Resource Page

General Overview

What is it?
"Transliteracy is reading, writing, listening, speaking over a range of platforms using a variety of modes of communication and being able to shift from one mode to another easily. Transliteracy cannot be taught. It can only be developed through experiences." (Defining Transliteracy for Librarians)
Why is it important?
Transliteracy is important because the nature of communication is changing. Students need to be exposed to a variety of opportunities to create and share their ideas so that they are prepared for the way communication sharing has evolved.

Why is this topic critical for teachers and teacher-librarians?

3 Suggestions for Practical Use

  1. , writer with the Libraries and Transliteracy blog, suggests a way to incorporate the transfer of skills using a print book. View her idea here.
  2. Using Art, Language Arts and QR codes in a grade 4 classroom provides an example of how to use a variety of skills to communicate across multiple platforms. The full post can be viewed here.
  3. Creating personal learning environments with students. This video explains how a 7th grade science student created a PLE demonstrating the use of networked learning.

Links to multimedia content

Libraries and Transliteracy
Transliteracy Librarian
Librarian by Day


Lane Wilkinson Skills That Transfer

Buffy HamiltonTransliterate Learning and Inquiry

Buffy Hamilton Transliteracy and Participatory Librarianship Talk
Buffy Hamilton Libraries and Transliteracy


Bayshore Common Core Wiki

TWITTER FEED #transliteracy

Transliteracy Recommended Reading List

Ito, M. et al. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • This book reports on a three-year ethnographic investigation about how youth are living and learning with new media at home, in school, after school, and in online spaces.

Andretta, S. (2009). Transliteracy: take a walk on the wild side,. In World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly,Milan, Italy,23-27 August 2009.IFLA.
  • This paper examines transliteracy and how it is being implemented in the 21st Century Library. There are interviews with three professionals working in academic libraries.

Bobish, G. (2011). Participation and pedagogy: Connection social web to ACRL learning outcomes. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 37(1), 54-63.
  • Although Bobish never mentions the word transliteracy, his paper provides excellent examples of how to use a variety of web 2.0 tools to help students understand how all of these multimodal means of communication work across platforms and are linked. The focus is on constructivism.

Beetham, H., McGill, L., & Littlejohn, A. (2009). Thriving in the 21st century: Learning literacies for the digital age (LLiDA project) (Rep.). Retrieved from LLiDA project website:
  • The research for this project was set up to look at the kinds of skills and capabilities students need to have to get the full benefit of the technology and resources available to support their learning and the differing ways in which schools and post secondary can support these. The study examines what transliteracy skills students need and how institutions are meeting those needs, as well as how they are not. This is a fascinating read and includes many informative charts outlining the changing role of the library and school.

Ipri, T. (2010). Introducing transliteracy: What does it mean to academic libraries. College and Research Libraries News, 71(10), 532-567.
  • This article discusses the origins of transliteracy and addresses the fact that it is a new term and that there are not specific skills attached to it. There is an emphasis on the need for libraries to understand transliteracy so that patrons can have a role in constructing the knowledge bases. There is emphasis on the non-hierarchical nature of transliteracy, where one type of communication does not have more power than another.

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention, and other 21st-Century social media literacies. Educause Review, 45(5), 14-24. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from
  • Rheingold focuses on the five skills needed to be social media literate: attention, participation, collaboration, network awareness, and critical consumption. Knowing how to use web 2.0 tools is not enough. We must understand how to communicate across a variety of platforms and how to put all these five 'litearcies' together.

Sarah J. (2012). Researchers introduce a new model of connected learning. Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning. [Online]. Retrieved from
  • Sarah J. writes about what a connected learning environment should provide to students. She discusses information gained from a Digital Media & Learning conference in San Francisco.

Thomas, S., Joseph, C., Laccetti, J., Mason, B., Mills, S., Perril,S., Pullinger, K. (2007). Transliteracy: Crossing divides.
First Monday, 12(12). [Online]. Retrieved from
  • This article provides an extensive overview of transliteracy and what it looks like in 21st Century classrooms .


Newman, B., Ipri, T., Molaro, A., & Wilkson, L. (n.d.). Libraries and Transliteracy. Libraries and Transliteracy. Retrieved from

  • Subscribe to this blog and stay up to date in current research and trends around Transliteracy
  • This blog is a group effort to share information about all literacies and how they connect to libraries
  • Numerous authors contribute to this blog

Person: Sue Thomas

Twitter @Suethomas
Thomas, S. (n.d.). Transliteracy Research Group. Transliteracy. Retrieved from
  • Sue Thomas is a Professor of New Media at De Montfort University.
  • Be a part of the global conversation around Transliteracy
  • Stay abreast of new research

Newman, B. (n.d.). Defining Transliteracy For Librarians | Librarian by Day. Librarian by Day by Bobbi Newman. Retrieved February 1, 2012, from