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Information Literacy in the Workplace

Apr 2017 | 208pp

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9781783301324
Price: £64.95
CILIP members price: £51.95

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9781783301348
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Information Literacy in the Workplace

Edited by Marc Forster

This book explains how information literacy (IL) is essential to the contemporary workplace and is fundamental to competent, ethical and evidence-based practice.

In today’s information-driven workplace, information professionals must know when research evidence or relevant legal, business, personal or other information is required, how to find it, how to critique it and how to integrate it into one’s knowledge base. To fail to do so may result in defective and unethical practice which could have devastating consequences for clients or employers. There is an ethical requirement for information professionals to meet best practice standards to achieve the best outcome possible for the client. This demands highly focused and complex information searching, assessment and critiquing skills.

Using a range of new perspectives, Information Literacy in the Workplace demonstrates several aspects of IL’s presence and role in the contemporary workplace, including IL’s role in assuring competent practice, its value to employers as a return on investment, and its function as an ethical safeguard in the duty and responsibilities professionals have to clients, students and employers. 

Chapters are contributed by a range of international experts, including Christine Bruce, Bonnie Cheuk, Annemaree Lloyd with a foreword from Jane Secker.

Content covered includes:

  • examination of the value and impact of IL in the workplace 
  • how IL is experienced remotely, beyond workplace boundaries
  • IL’s role in professional development 
  • organizational learning and knowledge creation
  • developing information professional competencies
  • how to unlock and create value using IL in the workplace.

Readership: This book will be useful for librarians and LIS students in understanding how information literacy is experienced by professions they support; academics teaching professional courses; professionals (e.g. medical, social care, legal and business based) and their employers in showing that IL is essential to best practice and key to ethical practice. 

Figures and tables

Contributors

Foreword – Jane Secker

1. Information Literacy and the workplace: new concepts, new perspectives? – Marc Forster     

2. How is Information Literacy experienced in the workplace? – Marc Forster

3. Information Literacy and the personal dimension: team players, empowered clients and career development – Marc Forster 

4. From transaction to transformation: organizational learning and knowledge creation experience within Informed Systems – Mary M. Somerville and Christine S. Bruce

5. Virtuality at work: an enabler of professional Information Literacy – Elham Sayyad Abdi

6. Determining the value of Information Literacy for employers – Stéphane Goldstein and Andrew Whitworth

7. Information Literacy’s role in workplace competence, ‘best practice’ and the ethics of professional obligation – Marc Forster

The development of Information Literacy in the workplace

8. Learning within for beyond: exploring a workplace Information Literacy design – Annemaree Lloyd

9. Developing information professional competences in disciplinary domains: a challenge for higher education – Stephen Roberts

10. The ‘hidden’ value of Information Literacy in the workplace context: how to unlock and create value – Bonnie Cheuk

11. The ‘Workplace Experience Framework’ and evidence-based Information Literacy education – Marc Forster  

References

Index

"Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, Information Literacy in the Workplace will prove to be applicably useful for librarians and LIS students in understanding how information literacy is experienced by the professions they support and academics teaching professional courses. It will also be of interest to professionals (e.g. medical, social care, legal and business based) and their employers in showing that IL is essential to best practice and key to ethical practice." 
- Midwest Book Review

"Students, librarians, professionals and organisations would do well to consider and explore the increasingly driven imperative that IL skills will be needed in a connected, ethical, constantly evolving future, and this book provides a platform to start on this road."
- Patricia Darwish, RMIT University Library, Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association

Dr Marc Forster is a librarian at the University of West London, looking after the needs of the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare. His research interests include Information Literacy’s role in learning and in the performance of the professional role.

 

Contributors:

Christine S. Bruce, Professor, Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology

Bonnie Cheuk, Executive, Euroclear

Stéphane Goldstein, Executive Director, InformAll

Annemaree Lloyd, Professor, Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås

Stephen Roberts, Associate Professor, Information Management, University of West London

Elham Sayyad Abdi, Associate Lecturer, Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology

Mary M. Somerville, University Librarian for University of the Pacific Libraries in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Stockton, California, USA

Andrew Whitworth, Director of Teaching and Learning Strategy, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester

 

 

1. Information Literacy and the workplace: new concepts, new perspectives? – Marc Forster     

How is IL to be reconceptualized for the workplace? How should its parameters be redrawn so that librarians, academics, organizations and businesses can better understand workplace professionals and the students studying for those professions, and so effectively support them in efficient and creative engagement with the contemporary information landscape? How can IL be developed in a way that is meaningful and appropriate for them? This introduction gives a brief overview of some key issues, problems and ideas discussed in each chapter. There is a wide range of perspectives, both international and UK-based, from the contributors, often with an extensive history of thinking and writing about Information Literacy; research methodology, research findings and organizational and individual perspectives are all discussed and put into context.

2. How is Information Literacy experienced in the workplace? – Marc Forster

Chapter 2 looks at ways in which librarians, academics and researchers have sought to understand the role of IL in the workplace and elsewhere. Forster considers the questions: How is IL actually experienced in the world of work? The chapter describes how interviews are conducted in such a way that experiences can be articulated clearly and accurately. Data analysis methods are described which produce a detailed picture of the whys and hows of IL experience, and the different roles and activities that are the contexts in which information is sought and knowledge developed.

3. Information Literacy and the personal dimension: team players, empowered clients and career development – Marc Forster 

Chapter 3 uses the relational approach and information-knowledge-learning paradigm to look at IL as a ‘personal’ attribute. Information Literacy allows an employee to build on training and education to reach levels of higher competence and a wider information horizon. IL in the workplace also has a prominent inter-personal dimension. This chapter will discuss how Information Literacy helps each professional to develop and find scope for their personal capabilities, and facilitates the relationships which enable them to support and empower clients or patients and contribute in team and organizational contexts and how research can allow us to observe those experiential meanings and professional information horizons that illuminate IL at a personal level.

4. From transaction to transformation: organizational learning and knowledge creation experience within Informed Systems – Mary M. Somerville and Christine S. Bruce

In Chapter 4, Professors Mary M. Somerville and Christine S. Bruce give a vivid example of an application of the relational approach and information-knowledge-learning paradigm in the contemporary workplace. They illustrate how a workplace can be transformed for the better by using IL to inform its structures and relationships: an approach which has been given the name ‘Informed Systems’.

5. Virtuality at work: an enabler of professional Information Literacy – Elham Sayyad Abdi

In Chapter 5, Dr Elham Sayyad Abdi looks at that dimension of professional activity that transcends the workplace, through engagement with internet-wide communities of professional communication and practice. This chapter will consider how, in professions in which Virtuality is an essential component, IL can be experienced beyond workplace boundaries and in more complex ways.

6. Determining the value of Information Literacy for employers – Stéphane Goldstein and Andrew Whitworth

In Chapter 6 Stéphane Goldstein and Dr Andrew Whitworth ask the questions: How is IL valued in the workplace? What are the concrete benefits enterprises derive from recruiting, retaining and developing individuals who are information-literate? What returns on investment might be achieved in areas like providing information skills training to employees, developing new information-handling procedures, or even reconfiguring an office and going ‘paperless’? What does the IL of employees, at all levels, add to the performance of enterprises? The chapter draws on the details of a funded project that sought to identify how IL contributes to a range of indicators of value for enterprises in the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors. These indicators are mapped against five broad areas where enterprises make investments that relate to the use and handling of information and data. The chapter describes how the resulting correlation provides an analytical framework that enables enterprises to recognize how IL contributes to their corporate health.

7. Information Literacy’s role in workplace competence, ‘best practice’ and the ethics of professional obligation – Marc Forster

Chapter 7 turns its attention to how Information Literacy contributes to professional norms of competence, effectiveness and fulfilment of the ethical necessity to achieve the best possible level of practice. Forster considers that to be an effective lawyer, doctor, nurse or social worker, or to work in the financial sector, is to deal each day with information. One must know when research evidence or other relevant legal, business, personal or other information is required, how to find it, how to critique it and how to integrate it into one’s knowledge base. To fail to do so may result in defective practice. It follows that in some contexts to be information-illiterate qualifies as unethical practice, as failure to develop those competencies which allow one to operate from a complete knowledge base could have devastating consequences for clients or employers.

8. Learning within for beyond: exploring a workplace Information Literacy design – Annemaree Lloyd

In Chapter 8, Professor Annemaree Lloyd, a recognized international authority in IL and the workplace, provides an overall context and background to many of the issues around IL education and development. She discusses how the intensification of work and creation of new ways of working can present librarians with challenges. How can librarians develop IL education that provides the necessary ‘scaffolding’ for students’ transitions into professional or vocational practice? Librarians must recast their teaching practices to accommodate characteristics of and developments in the nature of work. With this in mind, Professor Lloyd uses evidence from practice-based research to construct a conceptualization of workplace IL instruction.

9. Developing information professional competencesin disciplinary domains: a challenge for higher education – Stephen Roberts

In Chapter 9 Dr Stephen Roberts describes ways in which that scaffolding might be supported from an academic perspective. The chapter is an exploration of how higher orders of information professional competence can be introduced into programmes of higher education teaching and learning, with a view to deeper and wider dissemination across other professions and domains within the workplace, and their embedding within organizational learning and personal development.

10. The ‘hidden’ value of Information Literacy in the workplacecontext: how to unlock and create value – Bonnie Cheuk

In Chapter 10 Dr Bonnie Cheuk describes how IL is intrinsic to workplace culture even if this is not recognized. She asks: if IL is important in the digital world, why don’t we see the phrase appearing in job descriptions, or listed as an essential skill similar to communication skills, time management or project management? Cheuk explores that wide range of workers who, although not necessarily described as such, are ‘information and knowledge workers’. She asks if and when IL adds value to a business, and if it does, how can information professionals play a business-driven, strategic yet pragmatic role to enhance those information and knowledge workers’ IL capabilities.

11. The ‘Workplace Experience Framework’ and evidence-based Information Literacy education – Marc Forster

In this final chapter, Marc Forster discusses a new approach to IL education for students and professionals based on detailed research into its experience in the workplace. He looks at how the ‘relational’ approach to IL education has, through research methods which yield exceptional detail, made possible the ‘Workplace Experience Framework’ and how that detail of experience can be applied to formulate a new means of monitoring an individual’s IL development.

 

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