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Seminar Aims To Improve Information Literacy


Ways of helping students improve the way they access, evaluate and establish the authority of information is being studied at an information literacy seminar at Waikato University from Wednesday 3 September to Friday 5 September.

"Improving these information literacy skills is vital in the modern world due to the explosion of information available from sources such as the Internet," says seminar organizer Rosanne Jatania from the Waikato University library. "The seminar will give participants an opportunity to share ideas regarding the best way to help students."

The seminar has been organized by the Libraries Group within the Tertiary Alliance (which involves the University and regional polytechnics). Some 90 participants from nearly all the major polytechnic and university libraries around New Zealand, as well as a number of Waikato University academic staff, are attending.

"Librarians and academics have long been concerned about the lack of information literacy skills amongst tertiary students and have been trying to find ways to address this problem," says Rosanne Jatania.

"With the increase of information available in formats other than printed literature, students have more difficulty finding the full range relevant information, establishing the authority of this information and evaluating the material they are using. Many universities have introduced policies and practices to ensure that information literacy skills are embedded into the curriculum."

Three Australian guest speakers attending are international authorities on information literacy and have been instrumental in guiding the development of information literacy education at their institutions and across Australia. They are:
* Dr Alan Bundy, University Librarian, University of South Australia;
* Judith Peacock, Information Literacy Coordinator, Queensland University of Technology;
* Irene Doskatsch, Senior Librarian Information Literacy, University of South Australia and the foundation Executive Director of the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy.

The seminar will also see the official New Zealand launch of ANZIIL, the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy.

"ANZIIL's aim is to support organisations, institutions and individuals in the promotion of information literacy and, in particular, the embedding of information literacy within the total educational process. The University of Waikato Library is a member of ANZIIL," says Rosanne Jatania.


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