Web Information Monitoring Services: A Theoretical Framework to Take Humanity Students Beyond Information Seeking Skills
Needs for information skills are widely propagated at school and tertiary level, as well as for professionals and scholars from all walks of life. For many decades libraries and information services have offered information monitoring services (also called current awareness or alerting services) to scientists and researchers in especially the natural sciences. These enabled them to monitor trends and new developments in their fields of interests, as soon as information is published. Currently more people have access to the World Wide Web (WWW), and there is more pressure to keep track of changes in rapidly evolving environments. Since a large number of information monitoring services are freely available or at modest subscription fees through the WWW, it seems time to include information monitoring skills in the curricula of humanities students. A theoretical framework will be proposed that cover the following: § value of information monitoring skills for humanities students § how information monitoring builds on information skills § special problems that can be experienced in terms of the broadness of the scope to cover, inter-disciplinarity, information overload, etc. § spectrum of available types of information monitoring services § suggestions on determining specific needs for information monitoring (discussion according to an exemplar) § suggestions on moving from information monitoring to information use: a perspective from the humanities.
Keywords: Information monitoring skills, Web information monitoring services, Information literacy programmes
Prof Ina Fourie
Associate Professor, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria