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The Knowledge Workers Of The Future And Today's Information Literate Students: Models For Improving Your Students' Use Of Discipline Specific Databases.

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Writing and Communication I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1305.1 - 10.1305.15



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Paper Authors

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Beverlee Kissick

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Alysia Starkey

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Jung Oh

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Judith Collins

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1661

Information Literacy Teams: Bridging the Fluency Divide

Judy Collins, Beverlee Kissick, Jung Oh, Alysia Starkey

Kansas State University-Salina


"The quality and quantity of information needed to function effectively in society and the workplace continues to increase. Individuals...must be able to master rapidly changing information technology and possess the information literacy skills to act independently in this information rich environment1."

The fluency divide According to futurists, in the next decades, information will be doubling every eleven minutes. Yet, there is a growing concern that we are going toward aliteracy. This term is not associated with the inability to read, but the unwillingness to read. A recent study in Spain reported that over 90% of the students surveyed said they only read when it was necessary. "Fluency divide" refers to the division between the people who passively consume information and those who possess the motivation and skills to locate, select, organize, and apply information2. “Evidence is rapidly mounting that students cannot select appropriate sources of information, do not understand the structure or purpose of different sources of information, and cannot critically evaluate the information they retrieve”3. The Journal of Chemical Engineering Progress’ survey of chemical engineers reveals that more than half of survey respondents are not able to find and use appropriate information3.

In engineering and other sciences, students may depend on textbooks for most of their undergraduate learning, and many do not develop retrieval skills until their senior year or graduate school3. Very little research has shown the attitudes of engineering faculty regarding bibliographic instruction (BI), but general guidelines have emerged in the last decade demonstrating that context-sensitive IL instruction is critical.

Since the 1950's, academic librarians have been integrating library or bibliographic instruction (now known as Information Literacy) into the undergraduate curriculum4. IL made its debut with the rapid development in information technology, where “the knowledge based economy is characterized by the need for continuous learning of both codified information and the competencies to use this information. . . . The skills and competencies relating to the selection and efficient use of information become more crucial” 5.

In this paper we define IL as the capability of a person to recognize the "different levels, types and formats of information and their appropriate uses; the ability to place information in a context. An awareness of information access issues (copyright, privacy, globalization, currency of information, etc.) are key to information literacy"6.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ASEE 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Kissick, B., & Starkey, A., & Oh, J., & Collins, J. (2005, June), The Knowledge Workers Of The Future And Today's Information Literate Students: Models For Improving Your Students' Use Of Discipline Specific Databases. Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14655

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