Monday, September 29, 2008

i3 conference 2009

The second Information: Interactions and Impact International (i3) Conference will take place at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland 22-25 June 2009. As before, the conference explores the interconnections between information literacy, information behaviour, and impact of information. Key note speakers in 2009 will include Dr. Chun Wei Choo (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto) and Dave Snowden (Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge). More info soon. In the meantime there is information on the 2007 conference at

Added on June 4th 2009 - the conference website is at
Photo courtesy of Robert Gordon University: Delegates from the 2007 conference at the civic reception. I'm holding up my wine glass and grinning, 3rd from the front towards the right.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

BBC blogging

Nick Reynolds talks about corporate blogging at the BBC in this article for FUMSI. It could be a starting point for talking about confidentiality and ethical issues to do with blogging, or about blogging as public relations.

Reynolds, N. (2008) Corporate blogging:how to be open. FUMSI, September.
Photo by Sheila Webber: photoshopped tree, Western Park, Sheffield, September 2008

Call for proposals: Expanding Literacy Studies

Expanding Literacy Studies is an International, Interdisciplinary Conference for graduate students, April 3-5, 2009, at Ohio State University, USA. "Addressing the need for an expanded conversation about literacy that exceeds disciplinary boundaries, this conference is a space for graduate and professional students from all fields to ask questions, consider directions, examine representations, make connections, and share investigations of literacy, broadly defined." Various "literacies" are mentioned (e.g. work, art, health - though information, curiously!) and literacy topics. Submission deadline for proposals for papers, posters, performances etc is October 15, 2008. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Western Park, Sheffield, September 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

1000 posts!

This is the one thousandth post on this blog. Stuart Boon contributed to start with, but most of the posts are by me and it must mean I've blogged over a hundred thousand words! I hope people still find the blog useful - and if you have any information literacy events, publications etc. that you want me to mention, do get in touch.
This is a picture of my Second Life avatar thinking that with that many words she could have written several books by now....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Encuentro de Desarrollo de Habilidades Informativas

The 6th Encuentro de Desarrollo de Habilidades Informativas (Information skills development) takes place in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, 22 - 24 October 2008. More information at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lots of new articles

Firstly, in Journal of Information Literacy (vol 2 no 1, 2008) all free at

- Badke, W. A Rationale for Information Literacy as a Credit-bearing Discipline
- Crawford, J. Making new friends: an information literacy trip to Washington DC
- Dotan, G. and Aharony, N. Information literacy roles of library media specialists in high schools: Israeli perspectives
- Gonzalez, L. Information Literacy Programs at the University of Puerto Campuses: a current report
- Sales, D. Towards a student-centred approach to information literacy learning: A focus group study on the information behaviour of translation and interpreting students

Markey, K. et al (2008) "The Effectiveness of a Web-based Board Game for Teaching Undergraduate Students Information Literacy Concepts and Skills." D-lib magazine, 14 (9). (free)

Nazari, M. and Webber, S. (2008) "Model of Geo/Spatial Information Literacy (MG/SIL): an innovative model for transforming learning in GIS education." In: Proceedings of the EUGISES 2008 conference. (free)

Articles in priced journals:
- Chu, S. and Law, N. (2008) "The development of information search expertise of research students." Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 40, 165-177.
- Furno, C. and Flanagan, D. (2008) "Information literacy: getting the most from your 60 minutes." Reference Services Review, 36 (3), 264 - 271
- Jowitt, A. (2008) "Perceptions and usage of library instructional podcasts by staff and students at New Zealand's Universal College of Learning (UCOL)." Reference Services Review, 36 (3), 312 - 336
- Lwehabura, M. and Stilwell, C. (2008) "Information literacy in Tanzanian universities: Challenges and potential opportunities." Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 40, 179-191. (reports on a survey of staff and students)
- Shenton, A. Nesset, V. and Hayter, S. (2008) "Children's conceptualizations of the word `Information'." Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 40, 151-164.
- Trescases, U. (2008) "The role of the library in the first college year: the Canadian perspective." Reference Services Review, 36 (3), 301 - 311. (a review)
Photos by Sheila Webber: autumn anemones, Sheffield, September 2008

Irish Information Skills Community of Practice

Ireland's Higher Education Authority funds the National Digital Learning Repository and on 5th September, it launched the Information Skills Community of Practice which will support the teaching of information literacy. The repository of learning objects will only be available to those in the Information Skills Community of Practice. More info at

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Evidence-based events

Two conferences in this field. Firstly, the Cochrane Collaboration (the key collaboration on evidence in the health sector) has its Colloquium in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, on 3-7 October 2008. Events of particular interest to information professionals are highlighted on teh website at (I'm having trouble with that link, but there is brief info here too)
Secondly, the 5th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP5) Conference has made a 2nd Call for Papers. The conference will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, June 29th – July 3rd 2009. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: old houses in Stockholm, 2005

Monday, September 22, 2008

Health knowldege & TV

Thanks to Vivienne Bernath for emailing me about a study that researched the impact of an episode of Grey's anatomy on people's knowledge about HIV and pregnancy. Interesting when discussing health information literacy and/or the impact of broadcast media (and Web 2.0 - it emerged that people were blogging about the episode too). There is a full account of the methodology (and an extract from Grey's Anatomy ;-)
Rideout, V. (2008) Television as a health educator: a case study of Grey's anatomy. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Conference meal, Turku, August 2008.

Copyright tool kit

Eduserv just launched an online Copyright tool kit. It includes information about copyright (with a UK focus) plus exercises to work through, testing out knowledge. It is aimed at lecturers, librarians, technicians or anyone else involved in the process (i.e. the providers of course material, rather than the learners - though it could also be useful when learners are creating resources in class or for assignmnets). So, for example, it sets up scenarios of wanting to use different kinds of material (audio, film etc) in the VLE. It is free to all to use. The website is at
The producers comment " as
Photo by Sheila Webber: Western Park, Sheffield, September 2008.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

LOEX 2009

The 37th Annual LOEX Conference (US information literacy conference) takes place April 30 - May 2, 2009 in Albuquerque, USA. The theme is Blazing Trails: On the Path to Information Literacy. There are seven sub-themes: Luminarias (casting light on pedagogy); Trail Guides; Off the Beaten Path; Shortcuts; From Covered Wagon to the Railroad (technology); Round-up (collaboration); Are we there yet?
There are presentations, workshops and posters. Proposals must be received by November 21, 2008. More info at

Photo by Sheila Webber: My apples, September 2008.

Friday, September 19, 2008

LILAC conference call

The call for papers for the 2009 LILAC (UK Information Literacy) conference has opened. The deadline is is 20th November 2008. The conference itself takkes place 30th March-1st April 2008. The conference themes are:
Inquiry based learning and IL (Sponsored by the Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences);
Emerging technologies;
Information literacy for life (Sponsored by the University of Worcester);
Supporting research.
There are several possible formats: Short Papers (30 minutes); Long Papers (45 minutes); Demonstrations/ workshop sessions (1 hour); Symposiums (1 hour); Poster Presentations. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield, September 2008.

IL and Learning

Another new book. This one is by Australian Mandy Lupton, based on her doctoral work.
Lupton, M. (2008) Information literacy and learning. Adelaide: Auslib Press. ISBN 9 7809 8033 0168. Cost: Aus$50.00 plus postage.
Order from the Auslib website at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Mandy Lupton, 2004

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Information Literacy/Civil Engineering

This presentation, Developing Student Information Literacy: Influences of disciplinary contexts and implications for library practice was given by Sheila Webber (me), Stuart Boon and Bill Johnston at the Creating Knowledge V conference, Turku, Finland, on 21st August 2008. It summarises research into the conceptions of information literacy, and of teaching information literacy, held by UK academics in the field of Civil Engineering. It goes on the identify implications for librarians and for student learning

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PowerPoints from workshop

The PowerPoints from the UNESCO-sponsored Training The Trainers workshop in Tallinn, Estonia (held in August 2008) are available online. There are contributions from Sirje Virkus, Susie Andretta, Aira Lepik, Hela Ojasaar, Albert Boekhorst, Niels Jørgen Blaaberg and others. They cover various information literacy topics such as assessment, collaboration, research.
The slides are at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Torshavn, May 2007

Pedagogical roles

Today has one of my catch-up posts from the Creating Knowledge conference that took place at the end of August in Turku, Finland. Kaisa Sinikara talked about pedagogical roles for librarians in the changing information environment. She is Director of Information and Libraries at Helsinki University, Finland. I found her keynote stimulating and only wish my language skills were good enough to read her thesis (linked at the end for those who can understand Finnish). You can find her PowerPoint presentation here on the CK5 website, and I summarise some of her key points.
She talked about the waves, or phases, of information technology and information network adoption in libraries and education. The final wave has brought change to everyone in universities and led to library activities and values having to be re-evaluated, in a move towards the networked community. For librarians, this has brought the teaching role of librarians into the foreground.
Kaisa identified common values between libraries and universities and also differences. Competition is part of university culture, together with a focus on autonomy and freedom e.g. in research publication. These are potential differences, since "the core value of the libraries is service" together with "sensible and efficient operations".She identified challenges to librarians’ pedagogical role, including knowing your institutional partners, recognising the library's own values, and overcoming misconceptions about the librarian's role. She identified characteristics of researchers and teachers writing about information literacy - highlighting their emphasis on the socio-cultural nature of learning and the academic context in which IL is practised. She also mentioned the need to avoid overstandardisation and quantified learning .
Kaisa talked about the work of university library directors in Finland, including defining skills and knowledge needed. There was statement that I blogged a while ago, which identifies levels of information literacy in university curricula (this is described on the Finnish IL website linked below). The Finnish library directors also identified competences needed by university libraries; with pedagogical competence and support for production of information resources some of those needed.
For the next wave of technological change - challenges include e-science, open access and repositories, Web 2.0 applications, the characteristics of students themselves and demands for increased efficiency.
The library will, and needs to, be more and more a network, with the librarian part of teaching and research process, finding creative solutions. One of her final points was that creativity should perhaps be added to the basic values of library services (implying perhaps a tendency to be over-cautious and focused on efficiency).
Her parting message was that “Enthusiasm and persistence help us create the future and a positive pedagogical role for libraries in a changing society”.

Information Literacy in Finland website:

Sinikara, K. (2008) Ammatti, ihminen ja maailmankuva murroksessa : Tutkimus yliopistokirjastoista ja kirjastonhoitajista tietoyhteiskuntakaudella 1970-2005. University of Helsinki. (In Finnish) [Title translation is: Profession, person and worldview at a turning point; a study of uniersity libraries and library staff in the information age, 1970-2005]
Photos by Sheila Webber: Conference dinner and statue in the conference venue grounds, August 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Argentinian blog

For Spanish speakers, I recently came across the Argentinian information literacy blog, Alfabetización Informacional en Argentina (ALFIN), at This has links to numerous other Spanish-language resources, including tutorials.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Flamingos (perhaps Spanish-speaking) in Madrid Zoo, Spain, January 2005.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Potential and issues of Web 2.0

On Friday I gave a presentation called Potential and issues of Web 2.0 at an ARLIS (art librarians) seminar Caught in the web. I identified issues and potential of Web 2.0 tools for educators, librarians and learners. Tools mentioned include microblogs, weblogs, social networking tools and virtual worlds. The Powerpoint is online in pdf form at and the companion site is I created this Netvibes site for another ARLIS event in July, but I have updated it a little since then and it has quite a lot of links, particularly about social networking.

Search-off comp

People from 4 universities in the USA are participating in the Digital Literacy contest. Purdue University held the comp on 10th September, Florida U holds it on Wednesday, Indiana on 20 September and Brown University will have the competition in October. People have 30 mins to answer 50 questions, mostly demonstrating their advanced googling skills. One promotional quote is "The Internet is a cognitive prosthetic. How well can you wield it to amplify the power of your mind?"
Photoshopped photo by Sheila Webber

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Recent Pew Internet reports

Recent Pew Internet and American Life project reports are:
Podcast downloading 2008. This results from a telephone survey administered to 1553 internet users in the USA. “19% of all internet users say they have downloaded a podcast so they could listen to it or view it later” (an increase on the previous surveys). “Still, podcasting has yet to become a fixture in the everyday lives of internet users, as very few internet users download podcasts on a typical day.”
The Engaged E-patient Population. Again a result of a survey of US citizens which “confirms that information gathering has become a habit for many Americans, particularly those in the 55% of households with broadband connections” 78% of those with home broadband looked online for health information.”
Those were both published in August. In July there was:
Search Engine Use. This study reports that the % of internet users using a search engines on a typical day was 49%. This is an increase on their previous surveys. Those with higher income and higher education levels used it more. “Of all the demographic variables we analyzed, the presence of a home broadband connection had the strongest relationship with a user’s propensity to use a search engine on a typical day.”
Photo by Sheila Webber: Nordic House, Faroes, 2007.

Friday, September 12, 2008

US report on research libraries

There was an interesting publication in August from the US' Council on Library and Information Resources.
Council on Library and Information Resources. (2008) No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century. Washington: CLIR.
This is a collection of "Papers from a meeting convened by CLIR of librarians, publishers, faculty members, and information technology specialists on February 27, 2008 ." The focus is on academic libraries supporting research, rather than teaching, from my scan through it. The concerns and issues are slightly different from those in, for example, the UK, but there are obviously a lot of common themes (most notably, the change in research and scholarly publishing brought about by technology).
I did my usual quick-and-dirty search for the phrase "information literacy" and it only occurred in a section about 21st century scholarly publishing, rather narrowly focused "These discussions raise the larger issue of information literacy in the emerging digital environment. How will publishers help users separate high-quality, peer-reviewed content from other information that is easily available through search mechanisms? How do publishers “brand” their material in the digital environment?" (38). Although collaboration between librarians and academics is one of the themes, it seems to focus more on the need for the librarian to be scholarly and to have a grip on technical change.
There is discussion about this report on the ACRL blog, which is where I found the link to the report.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Torshavn harbour and church, 2007

Another new IL book

Calvo, Marie Carme Torras; Saetre, Tove Pemmer; and Rafste, Elisabeth T. (2008) Information Literacy Education: A Process-Orientated Approach. Professionalising the Pedagogical Role of Academic Libraries. Oxford: Chandos. 184334386X. £ 39.95 (paperback). More information at:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ALJ on Information Literacy

The latest issue of the Australian Library Journal focuses on Information Literacy in everyday lives. It is a subscription publication. Articles are: Workplace information literacy for administrative staff in higher education. (Mark Hepworth and Marian Smith); Understanding and practice of information literacy in Australian government libraries. (Jennifer Kirton, Lyn Barham and Sean Brady); Systems thinking: an approach for advancing workplace information literacy. (Mary M Somerville and Zaana Howard); Information literacy and the public library: we've talked the talk, but are we walking the walk? (Jane Harding); ESL Library Skills: an information literacy program for adults with low levels of English literacy. (Katrina Macdonald)
For more info -

Photo by Sheila Webber: Smooth barked apple myrtle, Adelaide Botanic Gardens, Australia, 2004.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Harry Potter and fair use

This seems a thoughtful reflection on the verdict in the Harry Potter case - in which JK Rowling was seeking to prevent publication of a Harry Potter lexicography. The judge found in her favour. I'm mentioning it here since it is a topical (if complex) example of deciding how much you can and can't copy from one work in order to create a different kind of work - and it highlights the importance of synthesis! Thus it might be a useful example to use with learners.
Jones, P. (2008) The Harry Potter Decision, as text - Updated. 9 September.
Photo by Sheila Webber: of a quidditch arena build in Second Life

Communications market

Ofcom published its 2007 report on the communications market in August. Ofcom is the UK's communications watchdog There are sections on the market context, the TV market, the radio market and the telecommunications market. There is also a chapter on convergence, identifying three trends in converging communications markets. These are: Content on demand; Growing interest in mobile broadband; and the converging capabilities of games consoles.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cafe Art, Turku, August 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Short video

I see from Martin De Saulles' blog (Brighton University) that he and Jackie Chelin (University of the West of England) have produced a video Beyond Google: Developing Training Skills for Library and Information Students in Their Work With the Google Generation . "The video outlines, through interviews with academics, librarians and students, some of the issues surrounding how students use the Internet as a research tool." It was funded by the Higher Education Academy. It is on Youtube at One quote from an academic is "It's one of those difficult terms, because everybody thinks it's a good thing, and everybody thinks someone else should be addressing it head on." - which tallies with "teaching information literacy is someone else's job" conception we identified in our research.

Inquiry and blended learning

On Friday evening I presented a talk at the "inworld" portion of the Second Life Educators conference. It was called Using first and second life to develop inquiry skills in the freshman year at a UK university: a happy blend?, and if you click on that rather long title it will take you to the powerpoint on Slideshare.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Research book

A new book out (just out, despite the "2007" publication date) is:
Lipu, S., Williamson, K. and Lloyd, A. (eds) (2007) Exploring Methods in Information Literacy Research. Wagga Wagga: Charles Sturt University. (Topics in Australasian Library and Information Studies; 28). ISBN 978 1876938 61 1. 88 Australian dollars.
"This book aims to provide an overview of approaches to assist researchers and practitioners to explore ways of undertaking research in the information literacy field." Chapters include: surveys, critical incident technique, phenoomenography, focus groups, action research. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ferryboat approaching Circular Quay, Sydney, June 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008


The latest edition of SCONUL Focus is out, a readable publication of reasonably short articles. It includes: Blogging in the UK and Ireland (Peter Williams); LASSIE (Libraries and Social Sciences in Education): project overview and key findings (Jane Secker); The Library Game - using creative games technology to develop the library, learning and information skills of our students - the story so far (Simon Ngozi Okolo, Elias Pimenidis, Professor Andrew McDonald); IL at eye level: Cardiff's Handbook for information literacy teaching comes to your screen (Jessica Gaunt et al); Guides at the side: developing Informs through community collaboration (Lisa Charnock); and a review of Tara Brabzon's book. The issue is at
Photo by Sheila Webber, June 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

LIASA conference

The 10th LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa) Annual Conference as usual contains some papers on Information Literacy. The theme is Looking ahead: the changing role of LIS, held 6-10 October 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa. More info on the website

Thursday, September 04, 2008

International Conference on Libraries, Information and Society

The International Conference on Libraries, Information and Society 2008(ICOLIS) takes place at the Armada Hotel, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 18-19 November 2008, and this year's theme is: Towards an Information Literate Society with a number of important themes flagged up. There are pre and post conference workshops but no details yet as to what they will be about. The conference website is at
Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in Port Julia, Australia, July 2008

Georgia conference on Information Literacy

The regular Georgia conference on Information Literacy takes place 3-4 October 2008 in Savannah, Georgia, USA. As usual, some interesting-looking sessions, covering both schools (or K12 etc as it is called in the US) and higher education. For registration and more info go to

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

IL in developing countries

Yesterday I attended a SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy meeting, and we had an interesting presentation from Peter Burnett, Head of Library Development at INASP (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications), which works with librarians and librarian educators in developing countries. Part of their work involves supporting development of the library and information curriculum, and of training librarians in information literacy (although a larger amount is spent on supporting access/use/management of electronic information resources). The website is at

There are a number of publications, including a book with chapters on information literacy at universities in various developing countries:
Kiondo, E. and Msuya, J (Eds) (2005) User Information Literacy: Case studies from university library programmes in the SCANUL-ECS region. INASP and the Standing Conference of African National and University Libraries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (SCANUL-ECS). ISBN-10 1 902928 27 X; ISBN-13 978 1 902928 27 2. Cost - £12.00. To order a print copy of the book, email (it isn't available in electronic form: their reports etc. can be downloaded freely)
The current issue of the INASP newsletter also focuses on information literacy: it has one article "Bridging the Digital Divide in Malawi: Is information literacy part of the equation?" and another from Perpetua Dadzie, Department of Information Studies, University of Ghana on "Promoting Information Literacy: The role of the librarian". This and previous newsletter issues can be downloaded from Additionally, there is material relating to a training course about developing an information literacy programme (look in the Training Activities section. To download material you need to register (free). You also may be interested in supporting INASP's work e.g. by twinning with a library or providing advice.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Great Keppel Island, June 2008

Inquiry skills talk

I'm giving a paper at the Second Life (SL) Educators conference on Friday (at 9pm to be precise - or 1pm SL time): Using first and second life to develop inquiry skills in the freshman year at a UK university: a happy blend? This is in the virtual parallel conference being held in Second Life itself (the main one is in Tampa, USA) and here you see the outfit I will be wearing (minus the picture frame, obviously - or perhaps not obviously, since it's SL). The conference wiki is at and there are likely to be full papers up in due course: I'll also put my ppt on Slideshare. I'll blog the conference, but mostly on my Sheila Yoshikawa blog.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

SIMILE: Studies in Media & Information Literacy Education

I have been reminded about the priced online journal SIMILE. It focuses more on media literacy than information literacy, I would say. There are a couple of articles available for free:
“Challenging Islamophobia Through Visual Media Studies: Inquiring Into a Photograph of Muslim Women on the Cover of Canada's National News Magazine” and
“New Literacies as a Challenge for Traditional Knowledge Conceptions in School: A Case Study from Fifth Graders Digital Media Production." The home page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: CK5 conference dinner

LILAC conference dates

The dates for the 2009 LILAC (UK information literacy) conference have been altered slightly to 30 March-1st April 2009. It takes place in Cardiff, Wales.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gaming and school library standards

The American Association of School Librarians' Standards for the 21st-Century Learner have been elaborated with reference to gaming by members of the School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES region. Their document is here:
This is just part of an interesting collection of material about using games in libraries, home page It includes a series of Games in libraries podcasts and information about the games they have developed, suitable for school libraries. They say "While these are not 'educational games' all of the games are linked to New York State curriculum standards".
The AASL standards themselves, and associated material, are online at and the basic standards are:
1. inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge;
2. draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge;
3. share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society;
4. pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Inside Turku City Library, Finland, August 2008

News snippets from the USA and Jamaica

Kane, T. (2008) "School districts urge 'information literacy'." Northwest Herald, 22 August.

UNESCO. (2008) Youth speaking to youths. UNESCO press release, 21 August. "UNESCO has partnered with Caribbean Vizion, Violence Prevention Alliance, Ministry of Education of Jamaica and other stakeholders to pilot a programme to promote a culture of peace and inspire positive behaviour change in youths using music, drama and multimedia." (information literacy is mentioned at one of the things that is being developed through this schools campaign)

Photo by Sheila Webber: Train, Quebec, August 2008