PaLA Northeast Chapter That Camp Presentation

As I mentioned elsewhere a couple of weeks ago, I returned to presenting after a brief hiatus due to changing jobs and relocating. I was fortunate enough to be asked by the Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Library Association to give the keynote at their spring workshop. I provided an overview of Transliteracy and you can view my presentation below or on my Slideshare:

Transliteracy as pedagogy (LOEX 2011)

Image courtesy of longhorndave on Flickr (CC BY-2.0)

I’d like to thank the organizers of LOEX 2011 for a great conference in Fort Worth this past week-end; my head is still swimming with great ideas for tweaking our instruction program. I would also like to thank the attendees, who provided overwhelmingly positive feedback on my presentation, “Bridging the Gaps: Transliteracy as Informed Pedagogy”.

In a nutshell, my presentation was an examination of what the concept of transliteracy has to offer library instruction. Specifically, what does the ability to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, tools, and media mean for library curriculum design? Moreover, doesn’t information literacy already cover everything relevant to library instruction? This last question is unfortunately common, so I’ll answer it first…

No. Information literacy is primarily an evaluative concept that only barely touches on the operational skills needed for effectively navigating the web. Though ACRL Standard Two comes close to covering information media (“The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently”), the desired outcomes involve the sort of linear, syntax-driven search behaviors that librarians love, while ignoring the more discovery-based, refinement-driven search behaviors students learn outside of our databases (cf. Holman 2011). As I’ve argued elsewhere, transliteracy is tied to the descriptive, medium-specific, literal “literacies” that are distinct from the evaluative literacies covered by information literacy (See Slide 27). This is pretty much just a rehashing of the original Transliteracies Project research and subsequent PART discussions, but it is important because it shows that transliteracy is not a replacement for information literacy, it is a complement to information literacy and the two are conceptually and logically distinct. So, library instructors out there, put down your pitchforks! Transliteracy is not a replacement for information literacy, it is just an incredibly useful concept to add to your instructional toolbox.

So, anyway, here are the slides. If you don’t want to go through the whole presentation, the moral of the story can be found in three keys for library instruction that I think logically follow from the concept of transliteracy:

  1. Effective information use requires several information sources. (Slides 30-34)
  2. Information resources do not stand alone, they interact (Slides 35-39)
  3. Navigating this interaction requires transferable skills (Slides 40-50)
Putting them together, we find that transliteracy encourages instructors to take students’ pre-existing skills seriously and harness them for academic research, rather than try to replace them with something else.
Anyway, here are the slides. (Make sure you view it on Slideshare if you want to see the speaker notes.)

Transliteracy and Libraries for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine


Last week Bobbi and I had the pleasure of presenting Transliteracy and Libraries for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region.

This presentation was used to explain and inform people about the concept of Transliteracy but to also so how it is specific to the field of medical librarianship. Below are the slides from the presentation, in addition to this you can listen and watch the archived session here. Also, we would like to thank Dale Prince for asking use to share this with the medical library community.

Links to information mentioned in this presentation:

Pew Internet & American Life Project: Chronic Disease and the Internet

The iPad and Healthcare

Hitech Act

Teens and the Mobile Web


Slides from The Pew Internet and American Life Project as a guide for how teens and young adults use mobile phones to participate in social media. They do a great job dispelling the myths and embracing the realities of how teens use the net via mobile device.

Sue Thomas on Transliteracy

Slides from Sue Thomas‘s presentation at the Digital Art Weeks Symposium in Xi’an, China. I was excited to see these because I knew Sue was having my transliteracy slideshow translated into Mandarin.  Enjoy!

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