The Information Literacy Continuum Committee, through the auspices of the Rochester Regional Library Council, was formed to allow academic and school librarians to work collaboratively in the promotion information literacy. The group is interested in developing methods to ensure that all students learn and maintain information seeking skills they will need as they move on to institutions of higher learning. The development of a “continuum” of information literacy which would include basic literacy/information skills was considered. The Suggested Library Skills and Competencies for High School Students, developed by RRLC in 2000, was reviewed and an “updating” of skills was recommended. These recommendations were made to target the critical skill deficiencies as related by the “true life” experiences of the collaborating librarians.
A prime focus of the library curriculum is the introduction and instruction of specific skills. Literacy skills provide learning experiences that direct students to lifetime practices of reading for pleasure as well as for information. Information skills allow students to use information in an effective and efficient manner.
It is essential that students completing high school and entering college achieve a prescribed level of library competency. Recognizing that there is a range in the size and services available in high school libraries, a basic set of information gathering skills may be introduced at specific grade levels, making the transition from high school to college. Specific skills may be mastered by a particular grade level, with ongoing reinforcement. These skills are presented as steps in the research process, offering librarians a sequential model that can be used as a guideline and a teaching tool.
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