Dr Debbie Schachter graduated in 2019 and is the University Librarian at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Canada. Her EdD, 'Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice: Critical Information Literacy Teaching in Canadian Higher Education' was supervised by Dr Pauline Sangster and Dr Jen Ross.
Critical information literacy teaching, drawing upon the theories underpinning critical pedagogy and critical literacy, expands the work that librarians traditionally do to help students identify their need for information, and how to locate and use that information.
In particular, critical information literacy (CIL) seeks to transform information literacy from a skills-based, instrumental teaching approach to one that encourages students to develop their own critical responses to information. In the mixed methods research she conducted with higher education librarians in British Columbia, Canada, Debbie was able to identify the current awareness of CIL, and the practices that are already underway or in development.
While the research identified that CIL was considered to be more aspirational than practical, the potential to apply CIL to support decolonising and indigenising the library are areas that are being explored as examples of how to apply CIL in higher education. The research highlights an opportunity for higher education libraries to take leadership within their institutions through CIL practices, in the interest of decolonizing and addressing social justice issues.
Debbie has shared her research through articles in the Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science and in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Journal (due to be published June 2020).