Library users do not recognise the importance of information literacy

A new survey aims to discover more about the perceived importance of information literacy.

A new survey aims to discover more about the perceived importance of information literacy, explore current methods for developing information literacy skills, and investigate ways in which librarians feel this instruction could be improved.

The survey, from ProQuest, secured responses from more than 200 librarians from university, community college, high school and public libraries in North America.  

Survey respondents were in no doubt about the importance of information literacy, with 83% of respondents believing that it affects graduation rates, and 97% saying that it contributes to success in the workplace.

However, only 21% of respondents believe that their library users recognise information literacy’s impact on lifelong success.

Librarians surveyed deploy a variety of methods to improve info literacy with over 90% using one-to-one research consultations. Classes focussing on general research skills were used at 68% of responding institutions, while 63% offer classes on specific types of research. 61% deploy LibGuides and other asynchronous instruction guides , while video tutorials were on offer from 45% of responding libraries.  

Only just over a quarter of librarians surveyed feel that their library does as much as it should to support users’ information literacy needs. Respondents' suggestions for ways to address this include better cross-curricula integration of information literacy; working more closely with faculty to educate them on the importance of information literacy and the resources offered by the library; and adding or improving existing online tutorials and resources.

The full report can be downloaded here