On the 9th of April, we met Anne Horn – Director of Library Services & University Librarian as well as recently appointed President of the International Association of University Libraries.
It was a pleasure for us to have a chat with Anne to find out about the global effort to improve Information and Digital Literacy and about her work in Sheffield and abroad. The conversation covered: international coordination of librarians, Anne’s point of view for the development of Information and Digital Literacy in Sheffield and why Western Bank is now an open access library.
To start with, a bit of background to the term ‘Information and Digital Literacy’. The phrase was coined in the 1980s to refer to skills involved in using information technology. People have had to develop and use these skills more and more as this technology pervades our everyday lives. Anne pointed out that some educators believe it is necessary and beneficial to introduce pre-school students to Information and Digital Literacy. The University of Sheffield has identified these skills as key graduate attributes. But skills that graduates develop must also be adaptable to the ever-changing technology landscape. Anne also told us about the importance of international coordination in building Information and Digital Literacy related to the global economy – from the fourth industrial revolution to being a digital citizen.
We also had the opportunity to share with Anne the work we have have been doing on the Programme Level Approach and Virtual Learning Environment projects in our respective departments. Anne was interested in the way we have approached the two projects and the similarities in the courses we take and how Information and Digital Literacy can benefit those courses.
We were made aware of the importance of graduate Information and Digital Literacy skills and their value in the global job market. We also found out about how these skills must be future-proofed as technology develops. Institutions around the world look to the University of Sheffield as a world leader in this area. It’s clear that the University of Sheffield is developing Information and Digital Literacy across all programs of study and it’s taking these skills seriously.
By Sofia Bodurova & James Nohl, Student Associates.