Monday, March 25, 2013

Supporting workplace information literacy at university #lilac13

My final session of the first day at the LILAC conference #lilac13 in Manchester, UK, is: Is it possible to support workplace information literacy already at university? An opinion paper, from Christina Brage and Kajsa Gustafsson Åman, both from Linköping University Library. The talk is based on a survey carried out last year. Their goal was to gain an understanding of the graduate's information world. They were looking at what type of information and information tools the alumni used, and whether the IL training at university had been useful in the workplace.
The survey instrument was an online questionnaire, to alumni of 10 programmes, with 12 questions including free-text options. They analysed all responses together, then by programme and by question.
90% had particiapted in IL training: 63% had found it useful in their studies, 38% useful for work outside university (sometimes because they were using the same sources). 48% were using research databases, 35% using scientific journals (mostly lawyers and physicians). 92% solved information problems through discussion with colleagues, 90% learning from experience, 88% by using relevant literature. 67% were using books, 64% news articles and 63% professional webpages. Teachers were high users of these last 3 categories (perhaps not having access to the databases).

As a result the presenters identified a need to have more emphasis on certain aspects in the information literacy curriculum, such as how to restructure information, how to monitor social media, use open access journals and use alerting feeds. They have made a LibGuide aimed at people outside the university, and also are designing an information literacy contribution to a "goodbye" course being organised by one of the programmes.

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