Friday, April 28, 2006

IL thriving in Glasgow

Just a quick note from the "other" contributor to this weblog. I have been an absent contributor for longer than I would like as a result of a move from Sheffield University to the University of Strathclyde. The good news is that things are going very well indeed here at Strathclyde and that the momentum behind information literacy is growing. It is an exciting time to be a part of a growing move to see information literacy as an essential component of citizenship in the information society. In the coming months, I will bring about a return to form in terms of contributing to this weblog and I will try to bring you some uniquely Scottish items when they come my way.

Until then, Sheila will continue to be a tireless blogger and keep you all sated with news and events on IL from around the world!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I3 conference

There is a little advanced information about a conference being held in June 2007 at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. This is the Information: Interactions and Impact conference, "concerned with the interaction between people and information and how this interaction can bring about change in individuals, organisations, communities and society". Go to the conference website for some information & you can register to go on their mailing list for more info as it emerges.

Photo by Sheila Weebber: Magnolia blossom, Lewes, April 2006.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Information Literacy Beyond the Diploma

The New England (USA) Library Instruction Group is holding its annual program Information Literacy Beyond the Diploma at Roger Williams University, Bristol, USA on June 9 2006. "The program will explore the broad concept of what information literacy skills our students will need after graduation, going into higher level academia, the workplace, or every day life."
Go to for more details.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Little ice floes, Stockholm harbour, April 2006.

Celtic connections

The Celtic Connections conference will take place 16-19th May 2006 in Cardiff, Wales, organised jointly by the then Scottish Library Association, the Welsh Library Association, the Library Association (Northern Ireland Branch) and the Library Association of Ireland. It includes a presentation from Rhona Arthur, Scottish Library & Information Council, on Information Literacy.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Use and Users of Digital Resources

A substantial survey of use of digital information resources in undergraduate teaching in the USA has just been published. Methods included a literature review, questionnaire surveys of lecturers, and discussions with producers of digital information resources.

Harley, D. et al (2006) Use and Users of Digital Resources: A Focus on Undergraduate Education in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Center for Studies in Higher Education, UC Berkeley.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Old leaves and new buds, Greenwich Park, with Canary Wharf in background, April 2006.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Article and argument

Chris Armstrong emailed me to alert me to a new article in Information Research, namely:

Markauskaite, L. (2006) "Towards an integrated analytical framework of information and communications technology literacy: from intended to implemented and achieved dimensions." Information research, 11 (3).

This email caused me to visit Chris' blog, one of the many that I don't visit regularly enough, and I liked this particular posting. Chris is commenting on an article about "the library as virtual destination" in which the author (amongst other things) is questioning whether information literacy education has a future ...
Armstrong, C. (2006) "Information literacy is dead? Long live Information Literacy " info NeoGnostic, 13 February.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Tulips on sale in Stockholm, April 2006.

Friday, April 21, 2006

RAE: Research Assessment Exercise or Really Awful Experience

UC&R Yorkshire and Humberside Region (CILIP) have organised a session: RAE: Research Assessment Exercise or Really Awful Experience (I think most people would go for the 2nd interpretation ;-) It's on 19th May 2006 at York St John University College, York, UK. £35 per person. A limited number of free places for Library and Information Studies students are available. "The programme will cover general library support for research as well as specific activities for the RAE."
Further information from: Linda Cousins, Library Secretary, The University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH. Email:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Shadows on the wall, Stockholm, April 2006.

IL bibliographies etc.

Some useful bibliographies etc. are in the Publications section of the ACRL Instruction Section's website. It includes a bibliography on "Library Instruction for Diverse Populations" which I hadn't noticed before. There is a North American focus to the list, but I don't think there HAS been much written in this area in the UK (bit more in Australia, I think?)

Photo by S. Webber: Iceplant after rain, April 2006.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians

There is a call for comments on a draft document on Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators, created by the ACRL Instruction Section's Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians Task Force. "It is the Task Force's hope that these proficiencies will assist academic libraries to clearly define responsibilities and to provide training for librarians who teach and coordinate instructional services. "

The deadline for comments is soon (April 26th 2006) and I'm not sure that they want comments from outside the USA, but it's interesting to have a look at the document anyway. I haven't got time to look at it properly at the moment so I can't make a real judgement. As a rule, I'm a bit iffy about lists of proficiencies skills ... (on the one hand I can see how they can be useful for job descriptions etc., on the other they can make "all skills seem equal" and also make it seem like everything is about "proficiencies"). Anyway, judge for yourself at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Daffodil, Hailsham, April 2006.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Libri online

The journal Libri now makes its articles available free online after 12 months, with an online backfile going back to 1999. There have been a number of articles related to information literacy e.g. "Information Literacy and Quality Assurance in South African Higher Education Institutions by K. de Jager and M. Nassimbeni." Vol. 55, No 1, March 2005.

When I try to download the pdfs I get some errors - don't know if this is a general problem. The website is at Tip: the onsite search function is not that good. You might want to try going to Google and searching on your search term within the domain e.g. "information literacy"

(added shortly afterwards) Just noticed that an article in the current issue (vol 56 no 1, March 2006) looks interesting, since there aren't so many articles about IL in public libraries anywhere, though you need to be a subscriber to get access at the moment, obviously "The Information Literacy Education Readiness of Public Libraries in Mpumalanga Province (South Africa)" by Genevieve Hart.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Article on learning styles etc.

Thanks to Thomas Hapke's German-language blog (see link on the right) in which he highlights a new issue of the e-journal Libres (vol 16 no 2, 2006), and 2 articles in particular, namely:
"Connecting Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences Theories Through Learning Strategies: An Online Tutorial for Library Instruction." by May Ying Chau
"Wikis in the Workplace:How Wikis Can Help Manage Knowledge in Library Reference Services." by Angela Kille
LIBRES is at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spring border in my mother's garden, April 2006.


There is a free online journal LATHE (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education) which focuses on the topic which the title describes. One issue so far, on "the scholarship of assessment". Includes case studies and some book reviews.

The website is at:
and there is a call for papers for the next two issues: on e-learning and on inclusive curricula.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Wood anemones in Hailsham, April 2006.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Moira Bent

I've not had so much access to the internet this week, so not so much blogging. I did notice, however, that Moira Bent was subject of the "campus questionnaire" feature in the Times Higher Education Supplement recently. Moira is a librarian who won a National Teaching Fellowship. The reference is:
Times Higher Education Supplement. (2006) "Eating well and speaking volumes." (1738) Times Higher Education Supplement, 14 April, 39.

Looking for some of Moira's work, there is some tantilisingly brief information about the information literacy forum at Newcastle University at but most of it is only available to people within Newcastle Uni (the aim of the Forum "is to facilitate information literacy across the University. We hope that it will provide a focus for IL activity and result in a community of practice of everyone with an interest in this area.") She is also speaking at the Staffordshire information literacy conference on 17th May where I'm another of the speakers. (see

Photo by S. Webber: Bee and cherry blossom, Blackheath, April 2006.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Workplace Information Literacy seminar (2)

At the end of this entry is the presentation from our Workplace Information Literacy seminar, on Ola Pilerot's website. I'll upload it to mine too, when I get back to the office after Easter.

You'll see that we refer to a paper by Bonnie Cheuk that she prepared for the information literacy meeting in Prague 2003, namely:
Chuek, B. W. (2002) Information Literacy in the Workplace Context: Issues, Best Practices and Challenges. Washington: NCLIS.

This is our presentation from the seminar - obviously the content is copyright to me, Ola and any other authors mentioned:

Photo by S. Webber: Ola Pilerot.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Workplace information literacy seminar

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 Stockholm, Sweden. The outcomes for the seminar were that by the end of the seminar, delegates would have: learnt about some of the information habits of people at work, as discovered by research and practical examples; examined their own information habits and roles as working people, and; identified some ways in which they can develop the information literacy of their clients/users for those clients’/users’ current or future role as workers.

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).

Marketing book

Not particularly to do with information literacy, but there is a chapter by me in an excellent new book with a variety of articles on different aspects of marketing libraries in different countries, namely:
Gupta, D. et al. (Eds) (2006) Marketing Library and Information Services: international perspectives. Munich: K.G. Saur. ISBN: 9-783598-117534. 419 pages. Hardbound
Price: Euro-68.
My chapter is "Education and training for marketing information services in the UK."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom, Sheffield, April 2006.

Friday, April 07, 2006

New articles

I am still (just) in Sweden, after the seminar in Stockholm, which seemed to go well. I will write about that probably tommorrow when I have better computer access, but for the moment I'll mention a new issue of Infotrend, the "Nordic journal for information specialists." This includes an article by Ola Pilerot, who was giving the seminar with me today, and he had some copies to give out. His article is in Swedish, and is about the inhouse information literacy course he ran for a major Swedish company.
There is also an article in English about information literacy and nursing student, written jointly by a librarian and a lecturer. The articles are:
Pilerot, O. (2006) "Informationskompetens i arbetslivet." Infotrend, 61 (1), 15-21.
Bagge, P. and Wierup, L. (2006) "Librarian and teacher in collaboration to improve nursing studies." Infotrend, 61 (1), 22-28.
There is information about Infotrend at but I'm afraid the full text is only available to subscribers.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom buds, Sheffield, April 2006.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Plagiarism conference

The JISC funded 2nd International Plagiarism Conference 2006 takes place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, 19–21 June 2006. They haven't yet posted the conference programme, but it will be focused on issues like "Plagiarism and institutional risk management " and "ethics in teaching, learning and assessment": see
It is organised by Northumbria learning ( who specialise in the anti-plagiarism area and have a newsletter on their website "designed to keep you up to date with the issues and activities surrounding the subject of plagiarism prevention and detection, and IT use in the education sector"
No photos today as I am posting this in a hotel foyer in Stockholm - tomorrow I'm giving a seminar on "Workplace infromation literacy" with Ola Pilerot. Hope to report on this tomorrow!

Monday, April 03, 2006

LILAC Conference (3)

This is the 3rd report from the LILAC conference earlier this week. The photo on the right show freebies from said conference. I will talk about a session I attended about the schools sector, namely Rebecca Jones' talk (Malvern Girls College) on Embedding information skills into the Year 9 PSHE/Citizenship curriculum. She described an exercise which was focused on the "Citizenship" syllabus, which is compulsory but not assessed. Students worked in pairs to prepare presentations. The issues were taken from the citizenship syllabus (e.g. Teenage pregnancy, domestic violence) and the students had to find out some facts, but also research some questions to do with the issue (e.g. "what is the best way of lowering the teenage pregnancy rate").

The interesting twist was that each pair of students was allocated a way of presenting, focusing on one of the multiple intelligences described in the CHAMPS software ( I will say here that it seems to me that CHAMPS is built on Howard Gardiner's idea of multiple intelligences, but it is produced by a different company and talks about them as learning styles. Someone said at the end of the talk that there was a free cut down version of CHAMPS on the Birmingham Grid for Learning site ( but I've not been able to find it in a quick search (if someone finds it, please let me know!)

The end result were what sounded like interesting presentations from the students: for example the students looking at "gambling" had to present using musical intelligence, and they did a rap on gambling. The students researching domestic violence were told to develop their "intrapersonal" intelligence, and they asked the audience to imagine what it must feel like to experience domestic violence. Altogether, it sounded like it was giving the students an opportunity to develop and use talents and "intelligences" that they might not normally have used in a "safe" traditional presentation.

It is always interesting to compare this sort of exercise against things you do yourself. This exercise had things in common with an exercise I do with 1st years (an exercise with a topical real-world problem, lasting over a few weeks, and involving an element of peer critique). The Malvern Girls School exercise had the "learning styles/intelligences" angle (and I'll be thinking how I can use that somewhere in my teaching!) and mine has the element of reflecting on the information-literacy part (a core element of the presentation they have to do for me). Rebecca was saying she wants to introduce a reflective element. An issue is of course that if you try to cram too much into one exercise it becomes ..too much. So I'll think about whether I can really introduce another element into this particular exercise for my 1st years (they already have to present mindmaps in it, so perhaps something on the visual intelligence, hmmm....)

The Intentional teacher

ACRL's Institute for Information Literacy (IIL) has a new course The Intentional Teacher: Renewal through Informed Reflection. Deadline for application is May 5, 2006. The course is aimed at librarians who already have at least 5 years experience of teaching . It "will offer a mixture of structured and co-constructed learning segments such as peer discussions, individual reading and reflection times, and participant-led communities of practice. During the program, participants will examine their practice through the four lenses of: autobiography; student perspective; colleague as resource; and research literature on teaching and learning. "
It is running November 30 - December 2, 2006 and May 3-6, 2007
More info at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Crocuses in my front yard, March 2006.