Everyday information literacy

Front loading washing machine
Image by Jorge Díaz from Santiago de Chile, Chile (flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Recently I bought my first new washer and dryer.  To quote Stebbins (2015) I found the research process “reflective, iterative, and most of all, messy” (para. 7).

I had to reflect on what I wanted from my machines–beyond simply units that  worked.  Did I want top-loaders or front-loaders?  What settings or cycles would I use most?  What bells and whistles didn’t matter?

The process was certainly iterative.  In store I saw certain models.  Then I read up on them and asked follow-up questions.  The answers to those questions led to more careful reading on my preferred models, and to final questions as I narrowed my choices.

Indeed the process was messy.  Information sources, human and otherwise, didn’t always agree with one another.  I had to factor in the timing of sales.  I had to learn new terminology (“automatic load balancing, for ex.) as well.

The experience was a good reminder of how everyday information use matters.  How do we build upon students’ lived experiences with information?  How do we use information in situations that are unfamiliar to us?


Stebbins, L. (2015, December 10). Markers of quality: The Role of librarians in everyday life information literacy [Blog post]. Retrieved from