Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
This is the first in a series of posts about the keynote speakers coming to the SLANZA Conference, 15th–17th July 2013 in Wellington.
One of the perks of being on the planning committee for the 2013 SLANZA conference is in knowing who the keynote speakers will be before they are publically announced. So, in addition to the profiles of keynote speakers on the SLANZA website, I will also write a series of posts about each one and their particular relevance to our work with school libraries.
Tara Brabazon is Professor of Creative Media and Head of Photography and Creative Media at the University of Bolton in Greater Manchester, UK. After hearing Tara at the Librarian’s Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) in 2008, a conference delegate wrote
“Tara Brabazon…gave one of the most outstanding performances I’ve ever seen…from her lack of PowerPoint, to Star Trek references. We need to bottle her enthusiasm for librarians and information literacy and sell it; she really has the potential to do for information literacy what Jamie Oliver did for school dinners!” Jane Secker
Information literacy is just one of the areas in which Tara talks and writes with great passion. Her other interests include:
A podcast of Tara’s address to a Master Data Management Summit in London last year entitled Change we need? Moving from information obesity to digital dieting discusses how popular search engines like Google not only “restricts, reduces and limits” but also encourages “sloppy thinking” and information behaviours that are “easy” but not necessarily beneficial.
Tara recommends that we start using simple interventions before moving onto more complex information scaffolding and to ask ourselves the following 10 questions when thinking about the management of information:
Tara says that due to a lack of information literacy, students become easily satisfied with superficial information and need to “stop snacking on crusts of knowledge and develop advanced interpretive skills” because real learning is “slow, gradual and incremental”.
I’m curious to know what kind of “digital diet” Tara might have us consider next July, but I agree with what she says about “less being more” and I like her references to Harold Innis’s work The Bias of Communication which argues that the medium is not the message but rather, as Tara emphasises, “the medium is the first moment of choice to create meaning.”
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