Community Colleges & Info Lit

Hey, wow. I’m part of a growing trend. According the Chronicle of Higher Edumacation, information literacy is becoming a larger part of instruction for community college students.

Such courses are designed to help students find, communicate, and critically evaluate online information. The average percentage increase in the number of these classes offered from the fall semester of 2006 to the fall semester of 2007 was 38.1 percent, according to the survey.

I know, I know – the article is over a week old. I been busy!

Anyhoo, I tend to agree with Kate, who commented on the article:

Stretched local school budgets have led to the elimination of K-12 school library professionals in many states. This shortfall in access to information literacy instruction in pre-college education settings will impact college instruction demands for many years.

Yet even if K-12 students received the info-lit instruction they deserve, there would still be plenty of need for community colleges (and other higher educational institutions) to make info-lit mandatory. Information technology continues to diversify through constant innovation, industry trends, and improvement in user accessibility and options. These changes may seem really nifty to information professionals like me and my colleagues, but they are not as intuitive as their designers believe, nor are they suitable to all styles of learning and research. Moreover, this diversity has offered students a range of choices far beyond their expertise. That’s where we library nerds come in.

And I should add, I don’t think we can stress enough responsible and ethical information practice. I mean, forget Jayson Blair or Margaret Seltzer. Judith Miller, anyone?


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