This is a first report on a seminar which Ola Pilerot and I ran for the Svensk Förening för Infospecialister. Ola is Deputy Head Librarian at Skövde University Library, in
There were 15 delegates from a variety of workplaces: a number of university librarians, a couple of people from hospital libraries, an information consultant, also people from the government and corporate sector. The venue was the Finlandshuset, which had elegant decorations (you are likely to see more photos over the next week or so). Rooms were named after Finnish cultural figures and ours was the Lönnrot room, named for the person who put together the Kalevala (see photo above).
In the morning there were two parts: a presentation which Ola and I collaborated on, and an exercise for delegates. We began by talking about the concept of information literacy. I talked through the definition developed by me and Bill Johnston, highlighting, for example, that when we talk about “appropriate information behaviour” we mean that information literate people will be able to decide for themselves what kind of information behaviour is appropriate in different circumstances. So, for example, in some cases it is quite appropriate to do a very quick search using a convenient search engine, it doesn’t mean you always have to do the “best” kind of search.
One type of information behaviour that I talked about was "information encountering", which is something I learnt about for the first time when I read about Sanda Erdelez' research in the following article. Since then I have used it quite a few times for discussion with students, including using (with Dr Erdelez' permission) her questionnaire to help students diagnose their own information behaviour.
Erdelez, S. (1999) "Information encountering: it's more than just bumping into information." Bulletin of the ASIS, 25 (3).