BREAKING NEWS FROM CREDO OFFICES IN BOSTON AND OXFORD, U.K. Credo’s information literacy platform, Literati, implemented in 600 academic and public library institutions, is now also available for K-12 schools and student athletes. Literati School and Literati Student Athlete share the same goal as the academic and public versions of Literati: to enable librarians and educators to help learners—in this case K-12 students and the athletes among them who face unique challenges—obtain information skills necessary to succeed in their scholarly pursuits as well as in life.
To accomplish this, Credo’s platform places as much emphasis on the Technology and Services components of the platform as it does on the Content. This means that features like Librarian Connect (with real-time text, chat, and email), online tutoring, homework help, multimedia videos, and marketing support for librarians take center stage. The platform base remains XML-enriched reference content from a range of established publishers in the library field, including, for example, ABC-CLIO, M.E. Sharpe, SAGE Publications, Salem Press, Marshall Cavendish, and Dorling Kindersley, but the platform is customized for each subscribing institution to meet its unique needs.
Two sobering facts on the Literati School homepage point to the immediate need for more information literacy tools in schools and libraries:
- While 93% of 16- through 24-year-olds in the United States have either a diploma or the equivalent certificate, only 41% enrolled in college in 2010 (according to the National Center for Education Statistics).
- Even those students who pursue higher education for the most part do not have the information skills they need to thrive in college. 59% of high school graduates entering college do not know how to do research (according to Achieve, Inc.).
“Information skills are necessary to solve problems and think critically, actions essential to academic, workforce and personal success. However, in many cases fundamental competencies such as knowing how to conduct research, understanding authoritative vs. non-authoritative sources, writing and even using the Internet are unmet,” said Credo CEO, Mike Sweet, in a statement.
The success of Literati
Soon after launching the higher ed version of Literati – an extension of the original Credo Reference platform, – Credo partnered with Columbia University (and the “embedded” librarians of its Undergraduate Writing Program) to monitor students’ experience using the product. The goal was to utilize Literati as the core instructional tool and give students full access to its Technology (including Credo’s well-known Topic Pages and the Mind Map), Content (the subject encyclopedias), and various customized services. According to Credo, 90 percent of Columbia students who participated in the case study said they would likely use Literati again in the future.
On the heels of the success of the Columbia case study, Credo released the results of a similar study conducted at American University of Paris (AUP), which showed more proof of Literati’s value: 72 percent of AUP students surveyed found the multimedia materials developed by the Literati team and AUP librarians to be “very helpful,” while 75 percent said they would be likely to use Literati as a research tool in their future assignments.
Literati is a Finalist for a 2013 CODiE Award in the Best General Reference Service Content Category (winner to be announced in late January). Librarians interested in learning more about the platform may sign up for a webinar here.
Mirela Roncevic is an independent content developer, writer, and editor. She contributes articles and stories to NSR on reference and digital publishing and content development. She’s also co-editor of forthcoming ALA journal, eContent Quarterly and author of ALA TechSource Ebooks Platforms for Libraries report, scheduled for publication in April 2013. Publishers and library vendors may send PR materials to Mirela at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @MirelaRoncevic.