Sarah Pavey MSc FCLIP FRSA

School, Library, or Organization Name:

SP4IL Education Consultancy

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:

Epsom, Surrey UK

Language in Which You Will Present:


Target Audience(s):

School librarians and teachers but also others with a general interest in generative AI regarding information literacy

Short Session Description (one line):

Just how well can generative AI tools relate to information literacy? – this session puts 6 well known programmes to the test!


Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

As school librarians, one of the fears concerning generative AI tools is whether we will face redundancy in the near future. I was curious to find out whether this was likely to be fact or fiction and decided to experiment with 6 well known generative AI products – Claude, Chat GPT, Gemini, CoPilot, Pi and Canva. I posed five questions to five of the programmes and then asked the Canva image generator something a bit different. The questions were:

  1. Are you information literate?
  2. How do you justify this knowing you make mistakes?
  3. Could you teach information literacy to school aged children?
  4. Are you an autistic savant or someone who truly understands the nuances of information literacy not just regurgitates definitions?
  5. Regarding information literacy will you replace a school librarian?

I asked Canva to draw images depicting information literacy.

The results were interesting and gave real insight into the mindset of generative AI algorithms. The initial responses were almost over confident but then became more mediated with the follow up questions showing some reflection about self-capability.

The differences in approach between human and machine soon emerged with AI rooted in definitions and factual knowledge about information literacy. The human view of information literacy in being hard to define, having variable vocabulary and hence the need to look at the competencies that identify the information literate person were missed by the bots. The AI programmes all ignored social and cultural aspects of the subject and indeed anything that required critical thinking and reflection.

And so the conclusion was that as school librarians we are unlikely to be replaced by a computer programme any time soon but that the way we embrace and adopt AI will be a crucial pathway in education. In the age of AI and virtually unlimited information availability, education cannot just be about memorising facts. It must focus on cultivating literacies that AI cannot automate - creativity, emotional intelligence, ethical reasoning, systems thinking, and multicultural understanding.

This session will take you on a journey through this landscape and cover the points raised by the answers given to the questions. It will show why it is imperative that as school librarians we keep in the forefront of AI developments and give students the opportunities they need to hone their skills for the future using this technology.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

 Anthropic (2024) Claude Home Page. Available at:

Canva (2024) Canva Home Page. Available at:

Google (2024) Gemini Home Page. Available at:

Inflection AI (2024) Pi. Ai Home Page. Available at:

Microsoft (2024) CoPilot Home Page. Available at:

OpenAI (2024) Chat GPT Home Page. Available at:

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