The Information Literacy User’s Guide: An Open, Online Textbook is written for teaching-librarians and faculty who conduct instruction either online or face-to-face. It is a contemporary take on what the information literate learner should know in the 21st century. Using the 7 Pillars of Information Literacy as the framework, the textbook is a hands-on step by step guide that can be incorporated in for-credit courses, embedded librarian projects and also one-shot instruction sessions.
The question many librarians and academics struggle with today is what does it mean to be information literate in the 21st century? Oftentimes we look at the technological innovations that has changed the very nature of information as the catalyst for this disruption, but this textbook challenges us to think about the information cycle from the base levels (what is a book, what is an article etc.) to the broader and deeper questions about information, like what ownership means in in our participatory culture. It transcends the basic pretense that technology has changed the meaning of information literacy and delves deeper into looking at networks, both physical and virtual and the information gathering and creation inside those networks.
The book examines information literacy as it relates to the liberal arts, as well as the hard sciences, and is layered with excellent classroom examples that can be incorporated in classes with a research component. The textbook is ideal for undergraduate level work and could be used as a companion piece to a discipline-focused class, like Anthropology or Chemistry, or could be used as the base text to an information literacy course.
Reviewed by: Mark McBride