My colleague Anne Lloyd and I have discussions about information literacy from time to time and one of the aspects of information literacy that often comes us is – what is information literacy? Is it a set of skills, a concept, an ideal towards which we all strive, a process or is it, as Anne now argues, a practice? The context of Anne Lloyd’s work is the workplace and not schools but we can learn from studies in the workplace about information literacy in schools amongst students but also amongst teachers and teacher librarians. One of the key arguments in Anne’s work is that we need to get away from only looking at a mainly textual context of information. This “textual context” can include websites with non-textual information but the argument here is that we should also be looking at what information students get from other sources, including teachers, teacher librarians and each other. So if we, as professionals, were asked to look at our information practice – how would we define it and to what extent would it relate to finding information – spoken and non-spoken – from other people and not the information sources we have digitally or in print? Worth thinking about.
For my recent important (more to others than to me) birthday, my sister in New Zealand sent me a beautiful tide clock, which tells you when the tide is coming in (rising) or going out (falling) or is at high or low tide or that there are X hours to high or low tide. Now, where I live, you can look out the window and mostly work this out – but not when it’s dark, as it is now from about 4.45pm. It works on the lunar diurnal cycle of 24 hours and 50 minutes and the tide clock hand goes round once in 12 hours 25 minutes. This could get very nerdy, so no more statistics. The tide clock has a lovely face and is made out of New Zealand rimu wood. In our home, we decided to put the tide clock above our ticking clock (see picture below) and thus have time and tide together. As yet “no man” has not appeared but we’re waiting.