Saturday, July 31, 2010

IFLA papers online relevant to information literacy

The World Library and Information Conference (or IFLA conference) takes place 10-15 August, and most of the papers are already online. These are full text papers, some of them available in more than one language. I will spread the links over a few posts. I have picked out ones particularly relevant to information literacy and information behaviour.
- Huy Nghiem (College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam) Delivering information literacy programmes in the context of network society and cross-cultural perspectives
- Christopher Coward (University of Washington Information School) and Karen Fisher Measuring Indirect Access: Indicators of the Impacts of Lay Information Mediary Behavior
- Sheila Corrall (University of Sheffield) Developing inclusive models of reference and instruction to create information literate communities
- Vicki McDonald (Library Services, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia) Get the edge, get ahead: Queensland University of Technology Library's approach to learning support
- Kaijsa Calkins and Cassandra Kvenild (University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA) Embedding in the 21st Century Academy: crossing curriculum and geography
- Raul Aguilera et al (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid, Spain) Training undergraduate students to search and use statistical information: a cooperation between professors and librarians
- Harrison Dekker (UC Berkeley Libraries, Berkeley, California, USA) Using web-based software to promote data literacy in a large enrollment undergraduate course
Photo by Sheila Webber: Kelvingrove Museum, installation, Glasgow, July 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Online tutorials in law and health

Information Literacy WeblogThanks to Jo Anne Witt of Charles Darwin University, Australia, who alerted me to their subject based tutorials. "These tutorials use a split screen to provide instruction to students whilst live searching a databases and catalogue." "These tutorials were designed in a joint effort between the liaison librarians, the relevant discipline academics and our educational designers and both are used to support first year students." There is one they developed for Law and one for Health Sciences (nursing and midwifery) and
Photo by Sheila Webber: Shoes on a telegraph wire, Sheffield, July 2010.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Embedding research/inquiry graduate capabilities in the curriculum

There is interesting material on the La Trobe University (Australia) website. They have their information literacy strategy& related documents, and a report with details of how information literacy was embedded in a first year health sciences prgramme: Building blocks: Embedding research/inquiry (information literacy) graduate capabilities in the curriculum. They have developed two "key tools": "Library Skills Online - a set of five modules designed to introduce information literacy skills to first year students" (which there are links to) and "LibAnswers - a web based Q & A system and FAQ knowledge base that enables students to search the knowledge base and ask questions from anywhere at anytime."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Glasgow Botanic Gardens, July 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy

A few posts back there was mention of LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy). "LILi is an acronym for a group of librarians from various types of libraries, investigating information literacy definitions, standards and instruction in California." Their website, which includes some resources, is at and they have a blog at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Some more of my cherries, July 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wiki Writing

This book is free online:
Cummings, R.E. and Barton, M. (Eds) (2008) Wiki Writing: Collaborative Learning in the College Classroom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press and University of Michigan Library.

Information Literacy is mentioned specifically in the chapter by Mark Phillipson, Wikis in the Classroom: A Taxonomy
Photo by Sheila Webber: Back from the farmers' market, July 2010.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Annual Georgia Conference on Information Literacy

7th Annual Georgia Conference on Information Literacy Conference takes place October 1st - 2nd 2010 in Savannah, USA. There is a very large parallel programme of presentations, panel sessions etc. on information literacy. Most contributors are from North America, but some from Europe etc. Sessions include: "Teaching Information Literacy through Senior Projects", "Assessing Information Literacy Skills Across the Curriculum and On a Budget", "Teachers, Partners, Co‐mentors: Collaborating to Improve Research and Writing Instruction", "Preventing Depression: Using Conflict‐of‐interest in Medicine to Teach Information Literacy", "Using Freely Available Software in Information Literacy Instruction", "Building a First‐Year Information Literacy Experience: Integrating Best Practices in Education and ACRL IL Standards", "Establishing and Teaching a Credit‐bearing Library Course", "Embedded Librarians in the Online Technical College Classroom: Collaboration Across the Curriculum", "Using Emerging Technologies to Teach Research: The Library/English Department Video Collaboration", "Healthcare Literacy in a Web 2.0 Environment", "Library Instruction Marketing: Planning and Assessment", "PLEase make IL instruction easy: Applying Educational Theory to Create Active Learning Lesson Plans", "Tackling the "Problem" Research Assignment: Strategies for Success", "Lost in Translation: Creating a Common Language for Information Literacy Across Disciplines", "Promoting Engaged Citizenship Through Information Literacy", "I Found it on Facebook": Social Media and the ACRL Information Literacy Standards", "The Commercial Side of Information Literacy: Using Commercials to Ignite Critical Thinking", "Yes, Virginia, You Are the Authority in this Wiki: Using Wiki Technology in the Writing Classroom", "Multiple Partnerships for Student Information Literacy ‐ Library, Writing Center, Faculty, and Administration", "Using Within‐Document Summaries for Selective Reading and Organized Writing ", "The Needs Analysis: The First Step in Library Instruction Assessment", "Librarians as Literacy Sponsors: The Connection Between Information Literacy and Writing", "Getting Credit for It: Constructing Information Literacy Credit Courses", "Teaching the Moving Image: Establishing Literacy Standards for Film and Video", "Digital Storytelling and Information Literacy", "Virtual Libraries to Support Information Literacy", "Collaboration Across Libraries: A Library Partnership to Teach Information Literacy", "If You Build It, They Will Cheat:" How to Prevent Cheating in a Hybrid Online Course", "Ethos, Ethics, and New Media: Becoming Effective Citizens in the 21st Century", "Critical Literacy as a Model for Navigating Online Information" The website is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Weston Park, Sheffield.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

LibGuides Workshop and LILi meeting

On August 20 2010 morning there is a free fhands-on LibGuides Workshop and LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy Group) meeting, at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester, USA. "LibGuides software allows librarians to offer customized course-based or subject-based research support web page. Through LibGuides, students can connect to online research materials, interact with a librarian via IM chat, access tutorials, and provide feedback. LibGuides is a popular information literacy tool for academic, public, special, and school librarians!" Please register by Monday, August 16 2010:
For info on LibGuides go to and see a sample at
Photo by Sheila Webber: summer garden, Sheffield, July 2010, though at the moment it is tipping down with rain.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

IL at Ghanaian Universities

Dadzie, P. (2009) "Information Literacy in Higher Education: Overview of initiatives at two Ghanaian Universities." African journal of library archives and information science, 19(2), 165-175.
Another article on the same theme is: Dadzie, P. (2007) "Information Literacy: assessing the readiness of Ghanaian universities." Information Development, 23 (4), 266-277. and see also a previous post
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sunflower growing in my downpipe. This would be cute in Second Life, but is a bit more worrying when it's a real pipe.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students

This is a recent report from Project Information Literacy. They analysed "191 course-related research assignment handouts professors distributed to undergraduates on 28 U.S. campuses. We found the majority of handouts in our sample placed more attention on the mechanics of preparing a research assignment than on conveying substantive information that students also needed, such as how to define and focus a research strategy within the complex information landscape that most college students inhabit today." I was rather surprised that they expected all that to be in the assignment handout, since we would supply some of the information the authors note a lack of (e.g. how/when you can consult the academics) in the Departmental handbook, in class and on the Virtual Learning Environment. I'd also aim to provide scaffolding about how to go about an assignment, in class, although of course you don't always succeed as well as you hope to. It may be a UK/US difference, or perhaps reflects a lack of alignment between learning, teaching and assessment in the classes studied (though some quotations from academics in the report indicate that some of them, also, would not see the handout as the sole resource).
Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Summer garden, July 2010.

Monday, July 19, 2010

UNESCO-supported training on information literacy for rural teachers from South Africa

Thanks to Woody Horton for alerting me to this press release "The Departments of Informatics and Information Science of the University of Pretoria have organized training on information literacy at Kgoro primary school, located in Zithobeni township, South Africa. Funded by UNESCO, the training aims to provide teachers with basic skills in ICT and information literacy. The training, which started last month, is taking place over eight Saturdays and will end up with the certification ceremony planned for 13 August. It is certified by the Continuing Education Trust at the University of Pretoria." The press release is here
Photo by Sheila Webber: Open air concert, Retiro, Madrid, June 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Libri articles

New issue of Libri includes articles on information behaviour from the i3 conference held in Aberdeen last summer. These include:
- Albright, A. (2010) "Multidisciplinarity in Information Behavior: Expanding Boundaries or Fragmentation of the Field?" Libri, 60 (2), 98-106.
- Perttila, R. and Ek, S. (2010) "Information Behaviour and Coping Functions of Long-Term Unemployed People in Finland Libri, 60 (2), 107-116.
- Hall, H. Widen, G. and Paterson, L. (2010) "Not what you know, nor who you know, but who you know already: Examining Online Information Sharing Behaviours in a Blogging Environment through the Lens of Social Exchange Theory" Libri, 60 (2), 117-128.
- Harris, R. Veinot, T. and Bella, L. (2010) "A Relational Perspective on HIV/AIDS Information Behaviour in Rural Canada." Libri, 60 (2), 129-141.
- Eriksson-Backa, K. (2010) "Elderly People, Health Information, and Libraries: a Small-scale Study on Seniors in a Language Minority." Libri, 60 (2), 181-194.
Table of Contents at (the most recent year of Libri is subscriber-only)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Glasgow Botanic Gardens, July 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

1500th post on the Information Literacy Weblog!

Yes, this is published post number 1500 on this weblog, which started in September 2005. Actually the Information Literacy Weblog itself started in 2003, using a different blogging platform which went kaput in 2005, so there have actually been about 2000 posts in toto, but 1500 is the number accessible to you on this one. I have celebrated by changing the template for the blog: a few minutes after pressing the change button I thought it was a ghastly mistake, but I think now it is an improvement. You can now see, on the right, if you scroll down, the tags I have applied to the posts (not always consistently, I'm afraid!) They are in frequency order. It is also now easier to follow or share the blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tara Brabazon: Digital dieting, a guide through information obesity

There's a video of Tara Brabazon's keynote at the Middlesex University Learning & Teaching conference in June 2010. She is a tremendous speaker and very good for getting key issues out there. I must say I also like her way of dealing with latecomers (i.e. embarrass them by picking out some aspect of how great they look).
I have myself criticised her earlier "ban wikipedia" statements, but in this she goes into a greater explanation of what the problems are and why she makes her decisions (and Google has moved from being white bread to being a smörgåsbord). She highlights issues (e.g. lack of note-taking and reading, reading-as-highlighting) we, in my Department, have been discussing and aiming to address in the curriculum. There are some nice quotations e.g. "Conformity and comfort build ignorance", and (spoken to a student) "it's not time management, it's information management you have a problem with". She also has some good Carrie Bradshaw-esque questions like "What if we can gain more meaning from fewer media?"
Photo by Sheila Webber: This year the birds didn't get all the cherries, Sheffield, July 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0

A report just published by the Research Information Network (RIN):
RIN (2010) If you build it, will they come? How researchers perceive and use web 2.0. London: RIN. (web address at the end of this post)
They undertook a survey of researchers in the United Kingdom, and also review some of the literature. Basically, use of Web 2.0 for research not huge, but there are strong variations, with some very frequent users, and some using Web 2.0 (as consumers or producers) not much at all. The largest use is amongst the middle aged rather than the younger researcher (although, from the quotations, it seems like non-users still have the stereotype of it being "for the young"). Issues of Web 2.0 content/tools' validity & reliability emerge, and concerns about getting your ideas stolen (and caution is justifiable I would say).
The report recommendations more support for Web 2.0 use in research (which ties in with a talk at the Institutional Web Management Workshop 2010 which I heard broadcast yesterday, identifying that a small amount of time was spent centrally supporting technology for research (as opposed to technology for learning & teaching).
"The findings from all elements of our study suggest that widespread adoption of web 2.0 services by researchers depends on their being intuitive and easy to use, available free at the point of use, and incremental in building upon existing practices. Above all, they must offer both clear advantages to users and near zero adoption costs. Key intermediaries such as innovative publishers and conference organisers have been important stimulators of both service innovation and uptake. But there is some debate about whether many of the web 2.0 services for researchers – particularly social network services – provide sufficient added value to stimulate widespread adoption (Bradley, 2009)."
The report is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pitcher plants, Glasgow Botanical Gardens, July 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Following TRAILS on social media

TRAILS (Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) can now be followed on Twitter at TRAILS_InfoLit, you can fan TRAILS on their Facebook page and connect with them on Linked In. " Their website (which I mentioned last September in a post) is at Our goal is to share updates on new features found on our website as well as tips on using the assessments."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Madrid, June 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Marketing manual for the Information Literacy logo

There is an online manual to help people use the International Information Literacy Logo (shown here) effectively. Some sections summarise tips about marketing generally, so you may want to look at this from that perspective too. The manual is at and can also be downloaded in pdf format.

Monday, July 05, 2010

CaRILLO: One day event for developers of information literacy teaching and learning material

This is an event being held on 3 August 2010 at the University of Birmingham, UK. This is working towards development of "a community of practice for librarians and educational technologists to share ideas and resources in creating, re-using and re-purposing information literacy learning objects. This event ... will be a day of talks and a workshop to exchange ideas and good practice and to highlight high quality resources already available." Speakers are:
Rebecca Mogg - The Information Literacy Resource Bank
Katy Wrathall - The SMILE project: repurposing IL material
Professor Tom Boyle - Using GLO Maker to create learning/teaching material
Nicola Siminson - JorumOpen and IL: finding and sharing resources
Catherine Bruen - Community aspects of the National Digital Learning Repository
Cost is £60. To book, send info on name, job title, institution, postal address, email, telephone number, and any special dietary requirements to by 20 July. Also please say which workshop you'd prefer: Finding resources to re-use/re-purpose; Sharing your own resources with others; Creating new resources; Re-purposing your own or others' resources
Photo by Sheila Webber: Balloons on Sheffield uni open day, June 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025

RDZFA4JQUF7Z ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries, in the USA) has released a new report, Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025, "to prompt academic librarians to consider what trends may impact the future of higher education in order to take strategic action now". Brief scenarios were presented and ACRL members asked to comment on them. Four scenarios were judged to be high impact and probability and approaching fast "INCREASING THREAT OF CYBERWAR, CYBERCRIME, AND CYBERTERRORISM; MEET THE NEW FRESHMAN CLASS; RIGHT HERE WITH ME; SCHOLARSHIP STULTIFIES"
Thanks to Yazdan Mansourian for alerting me to this.
Also apologies for the weird code at the start,, I am reclaiming my blog on Technorati and you have to include the code in a post to prove it is your blog.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Icelandic poppies, June 2010.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Practising information literacy

There is a new book: Lloyd, A & Talja, S (2010 ) Practising information literacy: Bringing together theories and information literacy practice. Wagga Wagga, Australia: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. ISBN 978 1876938 79 6. $99 AUS
It can be ordered from Charles Sturt University, see

"Information literacy provides a central scaffold for participation and learning in all areas of work, education and everyday life. This book showcases new interdisciplinary academic research on the relationship between information literacy and learning. It combines findings with new understandings drawn from theoretical and empirical research conducted in primary and secondary schools, higher education, workplaces, and community contexts. The studies offer new insights into questions such as how transferable are the information practices and skills learned in one context to other contexts? What is the degree to which information competences are generic, to what degree are they domain and context specific? What are the kinds of challenges and outcomes that emerge from incorporating information literacy into education and training courses? And, most importantly, what kinds of theories and philosophies regarding the nature of learning, information, and knowledge, should information literacies education and research efforts be based on?"