LILi is an acronym for a group of librarians from various types of California libraries. Our mission is to investigate information literacy definitions, standards and instruction in California. The group will use the results of the investigation to craft effective models of lifelong, sequential information literacy instruction that consider previous knowledge, abilities, specific tasks and needs, evolving technology, future opportunities, and on-going collaborations among all those committed to information literacy in California.
What is “information literacy”? There are many different definitions, although most would agree that information literacy includes the ability to identify, locate, evaluate and use information effectively and ethically or responsibly. In many institutions, librarians work hard to come up with a definition of information literacy and a list of competencies that can serve as expected learning outcomes, standards for measuring the success of information literacy instruction programs. Often, librarians then try to find out what their constituencies already know and which information literacy gaps they need to address. Once they know about the gaps, they can design programs and materials to help their learners close those gaps. Finally, librarians can measure their success in this endeavor through various means of assessment, and adjust their programs and materials accordingly.
This is a typical development, implementation, and review cycle for information literacy within an institution, and can be quite effective within a single institution. However, institutions and organizations at many levels, in many locations, and in many types of environments are developing and implementing information literacy programs. In what areas do these programs overlap? Are there gaps, areas not addressed at all, or addressed in only minimal fashion? Should there be overlaps? i.e., are there areas that need repeated instruction? Who should be responsible for helping people learn information literacy competencies, and at what educational and age levels? What emphases should be placed on which competencies, and at which educational and age levels?
LILi hopes that its investigation will lead to answers to these questions and others, as well as fruitful and effective collaborations among all of those interested in information literacy in California.
Note: For more information about LILi, see the College & Research Libraries News report on the 2012 ACRL/AASL panel session at ALA Annual, "Preparing college-ready 21st century citizens with integrated information/media literacy programs in education" (September 2012).
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