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Advancing the Reflective Conversation in Information Literacy

Corrall, Sheila and Pickard, Alison (2017) Advancing the Reflective Conversation in Information Literacy. In: LILAC 2017: 13th Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference, 10 April 2017 - 12 April 2017, Swansea, UK. (Submitted)

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Reflective practice is a defining characteristic of professional work, a feature of Subject Benchmark Statements for professional disciplines, and required for professional credentials: the ability to reflect and evaluate is part of the CILIP (2012) Professional Knowledge and Skills Base, and reflective writing is central to the associated processes of Chartership and Revalidation (CILIP, 2014). Reflection is closely associated with education, learning, and research (Finlay, 2008), and information literacy practice (Vezzosi, 2006). ACRL (2016) emphasizes reflective approaches in guidance for instruction librarians, and its new (2015) Framework places critical self-reflection at the heart of its reconceptualization of information literacy. Reflection is a deceptively simple idea that is easy to grasp at a basic level, but harder to put into practice: terms are defined in diverse, contradictory ways; there are multiple models and typologies; and practitioners often struggle with the personal nature and analytical demands of reflective writing (Black & Plowright, 2010; Hatton & Smith, 1995; Reynolds, 1998). The importance of work context has generated domain-specific handbooks, notably for the caring professions (Taylor, 2010). Library literature typically references models from other fields or offers only rudimentary guidance (Forrest, 2008). SEA-change is a rare example of a homegrown model developed to support management learning and information literacy assessment, but it has not been tested beyond student use (Sen & McKinney, 2014). A survey of information professionals confirmed benefits from reflection, but found barriers to engagement, recommending more support, clearer definition, improved training and guidance on matching methods of reflection to particular needs and personal styles (Greenall & Sen, 2016). The findings echo the call to articulate “concrete strategies for developing reflection within our profession” (Koufogiannakis, 2010). Our project targets this gap, using participatory action research to explore development of a reflective practice toolkit for the information field, with the information literacy community as our primary testbed. As LIS educators and researchers we habitually work with new professionals and experienced practitioners to build capacity for reflection. We have surveyed existing definitions, typologies, frameworks and models, and assessed their potential for reflective practice in LIS. Our workshop will present examples and adaptations emerging as candidates for our envisioned toolkit, and field-test their suitability by having participants engage with our handouts, participate in reflective activities, and evaluate prototype tools from their perspectives as information literacy practitioners. The workshop provides an opportunity to practice reflective thinking, writing, and dialogue with peer support. Participants will have a fuller understanding of reflective practice and its relevance to information literacy, raised awareness of tools supporting reflective practice in particular situations, and continuing access to bespoke documentation, including early sight of project findings.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Submitted
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Corrall, Sheilascorrall@pitt.eduSCORRALL
Pickard, Alison
Date: 10 April 2017
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: LILAC 2017: 13th Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference
Event Dates: 10 April 2017 - 12 April 2017
Event Type: Conference
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Critical, reflection, Information, literacy, Reflective, practice
Official URL:
Additional Information: Workshop presentation
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2017 20:12
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 04:55


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