Lori Townsend, an assistant professor with University Libraries and Learning Science, will give a session presentation at the 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition of Special Libraries Association in Doha, Qatar this week.

She and Amy R. Hofer, the distance learning librarian at Portland State University, will present “Moving into the Liminal Space: Thinking Conceptually about Information Literacy.”  They were invited as the result of their research into the application of threshold concepts for information literacy. 

Townsend is a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force.  That group is currently revising the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Those standards have guided instruction and curriculum development in information literacy for the past decade.

Their workshop will explore the way library faculty members help guide students through the current complex information landscape.  Information specialists currently work with students on individual projects, but Townsend believes there must be an ongoing relationship with faculty in specific subjects so they can work effectively together to assist students in developing the critical thinking skills to effectively select, evaluate and use information.

Townsend and Hofer will also lead a pre-conference workshop to teach participants about threshold concepts and how to apply this approach to teaching information literacy. Half the time will be spent working with participants on ways to apply the concepts to information instruction in class at their home institutions