Making information literacy relevant

Andrew K. Shenton (Monkseaton High School, Monkseaton, UK)
Megan Fitzgibbons (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Publication date: 23 March 2010



The purpose of this paper is to discuss the problems of a one size fits all approach to information literacy (IL) teaching, and consider how to make the experience more relevant to the learner.


The paper provides a discussion based on an extensive analysis of the literature.


Isolated rote learning, without any self‐motivation on the part of the learner, will limit the degree to which information skills can be applied in other situations. If lifelong learning is the true goal of IL education, information specialists are ideally placed to impart skills that go beyond the ostensibly limited relevance (from a student's perspective) of academic assignments.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses alternative approaches to the teaching of IL based on a review of the literature. It offers new models for consideration for IL practitioners.


The paper discusses the role of the learner and their motivation and how librarians can make IL training more relevant to the individual. As such should be of interest to practitioners in educational institutions of all kinds.



Shenton, A. and Fitzgibbons, M. (2010), "Making information literacy relevant", Library Review, Vol. 59 No. 3, pp. 165-174.

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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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