Friday, April 28, 2017

Teachmeet: Supporting online learners, what works?

There is a Teachmeet in Birmingham, UK (at Aston University), on 12 July 2017 1-4pm: Supporting online learners, what works? A discussion of innovative methods in providing distance learners with information literacy and library skills. It is a free event and is sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group.
"Different modes of study are becoming increasingly common in education and at Aston University we are about to launch several online learning courses. This, coupled with the busy schedules of full time on-campus students, means that we may never encounter some students in the library. As librarians we are looking at how we provide these students with essential information literacy and library skills and to ensure their experience is of a similar quality. This teachmeet is an opportunity to discuss what an ‘online learner’ is and what they want from a library.It will also aim to instigate discussion of the challenges in provision of information literacy support to online learners and gain an overview of the potential methods and good practice involved. We are looking for a number of presenters to deliver 10 minute talks on a variety of issues relevant to the day’s theme, perhaps covering; case studies, demos of a new resource and its application, discussion of how online learning has affected the role of a traditional librarian and so on. We would also welcome enthusiastic audience members that are willing to contribute to the afternoon’s discussions."
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spring branches, April 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tips and Trends: Accessibility and Universal Design

The ACRL Instruction Section, Instructional Technologies Committee, has published the latest in their series, Tips and Trends: Accessibility and Universal Design. The four page document was written by Bonnie Fong, Elizabeth Johns, and Becka Rich and is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: daffodils in York, April 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The critical role of the librarian in the development of a critical skills community of practice

A video of a presentation at the Academic & Special Libraries Conference, held 16-17- February 2017 in Dublin, Ireland: The critical role of the librarian in the development of a critical skills community of practice by Lorna Dodd (Maynooth University). "This paper describes how librarians at Maynooth University (MU) used the opportunity presented by a new curriculum to develop close working relationships with staff in MU’s Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL), academic departments and other key student supports to create a new ‘community of practice’."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New German articles on information literacy

The latest issue of the German-language open-access journal o-bib (volume 4 number 1) features information literacy. Apart from the 2nd and 3rd last items (which are in English) the articles are all in German. Apologies for any mistakes in my translation of the German titles. I couldn't decide whether to use "delivery" or "facilitation" for "Vermittlung" and I've used the former, as I think which would be appropriate depends on the context and I'm afraid I haven't read all of these articles [yet]
- Die Förderung von Informationskompetenz ist Kernaufgabe von Bibliotheken – und nicht nur der Senf zur Bratwurst! by Fabian Franke [Development of information literacy is a core mission for the library, not just the mustard on the sausage (i.e. an accompanying garnish)]
- Information Literacy Threshold Concepts and the Association of College and Research Libraries' Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education by Gayle Schaub, Hazel McClure
- Threshold-Konzepte, das ANCIL-Curriculum und die Metaliteracy – Überlegungen zu Konsequenzen für die Förderung von Informationskompetenz in deutschen Hochschulen by Wilfried Sühl-Strohmenger [Threshold concepts, the ANCIL curriculum and metaliteracy: reflections on the consequences of development of IL in German higher education institutions]
- Threshold Concepts in deutschen Bibliotheken - eine Utopie? by Carolin Ahnert [Threshold concepts in German libraries - a utopia?]
- Fit für die Vermittlung von Informationskompetenz? Anforderungen an die Qualifikation von Teaching Librarians in bibliothekarischen Studiengängen und Ausbildungseinrichtungen by Inka Tappenbeck, Anke Wittich, Maria Gäde [Fit to deliver IL? Requirements for German teaching librarians' qualifications]
- Lehre in Zeiten von Framework und Qualifikationsprofil vor dem Hintergrund der HRK-Empfehlung: Überlegungen zu einer möglichen Umsetzung des „shifts from teaching to learning“ im IK-Unterricht am Fachbereich Archiv- und Bibliothekswesen der Hochschule für den öffentlichen Dienst in Bayern by Naoka Werr [Teaching in the time of the Framework and qualifications profile against the background of the HRK recommendations: Reflections on a possible implementation of "shifts from teaching to learning" in IL teaching in the field of archive and library science at the Hochschule für den öffentlichen Dienst in Bavaria]
- Die Strategie der Kultusministerkonferenz „Bildung in der digitalen Welt“ und der „Referenzrahmen Informationskompetenz“ des Deutschen Bibliotheksverbandes by Andreas Klingenberg [The strategy of the ministerial conference "Education in a digital world" and the "guidelines on IL" from the German Library Association]
- Teaching Libraries zwischen Vermittlung fachwissenschaftlicher Informationskompetenz und der Unterstützung einer Propädeutik für die Digital Humanities by Marcus Schröter [Teaching libraries between delivering IL in the disciplines and the support of a induction for digital humanities]
- Information Literacy an der Pädagogischen Hochschule Thurgau – ein spannendes Experiment zwischen Bibliothek, MDZ und dem Fachbereich Wissenschaft und Forschung by Verena Maria Muheim [IL at the Pädagogischen Hochschule Thurgau – an exciting experiment involving the library, MDZ [I think this means the Medien-und Didaktikzentrums' (MDZ) library] and scholarship and research]
- Kein Königsweg - die Vermittlung von Forschungsdatenkompetenz auf allen universitären Ebenen by Kerstin Helbig, Pamela Aust [No easy way - the delivery of research data literacy at all university levels]
- Quantitative information literacy: Designing an online course at the interface between information literacy and statistical literacy by Christina Kläre
- Die Generation Y – Ein Plädoyer für die Analyse einer „vernetzten Generation“ zur Weiterentwicklung der Bibliotheksdidaktik by Kim Farah Giuliani [Generation Y: a plea for analysis of a "networked generation" for further development of library pedagogy]
- Kooperative Informationskompetenzvermittlung im Fach Architektur: Lehrveranstaltungsreflexion eines Blended-Learning-Workshops mithilfe der Theorie des constructive alignments by Simone Kibler [Cooperative delivery of IL in the discipline of architecture: reflection on learning design of a blended learning workshop, using constructive alignment]
Thanks to Thomas Hapke for tweeting this
Photo by Sheila Webber: St Georges , Sheffield University, April 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

PRIMO Site of the Month: Scholarship Is a Conversation

The PRIMO Site of the Month for April 2017 is Scholarship Is a Conversation, produced by Julie Hartwell, Geoff Iverson, Sara Kearns, Kate Otto, Ashley Stark, and Rachel Vukas (New Literacies Alliance). "The New Literacies Alliance is an inter-institutional consortium of academic libraries aimed at building ACRL Framework-based online information literacy lessons. The lessons can be embedded in websites and LibGuides, synced with most learning management systems, or hosted in the cloud for students to review. All lessons are institution-, vendor-, and technology-agnostic—meaning that they can be used by any institution. The lessons are also licensed through Creative Commons, so individual branding and other modifications can be made. This lesson is mapped to the Scholarship as Conversation Frame and introduces the concept of scholarly conversations developing over time, and how to follow a scholarly conversation." The resource itself is at and the interview with the authors is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: bees and blossom, April 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Badke's Research Strategies

There is a new edition (the 6th) of William Badke's Research Strategies: Finding your Way Through the Information Fog. As well as a general update, the new edition has a new chapter "What is this Thing Called 'Scholarship' and Why Does it Matter? incorporating a clear explanation of the main features from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education" and "Interaction with concepts from the Framework for Information Literacy throughout the book". "At this point only print is available, but various e-formats are coming soon." For more information go to
- Badke, W. (2017). Research Strategies: Finding your Way Through the Information Fog. iUniverse. ISBN-13: 978-1532018039 (note that, when I looked, the links on the Amazon site to the kindle and hardback versions were for the previous edition, it is just the paperback version which is the new edition)
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017


InfoFest is a free one-day conference (with free lunch) for information professionals taking place at the University of Kent's Canterbury (UK) campus on 4 May 2017. "The day, organised by CILIP in Kent and the University of Kent, will include a range of talks on challenges and opportunities for information professionals in the digital age, with a particular focus on digital literacy and combatting fake news. You'll have the chance to learn: what it was like to be in charge of Sweden's national Twitter account when Donald Trump mentioned a non-existent security incident in Sweden; how information literacy in schools affects students' transition to university; how to manage your digital footprint and online identity; why accessibility tools are good for everyone.... InfoFest is open to staff in all sectors, at all levels." Additionally, one of the morning breakouts is Information literacy framework in higher education from Maria Bell (London School of Economics). It looks an interesting day. Register at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Charlton Park, April 2017

Designing Information Literacy Instruction: The Teaching Tripod Approach (event)

Organised by Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL), Designing Information Literacy Instruction: The Teaching Tripod Approach takes place on May 12 at the Geisel Library, University of California, San Diego, USA. CARL Members: $67; Non-members: $100; Student/Retiree: $33.50 "Spend the day with Dr. Joan Kaplowitz as she helps us transform our approach to providing information literacy instruction through the use of instructional design principles. Discover the interconnectedness of learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment, and how these elements fit together in her Teaching Tripod Approach along with other insights to provide engaged learning for both face-to-face and online learners." Register at
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring, April 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Featured Teaching Librarian: Christina Holm

The ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee's latest Featured Teaching Librarian is Christina Holm and the interview with her is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: white lilac, April 2017

Webinar: Accessibility in Teaching with Technology

The ACRL Instruction Section Management & Leadership Committee offers a free webinar on May 1 2017 at 1-2pm US Eastern time, which is 6-7pm UK time: Accessibility in Teaching with Technology. "Students bring a diversity of needs to our classroom. Teaching with accessibility in mind can help us include and accommodate them all. In this webinar you will learn how to incorporate accessible practices and values into your teaching with technology. This webinar will focus on classroom climate, selecting tools and platforms, presenting information, and training student creators." The presenter is Stephanie Rosen (Accessibility Specialist at the University of Michigan Library, USA). Register here
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry, April 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into Our Teaching Practices @LibJuiceAcademy

Translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into Our Teaching Practices is a 6 week asynchronous online course; part of the Library Juice programme, this course is run by Andrea Baer, and it starts on May 1 2017, until June 9 2017. The cost is US$250. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry blossom, April 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

New articles: Student confidence; gender difference; visual tools; graphic novels

The latest issue (volume 43, no. 2) of The Journal of Academic Librarianship (priced publication) includes:
- Information Literacy Instruction in an English Capstone Course: A Study of Student Confidence, Perception, and Practice by Susanne F Paterson, Carolyn White Gamtso
- Students' perceptions of their information literacy skills: the confidence gap between male and female international graduate students by Russell Michalak, Monica D.T. Rysavy, Alison Wessel
- The Use of Visual Tools in the Academic Research Process: A Literature Review by Crystal Renfro
- Leveraging Librarian Liaison Expertise in a New Consultancy Role by Mark A. Eddy, Daniela Solomon
- (open access item) Graphic Novels: Collecting, Cataloging and Outreach in an Academic Library by Aimee Slater, Ann Kardos
The contents page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: statue of Elliot with cherry blossom, Weston Park, Sheffield, April 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Howard, Farley and Dix win at #lilac17

On Tuesday the winners of the UK's Information Literacy Group's Information Literacy awards were announced at the LILAC conference. The Information Literacy Award winner was Helen Howard from the University of Leeds, in particular for her work with second year students The winner of the Credo Digital Award was Charlie Farley for 23 Things for Digital Knowledge at the University of Edinburgh. The winner of the Lagadathon (for information literacy games) was Tracy Dix from the University of Warwick for her frogger-inspired Harvard referencing game.
Also, a reminder that all of Pam McKinney's great reports on the LILAC conference can be found at
Photo by Pam McKinney: Swansea beach, April 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#lilac17 day 3: @acarbery gives exciting keynote

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"Alan Carbery's keynote started in dramatic fashion with a 12 party popper salute which was energising! In Champlain College, USA, there is an embedded programme of IL development where librarians work with academics to design and deliver IL teaching over the full span of students' courses. Librarians are given access to students work so they can understand IL development needs. If students are explicitly asked to include peer reviewed journal articles or cite correctly, then students will do that. However there are concerns that these approaches are not transferred to assignments where these instructions are not so explicit, or indeed into real world scenarios.
"Alan challenged us to be critical of our own approaches to IL teaching; is it genuine, meaningful and authentic? Is our teaching too centred on academic information and sources, and how this prepares students for life after college. What would 'real world' information literacy teaching look like?
"Champlain college tries to address some of these issues through their IL teaching e.g. through inviting students to consider the western perspective in information landscapes. Students looked at original historical documents about the 'evils' of Chinese immigration, and frame this with the modern debates about immigration in the US. discussions take place in class about gender inequality in information - thanks to sources like the daily mail 'legsxit' story. So essentially important social issues around gender, race and inequality can be used to frame discussions about information authenticity, quality and power with students.
"Information literate people are able to challenge power and speak truth through sharing information on social media. These sources are just as valid for understanding society as academic sources. Alan played part of a TED presentation on filter bubbles-the way in which google and Facebook use algorithms to present us information they they select for us based on our history and preferences. This is another important point of discussion with students, particularly in the light of the recent events such as the 2016 US presidential election result and the Brexit vote result.
"Alan spoke about the challenge of fake news, and the deliberate rejection of established evidence based journalism by political figures, and the inability of established models of authenticity checking to expose fake news. This in an information literacy problem.
"IL teaching in universities can help students to become curious and questioning, and help them become information literate citizens."
Photo by Pam McKinney: LILAC venue

Information seeking behaviours of advisors to policy makers for homelessness in Ireland #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference: Pam writes
"The second session of the day featured a presentation by Caitriona Honohan on The information seeking behaviours of advisors to policy makers for homelessness in Ireland. There are increasing numbers of homeless people in Ireland who access emergency housing services. Caitriona was concerned with how research into homelessness reached policy-makers. She Interviewed 6 participants who were all advisors to policy makers from various organisations, e.g. civil servants, homeless charities and regional local government.
"The aim of the project was to understand how and where they searched for information and any barriers they faced. An instrumental case study methodology was adopted with purposive sampling. The interviews lasted around 30 minutes and were audio recorded. A grounded theory approach with a constant comparison was taken to the data analysis.
"The findings showed that personal contacts were key to the information seeking behaviours, but participants also used databases, websites of trusted organisations and libraries. Barriers included time constraints, and limited access to academic sources. The participants displayed "satisficing" behaviours due to time constraints.
"Participants suggested using big data analysis of homelessness data as has been done in other countries, and greater sharing of anonymised data between organisations (charities and government departments). More research would be welcomed on homelessness data and better communication between charities and accommodation providers. It was identified that a central information portal for all stakeholders, which included free access to academic information, would be the ideal solution. Informal personal contacts between homelessness service providers and academic researchers were very important, and the formalisation of these contacts would benefit services."
Photo by Pam McKinney: LILAC delegates enjoy the Swansea beach, April 2017

Syrian Scots information literacy way-finding practices: final day of #lilac17

Here's the first of Pam McKinney's reports about the final day of the LILAC conference. Pam writes:
"Dr Konstatina Martzoukou from Robert Gordon University spoke about her Information Literacy Group funded project Syrian Scots information literacy way-finding practices: phase 1 research findings. The presentation focuses on the findings from a research project with Syrian refugees who refer to themselves as "new Scots". The participants who arrived in Scotland have come from refugee camps in Syria and have protected status for 5 years while they gain Scottish citizenship. They are entitled to specialist support and services e.g. housing, welfare, health, education integration etc. It is Important that the service providers understand the (information) needs of the new Scots, and help them become active contributors to society.
"The aim of the project was to examine the information related experiences and information literacy practices of Syrian refugees. 2 Syrian refugees offices, 9 Syrian men, 9 Syrian men and 1 volunteer took part in focus group and interviews.
"All new Scots received ESOL [English as a Second Language] classes and a welcome pack with basic information. In addition there was a 24 hour Arabic helpline and an interpreting service. A variety of support information was created e.g. credit card sized flash cards that could be used with GPS, and a what's app group facilitated by volunteer interpreters. Most participants were heavy users of mobile phones (rather than computers) and found the whatsapp group very useful, and also services such as google translate.
"Drawings were collected from participants, which showed that learning English was one of the main barriers to integration, and the language was linked to self confidence, health, wellbeing and employment opportunities. People were worried about the future, and were concerned about displaced family members.
"Service providers were concerned about the 'right' time to provide information, as when people were new arrivals they were not in the right frame of mind to understand all the new information.
"Scottish public libraries are looking to develop their support for wellbeing, for all members of the community. As part of this they are developing services particularly aimed at Syrian new Scots, e.g. children's books in Arabic. A programme of peer education has been developed where groups of newly arrived refugees meet with facilitators and those who have been there longer to develop their language skills.
"Project blog: "
Photo by Pam McKinney: Swansea, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Twitter and more at #lilac17

I am passing on reports about the LILAC conference from my colleague, Pam McKinney, but of course there is also an active Twitter stream, which you can follow on the last day of the conference, tomorrow (Wednesday 12th April). The Twitter stream is at A few other links:
- There is a brief report on the first day, on the Information Literacy Group page
- Josie Fraser's keynote is at
- Andrew Walsh's poster
- Gore and Smith's Creating a social media mediated learning experience
- Secker's Creative approaches to copyright education
Photo by Pam McKinney of Ian Vine's award winning photo of the Richard Burton archives - displayed at Swansea University, April 2017

Information literacy advocates #lilac17

Here's the next report from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference. Pam writes:
"Ruth Curtis from the University of Nottingham presented on Information literacy advocates; a peer support scheme. This is a ten credit module for the Nottingham Advantage Award. The aim of the module is to develop IL knowledge, skills and confidence through the provision of peer support. UG Students from Medicine and health sciences take part and are assessed through a reflective portfolio. Students are invited to an interactive induction workshop and have a mid module review meeting. The IL Advocates are responsible for promoting their role to their peers e.g. On noticeboards, through social media and through academic staff. They record the number and type of enquiries they field, and the most frequently asked for support was with structuring searches on databases.
"Feedback that the IL Advocates have received indicates that they have had a positive impact on confidence and ability to use library resources. The Advocates have supported library staff in information skills sessions, and offered one-to-one support to students. IL Advocates developed their own IL capabilities and also other transferable skills such as team work."
There has been an article on this work: Curtis, R. (2016). Information Literacy Advocates: developing student skills through a peer support approach. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 33(4), 334–339. (priced article)
Photo by Pam McKinney: Swansea, April 2017

Reaching out with research : promoting academic scholarship and synthesis via research cafes #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam (pictured) at the LILAC conference:
"Katherine Stephen, research support librarian at Liverpool John Moores University presented Reaching out with research : promoting academic scholarship and synthesis via research cafes, focusing on the "present" pillar of the SCONUL model of IL. There aren't many opportunities for people to present their research in an informal and non threatening environment, so these research cafes were designed to provide this safe space and facilitate cross disciplinary engagement.
"Research cafes ran at lunchtimes, in faculty teaching spaces. Eventbrite was used to manage advertising and members of the public were encouraged to come. The problem of leftover food is partially solved by providing brown bag lunches that can be more easily passed on. It can be a good opportunity to promote particular library collections in conjunction with the researchers who use them. A key message was that librarians involving themselves in research events at their institution can really become part of the research culture and make connections with and between researchers."

Waking up webinars: bringing active learning online #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"This afternoon I watched Dorothea Lemke from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, presenting Waking up webinars: bringing active learning online. Webinars can be very dull, or total information overload. Dorothea had a desire to create a focused learning environment for the IL webinars she presented (e.g. On citation practice and using reference management software)
"The webinars last for 2-2.5 hours as they want to cover the same amount of material as they would cover in a face to face class. Webinars always have 2 presenters, one who speaks and one who monitors and responds to the written chat. Webinar participants are always given time to share their perspectives and communicate with each other. Introductions are used to create engagement and break the ice in the chat window. Participants are invited to suggest topics to be covered through a tick box survey and an open text window which makes the webinar more relevant. The webinars always feature some exercises for students to engage with. It helps that students are using their own devices which means that particular problems can be solved at the time of need.
"Group activities can be tricky to implement in the webinar in the same way that they can be easily used in the face to face classes. They actively encourage questioning and information exchange to keep participants engaged. It was interesting that most people prefer to use written chat rather than voice chat which mirrors my experience of teaching on Adobe Connect for the distance learning students at Sheffield [that's on our MA Library and Information Services Management]. Students are supported after the webinar through individual appointments offered also in the webinar software. Dorothy recommended taking time to set up the webinar to make sure that technical problems are solved well in advance of the start time."
Photo by Pam McKinney:Swansea, April 2017

Metaphor me that #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"Elizabeth Brown from Central Washington University, USA, ran a workshop entitled Metaphor me that: using metaphor to aid information literacy understanding.
"Elizabeth used metaphors in her IL teaching to describe the research process e.g. It's a race track. Metaphors are a way for us to understand the world around us and create a conceptual bridge. They allow us to understand theoretical concepts with concrete objects. Scholarship as conversation [from the ACRL IL Framework] is an example of a metaphor in library science.
"We were given 3 scenarios to discuss in groups, and we were invited to think of metaphors that we could use to describe the research process to a student who was experiencing difficulties e.g. A student who was fixated on only one source: this is only hearing one instrument in the orchestra, you need to hear multiple instruments to understand the music.
"Students talk about 'navigating' the library search engine - meaning they see information search as a journey. This was a really enjoyable and active workshop, and I now have lots of great ideas about using metaphors in my own teaching."
By the way, apologies from me (Sheila) that I'm posting this morning's reports from Pam later than she sent them to me: I'm on holiday at the moment and was visiting Crystal Palace Park this morning (see picture)

#lilac17 day 2: Barbara Allan keynote

It's day 2 of the LILAC conference in Swansea and Pam McKinney @ischoolPam is reporting again. Pam writes:
"I attended Barbara Allan's keynote this morning, which was about the ways in which librarians can make an impact beyond the library and embed digital and information literacy in the wider university. Barbara once worked as an IT trainer for a group of gamekeepers, and learnt an important lesson- find out what you students are interested in and use this to frame the learning. As a result the gamekeepers constructed databases of gun manufacturers and bullet types!
"Barbara spoke about decision making in universities, and her realisation that decisions are made through networking, and getting people "on side" before committee meetings. There are many different tribes and territories in universities e.g. faculties, professional services, executive teams, governors and all have different priorities and foci. Researching academics' views of IL is a good way to get IL on their agenda because academics are very respectful of research.
"Finance, quality and reputation are 3 factors that underpin decision-making in universities, and we were invited to discuss which of these 3 factors was the driver of a recent decision made in our institution.
"Barbara discussed the factors that distract senior leaders from IL development: new buildings, change management, finance control and special projects. But equally these could be opportunities for IL. e.g with change management, work with committees to ensure that information and digital literacy appear in job descriptions. It's important to join project boards, volunteer to be chair or take on another vital role, work with a range of stakeholders, publicise both internally and externally. It can be good to get external funding and recognition e.g. National Teaching Fellow (of the UK Higher Education Academy).
"Barbara spoke about how to convince a senior manager to take up your idea, and recommended a book by Charvet (1997) Words that change minds