Information Literacy in the workplace: implications for trainers By Dr. Mark Hepworth Department of Information Science Loughborough University
Reactions to the phrase information literacy We keep interpreting that as IT skills As soon as I see it, I just think computers Not aware of the underlying thought processes or behaviours of the workplace. Are aware of their roles, tasks and problematic situations. Need to tease out the data, information and knowledge intensive aspects of their experiences.
Experiences that relate to data, information and knowledge intensive experiences I see my job as more using information than finding it. I end up coordinating the production of things but dont actually do it myself. I think information overload is horrendous Keeping on top of what is happening I use people a lot to find out information networking with people is far more productive than anything that comes out of meetings I would like contact with other people in the same role
Experiences that relate to data, information and knowledge intensive experiences we need to know what all the figures are within each individual account. We need to substantiate them and check The Finance system gives details on each of the funds I need to create a simple search of a range of codes One of the major difficulties accessing the information was trying to do it tactfully and diplomatically without breaking the deal. I am evaluating information all the time it needs to be digested and appropriate action taken. it was a matter of taking bits I wanted to use from each document and putting them together.
Experiences that relate to data, information and knowledge intensive experiences A lot of the time it is not trusting what you are looking at. I often keep the information I find for future reference. There are problems with storage. Having the ability to receive information, file and archive it with easy access to the archives would help me. I am trying to push people to put more on the shared drive and people are moving that way. The final report was a written report with as few numbers as I could get away with just headline numbers to focus minds. I do a lot of power-point presentations for departments and research groups and senior management
Hence we can see a range of informational activities Additions to LIS conceptions of IL The management of data forms a significant part of this work Data and information management is often associated with internal systems Oral communication and social networking is key to the workplace informational processes are embedded in the social context Peoples data, information and knowledge experience varies within the group
Assesses the information need Determines how to approach the information need Formulates effective search strategies Selects and evaluates information sources, including people and institutional information systems Retrieves information Secures information from a range of sources, Has good listening and questioning skills Organises information Manages a personal collection of resources for reference Effectively uses electronic information alerts, delivery and feeds Manages email and discussion lists Summarise complex information using a variety of techniques Is able to prioritise information tasks Evaluates information critically Assess quality, quantity and relevance of retrieved information Revises search strategies and repeats as necessary Checks with peers and colleagues Adapts information Interprets information found to match information need Creates new knowledge for self and others Recognises accumulation of new knowledge Ability to act with incomplete information Communicates information Shares information with others Uses appropriate systems/method to disseminate information Acts an information source for colleagues Identifies an information need Determines the nature and extent of the need Confers with others in team and in wider organisation Is aware of a range of internal and external information sources, including people Is familiar with institutional information dissemination sources Reflects on practice Acts as reflective practitioner Reflects on effectiveness of task Adapts and repeats Reviews own skills, identifies existing gaps in skills or knowledge Reviews skill needs with colleagues The information literate worker may do some or all of the following
Recognising the social
Use of sources Information user Organisational Web sites Sector, job specific publications People network Discussion lists Internal organisational ICT Systems and data sources External data sources Internal reports, manuals, procedures Current awareness
Management of sources
Conclusion Need to understand the workplace and the experiences and perceptions of people in it. Focus on interventions that enable people to become a part of and an effective player in their work context. Help people resolve their problems and deal with situations they recognise. some of which will relate to LIS conceptions of IL and some will not