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PIL Provocations: The iSchool Equation

The CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG) and the LILAC Conference are delighted to have been enlisted as Champions of the Project Information Literacy initiative, “The PIL Provocation Series”.

I’m delighted to share the latest essay, “The iSchool Equation” by Dr. Kirsten Hostetler, a Project Information Literacy (PIL) Research Analyst and an assistant professor at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, who recently completed her Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology at Old Dominion University. The latest essay in our Series, “The iSchool Equation,” is generously sponsored by The School of Information at the University of Arizona.

This timely essay focuses on a startling disconnect: As the effects of mis- and disinformation take a toll on social cohesion, librarians are often positioned as experts who can guide their communities toward a better understanding of our confusing information landscape, and yet, some, though not all, of the graduate programs that prepare librarians for the field continue to neglect the teaching role most graduates will be expected to take on. Why do these iSchools continue to ignore the fundamental importance of teaching information literacy, especially now? How has that affected the graduate student experience and the practice of librarianship? This essay explores those questions and offers ideas for reform.

Building on a solid decade of original research into students’ information practices in the digital age, each essay in the PIL Provocation Series makes an argument grounded in research, posing a question for the future: What haven’t we considered as the information landscape grows more complex? What new directions in information literacy and higher education should we be exploring? What fundamental aspects of student experiences with navigating information spaces have we overlooked?

As with all PIL publications, the essays in this series are open access to encourage sharing and discussion. Ultimately, the goal is to improve teaching and learning while suggesting new avenues for inquiry and experimentation.

Alison J. Head, Ph.D.

Founder and Director | Project Information Literacy (PIL)

Visit the Project Information Literacy website for further information, or contact Alison Head, Director, Project Information Literacy,

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