Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LILAC twitter etc

I'm not at LILAC (the UK information literacy conference, 29-31 March) this year (actually I'm "on holiday" at the moment) - but you can follow some of what is going on, via Twitter and various bloggers e.g.,
Photo by Sheila Webber: Lilac won't be out here for a while, so here are some rain-battered crocuses.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

INFORUM conference, Prague

The INFORUM conference takes place 25-27 May 2010 in the beautiful city of Prague, Czech Republic. It is an established annual conference which "deals with professional electronic information resources for research, development, education and business purposes." I am one of the guest speakers, talking about information literacy in the 21st Century. Registration is open.
Photo by Sheila Webber: daffodils in my garden, March 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Information Literacy needs of undergraduate students at Silpakorn University, Thailand

Last thursday myPhD Student, Phussadee Dokphrom, successfully defended her thesis investigating the information literacy needs of undergraduate students in the humanities faculty at Silpakorn University, Thailand, and should shortly become Dr Dokphrom subject to completing minor amendments to her thesis. She is pictured here with her external examiner, Professor Dorothy Williams (left) and her internal examiner, Professor Sheila Corrall (right) after the viva.

Combatting cheating

A book that was published later last year and I missed reporting:
Davis, S., Drinan, P. and Gallant, T. (2009) Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-4051-7804-4
("School" here covers secondary and tertiary education, not just what we would call "school" in the UK) It discusses why students cheat and short and longer term ways of deterring cheating. There is more information at:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Australian school libraries

There is an Australian Government inquiry into school libraries, as well as the English one I blogged a little while ago. You can find out about it via The Hub blog The Hub "is about improving the quality of education in Australia. It refers to the one thing that should be at the heart, the hub, of every school – the school library. We are a gathering of educators united by a common concern that too many Australian students no longer have regular access to a well resourced, adequately staffed library."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Boat, Thessaloniki (photoshopped), March 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

IFLA Satellite meeting: Call for papers: Information literacy: context, community, culture

The IFLA Information Literacy Section is organising a satellite meeting at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden August 8-9, 2010 in collaboration with Gothenburg University, called Information literacy: context, community, culture. It will consist of a networking event on the evening of Sunday 8 August and a full day programme on 9 August. The morning will consist of formal presentations, and this call is for papers for this morning of formal presentations. Deadline for proposals is 21st April.

Key aims of the event are:
- To understand the different meanings that information literacy has in different cultures, contexts and communities
- To learn about some of the ways in which we can get to know, and meet, these different information literacy needs
- To give delegates opportunity to reflect on what matters about information literacy to them and think about they might apply what they have learnt to their own personal and work context

Note that the afternoon will consist of an “unconference” in which delegates will be able to propose and pursue themes of particular interest to them. More information about this part of the event will be released shortly.

What we are looking for now
We are seeking proposals for presentations from people who have:

1) Investigated information literacy in specific contexts, communities and cultures. This might have meant investigating what information literacy means for a specific group or community, or having explored what their information literacy needs were. Presenters should make it clear what the context and goals were, and how the investigation was carried out.(Examples: a) a public library working with a local business community, through consultation and focus groups, to find out what their information needs and behaviour are, to guide service policy and delivery; b) researching the conceptions of information literacy of schoolteachers, to support their development of information literacy teaching for their pupils; c) working with staff and students in a university class to find out their information literacy needs).

or / and

2) Developed interventions (activities, teaching, programmes etc.) based on their understanding of these contexts. Although the emphasis should be on the intervention, it should be clear how it is tailored to the needs of the specific group / community (e.g. based on previous investigations, or in enabling the group/community to collaborate in designing the intervention).

In both cases, 1) and 2), ideally, but not necessarily, we are looking for initiatives that were developed in a collaborative or participative way with the community or group in question. Incorporation of the “voices” of the community (e.g. through quotation, video) are welcomed.
Presentations will be no more than 30 minutes in duration
The language of the meeting is English.

Timetable for submissions
1) Proposals must be in by 21st April 2010, submitted via email to
Proposals for papers must include: Title; Abstract of 250 words; Author(s) contact information (name, full address, phone, fax, email, etc) and affiliation.
2) Successful presenters will be notified by 10th May 2010
3) Speakers will be asked to provide an extended abstract of circa 800 words, in English, and a short author biography by 6th June 2010, for inclusion on the event’s website.
4) Speakers will be asked to provide copies of their presentations by 31 July 2010
Please note
All expenses incurred for attending this event are the responsibility of the authors whose papers are accepted. Authors/presenters are expected to attend the event and present their papers in person. Reminder: proposals should be sent to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Crow, March 2010

Copyright for Librarians: open online course

Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and (Electronic Information for Libraries) have developed and launched Copyright for Librarians, an Online Open Curriculum on Copyright Law. It "aims to inform librarians about copyright law in general, as well as the aspects of copyright law that most affect libraries, especially those in developing and transition countries." It has very detailed information and various exercises and case studies.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Greylag goose, Blackheath pond, March 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Skimming and reading online material

The latest issue of the educational journal JLDHE includes an article by Wilkinson based on her doctoral work, which was an observational study tracking eye movement as students looked at online material. She found that students were evaluating sources at the same time as using them (i.e. they weren't comparing sources and then going back to extract the information). She draws on research about "information foraging" (though not really much on other information behaviour research). Other articles in this issue of JLDHE include ones on notetaking and on e-portfolios.
Wilkinson, S. (2010) "Maximising student learning through minimising information search time; the role of satisficing and skimming." Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (2)
"With the increase in the use of the internet for educational purposes, the problem is no longer how to find and access information on-line, but how to select the most appropriate sources of information. What strategies do students adopt in order to allocate time adaptively to the information they need to learn? How and when do they make decision judgements, and how can this enable educators to facilitate student learning? If we understand how students search and retrieve information from texts, then we can design our texts to facilitate this process and ultimately enhance learning through minimising the time it takes for students to search for information within a text, and maximise the time they have for learning that information. This paper will present a new and innovative model of adaptive allocation of time across on-line texts, based on the principles of satisficing and skimming. It will discuss how knowledge about students’ information search and retrieval processes can aid educational text designers in designing texts that will enhance student learning."
Whole issue is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pegs on the line, rainy day, March 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Integrating information literacy into Blackboard"

This paper by Xiao, presented at the Academic Librarian 2: Singing in the rain (held in Hong Kong 11-12 March), is available full text on the conference website. My Head of Department, Sheila Corrall, was an invited speaker ("Educating the Academic Librarian as a Blended Professional: a Review and Case Study") and her paper is on the website too, along with a good number of papers about academic libraries and librarians. Go to

Xiao, J. (2010) "Integrating information literacy into Blackboard: Librarian-faculty collaboration for successful student learning". Paper presented at Academic Librarian 2: Singing in the rain, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 1112 March 2010.
Abstract. "This paper describes a creative library orientation program utilizing Blackboard to help beginning nursing students develop information literacy and successfully complete a cultural research paper." "Information literacy components and course specific library resources are integrated seamlessly into NRS 110 Blackboard course. The students attend a one-hour library orientation and continue to receive research assistance from the librarian via Blackboard. Surveys are administered to the students to help evaluate the program’s effectiveness." "Results suggest that faculty-librarian collaboration in integrating information literacy and course-specific library resources into Blackboard courses is an effective way to improve library instruction and student learning."
Photo by Sheila Webber: A brass band viewing the sea, Thessaloniki, Greece, March 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Web 2.0: the truth behind the hype

A PowerPoint from Karen Blakeman, presented at a recent event: Web 2 - the truth behind the hype. It is also worth checking out other presentations on her slideshare account, e.g. the 2 uploaded before that are "Buisness research: Web 2.0 is not an option but a necessity" and "Twitter for business: an essential marketing and research tool"

Photo by Sheila Webber: Thessaloniki, March 2010, a flying visit (I catch a plane back at 4.50am tomorrow!) for a PhD viva, but I had a nice walk along the waterfront

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Information Literate Behaviour in Second Life

I have uploaded my presentation from last Thursday's (18 March) ESRC Festival of Social Science event to slideshare: Information Literate Behaviour in Second Life. In it I provide some analysis of interviews carried out by my students, asking (mostly) educators and librarians to think about a time they needed information for a Second Life activity. I identify some types of information need and, for each type, ways in which they were addressed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Searching, shopping, sightseeing: literacies in virtual lives: SL event on 18 March

Event title: Searching, shopping, sightseeing: literacies in virtual lives
Thursday 18 March, UK time 8pm, Second Life Time: 1:00pm (see for times elsewhere)
This is an official event in the ESRC Festival of Social Science (ESRC is the UK's funding council for social science research) - the only Festival event being held in SL!
Venue: Infolit iSchool in Second Life, the virtual world: the venue is pictured here (you need a SL avatar, and the SL browser installed on your computer)

Researchers in information and digital literacies (Sheila Webber (i.e. me, Sheila Yoshikawa in SL) and Dr Julia Davies (DrJoolz Smythe in SL) will talk about their research, with the emphasis on drawing out advice on more virtually literate approaches to everyday SL.

The session will be chaired by Professor Jackie Marsh, Head of Department in The School of Education, Sheffield University, UK (Jackie Darkstone in SL).

Sheila Webber is Director of the Centre for Information Literacy Research, a Senior Lecturer in Sheffield University's iSchool, and an international speaker on information literacy. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
Dr Julia Davies is Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, Sheffield University, and co-Director of the Centre for the Study of New Literacies. Her research focuses on online digital practices and social learning. Her numerous article and chapter publications include _Pay and Display: The Digital Literacies of Online Shoppers_ in _Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices_, edited by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel (2008)

ESRC Festival of Social Science: see for information on the festival and
for the ESRC press release on this event

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How today’s college students use Wikipedia

New article, based on Project Information Literacy work:
Head, A. and Eisenberg, M. (2010) "How today’s college students use Wikipedia for course–related research." First Monday, 15 (3).
"Findings are reported from student focus groups and a large–scale survey about how and why students (enrolled at six different U.S. colleges) use Wikipedia during the course–related research process. A majority of respondents frequently used Wikipedia for background information, but less often than they used other common resources, such as course readings and Google. Architecture, engineering, and science majors were more likely to use Wikipedia for course–related research than respondents in other majors. The findings suggest Wikipedia is used in combination with other information resources. Wikipedia meets the needs of college students because it offers a mixture of coverage, currency, convenience, and comprehensibility in a world where credibility is less of a given or an expectation from today’s students."

Photo by Sheila Webber: Shadows, so it must be sunny, March 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

WILU registration opens on Wednesady

Register for the Canadian Information Literacy conference, WILU , from Wednesday, March 17th, 2010. The programme is now available at

Photo by Sheila Webber: my bank was giving away free balloons on Saturday: I'd've preferred it if they'd spent their money on keeping the local branch open

Sunday, March 14, 2010

TASH: the Academic Skills Hub

TASH is a new resource on the University of Sheffield website. It has sections on Being at University, Everyday Skills (which includes "Library and Information Literacy "), Learning skills, Writing skills, Communicating skills and Research skills. There are short texts and links to resources.
Photo by Sheila Webber: After holi celebrations, March 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

School libraries Commission deadline March 17

There are still a few days left if you want to submit comments to the Commission, chaired by Estelle Morris, which is investigating the future of school libraries in England. The Commission was started up following angry debate which ensued when a petition to make school libraries statutory was given a very bland response. There is information at

Picture by Sheila Webber: Exhibit at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Children and young people's digital literacies

Today I attended a one day seminar which is part of the ESRC-sponsored research seminar series Children and young people's digital literacies. There is a web site where they are loading the presentations at (as I mentioned in a previous post, I gave a talk about my experiences in Second Life at the first seminar in October).
The sessions today included Anna Peachey giving a personal perspective on the children's virtual world, Club Penguin; Diane Carr and Andrew Burn (Institute of Education) talking about their projects to do with learning and practice in Second Life and World of Warcraft (the blog/website is at; and Christopher Walsh talking about an Australian project using games in a number of imaginative ways to develop skills and learning in schoolchildren (see and there is a whole issue of the Australian journal of language and literacy, Feb 2010, devoted to it)
Picture by Sheila Webber: This is a 3D version of a framework for Inquiry Based Learning, that I am showing in the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference that runs Friday-Saturday in Second Life

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

IL courses in UK for schools & for workplace

1) Information Literacy Skills and the Primary School Library. Trainer: Geoff Dubber. Key Audience: Primary school staff with responsibility for the school library. This takes place in Winsford, Cheshire, UK on 20 May 2010. School Libraries Association members £115, others £160.
2) Promoting Information Literacy for end users (a TFPL course) "This course will equip delegates with a 'how to guide' for promoting information literacy for their end users, tailored to their particular organisational environment." In London on 22 April and 21 October 2010. Cost £350.
Photo by Sheila Webber: It was sunny yesterday

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Information Literacy; E-readers

A couple of March EDUCAUSE items. First, a short article in the latest Educause quarterly:
Weiner, S. (2010) "Information Literacy: A Neglected Core Competency." Educause quarterly. 33 (1)

Secondly, the latest in the "7" series: 7 Things You Should Know About E-Readers

Photo by Sheila Webber: The student elections are over now.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

CFP: ACRL conference 2011: A Declaration of Interdependence

There is a call for papers for the Association of College and Research Libraries conference that takes place in Philadelphia, USA, March 30 - April 2 2011, with the title A Declaration of Interdependence. Themes are: Diversify our Interdependence: Building Relationships; Evolutions in Higher Education; Harness Lightning: Technology in the Service of Libraries; Inventing Your Library’s Future; The Shape of Tomorrow: Liberating Collection Development; Unite with Users: Reinventing the User Experience; You Say You Want a Revolution: Next Generation Librarianship.
Contributed Paper, Panel Session, Preconference, and Workshop proposals are due by May 10, 2010; and Zed Shed presentation, Poster Session, Roundtable Discussion, and Virtual Conference Webcast proposals are due November 1, 2010.
Photo by Sheila Webber: more student election campaign publicity.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tipping the scales: tackling information obesity

On 29 June 2010, at the British Dental Association, London, UK, there is a joint UKeiG/ BDA Knowledge Management meeting: Tipping the scales: tackling information obesity to ensure productive and sustainable information resources. Sessions will include: Identifying information obesity: structural, individual and community-level explanations; How information literacy helps: and how it is limited; Cognitive biases, and why they matter; How organisations affect the way we think; The holistic approach to IL: subjective, objective and inter-subjective value; Problem-based learning; student- and community-led research projects. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Student elections are underway, traditional signs are still used.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Web 2.0 - What it can do for you

Most presentations from the Libraries for Nursing study day (Nov 2009), Web 2.0 - What it can do for you, including presentations on wikis and podcasts, are online at
Photo by Sheila Webber: After holi celebrations, Sheffield, March 2010

Monday, March 01, 2010

Co-evolving Roles and Technologies in the NHS: Barriers and Forces for Change

This project finished in 2006, but I don't think I've blogged it, and there are a number of reports and papers that came out of it. There was work relevant to information literacy e.g. the conference paper by Adams and Blandford Digital libraries’ support for the user’s 'Information Journey', which identifies three stages on the information journey: Information Initiation; Information facilitation; Information Interpretation (the focus was mostly on health and clinical workers, although patient information was also considered). It was found that the interpretation phase was not so well supported by digital libraries.
The site on the funding council (ESRC) website is and the project home page is
Photo by Sheila Webber: Howth, January 2010

Twitter for librarians

Phil Bradley has updated his Squidoo page, Twitter for librarians. It reminded me about the uses of squidoo too, which I used to use for creating pages for workshops etc., but haven't used for a while.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanic Gardens, Feb 2010