As a teacher librarian, this module is reflects my own field of thinking and profession

The slideshare by Sheila Webber on Blended information behaviour and information literacy for 21st century life  (2014) was an excellent introduction to this module. The first slide places information literacy within its context of information behaviour: “Information behaviour is the totality of human behaviour in relation to sources and channels of information, including both active and passive information seeking, and information use (Wilson, 2000.49″.

The definitions of information literacy are varied, including the abilities to:

The Alexandria Proclamation (UNESCO, November 2005) –  to “empower people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals”. This proclamation moved beyond the concepts of traditional informational literacy skills to promote social inclusion, redressing disadvantage and envisaging the well-being of all within a global context (Jacobs, 2008, 257 in Kutner & Armstrong, 2012, p.28).

American Library Association which states:

to “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” This was published in ….and it is pleasing to see that the conversation has continued with the recent 2015 publication of the Framework for information literacy for higher education which recognizes the rapidly evolving information environment an our developing roles and responsibilities “in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically.” 

 I liked Johnstone and Webber’s (2013) definition (below) as it considers the concepts of academic integrity and ethical use of information to meet a specific purpose/context or need through multiple sources and formats.

“Information literacy is the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to identify, through whatever channel or medium...

Webber also shows the evolution of the concept of information literacy which has moved beyond text to incorporate visual and multimodal literacies (including digital). The concepts of being information literate with people, being information literate individually and in collaboration with others, and emphasis on the context (of purpose, culture and community, workplace, academic disciplines, in crisis and play i.e. it is “the IL of diverse individuals in their own circumstances in society and life” (slide 7, 20, 21).

However, it was Webber’s declaration that the goal for education is to ensure situational awareness rather than simply the “transfer of skills” that had me deeply reflecting my own teaching practice. Our students need to understand how they can be information literate with a wide variety of information types/sources or information-rich environments. As she comments, this will require different learning outcomes and pedagogic strategies, and means a changing role for librarians, information specialists and educators (slide 22).


Kutner, L. & Armstrong, A. (2012). Rethinking information literacy in a globalized world. Communications in Information Literacy. 6(1). pp.24-33.