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What Are You Doing for National Information Literacy Awareness Month 2015?
09/28/2015

Julius Pañares

October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month.  President Obama issued the first national proclamation establishing National Information Literacy Awareness Month in 2009.  This was the first time that this important 21st century skill set received federal attention at the national level (National Forum for Information Literacy).  Since 2009, twenty-five states and one territory have issued Information Literacy Awareness Proclamations and Ohio is one of the twenty-five according to Professor Sharon Weiner, W. Wayne Booker Chair in Information Literacy at Purdue University Library.  In 2012, Governor Kasich in his proclamation set out to “remind all citizens of the importance of the role of all libraries and librarians – academic, public, school and special – in teaching information literacy, which fosters educational opportunities, economic prosperity, social cohesion, democracy, and quality of life.”  The upcoming 2016 presidential election certainly illuminates the importance of information literacy practice across the nation but what do you do as the information specialists in your building, in your district to help students and teachers? “Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College” (Head 2013) conducted by University of Washington’s Project Information Literacy illuminates that the Google-centric search skills that first year students bring from high school are insufficient and will only get them “so far with finding and using the trusted sources they need for fulfilling college research assignments” (Head 2013).  So this year, I want to know what YOU are doing in your building or district to help students identify the information that is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically, and then share the information?  I have created a Google Community at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/116384189745514596023 for you to post instructional videos, lesson plans, websites, etc. for the school librarian community as part of Information Literacy Awareness Month.  This is how school librarians roll!