Bilingual workplaces: integrating cultural approaches to information literacy into foreign language educational practices

Alison Hicks
2014, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 21-41


This paper explores how a foreign language librarian investigated workplace information environments of bilingual (Spanish/English) professionals in the United States in order to design more relevant information literacy (IL) instruction. Drawing from interviews and participant observations of professionals whose careers correspond with Spanish language student graduate opportunities, the primary goal of the paper is to provide an initial understanding of the information environments of professionals in bilingual workplaces. The paper will then describe how this data will be used to design appropriate learning opportunities for Spanish undergraduates. Through reflecting on these multilingual information experiences, the paper also considers the role of workplace IL within higher education as well as contributing more broadly to studies on cultural approaches to IL. Accordingly, this paper will be of interest to foreign language librarians, as well as librarians who work with global studies, international relations or bilingual and international populations.


Spanish; cultural information literacy; workplace information literacy; information behaviour; USA

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