Friday, September 29, 2006

Information Literacy Summit: American Competitiveness in the Internet Age

On October 16th 2006 there is an Information Literacy Summit: American Competitiveness in the Internet Age, in Washington DC, USA. It is sponsored by the National Forum on Information Literacy in partnership with the Committee for Economic Development, Educational Testing Service, Institute for a Competitive Workforce, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Education Association. "This summit will present informative and timely discussions among government, education and business leaders on information literacy and its impact on the global society, workforce readiness, and publicpolicy in the United States."

More information is at or email

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Work based learning

The Higher Education Academy published a report in June:
Nixon, I. (2006) Work-based learning: illuminating the higher education landscape. York: HEA.
"the study focused on learning which accredits or extends the workplace skills and abilities of employees. In effect, from an employers’ perspective, we are talking about workforce development – the upskilling and reskilling of an organisation’s employees. The provision [...] that encompasses such learning includes Foundation Degrees, undergraduate programmes (part-time), taught and research postgraduate programmes (part-time), and short courses."
It doesn't mention information literacy, but I think an interesting thing is to work out if/how information literacy would fit into the models, case stdies and characteristics discussed. I'm thinking also of the example of my Swedish colleague Ola Pilerot, who ran an in-house information literacy course for a large Swedish company (as mentioned in the workship he and I did in Stockholm, see previous blog entry)

Photo by Sheila Webber: the "Sheila" rose in my garden (the bush was a present from my friend Jane)

LILAC 2007

The Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 2007 will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University 26th - 28th March 2007. Themes of the conference are: Recognising the need; Advocacy, marketing and promotion; Practical approaches to IL; IL and citizenship; New areas for practice and research; Ethical use of information. A call for papers will follow shortly.

Monday, September 25, 2006

UK academics' conceptions of IL

This refereed paper which discusses part of our research is now available freely:
Webber, S., Boon, S. and Johnston, B. (2006) "A comparison of UK academics' conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines: English and Marketing." Library and Information Research, 30 (93), 4-15.
Abstract: "The authors aim to present and compare findings from a phenomenographic investigation into conceptions of information literacy in two populations: academics in English and Marketing disciplines teaching at British universities. These were chosen as examples of, respectively, soft-pure and soft-applied disciplines.We begin by defining information literacy and briefly setting our research in context. We explain the nature of research using the phenomenographic approach, and describe our sample and methods. We present firstly, the four qualitatively different conceptions of information literacy held by the English academics, and then the seven conceptions held by the Marketing academics. Key differences between the conceptions held in the two disciplines are discussed, in particular relating differences to characteristics of soft-pure and soft-applied disciplines. The authors conclude that study of the differences between the conceptions held by the two disciplinary groups can illuminate and guide information literacy initiatives. "

Photo by Sheila Webber: Killiney, Ireland, Sept 2006.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Soon-to-be Dr Mansourian

Today the viva was held of Yazdan Mansourian, a PhD student I have been co-supervising with Professor Nigel Ford. I am pleased to say that subject to minor corrections he will soon be Dr Mansourian. His dissertation is on Information visibility on the web and conceptions of success and failure in web searching. He has maintained an Invisible web weblog through his research, latterly at
Congratulations to Yazdan! In the photo (left to right) Barry Eaglestone (internal examiner), Bill Johnston (External Examiner), Yazdan, Nigel Ford (co-supervisor with me), taken just after the viva. I was taking the photo, obviously.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The ANZIIL website says there an Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) Regional Forum in Wollongong on Thursday November 16, 2006, but nothing else. I had a fruitless search for more info and as there are loads of other things I should be doing, I am somewhat lazily waiting to see if any Australian reader can supply more details ;-) In the meantime, the Information Literacy section at the University of Wollongong website is worth a look, including their UOW Information Literacy Integration Policy and a good practice case study from the Faculty of Informatics.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Port Julia, Australia, June 2006.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

IFLA Guidelines on Information Literacy

On the IFLA website is: Lau, J. (2006) Guidelines on Information Literacy for lifelong learning: final draft. Veracruz, México: Universidad Veracruzana. 60pp.

It has been written by Jesús Lau, Chair, IFLA Information Literacy Section incorporating comments from others, made on a previous draft. The chapters are: Information Literacy Concepts; Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning; International Standards; Institutional Commitment; Action Plan; Learning/Instruction Management; Personnel Development; Learning Theories; Learning Assessment; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Entrance to London City Airport, Sept 2006.

Recent article ...

... that I thought was interesting: Shanbhag, S. (2006) Alternative Models of Knowledge Production: a Step Forward in Information Literacy as a Liberal Art. Library Philosophy and Practice, 8 (2).

Photo of my office, which I've just cleared up a bit because this week is Intro week, and I didn't want new students to see it in its messier state. You can see that my "view" consists of a brick wall. Teaching proper starts next Monday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Media Literacy datasets

The datasets from recent Ofcom-sponsored market research concerning media literacy in the UK have been released. This includes data from the extensive survey Media Literacy Audit: Report on media literacy amongst children. You will find this and other interesting reports on media literacy in the UK amongst different groups at:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Dublin bay from Booterstown, Ireland, Sept 2006.

Monday, September 18, 2006


ACRL's Institute for Information Literacy (IIL) invites you to apply for its first international Immersion program which will be held at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, August 5-10, 2007. Immersion '07 will be four-and-one-half days of intensive training and education for academic librarians. Immersion '07 will provide you with the intellectual tools and practical techniques to help you build or enhance your instruction programs. A faculty of nationally recognized librarians will offer the program. Program sessions fall into two separate tracks:

Teacher Track. This track focuses on individual development for those who are interested in enhancing, refreshing, or extending their individual instruction skills. Curriculum includes classroom techniques, learning theory, leadership, and assessment framed in the context of information literacy. Participants selected for the Teacher Track will prepare a description of an instructional situation and a related presentation in advance of the Immersion program. During Immersion, participants will revise the presentation based on feedback from colleagues and faculty.

Program Track. This track focuses on developing, integrating, and managing institutional and programmatic information literacy programs. Participants selected for the Program Track will develop individual case studies in advance of the Immersion program. Change dynamics, systems thinking, institutional outcomes assessment, scalability, and the integration of teaching, learning, and technology will be brought to bear on analyzing the various programmatic challenges presented in the case studies. Immersion participants will be expected to develop the case studies into an action plan for implementation at the home institution.

How to Apply. Complete details about Immersion '07 as well as the online application form and instructions are online at (Click "Immersion '07"). Acceptance to the Immersion Program is competitive; participation is limited to 90 individuals to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation. The application deadline is Friday, December 1, 2006.

(Thanks to Betty Braaksma)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Training end-users

There is a two-part CILIP Workshop Training end-users on 14 & 30 November, in London, UK, led by Barbara Allen. Topics on day 1 include: Characteristics of effective end-user training sessions; Individual learners and their learning styles; Designing successful training sessions; Training aims and outcomes; 4MAT Method; Use of different learning and teaching methods; Working with technology. For more information go to the CILIP events pages

Photo by Sheila Webber: St Audeon's Churches (ruined part of Church of Ireland one in foreground, Catholic one in background), Dublin, Ireland, Sept 2006.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Teachers and IL

There is a research report available from the research group at Robert Gordon University, Scotland: Information Literacy in the Classroom: Secondary School Teachers' Conceptions, funded by the Society for Educational Studies, 2004 - 2005:
"school teachers participating in a recently completed study identified a number of different conceptions of student information literacy: finding information, linguistic understanding, making meaning,skills, critical awareness of sources, and independent learning conceptions. .... The results of the study indicate that teachers understood information literacy to be important for lifelong learning but do not feel able to effectively support the development of information literacy in their students within their current curriculum environments."

The follow up study was: UntanglingSpaghetti? The Complexity of Developing Information Literacy inSecondary School Students, funded by the Scottish Executive EducationDepartment, on which a report will shortly be available.
More information on all projects at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn anemones, September 2006.

Blogging alt-c and the ICS conference

Colleagues in CILASS have been blogging the alt-c (learning technology) and the HEA Information and Computer Science subject centre conferences. See The presentations from the ICS conf can be downloaded from

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Google generation

PowerPoints from the meeting Meeting the Challenge of the Google Generation - Technology or Training? are now online on the ALISS website at

Talks were: 'Challenge of the Google Generation'. and information literacy; Implementing cross-search tools: challenges and opportunities; Metagoogle! Using MetaLib to deliver user-centered informationservices at Loughborough; School Librarians and the Google Generation; Social Software: Blog it, Digg it, Poke it.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Ripening blackberries, Parkers Lane, Sept 2006.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Teaching Web Search Skills

A new book by US search guru Greg Notess is published,
Notess, G. (2006) Teaching Web Search Skills: Techniques and Strategies of Top Trainers . ITI Books. ISBN 1-57387-267-9. More info at

He aimed to weave quotes and advice from other trainers into the overall structure of the book. Chapters are: Web searching and teaching paradox; Understanding our audience; Choosing an instructional session type; Online tutorials friend or foe; Organisation, focus, length abd goals; Terminology; Content - web search features; Content - Primary concepts; Additional content - searching, news, usenet and more; The search engines; Creating a framed workshop web page; Presentation tips, tricks and shortcuts; Tales from the trenches.)

I am one of those "top trainers" though it's a couple of years since I responded to Greg's questions, so I'm interested to read what I said ;-) The others are Jo Barker, Paul Barron, fellow Brit Phil Bradley, John Ferguson, Alice Fulbright, Randolph Hock, Jeff Humphrey, Diane Kovacs, Gary Price, Danny Sullivan, and Rita Vine.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn berries, Sept 2006.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

IL Workshops at Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University has just announced an Information Literacy Community of Practice(ILCoPSU) workshop for the 1st of November 2006.

"Following the success of Information Literacy: Recognising the Need Conference held at Staffordshire University on the 17th of May we are pleased to announce the second in a series of workshops which aim to share good practice and discuss new ideas in IL teaching and learning within the university sector. This will be held at the Ashley Centre for Professional Management (Rooms LT114/116), Stoke site."

The speakers for the half-day (1.30pm - 4.30pm) workshop are:

  • Susie Andretta , Senior Lecturer , London Metropolitan University.
  • Alison Pope , Learning & Teaching Fellow , Staffordshire University
  • Miceal Barden , Dean of Business School, Staffordshire University
  • Susie Andretta will be talking about perceptions of information literacy.
  • Alison Pope & Miceal Barden will be discussing Information Literacy policy & practice at Staffordshire University.

Cost for the half day is £30 and bookings can be made online via

Friday, September 08, 2006

IL and the Bologna Process

The Bologna Process is harmonising Higher Education in Europe mainly in terms of the process (e.g. time taken to get a degree and how many credits you get), the aim being more mobility, for example. The UK is not taking nearly so much notice as the rest of Europe, it must be said, partly because it already has the 3 year undergraduate degree that is advocated (at least, it does outside Scotland). Anyway, outside the UK there are a good number of meetings and so forth, including ones for librarians.

UNICA held a seminar Trends in Education and Research: Developing Skills & Communication across Europe in May 2006 in Helsinki. It included summaries of IL in Nordic and in Southern European countries, and a presentation on the Bologna Process and IL at the University of Helsinki, plus some groups in the breakout sessions focused on IL. The PowerPoints are on the website:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Another Red Devil apple, September 2006.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"Learning, Engagement and Technology" pre-print available

“Learning, Engagement, and Technology” by Joan K. Lippincott, Coalition for Networked Information, Associate Executive Director in Student Engagement and Information Literacy appears in published form as a chapter in Student Engagement and Information Literacy, edited by Craig Gibson (Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2006.)

It is available online as a pre-print in MS Word format and is worth a look:

'This chapter focuses on new ways of thinking about promoting information literacy, engaging students, and building community in technology-enabled environments, both physical and virtual. Whether or not a campus has a formal “learning communities” program, libraries can play a role in enhancing community development in the context of teaching, learning, and information literacy. The chapter will discuss some innovative current practices, and explore two arenas with as yet unrealized potential for uniting technology use, social learning and student engagement: virtual spaces such as simulated environments and virtual worlds; and new types of physical, technology-enabled learning spaces.'

Book ordering information is available at

Squidoo lens on IL

As mentioned in a previous post, there is an information literacy event in Cardiff, Wales on 7th September. Lis Parcell, Learning Resources Advisor and HE Coordinator with RSC Wales has set up a Squidoo lens to accompany her session at (had to mention this as she evidently likes my photos, but it's a nice compact resource too!)

Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn anemone, September 2006.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Principles of awareness raising : information literacy

A free publication I missed, that was published in June 2006 is:

Sayers, R. (2006) Principles of awareness raising : information literacy, a case study. Bangkok: UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education. This is the web address.
This is a 100+ page workbook, produced with an international audience in mind.

Photo by Sheila Webber: The Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan, July 2005.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I just noticed that the page with links to teaching materials of all sorts (tutorials, presentations, guides etc.) on the German-language Informationskompetenz site has been updated very recently. There are also articles, information about forthcoming events and so forth on this website which "fördert die Kooperation zwischen den Bibliotheken und stellt eine Plattform für die Sammlung und den freien Austausch von Materialien zur Verfügung" (encourages cooperation between libraries and provides a venue for the collection and exchange of materials).

Photo by Sheila Webber of part of a mural by artist and writer Alasdair Gray (see in the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow, one of my favourite restaurants, August 2006.

Slovenian IL conference

The conference Information Literacy between theory and practice: the role of academic and special libraries is being held in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 19th October 2006. It is the 2nd Joint Conference of Special and Academic Libraries.

There are two presentations in English: me talking about Information Literacy in Higher Education and Kaisa Sinikara talking on Information literacy between the theory and practice: experiences of the Finnish University Libraries. The remainder of the conference is in Slovene, so it will be a tantilising experience for me for most of the day, as the rest of the programme looks very interesting!

Photo by Sheila Webber: The Red Devil apples on my tree are ripening.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Digital Library & IL

A new book available online at the University of Bergen, Norway, is:
Garnes, Ka., Landøy, A. and Repanovici, A. (2006) Aspects of the Digital Library. Alvheim & Eide. ISBN: 82-90359-76-4
It is a collaboration between that University Library and the University Library of Brasov, Romania, and I think is also published in hard copy. It includes a chapter "User Education at the Digital Library: Physical and Intellectual Access to Information through Digital Literacy" which outlines the approach at the University of Bergen, including the overall IL outcomes they aim for at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
You'll find the link at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Silver birch, Oslo, Norway, August 2005.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cardiff University and IL

Looking up a website for something I'm writing reminded me about web-based material relating to Cardiff University's information literacy, namely:
  • The Information Literacy page on their website.
  • Jackson, C. (2005) "Integrating information literacy into an undergraduate law course." paper presented at the UKCLE seminar on teaching and learning for legal skills trainers, 16 February 2005.
    (this is a paper, not a PowerPoint)
  • Jackson, C. and Clinch, P. (2006) "Information literacy: building the team." PowerPoint presented at Gregynog colloquium 2006.
  • Jackson, C. and Mogg, R. (2004) "Cardiff University." In: Peters, J. (ed) Learning outcomes for information literacy. London: HEA/SCONUL. pp22-30. (this is the web address for the pdf of the whole publication)
  • Mogg, R. (2002) Mogg, R. An investigation into the information literacy skills needs of first-year undergraduates and into an appropriate method of assessing incoming students' information literacy abilities at Cardiff University. MA Dissertation, University of Sheffield Department of Information Studies. Go to and search for Mogg.
  • Thornton, S. (2005) "Embedding information literacy into a politics module: lessons learned from a pilot study at Cardiff University." PowerPoint presented at Liaisons Dangereuses - Where are we going with academic liaison? (Steve Thornton is a Politics lecturer)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Late summer fruits at the Farmers' market, August 2006.

Web 2.0 ;-)

Thanks to the UKeig blog for alerting me to the Web 2.0 bullshit generator at Just push the button to get messages like "disintermediate user-centred network effects" or "create embedded blogospheres."