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  5. Annual Ted Samore Lecture Featuring Dr. Clara Chu

Annual Ted Samore Lecture Featuring Dr. Clara Chu

Saturday, April 27, 2013
1:00 - 3:00 PM

Milwaukee Athletic Club
758 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Creating Meaning, Shaping Learning: Information Literacy in a Multicultural Context

Dr. Clara M. Chu, PhD
Chair and Professor
Department of Library and Information Studies
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

ABSTRACT

It has been said that we are living in exponential times, which brings with it the challenges of Information overload and constant technological advances. Information literacy (IL) is one strategy to effectively manage and critically examine the information encountered in daily life and for specific needs. The teaching/practice of information literacy has emphasized a particular process which calls for application of a set of skills and the objective/ examination of information. In a multicultural society where a diversity of users exists, and library and information professionals who serve them do not necessarily share their cultural background, this act of knowing/learning needs to be examined and critiqued as a socially-constructed act. Grounded on critical theoretical frameworks, IL is examined and re-envisioned through a critical multicultural approach. The three elements of this critical multicultural framework of information literacy will be discussed: (1) multiple literacies ~ information literacy as interdependent and relevant to other literacies, (2) user-centeredness ~ information literacy as a user-centered act of knowing, and (3) cultural competence ~ the impact of culture, consciously or unconsciously, on individual behavior, attitudes and knowledge. The practice of critical multicultural information literacy enables both users and information providers to critically examine the culture that has shaped them and, furthermore, librarians and information professionals can teach information literacy as critical engagement with the world around them which influences both the acts of knowing and learning.


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