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Community Connection

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Librarians have made laudable efforts in developing information literacy instruction (ILI) programs, and in working with K-12 and public libraries, leveraging efforts to prepare students for college and university-level work, supporting lifelong learning. However, up to now few may have asked key questions across libraries of all types regarding a broader, more sequential approach to lifelong information literacy.

  • What came before and what comes after your ILI efforts at your institution and beyond?
  • Does your ILI build on what came before and offer additional foundation for what may come after?
  • Who contributes to ILI, in which arenas, and how?
  • How can we all best contribute to helping develop a populace with questioning, critical thinking, and researching knowledge and skills clearly understood and integrated into school, work, and personal/leisure activities and endeavors throughout a lifetime?

LILi, a group of librarians from a spectrum of California libraries (university, college, community college, school, government, public and special libraries), is investigating IL definitions, standards and instruction in California. LILi began by mounting an online survey and promoting it to over 13,000 California libraries of all types. A quick review of initial responses revealed surprises, including this: librarians are teaching in a tea house! Other interesting findings are bound to surface as LILi analyzes this ILI snapshot and begins to…

  • Explore what different types of libraries are teaching their users regarding IL;
  • Identify gaps and overlaps among their efforts;
  • Suggest at which age and educational level gaps and overlaps occur;
  • Consider whether overlaps reinforce earlier instruction or not, and if so, what should be taught repeatedly and at which levels;
  • Consider who should be responsible for teaching various IL competencies, and at which levels;
  • Suggest what should be emphasized at various points throughout a lifelong ILI sequence.