Thursday, May 05, 2016

Practical Tips for Facilitating Research

A book from Moira Bent, that is worth acquiring:
Bent, M. (2016). Practical Tips for Facilitating Research. London: Facet. 9781783300174. Price: £49.95; CILIP members price: £39.96. "This practical guide offers innovative tips and reliable best practice to enable new and experienced library and information professionals to evaluate their current provision and develop their service to meet the evolving needs of the research community."
There is a sample from it on the Facet website and a review of the book at
Photo by Sheila Webber: my cherry blossom, May 2016

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Skills for Success: Show and Tell

The CILIP Academic & Research Libraries Group runs an event on 20 May 2016 at Plymouth Central Library, Plymouth, UK: Skills for Success "A day for sharing and discussing creative approaches to supporting skills for success in FE and HE: lifelong learning, academic and employability skills, information skills, digital literacies and more." The day starts with the ARLG SW annual general meeting, and the seminar programme starts at 11.30. Short presentations include: Ludo Sebire, UWE: 'Developing Academic Literacy for all at UWE'; Jolanta Peters, Somerset College: 'Raising literacy standards through library initiatives at Somerset College'; Jane Tomlinson, Petroc - 'Scheduled Online Learning Assessment (SOLA) lessons to support the development of digital literacies skills both for learners and staff'; Rachel Browning & Rosie Enys, Falmouth University: 'Facilitating Liminality: entering a new pedagogical space'. In the afternoon there is a talk from Steve Wheeler.
Cost: £25 +VAT for CILIP or ARLG members, £30 +VAT for non-members. Full details and a booking form are available at
Photo by Sheila Webber: new beech leaves in the breeze, April 2016

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Documented library contributions to student learning and success

The latest from the Assessment in Action program ( is a report which summarises key evidence from the two years of the AiA project (a US project about evaluating impact and value of libraries in Higher Education). The report title is fairly self-explanatory:
Brown, K. and Malenfant, K. (2016) Documented library contributions to student learning and success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus. Projects
One of the conclusions is that "Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Several AiA projects document that libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement."

There is a reflection on the report from Barbara Fister, here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: luminous pegs on the clothes hanger, April 2016

Monday, May 02, 2016

Emerald award winners: rich variety: Ukachi, Huvila, Seeber, Halpern, Helberger, Yu, Duff, and more

Commercial publisher Emerald has "best paper awards every year ("winner" and "highly commended"). The whole list is at (note that most papers on Emerald are subscription-only; I have sought out open access versions for some of those listed below, but I didn't have time to look for them all). This year, ones of possible interest to information literacy include (in fairly random order):

- Ukachi, N. (2015). Exploration of information literacy skills status and impacts on the quality of life of artisans in Lagos, Nigeria. New Library World, 116 (9/10), 578 - 587. Ukachi's Reserarchgate site is here with preprints

- Huvila, I. (2015). Situational appropriation of information. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 67(5), 492 - 504. "In contrast to the interest of describing and managing the social processes of knowing, information science and information and knowledge management research have put less emphasis on discussing how particular information becomes usable and how it is used in different contexts and situations. The purpose of this paper is to address this major gap, and introduce and discuss the applicability of the notion of situational appropriation of information for shedding light on this particular process in the context of daily information work practices of professionals. The study is based on the analysis of 25 qualitative interviews of archives, library and museum professionals conducted in two Nordic countries." To quote Isto's blog "The paper is freely available to download for one year on the Emerald Insight website. Preprint of the text is available on this site."

- Seeber , K. (2015). Teaching “format as a process” in an era of Web-scale discovery. Reference Services Review,   43(1), 19 - 30. a preprint is here. "This paper aims to present academic librarians with a framework for teaching and assessing information literacy in response to advancements in online discovery. Advancements in online discovery require academic librarians to develop new means of teaching and assessing information literacy, with an emphasis on having students use critical thinking to evaluate sources. "

- Halpern , R and Tucker , C. (2015). Leveraging adult learning theory with online tutorials. Reference Services Review, 43 (1), 112 - 124.

- Helberger , N., Kleinen-von Königslöw , K. and van der Noll , R. (2015). Regulating the new information intermediaries as gatekeepers of information diversity. info,  17 (6), 50 - 71. "The purposes of this paper are to deal with the questions: because search engines, social networks and app-stores are often referred to as gatekeepers to diverse information access, what is the evidence to substantiate these gatekeeper concerns, and to what extent are existing regulatory solutions to control gatekeeper control suitable at all to address new diversity concerns? It will also map the different gatekeeper concerns about media diversity as evidenced in existing research before the background of network gatekeeping theory critically analyses some of the currently discussed regulatory approaches and develops the contours of a more user-centric approach towards approaching gatekeeper control and media diversity."

- Yu , L. (2015). Back to the fundamentals again: A redefinition of information and associated LIS concepts following a deductive approach.  Journal of Documentation,  71(4), 795 - 816.

- Duff , A. (2015). Cyber-Green: idealism in the information age.  Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 13 (2), 146 - 164.

- Canuel , R. and Crichton , C. (2015). Leveraging apps for research and learning: a survey of Canadian academic libraries. Library Hi Tech, 33(1), 2-14.  "The purpose of this paper is to assess the response of Canadian academic libraries to the rapid proliferation of mobile application (apps), many of which are useful for research, teaching, and learning. "A survey was conducted to identify existing initiatives that address the use of mobile apps to facilitate research, teaching, and learning at the libraries of the 97 member institutions of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Based on this survey, this paper describes how apps are promoted, curated, organized, and described by today’s academic libraries. A review of the literature places this survey in its broader context."

-  Renaud , J. et al  (2015). Mining library and university data to understand library use patterns. The Electronic Library, 33 (3), 355 - 372. "Library data are often hard to analyze because these data come from unconnected sources, and the data sets can be very large. Furthermore, the desire to protect user privacy has prevented the retention of data that could be used to correlate library data to non-library data. The research team used data mining to determine library use patterns and to determine whether library use correlated to students’ grade point average."

This is another (non-IL) I thought looked interesting: Sun , Q and Kang , H. (2015). Infusing work-based learning with Confucian principles: a comparative perspective. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 5 (4), 323 - 338.
Photo by Sheila Webber: My cherry blossom, April 2016

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy

Carrick Enterprises is developing the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL), which "helps faculty and academic librarians better understand the level of information literacy achievement of their students. The Test is inspired by the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education which was adopted in February 2015." It is being trialled at the moment. Frankly, I wouldn't have thought a testing approach was altogether consistent with the Framework philosophy, but if you are interested go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: thrown-away sweater, London Marathon, April 2016: the early route is strewn with disgarded gloves and sweaters, sometimes you have to duck to avoid them

Saturday, April 30, 2016

PhD post, The University Library of Tromsø

There is a paid post advertised at Tromsø University, in which you study for a PhD and undertake some minor teaching etc. duties. The PhD topic is set; investigating information literacy teaching in Norwegian higher education. You have to learn Norwegian to basic qualification level within 2 years (i.e. you do not have to be able to speak it when you start: also, the PhD dissertation may be written in English). Application deadline is 18 May 2016.
Photo by Sheila webber: London Marathon (turning into Charlton) April 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

New articles: visial literacy; research questions; library/publisher relationship; pedagogy

- Beaudoin, J. (2016). Describing Images: A Case Study of Visual Literacy among Library and Information Science Students. College and Research Libraries, 77 (3), 376-392. (open access) "This paper reports on a study that examined the development of pedagogical methods for increasing the visual literacy skills of a group of library and information science students"
- Donlan, R. and Sieck, S. (2016). Stop, Collaborate & Listen: How the Librarian/Publisher Relationship Can Facilitate the Development of the Information Literacy Curriculum. Collaborative librarianship, 8(1). (open access) "A librarian from the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and the Library Communications Manager at Taylor & Francis Group partnered to launch a collaborative information literacy pilot program focusing on assisting FGCU students and faculty navigate and understand the scholarly publishing process. This article describes how the idea was created, as well as steps involved in developing the publishing toolkit to help FGCU patrons. An overview of the pilot program was presented during the 2015 Charleston Conference as a poster session."
- Drabinski, E. and Walter, S. (2016). Asking Questions that Matter. College and Research Libraries, 77 (3), 264-268. (open access) (Discusses issues of research approaches and questions in the library field)
- Folk, A. (2016). Academic Reference and Instruction Librarians and Dweck’s Theories of Intelligence. College and Research Libraries, 77 (3), 302-313. (open access) "This article introduces psychologist Carol S. Dweck’s entity and incremental theories of intelligence and explores the prevalence of these theories in academic librarians who participate in reference and instruction activities."
- Greer, K Hess, A. and Kraemer, E. (2016). The Librarian Leading the Machine: A Reassessment of Library Instruction Methods. College and Research Libraries, 77 (3), 286-301. (open access) "This article builds on the 2007 College and Research Libraries article, “The Librarian, the Machine, or a Little of Bsoth [sic].” ... The study’s design and its results serve to contribute to discussion of best practices in information literacy pedagogy, online learning, instructional design, and the role of the librarian therein."
Photo by Sheila webber: stacked chairs, April 2016

Free information literacy e-book

Another free e-book arising from an information literacy class: Alison Hicks has edited a volume of essays from her class of library students (at the University of Denver), to form an engaging book aimed at librarians teaching information literacy.
Hicks, A. (Ed.) (2016). Got a minute? Instruction tune-up for time pressed librarians. Pressbooks.
The chapter titles are: Introduction: The next generation of instruction librarians; Librarians in Learning Management Systems: Strategies and Suggestions; A Busy Librarian’s Guide to Youtube; Visual Literacy in the Classroom; Really Really Ridiculously Good-Looking: Best Practices for Creating LibGuides; How one-shot library instruction is failing transfer students; Driving in a Parkway and Parking in a Driveway: Preparing for International Students in your Classroom; Teaching Technology to Seniors; Visible Thinking and the Implications for Instruction Librarians; Citation Managers on a Shoestring; Connect the Dots: An Exploration of Connectivism in Theory and Practice; Wake Up and Smell the Bias! Spreading Awareness in Library Instruction; Designing Asynchronous Content; Digital is Just Another Format: How Children’s Librarians Can Apply Traditional Strategies to New Media; Tale Blazers: Digital Storytelling in Library Instruction; School Library Topics in Two’s; How Intellectual Freedom Can Be Highlighted, Integrated,& Safeguarded in Modern Public Library Instruction; Health Literacy in Public Libraries; Using Digital Resources for Student Instruction; Library Burnout: Recognizing the causes and dealing with the effects
Photo by Sheila Webber: delicate cherry blossom, April 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Critical Pedagogy in a Time of Compliance

They are livestreaming the keynote from the Information Literacy Summit on 29 April 2016 (at 9.30am US Central time, which is 3.30pm UK time). Emily Drabinski (Associate Professor and Coordinator of Library Instruction, Long Island University, Brooklyn) is talking on Critical Pedagogy in a Time of Compliance. The web address is
The IL Summit is hosted by Moraine Valley Community College Library and DePaul University Libraries. The abstract is "The promise of critical pedagogy lies in its capacity to change lives–our own and those of our students–as we try new ways of thinking and teaching that challenge systems of power that privilege some and not others. In the last ten years, critical pedagogy has moved from the margins to the center, most clearly in its influence on the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Frames like Information has Value and Authority is Constructed have long been tenets of critical voices in the field, voices that can now be heard emanating from the center of our professional lives. And yet, critical approaches to teaching and learning face acute challenges from a higher education environment that increasingly values teaching and learning by the numbers, tying everything from accreditation to book budgets to quantifiable outcomes. In this talk, Emily Drabinski will explore these tensions and offer thoughts on how we can change the world while keeping our jobs."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Shadows under the table, April 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A pedagogical and curriculum framework for information literacy

You can request a copy (from the author, via a preprints repository) of what sounds a very interesting chapter in a forthcoming book:
- Lupton, Mandy (2016) Inquiry learning: A pedagogical and curriculum framework for information literacy. In Sales, Dora & Pinto, Maria (Eds.) Pathways into Information Literacy and Communities of Practice: Teaching Approaches and Case Studies. Chandos Publishing. (In Press) [Request the preprint at ] "This chapter presents an inquiry learning framework that can be used as a pathway for the development of information literacy in both K-12 and higher education. Inquiry learning is advocated as an authentic and active approach that draws upon students’ natural curiosity. The pedagogical and curriculum framework incorporates three major elements: questioning frameworks, information literacy and an iterative research cycle. Models and strategies for the elements of the framework are presented and discussed. The chapter ends with an acknowledgement of the challenges associated with implementing inquiry learning."
Lupton's Inquiry Learning and Information Literacy blog is also worth following Although she doesn't post there as often, there is also her Teaching in the wild blog
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossoms, April 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Purdue's Information Literacy mission

Purdue University Libraries (USA) have just revised their information literacy mission. It now reads "Purdue University Libraries’ research-based information literacy programming empowers Purdue’s diverse communities of learners to use information critically to learn and to create new knowledge, fostering academic, personal and professional success." There is more information on this, and on their other information literacy activities, at
Just a quick google identified other North American libraries with information literacy mission statements, e.g. Gateway Community College and Albright College - do add a comment if you have one.
Photo by Sheila Webber: peacock butterfly, April 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Happy world book and copyright day #bookday

Although the UK perversely celebrates "World Book Day" in March, the actual international World Book and Copyright Day is today. The 23 April was chosen because "is on this date in 1616 that Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, such as Maurice Druon, Haldor K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo."
The main website is and the hashtag is - you're encouraged to tweet your favourite book

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth day

Today is Earth Day. I was trying to find some information literacy or library items related to this and I've picked out:
Hauka, Petra (2015) How to become / How to identify a Green Library? Standards for Certification. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 95 - Environmental Sustainability and Libraries SIG with New Professionals SIG. (

Soh, Lin Li and Lo, Wan Ni (2013) My tree house - World's 1st green library for kids. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 - Singapore - Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities in Session 115B - Environmental Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group. (

SOS for Information Literacy (1996?) Earth Day: Learn about the Rain Forests. (an activity for art classes, learning about an endangered animal and painting it)

Oyelude, Adetoun Adebisi and Alabi, Adefunke Olanike (2013) Greening: pluses and minuses of Nigerian libraries in promoting environmental sustainability. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 - Singapore - Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities in Session 115B - Environmental Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group.
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring flowers April 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The varying conceptions of information literacy across an International Middle School community: Seminar

There is a free seminar on 3 May 2016 2-4pm at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen Business School, Scotland: Only Connect: The varying conceptions of information literacy across an International Middle School community. The seminar is presented by Veronica Cunningham: "This seminar offers participants the opportunity to learn about the preliminary findings from a phenomenographic study of the ways seven different stakeholder groups including students, parents, teachers, library and IT personnel, administrators and leadership understand information literacy (IL). This study uniquely places the spotlight on IL from multiple stakeholder perspectives yielding for the first time a more comprehensive understanding of IL in an international school context. The seminar also serves to provide a platform for participants to explore the implications of these findings for professional practice in the Library and Information profession, curriculum development, professional development for staff and faculty, home school collaboration around IL learning and organisational learning. The study's author Veronica Cunningham has worked in different countries in the field of international education in the library and information and curriculum development areas. She is currently based in Oslo and is undertaking this research as part of the Doctorate in Information Science Degree Programme. The research and its findings are currently in the final write up phase and are of relevance to those concerned with shaping, leading and implementing IL strategy in learning communities worldwide." Email Agnieszka Kruk-Omenzetter ( if you wish to attend. Map and travel information are here.
Photo by Sheila Webber: windblown cherry blossom, April 2016