Low Levels of Teacher Information Literacy Awareness and Collaboration Between Librarians and Teachers in Information Literacy Instruction
A Review of:
McKeever, C., Bates, J., & Reilly, J. (2017). School library staff perspectives on teacher information literacy and collaboration. Journal of Information Literacy, 11(2), 51-68. https://doi.org/10.11645/11.2.2187
Objective – Researchers sought to determine school library staff perspectives on the information literacy knowledge held by secondary school teachers, and teacher relationships with the library.
Design – Interviews analyzed with thematic and axial coding.
Setting – Secondary schools in Northern Ireland.
Subjects – 21 schools across Northern Ireland were selected as a sample, including urban, rural, integrated, grammar, and secondary schools. 16 schools ultimately participated.
Methods – Semi-structured interviews were conducted with one library staff member at each selected secondary school. Interview audio and notes were transcribed and coded thematically both manually by the researchers and using NVivo. Categories were identified by open coding, then relationships identified via axial coding.
Main Results – The majority (10 of 16) of library staff members interviewed expressed that they had not been asked about information literacy by teachers, and only one library staff member described a truly collaborative instructional relationship with teaching staff. The majority of staff expressed either that teachers were familiar with concepts related to information literacy but did not know the name for them, or, that they thought information literacy was entirely unfamiliar to teachers at their school. Staff frequently cited competing priorities (for example, standardized testing) and limited class time as potential causes for teachers not focusing on information literacy concepts.
Conclusion – Both cultural and policy changes need to be made in schools to prioritize information literacy as a core competency for both students and teachers. The researchers call for greater intra-school collaboration as a means to achieve this cultural change.
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