Sunday, February 23, 2014

Public Libraries and Information Literacy

Information Literacy and Public Libraries, a OCLC WebJunction post by Michele A. Leininger, briefly discusses the public library's role in information literacy pedagogy. She bases her post on the more simplified, deficit-based definition of information literacy pedagogy rather than Jacobs and Berg's "appreciative inquiry" approach. 

Leininger describes the public library's role in information literacy with mostly regarding adults. She argues that since adults' education took place before the internet, gaps and deficits exist in adults' information literacy. The public library is the perfect place to fill these gaps, according to Leininger, because many librarians are already engaging in pedagogy without realizing they are doing so. She also acknowledges the education needs of children and young adults whose library education in public schools is diminished due to budget cuts.

While I enjoyed  Jacob and Berg's article about an appreciative inquiry approach to information literacy and agree with many of their points, it may be unrealistic in some cases. In a public library setting, information literacy education is not always formal. Occasionally it requires the librarian to quickly teach a new skill to a patron, to make up for some "deficit" in their literacy. 

Leininger, Michele A. "Information Literacy and Public Libraries." OCLC WebJunction. OCLC. 21 March 2012. Web. 23 February 2014.

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