CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018

Guest post: Information Literacy and senior leadership

In this guest post blog, Rosie Jones, Deputy Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and Director of Library Services at the Open University, writes about her reflections on information literacy and senior leadership.

I have been involved with the information literacy (IL) community for much of my professional career. I have always enjoyed the teaching element of librarianship and in 2004 I managed to get a specialist role at MMU developing their InfoSkills programme. In 2007 I was asked whether MMU would host the LILAC conference, became a committee member and never left. I’m now the longest serving committee member but I will be stepping down at the 2019 conference. I will instead be devoting more of my time to the Deputy Chair role for the IL Group. This was a big decision for me but has in the main been driven by the feeling that I should now do more in my senior leadership role to champion IL. I know that LILAC will go from strength to strength and that it will actually benefit from fresh ideas and new perspectives. However, for the IL Group I now feel I can make a bigger contribution and that I should and could be doing something to leverage my senior position to promote the great work the group do.

As well as being engaged in IL I’m also active in the playful learning community and recently I’ve been delivering sessions on how ‘acceptable’ it is to be playful as a senior leader. I think the same could apply to IL, not quite in terms of acceptableness but more in terms of how many senior leaders are actually actively involved in information literacy. Some of this echoes Emma Coonan’s post on the idea of multiple identities because I don’t necessarily have the permission to be a practitioner and a senior leader at the same time. To me IL is one of the most important elements of our profession and the new IL definition demonstrates this more than ever – it’s such an exciting area and the idea of empowerment and citizenship has the potential to impact everyone – so how can I not be part of this as senior leader? But what can and should I do? I’m genuinely asking for input here! What about making sure IL is spoken about at Director level, that the right speakers are invited in to provoke discussion and ideas, helping others influence their senior managers so that the importance of IL is understood…. Answers on a postcard …

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *