Author: Andrew Walsh
Source: LILAC 2011, 18-20 April 2011, British Library, London.
Via: University of Huddersfield Repository
Direct to Full Text Paper (4 pages; PDF)
A few years ago it was the norm to access the internet through a fixed line, with perhaps small numbers of users using WIFI to connect devices such as laptops. Increasingly nowadays it is becoming the norm to connect wirelessly through devices as diverse as laptops, netbooks, iPads, mobile phones, handheld gaming devices and even digital cameras. A Morgan Stanley (2009) report on the mobile internet said in December 2009, “The mobile Internet is ramping faster than desktop Internet did, and we believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within 5 years.”. Already 59% of American adults access the web wirelessly (Smith, 2010), which includes 40% accessing some aspect of the web from their mobile phones. In the UK, by the end of 2009, around 41% of adults were able to access the web from their mobile phone (Mintel, 2010). This penetration is only set to increase, as it is believed that by 2015 all new mobile phones will be smartphones.
Recognising this increase in access to the mobile web, many of us have offered mobile friendly materials to support our users’ information literacy development. But what does access to information on the move mean for the concept of information literacy? Our search behaviours must surely be changed by the Martini web (anytime, anyplace, anywhere, so what does Martini information literacy look like? This short paper will discuss how the mobile web is changing what it means to be information literate and act as a starting point to trigger the development of new models of mobile information literacy.