Insightful study from the University Of Huddersfield (UK) about how mobile access to information affects information literacy. Mobile searcher behavior and needs is an emerging field of study in the information field, one that we’ll be tackling for years to come.
Libraries are increasingly developing services that take into account the massive effect of mobile devices upon our users. But what does this increase in use of mobile devices and related services mean for information literacy? Some databases and library catalogues are delivered in mobile friendly formats, or cross platform search tools (such as Summon at University of Huddersfield). More of our users have the equipment to take advantage of these services each year, with mobile access to the internet soon expected to overtake fixed access. When a library user is as likely to search for information on a mobile phone, tablet or handheld gaming device as on a fixed PC or in the physical library, will that change the concept of what it means to be information literate? How does mobile search change the discovery, evaluation and re-use of information? We should consider how the concept of information literacy may be affected in this pervasive mobile context and whether we need to develop a new lens through which to view the literacies required by our clientele. This paper will first consider the mobile context for information literacy. Then the presenters will compare and contrast their experiences in meeting and harnessing these devices in the delivery of Information Literacy in their own institutions, the University of Bedfordshire and University of Huddersfield in the UK.