Seizing the gift horse: working across the university on information literacy

Omar, Davina ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9134-1166 (2018) Seizing the gift horse: working across the university on information literacy. In: LILAC: The Information Literacy Conference, 24-26 April 2019, Nottingham, U.K.. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Gift horses don't come along very often so when we got a chance to work across the university on developing a definition for Information Literacy with colleagues from HR, IT, Academic Quality and our Teaching & Learning specialists we jumped at the chance. Attendees will get a chance to discover what we learnt from this process, challenges we faced and how this might be applied to
their own institutions and information literacy practice.

During 2016/17, UWL Library Services developed an information literacy policy which defined what skills and knowledge sets we aimed to help students develop at each level, from L3 right up to academic staff and embedded throughout this was the characteristics of UWL students and courses. This solid basis was then built upon by the work we then subsequently did with our colleagues across the university. (UWL Library Services, 2018) When we had originally developed the policy, we hadn't felt that creating our own definition was necessary but when the university put together a working group on information Literacy and Digital Capabilities we saw an
opportunity.

One of the difficulties we had faced in the past was getting staff (and students) to understand the concept of information literacy and having the chance to discuss information literacy with colleagues outside Library Services and for them and us to see the linkage (and differences) with Digital Capabilities (JISC, 2015) was a fantastic process. This not only enabled a definition to be developed, which was informed by the new CILIP definition (Coonan, E. et al., 2018) but also shared understanding and a real potential to raise the profile of Information Literacy. From the very start of the process, we were discussing how this work could potentially be embedded into appraisal processes for both academic and professional staff which was not only very exciting but really supported the concept of lifelong learning across all the university.

It was challenging too for us, not only to try to articulate what we do but also challenge our own
practice and consider new areas. We needed to consider how we support our professional services staff , as well as our academics and students, in their information literacy and crucially how information literacy fitted into the strategic priorities and workings of the university (Baker and Allden, 2017; Harland, Stewart and Bruce, 2017) Building on earlier work, it also provided us with a chance to really consider fully how we can evaluate the impact of our information literacy (Walsh, 2009; Carbery and Leahy, 2015) and how information literate our students and staff were becoming. This is ongoing work but this presentation will discuss the work we have done in this area.

The process was a very rewarding experience and this talk will pull out the highs and lows, the negotiations involved and critically look at how much we can embed an information literacy policy into the workings of the university.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: Library and information sciences
Depositing User: Davina Omar
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2019 12:12
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2019 13:33
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6295

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