About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5642-5648
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

THE TRANSITION OF ACADEMIC INFORMATION LITERACY INTO WORKPLACE INFORMATION LITERACY – A CHALLENGE AHEAD

University students nowadays have become accustomed to digital resources provided by the academic library. But this normally ends after graduation when they enter the workforce and when they no longer have access to full text journals, research databases and other reference tools. Former students wish to rely upon the same resources they were using during their student days, resources that now are out of reach due to restricted access. To add to this problematic situation there is recognition in the literature that businesses must employ workers who know how to deal with information and use it for both personal and work success. But working life have different information practices for locating information that require a different set of standards for evaluating and effective use of information.

So where does this leave us and our training?
In order to ensure that our students are information literate when they leave university for other positions in life we teach and we try to make clear that the skills being taught are not only to help them succeed in completing requirements at university, but also to help them become lifelong learners, able to access, evaluate, and use information after graduation.
But is the teaching that we give worth anything in working life? For us to determine the information need and the information-seeking patterns in working life an online survey was sent to a sample of graduates that recently had left university. The survey was sent through e-mail to 415 alumni spread over 10 different programs. We reached 396 and out of them 146 responded (36, 8%).

The overall goal was to gain further understanding of the graduate’s professional “information world”. Our questions circulated round how they keep up to date, how they find information and what kind of resources they are using. We also asked them if the skills they learned during their undergraduate years were useful at work. Formal information literacy sessions were considered useful by 53% of the alumni. A few alumni reported that they have benefited from formal information literacy training and that they now had access to the same resources that were presented during the instruction such as Pubmed.

The result of our study revealed among other things that a majority of the graduates prefer to use information resources that are readily available to them such as Google. Some alumni indicated that they were confronted with real world factors that provide little time to search for and make optimal use of the research literature. It was suggested that in addition to teaching searching skills librarians must emphasize on instruction on how to assess the quality of information found on the Internet.

Although that a high percentage of the alumni responded that they find our information literacy sessions to be helpful to some extent, we are led to the conclusion that these instructions, is not so influential in their work environments in which they are operating. The skill sets taught have not necessarily made the transition to the corporate setting. We have to acknowledge that there are alternative realities of information use outside the academic sector that we have to tackle in our training. So the next step for us is to take this newly found information into consideration and rewrite our syllabus which we will discuss.
@InProceedings{BRAGE2012TRA,
author = {Brage, C. and Axelsson, M.L. and Gustafsson Åman, K. and Rosell, M. and Westerlund, J. and {\"{O}}str{\"{o}}m, M.},
title = {THE TRANSITION OF ACADEMIC INFORMATION LITERACY INTO WORKPLACE INFORMATION LITERACY – A CHALLENGE AHEAD},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {5642-5648}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Brage AU - M.L. Axelsson AU - K. Gustafsson Åman AU - M. Rosell AU - J. Westerlund AU - M. Öström
TI - THE TRANSITION OF ACADEMIC INFORMATION LITERACY INTO WORKPLACE INFORMATION LITERACY – A CHALLENGE AHEAD
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 5642
EP - 5648
ER -
C. Brage, M.L. Axelsson, K. Gustafsson Åman, M. Rosell, J. Westerlund, M. Öström (2012) THE TRANSITION OF ACADEMIC INFORMATION LITERACY INTO WORKPLACE INFORMATION LITERACY – A CHALLENGE AHEAD, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 5642-5648.
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