Monday, October 31, 2005

TUNE project website

It's worth looking at the TUNE website, particularly if you are in a public library wanting to deliver information literacy training to your users. TUNE (Training of Library Users in a New Europe) has been a project of Biblioteca de Castilla la Mancha, Toledo, Spain, Randersegnens Biblioteker, Randers, Denmark, Stadsbiblioteket, Helsingborg, Sweden, and Ljubljana (Slovenia) Oton Zupancic Public Library. There is a newsletter, material from a seminar held this summer, the Tune "User Training Model" which is a sort of manual with examples, and journals (diary type entries).

I find the following reflection, from their final journal (no. 22) quite inspiring: "above all, it has help us to reflect on what working with librarians for other countries is. We have also realized that even though there are small cultural differences among our countries, we all believe that the public library is essential for the democratization of culture. Inger summarized what working together was very well. That is working under the same mission and feeling that we all belong to the same library. In regards to these, we believe that the methodology and planning of the work steps has been very important. "
(Photo by S. Webber: Autumn rose, Blackheath, Oct. 2005)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

LILAC conference 2006

The 2006 LILAC information Literacy conference will take place in Leeds, UK, 27-29 March. It is organised by the CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group. Conference themes are: Embedding and enriching; Information Literacy and citizenship; New areas of practice and research; Practical approaches to Information Literacy; Staff development and Information Literacy; Strategic approaches to Information Literacy. There is a call for papers and posters for which there is a deadline of 30 November 2005.

The keynote speakers are: Lynne Brindley (British Library), Peter Brophy (Manchester Metropolitan University), Philip Candy (NHS Connecting for Health), Jonathan Douglas (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Dorothy Williams (The Robert Gordon University). There are discounts for early booking, Group members and presenters. There are rates for the full conference, and for individual days.

For more information and forms for papers and bookings go to: bysubject/informationliteracy/lilac/lilac2006

(Photo by S. Webber: Sedum and hydrangea, Hailsham, Oct. 2005)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

ACRL blog

If you need yet another blog to help fill those empty corners of your life, then you might want to consider the US Academic, College and Research Libraries group's blog at It is a collaborative blog with some interesting contributors: Steven J. Bell, Barbara Fister (whose information literacy talk at WILU 2005 I very much enjoyed), Marc Meola, Scott Walter, and Kevin S. Clarke.
(Photo by S. Webber: Dahlia, Blackheath, October 2005)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

S.O.S. for Information Literacy

S.O.S. for Information Literacy was launched this month in the USA. S.O.S. stands for Situation, Outcomes, Strategies. It is a "database of standards-based information literacy lesson plans and other teaching materials" which "is a dynamic, multimedia, Web-based and freely accessible resource for K-8 library media specialists and classroom teachers." It was created by people at Syracuse University ( with a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The database is at

You need to register, but I was able to do so and get access immediately. It contains "lesson plans" input by librarians, media specialists and teachers, I think all from North America at present. You can search the database by keyword, subject context for the IL lesson, education level, and also by learning outcome (as identified in information literacy standards) or broad area of IL skill. So, for example, you can search for plans for 7-8th graders that target the outcome "Selects information appropriate to the problem or question at hand." Links on the website include links to information literacy guidelines or standards from different US states.

People are encouraged to contribute new lesson plans, as well as search. There are guidelines for creating the lesson plans in the right format for S.O.S. I was a bit put off by the first line of one of these tip pages ("Think "motivation" in every part of your lesson plan": my sour and cynical British temperament tends to surface in response to things like that) but they do explain things clearly, which is the main point really. They also aim to create a similar resource for other school levels and higher education.

(Photo by S. Webber: York in the rain, Oct. 2005)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

WILU call for papers

There is a call for papers for the 35th Annual Workshop on Instruction in Library Use (WILU) conference, which is the annual Canadian information literacy conference. It will be held at at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 10-12, 2006. The theme is Charting a Course for Instruction.

Topics include:
- mentoring between new and mid-career librarians
- collaborating with administration to establish and promote information literacy programs
- working with educators across the curriculum
- providing peer support and techniques for keeping connected
- partnering between school and academic libraries
Proposals for one-and-a-half-hour sessions and three-hour workshops related to the theme of the conference are also welcomed. Deadline for proposals is November 28, 2005. Online proposal submission forms are available at:

(Photo by S. Webber: Macdonald Stewart sculpture park, at the University of Guelph, venue for this year's excellent WILU.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Research about students' use of textbooks

There are some results of research into students' use of information, on a new website - principally students' use of textbooks. The research was carried out on behalf of the Publishers Association. Frustratingly, it doesn't say anything much about the methods or sample used in the survey, but the results are of interest.

(Photo by S. Webber: Cape gooseberry and Rudibekia, Hailsham, Oct. 2005)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Learning styles: Help or hindrance?

There is a meeting with this title on 10 November 2005 at the University of London (UK) Institute of Education. The speakers are Prof. Frank Coffield, Kathryn Ecclestone and David Moseley who recently authored interesting reports for the Learning and Skills Development Agency. "Only one of the thirteen models of learning style we examined was found to fully meet our criteria for reliability and validity. Does this matter? Despite weaknesses in all of the most popular models, the promotion of learning styles as a way to transform learning continues apace. Can these models still help us to improve the quality of teaching and learning?" For more info on the seminar contact:
You can download both the reports from - search on publication reference numbers 041543 and 041540.
(Phot by S. Webber: Red Devil apple on my tree, Oct. 2005)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Launch of CILASS and Learning & Teaching strategy

On Tuesday 18th, the official launch of the Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) took place. This is one of the Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and CILASS will receive £4.5million over 5 years. My colleague Dr Philippa Levy is Director of CILASS (though she will still spend 80% of her time in this Department (Information Studies). The strapline for CILASS is "Modelling the process of research within the student learning experience" and most of the work will be carried out via projects in different departments that change the curriculum or approaches to learning & teaching in some way.

Information literacy is a key strand in CILASS' work and a full time Information Literacy person has been appointed to work in CILASS (more about her when she arrives next month!) I am leading a CILASS project in my department, Information literacy in the curriculum, in which we aim to audit the extent to which IL is addressed in all our courses (using the SCONUL "7 Pillars" model of IL) and improve the extent to which IL is progressed in our programmes. There is some information about CILASS at including summaries of the "Phase 1 projects" (of which mine is one). You will see that the University Library here is also one of the partners and participants in CILASS.

Sheffield University's new Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy was launched at the same event, and Information Literacy is now in this Strategy document as something that the "Sheffield Graduate" should develop. Hurrah! There is a page from which I can download the LTA strategy (and I think that people outside can download it too - for those interested in such things).

(Photo by S. Webber: Trees in the park outside Firth Court: Firth Court is where CILASS etc. were launched)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

E-learning and information literacy: initiatives and challenges

Joint IFM Healthcare and Libraries for Nursing Study Day
Leeds University Library, Monday 14 November 2005, 10.30 - 16.00

E-learning and information literacy: initiatives and challenges

Lifelong learning is part of all healthcare professionals' lives, and e-learning and information literacy have important roles to play within it. This study day will be an opportunity to share experiences and gain ideas. It will consist of a mix of presentations, group discussions and opportunities to explore some on-line resources.

  • Present and future challenges of information literacy (Peter Godwin, Academic Services Manager, London South Bank University)
  • Implementing an information literacy audit in the context of nurse education (Alison Lahlafi, Faculty Team Librarian, and David Clarke, School of Healthcare, Leeds University)
  • Key e-learning themes and developments (David Peacock, Knowledge Service Manager, Northumberland Tyne & Wear SHA)
  • Creating multiple choice questions for a virtual learning environment for nurses (Karen Smith, York University)
  • E-learning for health librarians (FOLIO Team, Sheffield University)

  • RCN e-learning resources (Caroline Lynch and Angela Perrett, Royal College of Nursing)

  • How do we asses the effectiveness of information skills training? (Alison Brettle, Salford University, and Joanne Greenhalgh, Leeds University)
This is an update of the extremely popular workshop held at the HLG conference in 2004
Booking form and provisional programme details are available on the IFM Healthcare Web site:
If you require any further information, please contact: Heather Williamson (

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Blogs in Iran & blog usability

Last night (Monday 17th) there was a feature on blogging in Iran in the BBC Radio 3 programme Night waves: it was "a discussion of We are Iran, a book of web-diaries which offers young Iranians the chance to express opinions in cyberspace about subjects including the condition of women and of repression and its subversion." You can download the programme from the BBC website up until 23rd October, from (the blog feature is towards the end of the programme)

Thanks also to my colleague Nigel Ford for "alerting" me to this item
Nielsen, J. (2005) "Weblog usability: the top ten design mistakes." Alertbox, 17 October.

(Phot0 by S. Webber, Oct. 2005)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Adelphi Charter

An outcome from an initiative by the Royal Society of Arts is The Adelphi Charter which "sets out new principles for copyrights and patents, and calls on governments to apply a new public interest test." If you wanted some material for advanced discussion about ethical use of information and intellectual property dimensions, this could be an interesting focus for discussion. The site includes background material that informed the people who wrote the Charter, including some useful summaries and links. Thanks to Michel Menou for highlighting this site on another discussion list I belong to.

(Phot by S. Webber: Hydrangea and cotoneaster, October 2005, Sheffield)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

5th Annual Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop

Judy Peacock, the Information Literacy Coordinator at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia will be the guest speaker at this year's Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop, whose theme is Intentional Information Literacy Strategies. The workshop is held on December 12-13, 2005 in Camrose, AB, Canada. Early registration deadline: October 31, 2005.

For more information, visit the conference website.

Friday, October 14, 2005

BOBCATSSS 2006 in Tallinn

The BOBCATSSS 2006 Symposium "Information. Innovation. Responsibility: Information Professional in the Network Society". takes place 30th January - 1st February, 2006 in Tallinn, Estonia. This is an annual symposium organised by students at a number of universities in Europe, of interest to information specialists, students, academics etc. One of the key themes is: Supporting Learning and Information Literacy. You can find more information about the Symposium at

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Conference papers

Papers from the 3rd Evidence based Librarianship conference being held in Brisbane, Australia are available on the web at . There are a number of papers relevant to IL e.g.
  • Exploring evidence-based information literacy. Catherine Clark, University of Western Australia, Australia.
  • What can students' bibliographies tell us? Evidence based information skills teaching for engineering students. Fei Yu, Jan Sullivan, Leith Woodall University of Queensland, Australia.
  • But does it work? Building the evidence for information literacy development. Gill Needham The Open University Library and Learning Resources Centre, UK. (HT)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Information Literacy seminar, London

There is an Information Literacy seminar organised by the Career Development Group (London and South East Divisions) at King's College London, UK on Monday 17 October 2005 (6-8pm) [photo on the right taken on Chancery Lane, outside one of KCL's libraries]. The seminar is run by Debbi Boden (Imperial College London) and Jane Secker (London School of Economics) "Examples of IL policies and strategies will be examined as will the future relations with e-literacy and media literacy. Practical hands-on sessions will provide an opportunity to assess two online IL programmes; one aimed at library users, the other a staff-development programme aimed at library staff. This course is aimed primarily at those new to the information profession and those with an interest in IL from the perspectives of public,
health, academic and commercial libraries."

Cost (including VAT) is £15 for members of the Career Development Group, £20 for non-members , £10 for students and the unwaged. To register your booking, please contact Jeremy Crumplin, Email:

Monday, October 10, 2005

Impact of Information Literacy

The Spring 2005 issue of Library and Information Research has just been made available free on the web, and it is devoted to reports from the LIRG/SCONUL IMPACT initiative. I highlight a couple below, but actually most of the articles are looking at aspects of information literacy.

Crawford, J. (2005) "Glasgow Caledonian University: impact of developing students’ information literacy". Library and Information Research, 29 (91), 20-21.

This article includes a short section on the results of a survey of alumni (who thought IL was really useful!) [I bumped into John Crawford on Sauchiehall Street while in Glasgow last week - the photo on the right was taken while I was up there, and is of the River Kelvin, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow]

Baker, C. and Needham, G. "Open University Library: impact and effectiveness of information literacy interventions" Library and Information Research, 29 (91), 30-31.

The whole issue is at

Sunday, October 09, 2005

SEDA conference: professional standards for teaching

The 10th Annual SEDA (Staff and Educational Development Association) Conference, Professional Standards and Continuing Professional Development: constraining or empowering? takes place 29th - 30th November 2005 in Birmingham, UK. The conference is particularly of interest to UK educational developers, but the topic, i.e. professional standards in learning and teaching in higher education, could be of wider interest. Further info at:

(Descending from Owakudani by cablecar, Japan, July 2005.)

English class - IL material

Again, picking up on discussion on the ili list, there is interesting material from Utah State University Libraries, USA, at: English1010/index.htm
English 1010 Instructor Resources. It includes information about assessments, including a lesson plans and a criteria-referenced feedback sheet for students. Like some other US initiatives it builds on the existence of "English composition" classes, that we don't really have over here in the UK, but there are ideas that would work in different contexts, I think.

(Photo by S. Webber: Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan, July 2005)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Chair in Information Literacy

Barbara Fister on the ili discussion list has pointed out that Purdue University, USA, is endowing a Chair in Information Literacy. "The university will use a $2.5 million gift it received from Wayne Booker, former vice chairman of the Ford Motor Co. Purdue says students need to understand how to conduct research and how to evaluate the search results."

"The person filling the W. Wayne Booker Endowed Chair in Information Literacy will conduct research and launch additional initiatives to increase students' ability to access, assess and integrate information and make good judgments about what information they choose to use, said Purdue Dean of Libraries James L. Mullins. ." Jim Mullins also said that other universities has "expressed interest" in creating this sort of position.

(Photo by S. Webber: Bee/ flower, Oslo, Aug. 2005)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Swedish conference

On October 12-13 2005 there is a "Mötesplatskonferense" by the Library School and the city library in Borås, Sweden. Ralph Catts, Senior Research Fellow, University of Stirling (shown right, in Yeppoon last year) is talking about Information literacies and lifelong learning (in English) but the rest of the programme is in Swedish. From what I understand, there are a number of directly relevant IL items (e.g. about teaching information searching, developing critical thinking skills and looking at libraries and learning) together with other papers looking at different roles of libraries and issues for libraries. Also on this site you have links to conference papers from previous years (in Swedish).

ASIST blog and Wiki

The American Society for Information Science and Technology has its annual conference Oct 28-November 2 2005 in Charlotte, USA. Information Literacy as such doesn't seem to be on the agenda, but this is a regular place to find reports on good research into information behaviour and information seeking. They have set up both a blog at and a conference wiki at in fact they even have an ASIST photostream at flickr at cool or what.

Monday, October 03, 2005

American School Libraries conference blog

The AASL (American Association of School Librarians) conference is being held in Pittsburgh, USA, 6-9 October. As usual there are a good number of sessions to do with information literacy. Also as is increasingly the case, a conference blog has been set up, and the volunteer bloggers are limbering up at

The sessions include the launch of the SOS for Information Literacy resource: a database of lesson plans etc. for teaching schoolchildren. I will do a separate entry on this resource after it has been officially launched.

(Photo by S. Webber: Finger puppet being animated by a librarian at a display of children's library material, World Library & Information Conference, Oslo, Aug. 2005)