Taking Information Literacy on the Road

Bridging Information Literacy (IL) Across Libraries has become our CMLE tag line for work we have been doing with high school media specialists and college librarians. CMLE is in a unique position to convene important conversations across library types, and IL is the first bridging topic we have chosen. The group first met in April to get acquainted and get their draft assignments. By using a wiki and email, both groups finished  draft documents by the end of May. Then, a face-t0-face meeting in July really bonded this group in ways the wiki may not have been able to do.  Initially, we were uncertain how much the groups had in common. As we talked in July however, the group acknowledged the many commonalities, and that they want to do more around this subject. They did not want to end their work!

We wanted others to hear of our “bridging experiment” and laid plans for sharing what we had learned through MLA and MEMO Conference presentations. We believe it is useful to share the process we used, some outcomes, and some exciting plans for the future. We concluded that it is not helpful to “preach to the choir”  about IL….our colleagues already get it!  Somehow, the group felt it was worth a try to reach students. To that end, we recently developed a survey for college students asking them to offer advice to younger students. Specifically, we asked “Based on your experience, if you could tell a high school student three things to help them prepare for college-level research, what would it be?” We are hopeful that younger students will heed the advice of their older peers and engage more deeply in IL . We hope to produce a short video of college students sharing their message, with quiet  supported by a librarian message, and share it broadly through You Tube.

CMLE will continue this IL work, and hope to grow the circle of involvement and engagement. In the meantime, we are on the road sharing the message, and have opened the group wiki up so others can see the draft documents.  We hope to share a polished executive summary within the next couple of months. Visit the wiki to get the draft version of the  following:

  • Media/information literacy power standards (according to three high school media specialists)
  • Typical student profiles and research frameworks for high school freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior
  • Suggested skill sets for incoming college freshmen
  • The MLA conference handout which shares key points of the work of this group, and steps going forward.

Tip: Check out the New Insights documentation on the site, which captures shifts in thinking and understanding of IL and the work of  other librarians.

Would you be interested in participating in an event where we convene a larger group of high school media specialists, college librarians, and public librarians around the topic of information literacy? Let us know in the comments….or send email to papost@stcloudstate.edu