Sunday, September 30, 2012

October is Information Literacy Awareness Month

This October marks the third anniversary of President Barack Obama's Proclamation of National Information Literacy Awareness Month.  In a well-crafted press release, President Obama explains that the imperative to be information literate is one that is tied to our responsibilities as citizens in a participatory democracy.  He writes,
Though we may know how to find the information we need, we must also know how to evaluate it. Over the past decade, we have seen a crisis of authenticity emerge. We now live in a world where anyone can publish an opinion or perspective, whether true or not, and have that opinion amplified within the information marketplace. At the same time, Americans have unprecedented access to the diverse and independent sources of information, as well as institutions such as libraries and universities, that can help separate truth from fiction and signal from noise.
Obama's Proclamation has resonated in the library world, and in the community at the University of Montevallo.  We are entering the second major year of our Quality Enhancement Plan, a multi-year focus on information literacy in all phases of the curriculum.  As Montevallo's Information Literacy Librarian, I've begun to think about exactly what it means to be information literate students and citizens in the digital age.

Today, information literacy is about much more than finding and evaluating sources.  It's about combining these critical faculties with our ability to manage our time and focus our attention.  We are limited by the extent to which we can distil massive amounts of information and parlay what we learn about into direct action.  Barack Obama's remarks at the 2010 commencement of Hampton University present the challenges today's learners face very clearly.  Information is now a distraction that imposes on the foundation of American democracy.

This month, I along with several of the Carmichael Librarians will be blogging about Information Literacy. We'll have a couple of campus-wide information literacy events to help us remember this month.  In the meanwhile, let us know what you do to think about information literacy this month.  We're always looking for ways to open conversations.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Instruction Series: Organizing the Internet with RSS Readers

Carmichael Library’s Instruction Series continues with a workshop on Organizing the Internet with RSS Readers.  RSS Readers allow users to manage online content such as blogs, podcasts, Twitter feeds, and academic journal alerts.  Participants will practice creating an RSS feed, adding content, developing an organizational pattern using folders, and sharing RSS feeds on social media platforms.

The RSS Workshop will take place on Tuesday, September 18 at 5 pm in the EBSCO Room.  Contact Andrew Battista with questions. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall 2012 Technology Workshop Instruction Series Announced

The Carmichael Library would like to announce the Fall 2012 Technology Workshop Instruction Series.  Visit the Initiatives section of our new website to find the full schedule of events and learn more about what we'll do.  The first event is Wednesday, September 12, at 5:30 PM.  Andrew Battista will lead a session on Informed Blogging:  Basics of Wordpress and Blogger.  There's no need to make a reservation; simply come, learn, and practice.

Instruction in the EBSCO Classroom

At the University of Montevallo, many instructors are beginning to bring blogs and online writing into the classroom experience in new ways.  Now, more than ever, writing for an online audience is a fundamental literacy that is expected of students in almost every quarter of the liberal arts curriculum.  Here's just a sample of blogs done by students in UM classes:

These blogs each feature a complex technical approach to digital rhetoric and writing. If you've been asked to write for an online audience, present work on a blog, or if you are just interested in formulating ideas for a blog of your own. You'll want to come to this workshop.  Direct all questions to Andrew Battista.