Information literacy roles of library media specialists in high schools: Israeli perspectives

Gabriella Dotan, Noa Aharony
2008, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. pp. 23 - 40

Abstract


PurposeThe purpose of the study was to establish the relations between two important roles of school library media (SLM) specialists: cooperation with teachers and provision of information literacy programs to students.   MethodologyOne-hundred thirty eight library media specialists employed in Israeli high schools replied to several questionnaires developed specifically for this study.  Factor analysis extracted three factors for collaboration with teachers (provision of learning resources, expertise in digital information and curriculum planning) and three factors for librarians’ educational role in the provision of  information literacy to students (teaching information literacy skills, fostering independent learning skills and conveying ethical standards for information use). Additional statistical tests were used to determine the extent of SLM specialists’ involvement in the different roles and the correlations between the various factors.  The study examined also the impact of background characteristics on librarians’ educational roles. FindingsThe results indicate that an ongoing relation with teachers, particularly in the provision of information resources, is highly correlated with the teaching of information literacy programs to students. Advanced technology in the school library media centre facilitates higher-level cooperation with teachers as well as higher involvement in information literacy educational programmes.  Practical ImplicationsThe study shows that information literacy programs benefit from the collaboration between librarians and teachers.  The statistical analyses indicate which aspects of librarians’ roles should be expanded in order to facilitate cooperation with teachers and elevate librarians’ involvement in information literacy programmes.   OriginalityUnlike previous studies, this paper addresses directly the relationship between collaboration with teachers and provision of information literacy programmes, and its conclusions contribute to the generalization of previous findings. This is the first study  of Israeli school librarians’ practice of educational roles.

Keywords


information literacy; school library media center; school library media specialists; school libraries; librarians; cooperation; teachers-librarians; information power; standards; Israel

Full Text: PDF