Understanding your role as an information producer

One of the bigger shifts in information literacy instruction is the shift from the consumer-only perspective to the consumer-and-producer point of view.  The original ACRL information literacy standard in 2000 lacked this producer point of view but I’ve gradually seen other literacies incorporate those perspectives.  In late 2011, ACRL’s Visual Literacy standard marks the first inclusion of this concept in an ACRL standard.  In my previous work as an information literacy/competency course instructor, I often used the producer-paradigm to help flip the dry concepts of plagiarism, copyright, and intellectual property around so students engaged with how they wanted their work to be valued and appreciated.  Over the last few weeks, I see this content-producer component growing into a more imperative lifelong skill, as marketing agents are learning to track what you produce to affect your experiences in person and on the web.  In particular, I would note British Airways’ “Know Me” program that involves the distribution of iPads to crew members so they can Google passengers prior to their flight, allowing crew to recognize them (mostly VIPs or frequent travelers) on sight.  While privacy experts question the policy, there doesn’t seem to be any actual violation, just a general ick factor.  At the same time, for the young high schoolers or college kids, could you imagine your flight attendant stumbling across your old Homecoming tail-gating party photo?  AWK-WARD.  Also, Orbitz has found a way to use the type of computer you are using (this data is generally gathered via automatically downloaded and installed cookies) to predict the prices you are willing to pay for a hotel room.  While I am rather Mac-centric, I would not conclude that I am of the more-costly-room-variety.  Heck, I hosteled my way around Europe just fine with my first Mac.  However, these changes, generally not publicly disclosed or announced at first, are changing the information you and I get from the Internet.  While these topics are starting to pop up into the media stream, I thought these might be interesting examples for your info lit instructors out there to help supplement your curriculum.


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