Using metaliteracy to empower learners

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/15/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Today’s learners communicate, create and share information using a range of information technologies such as social media, blogs, microblogs, wikis, mobile devices and apps, virtual worlds and MOOCs. In “Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners,” published by ALA Neal-Schuman, respected information literacy experts Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson present a comprehensive structure for information literacy theory that builds on decades of practice while recognizing the knowledge required for an expansive and interactive information environment. The concept of metaliteracy expands the scope of traditional information skills (determine, access, locate, understand, produce and use information) to include the collaborative production and sharing of information in participatory digital environments (collaborate, produce and share) prevalent in today’s world. Combining theory and case studies, the authors:

  • show why media literacy, visual literacy, digital literacy and a host of other specific literacies are critical for informed citizens in the 21st century;
  • offer a framework for engaging in today’s information environments as active, self-reflective and critical contributors to these collaborative spaces;
  • connect metaliteracy to such topics as metadata, the Semantic Web, metacognition, open education, distance learning and digital storytelling.

Mackey is dean at the Center for Distance Learning at SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He teaches online courses in digital storytelling and information design and co-developed the Metaliteracy MOOC. He is a member of the editorial team for Open Praxis, the peer-reviewed, international, open access, scholarly journal about research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education. He has published four co-edited books with Jacobson, most recently “Teaching Information Literacy Online.”

Jacobson is distinguished librarian and head of the Information Literacy Department at the University at Albany, SUNY. She teaches undergraduate information literacy courses. She is the co-author, with Lijuan Xu, of “Motivating Students in Information Literacy Classes.” She recently contributed to and co-edited “The Information Literacy User’s Guide: An Open, Online Textbook.” In 2009 she won the Association of College and Research Libraries (ARCL) Instruction Section’s Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award.

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