AI Literacy (and Academic Libraries)

This proposal emphasises the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) literacy into academic libraries, equipping students with essential skills to thrive in an AI-driven future. In a fast-evolving technological landscape, ensuring students possess foundational knowledge and skills to navigate and contribute responsibly to the AI realm is crucial. Libraries, as educational and community hubs, have the potential to act as primary platforms for AI literacy, offering numerous opportunities for skill development and promoting a culture of continuous learning.

This proposal looks at some steps that the University Library, and in particular the Learning Support team, have experienced to promote AI literacy initiatives targeted at students. As AI continues to permeate various facets of society, preparing students for the AI age has become an imperative. AI literacy entails comprehending AI concepts and understanding ethical implications and practical applications. Academic libraries, crucial in education, provide an ideal setting to foster AI literacy and equip students with essential AI-related skills.

The University Library focuses on advancing education in a digital world and promoting digital literacy and inclusion to ensure all learners excel in the digital information environment. The Learning Support team in the University Library created an AI library guide that covers foundational AI education. This resource provided students with fundamental knowledge about AI, covering its concepts, technologies, and societal impact.

The focus now shifts to skill development, encompassing AI literacy, critical thinking, data analysis, problem-solving, and ethical decision-making within the context of AI applications. To achieve this, the team has designed a follow-on AI workshop to build on student AI literacies and enables students to gain practical skills. The team has developed further AI resources which focus on building student’s AI literacies. The University Library envisions creating collaborative learning environments that encourage students to work together and enhances their understanding of AI concepts.

The key outcome of the workshop is for students to be equipped with AI literacy, including enhanced critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills, which positions them for success in an AI-driven job market. This fosters innovation by encouraging students to engage with AI technologies, cultivating a culture of creativity and potentially leading to groundbreaking contributions in the AI space. AI-literate students hopefully will feel more confident and empowered to explore AI careers, addressing the skills gap and contributing to the advancement of AI technologies.

The University hopes that by integrating AI literacy within its resources it will teach students essential AI-related skills and this is a step toward empowering the next generation. Libraries play a pivotal role in preparing students for the AI age, ensuring a future where they adeptly leverage AI technologies responsibly and make meaningful contributions to society.

Bonny Rugless

Manager, Learning of Teaching Support, University of Adelaide

Author Bio

Bonny Rugless (she/her) is the Manager, Learning and Teaching Support at the University of Adelaide. Bonny is new to the University Library space but has been working in the field of Learning and Teaching for over 15 years. Her previous education experience is as a Learning Designer for over a decade and as an English as another language teacher (EAL) for over 12 years. Bonny manages the Learning and Support Team which is responsible mainly for developing learning resources and workshops that develop academic literacy skills and providing advice on open educational resources and open-access textbooks.