Apply the field’s foundational theories, principles, values, ethics, and skills to everyday practice.
This component highlights my ability to understand and empathize with multiple different user groups and apply information seeking practices that best fit their needs. Library & Information Science (LIS) foundational theories encourage applying empathetic, understanding, open minded, and unique approaches to each information seeker to best fit their needs. This project for LIS 60030 People in the Information Ecology was a four-part exploration into a library user group provided an avenue to explore these theories and skills needed to support this user group in daily practice.
The information user groups defined in this piece of work are English Language Learners (ELLs), often referred to as the second-language (L2) population of an institution. The need for resources for the ELL population in academic and school libraries is high. Many of these students are enrolled in learning communities arranged to function as a comfortable place to learn and explore the English language and their new institution, such as learning to access library resources. Elementary schools have the highest population of ELLs; with nearly one in five students are non-native speakers (Jacobsen, 2009). American schools at the K-12 levels, both public and private, are facing increased ELL student enrollment, and often schools lack the resources to support these students in their learning. Many schools lack the initiatives in place to even begin providing for these students, as many have never before needed to devote so many resources to this population.
Second-language learners as a user group have specialized needs and are only growing in numbers, with libraries and ESL instructors struggling to keep up. In the higher education setting alone, the U.S. has seen a 30% growth in international students since 2006, only a decade ago (Hansen, 2014). Libraries are “tasked with adapting and finding new ways to accommodate and equitably teach international students who are L2 users of English while maintaining academic standards for all students,” (Hansen, 2014). International students as a user group, often struggle with a lack of support, due to living in a new country and being away from friends and family, and learning to thrive in a language other than their native tongue.