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Project Information Literacy Releases Update on Lifelong Learning Study

Adam Balcziunas


By Adam Balcziunas

As you probably already know, information literacy (IL) is one of five “essential literacies” identified by PA Forward that all Pennsylvanians need in order to succeed in the various aspects of their lives.  Last October, I wrote about the ongoing work of Alison Head and Project Information Literacy (PIL).  PIL is currently in the midst of a two-year study on the lifelong learning habits of recent college graduates.  Dr. Head was the College & Research Division’s featured speaker at last year’s PaLA Annual and, at that time, she was able to present some results from the preliminary phase of the study.  Earlier last week, PIL released a Phase Two research summary.

The latest update presents data obtained through the use of an onliPA Forward Information Literacyne survey, and identifies seven trends related to participants’ information behavior and lifelong learning.  Although the nature of post-college information needs varied, for the majority of respondents, needs related to their personal lives– hobbies, travel, and making purchasing decisions—were cited most frequently.

One of the most interesting findings was that 87% of the graduates who completed the survey valued books as sources of information in their personal lives.  Additionally, 92% of the graduates claimed to have used public libraries in order to find information for personal use!  While the authors acknowledge the methodological limitations of the study, there is still a lot of food for thought in these results.

The final report will be released in fall 2015.

Access the Phase Two research summary.

For greater depth, please check out the Project Information Literacy website.

For more information about information literacy, consult the PA Forward website.

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