Youth Librarians and Information Literacy

Information Literacy is an incredibly important topic at the moment as new tools like iPads allow more ways for learning to move into the classroom and libraries. The important part is figuring out what’s happening with that conversation. So for this week’s reading, I went exploring into the lovely databases of the University of Michigan to try and find three articles that address this topic. On my twitter feed, I actually just read an article about transliteracy so part of this search is me trying to see what I can find in journal’s that reflects this conversation. So through a bit of searching I was able to find the post which was on Tame the Web by Jessica Thompson, I’m going to link it here since I think it shows a good explanation of how transliteracy is a new term that can cover so many things.

One article that I found which seems to hit all the points that have been discussed lately is Self-Assessment: Challenging Students to Take Charge of Learning by Violet Harada in School Library Monthly from June 2010. She lays out how to take apart the teaching process so that students are aware of all the choices they’re making as they do their research. She lays out clear lists of ways to get students involved in the process all the way through and make sure that they feel like they have agency. For me this was such a strong and clear way to present things because a teacher can use this article to really help them see ways to adjust their learning style if they don’t have time for a full change.

Another article I found that looks in depth at how best to combine writing and research is from Reference and User Services Quarterly Fall 2009, volume 49, issue 1 and its called Transforming the One-Shot Library Session into Pedagogical Collaboration: Information Literacy and the English Composition Class. I found that this article had a lot of advice that would work for many different groups who need to work together to teach a common goal. It looked at an English Composition teacher working with a librarian to bring Information Literacy into the classroom and what worked and what didn’t.

The last article that I found approaches the question of information literacy from another angle, that of video games. I appreciate how this article puts together community goals and what is a library and how video games can help promote a library’s goals. Its called The Case for Video Games in Libraries and it was published in Library Review in 2009, volume 58, issue 3 by Suellen S. Adams. This article takes on the idea that young people don’t learn anything from video games by showing that video games actually help with different types of learning such as spatial relations. Then the author talks about how by having video games in the library, youth will want to spend more time in the library and it will help boost the community atmosphere as something that’s play is brought into a shared space. I know this is already happening and it reminded me of an article I read in the New York Times about a charter school that based its curriculum on video games, so students used them to learn everything and designed their own. Honestly it seemed to be taking things a bit far to me but also as if it could be effective in moderation, which is what most schools or libraries would be able to afford.

Now I can finally add the link to my screencast which is here for how to use Library World.



Filed under professional practice reflection

8 responses to “Youth Librarians and Information Literacy

  1. Heidi B

    I think in the articles you posted, its interesting to see the different approaches to learning- having the students dissect their own process, how to use it in a class taught multiple times and how to use video games to facilitate learning. Everyone learns differently, and having multiple approaches allows everyone a chance to learn in a way that is best for them.

  2. Kristin

    Hi, Kate – As you know, I’m a big Harada fan. Can you unpack these articles a bit more, giving us a bit more of their content and your reaction to them? And remember to reflect on class!

  3. asteino

    I think its interesting that many people think video games don’t teach anything. I remember when I was in the third grade, I learned to type by using a super mario game on an old apple computer. Plus they also help teach hand eye coordination. Depending on the game, strategy as well. Can you tell I’m a gamer?

    • I am too and that’s why this article caught my eye. Though I do find it interesting how gaming can get put into various sections; video games, computer games and then other stuff like roleplaying games.

  4. Kayla

    I’m going to have to read that video game article! I, too, agree that video games do have educational value, and can even be springboards for further learning– I remember that I first became really interested in Ancient Roman history when I started playing Age of Empires in junior high. Additionally, as I inferred from many of my readings, complex problem solving abilities are a key component of information literacy. A lot of great video games require the players to solve various types of problems (one that immediately springs to mind is Quest for Glory, but I’m sure there are examples that are a little more, um, recent…), and, I really think, require players to engage in higher order thinking. It’s wonderful that libraries include video games, but I think that it is also very important for librarians to be able to defend this decision, and thinking about video games (even ones that aren’t generally considered educational) as a tool promoting information literacy is a great way to do so!

    • I don’t play a lot of video games myself but the ones that are more open ended and require you to think about the effects of your action seem quite complex. Since you never know which action might come back to haunt you. Also they can even be a way to teach young people about morality and being responsible along with problem solving. They just have a lot of possibilities.

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