Friday, July 22, 2016

Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas

A new book is:
Downey, A. (2016). Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas. Library Juice Press. Price: $28.00. ISBN: 978-1-63400-024-6
"This book grew out of the author's dissertation research, which was a qualitative study investigating the institutional support, nonsupport, and barriers to CIL programs and the effectiveness of experiential critical pedagogy for information literacy learning as taught and studied by 19 CIL librarians and scholars. Experiential education served as the broad theoretical framework for the study, which stems from the tradition of critical theory, and used the work of two major experiential learning theorists and theories specifically: Paulo Freire and critical pedagogy and Jack Mezirow and transformative learning. Mezirow and Freire focused their work on adult education and grounded their approaches in critical theory and focused on power relationships, reflection, and the emancipatory potential of education. Each chapter expands on the themes discussed or illustrated by the study participants, to include how and where librarians learn about CIL; the three major critical teaching methods critical librarians employ, including student-centered approaches, discussion and dialogue, and problem-posing methods; the struggle between using critical teaching methods and incorporating critical content; the argument for teaching within the broader context of academic disciplines and the crucial importance of strong relationships with faculty; support for CIL at the institutional level; and the role of professional identity and the culture of librarians and librarianship in CIL teaching and thought."
More information at http://libraryjuicepress.com/downey.php
Photo by Sheila Webber: Freddie, July 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Free IFLA/NPSIG/CPDWL Webinar, July 26 2016: Information Literacy in My Career

I'm presenting in a free Information Literacy Webinar, July 26 2016: Information Literacy in My Career. The IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section and IFLA New Professionals SIG have partnered with the American Library Association to present a one-hour webinar Information Literacy in my career. Professionals at different stages of their career will talk about what information literacy means to them, how they engage with it in their job, and how they see information literacy featuring in their future. Speakers are:
- Keynote and moderator: Sheila Webber (i.e. me)
- Pamela McKinney (@ischoolpam). Pamela is a Lecturer in the Information School, University of Sheffield. Before joining the iSchool, she was a learning developer in the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences, and prior to that an academic librarian at Sheffield Hallam University
- Liam Bullingham (@liamealbee). Liam is a Liaison Librarian at the University of Sheffield. Previous jobs included Information Adviser at Sheffield Hallam University, Knowledge Management Resources Assistant at DLA Piper and Graduate Trainee Library Assistant, Manchester Metropolitan University.
- Emily Wheeler (@heliotropia). Emily is Learning Advisor at the University of Leeds. Previous posts include Library Graduate Trainee at Manchester Metropolitan University. She runs the CILIP Yorkshire and Humberside Member Network blog https://cilipyhmn.wordpress.com/ and co-organises the LISDIS (Library and Information Science Dissertations) conference
Time: Tuesday 26 July at 4pm British Summer Time (London, UK) / 5pm (Stockholm, Sweden)/ 10am Central Standard Time (Chicago, USA) / 11am Eastern Standard Time (NYC, USA) /
Times elsewhere http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20160726T16&p1=136
To join the webcast on July 26: Go to http://ala.adobeconnect.com/r4mo47arqqc/ to access the live event. The webinar will be recorded and the recording will be made available online after the event.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Presentations: employers; inclusion; Teentech

Presentations from the recent CILIP conference are online and they include the following:
- DeVIL: Determining the value of information literacy for employers by Stéphane Goldstein and Andrew Whitworth
- Developing digital literacy skills in professional and academic staff by Jennifer Wilson and Laurence Morris. This has screenshots from the Leeds Beckett University Employability Libguide: http://libguides.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/c.php?g=348865&p=2353584
- TeenTech:integrating research and information literacy in our future by Jane Secker and Rebecca Jones
- A collaborative approach to digital inclusion by Sharon Wagg and Luke Wilson - this includes a link to the UK Online Centres website https://www.ukonlinecentres.com/
Go to http://cilipconference.org.uk/presentations/ (note - the page only lists the authors, not presentation titles)
Picture: Another picture using https://mj-gift.shiseido.co.jp/

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Review of Academic Librarianship

Taylor and Francis have assembled a "free article collection ... special issue" from articles taken from the last few years of the New Review of Academic Librarianship. This includes:
- Harrop, D. and Turpin, B. (2013). A Study Exploring Learners' Informal Learning Space Behaviors, Attitudes, and Preferences. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 19(1), 58-77. [a study in a university setting]
- Buchanan, H. et al (2015.) Curriculum Mapping in Academic Libraries. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 21(1), 94-111.
- Gore, H. (2014). Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Their Impact on Academic Library Services: Exploring the Issues and Challenges. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 20(1), 4-28.
It is at http://explore.tandfonline.com/content/bes/nral-virtual-issue16
The picture is created by a cute Japanese app - it's in Japanese, but just keep clicking through and it's pretty obvious what to do https://mj-gift.shiseido.co.jp/

Monday, July 18, 2016

Additions to ACRL resource lists

The ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee has added new committee-recommended sources to their Zotero-based lists: Selected Resources for Teaching Methods and Instructional Design in Library Instruction (https://www.zotero.org/teach_bibliography/items/collectionKey/N2Z3XAK8) and their Selected Resources for Assessment in Library Instruction (https://www.zotero.org/teach_bibliography/items/collectionKey/2F4ZJ7KE)
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, July 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

#Ofcom research into people's use of #smartphones: "Smartphone by default"

Another recent (May 2016) report is Smartphone by default, a qualitative research report conducted by ESRO for Ofcom (the UK communications watchdog). It is available in full at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/other/telecoms-research/smartphone-by-default-2016/ It is a high-quality, interesting report which identifies a number of issues relevant to information literacy.
"The fieldwork involved 26 two-hour in-depth interviews in four UK cities: Glasgow, Leeds, London, Belfast and Cardiff. During these interviews, researchers explored the digital behaviour and skills of participants." It was a varied sample, and participants included some who were in vulnerable circumstances (e.g. homeless). One of the selection criteria was that participants should already be using a smartphone routinely ("by default"). The researchers identified "Smartphone by choice" participants who "had selected a smartphone as the most appropriate device for their digital needs, despite potentially easy access to other devices." and "Smartphone by circumstance" participants "who were using their smartphones because their situations (often financial) meant they were unable to access other devices."
The report surfaces both the benefits and the drawbacks of smartphone use. I have used photos of two slides presented by Ofcom's Emily Keaney at the 2nd European Media and Information Literacy Forum (I missed the start of her talk and therefore didn't blog it). She was talking about this research and the 2 slides highlight cons and pros respectively. You will note that Keaney identified a potential new "Digital Divide" for those who mostly just had smartphone access.
There are large benefits, e.g. there are some examples of people running microbusinesses from their smartphone, and vulnerable people who are able to keep in contact with family amidst problematic lives. However, drawbacks are identified.
Because of the size of the device, people find it difficult or impossible to use apps like Word or other to fill in lengthy and important forms. This has implications for their information management, and means that they may save up these kinds of tasks for when they have access to a PC or laptop with a connection (which can be stressful). For those with constrained finances, because of worries about using up data allowances, people may limit the amount of searching and viewing they do, and they will seek out places with free wifi. The report highlights that whilst people have become more aware of privacy and security issues on social media and shopping sites, they don't necessarily think about the security issues around free wifi spots.
In terms of information literacy and information management, the research highlights how people may not be learning skills to do with (for example) typing, or using Word, because they don't get practice in doing it on their smartphone. A number of issues around searching, evaluating and refinding material are identified: because of screensize it is difficult to compare information, people tend to use the same apps, and there are examples of how people can't store material on their devices (with issues of knowing how/where to organise it, and storage limits), and usually don't use bookmarks, so they are having to refind material, or (for example) take a screenshot and store the picure of the web page and its address, or email the screenshot to themselves so they can refind it in their email.
Altogether, a report I will look at in more depth, and recommend to students.
As a researcher, I found the 9 page "Discussion guide" at the end of the report very interesting. It is the interview guide for the researchers, going through the different sessions in the c. 2 hours they spent with participants. I think it is particularly useful for anyone doing research into everyday information literacy (or thinking about "assessment" of citizens' media and information literacy). There is also a 10 page section given the crireia for selecting the sample, and the questionnaire used for screening and selecting participants.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Designing Curriculum & Developing Educators for the Information Literacy Courses of Tomorrow

A short online course from ACRL is Designing Curriculum & Developing Educators for the Information Literacy Courses of Tomorrow, running from next Monday 18 July until 5 August 2016. Costs range from $195 (non ALA or ACRL member) through to $60 for students. The course is in Moodle and they say to budget for 3-5 hours a week. The course is led by Andrea Falcone (Head of Education & Outreach Services, University of Colorado Denver). More information at http://www.ala.org/acrl/designingcurriculum
Photo by Sheila Webber: the local squirrel eating a cherry on my tree outside my bedroom window (he and the birds are the only ones to get the cherries)

UK Adults media use and attitudes

I'll be highlighting a couple of recent reports from Ofcom (the UK's communications watchdog, which has an excellent research programme). The substantial report Adults’ media use and attitudes (April 2016) "provides research that looks at media use, attitudes and understanding, and how these change over time [they compare results with their previous surveys], with a particular focus on those groups that tend not to participate digitally." 1841 adults (in the UK) were surveyed in their homes in September-October 2015. It's at http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/other/research-publications/adults/media-lit-2016/
The report surveyed use of search engines, apps, specific types of device, online games (including mobile games) as well as more obvious types of media. From the extracts from "overview" below, you can see that the results tie in with concerns from the information and library community about critical use of the internet and "searchification". One chapter of the report is on "Media attitudes and critical understanding" and some results reveal the continued need for information literacy e.g. "only half of adults aged 16+ (49%) who use search engines identified sponsored links on Google as advertising" (p130). Those who are new to the internet and "narrow users", who had said that they always tend to use the same set of websites and apps, were less likely to recognise advertising and "Narrow users are less likely to use search engines, and are less likely to understand how search engines work" (p191). As another random fact "fewer internet users said they used Wikipedia when looking for information online [than in the previous year's survey] (44% vs. 54% in 2014)." (p 11.)

This is most of what it summarises in the "overview" of the report
- "There has been a sizeable increase in the proportion of internet users saying they only use websites or apps that they’ve used before (42% vs 31% in 2014).... This may be linked to the growing tendency to use “digital intermediaries” such as Facebook, Google, YouTube and Amazon for much activity. This change in use patterns underlines the growing importance of critical literacy skills. Even as search engines remain the default means of accessing information, levels of understanding remain mixed as to what their results signify, and half of search engine users are unable to correctly identify ads or sponsored links at the top of many results pages."
- "There has been a considerable rise (from 6% in 2014 to 16% in 2015) in the proportion of adults who only use smartphones or tablets to go online, and not a PC/laptop. In other words, these newer devices are not just supplementing PCs/laptops, but are starting to replace them. This pattern is seen across all ages of adults, across all socio-economic groups and for males and females, but is particularly marked among newer users, young people and those in DE households. This move away from PCs and laptops and towards smartphones and tablets has the potential to make an impact in a number of areas. There are implications for plurality: as people may use fewer sources for their content and services, and prefer to use a small subset of apps or digital intermediaries rather than search for a wider range of material, then discoverability mechanisms become more important. There are also implications for usability, as the size of the device may hamper some types of use e.g. typing longer forms/documents; and online habits, as people’s use is more dependent on their data consumption and can diminish considerably as monthly allowances are used up." This is explored further in another report which I'll blog tomorrow.
- "There is an increasing preference for mobile phones above more traditional media devices. From 2005 - 2014, adults were most likely to say they would miss their TV set the most. Now mobile phones are the most-missed media device. "
- "There is increasing polarity between different age groups in terms of communications activity. Whereas 25 years ago, all age groups shared just two common means of communication – landlines and letters – the landscape is now considerably more varied, and there is a risk that common means of communication that cut across demographics are becoming increasingly rare, with implications for social connectivity and information-sharing." (this is an interesting conclusion that I don't think gets explored further in the report).
Photo by Sheila webber: hydrangea, July 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Information Literacy Journal Club 21 July

The Information Literacy Journal Club is an online discussion group focusing on information literacy. It takes place on the Club's blog, through blog-post discussion. The next event is on Thursday 21 July 2016 at 12 noon UK time (which is 7am US Eastern time, see here for times elsewhere). Pat Sandercock (Instructional and Reference Librarian at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar) will be leading discussion on her own open-access article:
Sandercock, P. (2016). Instructor perceptions of student information literacy: comparing international IL models to reality. Journal of Information Literacy, 10(1), 3–29. http://doi.org/10.11645/10.1.2065

Everyone is welcome to participate, whether you are a current library and information student, an established information professional or just generally interested in the subject area. You can participate live 12 noon-1pm UK time on the 21st, or add comments afterwards (or beforehand!) The blog is moderated except for the day of the live discussion, so at those times there will be a short delay before your post appears.

To participate in the discussion, just visit the Journal Club’s homepage and comment on the latest blog post. More information is available from this page http://infolitjournalclub.blogspot.com/2016/06/instructor-perceptions-of-student.html, in which Pat introduces her article. If you would like to see an example of how the sessions work in practice, you can take a look at the previous discussion posts, e.g. this one.

Friday, July 08, 2016

2nd European MIL Forum #2ndEurMIL : Storify and links

Some final links for the 2nd European Media and Information Literacy Forum that I attended last week in Riga. I have made a Storify with the links below, plus more links, and selected tweets and some web pages from the 3 days of the conference. It is here: https://storify.com/sheilayoshikawa/2nd-european-mil-forum-riga-latvia-27-29-june-2016

These are all my liveblogs of the conference: http://information-literacy.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/2ndeurmil

You can find many of the conference presentations at this link: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/media-development/media-literacy/global-alliance-for-partnerships-on-media-and-information-literacy/second-european-media-and-information-literacy-forum/

These are the Riga Recommendations on MIL in a Shifting Media and Information Landscape that were published at the end of the conference http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/riga_recommendations_highlight_media_and_information_literac/

This is the Twitter Stream https://twitter.com/search?q=%232ndeurmil

Below is a short video that gives some glimpses of the first day (including of me: I am also far left in the photo above, which is copyright UNESCO, used in accordance with this)



Thursday, July 07, 2016

Be chocolate literate on World Chocolate Day

[I will do a more serious post later, but...] Today is World Chocolate Day, according to lots of news sites. This is an example of when information literacy becomes a bit irrelevant. A quick google search reveals that today is not to be confused with International Chocolate day, which is in September. It is not evident who started the idea of World Chocolate Day, or what keeps it going other than manufacturers' desire to sell chocolate and news media's knowledge that pictures of chocolate attract clicks. But who cares? As the Wikipedia article notes "Celebration of the day includes the consumption of chocolate". Enough said. The more excuses to eat chocolate, the better. Pictured is the wrapper of some chocolate I just ate. And I will remind readers of my earlier blog post the Seven Pillars of Chocolate Literacy: develop those chocolate lifeskills!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Critical Information Literacy Laboratory for Faculty

The latest Primo site of the month is a set of online material (particularly short videos and quizzes; plus example activities and discussion prompts for academics), Critical Information Literacy Laboratory, from the John M. Pfau Library, California State University, San Bernardino, USA. The students' videos and quizzes are pitched at 3 levels, and the teacher's material has the sections: CIL Best Practices; Free vs. Fee-Based Information; Effective Searching; Popular and Scholarly Sources; What Shapes Information?; Attribution; Recommended Readings and Videos
The interview with the creators is at http://acrl.ala.org/IS/instruction-tools-resources-2/pedagogy/primo-peer-reviewed-instruction-materials-online/primo-site-of-the-month/june-2016-site-of-the-month/ and the resource itself at http://library.csusb.edu/cillab/
There is a page at http://library.csusb.edu/cillab/?page_id=63 which explains their interpretation of Critical Information Literacy. They identify "traditional approaches to information literacy" as having a "focus on skills, such as: Locating information, Evaluating information, Using information. These skills are all important, and one needs to be competent in them in order to conduct college-level research, but there’s so much more that plays into information literacy. Critical information literacy not only attends to the skills listed above, but it also asks that students think about how information works. Thus, CIL focuses on key concepts, such as:" then they give the three examples of "How information is created" "How information is disseminated and accessed" and "Why is it that students cannot access most scholarly sources on the open web and instead need to use the library?" "How scholarly conversations work".
For me those elements would already be in "information literacy", however I note that they say in the interview that "We’ve heard that the “About CIL” section has been helpful for those who are new to CIL or those who have a very skills-based understanding of information literacy" so perhaps the "critical" word alerts people to reflect on or change practice. Also interesting is the careful planning that has gone into the initiative, for example "We’ve been strategic about selecting faculty who teach high-impact courses."
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, July 2016


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Survey on Non-Formal and Informal Learning Activities in Public Libraries Across Europe

EBLIDA (the association that lobbies on behalf of European libraries) and the Latvian Library Association are carrying out a Survey on Non-Formal and Informal Learning Activities in Public Libraries Across Europe. It closes on 15 July 2016. "As part of the Library Advocacy for EU Project, together with the Latvian Library Association (LLA), we (EBLIDA) are now surveying public libraries to collect data on non-formal and informal learning activities in libraries. We will use the results when advocating on the role of public libraries in non-formal education and the contribution of libraries to the EU Education and Training Strategy 2020." Do respond if you are in a public library offering learning activities. More information at http://www.eblida.org/activities/kic/survey-on-non-formal-informal-learning-public-libraries-eu.html
Logo copyright EBLIDA

Conference: 21st Century #Literacies in public libraries

The IFLA Public Libraries Section has organised a conference on August 10-11 2016, prior to the main IFLA conference, on 21st Century Literacies. It is hosted by the Free Library of Philadelphia and takes place at the Parkway Central Library, Philadelphia, USA. "For many years, literacy has been core to the provision of public library services. As the world in which we live has changed, so has the concept of literacy. It has expanded from the traditionally understood definition as ‘the ability to read and write’, to encompass proficiency in a range of other fields. We now talk about civic, health, financial, digital, and information literacy (to name but a few)." More information, including the full programme, at https://libwww.freelibrary.org/conferences/21stCentury/index.cfm
Photo by Sheila Webber: Trees, Riga, June 2016

Monday, July 04, 2016

Latest articles: health literacy

Reference Services Review volume 22 issue 2 (priced publication) has been published, with a focus on health literacy. It includes
- Health literacy: a natural role for librarians by Theresa S. Arndt
- Health literacy education: the impact of synchronous instruction by Tricia Lantzy
- Promoting health literacy within a graduate-level nutrition curriculum by Charlotte Beyer and J. Scott Thomson
- A librarian’s role in media effects health literacy by Jill R. Kavanaugh, Kristelle Lavallee, and Rima Rudd
- Health literacy and information literacy: a concept comparison by Jane Lawless, Coleen E. Toronto, and Gail L. Grammatica
- Health information: print materials assessment in public libraries by Mary Grace Flaherty and Samantha Jan Kaplan
- A conceptual approach to practitioners’ health information literacy by Ann Hallyburton
- Health literacy and libraries: a literature review by Jill Barr-Walker
- Improving health literacy: health sciences library case studies by Jean P. Shipman, Erica Lake, and Alice I. Weber
Content page at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/toc/rsr/44/2
Photo by Sheila Webber: Daugava river, morning, July 2016

#LISDIS 2016: Call for Papers

LISDIS is a UK conference where people share dissertation research completed as part of a library and information science qualification. This year's LISDIS is on 5 November 2016 at University College London, UK. There is a call for papers (for a 15 minute talk, or poster) which closes on 19 August. Criteria for inclusion are; "Have completed an LIS dissertation since 2013 that hasn’t been previously published or presented; Passionate and knowledgeable about your dissertation research and keen to present it to the wider profession; Can present on your research within the 15 minute time slot; Alternatively, create a poster on your research"
The conference is free and there are some bursaries for travel: For more information, go to https://lisdisconference.com/
Presentations from last year's conference are at http://www.slideshare.net/LISDISConference
Photo by Sheila webber: window box, Riga, July 2016