Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Report from #ecil2014 - Degree of School Librarians' Involvement in Providing Information Literacy skills

Today's final session (for me) at the European Conference on Information Literacy, held in Dubrovnik. Ruth Ash-Argyle (University of Haifa) and Snunith Shoham (Bar Ilan University) talked about Evaluating the Degree of School Librarians' Involvement in Providing Information Literacy skills to Students using The Big6 Model as an Assessment Tool. The purpose was to study how involved the school librarian was in teaching students information literacy and also to investigate the librarians' self-efficacy. They used the Big 6 model, because it takes account of stages in the information research process and it is a widely used model.
The researchers hypothesised that schools librarians would be more involved in the Big 6 stages associated with searching and sources, and that higher involvement would correlate with higher professional self-efficacy. They administered a questionnaire to school librarians. The participants were asked to rate their involvement in each of the Big 6 stages. The results were that stages 2 (Information Seeking Strategies) and 3 (Location and access) did have the highest involvement from librarians. Barriers to more involvement included lack of time, lack of cooperation from teachers etc.
The researchers identified (from previous research) four domains of professional self-efficacy: teaching, technical skills, interpersonal communication and self-teaching skills. The school librarian participants rated themselves as having high communication skills, with self-teaching as the lowest point. The domain that correlated significantly with high involvement in the curriculum was that of self-teaching and professional updating.
The participants were also asked to self-identify their role e.g. information expert, promoter of reading skills (there were 6 roles listed). The results were that "Promoter of reading skills" rated highest and "Educational consultant" lowest. Relating these results to the degree of involvement in the curriculum, the higher role of leader correlated with higher involvement in the curriculum.
Recommendations included developing school lbrarians to embrace the roles of leader, teacher etc. and encouraging continuing development and professional updating.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Flower pot, Dubrovnik old town, October 2014

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