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3 - Information Literacy and the personal dimension: team players, empowered clients and career development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2018

Marc Forster
Affiliation:
University of West London
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Summary

This chapter will discuss:

  • • how Information Literacy (IL) helps each professional to develop and find scope for their personal capabilities, and facilitates the relationships which enable them to support and empower clients or patients and contribute in team and organizational contexts.

  • • how research can allow us to observe those experiential meanings and professional information horizons that illuminate IL at a personal level.

  • Introduction

    Information Literacy can be seen as a personal attribute: one which, as a facilitator and enricher of the communicative faculty, can aid a professional to assist and empower patients or clients, and make a personal contribution to mutual endeavours within team and business or organization by supporting, leading or teaching colleagues.

    It also facilitates the development of personal capabilities through its ability to facilitate learning (Bruce and Hughes, 2010), and therefore to engage in new and more sophisticated ways to make a contribution.

    These perspectives on IL are essential to the understanding of its role and value in the workplace. That workplace is often a very complex social environment which is focused on the use of information for specific knowledge goals, often with and for the benefit of patients and clients, and often through teams and networks undertaking complex knowledgegenerating tasks. The sections below are intended to help information professionals, library managers and academics responsible for education in the professions become more aware of some of the likely details of IL's personal and social complexities and value, in order to support professionals in training and in the workplace as they negotiate their information world; ‘likely details’ because, though most professionals will share many of these experiences, further research into specific workplaces and professions is still required for absolute clarity.

    What the research data can show

    Knowledge of the breadth and depth of experience of IL can give valuable perspectives on how individuals, at different levels of responsibility, make their personal contribution to the development of knowledge needed by the team and organization, and the patients or clients they have responsibility for. How does IL allow them to make their own unique contribution in the workplace? In what way does it facilitate relationships with others? Does it inform leadership or form the basis for personal development? If so, how? The answers to these questions may be valuable to those who are responsible for IL education, and professional education in general.

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    Chapter
    Information
    Publisher: Facet
    Print publication year: 2017

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