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!

Information Literacy for the 21st Century

This presentation was given by Sheila Webber at the 10th INFORUM conference held in Prague, Czech Republic, 25-27 May.

She also wrote a short paper to accompany it (pdf)  in which she expands the definition of information literacy

“Information Literacy is the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to identify, through  whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, leading to wise and ethical use of information in society.”

Appropriate information behaviour means IB that is best for the context. If your context is writing an essay at university, searching electronic journals may be best. If you are seeking information about using Google Docs to share material, then you might go to a specialist online discussion group for advice.

Webber outlines 7 key aspects of 21st century information literacy:

  • IL as context specific and context sensitive;
  • IL demanding a variety of behaviours: not just searching, but also encountering, browsing, monitoring, managing and creating;
  • People moving along complex paths to meet their information needs: moving between the virtual and physical worlds, and using different sources and spaces;
  • IL in digital environments;
  • IL with people sources;
  • People being information literate individually and collaboratively
  • People being aware they are information literate: you cannot be an information literate 21st Century citizen without being conscious of the need to develop these IL skills and attitudes, and continue to update your IL through your life!

Libraries and the New Media Ecosystem

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has posted a presentation by Lee Rainie which he gave at the Catalonian Library Association’s biennial meeting and to librarians at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The site posts not only the slides but also a transcript of the presentation.

In this presentations, Rainie describes how the information ecosystem has changed in the past 10 years. In doing so, he points to many interesting and informative facts, such as how in 2000, 46% of American adults used the Internet compared to 75% in their most recent study and how less that 10% of people worked in the cloud in 2000 compared to more than two-thirds today.

But the crux of his presentation is his more philosophical description of the 8 ways that the Media Ecosystem has changed.  Although he does not specifically refer to transliteracy in his presentation, he does outline the challenges presented to technology users who are now faced with more outlets to gain and to give information via a greater variety of media.

The 8 changes he discusses are:

  • The growth of the volume of information
  • The increase in the variety and visibility of information at its creators
  • The impact on people’s use of time and attention
  • The increase in the velocity of information
  • The changing nature and availability of information venues
  • The compelling vibrance of virtual environments
  • The improved relevance of information results
  • The participatory nature of information exchanges
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