Information Literacy Beyond the Classroom

Davidson’s librarians often experience a tension in our information literacy instruction:  we want to prepare students to do well on a particular assignment (for example, finding sources for a research paper), but we also want to teach them to think critically about their information use generally (for instance, considering the political, social, and ethical impacts of information).  This tension is reflected in our Information Literacy Vision Statement:  “We recognize the importance of educating students to understand information from a disciplinary perspective, but we also know that students need to use and create information across the disciplines and in other aspects of their lives. Additionally, information literacy must be learned, reflected upon, and practiced at the individual level.”

Ideally, our instruction will meet both goals, but because almost all of our teaching is tied to a Davidson class, we are often limited to teaching skills and concepts related to a research assignment.  It can be difficult to also teach students about other important areas of information literacy, especially since our time with them is so limited.  We’re now exploring other ways to encourage students to think about information literacy beyond the research paper and I wanted share two upcoming events:

March 12, 2016
Liberal Arts @ Work:  Senior Career Summit
Sponsored by the Center for Career Development

Sarah Crissinger and Cara Evanson will do a presentation on “Why You Won’t Have Access to JSTOR When You Graduate and What You Can Do About It.”  This will be a practical and conceptual conversation about information access after graduation.

March 19, 2016
2nd Annual Privilege Walk
Sponsored by the Davidson Quest Scholars Network

Cara Evanson and our Peer Research Advisors will join other campus organizations to raise awareness about privilege.  Library staff will cover issues related to information privilege, particularly access to information.