Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Maximising Access Now: A Library Pledge to promote digital inclusion and access to information

IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) has launched a pledge (which they urge people to sign up to): Maximising Access Now: A Library Pledge to promote digital inclusion and access to information during COVID-19 and Beyond. It reads 

"To the best of our abilities, and with full respect for the law and public health: 
"We pledge to promote the best possible internet access for communities, reliably and at no or low cost, so that no-one should lack connectivity for financial reasons 
"We pledge to promote the widest possible access to relevant digital content and services, supporting education, research, and economic, social and cultural participation 
"We pledge to promote the strongest possible support for the development of digital skills, giving users the ability to be successful and confident internet users 
"We pledge to promote equitable broadband policies at all levels"

More information at and the sign-up is here 

IFLA also announced that they had signed up to the Libraries in Response: Every Community Connected declaration. Currently the other signatores are: Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI)/ Web Foundation; Internet Society; People Centered Internet; Bibliothéques Sans Frontières; EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries); Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN).

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Webinar 29th October: Masters - Emerging Voices in Media & Information Literacy Research #globalMILweek #MILCLICKS

The second free webinar that the University of Sheffield Information School (my department) is involved with for Global Media and Information Literacy week is on 29th October 11am-12 noon GMT, entitled Masters’ Class: Emerging Voices in Media & Information Literacy Research. This gives an opportunity for recently graduated masters students to share their dissertation research and it is hosted by Dr Drew Whitworth (University of Manchester). 

This session is another event organised by the Forum on Information Literacy (FOIL), which is committed to sharing Information Literacy research and providing opportunities for new researchers to participate. 

Each presenter is a practising information Literacy educator, and represent emerging voices in research and practice of Information Literacy. The presenters are: 

- Tsveta Rafaylova (RSM UK, dissertation submitted to University College London): The place and role of workplace information literacy in a corporate environment: exploring the information literacy capabilities of knowledge workers in a professional services firm 

- William Shire (Magdalene College, Oxford and the University of Sheffield): The use of Web 2.0 tools to teach information literacy in the UK university library context 

- Dona Fernandes (Hamid Bin Khalifa University, and the University of Manchester): Approaches to Integrating Media Literacy in the K-12 Curriculum: The Case of Qatar 

William Shire is a graduate from the MA Library Services and Information Management programme and was awarded the Henry Heaney Memorial Prize for the best dissertation in the field of academic librarianship. William, with the support of supervisor Pam McKinney, has had a journal paper based on his dissertation accepted for publication in the Journal of Information Literacy, expected publication in early 2021. 

All are welcome to come along, please register your interest here:

Monday, October 19, 2020

Webinar 28 October: Information Literacy in the United Kingdom: past and future #globalMILweek #MILCLICKS

My iSchool colleague Pam McKinney and I are partcipating in two free webinars which we have helped to organise, as part of our celebration of Unesco’s Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week. Global MIL Week is an annual event to celebrate and promote MIL worldwide, and this year it is (unsurprisinglyly) virtual. The first webinar is an expert panel on Wednesday 28 October at 11am UK time (which is, e.g., 7am US Eastern time - sorry!), entitled Information Literacy in the United Kingdom: past and future and chaired by me. 

The other panellists are: Annemaree Lloyd, Alison Hicks and Charlie Inskip from University College London, Bill Johnston from University of Strathclyde, Drew Whitworth from Manchester Institute of Education and Geoff Walton from Manchester Metropolitan University. I will be posing the questions: (1) What has been the UK narrative about Information Literacy? and (2) What will be the UK narrative about Information Literacy? We will draw on our varied experiences, inside and outside the UK, to reflect on how Information Literacy has (and hasn't) developed, and where it should go in the future. 

The one-hour event is on Zoom. To register, go to The event is a collaboration as members of FOIL: the Forum on Information Literacy. This is a new national network of information literacy researchers in the UK. We aim to discuss and challenge ideas, and engage in critical reflection and enquiry about the practices of information literacy. 

I will draw attention to a 2017 issue of the Journal of Information Literacy where some of the panel (me, Bill, Annemaree, Geoff) discussed issues to do with information literacy. I will blog about the 2nd webinar tomorrow!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

New articles: infolit & #DEI ;beyond one-shot; global perspectives on knowledge; eye-tracking

The latest issues of open access journal College & Research Libraries News (C&RL News) include: 

- Heffernan, K. (2020). Loaded questions: The Framework for Information Literacy through a DEI lens. College & Research Libraries News, 81(8), 382-386.[DEI = Diversity, Equity & Inclusion]. 

and in Vol 81, No 9, go to

- Educational development partnerships and practices: Helping librarians move beyond the one-shot by Sara Sharun, Erika E. Smith 

- Multiple ways of knowing: Global perspectives on academic libraries re-imagining systems of knowledge by Kanwal Ameen, Clara M. Chu, Spencer Lilley, Ana Ndumu, Jaya Raju 

- The eyes have it: Using eye-tracking to evaluate a library website by Lindsay Guarnieri, Tracey Kry, Emily Porter-Fyke

Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanics, rudbeckias, October 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Libraries Today: Services, Safety and Novelty

A free online event from the online Frankfurt Book Fair (one of the major book fairs of the world) on 16th October at 1.30-2.30pm CEST (which is, e.g., 12.30-1.30 UK time): Libraries Today: Services, Safety and Novelty. Its argument (libraries providde great online services too!) is not exactly novel, but it could be worth librarians participating to reinforce the point. "The reality of the worldwide virus threat has challenged academic libraries to respond with service delivery that encompasses attention to safety protocols and novel delivery methods. This session represents a view of academic libraries worldwide and the services they are rendering to faculty and students under a variety of conditions, including in person, remote, and hybrid learning environments. While the pandemic situation is temporary, the lessons learned from it and skills attained because of it, will likely have a lasting legacy for academic librarians. Two of our experienced members of the scholarly community will review what has happened to academic libraries and how they have acted to stay relevant and central to their academic missions." It is run by two people from Springer. To register go to

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

LOEX 2021: Call for Breakout Session Proposals @loex_library

There is a call for proposals for the LOEX 2021 conference (LOEX is the major informaton literacy conference in the USA), which will be held virtually May 11-14 20121. The theme is Information Literacy in a Time of Transformation. The deadline for submissions is 4 December 2020. "Facing the unique social and technological challenges of the present time, we’re approaching our instruction, our libraries, and our world differently. And that asks for an approach to LOEX 2021 that encompasses this transformation" 

"This year’s LOEX tracks are: * Pedagogy: Transforming the Classroom * Leadership: Elevating the Field * The Anti-Racist Instructor: Cultivating Inclusion and Belonging * The Value in Failure: From Missteps to Forward Movement * Theory in Practice: Reversing the Paradigm (How have you used educational and critical theory to form the backbone of your instructional design?)* Collaboration: Building Unity in Diversity" 

Proposals for 60-minute sessions have to be submitted through an online form. "Successful proposals will showcase effective and innovative library instruction & information literacy practices, provide valuable information that participants can utilize at their libraries, support collaboration, and be applicable to the broad variety of academic institutions." More details at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanics, October 2020

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Call for nominations: Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award

The Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award is given to someone who has written an outstanding publication related to teaching in a library environment, which has been published in the last two years (2019 or 2020). Eligible publications include journal articles, books, book chapters, and published proceedings, and may have been authored by any number of people, or an organisation or committee. The deadline is December 4 2020. The full criteria and more information are at The winner(s) receive US $1,000 and a plaque sponsored by Carrick Enterprises.   

Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanics, October 2020

Friday, October 09, 2020

Strengths-Based Librarianship for Instruction and Research Services

A priced online course organised by the US Reference and User Services Association between 9 November 2020 and 12 December 2020 is Strengths-Based Librarianship for Instruction and Research Services. "Are you curious how your students' authentic, real life research skills can impact your teaching? Please join us for a 5-week online course to discover and discuss strengths-based pedagogy. You will transform your teaching and individual consultation by valuing the uniqueness of learners' perspectives and building on their prior knowledge and experiences. Together, we will have the opportunity to identify, examine, and create strengths-based activities that improve the learner experience in your institutional settings."

The course is facilitated by: Emily Cox (Collections and Research Librarian for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Digital Media at NC State University); Liz Kocevar-Weidinger (Head of Research & Instruction Services at Virginia Military Institute); Mark Lenker (Teaching and Learning Librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas); Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol (Undergraduate Research and Instruction Librarian at Millersville University, PA.) (All in the USA) 

Cost is US $130 for RUSA members; $175 for ALA members; $210 for non-ALA members; $100 for student members and retired members 

More info at

Thursday, October 08, 2020

#HackingDisinfodemic - hackathon for young adults #MILClicks

As part of the Global Media and Information Literacy week celebrations, UNESCO with various partners (see below) has organised a hackathon around disinformation #HackingDisinfodemic. Those eligible (you can apply individually or as part of a team) are "Any person or group of persons who are of ages between 18 and 35 years and adheres to the values of UNESCO. No previous coding background is required. Experience and expertise in game, mobile application, website and radio development would be an asset." 

Deadline for applications is 12 October 2020 at midnight Paris time (you have to describe your proposed solution concisely, but don't have to have created it). 

The task and challenges are to: "Design innovative and creative solutions to one of the three challenges: Media and information literacy to counter the COVID-19 disinfodemic; Media and information literacy to fight discrimination; Media and information literacy to combat online privacy and data protection infringements" 

The Solution categories are (1) Game (2) Application/Website (3) Radio programme/Podcast (4) Creative community-based intervention (non-technology focused) The partners are: UNESCO, the Republic of Korea, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), and IBM. 

See more details:

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Alert to information consultants/experts - World Health Organization training in infodemic management

There is a call for applicants for World Health Organization training in infodemic management. The deadline for submissions is 18 October 2020 and the training takes place during 3-27 November 2020. They say they "invite applications from experienced professionals from the fields of epidemiology, risk communication, health service delivery/health care workers, digital health, policy making (in health and intersectoral), who are responding to the current COVID-19 and overlapping infodemics at country level." 

In other words - they don't mention any information professionals, however, looking at the scenarios you have you to address to apply for the training, certainly there would be people with an information background who ought to qualify. The other statement about suitability says "Applications are open to freelance consultants, national health authority staff and United Nations staff who meet the selection criteria to constitute the cohort of trained infodemic managers that support response in countries." (see aso the video below)

The aims of the training are "Build a curriculum and apply it in delivering a training of the 1st cohort of cross-disciplinary infodemic managers that can be deployed to the field for infodemic response; Build up the skills of health authority staff in infodemic management; Offer opportunity for UN staff to learn about infodemic management; Become the basis for creating future infodemic training facility training modules." 

More information at

Librarians as Koru Mindfulness Teachers

The ACRL Contemplative Pedagogy Interest Group runs free online discussions on topics related to contemplative pedagogy in the college or university setting.The next one is on 20 October 2020 at 2pm US Eastern time (so, e.g. 7pm UK time) on Zoom. The topic is Librarians as Koru Mindfulness Teachers. "Learn about Koru Mindfulness, an evidence-based, four-week curriculum designed for college students. Madeleine Charney will share about her experience training, teaching, and getting buy-in for this part of her job as a Research Services librarian at UMass Amherst Libraries. There will be time for questions, discussion, and brainstorming ideas for those of us interested in teaching mindfulness." Register at  

Photo by Sheila Webber: contemplating the palm tree, taken in Second Life, September 2020

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Flexible Online Instruction Using Modular Learning Design Workshop

A priced (US $65) online 90 minute workshop from the American Library Association, on 21 October 2020 2.30-4pm US Eastern time (which is e.g. 7.30-9pm UK time) is Flexible Online Instruction Using Modular Learning Design Workshop. It is run by Amanda Nichols Hess. "With our myriad responsibilities and busy schedules, librarians frequently produce online learning materials ad hoc or in a race against time, missing valuable opportunities for synergy and consistency. In this workshop, library instruction expert Amanda Nichols Hess introduces the concept of modular learning, an approach to developing intentional, strategic online learning objects. A modular learning approach is one where we intentionally build documentation and structure into our work so that content is ready to be updated or remixed to meet different learning needs in the near, mid-, or long-term. Nichols Hess discusses topics that participants can immediately apply, such as learning design, evaluation and assessment, accessibility, and usability. She will also cover how you can use existing content to create flexible online learning resources." 

More info and registration at

Photo by Sheila Webber: cat on my walk, September 2020

Monday, October 05, 2020

Who Is Susceptible to Online Health Misinformation?

This short article is interesting (and, I think, open access), and could be used to stimulate discussion about misinformation and how to combat it. For example, you could get different groups of learners to propose ways of diagnosing and tackling each of the 3 types of cause, you could critique the categorisations (e.g., perhaps understandably for a health publication, it assumes there always IS a way to tell true from false, and doesn't address circumstances where talking about true and false is problematic). You could ask students to follow up and find more research about the argument that most interested them. If you have a good relationship with them, learners might be willing to reflect om whether they felt any of these 3 applied to them. Also the article suggests lines of future research (e.g. do people who believe misinformation about X also believe it about Y). 

Scherer, L. and Pennycook, G. (2020). Who Is Susceptible to Online Health Misinformation? American Journal of Public Health, 110, S276_S277.

"Although everyone has the potential to be misled by false information, online misinformation is not an equal opportunity aggressor. Some of us are more likely to believe misinformation than are others and serve as vectors by sharing it on social media. To effectively combat misinformation on social media, it is crucial to understand the underlying factors that lead certain people to believe and share false and misleading content online. A growing body of research has tackled this issue by investigating who is susceptible to online misinformation and under what circumstances." 

They indentify three main arguments (1) "the deficit hypothesis" "people who believe misinformation do not have sufficient knowledge or literacy to discriminate between true and false information." (the literacies they focus on are primarily health and digital literacy - information literacy isn't mentioned) (2) "people tend to be susceptible to misinformation that is consistent with their preexisting beliefs or worldview." and (3) "those who are worse at discerning between true and false information tend to overclaim their own knowledge and to be receptive to “pseudoprofound” statements”

Photo by Sheila Webber, apples and pears, farmers' market, late September 2020

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Nominations invited for ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award

The ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award is open for nominations, deadline December 4, 2020. There is a US $3,000 prize sponsored by EBSCO Information Services. "The Innovation Award recognizes a project from the past two years that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming. ... Nominations must describe how the project meets the award criteria and should include a letter of support and documentation presenting the project’s purpose, content, impact, and innovative aspects." 

"Academic librarians or academic project teams that include an academic librarian are eligible to receive the award. Recipients must have implemented their project in an academic or research library or through the aegis of a professional library organization ..." More information at 

It doesn't say that the award is restricted to North America, and it isn't part of the criteria, but I can't see any previous winners based outside USA and Canada.

Photo by Sheila Webber: September roses, 2020