Teaching and learning in the 21st century requires more than a set of skills, it involves processes with attributes which promotes effective application of knowledge and understandings. Abilock (2004) states that information literacy (IL) is a transformational process in which the learner is required to find, understand, evaluate and use information in diverse forms to construct meaning for personal, social and or global purposes. It can also be argued that an information literate person is one who can identify a clear purpose for information. It is the central foundational process of the holistic approach to lifelong learning of which skills alone can not support individual achievements.
The questions surrounding the definition of information literacy indicates that it does not stand alone. Underneath its complex nature are also disciplinary concepts that support effective application of ones knowledge and understandings, prior experiences, environment, culture, goals and purposes that motivates them to engage in acquiring or use information. Abilock (2004) and also Herring (2007) discusses that IL shares essential set of core thinking, problem –solving meta-cognitive skills with other disciplines. These disciplines include analysis, comparison of perspectives, assessment and engaging students in developing mastery information literacy over a period of time. For instance the role of the teacher-librarian in assisting students to acquire information to problem-solve requires information literacy skills, but most importantly a process to serve as a guide. Therefore to be literate involves a process that gives meaning to the content. A set of skills on its own may not achieve many results unless it is accompanied by effective processes. Langford (1998) mentions that information literacy is a process which includes means of personal empowerment for all. This is demonstrated through the ability to confidently access information effectively to express and challenge ideas. Herring (2007) and also Tarter (2006) supports Langford’s discussion by arguing that students do not only learn how to apply a range of skills, but can also reflect and evaluate the content of their learning.
The role of the TL is to assist students with clear purpose, which makes learning easier to understand. When the content of their learning is broken into digestible chunks, students are more likely to perform to the best of their ability. To what good use can acquiring a set of skills be to students learning if they are not governed by authentic cross disciplines such as reflections and effect feedback which supports learning outcomes.
Literacy is an ongoing process, one does not develop a set of skills and stops there. As learning needs changes and technology advances, the challenge of learning new information literacy skills, attributes and processes become essential. The role of the teacher-librarian in facilitating learning is once more challenged to ensure that information literacy is understood to be more than a set of skills but being given its rightful place. For teachers and students can only claim to have made progress on a number of fronts. Therefore with collaboration, students in BHPS will be taught basic skills in information technology, research strategies and referencing through the library program.
Abilock, D (2004). Information literacy: an overview of design, process and outcomes. Retrieved on the December 17, 2012, from topic 4 readings, Hyperlink http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/lover/infolit1.html
Bundy, A. (Ed.). (2004). Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: Principals, standards and practice (2nd ed.).Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) and Council ofAustraliaUniversity Librarians (CAUL).
Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. InFerguson(Ed.) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information. Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies,CharlesSturtUniversity.
Langford, L. (1998). Information literacy: a clarification. Retrieved on the December 17, 2012, from topic 4 readings, Hyperlink http://www.fno.org/sept98/clarify.html
Herring, J., & Tarter, A. (2006). Progress in developing information literacy in a secondary school using the PLUS model.CharlesSturtUniversity,Wagga Wagga,Australia