A study of faculty teaching of information literacy in Alabama's public associate's colleges

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University of Alabama Libraries

Technology has permeated almost every aspect of society. With this popularity of technology, information has become more accessible than ever. Because society has become inundated with information, it is more important than ever to prepare citizens to be educated consumers of information. Perhaps the community college, whose mission has always included lifelong learning, is the best type of institution to take on this mission. This study used a survey to determine if full-time instructors who teach general education courses at public associate's colleges in the state of Alabama were aware of national, as well as institutional, policies related to information literacy. In addition, this study examined the extent to which instructors at public associate's colleges in Alabama were teaching information literacy skills to students in general education courses. This study also examined certain instructor-related factors such as age, years of teaching experience, educational background, and subject matter taught to see if those factors influenced whether instructors taught information literacy skills. In addition, this study explored the collaboration activities between instructors and librarians concerning information literacy instruction for students. Finally, this study sought to ascertain why instructors choosing not to teach information literacy skills did so. Results revealed that the majority of instructors were unaware of national policies concerning information literacy. In addition, almost half of the respondents were unaware if their institutions had policies concerning information literacy or not. This study also revealed that only two factors--degree earned and subject matter taught--played a significant role in whether instructors taught information literacy skills. As technology and information continue to play an even larger role in society, administrations at all levels--regional, state, and institutional--may want to consider formally incorporating information literacy into the curriculum.

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Higher education administration, Library science