As discovery systems take the library world by storm, there is a new opportunity for user‐centred information literacy programs to emerge. This paper aims to explore the impact that new web‐scale discovery systems might have on information literacy programs and pedagogical approaches to library instruction.
Utilizing both a conceptual approach and a case study of one particular library, various questions and possible answers are discussed with the goal of opening new avenues for information literacy instruction.
Discovery systems offer new possibilities to shift instruction programs away from their historical focus on explanatory searching and citing, towards exploratory higher level thinking in relation to evaluating and using information itself. As library search gets easier and varied platforms become unified, the focus of information literacy on search rules and platform choice and navigation is (finally) able to truly give way to critical thinking and imaginative exploration.
Many libraries have recently or are currently adopting discovery systems, but few have begun to explore and recognize the potential for a new era of instructional possibilities. This paper acts as a base for continuing exploration and discussion in this area.
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