As noted by Weibe (2015, cited in Mackay and Eva, 2019), there is a connection between information literacy, liberal education and lifelong learning which altogether are linked to the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate information both for academic and personal life. In today's world of information overload, multiple information formats, fake news and easy access to information by every individual, information literacy has become an important 21st-century skill to be learned by students. This learning not only helps students to become successful in academics but also in developing their behavior as responsible citizens. Therefore, information literacy should be taken more broadly as new liberal art which goes beyond using technology and accessing information to the social, cultural and philosophical context of information. The impact of such understanding is essential for the educated information – age citizen as the trivium of basic liberal arts (grammar, logic and rhetoric) was to an educated person in medieval society (Shapiro and Hughes, 1996). The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2015, focuses more on helping students develop a broader understanding of information than skill acquisition (Mackay and Eva,2019). In the six Frames, Authority is Constructed and Contextual; Information Creation as a Process; Information has Value; Research as Inquiry; Scholarship as Conversation; and Searching as Strategic Exploration form an interconnected set of skills critical for students to become truly information literate. Unfortunately, in the higher education institutes of United Arab Emirates, the formality of information literacy is fulfilled by Library Orientation for freshmen and a few database trainings done by the database subscribers. This study is an attempt to bring in front the hurdles of the way and the possible solutions.
ACRL. (2016, January 11). Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework
Eva, N. and MacKay, B. (2019). Information literacy and liberal education: From Google to scholarly sources. Threshold Concepts on the Edge. (pp. 229-237). Brill. https://10.1163/978004419971_016
Shapiro, J. and Hughes, S. (1996). Information literacy as a liberal art: Enlightenment proposals for a new curriculum. Educom Review, 31(2), 31-35. Retrieved from https://www.educause.edu/ir/library/html/erm/31231.html
IATUL 2023: 43rd International Association of University Libraries Annual Conference. Dubai & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (March 13-16, 2023)
Library and Information Science
Information Literacy, Liberal education, Critical Thinking
Muzzaffar Hussain, Bushra Parveen and Abdul Mubin, Abdul Aleem, "Information Literacy as Liberal Education: Hurdles and Possible Solutions in United Arab Emirates' Context" (2023). IATUL 2023 Slides. 15.
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