The IATUL seminar on "Research Skills and Information Literacy in the Workplace" took place from 3-5 December 2018 at the University Library of the Technical University of Munich. With a total of 93 participants from many countries, a two-day lecture program and a study tour, the event was a real challenge for all participants. So it was all the better that everything went well - even the weather played along in the end.
13 speakers, 6 from libraries and 7 representing industry and business highlighted the topic of information literacy at the workplace. “When do employees need information, how is it obtained, what are the challenges especially for large corporations?” was one of the key questions for the seminar. For example, representatives of AUDI, Bosch and Schwarz Dienstleistungs KG, to which Lidl and Kaufland belong, reported on the handling of information and knowledge in their companies. Representatives from Beuth Verlag and VDE presented how their services meet the information needs of industry and commerce.
Librarians from Germany, Norway, South Africa and the UK showed how they teach information literacy in cooperation projects with industry and how they researched the actual need for information at the workplace in more detail through interviews or surveys with employees from industry.
In lively discussions, all participants exchanged information and discovered similarities and differences in demand, procurement and handling of information.
Some of the key issues were:
- Significance of the topic of finding information for all areas, focal points: Finding and procuring / evaluating information
- Information competence as process knowledge, not knowledge about specific tools
- Securing knowledge when employees leave the company (wave of retirements)
- Dealing with too much information, finding relevant information, prioritization, AI methods
- Google is reality
- Economic importance of information for all areas of industry and economy: patents, standards, lack of knowledge might be existence-threatening for small and medium-sized companies
For the future activities of libraries, an exciting range of ideas, fields of actions and content was discovered:
- More research into the information needs at the workplace – what does the industry need? What do graduates need at their future workplace?
- Collaborations between libraries, and between libraries and the industry, with regard to information literacy trainings
- Look into specific topics and integrate them if necessary: e.g. standards
- Take Google seriously as a starting point
- Make students aware that information retrieval requires patience, and diligence
- Focus on process knowledge, rather than knowledge of specific search interfaces or tools
If you would like to explore the topic more deeply or if you would like to review the event once again, the presentations and video recordings will be made available for you soon. IATUL will inform about the publication on this website and via Twitter and Facebook.
On the last day of the event, the guests had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Deutsches Museum and its library and then to visit the Munich Christmas markets.
Many thanks to all participants who contributed to the success of this event!