Real world info lit

Office building at night

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If InfoSavvy had a motto, that motto would probably be “Info lit is everywhere.”  Indeed information literacy is everywhere, and I saw it in some student internship presentations.

One of the students specifically mentioned the journals and magazines put out by professional organizations in her field.  We often tout the value of scholarly journals and trade publications, but this message gains resonance in a real-world setting.

Another student highlighted the importance of confidentiality in her internship setting.  She was thinking of the “economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information” (ACRL, 2000, p. 13).

A third student listed the sources of the images he’d used in his presentation.  Again this action modeled ethical use of information.

I don’t wish to single out particular students.   Many of the students had asked many questions of their respective internship supervisors and others.  In doing so they not only demonstrated the value of consulting subject experts (ACRL, 2000, p. 12), but also displayed curiosity, an important aspect of info lit (Hensley, 2004).

These presentations made me think about how students can build upon existing information literacies.  How can workplace information savvy transfer to the academic context?


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

Hensley, R. B. (2004). Curiosity and creativity as attributes of information literacy. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 44(1), 31–36. Retrieved from