A recent post on the blog Alt Ref has gotten me thinking about information literacy in the 2.0 world. In his post, Brian stats that info lit is "very Un-Library 2.0 (the 'proper way vs. your way)". Why is this and how can it be changed?
The IL standards are broadly: Know, Access, Evaluate, Use and Ethics. IL should ideally help the students recognize when they need information, how to get that information, how to use it and do so ethically. The clash comes in the access/retrieval part of the process. Part of the problem is that the resources that we are trying to teach students to use in academic libraries are not library 2.0 oriented themselves. The 2.0 world is very social and database creators and vendors are not following suite with the library 2.0 trends that we see elsewhere (ie. they don't allow tagging, etc). In order to get half decent results, students need to be taught how to use the product. But does this mean that information literacy is un-library 2.0?
Web searching using Google and the like is not necessarily a bad thing. However, we do need to teach students how they can get the most out of the search engines and especially how to evaluate the sites they find. Many students don't look past the first page of returned results. I don't think it's not a bad thing to teach them how to search better. The proper way does not necessarily mean that their way of searching is wrong. Often times, their way of searching leaves them frustrated and in need of help. By teaching them how to search better, or perhaps properly, we are saving them time, frustration, and hopefully they can produce better papers. Furthermore, evaluation skills are incredibly important in the 2.0 world and information literacy is essential in forming this skill.
So how can we reconcile the two (library 2.0 vs. info lit; 'proper' way vs. your way)? Perhaps we can try creating wikis instead of pathfinders, which will help the students identify appropriate resources. Students can add to the wikis and tags can be implemented. We need to let vendors and database creators know that there products are not serving our patrons as well as they possibly could.
These are just some quick thoughts on the topic. I plan to do some more thinking on this. I've got lots of questions, such as: does information literacy need to be 2.0 and if not, is that a bad thing, if so, how can we achieve it? Look for more to come.