Provision of IL has been a focus of LIS for many years (user education or information skills) What has changed? Increase in numbers of overseas students (different educational and cultural backgrounds.) Increase in usage of internet information – the “google generation” and ease of “copy’n paste” (plagiarism). Complexity of range of electronic sources.

7 Information Literacy at Swansea Provision is patchy Delivered by LIS subject team librarians Some IL is embedded in the curriculum Some is optional Provision is non-existent in some sections of some schools

8 Swansea LIS Survey: IL skills Ten new information literacy-related questions included in the annual LIS Satisfaction Survey which takes place every February Only visible to the “UG and PG student” respondent category. Other groups of respondent were routed past these questions

9 What % of current undergraduates do you think attended a LIS induction at Level 1? 1.80% 2.60% 3.40%

10 What % of SU students consider themselves successful in finding information for academic assignments? 1.80% 2.60% 3.40%

11 Conclusions from Swansea’s student IL survey Students overestimate their ability to search for and find scholarly information Take-up of IL sessions needs to be improved

12 Swansea’s Information Literacy Strategy Dec 2006 – Director of Library & Information Services (LIS) asked the LIS Teaching Group to write an Information Literacy strategy. April 2007 – draft strategy finished after much consultation and participation between LIS subject teams, Careers etc.. June 2007 – passed by the University’s Learning and Teaching committee as part of the L & T strategy.

13 How do we achieve the goal of making every student information literate? by making IL sessions timely and relevant. by embedding IL in the curriculum. by creating content on Blackboard which can be embedded in course modules – online tutorials, guides, links to web resources

14 Delivering Information Literacy: a librarian’s approach Demonstration and hands-on teaching of search strategies, databases, web resources, evaluation of resources Using Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs to keep students up to date with new resources and services Participating in Schools’ Learning & Teaching Committees

15 Case Study: Pre-registration undergraduate degree in Nursing Information literacy skills needed for NMC Code of Conduct Close working between the library and the School of Health Science Library skills embedded into the curriculum and are mandatory Seven sessions spread over three year period Sessions concentrate on what knowledge is needed, how to get the knowledge and evaluating the knowledge for use

16 What we can do for your students! We can improve your students’ Information Literacy Skills by providing classes on: –Effective searching techniques –Subject specific literature searching –Bibliographic referencing –Web searching and evaluation –Finding specific types of literature (theses, statistics, official publications, patents, conference papers, etc)

17 What we can do for you! Help with embedding information literacy into your course Share LIS created content with your Blackboard module Attend School Learning & Teaching Committee Advise on copyright and plagiarism Help your students become more information literate

18 References Dawes, M. et al (2005) “Sicily statement on evidence-based practice”, BMC Medical Education, 5 (1). [Online at] SCONUL Information Skills Task Force (1999) Seven pillars of information literacy model, Society of College, National & University Libraries. [Online at ] Swansea University (2007) Information Literacy strategy, 2007-08. [Online at,19199,en.doc ] University College London (UCL) CIBER Group (2008) Information behaviour of the researcher of the future, UCL. [Online at] May, M. (2004) “Google is not enough” (cartoon), Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians newsletter, 21 (1) [Online at, accessed 19.5.09]

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