The dance of info lit

Image from dance manual

Image by Saul Brothers ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dancing with the Stars just crowned its newest champions.  What does this show have to do with information literacy?

On the show the judges look for content that marks a particular dance style (waltz, tango, etc.).  In info lit we help people look for content that meets certain criteria (articles from peer-reviewed journals, for ex.).

With practice even the less confident or technically skilled celebrities grow as dancers.  Practice likewise helps even novice researchers develop better habits.

The professional partners also step outside of their respective comfort zones.  Sometimes they are given a dance style they have not performed very often.  Information literacy is lifelong learning: we do well to embody this truth ourselves.  When we encounter a new interface or genre, we can acknowledge that we are learning alongside the students.

Finally, the celebrity contestant comes to the ballroom with his or her given background and experiences.  The professional partner draws upon these experiences and strengths in choreographing a routine.  How can we draw upon the information literacies our students already bring into class?