Kill Information Literacy

Yes, Information literacy must die. I am, of course, referring to the term. We need to stop saying “Information literacy” thinking it actually means something. I`ve said “Information literacy” (or “Informasjonskompetanse” as we say in Norwegian) for years without really thinking about what that was supposed to mean. And now, I find it a habit very hard to dispose of. I find myself still talking about information literacy as if it was a single concept or as an “it” at all. There is no “it”. We should rather talk about what we want the students (or staff for that matter) to be able to do. Something tangible that we can actually teach. I propose that we move towards a more practical language and start with where we are. What do we think is important? What can we teach? How can we teach? How to assess the outcomes?

I`m in the midst of writing my master thesis about the effect of information literacy courses and I get very frustrated when reading the literature available on information literacy. There is nothing but frameworks and models, and good intentions. Nothing with a bottom-up approach. Most of the literature is useless to the main practitioner.  I propose that we start with the students needs and work our way up. So, kill the term “Information literacy” and talk about what really matters: skills.

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