Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Subject librarians & teaching

A new book published in the UK is:
Dale, P., Holland, M. AND Mathhews, M. (2006) Subject Librarians: enagaging with the learning and teaching environment. Aldershot: Ashgate. $99.95/£50.00. ISBN: 0 7546 4095 7 Further information and online shop at
The book "assesses trends and challenges in current practice, and aims to encourage renewed thinking and improved approaches. Its editors and authors include experienced practitioners and academics."

Photo by Sheila Webber: Wild roses, Sheffield, May 2006.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

LILAC presentations

Presentations and posters from LILAC (Librarians' Information Literacy Annual
Conference) 2006
, held at University of Leeds , UK, 27th-29th March have been loaded onto the CILIP Information Literacy Group website. Lots of good material, including for people like me who went to the conference, since there were several parallel sessions. It's ppts rather than papers, since the papers will be going in the new Journal of Information Literacy (Editor = me ;-)
Further goodies on the website include a conference report from a student here at Sheffield, Clare Pike, who has been taking my Information Literacy Research class.
The material is at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom, Sheffield May 2006 (gone now, alas)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Iranian Pedagogy site

Thanks to Yazdan Mansourian for alerting me to an interesting Iranian site focusing on pedagogy at It is "is a open window toward learning and knowledge construction. main objective is to introduce and discuss new conceptual models and educational paradigms related to pedagogy and technology." The site is in English, and highlights in particular news, articles and articles, with useful links and categories.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Retiro park, Madrid, May 2006: this is the famous park in Madrid and greenest I've seen it. While I was there, there was a concert - see
(photos by me ;-)

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Most of IT to Support Learning and Teaching

An Education Librarians Group workshop Making the Most of IT to Support Learning and Teaching takes place at the University of Worcester, UK, on 12th July 2006
"A practical workshop on making the most of quick and easy, freely available IT methods and software to produce teaching and learning materials, tutorials and presentations to enhance your information skills teaching. There will be demonstrations and time to try out the suggestions and to start producing your own materials." It includes tiopics such as the use of INFORMS software and interactive whiteboards. Cost: £60 + VAT . For more info see

Photo by Sheila Webber: Garden in El Pardo palace, Spain, May 2006.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Spanish information literacy

As I said below, I was away on holiday in Spain for a few days (and thanks to Stuart for posting a couple of posts I'd "prepared earlier" as well as his own, while I was away). Coincidentally there is a Spanish flavour to some of the entries at the moment. Via the FORMIST blog (see right) I learnt about a recent meeting in Toledo, Spain in February: presentations from this have been put on the web (all in Spanish, covering various aspects of information literacy). The conference website is at

Presentations were: Conceptualización de la ALFIN (Cristóbal Pasadas, Universidad de Granada; La aplicación de la ALFIN (José Antonio Gómez Hernández, Universidad de Murcia); La evaluación de la ALFIN (Judith Licea, Universidad Autónoma de México); La integración de la ALFIN en las políticas (Daniel Pimienta, FUNREDES, República Dominicana); Conferencia de clausura (Miguel Pereyra); and then conclusions from various working groups. The delegates also produced the Declaración de Toledo "Bibliotecas por el aprendizaje permanente" (which I think could be translated as "libraries for lifelong learning") at

Photo by Sheila Webber: The "Biblio Metro" public library inside the Madrid (Spain) metro (underground). It has 2 library assistants inside and people were borrowing books as I watched last week.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

IL in the health sector

Thanks to Chris Armstrong for highlighting a new article on IL in the health sector in FreePint
Verlander, P. (2006) "Beyond the library walls - establishing an information literacy programme for a dispersed user group" FreePint (206)

Phot by Sheila Webber: Plane tree in Aranjuez gardens, Spain, May 2006.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Spanish information literacy blog

Hola to a new information literacy blog in Spain, in Spanish, ALFIN: Alfabetización informacional. José Antonio Gómez Hernández. Unfortunately my Spanish doesn't extend that far beyond "Hola" so I can't tell you too much more about it.
I think this blog also has an entry describing a double blog (one blog in Catalan and one in Castillian Spanish) dealing with IL in secondary education Alfabetització informacional (ALFIN) en l´educació secundària and Alfabetización informacional (ALFIN) en la educación secundaria

Photo by S. Webber added on 25th May: Back from a few days holiday in Madrid, including a little trip to Aranjuez, a short ride on the train. The palace gardens are famous (as in de Falla's "Nights in the gardens of Spain") and this is a fountain in the Jardin de la Isla. Except because of water restrictions, it is a fountain with no water...

IBL Blog

I came to discover the IBL Blog ( in a backward sort of way, while visiting some other IL blogs. The IBL Blog or Inquiry-based Learning in Higher Education is the blog for the CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts & Social Sciences) at the University of Sheffield.

Information literacy is a point of interest for CILASS and so it is no surprise that their blog contains IL news (and a nice link to this website!). The centre's remit is an interesting one and I wanted to bring people's attention to it. These are early days for CILASS, but I am sure that the centre and its blog will both be ones to watch. This is going to be one to add to your bookmarks or your blogroll.

Check it out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


BIG (The Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instruction Group) is running their Summer 2006 meeting Collaborate to Innovate! Information Literacy Partnerships across the Community on July 28th 2006 at mory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Attendance is free. Register by July 19th by emailing BIG at More info at and there is a discussion group

Photo by Sheila Webber: Rose leaves after rain, May 2006.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education

Something I feel I ought to have known about is the US Institute for Library and Information Literacy Education which "provides local, regional and national leadership in fostering valuable collaboration among teachers, school library media specialists and academic faculty who work together to promote information literacy in the K-16 classroom." There is a particular emphasis on initiatives for Ohio. They provide various resources, such as the "toolkit" to help school librarians persuade parents to support and get involved in information literacy educationand some "pathfinders" for resources in different subjects that might come up at school. Then there is the things that alerted me to ILILE which is TRAILS "Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills", which has been developed to help in evaluating the skills of students going to college. You can register to use it (I haven't tried it yet). The ILILE website is at and teh TRAILS website at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Apple Blossom after rain (the petals and stamens really looked like that, it was the effect of the rain), Sheffield, May 2006.

Friday, May 19, 2006


There is a sort of competition for US librarians to submit their stories of how Google helped. The "prize" is getting included in a video about how cool Google is. See
The third Google Librarian newsletter was also published last month, and focuses on Google Earth. You can access the newsletter from the still rather homely-looking "Librarian Center" page

Photo by Sheila Webber: Fallen blossom, York, May 2006.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

IL things

I've quite a lot to blog about - attending a meeting on the HEA/SCONUL project last Friday and a very good one-day conference at Staffordshire University yesterday (I and my colleague Sheila Corrall both gave talks) but am in "argh" mode at the moment trying to finish some things up before going on a few days holiday. Those sorts of posts take longer than the "here's a nice site/ conference call" ones, so I won't be writing my experiences up til next week (by which time it's possible the presentations from the conference may be up, so there may be a logic in waiting ;-)

Photo by Sheila Webber: Lady's mantle after rain, May 2006 (lot of rain at the moment!!)


The ICT4D collective is based at Royal Holloway, University of London and carries out research and other activities. ICT4D is "the appropriate use of ICT to support poor and marginalised communities across the world; not just giving people ICT skills, but helping them use the potential of ICT to transform their lives." They are hosting a postgraduate symposium on ICT4D in London on 14th and 15th September 2006. The website, which information about what they do and who is involved, plus some useful links, is at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Blossom carpet in York, May 2006.

Reporters without borders

REporters Without Borders is an association based in France which concerns itself with the freedom of the press. It published its annual report on World Press Freedom Day, 3rd May, in which it described the situation in different countries, including journalists being killed or imprisoned. The website is at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Icelandic poppies near my dustbin, after rain (pretty much everything is "after rain" or "during rain") Sheffield May 2006.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

World Information Society Day

It is World Information Society Day on 17th May. This mostly seems to be related to the "Technology" aspects of the information society, but still... see

Photo by Sheila Webber: Glasgow Botanic Gardens, April 2006.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Computer games and IL

In a recent posting to the lis-infoliteracy discussion group, Andrew Lewis highlighted an interesting literature review that was published last December. As well as providing some thoughts and recommendations on the current potential use of computer gaming and computer games technology in public libraries, the bibliography contains some good material. There will be information about Andrew's own project, I think part of the Multi-Lib project, trying out a gaming approach to children's information literacy education, in due course!

Lewis, A. (2005) Computer Games Technology and Public Libraries: A background literature review. Library and Information Services, The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. (Multi-Lib Phase 2 Report; 2)

Photo by Sheila Webber: Apple blossom, broom and clemetis in the background (after rain - or rather, during drizzle), May 2006.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Call for papers

There is a Call for Papers for the Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science Ton the topic of "The Global Challenge of Information Literacy." The deadline for submission is June 29, 2007. Complete manuscripts of approximately 5000 words should be sent to Heidi Julien, School of Library & Information Studies, University of Alberta

Photo by Sheila Webber: Duck enjoying a water feature in Sheffield University campus, May 2006.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


The LOEX (US information literacy) conference took place 6-7 May 2006. On the website you can read abstracts of papers and student posters, and there are ppts of two keynote speeches: Scott Walter on Teacher/librarian 2.0 and Joan K. Lippincott on the Net Gen.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Daffodils, Sheffield, April 2006.


InfusionS - Information Skills Training in Scotland is running workshops in Edinburgh at Queen Margaret University College. They include "Net Navigator" and "Informed web searcher" sessions. InfusionS is a training partnership between the Department of Information Management,The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen and School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication, Queen Margaret University College.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Hill House, Helensburgh, April 2006.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Clear blue sky

The sky was such a perfect blue today I couldn't resist photographing it on my way into work (right). Unfortunately I didn't get to see much of it, especially as my room has practically no natural light. Today included talking to individual students about their business information assignments which are due on Monday, having a good meeting with Moira Bent from Newcastle University about her IL projects (see earlier blog entry), and giving a lecture on information literacy in the workplace to 2nd year students. In particular, I was linking IL with Knowledge Management (which is a key topic of that class). Unsurprisingly, I stressed how effective KM (of whatever flavour or school) is difficult if you don't have information literate staff. Three recent papers I cited were:

Crawford, J. (2006) “The use of electronic information services and information literacy: A Glasgow Caledonian University study.” Journal of librarianship and information science, 38 (1), 33-44. (Includes results of an alumni survey - alumni thought IL was v. useful in their jobs)

Lloyd, A. (2005) "Information literacy: different contexts, different concepts, different truths?" Journal of librarianship and information science, 37 (2), 82-88. (reporting on her "information literacy of firemen" study, which identifies "information in the body" - e.g. how colleagues handle and use equipment in an actual fire - as a vital element that they have to be literate with)

Wang, M-Y. (2006) "The impact of information culture on managing knowledge: a double case study of pharmaceutical manufacturers in Taiwan." Library review, 55 (3), 209-221. (Includes discussion of IL in the two companies)

Report from WILU

I just noticed that Sylvie Chevillotte is blogging the Canadian WILU information literacy conference. WILU was excellent last year and sounds good this year too. If you can understand French at all, do go to her blog at

Photo taken in the Arboretum at Guelph University, after last year's WILU.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

ISL & Survive and thrive

The 2006 Improving student learning conference takes place in Bath, UK on 4-6 September 2006. The theme is Improving Student Learning Through Teaching and subthemes include diversity, course and programme design, institutional strategies, e-learning etc.

The Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) is having its conference on 9 June 2006 in manchester, UK : “Survive and Thrive”: Learning Resources for the Future. One of the breakout sessions focuses on information literacy.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Warmer weather is arriving, and unfortunately so are the dandelions. Although if you look at them individually, they are pretty.

Information Literacy Online (NZ)

The Information Literacy Online (NZ) website offers a unique approach to studying IL with it's "Three Doors to Information Literacy" resources. Aimed primarily at students, the website also provides resources for educators and librarians. A list of topical readings and an Information Literacy Forum are also available on the website.

For more inforation, visit Information Literacy Online.

6th Annual Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop

The 6th Annual Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop will be held on November 16, 2006 at the Augustana Faculty, University of Alberta (Camrose, Alberta) and this year's theme is "Supporting Undergraduate Research Experiences". The first presenter is listed as Elizabeth Dupuis, who is the Head of Instructional Services at University of California, Berkeley.

Registration for this one-day workshop opens in August, 2006, and more information can be found on the Augustana website.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Seneca College (Canada) is building an Information Literacy Repository and is seeking an existing IL or BibI controlled vocabulary to use in the repository to describe their resources. If you have any information or a vocabulary to share please contact:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Reflections of the outside world (& 2 observers) in the CN Tower, Toronto, Canada, May 2005.

NIACE events

There are some interesting events run by NIACE (The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education - England and Wales) e.g. Future Learning: Exploring the digital opportunities for adult learners, on 13th June. For details go to:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Fallen cherry blosson in Weston Park, May 2006 (most of the white blossom has been washed off by the rain by now)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Peer support for learning and teaching development

Together we are strong: peer support for learning and teaching development is an interesting one-day conference for library and information professionals, to be held at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, 8 June 2006. The event is organised by two National Teaching Fellows, and supported by HEA SPS funding and the 'Infoteach' NTF project ( To book, contact Chris Powis, Learning Support Co-ordinator, Rockingham Library, University of Northampton, tel. 01604 892229, email

Photo by Sheila Webber: Horse chestnut flowers and leaves, May 2006.

A few recent articles

All in priced journals, I'm afraid.
- Loo, A. and Chung, C.W. (2006) "A model for information literacy course development: a liberal arts perspective." Library review, 55 (4), 249-258. (Describes the design and content of a year 1 information literacy course developed at Lingnan UniversityHong Kong (total no. of students 2,200).
- Wang, M-Y. (2006) "The impact of information culture on managing knowledge: a double case study of pharmaceutical manufacturers in Taiwan." Library review, 55 (3), 209-221. (Includes consideration of the staff's information literacy).

Reference services review, 34 (1), 2006: has, as usual with this journal, numerous articles about information literacy, including:
- Matoush, T.L. "New forms of information literacy" pp156- 163. (Describes information literacy programs at San Jose State University King Library.)
- Choinski, E. and Emanuel, M. "The one-minute paper and the one-hour class: Outcomes assessment for one-shot library instruction" pp148- 155. (Describes the use of a one-minute paper to evaluate short sessions aimed at students of Spanish and Biology.)
- Walker, B.E. "Using humor in library instruction" pp117- 128. (Personally I think that you have to be v. cautious in your use of humour with students, unless you know them, or they might just think you are pathetic. Walker outlines some issues).
- Sharkey, J. "Towards information fluency: applying a different model to an information literacy credit course." pp71- 85. (Discusses "the application of the information fluency model, created by the Associated Colleges of the South, to the Purdue University Libraries one-credit information literacy course.")

Photo by Sheila Webber: Glasgow Botanic Gardens, April 2006.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Susan Greenfield

Bill Johnston (see his photo of Fremantle horbour, right) drew my attention to an recent speech by (Baroness) Susan Greenfield in the House of Lords. I once shared an Australian news column with her (couldn't resist mentioning this: it was an article about information literacy and had some quotes from me, Ralph Catts and her). Her speech to the Lords is about new media and young people's interaction with it, and how we don't actually know what effect all this is having on people's brains. She also mentions increasing prescription of mood altering drugs.

A few quotations: She feels that when people are no longer familiar with the experience of engaging with an extended narrative or argument, then, when they encounter multimedia "The most immediate reaction [...] would be to place a premium on the most obvious feature, the immediate sensory content-we could call it the "yuk" or "wow" factor. You would be having an experience rather than learning." "The [National] Literacy Trust pointed out that reading from the screen was just as legitimate as reading from a book, but we might ask how long this trend will continue. Already the visual icon is often substituting for the written word. Soon the spoken word will be increasingly available. If we soon have voice-interface computers-such computers are in the near future-embedded in our clothing or personal effects, you might simply need to ask your watch for the date of the Battle of Hastings." "We must surely choose to adopt technology that will ensure that the classroom will fit the child, and buck the growing trend for technology to be used to make the 21st-century child fit the classroom. The educational needs of the individual are changing and the very nature of the classroom needs to change too. "

You can find the complete text on the Hansard for 20th April 2006, scroll down a bit to 3.18pm (for overseas readers, Hansard is the verbatim record of proceedings in the Houses of Parliament)

She also mentions the ESRC funded seminar series Collaborative Frameworks for Neuroscience and Education - see

Saturday, May 06, 2006

JODI awards

The Jodi Awards for Excellence in website accessibility were recently announced. Tate Modern won it with i-Map: The Everyday Transformed at "This site does what seems impossible to many people, by making modern art (and its key concepts) accessible to blind and partially sighted people. "
The Jodi Award for Excellence with Low Budgets went to Wakefield Library and Information Service for Speaking Volumes at
"This website was designed to allow readers to write content. Blind and partially sighted site users chat about books and audio book readers."

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spring display in Glasgow Botanic Gardens, April 2006.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Call for Evidence Summaries Writers

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) is seeking members for its Evidence Summaries Team. Evidence Summaries are brief critical appraisal reviews of current research articles. The summary follows a standardised format. ES writers are expected to complete 4 summaries during their two year committment. Forward your resume, including a list of areas of interest by June 1, 2006 to Lindsay Glynn (Editor in Chief) More info on the journal at:

Photo by S. Webber: The front, Helensburgh, unknown couple enjoying the view, April 2006.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Taking another tip from Thomas Hapke's blog .... the online HigherEdBlogCon conference site may be worth a look for those interested in blogging, podcasting and the like, including using blogging as a marketing tool (e.g. for alumni relations), or using them in libraries. There's all the stuff you'd expect on such a site i.e. use of various tools to communucate and interact

Photo by Sheila Webber: artwork outside Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Hill House, April 2006.

ALAO conference

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) 32nd Annual Conference takes place on November 3, 2006: Recipes for Library Success: Ingredients, Process and Product. More info on the ALAO web site:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Critical Information Studies

Gene Garfield (famous information scientist, founder of the Science Citation Index etc.) just highlighted an article describing/ proposing the field of "critical information studies", which:
"interrogates the structures, functions, habits, norms, and practices that guide global flows of information and cultural elements. Instead of being concerned merely with one’s right to speak (or sing or publish), Critical Information Studies asks questions about access, costs, and chilling effects on, within, and among audiences, citizens, emerging cultural creators, Indigenous cultural groups, teachers, and students. Central to these issues is the idea of ‘semiotic democracy’, or the ability of citizens to employ the signs and symbols ubiquitous in their environments in manners that they determine." (Vaidhyanathan, 2006: 303)

Thus I think this ties in with information literacy in that it is addressing issues of ethical and legal information use, and citizenship. It is not exactly the sort of article you would introduce for Information Literacy 101, but could be interesting as a discussion paper for information students, and/or for classes where both cultural studies and information literacy were being addressed (more common in the US than in the UK?) Of course one point of interest for me is the author’s lack of connection with the literature/discourse of "Information Studies" (which is what my Department happens to be called ;-) That’s something that could be a topic for debate: whether the author has a distinctly different approach to the issues of freedom with information, because of his disciplinary background.
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2006) "Afterword: Critical Information Studies: A bibliographic manifesto." Cultural Studies, 20 ( 2 //3), 292 -315. As you might guess from the tenor of his article, there is also a version to read free at

This issue of Cultural studies has other articles about intellectual property, so is definitely worth a look if you are interested in the "should information be free?" debate.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Marsh marigolds, Strathclyde University, April 2006.

2006 Rencontres FORMIST

"Les Rencontres FORMIST" is the annual free information literacy event in France (held in French. As announced in Jan., this year it takes place on 15 June, and focuses on the IL needs of more advanced students. The programme is now available:
"Ces 6èmes Rencontres FORMIST s’intitulent: Quels usages et exploitation de l’information par les étudiants avancés? Cette année, l’équipe FORMIST et les membres de son Comité Editorial et Scientifique ont eu envie de s’intéresser au public des étudiants de 2ème-3ème cycle dans leur relation avec l’information. Quelles sont leurs pratiques? Quels besoins, usages et exploitation de l'information ont-ils? Ont-ils ou non- des liens avec la bibliothèque et les bibliothécaires? Quelles transformations les nouveaux usages et nouveaux outils induisent-ils? Formateur et formés sur la même longueur d'onde ? La journée se déroulera à l’enssib dans le nouvel amphithéâtre. 17, 21 Boulevard du 11 novembre 1918 - Villeurbanne. Cette journée est gratuite, sur inscription préalable."
Programme + formulaire d’inscription (registration form)

Photo by Sheila Webber: World Heritage site, Lyon, France, taken after last year's Rencontres FORMIST.

Catching up

I'm afraid I've not been "sating" (see Stuart's entry below) people's appetites for information literacy for the last week, since I was up in Glasgow being an External Examiner for Strathclyde University's Management Development programme and then I took a couple of days off, only accessing my computer to edit my new photos. Was going to blog on Monday night or earlier yesterday - but came back to found my email account embarrassingly frozen and most of my email folders disappeared, so that distracted me somewhat. Then last night blogger was playing up and I couldn't post. Ah well. Although there are 10 m other things I ought to prioritise ahead of blogging, nevertheless hope to catch up a bit on the blog front as well ;-)

Photo by Sheila Webber: Hill House, Helensburgh. One of my favourite buildings, so you'll get more photos of this! 29 April 2006.