Information Fluency

Hugh Blackmer
Science Librarian
Washington & Lee University
(A place to cache links to materials I've written or collected. Some other related stuff is at Envisioning the future(s) of Information Technology, Web-based Portfolios, and elsewhere in my links to "current work")

27 Feb
some thoughts in the wake of the trip to California

7 Feb 2001
More thinking about Information Fluency

3 Aug 2000
August thoughts on Collaboration and Information Fluency

14 March 2000
ICUVAD materials

22 Nov 1999
The subject of an ACS symposium (Southwestern University, 19-21 November 1999), Fluency is a much more useful term than 'literacy'. I did a short presentation on GIS: an insurmountable opportunity? and co-lead the working group on collaboration.

I ran across an interesting book on the New Books shelf at UT Austin : Patrick Dickson's Futurewise (1998), a sort of exec-summary of technological future pitched at UK readers. His priorities and prognostications are arguable, but it's useful to have an eye out for things like this. Here's a fragment:

Data location and rapid analysis are survival skills
In a world of information overload there are some basic skills that third millennial students will need. None of them are difficult to master. the greatest skill is text scanning, which is quite different from reading and requires no technology.
Text scanning: a third millennial skill
In the past a top scientific advisor of a petrochemical giant might have received a phone call asking for a briefing on a new product just launched by a competitor. The advisor would have been expected to be able to provide such a brief from memory. Today's world is changing so fast that a brief will always be unsafe without an up-to-the-minute data search, and the product may be so new that many inside the launching company have never heard of it either. Human memory becomes irrelevant. (pp 32-33)
A bit that's more relevant to what we do, again somewhat arguable:
When scientific knowledge doubles every 10 years or less it raises big questions about learning. Most of what you learn is soon history, interesting but almost useless except in providing a general understanding. Universities still want people to learn facts, but the real money-making skills in the future will be searching and analyzing databases. (pg 32)