Information Literacy Education: Perceptions, Proficiencies and Experiences of First-Entering Students at TUT
For students to master information literacy skills, they must attend Information Literacy Education (ILE) offered by academic libraries. This study adopted both quantitative and qualitative research approaches using a questionnaire and focus group interviews, respectively, to investigate the perceptions of the concept “information literacy”, “students’ skills to use library resources”, and “students’ familiarity with different library resources” of first-year students at the library of the Polokwane campus of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), South Africa, all before and after attendance of the ILE session, as well as to analyse their experiences of the ILE programme which they had attended. The study found that most of the first-entering students had a different perception of the concept “information literacy” in relation to its usage in the academic Library and Information Science (LIS) environment. The questionnaire findings further showed that the students had no skills in using library resources and were not familiar with library resources before they attended the ILE programme. However, the findings from the focus group interviews showed that, after they had attended the ILE session, they became familiar with some of the library resources, and their abilities to use those resources positively improved from novice to advanced and proficient users of information. It is therefore recommended that ILE for students be continuous so that students do not forget or lose focus of what they have learned in the formal ILE programmes. To encourage students’ participation, the attendance of ILE should be compulsory for all first-year entering students across all faculties at the TUT.