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Information Literacy Assessment: Global and Cultural Considerations

Contact: Dr. Lesley Farmer, Coordinator of the Library Media Teacher Program in the College of Education (CSU Long Beach)

Information literacy is a current "hot" topic in education as well as in society. But, as with other literacies, it can be difficult to define it, let alone assess the degree to which one is information literate. As academic try to help teaching faculty incorporate information literacy into the curriculum and instruct students so they can become information literate, the role of assessment becomes key - and problematic. What should be assessed, how should it be assessed, is there even a valid and feasible set of assessment tools? As important, how should the academic community act upon the data? When information literacy is considered from a global perspective, the issues become even more complex - and more critical to address.

No perfect assessment instrument exists for measuring information literacy, but hundreds of tools have been used and analyzed. This session provides a meta-analysis of the global and culture-specific patterns and trends in the content being assessed and the approaches used to measure knowledge, skills, and dispositions. The analysis will also examine the extent to which these issues have been addressed internationally, and which are shaped within a cultural context. Participants will analyze information literacy assessment tools in light of cultural assumptions and differences. Techniques for addressing cultural differences in terms of information literacy assessment will be provided, and participants will have opportunities to adapt existing information literacy assessment instruments and analyzing resultant data to take cultural biases into consideration.

Confronting Global Trends: Libraries, Information Literacy and the Emerging Global Curriculum

Presenters: Professor Dan Evans; Les Kong, Head of Public Services (CSU San Bernardino); Rick Robison; and Diana Wu, Business Reference and Instruction Librarian (San Jose State University)

Globalization impacts all sectors of our society, especially higher education, which must prepare students to have an understanding of multicultural and international environment including the need to compete successfully in an increasingly global, competitive workplace. Many higher education institutions revised their educational goals and curricula to reflect this reality. Themes or goals such as "Multi-cultural and global perspectives gained through intellectual and social exchange with people of diverse economic and ethnic backgrounds" and "In-depth knowledge of a major field of study" are common in universities today. The academic library and librarian realize that they play a vital role in achieving these goals.

This pre-conference will showcase several creative approaches and strategies to address the demands of a curriculum oriented to a global perspective and will demonstrate how libraries and librarians are an integral part of this perspective.

Topics to be addressed include the reform of curricula, to reflect the demands of globalization; evolution of successful integration of information literacy to complement these curricular reforms; trends in international business education and implications for WASC accreditation; resources, both free and fee-based, to support the new demands; research from global and/or cross-cultural perspectives.

Exciting, New Information Literacy Outreach Efforts to International Students

Contact: John Hickok, Coordinator of Library Instruction and Librarian/Instructor (CSU Fullerton)

This preconference program would offer a comprehensive model-program for outreaching to International and ESL (English as a Second Language) students in academic universities. The numbers of international and ESL students in higher education is growing steadily, and will explode as new waves of immigrant children hit college age. But what kind of information literacy skills do these student have? Often, too little. A specific, 3-step program will be thoroughly detailed on 1)outreaching to them through innovative cultural meetings (not waiting for them to come to us...going to them! Via their student clubs and ESL activities); b)establishing partner networks with other-culture libraries-and reaping fantastic benefits in crosscultural librarianship; and c)customizing reference & instruction to this population of higher-need students (i.e., cultural cues to be aware of in the reference interview; specific helps in making handouts, etc.). A multimedia modeled showcase will be presented, with detailed handouts for applying to participants' home libraries.