Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Literacy Skills of Faculty Members: A Study of the University of Lahore, Pakistan

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Literacy Skills of Faculty Members: A Study of the University of Lahore, Pakistan

Article excerpt

Introduction

The University of Lahore (UOL) is a leading university in the field of higher education and is regarded as one of the foremost private sector general universities of Pakistan with diverse disciplines ranging from Medicine and Engineering to the Arts and Social Sciences. University comprises three "purpose built" campuses in Lahore, Islamabad and Sargodha having nine diverse faculties and 28 departments. Approximately 1200 faculty members are serving the University of Lahore in different departments and campuses (The Universoty of Lahore, 2013).

Teachers are the core employees of universities and they extensively contribute towards the attainment of institutional goals. With the emergence of ICT, teachers are facing variety of options to teach and learn. There is a bundle of resources in front of faculty members to prepare themselves from which they have to consult to plan for teaching their students, as students and learners are well aware and more responsible. Faculty members now have to get up to date themselves with new trends of teaching, searching and learning more than the students.

There is no such program in the University of Lahore (UOL) to educate faculty members about library use, library online public access catalog (OPAC) and online databases to retrieve their related and required information efficiently and effectively which they have usually needed in their teaching and research work.

Information literacy has been defining significantly by different researchers in several parts of the world. These efforts are made mostly in academic environment (Campbell, 2008). Paul G. Zurkowski, president of the Information Industry Association, firstly used the term "information literacy" in 1974. He referred this term to the competencies of the people to identify information sources to meet the information needs by using and applying related technology (Boekhorst & Britz, 2004) .

Information literacy is a new concept emerged in different fields during last three decades. American Library Association (1989) defines Information literacy as, "to be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information(p. 1)." UNESCO (2005), the Alexandria Proclamation of 2005, defines information literacy as "encompasses knowledge of one's information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of lifelong learning." According to The SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy, "information literate people will demonstrate an awareness of how they gather, use, manage, synthesize and create information and data in an ethical manner and will have the information skills to do so effectively"(Bent & Stubbings, 2011, p. 3).

Information literacy is therefore a wider concept than that described by librarians as the information seeking process is (University of Auckland, 2005):

* Defining the topic

* Selecting and using resources

* Locating information

* Evaluating resources

* Documenting the research

Bent and Stubbings (2011) stated in his study on the seven pillars of information literacy that Information literacy is a general term comprises digital audiovisual media, techniques and skills of information and knowledge management. Rehman and Alfaresi (2009) studied that there is a little bit difference between the terms;, bibliographic assistance, user education and library instruction from information literacy as information literacy has been used in a wider context of identifying needed information and locating related sources to fulfill one's information need to become a life-long learner of an informed citizen. …

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