Thursday, May 06, 2021

New articles: contra one-shots; transactional distance

The latest issue of open-access College and Research Libraries (vol 82 no 3)includes:
- Pagowsky, N. (2021). The Contested One-Shot: Deconstructing Power Structures to Imagine New Futures. College & Research Libraries, 82(3), 300. "This guest editorial will discuss one-shots in the context of effective teaching practices; assessment; and power structures related to care-work and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)."
- Charles, L., & DeFabiis, W. (2021). Closing the Transactional Distance in an Online Graduate Course through the Practice of Embedded Librarianship. College & Research Libraries, 82(3), 370. (abstract) "Using the practice of embedded librarianship, a professor from the Graduate School of Education and the Education Librarian at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey collaborated to investigate its impact on the inherent transactional distance that exists in an online graduate course. Using Michael G. Moore’s three relational distances existing in the online environment—“teacher-student,” “student-student,” “student-course content”—the authors added two areas—”instructor-librarian” and “student-librarian”—that can close the transactional distance in online courses. Through course activities, structure, and access to the embedded librarian and specific library resources, students had increased opportunities for engagement, thereby reducing transactional distance."
- A book review by Natasha Jenkins of: Mallon, M. (2020). Partners in Teaching and Learning: Coordinating a Successful Academic Library Instruction Program. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield. (ISBN 978-1-5381-1884-9). Review at
Photo by Sheila Webber: ornamental cherry, April 2021

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Registration open for FestivIL by LILAC

FestivIL by LILAC, taking place onine on 6-8 July 2021, is open for booking - there are limited numbers, so book soon. Delegates can choose to attend all three half-days or choose a specific half-day: 6 July (1.00pm – 5.30pm BST (UK time); 7th July (9.00am – 1.30pm BST); 8th July (1.00pm – 5.30pm BST). The costs are: Full event £50 plus VAT; Per half day £20 plus VAT. More info including programme at and registration at

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

#LibrariesAreEssential to Tackling Misinformation

In the leadup to the Scottish elections taking place this Thursday, CILIP Scotland assembled some pages summarising evidence about the relevance of libraries to various issues, for people to bring to the attention to the political parties and their candidates. One such page is #LibrariesAreEssential to Tackling Misinformation, which has links both to reports detailing the problem of misinformation (without special reference to libraries) and to evidence that libraries have worked to tackle misinformation and the problems it causes. Go to You can also see on this page (scroll down a little) the questions that CILIPS posed to all the Scottish political parties about their position on libraries, and the parties' responses (all the major ones have responded as of today).
Photo by Sheila Webber: A bright future? April 2021

Monday, May 03, 2021

ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox recording

On 27 April 2021 there was a 30 minute webinar on using the ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox  Speakers Jane Hammons, Alicia Vaandering and Kari D. Weaver talked about contributing to the sandbox and searching it to find material you could use in your own information literacy teaching. The recording is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: tulips and hedges, April 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021

Webinar 3: Media and Information Literate Citizens: Think critically, Click Wisely #MILCLICKS

Yesterday (29 April 2021) saw the final webinar in the series from UNESCO launching the new edition of the Media and Information Literacy Curriculum: Media and Information Literate Citizens: Think critically, Click Wisely. The full recording is here:
The first session was Media and Information Literacy as a backbone for intercultural dialogue and anti-hate speech, chaired by Maarit Jaakkola, (Co-Director and Researcher, Nordicom, Nordic Centre for Media Research, University of Gothenburg, Sweden) with panelists: Olunifesi Suraj (Senior Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Nigeria); Milena Dragićević Šešić (Professor, UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy and Management, University of Arts in Belgrade, Serbia); Bayan Tal (Communications and Media Specialist, Jordan Media Institute, Jordan); Paul R. Carr (UNESCO Chair in Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada).
The second part (which starts at about 1 hour 7 minutes into the recording) was Media and Information Literacy by design: Can media, AI and libraries help? and it included two strong leaders of the library and information community, Jesus Lau and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe. The chair was Alton Grizzle (Programme Specialist, UNESCO) and the panelists: Ana Mirković (CEO and Co-Founder, Digital Communications Institute, Serbia); Lisa W. Hinchliffe (Professor and Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction, University of Illinois, USA); Ibrahim Kushchu (Professor and Founding Director,, Turkey); Ronan Costello (Senior Public Policy Manager, Twitter, Ireland); Jesus Lau (Professor, University of Veracruzana, , Mexico, and Co-Chair of the International Steering Committee for the UNESCO MIL Alliance); Olya Booyar (Head of Radio, Asia-Pacific broadcasting Union, Malaysia); Nathalie Labourdette (Manager, EBU Academy, Switzerland)
The summary of the new curriculum (but still not yet, at time of writing, the full document, is linked from this page:

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Online poster display til 30 April, focused on distance library instruction #ACRL

The ACRL Distance and Online Learning Section Instruction Committee is holding their 3rd annual Virtual Poster Session until 30 April 2021. "32 posters about online teaching and learning practices are available to view and presenters are available to answer questions." They are focused on educating for information literacy at a distance, in 5 tracks: "The Accidental Virtual Librarian; Assessment; Instructional Collaborations; Project Planning & Management; Student Engagement" You can leave thoughts and questions in the comment sections of the posters up til the 30th and presenters may respond. Go to and you can afterwards complete a survey at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Crab apple blossom, April 2021

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

UNESCO MIL Curriculum: disinformation; MIL policies #MILCLICKS

The Second Edition of the Media and Information Literacy (MIL) curriculum has still not been published, although the summary is there, but yesterday was the second of three webinars focusing on MIL and the themes of the new curriculum. I give below some notes about some topics that emerged (I say more about the second part than the first). The recording is here
The first part of yesterday's session was Media and Information Literacy as a prequisite to tackle disinformation and conspiracy theories. Chaired by Rachel Fischer (Information Ethicist, Co-Chair of the International Centre for Information Ethics, South Africa), the panelists were: Dorcas R. Bowler (Director of Libraries, National Library and Information Services, Ministry of Education, Bahamas); Saša Mirković (Media Expert and Lecturer at Faculty of Media and Communications, Serbia); Kristine Stewart (Information Literacy Coordinator, Library & Learning Commons, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates); Anna Kozlowska (Assistant Professor and Liaison Librarian, The University of Illinois at Chicago, USA).
Two of the things that were highlighted were the Serbian national guidelines for MIL for citizens, which has high level support, and the need to target populations outside formal education. In terms of best practices, panelists emphasises: the need for colaboration with all stakeholders; the importance of not just thinking about functional literacy; the importance of the whole population thinking critically; integration of MIL; the focus on lifelong learning (not just learning in formal education); the need to address the power of Artificial Intelligence; the need for equality in MIL (e.g. fighting stereotypes); the need to set an example of MIL, personally; the need to provide educational material in multiple languages; Inclusive and flexible approaches. 

The second session was Policies and Practices: Futures of Media and Information Literacy. It was chaired by Carolyn Wilson (Lecturer, Western University, Canada) with panelists: Divina Frau-Meigs (Professor and UNESCO Chair, Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, France); Dorothy Gordon (Chair of the UNESCO Information For All Programme, and Board Member of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, Ghana); Ramon Tuazon (President of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication and secretary general of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, Philippines); Masato Kajimoto (Associate Professor, at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong, China); and Maja Zarić (Head of Unit for International Cooperation, European Integration and Projects in the field of Media, the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia).
mentioned that MIL is in the DG concerned with digital communications. She talked about the call for projects concerned with disinformation etc. in particular the projects she is involved with - think this is one of them & She also rounded out the sessions by talking about the need for evaluation and metrics, and the need for good research evidence - Frau-Meigs talked about upcoming European research programmes that can be related to MIL (linked variously to employability, creativity etc.)  She finished by emphasising the need for values as well as metrics, though, and the importance of supporting those who educate about freedom of expression. This also involved linking MIL to the environment and sustainability.
Gordon identified the importance of librarians, and that you cannot target just one group of stakeholders to reach all citizens. All citizens need to be included in MIL and people should have access material in their own language. It is important for key policy people to understand the importance of MIL and be trained, and a whole Government approach is needed. The pandemic has made policymakers more aware of the need for MIL. She also identified the problem in evaluating MIL projects, and a need for metrics. Tuazon identified a number of initiatives in Myanmar which had involved MIL, before the recent coup. I will also highlight the Philippine Association for Media and Information Literacy He said that UNESCO had been valuable in triggering MIL initiatives, then they needed to be taken up inistutionally to be sustainable. Tuazon felt it was important that young people were heavilyy involved in iniatives. He finished by identifying the power of the private companies in all this.
talked about how the current focus in Hong Kong is fake news and fact checking, and indeed this has been introduced more strongly in schools by the Chinese Government with new textbooks suddenly arriving. This brings in the issue of what the outcomes of these initiatives are, and how they will be evaluated: it is tricky for teachers implementing this, as this is a sensitive area. In terms of recommendations, one thing he identified was that you needed to develop MIL Curricula specific your own country, which takes account of the national/regional cultural, information and educational landscape in your country.
Zarić talked about how they brought together stakeholders from many sectors in Serbia and introduced the concept of MIL into law, then worked on MIL handbooks for educators (for preschool - elementary school - secondary school) which have been published on a web portal (in Serbian) and there is also an app and a TV series.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

PhD thesis on What Shapes Academic Librarians’ Teaching Practices

Published online last month, the PhD thesis of Eveline Houtman, graduating from the University of Toronto, Canada, has tackled a question very relevant to this blog.
Houtman, E. (2021). What Shapes Academic Librarians’ Teaching Practices? A Holistic Study of Individual Librarians, their Contexts, and their Professional Learning Activities. (PhD thesis, University of Toronto Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning).
Abstract (extract): "This qualitative study explored the range of experiences, professional contexts, and professional learning activities that shape 12 academic librarians’ teaching practices. As both librarian and researcher, I was positioned as an insider-outsider. I took a bricolage approach that combined narrative, case study, and analysis based on an a priori model that situated the individual librarians in their local, professional, higher education, and societal contexts. I recruited 12 teaching librarians from Canada and the United States and conducted two semi-structured interviews with each. I stitched together a composite picture of the participants’ unique, varying experiences, with rich examples of the ways they understood and developed their teaching roles in relationship to their varied contexts, and in relationship to their own values (e.g., a commitment to social justice; an ethic of care), identities, and prior experiences. I identified two stages in their learning: 1) an initial “learning to teach as a librarian” stage, in which they required (but did not always receive) greater support, and 2) lifelong learning. Librarians in both stages were strongly self-directed and employed a variety of strategies. The professional context served as a broad community of practice that supported their development of a teacher identity and provided them with norms and guidelines. The individuals and their contexts varied enough, however, that no single picture of librarians’ teaching could emerge. This holistic approach to studying librarians’ development as teachers suggests new approaches for practice as well as new questions for research. In particular, the initial “learning to teach as a librarian” stage demands more attention."

Photo by Sheila Webber: parrot tulips from the farmers market, April 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

Webinars: Two sets of lightning talks

ILAGO, the Information Literacy Advocacy Group of Oregon, has organised 2 free lightning talk-style sessions.

18 May 2021, 1-2 pm (I think this is US Pacific time, so that would be, e.g., 9-10pm UK time, but double check this if you register) The talks are: Andrew Wang and Kate Thornhill - Functional and Subject Specialists Collaborating in the Remote Classroom; Kate Thornhill - Talking Stories: An Open Pedagogy Collaboration and Partnership; Garrett Trott - Transparent Library Instruction. Registration form at 

21 May 2021, 11-12 noon (7-8p UK time). The talks are: Anders Tobiason - On “Developing Information Literate Abilities”: Uncovering Whiteness at the Center of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy; Lynda Irons - Transparent Teaching in Action: Developing a First-Year Seminar Lesson Plan; Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen and Alla Powers - An Adaptive/Open Information Literacy Model for the Sciences Registration form at Registration is open to any person, so register soon! The sessions will be recorded.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Media and Information Literate Citizens: Think critically, Click Wisely #MILCLICKS

This is the 2 minute video that went along with the first launch event (that I blogged about yesterday) for the 2nd edition of the UNESCO Model Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Educators and Learners: Media and Information Literate Citizens: Think critically, Click Wisely. It identifies Media and Information Literacy as "a foundation to live by".

Friday, April 23, 2021

2nd edition of the UNESCO Model Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Educators and Learners

Today was the launch of Media and Information Literate Citizens: Think critically, Click Wisely (Second Edition of the UNESCO Model Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Educators and Learners) It was launched by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO; Mr Xing Qu, Deputy Director-General, UNESCO; Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia; Vera Jourova, Vice President and Commissioner, European Commission; and H.E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission. 

They all stressed the problem of disinformation and misinformation, and how this had become a graver problem during the pandemic, and also how disinformation could threaten democracy. There was also a little discussion about implementation of the curriculum from Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO & Gordana Čomić, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, Republic of Serbia, which touched on points such as: the need for capacity building for educators etc.; the sensitivity of some issues and how this needed to be taken account of when implementing the curriculum; the need to incorporate in formal education, and also informally (like the campaign with health messages on cigarette packets "educate with simple message").

I thought the webinar would come to the end without mentioning libraries, but in fact the very last question that was posed to Stefania Giannini asked about them, and she did say that they were vital (though I'm not sure she was considering the role of libraries in formal education). The video of the launch (81 minutes) is here

The page already has a summary of the curriculum, but the full curriculum document is just "coming soon" and they didn't say when it would be released -I will blog again and discuss the curriculum when that happens (I would guess, next week). This is an important publication, especially with this high level support. I think it is up to the information literacy community to make sure that they take part in discussion and implentation, since otherwise (as noted above) there is a tendency to forget both the role of libarians and the "information" part of media and information literacy.


Today is World Book and Copyright Day, sponsored by UNESCO. 23 April was chosen when this annual event started because "23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died." There is a communication toolkit (graphics with various quotes - like the one reproduced here at - in a zipped file at ) Links to this and other pages e.g. to the opening ceremony at Tblisi and to various challenges are at There are also two online World Book Day events from The British Library tonight (23 April) at 6pm UK time (Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Kate Mosse) and at 8pm UK time (World Book Night presents: Books to Make you Smile, hosted by Sandi Toksvig)

Thursday, April 22, 2021

LIli (LifeLong Information Literacy) show and tell videos

There are recordings from the "show and tell" sessions that LILi (LifeLong Information Literacy) has been holding every other Wednesday. They include explanations of how specific tools such as Zoom, Nearpod or Mintimeter are being used in teaching information literacy, and descriptions of specific strategies and activities that people have used. Go to There is a final show and tell session, looking at highlights and discussing a community agreement to support a safe and welcoming space at LILi events: registration is here.
Photo by Sheila Webber: secret door, April 2021