Monday, October 19, 2015

Information Literacy and Information Culture in Higher Education #ecil2015

Continuing liveblogging from the European Conference on Information Literacy 2015 in Tallinn, Estonia. The next talk I am attending is: Information Literacy and Information Culture in Higher Education Information Literacy and Information Culture in Higher Education Institutions in Estonia. It is presented by Liia Lauri, and coauthored with her supervisors Sirje Virkus and Mati Heidmets.
Information Culture is here interpreted in its information management sense, as an information culture (IC) within an organisation (information/knowledge practices, attitudes and values). Thus the research questions concerned the various ICs in HE instititions in Esonia and how they could be characterised, as well as looking at whether there was any relationship with job satisfaction.
Data was collected via a web based questionnaire, using concepts developed through previous research e.g. information sharing as a component of IC. There were 160 respondents from 12 institutions.
Through factor analysis they identified 3 types of IC:
- Integrated, with academics well informed about their unit and the institution, with formally regulated information sharing: a transparent process
- Proactive, in which the focus is on serach for trends and changes in HE, involved in joint activities, with a high use of new information channels
- Informal, in which people prefer to get information from colleagues, rather than from formal sources.
In terms of information use, Integrated uses more internal (intranet) sources, whereas Proactive uses more external sources (e.g. websites) and uses sources more frequently. Integrated was satisfied with information availability, whilsy Informal was frustrated about information overload.
There was a significant correlation between Integrated and job satisfaction and satisfaction with leadership, as well as with self-reported performance. However Informal IC had negative correlation with job satisfaction and there was more willingness to leave their jobs.
Thus a key finding was that having an integrated IC had significant correlations with job satisfaction and self-reported performance: on the other hand it is notable that this IC was not so outward looking and alert for trends. Therefore it is not compatible with a risk-taking culture that might be seen as necessary for organisational development and market awareness.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Tallinn, 2011 (I will be reusing some of my old photos today!)

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