I’ve recently been reading up on the news buzz word: Transliteracy. The Production and Research in Transliteracy Group defines transliteracy as the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.

This new word seemed to tell of a scary topic that was threatening to shake up my nice, organized library world until I really looked at the definition. Then I thought, “Is this new? Isn’t this already what I already do in the library?” I could breath a sigh of relief: no new mountains had been placed in front of me, just the same old hills I was already climbing.

This reminded me of a post on Librarian by Day that had a video of a librarian interviewing high school students and asking them what Web 2.0 was. All the students were confused and admitted that they had no idea of what it was. Then, the librarian informed the students that part of Web 2.0 was Facebook and Twitter and all the other interactive opportunities on the web. They immediately caught on and were able to name several other examples of Web 2.0, they had just never heard the term before because these technologies were already imbedded in their lives and not some new idea.

Hopefully, I be able to read more on transliteracy now that I know it’s already an aspect of what I do and not some scary new uncharted realm.

Published in: on March 10, 2010 at 8:30 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think the word is more for those educators outside of our profession who may not realize what we have been doing all along – although it is a constantly moving target of skills. I saw the same video and mentioned it in my LLC meetings. So true that they don’t call it Web 2.0! However, many students are still missing many of those vital transliteracy skills despite being socially networked.

  2. Mrs. Bell – you’re absolutely right transliteracy is not new, but the name is. The importance to the library world is that we shift our focus from just literacy – reading and writing and look at the wider range of skills necessary to be an active citizen in todays world. If you are interested I’ve written post with a longer definition of transliteracy here

    You might also be interested in the Libraries and Transliteracy Blog written by myself (public librarian), a school librarian and an academic librarian.

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