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Promoting information literacy: perspectives from UK universities

Ellis, C and Johnson, F and Rowley, J (2017) Promoting information literacy: perspectives from UK universities. Library Hi Tech, 35 (1). pp. 53-70. ISSN 0737-8831

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Abstract

© 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: Academic libraries have sought to become the leaders in the provision of information literacy (IL). The purpose of this paper is to identify to what extent IL is being promoted through institutional websites. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from all UK university websites (n=133) in early 2015 to identify the promotion of IL. Content analysis was used for the five categories: IL in the mission statement, visions or strategic plan; IL model or framework; IL policy; IL assessment; and, IL training. Data collection was limited to information in the public domain which could be accessed from individual websites, which were searched and browsed systematically. Findings: In total, 85.7 per cent of universities promote IL to some extent on their websites in at least one of the five categories, however the degree of the information provided varied extensively. Less than 6 per cent of universities promote IL at institutional level. Only 17.3 per cent refer to a model or framework, 15.8 per cent show their IL policy and 9 per cent provide information on their assessment of students’ IL skills. Information on IL training is offered on 84.2 per cent of websites, the most common method being online tutorials, although 52.6 per cent only offer training for one or two aspects of IL, primarily information seeking and citing and referencing. Originality/value: This paper provides up-to-date data concerning how universities in the UK promote IL in the public domain via their websites. It should be of interest to academic librarians who are responsible for IL provision.

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