Information literacy and cycling

My students at the moment are looking at a few definitions of information literacy and I’m trying (on my podcasts to them) to get them thinking about various attitudes to information literacy. For example, they are looking at Bruce’s 7 Faces of Information Literacy and Christine Bruce’s 7th face relates to “using information wisely for the benefit of others”. Now while this is an admirable idea and one which many information literate people practice, we do have to question the implication of this statement i.e. that people who do not use information for the benefit of others may not be classed as information literate. In fact, many people we read about in the news lately have been using information e.g. about investments in a way which is obviously not for the benefit of others. However, I don’t think that we can say that people who use information in this way are not information literate as they may well meet all the other criteria included in many definitions of information literacy.

Back on the bike this week again and am taking my chiropractor niece’s advice and doing more warming up before I go as this may have been the cause of my painful back. It seems to be working as my back is not so sore but there is of course no such thing as a worthwhile and completely painless cycle. If it don’t hurt, it ain’t worth it – well, in terms of fitness anyway. Also, cycling in philosophical terms means that you may not enjoy the fruits of your cycling – in the short term speeding down a hill  or in the long term making the hills seem smaller the fitter you get – unless you first feel the pain e.g. of a long climb to the top of that hill. But cycling of course is not just physical, it’s watching the countryside change and thinking as you go along e.g. about information literacy and wisdom.


2 Responses to “Information literacy and cycling”

  1. rushrabbit Says:

    Hi James, I have4n’t taken any classes on Information Literacy but I think theres a trend in the advertising industry where there is a big application for it, that is if I have the correct idea about information literacy. It sued to be that advertsers would put out announcements and ads with the hopes of convincing people to buy a product or service. These days, advertising is geared more towards understanding the needs and interests of the market and then creating the ad strategy with the thought of positioning the product or service along the same path as the interests of the target market. In the near future, and if this trend continues,data, or information, will be the sole determining factor wether products and services are bought or not by a market whose subscribed interests in a specific lifestyle dictates how things are marketed and advertised to them. I have an interest in this because I setting up a new kind of design studio with my brother that incorporates processed information with design. And, oh, I’m also a cyclist, and yes I have to agree with you about the pain especially when trying to pedal up hills!

  2. Kat Frame Says:


    I think that when applied to the Higher Education context Christine Bruce has got it right by including category 7. Universities place a great deal of emphasis on ethical behaviour: they aim to produce graduates that have an understanding of ethics and can apply them to their professional lives.
    Bruce states that “Using information wisely presupposes a consciousness of personal values, attitudes and beliefs”. I believe that teacher librarians should be developing an an awareness of the wise use of information at the primary school level. It is too important to assume that it is someone else’s role. Teaching students about plagiarism and referencing is an example of this occurring at all educational levels.
    Getting back to Bruce’s category heading, I think that it is relevant to other educational contexts if you just apply “Information literacy is seen as using information wisely”.


    Kat Frame
    P.S. your ETL412 podcast on this topic was very helpful

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