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LILi: Lifelong Information Literacy 2023 Conference

Putting Text into Context

Presented by Johnnie LaDue (University of Tennessee at Martin) (Pronouns: they/them)

"Reading does not consist merely of decoding the written word or language; rather, it is preceded by and intertwined with knowledge of the world. Language and reality are dynamically interconnected. The understanding attained by critical reading of a text implies perceiving the relationship between text and context." A recent reading of Freire and Macedo's "Literacy: Reading the Word and the World" inspired a reshaping of how information literacy can be explained to learners by placing specific information into the context of who created it, why it was created, who benefits from it, and similar criteria. In this method, students understanding of context builds from an example as simple as an exit sign and builds to more complicated examples such as a popular magazine article on plagiarism software and a white paper on student loan forgiveness. People instinctively understand context within certain scenarios, so the goal of this method is to meet learners where they are and to build upon what they know. Ideally, this will have learners thinking of information literacy as a skill they have, but need to hone instead of a foreign concept they have to internalize.

Librarians will discuss artificial intelligence adoption at the University of Mississippi and how they are working to position themselves as AI literacy experts. They will also outline ways that other libraries can become active consultants in the creation of AI policies and resources.