Project Information Literacy isn't a new thing to UIUC. We participated in some talks back in 2008, and some folks may be keeping up with the project itself. For those who aren't, however, the project is beginning a new study this month, examining the information literacy skills of young adults once they graduate. What happens to them once they leave the databases of their alma mater and have to utilize the reference material available to them in their first professional job?
After conducting phone interviews with recent graduates and focus group interviews, PIL writes that it hopes to post the results of their study on the site in October. The study is different in that it reaches across the nation to get data from graduates of public and private colleges, along with community and state colleges. The study focuses on these three questions:
"1. How do early adults (in their own words) put their information literacy competencies into practice in learning environments in a digital age, regardless of how they may measure up to standards for being information literate?
2. With the proliferation of online resources and new technologies, how do early adults recognize the information needs they may have and in turn, how do they locate, evaluate, select and use the information that is needed?
3. How can teaching the critical and information literacy skills that are needed to enable lifelong learning be more effectively transferred to college students?"
UIUC is participating in the study. Keep an eye out - the results of this one should be pretty interesting!