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Information skills training practices in Irish higher education

Claire McGuinness (School of Information and Library Studies, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 22 May 2009




The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a national survey of information skills training (IST) practices in Irish higher education institutions, which was carried out during 2006‐2007 with the aim of documenting current practice and identifying areas in which change or innovation may be warranted. Despite an emerging picture of information literacy (IL) practice worldwide, a lack of published research has made it difficult to gain an accurate overview of IL activity in the Republic of Ireland. This paper aims to partly fill this gap.


An invitation to complete a 26‐item questionnaire was sent out to librarians in all publicly‐funded higher education institutions in the Irish Republic in November 2006. Out of 154 librarians, 77 responded, giving a response rate of 50 per cent.


Results showed that, while librarians spend a significant portion of their time engaged in IST activities and are enthusiastic about developing and promoting their programmes, IST continues to be delivered in primarily standalone format, using non‐integrated methods. Formal assessment of IS outcomes is not commonly carried out in Irish higher education institutions.


This paper represents the first national survey of IST practices in higher education in the Irish Republic, and serves as a baseline for international comparison and future longitudinal studies.



McGuinness, C. (2009), "Information skills training practices in Irish higher education", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 61 No. 3, pp. 262-281.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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