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21 st Century information professionals: time to work on zones of intervention

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  1. 21st Century information professionals: time to work on zones of intervention Prof Ina Fourie Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria Acknowledging a theoretical inspiration, the paper will take a practical stance

  2. Intention of paper To draw on what has been mentioned in LIS literature a number of years ago by Carol Kuhlthau developing her model of the Information Seeking Process (ISP) from the work of experts in education such as Lev Vygotsky • Vygotsky: zones of proximal development… (1896-1934) • Kuhlthau: zones of intervention… • Processes, thoughts, feelings… ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  3. Intention of paper (cont.) In a world where you are drowning in work, demands, expectations, complaints, accusations,… … the intention The intention of this paper is to put a serious request: please consider… ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  4. Intention of paper (cont.) Zones of intervention… for proximal development of library users & optimal use of the services and products of LIS ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  5. Scope of paper • Introduction • Zones • Intervention • Development • Suggestions for LIS • Conclusion • Further reading ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  6. Introduction • On-going challenges • Roles, tasks, knowledge, skills, attitude, continuing development, life-long learning… life-wide learning • New means of training LIS professionals: webinars, video clips, chat groups… • What do we share? • Factual information only? • Various means of interaction: Tweet, Skype… • Growth in resources and opportunities… Product reviews • Much has been achieved in LIS • Information literacy courses, libraries as spaces… • Collaboration, research networks, intellectual property, work ethics • Learning theories • Adult learning • Constructivism (cont.) ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  7. Introduction: Example of what is offered (University of Loughborough as example) ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  8. Introduction (cont.) • Noted from this conference • Change… or nothing will change • Challenges of (Internet) information resources • Need to think holistically and note diversity of things; taking things to a different level • Innovative ways of doing: game-based learning • Fun • Emotion • Passion… • Need to be productive and excel ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  9. On-going challenges • Over centuries: challenges & concerns • Roles & tasks of LIS: custodian role, intermediary role, teaching role, role as co-researcher, embedded librarian • Reports on: ethics for professionals, curricula to be taught, continuing education, the need for reflection, and action research • Emphasis on: knowledge, skills and attitude These are all important when considering securing a role for LIS professionals; but it may not be enough • Realities of constraints & barriers • What we require? • Making a difference by offering opportunities for constructing meaning and making sense • Comfort zones • Support from peers and experts • Allowing for differences in developing meaning, skills, attitudes ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  10. Zones: intervention & development • Carol Kuhlthau’s suggestion of zones of intervention in teaching information seeking • Guided inquiry • Recognising: processes, thoughts, feelings • Developed from various theories of learning: Dewey, Bruner, Kolb, Vygotsky • Giving opportunity to learn skills with support… (cont.) ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  11. Zones: intervention & development (cont.) • Constructivism • Social constructivism • Vygotsky: zone of proximal development • From where you are… To what you can be • With support of peers and experts • Not just factual learning, but… • More than opportunity to talk in a group… • Opportunity to create meaning and insight… • What we have done up till now in training people, creating learning material and opportunities…. But more… • Understanding the context, expectations set to people… • Why should LIS professionals find the time to make a difference? ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  12. Opportunities for zones of intervention and proximal development • Anything that you are currently teaching and offering can/should be taken to a different level • Information literacy • Web personalisation • Using social media • All information related processes • Facts, skills, practice…. Time for constructing meaning, making sense, making it your own, adding value? (cont.) ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  13. Opportunities for zones of intervention and proximal development (cont.) • How about starting with your own zones of intervention? • Adapting training to allow for zones of intervention and proximal development • I can offer definitions, facts, tips, reading… • But that will still leave you on your own to make sense and construct meaning • Suggestions on how to do this – can be part of the process • Brain storm, create ideas, search the literature, share by different means… role play… fun… • Is anything different from before? • What have you gained? How can you use it? • Different experiences for people ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  14. Suggestions for LIS • Start with the own (information professionals): practice what you preach – experiment with your own zones of intervention • What works for you • Explore with mapping wider information horizons: the past, alerts on the now, and projections on the future • Experiment with techniques to capture the essence of information with less words (i.e. dealing with information overload) • Collaborate: acknowledge differences in brain profiles, personalities and learning styles to reach the best result • Allow for experimentation: there is not only one way to deal with zones of intervention ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  15. Suggestions for LIS (cont.) LIS professionals should become role models who are focused on creating zones of intervention for • others to support their information behaviour, including • recognition of information needs & noting research opportunities • effective exploitation of the full spectrum of information resources (e.g. Internet, subscription databases, repositories, people) • information usesuch as choice of platform for collaboration, vehicle for sharing results, understanding bibliometrics and citation impact • information sharing • information communication • Aimed at optimal development ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  16. Conclusion • Are any of you prepared to take on the challenge of adding yet another layer to what you are already doing? • Can you turn this into fun… and still be successful? • Would you like to read more about the topic? ina.fourie@up.ac.za

  17. Thank you for your time • Prof Ina Fourie • Department of Information Science • University of Pretoria, Lynnwood Road, Pretoria • Email: ina.fourie@up.ac.za • Office: (012) 420-5216 • Fax: (012) 362-5181 • Cell: 082-707-8062 ina.fourie@up.ac.za