Friday, December 31, 2010

A healthy 2011!

Following the last post, some health information literacy links to bring in the new year! A few recent/ current items:
- Angela Arner's Health information literacy for health and well being blog: and also the substantial list of resources on her library's page at are both useful, especially for those in the USA
- Audio recordings and some presentations from the conference Health Literacy: Making the Most of Health which was held in February 2010 at London South Bank University, UK,
- The Health literacy universal precautions toolkit produced for the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and published in April 2010. "This toolkit is designed to help adult and pediatric practices ensure that systems are in place to promote better understanding by all patients, not just those you think need extra assistance. The toolkit is divided into manageable chunks so that its implementation can fit into the busy day of a practice."

Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter branches, December 2010.

Call for health literacy posters

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) has issued a call for poster abstracts for their 10th Annual Health Literacy Conference, which takes place on 5-6 May 2011 in Irvine, California, USA. The theme of the conference is Health Literacy = Effective Communication: Translating Ideas Into Practice. The submission deadline is 28 February, 2011. For more info go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: gated view of snow before Christmas, Blackheath.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arsenic bacteria: example of a case for information literacy teaching

Since early December there has been a lot of controversy about an article published in Science about bacteria using arsenic in their DNA. A number of people pointed out that this was a useful case to use for an information literacy article. For example, Bonnie Swoger, a Science and Technology Librarian, did a post on 10 December about using the arsenic bacteria story as a teaching moment for undergraduates. As well as the original article there is much online commentary and other pieces of evidence, for example an interview with the first author of the paper, published later in the month, also in Science.
Pennisis, E. (2010) "Exclusive Interview: Discoverer of Arsenic Bacteria, in the Eye of the Storm." Sciencenow, 20 December.
Photo by Sheila Webber: roses at Christmas.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Upgrade is a tutorial site from City University Library "working with the Careers Service, Learning Success and the Student Centre". It covers a number of information literacy and study skills areas, for example: information searching, critical thinking, exam techniques, "Using your personal information safely", interview preparation. The site includes exercises and videos:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas bauble, 2010.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all readers of the Information Literacy weblog.
Photo by Sheila Webber: the Christmas wreath I made 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Goblin game

A plagiarism game from Lycoming College, USA, Goblin Threat, involves finding goblins and defeating them by answering plagiarism-related questions correctly. This is a nice idea that has been implemented well, so worth checking out. If you clear the goblins from all the rooms you get a certificate. My only little quibble would be that (as with most plagiarism quizzes) I think with a few of the questions the answer is not as black-and-white as is implied (it could also be to do with differences in national and institutional practices).
I discovered this game because it was a Primo site of the month: In this interview the game's creator explains how the game arose, how it was tested, and how it is used now, so it is also worth readng.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter branches, December 2010, photoshopped (neon glow)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Information Literacy in our future careers

There is an exhibition with posters from this exercise with my students in Second Life (which I blogged about here), and this video has snippets from the session held on 8th December in which I talked about the activities. If you have a Second Life avatar you can visit it at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Project Information Literacy's autumn report

A couple of months ago Project Information Literacy published another report on US students' information behaviour. This included findings from 8,353 respondents from students on 25 campuses in the USA. "Respondents reported taking little at face value and were frequent evaluators of Web and library sources used for course work, and to a lesser extent, of Web content for personal use. Most respondents turned to friends and family when asking for help with evaluating information for personal use and instructors when evaluating information for course research. Respondents reported using a repertoire of research techniques—mostly for writing papers—for completing one research assignment to the next, though few respondents reported using Web 2.0 applications for collaborating on assignments. Even though most respondents considered themselves adept at finding and evaluating information, especially when it was retrieved from the Web, students reported difficulties getting started with research assignments and determining the nature and scope of what was required of them. Overall, the findings suggest students use an information-seeking and research strategy driven by efficiency and predictability for managing and controlling all of the information available to them on college campuses, though conducting comprehensive research and learning something new is important to most, along with passing the course and the grade received."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Rowan tree, December 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best Practices for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses

A new book is:
Hollister, C.V (Ed) (2011) Best Practices for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Courses. ACRL. ISBN: 978-0-8389-8558-8. $48.00 "the work is a collection of previously unpublished papers in which contributing authors describe and recommend best practices for creating, developing and teaching credit-bearing information literacy (IL) courses at the college and university level." There is a USA focus. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: ice: a way of diagnosing leaks

Monday, December 20, 2010

Faculty award for IL: a nice idea

The University of Alberta Augustana Campus Library has a Teaching Faculty Award for the Support of Information Literacy since 2005. It is given to an Augustana Campus
teaching faculty member who has contributed consistently and notably to the promotion of information literacy, and has been nominated by staff or students.
Dr. Roger Epp, Dean of Augustana Faculty and Professor of Political Studies at Augustana, is the winner this year. There is a picture and short video here:
"Roger has really supported the teaching culture in the Augustana Library and enabled librarians to take a lead on Information Literacy initiatives both in and outside the classroom. He encourages and recognizes the innovation on the part of the librarians" noted Nancy Goebel, Augustana Head Librarian and Chair of the Award Committee.
This seems a good idea to encourage non-librarians to take information literacy seriously. They also have a Student Award for Library Research.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Snow a couple of weeks ago, Sheffield.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Embedded librarians

Thanks to Simon Hart for alerting me to the presentations from the LIANZA conference held in Dunedin, New Zealand, 28 November - 1 December. The proceedings page is
In particular Simon highlighted the powerpoint of David Shumaker on Succeeding with embedded librarianship (here is the presentation). David Schumaker has an Embedded Librarian blog at
I will also mention the presentation at LIANZA by Jesus Lau on Information Literacy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter branches, December 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Articles on learning to teach & school children's information seeking & transfer

Library and Information Research (Volume 34 Number 107, 2010) has two interesting articles.
Eveline Houtman: Trying to figure it out”: Academic librarians talk about learning to teach
"This qualitative research study explores, through the experiences of eight academic librarians in Ontario, Canada, how librarians learn to teach in the classroom. It uses narrative inquiry to study and share these experiences, an approach that is in the mainstream of teacher research, although little used in the library and information literature. Areas explored include the librarians‟ expectations of librarianship; what they learned at library school; teaching as learning; support from colleagues; continuing education; teacher identity; talking about teaching."

James Edward Herring: School students, information retrieval and transfer.
"This study sought to examine the views of students, teachers and teacher librarians on students’ attitudes to, use of, and reflections on, information retrieval, when completing curricular assignments. A second element of the research was to investigate the views of students, teachers and teacher librarians on the extent to which students might transfer information retrieval skills across time and across subjects. The research was carried out in three rural Australian schools. ... Findings from the study indicated that a minority of students both valued and would transfer information retrieval skills; the majority of students valued information retrieval skills but were unlikely to transfer skills without prompting; and a very small minority of students could not understand the concepts of information retrieval and transfer. The study also found that the schools lacked a culture of transfer."
Photo by Sheila Webber: a snowman from last week

Thursday, December 16, 2010

cfp: The Importance of Information Literacy for Multicultural Populations

There is a call for papers for a session at the World Library and Information Congress: 77th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, which takes place 13-18 August 2011, San Juan, Puerto Rico. The topic is The Importance of Information Literacy for Multicultural Populations: Needs, Strategies, Programs, and the Role of Libraries. The session is organised by the Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, the Information Literacy Section and the SIG on Indigenous Matters.
Subjects for this three hour session include: How do we identify the needs of multicultural population in the field of the information literacy? How can librarians, through information literacy programs, help develop understanding and tolerance for cultural diversity? How have you overcome obstacles to introducing information literacy strategies among cultural diverse societies? What are the benefits of offering information literacy programs to diverse populations and which strategies have worked best in your library? What unique or interesting ways have libraries reached out to diverse communities to provide information literacy?
Proposals should include an abstract of paper (approximately 500 words) and a summary of the author(s)' details (name, institution, position) and brief biographical statement of no more than 50 words.
Submit proposals electronically to by 25 January 2011 and put “IFLA proposal” in the subject line. For more information, please contact Stephen Stratton ( or Zuza Wiorogórska (
Photo by Sheila Webber: Helicopter, light and branches, December 2010

Librarian "TeachMeet"

There is a free Librarian TeachMeet at the University of Huddersfield, UK, 14.00 -16.30 on 9 February 2011. "This will be a really informal opportunity for librarians who teach to get together to share tips and experiences. If you come, be prepared to give a short (5 min at most) talk to share an aspect of your teaching. There will be "speed dating" to share tips and a lucky dip of teaching goodies to rummage through for inspiration." Go to or for more information and email if you want to attend.
Photo by Sheila Webber

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Exploring information literacy on Infolit iSchool

In this 5 minute video (produced a few days ago) I introduce some of the places on Infolit iSchool (in Second Life, a trademark of Linden Lab) where you can learn more about what information literacy means to you and to others.

Teaching LIS Students to Teach: An “Unconference” Session at ALA conference

I think this is only of use to people going to the American Library Association conference (January 7-11 2011). Teaching LIS Students to Teach: An “Unconference” Session is on 7 January 2011 in San Diego, USA. It is a session aimed at people (like me) who leach library and information students how to teach information literacy. It is facilitated by James Elmborg, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Megan Oakleaf, and Melissa Wong.
I have been teaching the Education for Information Literacy module for the first time this semester here in Sheffield (and we do cover teaching aspects in a coupleof other modules, notably Educational Informatics), but I won't be able to get to San Diego, unfortunately...
Photo by Sheila Webber: Canwatch is over

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

50 library/information blogs

I was contacted by someone from the Master of Library Science blog to say that I had been included in a list of 50 excellent library science blogs. A quick scan showed that their blog is essentially a promotional tool to publicise some online masters degrees, mainly in the IT/Education field. Still, it is quite a nice list of blogs, so I will go ahead and publicise it ;-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

UK Information Literacy Practitioner of the Year 2011

The Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) has announced that the call for nominations for the Information Literacy Practitioner of the Year 2011 award (offered by the CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group) is now open. They welcome nominations from individuals in all sectors. Individuals may self-nominate or may be nominated by a colleague. The award is open to all IL practitioners working within the United Kingdom. The closing date is 28th February 2011. For full information on the nomination process see:
Photo by Sheila Webber: University of Sheffield, last week

Promoting Information Literacy for end users

The TFPL course Promoting Information Literacy for end users is run by Elisabeth Goodmanon 10th March 2011 in London, UK (£350)

Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education

The latest issue of the Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education (volume 2 no. 1, 2010) is a special issue containing informative abstracts of papers (in Norwegian) from the conference held in Stavanger 2010, focusing on IL in higher education. It can be accessed at
Rune Brandshaug, Hege Faber, Almuth Gastinger, Tove Knutsen : Fagreferentenes rolle under nye rammebetingelser
Pål Magnus Lykkja: Samarbeids- og innovasjonskultur i fagbiblioteket
Tove Rullestad, Anne Sissel Vedvik Tonning: Fagreferentens rolle
Mariann Løkse: Undervisning i informasjonskompetanse: Hva gjør vi og hva synes studentene?
Eystein Gullbekk, Maria-Carme Torras: Det nasjonale kvalifikasjonsrammeverket: muligheter og utfordringer for bibliotekets undervisning
Susanne Mikki : Bibliometri og forskningsstatistikk ved Universitetsbiblioteket i Bergen
Jan Engh: Elektronisk sikring?
Hege Faber, Solveig I. Taylor: Er søking i google nok?
Ellen Nierenberg: En liten høyskole som tenker stort: tiltak mot fusk og plagiat ved Høgskolen i Hedmark
Sigrid Gimse: Business information literacy: informasjonskompetanse ved Handelshøyskolen BI
Alexandra Angeletaki: Which educational role can Libraries play in a University learning environment?
Tone Gadmar: Å lære å kommunisere vitenskap: et innblikk i et masterkurs ved kjemi ved universitetet i Oslo. Utfordringer og erfaringer
Hege Folkestad: Modulbaserte kurs for PhD-studentar ved Matematisk-naturvitskapleg fakultet, UiB
Solveig Greve: Hva med de gjenstridige dokumentene? Fagreferentrollen i spesialsamlinger
Ingunn Rødland: Fagreferenten – arbeidsoppgaver og forventninger
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield University under the snow 10 days ago.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blakeman and Bradley on search, at Online 2010

I always recommend Karen Blakeman's and Phil Bradley's websites etc. as they are expert information people who keep up-to-date and share valuable advice and news. They were both speaking at the Online 2010 conference in London last week and have presentations on Slideshare:
Phil Bradley: Presentation with audio commentary on social media search at
Karen Blakeman has two presentations (slides only, but packed with information):
Google’s New Search Features: has it gone too far? and The challenges of finding quality business information in a rapidly changing world
Photo by Sheila Webber: Playing in the snow last week

Thursday, December 09, 2010

7 Things you should know about Android

I'm blogging this since I didn't even know one thing about Android, but I see Android is being used for various library apps e.g. by Peter Godwin. This is a new white paper from EDUCAUSE in their "7 Things" series. I now know that "Android is a Linux-based, open-source operating system designed for use on cell phones, e-readers, tablet PCs, and other mobile devices."
EDUCAUSE. (2010) 7 Things you should know about Android. Educause.
Photo by Sheila Webber: status report on my watering can

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New issue of Journal of Information Literacy

Volume 4, Number 2 (2010) of the Journal of Information Literacy, open access at
There are book reviews plus the articles:
- Susie Andretta: Looking at the evidence: reflections on the need for, and impact of, Information Literacy Education (ILE)
- Consolata Angello: The awareness and use of electronic information sources among livestock researchers in Tanzania
- Jeanne M. Brown, Carrie Gaxiola. Why would they try: motivation and motivating in low-stakes information skills testing.
- Elizabeth Gadd, Andrew Baldwin, Michael Norris: The citation behaviour of Civil Engineering students
- Stephanie Rosenblatt: They can find it but they don't know what to do with it: describing the use of scholarly literature by undergraduate students
- Jodi Tyron, Emily Elizabeth Frigo, Mary Kathleen O'Kelly: Using faculty focus groups to assess information literacy core competencies at a university level
- Ned Fielden, Mira Foster: Crossing the Rubricon: evaluating the Information Literacy instructor
- Daniel Beck: The role of Information Literacy in the provision of virtual reference services at the enquiry desk.
Photo by Sheila Webber: trees around St Mary's church, Hailsham, November 2010.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Reference Services Review latest issue

Volume 39 issue 1 (2011) of Reference Services Review is available in preview online
- Jennifer Hoyer: Information is Social: Information Literacy in Context
- Michelle Kathleen Dunaway, Teague Orblych: Formative Assessment: Transforming Information Literacy Instruction
- Sarah Park, Lori Mardis, Connie Jo Ury: I’ve Lost My Identity - Oh, There It Is... in a Style Manual: Teaching Citation Styles and Academic Honesty
- Andrea G Stanfield,Anne C Barnhart: When Coming to Campus Is Not an Option: Using Web Conferencing to Deliver Library Instruction
- Brook Stowe: "I Can't Find Anything": Towards Establishing a Continuum in Curriculum--Integrated Library Instruction
- Yvonne Mery, Jill Newby, Ke Peng: Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Locally Developed Information Literacy Test Items
- Cynthia M. Akers: ESULA: Changing Perceptions of the Academic Library through Student Activism
- Nancy Snyder Gibson,Christina Chester-Fangman: Librarian’s Role in Combating Plagiarism
- Scott Collard, Kara M. Whatley: Virtual Reference/Query Log Pairs: a window onto user need
- David Ward: Expanding the reference vocabulary: a methodology for applying Bloom’s Taxonomy to increase instruction in the reference interview.

Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn trees, Hailsham, November 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

Informe APEI sobre alfabetización informacional

Earlier in the year the Asociación Profesional de Especialistas en Información published a free 100 page book about information literacy, concepts and models, competencies needed by librarians etc. It is in Spanish.
Calderón Rehecho, Andoni . (2010) Informe APEI sobre alfabetización informacional. Asociación Profesional de Especialistas en Información.
"The purpose of this report is to analyze the concepts related to information literacy (IL), introducing its main norms and standards, discuss issues on the evaluation and marketing of information and provide resources to have all the necessary information to know what the Information Literacy and how it can be implemented in libraries."
"El objetivo de este informe es analizar los conceptos relacionados con la alfabetización informacional (ALFIN), exponer sus principales normas y modelos, analizar cuestiones sobre evaluación y marketing de información, así como ofrecer recursos para disponer de toda la información necesaria para conocer en qué consiste la ALFIN y cómo se puede poner en práctica en bibliotecas."
Photo by Sheila Webber: another view of the igloo, today.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Information Literacy feeds

I am starting to reconstruct my page of information literacy feeds from blogs etc. at I've got about 20 feeds so far (in English, Spanish, one in Swedish & English and one each in German and Polish) and will be adding more. Feel free to suggest feeds to go on it.
Photo by Sheila Webber: someone made an igloo (about 5 feet high) at the end of the road! It has survived the thaw so far.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

What information literacy means to our future careers

Event in the virtual world, Second Life, on Wednesday December 8th 12 noon SLT (8pm UK time, see for times elsewhere): What information literacy means to our future careers. This takes on Infolit iSchool in Second Life You need a SL avatar and the SL browser on your computer to participate. I will talk about an exercise with Masters students which involves them in creating posters about how they feel information literacy will be useful to them in their future careers, including displaying some of the posters. There are about 90 students in the class this year, with a majority of students from outside the UK. I did a short blog post about the exercise here. This session will be in text chat. The picture shows the venue for the presentation/discussion.

Friday, December 03, 2010

WILU Final Call for Proposals

December 17th is the deadline for proposals fr the 2011 Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU) 2011, Learning Under Living Skies, June 1-3, 2011 (in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada). For information about WILU go to To submit proposals so to You may also submit your proposal directly by email following these instructions
Photo by Sheila Webber: Seated snowman, yesterday

Thursday, December 02, 2010

InfoRM tutorial

An information literacy tutorial mentioned in a recent posting on the lis-infoliteracy list is InfoRM Information Research Modules, a much revised version of the TILT (Texas Information Literacy) tutorial. It is used as a basis for a credit bearing class at Liberty University, USA:
Photo by Sheila Webber: my watering can this morning (cf 2 previous pictures). Fortunately I don't see a need to use it anytime soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

First Wednesday IL discussion on Facebook

Later today is the Science Information Literacy Wiki First Wednesday IL discussion on Facebook (it's at 2pm USA Eastern time, which is 7pm here in the UK), sponsored by the ACRL Science and Technology Section's Information Literacy Committee. "To join the discussion, logon to Facebook and search for Science Information Literacy Wiki, then go to the SILW page Discussions tab. Today's discussion will be a Post-Thanksgiving Feast of thankful tips and tricks ... Please, share your bright ideas or just come and learn from others." The actual wiki is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Snowman deciding whether to sit down, taken yesterday.

Media and Information Literacy resource

Andrew Whitworth has announced an interesting open educational resource, based on material that he uses on the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education at Manchester University "This resource was developed as a collaboration between the School of Education and John Rylands University Library at the University of Manchester, and funded by the Higher Education Academy (Information and Computer Science subject centre)." "The original course was written by Andrew Whitworth (see links below). The conversion took place with the help of Steven McIndoe and Ian Fishwick of the John Rylands University Library, and Clare Whitworth, who worked to convert the Moodle materials." The Media and Information Literacy for Postgraduate researchers resource has an introduction, and the rest of it has used Bruce, Edwards & Lupton's Six frames of information literacy for the focus of the learning materials.
Photo by Sheila Webber: watering can yesterday (cf previous photo). Today you can't actually see it under the snow.