Friday, September 21, 2018

Register your event with Global Media and Information Literacy Week #GlobalMILweek

If you are celebrating Global Media and Information Literacy Week (24-31 October 2018) in any way, go to this page to register your event, so others can find out what it going on!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Exploring people’s conceptions and experience of information literacy #REDMIL2018

This is my keynote presentation from the REDMIL doctoral summer school that I participated in last week at the Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium, last week. My abstract was "Webber will start by outlining her research philosophy and contextualise this within her journey as a researcher. She will then summarise key aspects of phenomenographic and case study approaches: for example, appropriate types of research question for that approach, typical research design. Webber will finish by giving examples of information literacy research carried out using phenomenography or case study, focusing on studies undertaken in the Information School, University of Sheffield. These will include research studies focusing on populations in the UK, Syria, Thailand, Greece and Pakistan."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

New articles: Plagiarism; Privilege; Credit-bearing courses; Student success; Workplace IL; Librarians' research

Firstly, in the new issue of the open access journal College and Research Libraries (volume 79 issue 6, 2018)
- Faculty Perceptions of Plagiarism: Insight for Librarians' Information Literacy Programs by Russell Michalak, Monica Rysavy, Kevin Hunt, Bernice Smith, Joel Worden
- Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses in Academic Libraries: Comparing Peers by Spencer Jardine, Sandra Shropshire, Regina Koury
- Academic Librarian Research: An Update to a Survey of Attitudes, Involvement, and Perceived Capabilities by Marie R. Kennedy, Kristine R. Brancolini
- Information Privilege Outreach for Undergraduate Students by Sarah Hare, Cara Evanson
- The Academic Library’s Contribution to Student Success: Library Instruction and GPA by Ula Gaha, Suzanne Hinnefeld, Catherine Pellegrino
Go to

Secondly, a couple of items from the latest issue of Libri
- Wu, Dan / Liang, Shaobo / Dong, Jing / Qiu, Jin. (2018). Impact of Task Types on Collaborative Information Seeking Behavior. Libri, 68(3), 231–245.
- Naveed, Muhammad Asif / Rafique, Fariha. (2018). Information Literacy in the Workplace: A Case of Scientists from Pakistan. Libri, 68(3), 247–257.
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: carrots at the Farmers Market, September 2018

Teachmeet in Glasgow

Academic and Research Libraries Group Scotland (ARLGS) have organised a TeachMeet-style half-day event on the afternoon of 20 November 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. The theme is teaching, training or information skills within libraries. "We are seeking applications from volunteers willing to give short, informal presentations during the event, which will be taking place at the University of Glasgow Main Library (G12 8QE). Typically, presentations can be between 5 and 15 minutes, and would be followed by questions from the audience or a discussion. This would allow speakers time to demonstrate good practice they have recently delivered, discuss an innovative idea that improved practice in their library or share personal insights in teaching. We welcome PowerPoint presentations, lightning presentations but also interactive demonstrations of your library innovation. Your idea could be presented in whatever format you choose (depending on equipment or room layout required)."
Applications (topic, format, material needed if applicable) should be sent by 22nd October 2018 to - at the moment they are only looking for people willing to present
Photo by Sheila Webber: a back staircase, Louvain la Neuve, September 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Webinar: Can new librarians have a voice?

There's a free webinar on 24 September at 1pm UK time (Chicago 7AM, Paris 2PM, Melbourne 10PM), organised by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) and ALA (American Library association): Can new librarians have a voice? Training & professional development vs. workplace reality
- We must give young professionals effective opportunities to learn, develop and lead by Christine Mackenzie (IFLA President-Elect)
- Organisational culture, empowerment and coaching – give opportunities to develop and learn by Catharina Isberg (Library Director Helsingborg Public Libraries, Secretary IFLA CPDWL section)
- Trust Those Fresh Eyes! by Dr Elham Sayyad-Abdi (Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence, University of the Pacific, USA / IFLA LIS Education in Developing countries)
- Skills for challenges: New librarians’ expectations from France to Malaysia by Dr Antoine Torrens (IFLA NPSIG Co-convenor, Bibliothèques de la ville de Compiègne, France)
More at
Join at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cakes, Blackheath Farmers' market, September 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Webinar: Engaging Learners through Active Instruction and Assessment

There is a priced 90 minute webinar on November 14 2018, starting at 2.30 US Eastern time (which is, e.g., 7.30pm UK time) Engaging Learners through Active Instruction and Assessment. It is organised by the American Library Association. "Whether you have one 60-minute session or a whole semester, successful instruction requires engaging with students early. Information literacy instructors can prepare students for learning and maximize participation during class time by employing key strategies both before class begins and in the critical first 15 minutes of class time. By the end of this session, participants will be ready to: quickly create welcoming environments where students feel comfortable speaking, sharing mis-steps, and detailing accomplishments; use principles of inclusive pedagogy to create customized and effective active learning exercises; and empower students to take leadership roles in their learning experiences." It is US $54 for ALA members aand US $60 for non-members. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Charlton Park, September 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Online course: Information Literacy in Politically Polarized Times

A new online priced course from Library Juice Academy is Information Literacy in Politically Polarized Times. I runs for 4 weeks, starting 15 October 2018. The cost is US $175. "This course is one opening for librarians and fellow educators to reflect together on the role information literacy education at this current polarized moment, the strengths and limitations of our current pedagogical practices, and new possibilities for our instructional work. Learning outcomes are: (1) Reflect on current sociopolitical and sociotechnical environments and their implications for information literacy education (e.g., political polarization; the online spread of misinformation; information silos and echo chambers; motivated reasoning; efforts to strengthen civic dialogue and engagement). (2) Become familiar with research on the relationship between social identity, beliefs, and information behaviors and consider its implications for information literacy education. (3) Examine various pedagogical responses to related information literacy skills (e.g., source evaluation, online reading strategies, debiasing). (4) Develop an instruction activity that encourages more critical engagement with information and that addresses a pedagogical concern related to the current sociopolitical climate." The course leader is Andrea Baer. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: flower art on a university wall, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium, September 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Literacies and participations: from practice to (critical) reflection #ReDMIL2018

The final keynote from ReDMIL I will be liveblogging is that of Maria José Brites (Universidade Lusofona do Porto, Portugal), talking on Literacies and participations: from practice to (critical) reflection. Her publication citations list is here.
The first question she posed was - do we need new research methods, can we continue to use the old, should we be developing hybrid methods? Secondly, characterising herself as an audience researcher, she asked what methods we can use to capture that moment in time when people are using new media. Thirdly she asked about the place of participation and reflection in research (and associated questions, like the impact of participation on people in their daily life).
Brites referred to a publication she had co-authored Methodological challenges in the transition towards online audience research. They came up with four challenges: (1) the expansion of online ethnography (which has varieties and labels such as net ethnography, virtual ethnography, cyber ethnography), and the importance of contextualisation (so seeing online in the context of the whole life - I will mention that there is interesting work from the ethnographer Tom Boellstorff arguing that this is not always necessary) (2) the influence of big data (3) reliance on mixed methods, and using research methods with different philosophies in one project (4) the ambiguity of online data and ethical issues that arise when you are doing online research. The ethics include issues of what is public and what private, and whether the particiapnts whose data is being used understand the implications of participating in research.
Brites identified Paulo Freire as important for her when considering issues of critical thinking and digital life. She pointed out that "connecting daily practices and reflexive thought is not a new idea" since it had already been developed by Freire. These aspects were important for participative methodologies. Brites emphasised the importance of being theoretically strong, but that when you are carrying out a research project, it was also a dialogue between the theory and the data.
Brites moved on to "learning by doing" and said she was fond of the European Commission's Key competencies for Lifelong Learning (2006). These include competencies in communication in mother tongue and foreign languages, mathematical and scientific competences, digital competences, "learning to learn" competences, social and civic competences, entrepreneurial competences, and cultural awareness. I most easily found the page about the 2018 review of the 2006 competencies. Brites regretted that this recent review left out "learning to learn" competences, and the earlier framework was the one that they used in a very recent project about young people and digital media, RadioActive. Brites also mentioned the DigiComp 2.0 framework.
She went on to talk about the Young People, News and Participation project, the RadioActive project , the ANLite project, and they have a new project about digital and civic literacies in juvenile delinquency institutions.
Brites firstly talked a bit more about the one year Media in Action project (part of DGConnect, I think this is the website This involves gathering togther material and ideas created in previous projects, so that teachers can use them in practice, and it also has a digital storytelling strand.
She then explored the methods used in the project on young people, journalism and participation. There were 35 young people of various backgrounds involved, and the methods included direct observation, interviews, and focus groups, on a longitudinal basis. The longitudinal aspect enabled the young people to be more reflexive. For example in a second semistructured interview the participants were asked to bring along information or conversations they had used during the political campaign that was going on at the time. The participants were also shown the results of the first interview, so they could discuss that, and new interview questions were introduced on the basis of findings from the first interview. Additionally, the young people became "quasi researchers", interviewing peers. This article talks about the research.
Brites moved on to the RadioActive project (there is an article about it here, it was focused on competences assessment). It was looking at young people in low income areas, who had to produce online radio shows. As part of this, they were asked to do interviews with people on the street, which was challenging for the young people, but they found it improved their confidence in general communication and in creating material for the radio show.
The ANLite project involved enquiring with journalists, young people, parents and teachers about their media, news and digital literacies. An area of concern for Brites was that these people mostly had to learn these literacies by themselves, because the education was not embedded elsewhere.
Finally, the new project involves working in three educative centres for young offenders, with about 70 people. It will be an interesting issue of what methods to use in this challenging context (and altogether sounds an interesting and challenging project!)

I will be finishing up the ReDMIL coverage tomorrow, with a blog about my own keynote and one or two wrap posts, including talking about the doctoral contributions to the summer school.

Addressing curricula as policy: steps and methods for a critical assessment of media education content in school programmes #ReDMIL

Normand Landry (TELUQ) gave the next keynote I'm liveblogging at REDMIL18, Addressing curricula as policy: steps and methods for a critical assessment of media education content in school programmes.
Theoretical knowledge, policy, teaching practices, competencies to be developed by learners, and the policies, social issues etc. around the concept of "media" all have to be considered in this context. Landry felt that there had not been enough research looking at how these factors are interlinked and interact (how they are articulated). (National/ regional) school curricula also formed an important linking role, and there were a number of questions that can be asked about curricula (e.g. looking at the discourse used in curriculum documents). This talk focused on work in Quebec in researching curricula (for evidence of media education) this way, and describing the exact process they used.
Discourses. prescriptions and goals were three key aspects of the documents being analysed. It was also valuable to look where the media education content was situated (in which other disciplines), which had implications for teacher education and practice in those disciplines. Finally, mapping this content to media literacy competences, or a media education framework, gives an idea of how adequate the content is.
Landry went on to explain how they had approached the project in Quebec. He gave a brief sketch of the complexity of the Quebec school curricula (see photo).
Step one involved reading all the documents, taking note of all the issues related to the points above (e.g. what discourses are being used, what words and phrases are useed, what strikes you as problematic). After this unstructured close reading, a second more structured reading and coding is needed. At this stage it was important to remain objective, in order to bring out the meaning of the document/writers (rather than the preconceptions and terminology of the researchers).
Talking about discourses, Landry gave illustrative quotations e.g. the curriculum document asserting that children would be "amazed and fascinated" by media productions. Looking at action verbs, they picked out the verbs and verb phrases e.g. "develop" "give them opportunities". The researchers developed a table of players (e.g. students), actions (verbs) and the learning objects. The objects of learning are the things that the verbs applied to (e.g. distinguishing "different types of media"). The "extraction sites" were the parts of the curricula in which the content were found (e.g. history). The above can be used to generate a keyword list to search the documents thoroughly (or also, I think as a preliminary or comparative tool for others' research?)
The results are a refined table of actors, verbs, objects of study, and extraction sites. This can be used for second phase research, using these lists to start conversations with teachers about how and whether they implement this. The results were finally compared in this study to a relevant matrix of media literacy competences (I think based on this This reveals the conception of media education embodied in the curriculum, enabling the researchers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum, where different types of media literacy were developed etc.: this is evidence which can be used to interact with policymakers as well as practitioners.
There have been a number of analyses of media literacy or information literacy documents in different countries, and I think this research is a useful model for approaching this systematically. 

Methodological aspects in practice based research: Case Somejam #ReDMIL2018

Today I aim to liveblog again from the ReDMIL2018 doctoral summer school at UCL Belgium, and the first keynote of the day is from Sirkuu Kotilainen (University of Tampere), who talks on Methodological aspects in practice based research: Case Somejam. As a liveblog, these are just my immediate impressions of her talk.
The project she was using was involved young people learning coding, a two-day hackathon called Somejam. Kotilainen said that she felt that both approaches to teaching and learning, and research methods, needed to change with changing technologies and literacies.
She identified that they took a "pragmatist critical perspective in learning and literacies in digital cultures", both for the research and the hackathon. There was a political objective, to help education students develop their pedagogy, to be more collaborative in involving learners. There were 45 participants in the hackathon, 15 students from high schools, and the others Masters level students. The participants formed teams and had to develop a digital product (concerned with improving the lives of young people) during the course of the hackathon, with mentoring from IT students.
Kotilainen identified this project as being pragmatist, and one way of categorising it is as Educational Design Research (van Akker et al, 2006), which has been used (for example) in educational technology research. However, for Kotilainen a more familiar way of categorising it was as action research, with its cycles of planning, action and reflection. The planning included all the practical and marketing issues, on a fairly tight budget. Somejam was organised by project leaders and small teams of graduate students. The reflection included an after party in a pub, personal learning diaries of those involved, and a 2-hour reflective discussion. The reflection included the issues that emerged within the organising teams during the event. There were also interviews with 6 organisers and participants, organisers' logbooks, the documents created in the event, the 9 designs of the apps or digital objects created in the event, and the teams' video presentations of their products.
This means there was a lot of data, and Kotilainen stressed the need to make decisions about which data you were going to select to concentrate on, in order to focus on the aims of your project. She also stressed the need to explain, and critically reflect on, the process of research, to use the data for thick description, and to enfold the reflective aspect, with the narrative of the findings presented clearly.
So, in this project was hands-on, with the researcher as an active participant, aiming for transformation and development. A key challenge was making the research methodologically robust. In this case Participatory Action Research and Educational Design Research were linked together, possibly to form a new method. Also Kotilainen forecast a new online hackathon, which will take place in conjunction with the Global MIL conference 24-26 October 2018. It will start online in advance of the conference and registration is already open (when I manage to find the link I will add it!).

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Literacies between Kultur und Bildung #RedMIL2018

My next liveblog from the ReDMIL doctoral summer school is Olivier Le Deuff's talk on Epistemological issues in new literacies: Literacies between Kultur und Bildung. I have mentioned him before, for example last year we presented on a panel about theorizing information literacy together. He is based at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France.
Firstly he talked about his own background, starting as a school librarian in France (professeur documentaliste). He decided to do a PhD whilst he was a teacher librarian, having seen the information problems that the students had. He began this PhD when "web 2.0" was becoming important, so he felt that this new media meant that information literacy couldn't be the same as in the 1980s, but needed to be more ambitious. Thus for his PhD he used culture de l'information as the term for the concept he was investigating.
Le Deuff referred to the Groupe de recherche sur les cultures et la didactique de l'information which he had formed with others (consisting of teacher librarians, teachers and researchers), 10 years ago. This was still investigating issues to do with literacies and learning.
Le Deuff said how a colleague had dubbed him "le literatiologue" because of his interest in literacy, and he noted that this exact concept was relatively new in France, and not so well known. There were difficulties around translating "literacy" and "literate".
Now his interests focused on a number of areas: digital humanities (e.g. Humanlit project) - see also his book; Digital health literacy (following his project with older people); Paul Otlet (the pioneer information scientist); the epistemology of information science; and documentation / documentality /hyperdocumentation.
Turning to definition of terms and identification of concepts, he still preferred "culture de l'information". In this context, "culture" conveys the complexity of the concept, and he prefers this to the term "Media and Information Literacy" which seems to him a more institutional terms, and also one that does not translate ideally into French. Le Deuff also identified the issue that media literacy is assumed by some by some to be the same as news literacy. He noted that the term "Transliteracy" was also interesting, but was sometimes misunderstood and more difficult to work with when talking to teachers, librarians etc. For him the "trans" aspect was most important, that one is working across media, from printed books to digital literacy, possibly making a connection between old and new forms of communication.
Le Deuff went on to explore the term "didactics" (the literal translation from the French), which he distinguished from pedagogy. Underlying the concept are the important questions: what do we want to teach and how do we want to teach?
Turning specifically to information literacy, Le Deuff put forward three versions of IL: IL for economy (as in Zurkowski's idea); IL for citizenship; IL and libraries (originating in a North American context, and in the 1980s, and - Le Deuff felt - connecting with the idea of IL for economy).
Looking at the title to his talk, Le Deuff defined the German terms Kultur (which does translate as culture - including ways of life, nationality etc.) and Bildung (which means development, learning things over time, I would add that it does get used in some contexts in which in English you would say "education"). He proposed that Kultur could be seen as more collectivist, and Bildung as something more individual. That led to the idea that you needed some foundation or tools, but also to understand for yourself: Le Deuff also floated the idea that we needed eine neue Aufklarung (which could be translated as a new enlightenment). I asked about this idea afterwards, and he referred back to Kant's idea of the citizen being able to read and write, and so now we need to think about what it means to be a reading-and-writing citizen now, with both a technical and intellectual perspective. He also referred to the idea of the "state of majority".
Finally, Le Deuff returned to the idea of digital humanities, the need to study literacies with a sense of perspective and the past (rather than just focusing on the current changes) and the connections between ancient practices and current ones, so that we could find a better way to develop a curriculum for literacies.

Data Literacy: part of media literacy or a new form of literacy #REDMIL2018

The second keynote that I'm liveblogging at REDMIL2018 is from Leo Van Audenhove (Free University of Brussels) on Data Literacy: part of media literacy or a new form of literacy. Looking at the field, he highlighted the terminology and concepts about the types of literacy (e.g. data lteracy, numeracy, statistical literacy) and the individual's role (e.g. the call for new data professionals). He also noted that the field is very skill and competence oriented and is instrumental (with data literacy being seen as useful for being an empowered citizen etc., see photo).
Van Audenhove presented a couple of data literacy definitions, which he pointed out were similar to media literacy definitions, and I would add they also have similarity with information literacy definitions. He quoted Data Pop Alliance who put data literacy at the centre of literacies (there is one of those familiar daisy diagrams, with data literacy in the middle, and information literacy as one of the outer petals). Van Audenhove referred to Castells who pointed out that information had always been around, so that it wasn't the information society that was new, but rather the networks which extend and augment "the body nd mind of human subjects in networks of interaction". Van Audenhove gave the example of Netflix, where you created your own profile, so it tailored itself to you (unlike traditional TV). Going back to Castells, he noted how Castells had identified that what is valued has not changed (so, in a capitalist society this means what major institutions think is valuable).
In analogy with all this, "increase in the amount of data does not define a new society" so the increasing amount of data produced is emerging in a biased world, with its existing structures, regulations, values etc. Van Audenhove talked about the "automated decision processes", including the obvious ways in which search engines, social media are filtered, but also the algorithms affecting all sorts of decision making processes (to do with health, everyday life) made by governments as well as companies and individuals. This can lead to social sorting - putting people into boxes - and data misuse.
He gave an example of "being of interest in the network" (or not) he gave screenshots from Google Streetview - or rather, he pointed out how there was streetview of a South African university campus, but there was no streetview of a township only about 10 miles away.There were issues there of whose lives and voices were and were not valued.
Van Audenhove presented a media literacy competence model from, and related data literacy to this. However, he emphasised that having the competences (being able to identify, use etc. data) didn't automatically enable you to understand the role of data and the automated decision processes in society. The outcomes of people/machines using data (e.g. outcomes of algorithms) are not always visible, and people may not be aware of them.
To answer the question in the title of his talk, yes, he felt that data literacy needed to be brought into media literacy, in order to integrate this critical, questioning aspect. There was also a need to develop educational material fostering this critical approach with the operational skills. For people's empowerment, he set out 3 preconditions: that a person has knowledge and capabilities to engage with media critically; that the "individual has the choice to act on the acquired knowledge", and that people can trust the systems that they live with and use (this includes policy and regulations).
Van Audenhove finished by talking about a project he has embarked on now, where they have got money for a big "data bus" - a real bus kitted out with tech, sensors and so forth, which will travel round to schools in Brussels, "showcasing the role of data". Students will be able to play with things (the bus can hold about 40 people when it is static), it can be integrated into their curriculum, and they will develop educational packages. They are still developing the apps, and are starting out in the next half year. It will be an interesting project to follow. The public broadcasters in Flanders has a remit for media literacy, which makes it fruitful to work with, for example they are creating special episodes for a popular TV series, focusing on media literacy, which can be used when working with children. There is a week when the broadercaster focuses on media literacy, and this media literacy week again provides opportunities for working in schools. An issue is teacher training: teachers may be very motivated, but media literacy may not have been a feature of their education.
Issues that came up in the question session afterwards included the right to be invisible, and the problem of token official commissions etc. to do with issues such as fake news (determining who got included in the group examining the issue, and the boundaries of the issues).

Digital media, culture and education: using dynamic literacies #REDMIL2018

This week I am one of the keynote speakers at the Research on Digital/Media/Information Literacy (REDMIL2018) doctoral summer school at UCLouvain in Belgium. I will be doing some liveblogging, mainly focusing on the keynotes, since doctoral students do not always want their emerging ideas liveblogged. As usual, the warning that this is my impression of what people said.
John Potter (UCL Institute of Education) gave the first keynote, entitled Digital media, culture and education: using dynamic literacies and third space as frameworks. He referred to his book coauthored with Julian McDougall Digital Media, Culture and Education Theorising Third Space Literacies. He was exploring questions such as where researchers focus their attention, what interpretations, analysis etc. we use. He used a metaphor from China Mieville's novel The city and the city, in that those in different disciplines may be exploring the same subject, but "unseeing" (being unware of and not seeing) the research and interpretations from outside their discipline. This can be seen to be the situation e.g. with media lteracy and information literacy.
He moved on to discuss the meaning of a core concept, namely "literacy". He presented literacies (rather than "literacy") as now being "inherently ideological and contested", with it important to look at situated practices, and qualitatively different in the digital age. This did not mean neglecting print literacy, but it did mean exploring the different forms of literacy.
Potter saw "categorising labels" for literacy as problematic (for example digital - , Information - , cultural -, ), putting too much emphasis on the categorising label, and not enough on exploring a person's world of literacies. He felt it was important to explore both socio-cultural and semiotic aspects of literacies (see 2nd photo): so not just practices, but also underlying meanings. Potter introduced the idea of "dynamic literacies" (encompassing this framework), capturing the way in which dynamism of change needed to part of a research framework. Artefacts, practices and social arrangments change. He used the selfie stick as an example to make the point that we should not be too focused on the artefact , but also the practices and the social interactions. Potter also emphasised the important of play and playfulness as part of engaging with literacies.
He moved on to give instances of dynamic literacies, such as people making "audio" postcards, recording memories in digital ways, using virtual realities (he showed photos of a child in a classroom, but looking at a VR representation of the school roof). He also talked about "reading" images and ways in which humans have marked their physical environments.
Following on that, Potter presented a video produced by children, which he had analysed in his own thesis, and explained the complexity of what was being done in the video, in the cultural references, the skills and techniques used by the children in putting it together etc.
He finished by talking about the Playing the archive project (which also involves colleagues in the Education School at my own University) which is "exploring the nature of play by bringing together archives, spaces and technologies of play, along with people who play, both old and young". So this involves exploring how play archives may be brought alive for children now, and also involves ethnographic study of current children's play. This leads to them developing "dynamic [research] methods for dynamic literacies". For example, multiple ways may be used to capture sound and movement (drones, cameras on the children). They are noticing how channels such as YouTube, Youtubers, games etc. are incorporated into the children's lives. Potter highlighted the ethical issues, and the importance of not seeing people as data points. There was a need for dynamic and creative methodologies

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Call for chapters: Visualizing the Library: A Primer on visual research methods in Library and Information Sciences

Shailoo Bedi and Jenaya Webb are calling for chapters for a forthcoming book they are editing, to be published by Facet Visualizing the Library: A Primer on visual research methods in Library and Information Sciences. "The purpose of this book is to provide a strong theoretical and methodological context for the use of visual research methods for information studies and to showcase examples of visual research methods “in action”. As our users increasingly document, share, and narrate their lives through images on social media, we seek to harness the power of images to understand their experiences in information spaces." The editors are writing part 1 of the book, giving an overview of methods, and are seeking the chapters for part 2 which will "showcase contributions from researchers and practitioners using visual research methods in a variety of contexts (eg. galleries, libraries, archives, and museums)".
If you are interested "contact Shailoo Bedi ( and Jenaya Webb ( with a brief expression of interest by September 30th, 2018". If the idea is accepted, final chapters are due by May 31 2018, and the book should be published in 2020.
Photo taken by Sheila Webber in Second Life

Call for chapterrs: Critical Library Pedagogy in a Global Context

There is a call for chapters for a book to be edited by Jessica Haigh and Judy O'Connell, Critical library pedagogy in a global context, with proposals (500-1000 words) due by 15 October 2018. "The purpose of the book is to provide a collection of 15-20 practical and evidence based chapters which will explore various aspects of critical pedagogy and how the theory can be applied to information literacy teaching. Critical librarianship is a growing field, in which practical information about how theories can be implemented into practice in a way that is useful for librarians remains limited. This book will foster scholarly conversations in critical librarianship in academic libraries to support critical thinking, information literacy, and lifelong learning skills in students. Focusing on what a critical pedagogy means within a wide range of contexts and circumstances, this book aims to cover aspects of library practice both within the classroom, and in other circumstances where learning, training, helping and teaching occur." Full chapters will be due 15 March 2019
More information from
Photo by Sheila Webber: squash, Blackheath Farmers' market, September 2018

Friday, September 07, 2018

Webinar: Special Collections & Archives: Partners in Critical Information Literacy

There is a priced webinar offered by ACRL on 13 September 2018 at 2pm-3pm US Eastern time (which is 11-12.00 US Pacific time and 7pm-8pm UK time): Special Collections & Archives: Partners in Critical Information Literacy "Discover how to utilize primary sources from special collections and archives to teach critical information literacy. Explore primary source analysis as a critical teaching tool that is rooted in both critical consciousness-raising and postmodern archival theory. Example analyses will use foundational archival principles to guide learners through their work. Additionally, the presenters will highlight ways in which critical primary source analysis can be useful in addressing some of the common challenges to implementing critical pedagogical techniques." The presenters are Rebecca K. Miller (Head of Library Learning Services at Penn State University Libraries) and Julie Porterfield (who is Instruction & Outreach Archivist and WGSS Library Liaison at Penn State University Libraries). Costs are: ACRL member: $50; ALA member: $75; Nonmember: $90; Student: $40; Group*: $295. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Palace Pier, Brighton, July 2018

Thursday, September 06, 2018

My professional practice inside and outside Second Life

On 28 August I gave a presentation, My professional practice inside & outside Second Life, as part of the Virtual Worlds MOOC which ran throughout August 2018. Second Life (TM Linden Labs) is a 3D virtual world which has existed for 15 years, in which many educators both educate and discuss educational matters with fellow-educators around the world (my presentation was given in Second Life). The abstract was
"Sheila will discuss firstly, what does it mean to be a "professional"? (looking at discussion in the literature about this matter). Secondly she will examine her professional practice in Second Life (as organiser of events, currently for Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, and as an educator and researcher). She will examine some example activities in Second Life, and consider to what extent she is drawing on her "Second Life" professionalism and skills, and to what extent she is using physical world skills and knowledge. She will draw on Practice Theory (using a framework developed by Davide Nicolini and colleagues and her ongoing autoethnography." Here's the presentation (Sheila Yoshikawa is my name in Second Life (SL):

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Marketing libraries (with cats)

The excuse for this post is one of the (open access) articles in the new issue of Marketing Libraries Journal (Volume 2, Issue 1, Summer 2018) that is related to teaching information literacy
- Hooking your Audience: Tailored Instruction Marketing by Karen Doster-Greenleaf and Amy Stalker. "In 2016, Georgia State University Library, Dunwoody Campus, adopted a new approach toward faculty outreach via a liaison program. ...This article outlines strategic development of the marketing plan, the most successful tactics, and recommendations for promotional materials, overall impact, and future directions."
However, I must admit that the article that first caught my eye was:
- Ask a Catbrarian: Marketing Library Services Using a Cat by Teagan Eastman, Jennifer Saulnier, and Kati Richardson. "This case study aims to describe how employees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Undergraduate Library (UGL) utilized a cat mascot as part of a marketing campaign to promote awareness of library resources and services and to overcome undergraduate students’ library anxiety. The authors describe how the idea of a cat mascot emerged, how librarians determined campaign objectives, and the process they undertook for developing videos, social media posts, events and displays for the campaign."
I have embedded the video about Uggles the catbrarian, below.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Instructional Design Essentials: A Practical Guide for Librarians

Published earlier this year was Sean Cordes' book Instructional Design Essentials: A Practical Guide for Librarians. It is published by Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-1-5381-0723-2 Paperback and 978-1-5381-0724-9 eBook. Information about the contents etc. is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: St Georges Church, Sheffield, September 2018