Tuesday, October 09, 2007

European meeting

At the moment I am attending the European Regional meeting on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning in Madrid, Spain. There are about 20 participants, from 11 different European countries, plus the representative of UNESCO (Misako Ito) and Woody Hortin from the USA. The meeting is being hosted by the Spanish Ministry of culture. Yesterday we mainly each gave presentations about developments and issues to do with information literacy in our various countries. My head is now buzzing with information and ideas (also my fingers are buzzing since I was the minute taker yesterday, as the only native English speaker apart from Woody!)

I will blog some of the information over the next week or so - I have rather limited access to the internet at the moment during this meeting and then I am with my mother again for a couple of days where I don’t have access.

I took the most notes yesterday about the Spanish contribution. I have mentioned a number of initiatives at various points on the blog, but here they all are in one place. The Ministry of Culture is very supportive (in the welcome address to us, it was stressed that Spain has a commitment to libraries and information literacy and saw access to knowledge and information as a foundation of democracy). Most encouraging! The three people to contribute were Cristobal Pasadas Urena, Jose A. Gomez and Isabel Cuadrado. The key actions from the Ministry of Culture & the Spanish IL community were:
- The meeting held in Toledo in 2006 with theme “Libraries, Learning and the people” in which information, documentation and education professionals came together http://travesia.mcu.es/S_ALFIN/index.html. There were presentations and discussions around the issues of: definition and conceptualisation (including which phrase is used for the subject); the application of IL (e.g. best practice); evaluation of IL; integration of IL into society. The key output was the Toledo Declaration on IL. This Declaration emphasises the central role of libraries and the need for information literacy education. It can be noted that this is not purely library-focused declaration, it is rather education focused.
- Creating a logo (the ALFIN logo) which could represent the concept, and which also includes the definition.
- The website http://www.alfinred.org/ - the website which is a focus for IL development in hispanic communities. The Alfin blog is incorporated in this.
- Online training for librarians. A pilot project started last year. A course was delivered this year on “multiple literacies” (multicultural, digital etc.)
- Institutional collaboration. Last March a work group on IL was created with representatives of different library sectors.

Keeping on a Spanish note, the article by Bill Johnston and I "As we may think" has been translated into Spanish for one of its journals.

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