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Information Literacy

In Public School Libraries, I promised to "discuss why public school libraries in the Philippines have been neglected, and how a few have managed to flourish despite this neglect." I hope to fulfill this promise by next week. In the meantime, I would just like to share some observations regarding the workshop featured in Hope for Public School Libraries.

"Building Learning Communities Through Libraries" was a two-day workshop for principals, teachers and librarians. On the first day, Rosemarie Yague (Rosa L. Susano-Novaliches Elementary School) presented a report on the state of public schools education in the Philippines and ended by stating that "Dreams are free." Diljit Singh (University of Malaya) shared with the participants Malaysia's ongoing journey to information literacy. And James Henri (University of Hong Kong) emphasized that the workshop's intended output would be directed to teachers—not students—because if the teachers don't "buy" information literacy, then students won't, either.

But what exactly is "information literacy"? According to Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, when individuals are information literate, they are able to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information" (ALA, 2000).

Is information literacy the same as computer literacy? Of course not. Someone who is information literate has the ability to become computer literate. But someone who is computer literate is not necessarily information literate. Or, more simply, you don't need a computer to be information literate.

There is actually so much more that can and should be said, but since this is only the beginning of a year-long project, allow me to end by saying that, yes, dreams are free, but every dream has a price—and we have to work on ourselves, our superiors and our communities to achieve our dreams. We've only just begun.

Related posts:

Hope for Public School Libraries
Public School Libraries

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