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Role of the Library
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Todd (21) says that librarians must be part of improving learning results by empowering and informing the students with technology hence helping them in effective access and interaction with information and making use of it in a responsible and purposeful way. As it has been pointed out earlier, many students lack the rudimentary principles of research; in view of the ever expanding arena of information to a cyberspace, the instructional role of the librarian can never be emphasized more than it is. The librarian is instrumental in instilling skills of evaluating both print and electronic materials on the web to students so that they make informed decisions as to whether a material is appropriate and reliable for the research.
Librarians must embrace the dynamics of what and how they teach to catch up with the ever changing technology which fosters creativity in the classroom. It is, however, imperative to note that certain programs are essential in the delivery of the needed skills in information literacy.
Models of Technology and Information Literacy Instruction
In SUNNY Cortland library, the credit bearing computer application courses and single session workshops are examples of ongoing programs. They help a student in navigation and retrieval of information resources during research. With time, issues on copyright, intellectual property rights ownership and plagiarism are addressed.
In addition, the for-credit application computer program, which includes electronic research, retrieval of information and information literacy, is available. In a one-credit “Computer Information Retrieval” course, topics like introduction to retrieving information, documentation and database organization are covered while in a three-credit course, “Computers and Society”; topics like copyright, privacy issues and information ethics are covered.
In 1994, a new curriculum for education was applied at Eastern Washington University. It had courses that accommodated computer literacy and information. This has seen technologists and librarians coming together to develop courses that include lectures and practical experience (Fenske, 1998).Another modality that aims to promote integration between technology and information literacy is the University of Washington UWired program. Librarians, curricular specialists and technologists have collaborated in order to link technology and information literacy with education process.
These case study examples are but a tip of the iceberg of how the librarians are being involved in the restructuring of the education process through integration of technology and information literacy.
It is necessary that an academic institution brings on board librarians, technologists, teaching faculty and the administration for the successful endowment of the students with the capacity to search for appropriate and reliable information both from the print and electronically. Capacity building of the librarians and provision of resources to boost the understanding of new technologies should be emphasized.