The long (unending) journey with Information Literacy
OK, despite will publicized lists of competencies or proficiencies for Information Literacy - the skills a successful student should have (OSU, ILAGO) I don't think we can ever say that someone "knows everything" just as no one is ever a finished and perfect writer. What we try to do in our composition classes at Oregon State - from the first term and through second terms etc - is to continue to develop and guide the writing habits and ideas students arrive with, and likewise the information literacy habits and beliefs. This is a huge topic (see my friend Anne-Marie's blog), of course. Here's a clue into the challenge we face. In the Sunday March 22 Oregonian, Kimberly Melton writes about the lack of librarians (and even libraries) in Portland public schools. When I read this, it helped make sense of why freshmen arrive thinking they don't need any further instruction in how to find and understand information - because they have been managing (sort of, badly) on their own and have little experience with the excitement of the adventure of exploring the continually expanding info lit frontiers. OK, I'm getting a bit carried away, but you see what I mean. And if "life long learning" is a goal that universities endorse (and they should), then lifelong intellectual curiosity (with the tools to keep going) should be nurtured. How to do this, though, is the challenge.