Tag Archives: Lucinda Rush

Use of Social Networking Site Consumer Training to Teach Information Literacy Threshold Concepts

By Lucinda Rush
Education Reference Librarian
Old Dominion University

Introduction

Social networking sites (SNS) have been integrated seamlessly into our everyday lives, and college students are one of their biggest consumers (Lenhart, et. al. 2010). Just as consumers of Starbucks have been trained to speak the language of the corporation, ordering “venti” instead of “large”, and consumers of smart phones have come to rely on them in their every-day lives for things like directions, instant access to email, fitness apps, and more, social media users have been trained to intuitively expect and respond to things on their SNS in day-to-day life. The skills that our students have developed through consumer-use of SNS can be incorporated into library programming to teach the threshold concepts outlined in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy (2015). This paper reviews the skills that students have developed as consumers of SNS which were introduced by Rush and Wittkower (2014) and will introduce creative and practical approaches to teaching students in formal classroom settings as well as outside of the classroom through library outreach and engagement programming. The focus of the ideas introduced is on the consumer-trained skills developed through use of SNS and not necessarily on use of SNS itself, which will provide librarians with ideas for low-tech ways to use these skills to teach students information literacy concepts.

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