Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Report from #ecil2014 Being fluent and keeping looking

Day 2 of liveblogging from the European Conference on Information Literacy, held in Dubrovnik. It started with David Bawden on Being fluent and keeping looking. He was reflecting on the variety of literacies models (e.g. metaliteracy, transliteracy) that have been developed. He felt that all of them had value and were useful in different situations, and wasn’t looking for “one literacy to rule them all”. Therefore he wondered whether it might be helpful to have an overarching framework. He proposed that the purpose of this framework (its more abstract foundation) was long lasting and not technology related, with a more specific technology-related vision and rapidly-changing specific objectives.

As an example of objectives he gave pillars or competencies (e.g. in the SCONUL 7 Pillars). As an example of "Vision" he gave some of the frameworks which focus on particular media such as Paul Gilster's vision of Digital Literacy, or Metaliteracy. For the "top level" he considered "Information Fluency" (starting with the definition from the influential 1999 report), to propose the adaption "a conceptual understanding of, and ability to adapt to, changing information environments". Interestingly, this covers very similar territory to the model of the "Information Literate person in the changing information culture" which we proposed in 2000 and have developed since.
He went on to talk about the contextual nature of information literacy, and discussed the issue of seeing information literacy as socially constructed and the individual differences in information behaviour. He was raising the question of whether there was a contradiction there, I think.
He summed up by saying that he saw a multi level model of IL, emphasising understanding, and respecting domain differences, "melding information into advice/education" and not worrying who "did" it.
Photo by Sheila Webber: cat, Dubrovnik harbour, October 2014

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