Monday, November 19, 2018

Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe

There is a call for papers on the new International Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe, taking place on 10 May 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Conference is a final stage of the Erasmus+ project Information Literacy Online. The deadline for abstracts is 15 December 2018.
They have been developing an Information Literacy MOOC "covering six language and cultural areas" "designed to improve students' abilities to cope with the claims of present-day information society." which will be launched in May 2019.
"The Conference will be a forum for the exchange of research and experience associated with Information Literacy (IL) Learning. Besides three keynotes and a panel, several tracks of paper sessions are planned. Submissions to the following topics of interest are invited: IL as a learning process, including assessment; Digital learning resources for IL (e.g. MOOCs, Learning-scenarios, OERs); Comparative studies of courses and curricula with an IL lens; Cultural diversity of IL; IL in connection with other literacy concepts". There are 3 options: Long-papers, Short-papers, and Posters. "The Long-paper track provides the opportunity to present state of the art research. The Short-paper and Poster tracks call for original ideas, application areas and schemes. The inclusion of results is encouraged but not required. Submitted abstracts should not exceed 400 (Long-papers) or 200 (Short-papers and posters) words.". The conference proceedings will be published online. If you submit an abstract you are expected to produce a full text paper: 10 pages for long papers, 2 pages for short papers; due 29 January 2019.
Go to https://informationliteracy.eu/conference/2018/10/17/CfP1.html for more information and a link to the online submission portal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn branches, November 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Word clouds and questions: Slido, Tagxedo and Worditout

Today I'm mentioning two applications that I just came across and am using in teaching sessions, and one that I like but which is getting harder to use. I'll start by saying that the two things I wanted to do were: (1) Create a word cloud from a padlet on which students had posted their initial ideas about information literacy, at the start of the semester and (2) enable students in class to type in ideas for information literacy research, and then vote for the ones they thought were most important.
First of all, apps for creating word clouds using a desktop PC. My favourite for creating word clouds from web pages etc. has been Tagxedo and the illustration to this post is a Tagxedo wordcloud of this blog's home page. I like it because you can easily exclude words, change the colour scheme and fonts, and you can have the word cloud in cute shapes like this cat. However, it requires Silverlight, and even if you install Silverlight, it still won't function with a lot of common browsers: I had to use Internet Explorer to get it to work. Nevertheless, it has that good functionality, and it allows you to save the image in various formats and sizes, without trying to sell you stuff, so I will still use it when I can.
However, I thought I should track down something that worked without having to install anything. As Wordle say on their website "the Wordle web toy no longer works for most people", although you can download a desktop app. Thus I ended up with Worditout which doesn't have as much functionality, you can't download a version without saving it as a webpage, and they are keen to get you to plaster the resulting wordcloud on a tshirt/mug. However, you can change the wordcloud colours, remove words from the cloud, and also correct the words in the cloud (which was actually useful in my case, as I you can't read text from a padlet page, I had to create a pdf and copy/paste from that, and for some reason there were a couple of textual glitches).
For my second task, I remembered having been in meetings where you were asked to submit questions online, and vote for ones you most wanted answered. I think there are numerous apps that do this, but the one I came across first (thanks to this article: 19 must-have apps for better business meetings) was Slido. You can use it for free in a limited form (3 polls and 1 brainstorming session per event, and a number of features not enabled), but that was enough for my purposes. You set up an event, you get an event code, and you can (1) get people to type in free text questions (in my case, research questions or aims!) and then they can click on ones they want to upvote and (2) create polls. All you have to do is give people the Slido web address and the event code and they can go ahead and use the functions.
If you have any favourites in the above categories, do add comments to the post.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Recent articles: Pedagogy; First Year experience; Transition; Cognitive dissonance: Credit course

Recent articles from the priced journal Journal of Academic Librarianship: Firstly from the latest complete issue, Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 2018)
- The Actor-oriented Transfer Perspective in Information Literacy Instruction by Karen Sobel (Pages 627-632)
- We May Be Teaching Information Literacy, but Are the Design First Year Students Actually Getting It? by Debby R. Wegener (Pages 633-641)
- Ecological Study of Graduation Rates and GPA in a Library Credit Course by Christina Heady, Megan M. Morrison, Joshua Vossler (Pages 642-649)
Go to: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/the-journal-of-academic-librarianship/vol/44/issue/5

There is one article at time of writing in the "in progress" Volume 45, Issue 1 (January 2019)
- Architects, Renovators, Builders, and Fragmenters: A Model for First Year Students' Self-perceptions and Perceptions of Information Literacy by Maoria J. Kirker, Ilana Stonebraker. (Pages 1-8). "This year long qualitative study uses cognitive dissonance theory to examine first-year students' changing perceptions of their information literacy competencies throughout their freshman year."
Go to https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/the-journal-of-academic-librarianship/vol/45/issue/1
Photo by Sheila Webber: tree wrapped in Remembrance Day poppies, Blackheath, November 2018


Survey on use of ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards

Dana Statton Thompson (Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business) is doing a research study on academic librarians’ perceptions and use of the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/visualliteracy) in their instruction and/or research. She's "interested in hearing from both librarians who have used the ACRL Visual Literacy Standards and those who have not."The survey is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ACRLsurvey

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Recent articles: Apps for IL teaching; #ACRLframework use; Reflection; Collaboration

Recent articles from the open access journal College & Research Libraries News:
- Basile, A. & Matis, S. (2018). Is there an app for that? A review of mobile apps for information literacy classes. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10). https://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/17433/19241 They discuss the pros and cons of Padlet (which sadly now only allows a few padlets for new users, but I find it a very useful tool in teaching); Socrative; Mindomo; and AnswerGarden.
- Green, E. (2018) Meet them in the proximal zone: Introducing framework concepts to “novice learners” using reference sources. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10). https://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/17432
- Pullman, E. (2018). Applying the Framework as a reflective tool: A teacher learner perspective.College & Research Libraries News, 79(8). https://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/17243
- Chen, Y-H. (2018) Faculty/librarian collaborations enhance doctoral student success: Strategies for retention and graduation. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10). https://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/17436
- Vine, R. (2018) Realigning liaison with university priorities: Observations from ARL Liaison Institutes 2015–18. College & Research Libraries News, 79(8). https://crln.acrl.org/index.php/crlnews/article/view/17244 Their 3 concluding recommendations are: "Foster more frequent and deeper communication between librarians and faculty to understand their research and teaching challenges","Find ways to help librarians use internal teaming and collaborations to solve university challenges","Increase liaison activity with non-departmentalized units on campus, which are often drivers of institutional initiatives and university priorities."

Photo by Sheila Webber: little library in Kaunas, Lithiania (it just had one rather damp paperback in it), October 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Courses: Crash Course in Assessing Library Instruction; Addressing Misinformation and Fake News; SoTL

Some Library Juice Academy online short courses coming up in the new year are:
- Crash Course in Assessing Library Instruction (Instructor: Candice Benjes-Small); Runs January 7th to February 1st 2019. Price: US $175 http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/145-crash-assessment.php
- Addressing Misinformation and Fake News: Resources and Strategies (Instructor: Sarah Morris) Runs January 7th to February 1st 2019. Price: US $175 http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/190-misinformation.php
- An Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Instructor: Lauren Hays) Runs February 4th to March 1st 2019. Price: US $175 http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/179-SoTL.php
Photo by Sheila webber: remebrance day knitted poppies, Blackheath, November 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Collective #LibCol19

The Collective, March 6-8 2019,in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA is an unconference style conference, with many interesting sessions proposed, including some on information literacy. Registration costs US $86.50 and includes: "a light continental breakfast, snacks, and coffee Thursday and Friday, the opening night dinner and reception on Thursday, and a lovely swag bag." Registration at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-collective-2019-registration-51469546800 and full info on the conference programme etc. at http://www.thelibrarycollective.org
Photo by Sheila Webber: Shadows, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Featured Teaching Librarian: Jenny Stout

There is an interview with ACRL's latest "featured teaching librarian", Jenny Stout, Teaching and Learning Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. It is at https://acrl.ala.org/IS/featured-teaching-librarian-jenny-stout/

Friday, November 09, 2018

Information Literacy Teaching for New(er) Professionals in the South West

On March 4 "019 there will be a one-day event run by the Information Literacy Group (ILG) of CILIP in Bristol, UK: Information Literacy Teaching for New(er) Professionals in the South West. This is "particularly suited to new professionals or those new to teaching Information Literacy and associated skills.This day will introduce some key Information Literacy frameworks and give an overview of key ideas associated with teaching information skills." The trainers are Abi Ward, Jane Secker, and Andrew Walsh. Costs are: students / unemployed £50; CILIP members £90; others £120. More information at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/information-literacy-teaching-for-newer-professionals-in-the-south-west-tickets-50352861765
Photo by Sheila Webber: scattered leaves, October 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Webinar: Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Developing Programs for Undergraduate Researchers

There is a priced webinar from ACRL on November 13 2018, at 1pm-2.30pm US Central time (which is a 7pm start for those in the UK). The topic is: Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Developing Programs for Undergraduate Researchers. Costs are: ACRL member: US $50; ALA member: $75; Nonmember: $90; Student: $40; Group*: $295. "Undergraduate research is one of several high-impact educational practices identified by George Kuh and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and is increasingly seen as a vital part of the undergraduate experience. Research helps students connect the dots between their interests, general education courses, writing requirements, and major coursework, and increases learning, retention, enrollment in graduate education, and engagement in future work. During this interactive webcast, presenters will discuss the process, issues, and ultimate practice recommendations from three of the case studies covered in their recent ACRL book, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices: developing archival literacy and conducting original research in the archives at Purdue; subject specialized data management at Carleton College; and first year undergraduate research experiences at the University of Oklahoma."
Presenters: Tracy B. Grimm, Associate Head of Archives and Special Collection and Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration, Purdue University Libraries’ Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center; Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Haverford College; Tim O’Neil, Assistant Director of Special Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, University of Colorado Boulder; Matt Upson, Director of Library Undergraduate Instruction and Outreach Services, Oklahoma State University. More information at http://www.ala.org/acrl/onlinelearning/undergradresearch
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, Sheffield, October 2018

IL spaces and wonder; Game on!; Staff education

Three interesting blog posts from other blogs!
- The mature student encounters the wonders of library services by Rose O’Connor (Project Coordinator and Junior Researcher, Massey University, NZ) https://informationliteracyspaces.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/the-mature-student-encounters-the-wonders-of-library-services/ (this is from the blog on the website of the IL spaces project in New Zealand which "aims to improve students’ information literacy competencies and learning across the senior secondary and tertiary sectors.")
- Game On: Enhancing engagement, interaction and reflection in library workshops by Adam Edwards and Vanessa Hill (The Sheppard Library, Middlesex University, UK) https://infolit.org.uk/game-on-enhancing-engagement-interaction-and-reflection-in-library-workshops/
- Thinking holistically about information and digital literacy: musings from a heady June day by Steve McIndoe (Faculty Librarian for Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield, UK) http://idl.group.shef.ac.uk/2018/10/19/thinking-holistically-about-information-and-digital-literacy-musings-from-a-heady-june-day/
Photo by Sheila Webber: Outside a wool shop, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Monday, November 05, 2018

UCISA 2018 Report on their Technology Enhanced Learning survey

UCISA (the "member-led professional body for digital practitioners within education" in the UK) have produced their survey-based annual review of Technology Enhanced Learning in UK higher education. Although I think there is a caveat (see below) it is a useful document which presents a perspective on TEL development.
Conclusions include that the top five services are " the virtual learning environment (VLE), text matching tools, provision for the electronic management of assignments (EMA), reading list software and lecture capture provision", with over half of the respondents having their VLE externally hosted. "Despite the investment in TEL services, we are not seeing major changes in the way that technology is being used to support learning, teaching and assessment activities. Blended learning delivery focusing on the provision of lecture notes and supplementary resources to students still represents the most commonly supported activity, with active learning, open learning and fully online course delivery modes showing little change from 2016." There has been "slow progress" on fully online delivery but "institutions are exploring ways of expanding their fully online provision through the creation of dedicated distance learning units and collaboration arrangements with external/ commercial partners."
My reservations about the report are that the respondents are those in charge of, or engaged with TEL provision, and therefore this is not a fully rounded perspective on what might be happening in institutions, especially as both educators and students are increasingly using technology not provided by the institution. It says at the end of the executive summary that "Lack of academic staff knowledge re-emerges as one of the top three barriers to TEL development in this year’s Survey, in combination with lack of time and a supportive departmental/school culture." However, I think it should be emphasised that this is the opinion of people in charge of TEL, who are not necessarily unbiased in their perceptions of barriers. As was emphasised at a meeting I was at recently, academic staff (like me) may perceive the barriers rather differently: e.g. as a lack of institutional support for academic staff, and technical, policy, infrastructure and physical space constraints on what academic staff can do ;-)  The report is at https://www.ucisa.ac.uk/bestpractice/surveys/tel/TEL_survey_report_2018
Photo by Sheila webber: Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Friday, November 02, 2018

#AFMIL The Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate City: Combining policies and strategies for ageing populations in media and information rich societies #GlobalMILweek

This is the presentation that Bill Johnston and I gave at the Global Media and Information Literacy week conference in Kaunas, Lithuania last week. The presentation was only allowed to be 10 minutes, so I also include here the extended abstract, which was written when we though we were going to have more time than that! We are launching the concept of #AFMIL: Age-Friendly media and Information Literate cities.



Abstract: This paper examines the intersection between the Media and Information Literate (MIL) city and the Age-friendly city and considers the alignments between the two concepts. We contend that a MIL city develops and enables the MIL of its citizens and (through its policies, procedures and representatives) itself engages with its citizens in a media and information literate manner. A MIL city should collect, communicate and manage the information needed by its citizens, at all stages of their lifecourse, applying ethical and transparent information policies. However, earlier research by the authors identified that government’s information illiteracy is a problem (Webber and Johnston, 2002). Recent research has shown, e.g., that information needs of older people and their carers are not met by local government even when legislation seems to require it (Baxter et al; 2017; Think Local Act Personal, 2017).
Demographic ageing is a key challenge for societies and numerous issues arise: risk of intergenerational inequality; negative portrayal of older people in the media; need for urban renewal for anticipated population changes; specific adjustments in health, care and housing to accommodate older people; need for opposition to ageist behaviour (Johnston, 2016). Age-friendly Cities are one of the international responses to these issues. The World Health Organization (2017 p.3) identifies that “Age-friendly cities and communities foster healthy and active ageing and thus enable well-being throughout life. They help people to remain independent for as long as possible, and provide care and protection when they are needed, respecting older people’s autonomy and dignity.”
“Communication and information” is one of eight policy domains identified in the WHO (2017) Handbook for age-friendly environments. Some recommendations intersect with objectives familiar from “smart city” initiatives (e.g. digital connectivity for good access to assistive technologies in the home; smartphone apps tailored to needs of older people; closing the digital divide). However, the Handbook also identifies that age-friendly communication and information involves using word-of-mouth, traditional media, public meetings and neighbourhood centres. It means improving the accessibility of all forms of communication (from websites to signage).
An Age-friendly MIL (AFMIL) city values its older citizens. It pays attention to older people’s MIL development through specific policies and service programmes and enables them to contribute their own experience and stories using their MIL skills, recognising that “Every citizen is a creator of information/knowledge and has a message” (UNESCO, 2016). An AFMIL city identifies and satisfies citizens’ differing preferences for media and information channels. This includes recognising that older citizens are not one homogenous group and should not be stereotyped as deficient in their capacity to engage with MIL. Some older citizens may be adept users of virtual worlds, social media and the internet of things, demanding optimum broadband connectivity. Others may prefer to get their information from trusted human sources. AFMIL cities also need to be understood in terms of the varied contexts of power and authority in different national settings.
In this paper the authors draw together elements from frameworks for age-friendly, “smart” and MIL environments, and from research into information needs of older people, (such as those cited above) to present an encompassing analysis to generate new practices. They will also give some examples of cities pursuing age friendly developments, which could act as sites for MIL initiatives.
In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “As we get older, our rights do not change. As we get older, we are no less human and should not become invisible” (HelpAge International, 2016, p.3).
References
Baxter, K. et al (2017). Older self-funders and their information needs. Social Policy Research Unit, University of York. http://www.sscr.nihr.ac.uk/PDF/Findings/RF62.pdf
HelpAge International. (2016). Global Age Watch Index 2015 Insight report. http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/
Johnston, B. (2016). Ageing and information: The Scottish older people’s movement. Library and Information Research, 40(123), 4-13. https://www.lirgjournal.org.uk/index.php/lir/article/view/742
Think Local Act Personal. (2017) Survey Results Exploring the impact of the Care Act on the lives of people with care and support needs. https://www.basw.co.uk/resource/?id=6593
UNESCO. (2016). Five laws of MIL. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/media-development/media-literacy/five-laws-of-mil/
Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2002). Information literacy: the social action agenda. In: D. Booker. (Ed.) Information Literacy: The Social Action Agenda: Proceedings of the 5th National Information Literacy Conference. Adelaide: UNISA Library. 68-80.
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. (2017). Age-friendly environments in Europe: A handbook of domains for policy action. Copenhagen: WHO. http://www.euro.who.int/en/publications/abstracts/age-friendly-environments-in-europe.-a-handbook-of-domains-for-policy-action-2017

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

News on News

SLA Europe has organised an event on 21 November 2018, 18.00-21.30 in London, UK: News on News. It is free to SLA members, £15 to others. It is "an evening with three subject matter experts. Hear from our speakers on the applications of artificial intelligence, solving fake news and the impact of social media on traditional news media.After hearing from our expert speakers, continue the discussions afterwards and network with colleagues and contacts over food and drinks." The three talks are:
- Present and future applications of artificial intelligence for current awareness. Dr Andrew Duchon, Director of Data Science, Manzama Inc
- How social media changed everything and nothing in the newsroom. Martin Buchan, The Guardian
- Fifty shades of fake, 12 months on. Jo Tinning-Clowes
Get your ticket at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/news-on-news-tickets-51560566041?
Photo by Sheila Webber: taken at the Global MIL Conference last week.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Free webinar: Impressions of #globalMILweek and UNESCO's MIL initiatives from me and IFLA's Stephen Wyber

At 2pm-2.30 pm (which is 10-10.30am US EST, see https://tinyurl.com/yap6kphk for start times elsewhere in the world) Wednesday 31st Oct, I (Sheila Webber, Information School, University of Sheffield) and Stephen Wyber (IFLA Manager, Policy and Advocacy, pictured right) will give our Impressions of the Global MIL Week feature conference. Join the webinar at https://sheffield.adobeconnect.com/globalmilweek3. I presented at the conference, and I will also include a brief talk about #AFMIL - Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate cities

Today! 30 Oct: Twitter Webinar: Tackling disinformation with Media and Information Literacy #GlobalMILweek @Livingstone_S @jesuslau @100yrsofsol

UNESCO has organised an international Twitter event today. experts will post tweets and you can engage with her/him using the hashtag #GlobalMILweek
Sonia Livingstone @Livingstone_S (Professor, London School of Economics) will be engaging 3pm-4pm UK time (see https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20181030T15&p1=136 for times elsewhere in the world), Jesus Lau @jesuslau (Professor, Universidad Veracruzana) will be engaging 11am-12.30pm Mexico City time (starting 5pm UK time, see https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20181030T11&p1=155 for times elsewhere in the world) and Maha Bashri @100yrsofsol (Associate Professor, United Arab Emirates University) will be engaging 5pm-6.30pm Abu Dhabi time (1pm start UK time, see your local time here https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20181030T17&p1=2)