Information literacy at the Service Desk: the role of circulations staff in promoting information literacy

Hannah Hauxwell
2008, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. pp. 86 - 93


The topic of information literacy seems dominated by themes at the formal end of the spectrum, such as academic collaboration and defining information literacy. In practice however, teaching and promoting information literacy happens at a number of levels. In particular, frontline paraprofessional staff often provide ad-hoc information literacy training within the context of functional interactions with library customers, although this aspect of information literacy is largely absent from the literature. Taking examples from the author’s workplace experiences within a UK higher education library, it is argued that paraprofessionals can play a valuable role in promoting information literacy, bridging the gap between formal teaching sessions and the learning needs of individual students. Day-to-day encounters between customers and library staff can provide opportunities to embed information literacy within the library experience.

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