Although I’ve been interested in critical education for some time, I never really thought about applying it directly to information literacy before. It has always been part of my overall philosophy in the classroom, but my experience with information literacy in the classroom has been focused primarily on skills training. I have to thank James Elmborg, for changing that and inspiring me to think differently about my role as librarian and educator. His article, “Critical Information Literacy: implications for instructional practice,”was really the beginning of a new direction for me and has allowed me to get excited about my profession again.
A number of other librarians have been writing about the need for a critical information literacy (I’ll include a brief bibliography at the end of this post), but it is still a relatively new idea and is currently lacking a fully developed theory and an idea of what that theory might mean in practical terms. I know that it will definitely require some work on the part of librarians to change current attitudes about the role of librarians as instructors. There have been a few attempts to put together some critical information literacy courses (I’ll include some of these in a future post) and they look very good, but I think it might be a long time before we can offer a full course in information literacy at my institution. I suspect this will be the case at many other colleges and universities and the problem is even greater for public and school libraries.
In this blog, I would like to try to further develop a theory of critical information literacy and share ideas about different methods for teaching people to think about information critically and to apply critical theory to our role as collectors, organizers, searchers, and creators of information. Any and all input from others interested in these issues would be much appreciated.
Critical Information Literacy: an incomplete bibliography
Doherty, John J., “Empowering the Intentional Learner: A Critical Theory for Information Literacy Instruction,” Library Philosophy and Practice 8, 1 (2005).
Doherty, John J., “Towards Self-Reflection in Librarianship: What is Praxis?” Progressive Librarian, Issue 26, Winter 2005/2006.
Elmborg, James, “Critical Information Literacy: Implications for Instructional Practice,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 32, 2 (2006): 192-199.
Holschuh Simmons, Michelle, “Librarians as Disciplinary Discourse Mediators: Using Genre Theory to Move Toward Critical Information Literacy,” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 5, 3 (2005): 297
Kapitzke,Cushla, “Information Literacy: A Positivist Epistemology and a Politics of Outformation,” Educational Theory 53(1)
Kapitzke,Cushla, “Information Literacy: The Changing Library,” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 44, 5 (February 2001): 452.
Lankshear, C., Snyder, I., & Green, B. (2000). Teachers and technoliteracy: Managing literacy, technology and learning in schools. St. Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Luke, Allan, & Cushla Kapitzke, “Literacies and Libraries: archives and cybraries,” Curriculum Studies 7, 3 (1999): 467-491.
Swanson, Troy A., “A Radical Step: Implementing a Critical Information Literacy Model,” portal: Libraries and the Academy 4, 2 (2004): 259-273.
Read Full Post »