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FEDLIB  July 2008

FEDLIB July 2008

Subject:

Contents of LIBRI, Volume 58, Number 2, June 2008

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Date:

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Libri is a long-established, peer-reviewed journal, which is widely indexed and is monitored by the ISI Citation Indexes.  Subscribers to the printed edition enjoy immediate access to the current issues online.  Libri makes full-text articles available online without subscription one year after publication.  Visit: http://www.librijournal.org 

CONTENTS  (abstracts below)

Information: Interactions and Impact (i3) - an Introduction
DOROTHY WILLIAMS

From Information to Meaning: Confronting Challenges of the Twenty-first Century
CAROL C. KUHLTHAU

Information Mastering, Perceived Health and Societal Status: An Empirical Study of the Finnish Population
STEFAN EK AND GUNILLA WIDÉN-WULFF

What Matters? Shaping Meaningful Learning through Teaching Information Literacy
LOUISE LIMBERG, MIKAEL ALEXANDERSSON, ANNIKA LANTZ-ANDERSSON, AND LENA FOLKESSON

Information Practices in Elementary School
ANNA LUNDH AND LOUISE LIMBERG

Evaluating the Impact of Information Literacy in Higher Education: Progress and Prospects
DAVID STREATFIELD AND SHARON MARKLESS

Community Information Literacy: Developing an Australian Research Agenda
HELEN PARTRIDGE, CHRISTINE BRUCE, AND CHRISTINE TILLEY

Sense-Making and Synchronicity: Information-Seeking Behaviors of Millennials and Baby Boomers
LYNN SILIPIGNI CONNAWAY , MARIE L. RADFORD, TIMOTHY J. DICKEY, JOCELYN DE ANGELIS WILLIAMS, AND PATRICK CONFER


ABSTRACTS BELOW

From Information to Meaning: Confronting Challenges of the Twenty-first Century
CAROL C. KUHLTHAU
Abstract. New challenges arise for researchers and practitioners as we move away from concentration on the technology of searching, and turn our attention to using information for problem solving and creativity in the workplace and daily living. This paper explores links between information behavior, information literacy and the impact of information, drawing on the author's research into the user's perspective of information seeking and use and the model of the Information Search Process (ISP). The ISP model describes thoughts, actions and feelings in six stages of interacting with information to construct meaning. Central to the ISP model is the finding that information commonly increases uncertainty in the early stages of the search process. Increased uncertainty creates a zone of intervention for intermediaries and system designers that support users in their quest for seeking meaning from information. Innovative approaches to interaction between people and information are needed to bridge the divide between information behavior, information literacy and impact of information in order to address issues of the twenty-first century.

Information Mastering, Perceived Health and Societal Status: An Empirical Study of the Finnish Population
STEFAN EK AND GUNILLA WIDÉN-WULFF
Abstract. Health education programmes are generally based on the assumption that health-promoting knowledge and corresponding behaviour are automatically created as people are subjected to a rich flow of information. Improved knowledge is, however, not the same as good behaviour. Information is not synonymous with knowledge; neither is the transformation of knowledge into behaviour a simple or linear process. There are indications of gaps among the different strata of population in society, with some groups being able to gain more from societal efforts than others. In health matters, health literacy skills, i.e. health information mastering, has been emphasised as a crucial asset. The aim of this paper is to show the links that exist between an individual's everyday life information mastering, subjective health status and social position. The objective is also to provide an introduction to the theory of the sense of coherence. A particular aim is to point out the close relationship between the sense of coherence and information mastering. The results show clearly that there is a very strong social determinant in health. The relationship between the sense of coherence and self-rated health is also very strong, as well as the relationship between the sense of coherence and self-rated social class. According to the results of this study, and also as the theory predicts, the sense of coherence seems to be rooted in the ability to manage, cope with, and process information - that is, in information mastering.

What Matters? Shaping Meaningful Learning through Teaching Information Literacy
LOUISE LIMBERG, MIKAEL ALEXANDERSSON, ANNIKA LANTZ-ANDERSSON, AND LENA FOLKESSON
Abstract. The point of departure for this article is an assumed gap between the different communities concerned with the practices of teaching or researching information literacy. Its purpose is to discuss some critical features of teaching information literacy identified in three previous research studies with a view toward understanding how they support meaningful learning outcomes and what the implications of this understanding are for information literacy education. The analysis is framed by a sociocultural perspective of learning that views information seeking and learning as social practices set within the discursive practice of school. The findings indicate that teacher/student interaction with a focus on learning goals and content is a vital condition for students' meaningful learning. Focus on the object of teaching, away from information seeking skills toward an emphasis on the quality of students' research questions, on negotiating learning goals between pedagogues and students, and on the critical evaluation of information sources related to the knowledge contents of students' assignments improves learning. The conclusions are that observing such critical features of information literacy in teaching may allow the discursive practice of school to be reshaped in favour of more genuine research-based learning. A second conclusion is that there are mutual benefits in a closer interaction between the communities of teaching and researching information literacy.

Information Practices in Elementary School
ANNA LUNDH AND LOUISE LIMBERG
Abstract. This article presents a qualitative study that examines the roles of pedagogues in elementary schools with regard to young children's information literacy. The concept of information literacy is seen from a sociocultural perspective, as a dimension of literacy that varies in different social practices. Further, from this perspective the importance of the mediating functions of tools used in information seeking is stressed. Data was collected from a Swedish village school from one focus group interview and two individual interviews with different kinds of pedagogues. Problem-centred teaching was also observed in five forms with pupils aged 6-8. In the analysis an overarching division or two discourses connected to information literacy emerged. On the one hand, literacy, aesthetic activities and the reading of fiction were the focus and, on the other hand, there was a focus on information literacy, utilitarian information-seeking activities and ICT tools. It is also shown that information seeking is given a certain meaning in problem-centred activities in elementary school. The authors consider that the discourses found in the empirical material might have implications for the concept of information literacy, if they are explored to a fuller extent.

Evaluating the Impact of Information Literacy in Higher Education: Progress and Prospects
DAVID STREATFIELD AND SHARON MARKLESS
Abstract. The past few years have seen a growing interest by library staff in information literacy interventions focussed on students and, more recently, on postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. This paper reviews progress to date in evaluating the impact of information literacy work in Higher Education in the UK. It also describes a collaborative UK national initiative in which various university library teams engaged in evaluating information literacy. Finally it proposes a research design for further evaluation work in higher education, combining a new student-focussed framework for information literacy development (already field-tested) and application of concept mapping as a diagnostic tool.

Community Information Literacy: Developing an Australian Research Agenda
HELEN PARTRIDGE, CHRISTINE BRUCE, AND CHRISTINE TILLEY
Abstract. The majority of information literacy (IL) research has been conducted within the confines of educational or workplace settings. Little to no research has explored IL in community contexts. This paper will consider the current state of IL research within the community setting. The paper uses three recent IL studies as a vehicle for developing an Australian community IL research agenda. Three observations are made about community information literacy (CIL) and CIL research: (i) it is multi- and inter-disciplinary; (ii) it has a learning lens; and (iii) it has a pluralistic approach. The CIL research agenda should be seen as practical and real - it is about real people, doing real things in real life contexts. To achieve this we must bring together a research community that is ready to cross boundaries and forge relationships with other groups. In addition a coherent and structured research agenda should be established.

Sense-Making and Synchronicity: Information-Seeking Behaviors of Millennials and Baby Boomers
LYNN SILIPIGNI CONNAWAY , MARIE L. RADFORD, TIMOTHY J. DICKEY, JOCELYN DE ANGELIS WILLIAMS, AND PATRICK CONFER
Abstract. A challenge facing libraries is to develop and update collections and services to meet the needs of the multiple generations of users with differing approaches to information seeking. The different characteristics and information needs of 'Baby Boomers' and 'Millennials' present a dichotomy for library service and system development. Results are reported here for two research projects that investigated habits and needs of library users and non-users. Both studies sought to identify how and why individuals seek and use information. The first study deals with the findings of focus group interviews with seventy-eight randomly selected participants, and fifteen semi-structured interviews with a subset of these participants. The second study reports the results of focus group interviews with twenty-three Millennials, and an analysis of 492 virtual reference services (VRS) transcripts. The studies indicate that both generations consistently identify Google and human sources as the first sources they use for quick searches. The younger Millennials mentioned consulting parents most frequently, while the older Millennials consult friends and professors. Baby Boomers indicate that they consult their personal libraries and colleagues. The findings have implications for the development of next generation library online catalogs, as well as services, including VRS.

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