Beyond Basic Skills in Teaching Information Literacy

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CHICAGO — Librarians know that information literacy is far more complex and nuanced than the basic library research skill it is often described; in fact, as the ACRL framework emphasizes, research is a contextual activity. But the contexts in which we teach often limit our ability to take a more layered approach. “Using Context in Teaching Information Literacy: Beyond Basic Skillspublished by ALA Editions not only shows you how to teach information literacy as something other than a basic skill, but also how to do it in the teaching mode in which you are most often engaged, whether whether it’s a credit course, a one-time session, a tutorial, an interaction with a reference desk, or a library program. Walking you through each step of the research process, author Allison Hosier shares ideas for adding context while exploring topics such as:

  • how conversations about context can be integrated into lessons on common information literacy topics;
  • examples of the six research genres and suggested lesson plans for each;
  • ensure that contextual strategies fit within the ACRL framework;
  • reflective questions in teaching each step of the research process;
  • four different roles sources can play when researching a topic;
  • help students refine a subject that draws too many or too few sources;
  • cultivate students to become good decision makers for the best type of research sources to use according to their needs; and
  • how to fill gaps in checklist tools like the CRAAP test.

Hosier is an instructor and information literacy specialist at the University at Albany, SUNY. Her current fellowship focuses on the study and reflection on research as an activity with important contextual implications. She regularly writes about her work on her website study research.

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