S4-PRO6-1 - Workplace Information Needs of Engineering and Technology Graduates: A Case Study on Two Continents

3. Research Work In Progress
Margaret Phillips1 , Michael Fosmire1, Marco Schirone2, Christina Johansson2, Frederick Berry1
1 Purdue University
2 Chalmers University of Technology

In this research category, work-in-progress study, the authors conducted eleven semi-structured interviews of employers (five from the United States and six from Sweden), in order to determine the information literacy skills and habits needed by engineering and technology graduates. The authors found similar information needs at both the Swedish and American corporations.  They found that, while the core information literacy principles of identifying an information need, locating, accessing, evaluating, integrating, and documenting are valuable skills for students to have, they need to be translated to accommodate the socially constructed information landscapes of each corporation and the more fluid and subtle requirements of workplace information problems.  Librarians and engineering educators need to construct more authentic information environments in their courses and design projects, so students will be better prepared to navigate corporate information spaces and culture.