Data Literacy for College Students
Undergraduates are increasingly expected to be able to make sense of data in order to fully participate in the workforce and our democratic process. Moreover, more undergraduates are involved in research at their schools than ever before. This project explores the ways in which library outreach can help to build data information literacy in students. Data literacy is comprised of five core competencies: understanding data, finding and obtaining data, interpreting and evaluating data, managing data, and using data. Building off of Auburn University Libraries' new suite of research data services, we are examining possible avenues for helping students develop in these areas. Competency at finding and obtaining data is a natural fit with existing information literacy instructional sessions that teach students to search databases for books and articles, except that the focus would be on data portals. With regards to managing data, we have rolled out an introductory seminar open to graduate and undergraduate students covering general best practices for manipulating data. Addressing the other three competencies will require new initiatives in partnership with disciplinary faculty and provides a growth opportunity for library data literacy initiatives. This project will outline potential programming in these areas, providing ideas and a roadmap for other librarians who may want to incorporate data into their information literacy instruction.