Giving voice to regional Australian academic librarians

Perceptions of information literacy and information literacy instruction




academic libraries, higher education, information literacy, library instruction, teacher librarian, Australia


Academic librarians deliver information literacy instruction (ILI) to students, engage with a range of stakeholders, and work in a range of learning environments that are continually changing. While past research has focused on the perceptions of librarians regarding their role in ILI, this has not been a significant focus of research in the Australian higher education context. This study set out to explore the perceptions of six practising academic librarians at a regional Australian university, seeking to understand their perceptions of information literacy (IL), their role in ILI and the challenges they face in this role. The participants did not have a consensus on the nature of IL, despite having a clear definition from the institution. Librarians felt they had both an educative and supportive role and that they brought expertise and authority to ILI. Librarians note­­d that their ILI supported the broader function of the university to meet internal policies and external regulatory requirements. Librarians suggested that an integrated approach to ILI at the institution would improve librarians’ agency in supporting students. The analysis of the findings led to the development of a model for the delivery of effective ILI for this institution. The findings of this study contribute to the existing body of IL research by (a) giving voice to the views of academic librarians working in a regional Australian university, and (b) highlighting the challenges that academic librarians face when delivering ILI at their institution.






Research articles (peer-reviewed articles)