Rewriting the map of information literacy

– Information literacy is a term that is sometimes hard to understand. It is a way of knowing how you connect with an information landscape, and understanding the kind of activities that you would use to access and obtain  information, who you would talk to and what you might read. It is also about understanding how information is authorized and legitimized.

Doctor Annemaree Lloyd sits in her office at the University of Borås, where she is a visiting professor for a couple of months. Outside it is a grey and foggy Swedish November day. The interior of the office is plain and sparse and belying the complexity of Annemaree Lloyd’s discipline.

– Information literacy is also about understanding what skills are required in order to access information. It is a very critical competency and foundational to everything that we do, because without good information it’s difficult to make good informed decisions. Information literacy is important not only in academia, but in everyday life as well.

Q: Tell us about your research.

AL: I do a lot of research into information studies. I am interested in how people engage in the discourses of various settings, and how those discourses influence the way people construct knowledge.  Basically how people interact with each other.

I have worked with firemen in Australia, how firemen learn their occupation. I have also worked with nurses and paramedics and have just recently completed a study with refugees; I was interested in how refugees reconcile their own information practices with those of a new country, whether it’s easy or hard for them to do that.

Right now I am working with aged care nurses and looking at how they develop a sense of safety in their work and how that is reflected in the way that they care for their patients. It is an area that doesn’t have a large body of information related research, so it’s very rewarding.

Q: What have you been working with here, at the University of Borås?

AL: I was invited by the school to come here for three months as a visiting professor, specifically to do the social media workshop. It was a fantastic workshop and very well organized by Jan Nolin, Katriina Bystrom and Olof Sundin.  After that I  stayed on, and while I’m here I’m working with various PhD students, giving some seminars and also working with other places outside of Borås.

The library school here at the University of Borås and the school of information studies at Charles Sturt University have a memorandum of understanding. Louise Limberg is an adjunct professor at our school and she has visited a couple of times. There are a lot of similarities between our two schools.

Q: What are your views on this university and the research conducted here?

AL: The Swedish Library School in Boras has a very strong reputation all over the world for high quality research, particularly in the information literacies and information practice area . Everybody knows about it. The research here is fantastic; it’s very well known and very well respected. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve been so keen to come here to  work and to learn with the staff of the School.