Information Literacy and the School Library Media Center

Information Literacy and the School Library Media Center

Information Literacy and the School Library Media Center

Information Literacy and the School Library Media Center

Synopsis

Information Literacy and the School Library Media Center concentrates on how information literacy is implemented throughout all curriculum areas through the collaborative efforts of classroom teachers and school library media specialists. Chapters include: Collaboration; Flexible Schedule; Process Learning; and Assessment among other important topics. Included are samples of state and local standards and examples of correlations to selected curricular standards, as well as an explanation of how to integrate standards in information literacy and another curricular area for maximum instructional success.

Excerpt

In the one-room school I attended for grades K-5, we had a small room we called the library. There were four shelves from which the teacher told me I could take books to read. In the six years I attended the school, I never did find out who used the other books. I don't remember ever getting new ones. We did not do any research, as all the information we needed was in our text- books. I learned about card catalogs and author, title, and subject cards, not because we had a card catalog (which we didn't), but because those questions were on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. I discovered once I got to high school that just because I could answer the test questions didn't mean I could use the library.

My schooling began more than 50 years ago. Much has changed since then, including our information needs. The local neighborhood and the nearby town defined my world. As a result my information needs were few and readily available from my parents or the newspaper. The same cannot be said for children today. Their world is full of news from strange-sounding places like Uzbekistan, and they hear about poverty and war in Sudan. Many have physically traveled to different parts of the United States or made virtual trips via the Internet and television to other parts of the world. I grew up in a homogeneous community, but students today have in their classrooms chil- dren from various cultures, some of whom do not speak English. To say that children today have greater information needs and need access to more information is something of an understatement.

The amount of information keeps increasing; therefore students must be- come discerning consumers of information. As a K-12 student I could be as- sured that the books I used had been edited, the information was accurate, and the author was someone who knew the subject. Not so today! Anyone can publish on the Internet. One needs no special training, no specific knowledge in a subject area, and no editor. Consequently much of what is published on the Internet is suspect. The information must be scrutinized for accuracy, au- thority, and bias. These are skills that students must learn. In other words, stu- dents must become critical thinkers. An information literacy cuniculum provides the standards for students to become critical users of information.

The library media specialist is the person responsible for teaching the in- formation literacy curriculum in many schools. Since becoming information literate is an active process, one in which the learner must actively seek knowledge rather than just sitting and absorbing facts, a different type of teaching methodology must evolve. The library media specialist must be- come a coach guiding the students through a research process.

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