This fall, Renee Hobbs is sharing her strategies for implementing media and information literacy with educators and librarians in Turkey.
She has been invited to Turkey by the U.S. State Department's Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Consulate General Istanbul in cooperation with the Innovative Library Initiatives Promotion Group (ILIPG) and the Ministry of Education Istanbul Directorate on an Information Literacy (IL) Project.
On October 5 -6, Renee Hobbs offered a keynote address at Istanbul Sehir University at a conference titled “Information Literacy, Critical Thinking and Lifelong Learning." The Information Literacy (IL) Project project aims to promote awareness for the development of IL and critical thinking. Information literacy is as a prerequisite for participative citizenship, social inclusion, lifelong learning, creation of new knowledge, and personal, organizational and national empowerment.
The Information Literacy Project, designed and implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, ILIPG (composed of major university libraries, Turkish Librarians Association Istanbul Branch,
academicians, foreign cultural institutes such as Cervantes Institute,
Goethe Institute and French Cultural Center and PAS Istanbul) and others.
The first phase of the project was launched in 2007 with a pilot project involving 130 students aged 12-18 from 15 public and private schools. This phase concluded in March 2009 with a national conference at the end of which participants prepared a declaration that has been presented to government officials and the public at large. The final declaration (attached) states clearly that the first priority for the achievement of the integration of IL into the education system is to equip teachers with advanced IL skills. The statement puts major emphasis on training of current teaching staff and teacher trainees.
The second phase of the IL project, ”Information Literacy Training for Elementary and Secondary School Teachers” has been launched in light of the mandate put forth by the above mentioned conference statement, with a protocol signed between the Istanbul Provincial National Education Directorate and the ILIPG, of which PAS Istanbul is a member. Overall, the project aims to provide training in IL to teachers working within the borders of the province of Istanbul so that they may, in the long term, enable both themselves and the students for whom they will provide guidance the opportunity to become information literate individuals. Apart from the obvious benefits to the Turkish education system, the project is an outstanding example of effective cooperation between central government, NGOs, local governments, and the ILIPG. The success of this formula has already been proven with the first phase of the IL Project. U.S. Department of State gave a Fund for Innovation to Turkish Librarians Association Istanbul Branch. Microsoft Turkey also supports this project.