Information Literacy in school libraries

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Presentation by Sheila Webber Information School, University of Sheffield United Kingdom Venue: Empatic International Workshop - Schools Sector in Krakow, Poland Date: 8 June 2011


  • 1. Information Literacy in school libraries
    Sheila Webber
    Information School, University of Sheffield
    June 2011
    International IL Logo:

2. Progression of Information Literacy
Progression = steady development of IL, year on year
Progression through school years
Progression within subjects (IL within geography, English etc.)
Lifelong learning: progression from early years, and helping transition to college/ university
Can be helped by adopting a model or framework for IL
3. Model/ framework of IL
Many models (e.g. Big6, James Herrings model)
Success when adopt clear, easily understood model and make it widely available
Model adopted by school
Known by teachers and students
Used in lessons
Visible in classrooms e.g. on wall
Which model is chosen: may depend on country/ curriculum/ school
4. Contextualising IL in school/ national curriculum
In UK: national curricula dictate what is taught
Williams and Wavells research: even teachers interested in IL feel they have no space to teach it
Therefore importance of getting IL formally into national curriculum
Otherwise: can show how IL supports key elements of the curriculum
Example: Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland: Scottish Library and Information Council (2009) Improving libraries for learners.
5. National frameworks for IL
Frameworks for IL through life
Scottish IL framework
Welsh IL framework
Welsh example
Involving key government agencies (not just librarians) in core planning
Linking framework to national educational framework
Developing examples of IL in different contexts to demonstrate value
Scottish case studies in schools at different age levels
Welsh examples including IL helping employability and citizenship etc.
6. Status of librarian
Obviously valuable if law saying that school has to have a librarian ;-)
Campaign for librarians not just libraries
Being seen as trained professional colleague by teachers
Being supported by senior managers in schools (Head Teacher etc.)
Being respected by pupils (personal qualities and confidence of librarian + how treated by teachers)
7. Approaches to teaching
Copyright Kevin Sheehan, School Librarian of the Year 2010
8. Looking @ Practice Finding and using information: Early LevelI listen or watch for useful or interesting information and I use this to make choices to learn new things. LIT 0.04aInformation Literacy in Junior (Primary) 1St Margarets School, Edinburgh
Irving, Christine. (2010) Begin at the beginning -Information and Critical Literacy in Curriculum for Excellence Early & First Level (Nursery & Primary Schools) Presented at the LILAC Conference, Limerick, 29 March 2010.
9. Critical and digital literacy
Creating information
Managing online identity
Assessing information from web, people, print etc.
10. Goals
Helping people customise IL to national/ school context (rather than attempting to get a model of IL to fit everyones needs)
Ammunition, examples, support in getting IL into national education strategy and into local school strategy
Models of school librarian education, role and status
Recommendations/ roles for other stakeholders: parents, government, teachers, public & university libraries
Examples of IL in different subjects, levels (age and ability), meeting different learning outcomes; examples using terminology of educators (which can vary between countries)
11. Web resources
James Herrings blog
Scottish IL Project
(UK) School Library Association
Welsh Information Literacy Project
12. UK documents
Morris, E. (2010) School Libraries: a plan for improvement. Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, and the National Literacy Trust. (Report of an official Commission inquiring into school libraries)
School Library Association. (2010) Primary School Library Charter. Swindon: SLA.
Scottish Library and Information Council. (2009) Improving Libraries for Learners: supporting learning and meeting needs. Motherwell: SLIC
13. Sheila Webber
Information School, University of Sheffield, UK
Twitter and Second Life: Sheila Yoshikawa