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From Information to Knowledge: The Information Literacy Conundrum

  • Journal of the Korean Society for Library and Information Science
  • 2010, 44(4), pp.131-153
  • DOI : 10.4275/KSLIS.2010.44.4.131
  • Publisher : 한국문헌정보학회
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science
  • Received : September 13, 2010
  • Accepted : October 6, 2010

Ross J. Todd 1

1The State University of New Jersey

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The fusion of learning, information, and technology presents dynamic challenges for all librarians, educators and students in 21st century libraries and schools. At the heart of this fusion is the growth of a pervasive, integrated information environment characterized by vast quantities of digital content, open choice, collaborative and participatory digital spaces, and the transition of the web environments from consumption of information to creation of information. This environment heralds important opportunities for librarians and teachers to rethink, re-imagine and recreate a dynamic approaches to information literacy instruction. Drawing on an extensive body of research undertaken through the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), and published research on both information literacy and constructivist learning, this paper provides a critical examination of the current status of information literacy: its multiple conceptualizations, competing models, viewpoints, and its operationalizations in educational and library environments. The paper will challenge information literacy practices which center on simplistic, reductionist approaches to information literacy development, and the separation of information process and knowledge content. In particular it will address apparent contradictions in espoused conceptions of information literacy which revolve around “knowledge”: knowledge construction, critical thinking, problem solving and the development of knowledgeable people; and information literacy practices which revolve around “information”: a predominant focus on skills of access and evaluation of resources and with less attention given to engaging with found information to develop deep knowledge and understanding. The paper will present a series of challenges for moving forward with information literacy agendas in libraries and schools.

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