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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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6.3.1 Identify opportunities for using IL skills

Where and how will you use information literacy skills over the next 3–4 months? You may need IL to help you identify, search for, evaluate and present information for a specific task, such as an essay or project report. You may have to visit and learn how to use an academic library, or need to search for, select and evaluate information from specialist databases or the Internet. Spend some time thinking about your study or work requirements and what opportunities you will have or can create to develop your IL skills.

Identifying just what your course or work practice will require and what you will need to focus on can be quite a complex process, so don't be discouraged if you find it difficult. At work you may be able to discuss requirements with colleagues or your manager. On a course you can refer to the aims and outcomes to identify what you are expected to know and be able to do. In an assignment, there may be particular criteria you are expected to meet in order to be successful.

It is unlikely that you will be able to identify and pin down all the opportunities to use IL skills right at the beginning of your course or work activities. New ideas will probably occur as you go along and you may come back to modify and adapt your strategy several times as your work progresses. This is fine – plans should be flexible and responsive as your circumstances change. Discussing your ideas with others (such as your tutor, manager, other students and work colleagues) can be helpful in identifying those aspects of key skills you need to work on.

Time out

Make a list of those information literacy skills you think you will need. What will you be using those skills for, and when will you need them?