Practicing info lit

The phrase "Lesson 1" displayed on a laptop screen

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As part of an information literacy tutorial I recorded a video.  Though the video concerns an aspect of information literacy, making it also involved aspects of information literacy.

Identifying an information need

The ACRL Standards (200) include defining an information need (p. 8).  Actually I had multiple information needs in this project.  For my particular module I needed information on plagiarism–particularly plagiarism prevention.  Since I had not used Camtasia screencasting software in so long, I needed technical information as well.  Let’s not forget material on tutorial design and on screencasting best practices.

Meeting the information need

How did I meet the different needs?  For the module content I looked at journal articles and library websites.  Material on best practices came from similar sources.  Technical information came from the manuals and from more experienced colleagues.  I cannot overstate te importance of the human information sources.  The ACRL Standards do mention “discource with other individuals, subject-area experts, and/or practitioners” (p. 12).

Choosing the right technology

I did not choose Camtasia on a whim.  I wanted to highlight particular resources in the module, and screencasting software was the right choice for that purpose.  Information literacy means, in part, matching the technology to the need (ACRL, 2000, p. 13).

Using information ethically

In one part of my screencast I referred to a special graphic.  I contacted the people behind the graphic to get appropriate permission.  My module concerned academic integrity: I wanted to model it.  Of course academic integrity is part of information literacy (ACRL, p. 14).

The experience also brought home information literacy lessons not covered in the ACRL Standards.  Relearning the software, for example, had its moments of frustration like those described by Kuhlthau (2004).  Most importantly information literacy requires practice.  Fortunately this project allowed me some practice.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Chicago, IL: Author.

Kuhlthau, C. C. (2004). Seeking meaning: A process approach to library and information services

(2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.