Thursday, March 31, 2011

London TeachMeet 20th June

There will be a librarian TeachMeet on 20 June 2011 at the University of Westminster, London, UK. TeachMeets are informal exchanges of experience, and participation is free. "We will have five-minute micro-presentations and two-minute nano presentations given by volunteers. Hopefully there will also be a chance for all attendees to join in discussions. Any ideas you have for the TeachMeet are more than welcome ... Presentations can be about anything to do with the teaching you are doing." For more information and to book a place, go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Golden daffodils, Open University, March 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PhD studentship at Sheffield Information School

If you have thought about doing a full or part time PhD, then I would alert you to this competitive opportunity in my department, deadline for applications 13th May. It is open to people considering any topic supervised in the Information School, but I am posting it here on the blog since I hope we might get a strong proposal in the information literacy or information behaviour field ;-)
I personally am also interested in supervising dissertations in the educational informatics area, but obviously anyone in the School can be a supervisor. You are free to discuss your proposal with a potential supervisor (including me, before submitting an application. This studentship is open to European Union (including UK) nationals only.

Details at

"Sheffield University Information School is inviting applications from UK/EU nationals for an MPhil/PhD Fee Scholarship. There is 1 scholarship available to a suitably qualified UK/EU national to undertake MPhil/PhD research within the Information School. The Scholarship will cover the full UK/EU Tuition Fees for 3 years for Full Time students, or 6 years for Part Time students, from the initial date of registration. Applicants should note that there is no maintenance award associated with this Fee Scholarship.
Applicacants will be assessed on the following criteria:
- academic success and qualification (for example success in academic competitions, awards and/or previous assessment);
- research experience of candidate (for example evidence of publications);
- well articulated research question(s), which emphasises the importance of the research to be undertaken;
- an outline of research methods which shows awareness of the need for timely completion;
- good match with supervisor expertise and departmental research portfolio as well as department's research strategy.
Along with your application form, you should also provide 2 academic references, your academic transcripts and your research proposal."
The closing date for applications is 3:00pm on Friday, May 13th 2011."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanic Gardens, March 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Access to government information

On 2 May 2011, the National Forum on Information Literacy will host, at the U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C., USA, a symposium on Access to government information, including transparency and Wikileaks. Dr Li Wang, Learning Services Manager at the University of Auckland Library, New Zealand, will also be a lunchtime speaker. Registration Fee: $35.00. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Camellia, March 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Embedding information literacy: from strategy to practice

A YUISG event on April 13 2011, University of Bradford, UK. "Librarians and academics from a variety of universities will describe the development of their information literacy strategies and show you how they have successfully put them into practice."
Speakers on Information literacy strategies include Michelle Schneider (University of Leeds), Fiona Middleton (Leeds Metropolitan University) and Peter Gledhill (Sheffield Hallam University). Case studies of effective collaborations include peakers Erin Nephin and Belinda Cooke (Leeds Metropolitan University), Dan Pullinger (University of Leeds) and Sarah George (University of Bradford). To attend, please contact Anne Costigan, Life Sciences Librarian, University of Bradford,
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield city centre, today.

Draft Information Literacy Framework for Wales

A draft Information Literacy Framework for Wales has been posted, and is open for consultation and comment. It provides a framework mapped onto the levels of the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Mossy drystone wall, Bakewell, March 2011.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WILU registration opens

Registration is now open for Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU) 2011 – Learning Under Living Skies. This will be held on June 1-3, 2011 in Regina, Saskatchewan. This is the major Canadian information literacy conference, and it always has an interesting programme. They say "Over the decades, WILU has grown to encompass all aspects of library instruction and librarians as educators. Traditionally WILU has focused primarily on the academic librarian, however this year we have made an effort to branch out and include school and public librarians in the conversation too."
Programme at
Register by April 15 for Early Bird discount. Registration closes on May 16.
More registration information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Chestnut leaves start to unfurl, Bakewell, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Information Literacy State-of-the Art Report: Colombia

A new "State of the Art" of information literacy report has been published. This is part of the series prepared for the IFLA Information Literacy section, and it is available in Spanish and in English. This one is on information literacy in Colombia and it reports on developments in libraries and universities on this subject, and publications and research that have been carried out in recent years.
Alejandro Uribe Tirado and Leonardo Machett's Penagos. Information Literacy State-of-the Art Report - Colombia (Spanish)
Thanks to Alejandro Uribe Tirado for alerting me to this.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Forsythia, Sheffield, March 2011

EBLIP programme

The programme for the sixth Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP6) Conference to be held in Salford, UK, June 27-30 2011, has been published. The conference includes sessions on information literacy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Violets, Bakewell, March 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Protecting public library legislation #savelibrarie

For UK readers: the Government has put up a consultation about a huge raft of legislation which it claims may be "burdensome" to Local Authorities: asking what should be kept and what ditched. This includes an alarming quantity of valuable legislation, including the legislation that says that local governments have to provide an adequate public library service. You have to give the reference number of the legislation and say why you think it should be kept or removed. The consultation closes on 25 April and is here: The key ones for libraries are:
Reference number: DCMS_027 [This is the reference number you fill in at the start of the questionnaire]
Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Section 7
Duty: To provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. In fulfilling this duty, must have particular regard to the matters in s7(2)
Function: Secure provision of local library services

Reference number: DCMS_026
Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Section 1(2)
Duty: To provide information and facilities for the inspection of library premises, stocks, records, as the Secretary of State requires.
Function: Necessary for Secretary of State to fulfil (requirement) to superintend library service [i.e. DCMS_27]

Reference number: DCMS_028
Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 Section 11
Duty: Supplemental provisions as to transfers of officers, assets and liabilities
Function: Provisions provide, for example, continuity of employment for transferring employees. This secures consistency across library transfers etc and in line with other local authority employment legislation
Photo by Sheila Webber: Daffodils, Sheffield, March 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Children's Digital literacy and safety skills

Published on 18 March was a new report from the EU Kids online project, Digital literacy and safety skills. "Children’s digital skills were assessed by asking 25,000 European 9-16 year old internet users about their online activities, skills and self-efficacy. The range of digital skills and online activities are linked. But many younger (11-13 year old) children lack key critical and safety skills. Also, skills are unequally distributed by socio-economic status. Developing safety skills may encourage other skills, and more skills are associated with more activities online. So, teaching children to be safer need not curtail and may even encourage online opportunities." The short report is at and the project website is
Photo by Sheila Webber: Crocuses in Botanic Gardens, Sheffield, March 2011

International Workshop on Information Literacy Development in the School Sector

There is an International Workshop on Information Literacy Development in the School Sector taking place at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, on 8 June 2011. "The Workshop aim is to discuss goals, strategies, models and methods of the Information Literacy (IL) development in the school learning sector. The starting point for the discussion will be selected examples of the appriopriate IL good practices in the education systems in Europe and existing Information Literacy standards for schools of different levels
and types. There is more information at
This is part of the EMPATIC (Empowering Autonomous Learning Through Information Competencies) project. This will "create a framework for the effective exploitation of the results of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) and related programmes relating to Information Literacy. Its main aims are to: improve current perceptions among policy makers in Europe regarding the role, value and implementability of Information Literacy in learning; and to pave the way for the extended piloting and eventual mainstreaming of information competencies in all levels of education and their integration in the reform of curriculum frameworks. There is more information about EMPATIC here in English and here in Polish.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spring in Sheffield, March 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recent articles

Lumsden, E., McBryde-Wilding, H. and Rose, H. (2010) "Collaborative practice in enhancing the first year student experience in Higher Education." Enhancing the Learner Experience in Higher Education, 2(1), 12-24.
Eckerdal, J.R. (2011). "To jointly negotiate a personal decision: a qualitative study on information literacy practices in midwifery counselling about contraceptives at youth centres in Southern Sweden." Information Research, 16(1) paper 466.
Chu, S. K. W., Chow, K. & Tse, S. K. (2011). "Developing Hong Kong primary school students' information literacy and IT skills through collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL [project based learning]." Library & Information Science Research, (in press, preprint).
Photo by Sheila Webber: early daffs, Sheffield

Friday, March 18, 2011

Virtual Worlds best Practices in Education Conference

Today and tomorrow I (and some of my students) are attending the Virtual Worlds best Practices in Education Conference (VWBPE) which is free and takes place in Second Life, the virtual world. There are a huge number of sessions, with presentations, tours etc. You need to have a SL avatar and the browser installed on your computer to participate.
If you are in the UK, at the moment we are 7 hours ahead of SL time (e.g. 04.00 SLT is 11am UK time). The schedule (giving times in SL time) is on the website.
There is one report on the first day here:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Communications in Information Literacy

Volume 4, number 2 (2010) of Communications in Information Literacy has just been published. The full text is open access.
- Teaching Matters: A Panel Critique of Budd’s Framing Library Instruction and the Author’s Rejoinder by Patrick P. Ragains pp112-128
- Why Information Literacy Is Invisible by William Badke pp129-141
- Expect (and Collect) a Response From Everyone in the Classroom by Karen Bronshteyn pp 142-144
- Information Literacy, Collaboration, and Teacher Education by Cindy Kovalik, Mary Lee Jensen, Barbara Schloman, and Mary Tipton pp145-169
- Source Evaluation and Information Literacy: Findings from a Study on Science Websites by Nora J. Bird, Claire R. McInerney, and Stewart Mohr pp170-191
- “Clicking” with your audience: Evaluating the use of personal response systems in library instruction by Emily K. Chan, Lorrie A. Knight pp192-201
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bird and blossom, March 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Always Connected: The new digitial media habits of young children

Just published, a new study "We reviewed seven recent studies — several never before released — about young children and their ownership and use of media. By focusing on very young children and analyzing multiple studies over time, we were able to arrive at a new, balanced portrait of children’s media habits. We also introduce portraits of children’s digital media use from a smaller qualitative study conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center to add some tint and texture to the quantitative findings." Note that the study was co-sponsored by the Sesame Workshop, so the Workshop's activities are mentioned more than once.
Gutnick, A.L. et al. (2011) Always Connected: The new digitial media habits of young children. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blossom on the old wall (photoshopped), Blackheath, March 2011.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Call for material relevant to Labour Market Literacy

Christine Irving has been approached by a group which aims to define Labour Market Intelligence Literacy, and identify ways to support and develop it. Christine has introduced them to the CILIP definition of information literacy, but they are seeking material which is more specifically related to their field. Christine writes that she is "looking for material to help their target audience acquire the IL skills and competences in connection with Labour Market Intelligence. I am aware of the OU iKnow material ( which would help but I didn't know if anyone has created bespoke material or resources for Labour Market Intelligence." If anyone knows about material supporting development of information literacy with regard to Labour Market Intelligence data/information, databases and or resources could you please contact Christine (christine.irving8@GOOGLEMAIL.COM)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spring blossom, Blackheath, March 2011

Mobile IL

Andrew Walsh gave a presentation Mobile Information Literacy: Mobilising existing models? at the Handheld Librarian conference last month. The presentation is available:
Walsh, A. (2011) "Mobile Information Literacy: Mobilising existing models?" In: Handheld Librarian 4, 23rd - 24th Feb 2011.
Thanks to Robin Ashford who alerted me to this in her post
Photo by Sheila Webber: Forsythia, Hailsham, February 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011


Last week two of my PhD students successfully completed their vivas! Shahd Salha has done a phenomenographic investigation into Syrian school librarians' conceptions of information literacy. She undertook two phases of interview and analysis, one before and one some months after a training course that she conducted. Shahd is shown in the first picture after her viva, with the External Examiner Bill Johnston and Internal Examiner Nigel Ford (as supervisor I just have to sit quiet in the viva).
Eva Hornung also used the phenomenographic approach to investigate Irish solo librarians' conceptions of Continuing Professional Development. Solo librarians are people who are the only librarian in their organisation. Her External Examiner was Dorothy Williams (second right) and Eva is far left. Congratulations to them both, and I will be blogging about their work more.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blogging review

A review of research articles (published up to 2009) about blogging.
Larsson, A. and Hrastinki, S. (2011) "Blogs and blogging: Current trends and future directions." First Monday, 16(3).

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

International women's day & Media and Information Literacy

Today is International Women's Day. UNESCO launched the 2011 edition of Women Make the News, "a global initiative aimed at promoting gender equality in the media ... The theme for this year, Media and Information Literacy and Gender, aims to improve understanding about gender perspectives in the media and information systems."
In particular UNESCO is asking for people to contribute their stories about using Media and Information Literacy (MIL) to raise awarness about gender and equality issues. I think the idea is that media organisations should show how they address the issue, and also that part of MIL education should be sensitivity to gender issues when evaluating information and news. "... share your thoughts on how MIL can help women and men understand gender equality and to challenge the media to address this issue. Are you promoting or do you have plans to promote MIL in your media organization? How are you doing this? Do you think MIL can help to address gender equality? What programmes or activities have you implemented in your countries and communities? What were some of your challenges? How did you involve the media, women and men? What are some of the creative ways you have used MIL to mainstream gender issues?"
This is the website for Women Make the news (it has a link to contribute your story, on the right side of the page):
MIL is defined (in the Guidelines for broadcasters on promoting user-generated content and Media and Information Literacy (p10) as "the ability to ‘interpret and make informed judgments as users of information and media, as well as to become skilful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right’"
Picture: International Women's Day on Minerva island, in Second Life

Teachmeet at Liverpool University

The University of Liverpool is hosting a Librarian TeachMeet on 26 May 2011, 10-13.00 (including lunch). "This will be a really informal opportunity for librarians who teach to get together to share tips, experiences and good practice. If you come, be prepared to give a short (5 min at most) talk to share an aspect of your teaching. There will an opportunity to network with colleagues." Places limited to 25. More details at

Monday, March 07, 2011

Ofcom Media Literacy Bulletin

The February 2011 edition of the Ofcom Media Literacy Bulletin is online, with news about research and events (the emphasis is on digital media literacy and internet literacy). Ofcom is the UK's communications regulator. If you are in the UK, and have a media literacy event or news item, it is worth emailing them, for them to mention it, as well as keeping track of the bulletin for news.
Photo by Sheila Webber: New nettles, Hailsham, March 2011

Saturday, March 05, 2011

"World" book day

The real world book day is on 23rd April, but the UK has its book day in March (mainly for commercial reasons, as otherwise it is a rather flat time for book sales) and rather grandiously calls it "World Book Day". The "Day" was on the 3rd March, but tonight (5th March) is "World Book Night" and there are various celebrations (readings, special TV programmes etc.) as well as books being given away. The website is at and includes some information on setting up reading groups, inviting authors to schools etc.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Early blossom, Hailsham, March 2011

Friday, March 04, 2011

UNESCO commissions survey on media and information literacy among teachers

A press release, dated 3rd March, on the UNESCO site states that they have "commissioned a survey on media and information literacy levels of teachers in Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The outcomes of the research will serve as an indication of the need for media and information literacy (MIL) training for teachers and will inform the adaptation of the Model MIL Curriculum for Teachers." The Media and Information Literacy brochure is here and the press release is here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Student election placards, March 2011. This reminded me of the information management and information literacy guru, Forest Woody Horton.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

cfp Indiana Libraries on IL in science or healthcare

Indiana Libraries invites submission of original short articles "by librarian authors from Indiana and beyond ... The journal issue will focus on the development and delivery of successful information literacy instruction for students of the sciences or health care. Length will vary according to the needs of the author. Case studies or anecdotal accounts are welcome but reference to a solid pedagogical framework should form the basis for analyzing the success of the instruction." Guest editor is Maribeth Slebodnik, Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist, Purdue University Libraries, USA. Draft articles will be accepted until May 1, 2011. Information about Indiana Libraries and instructions to authors at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Alder catkins, March 2011

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Media Literacy

A news story by Donnelly (2011) published last week on the Center for Social Media website aims to summarise some issues around media literacy, and in particular draws on a report, Digital and media literacy: a plan of action, (Hobbs, 2010) "A White Paper on the Digital and Media Literacy recommendations of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy". I have only skimmed the Hobbs report in a superficial way, but (unsurprisingly) it does engage with the subject in a more thoughtful way than is possible in Donnelly's brief article (in particular Hobbs doesn't do the irritating thing of implying that media literacy is a broader field encompassing information literacy). However, the Donnelly article is useful for summarising issues and providing some interesting links.
The Hobbs report includes recommendations for numerous stakeholders, including the President of the USA, youth groups ... and librarians.

- Donnelly, K (2011) Special Public Media 2.0 Showcase Series on Digital and Media Literacy. Center for Social Media. Interestingly for something on media literacy, there is nothing on this web page that gives a date for the article, but the home page dates it 24 February ;-)
- Hobbs, R. (2010) Digital and media literacy: a plan of action. Washington: The Aspen Institute.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield University campus, February 2011.

High profile plagiarism example

"German Defence Minister Guttenberg resigns over thesis": the headline says it all. My colleague Professor Peter Willett is going to be using this example with our Masters level research methods class, to show that plagiarism can be a time bomb even if you don't get detected at the time!
BBC. (2011) "German Defence Minister Guttenberg resigns over thesis." BBC News. 1st March

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Latest issue of Reference Services Review

Volume 39, Issue 1, 2011 of Reference Services Review (priced journal, abstracts here: includes:
- Information is social: information literacy in context by Jennifer Hoyer (pp. 10 - 23)
- Formative assessment: transforming information literacy instruction by Michelle Kathleen Dunaway, Michael Teague Orblych (pp. 24 - 41)
- I've lost my identity – oh, there it is … in a style manual: Teaching citation styles and academic honesty by Sarah Park, Lori A. Mardis, Connie Jo Ury (pp. 42 - 57)
- When coming to campus is not an option: using web conferencing to deliver library instruction by Anne C. Barnhart, Andrea G. Stanfield (pp. 58 - 65)
- Inside the iPod, outside the classroom by Susan Mikkelsen, Sara Davidson (pp. 66 - 80)
- “I can't find anything”: Towards establishing a continuum in curriculum-integrated library instruction by Brook Stowe (pp. 81 - 97)
- Assessing the reliability and validity of locally developed information literacy test items by Yvonne Mery, Jill Newby, Ke Peng (pp. 98 - 122)
- The librarian's role in combating plagiarism by Nancy Snyder Gibson, Christina Chester-Fangman (pp. 132 - 150)
- Expanding the reference vocabulary: A methodology for applying Bloom's taxonomy to increase instruction in the reference interview by David Ward (pp. 167 - 180)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Guardians at the window (the chihuahua was bouncing up and down barking, the lab looked more relaxed), Glasgow, February 2011

Call for info on school information literacy assessment

Helen Boelens has put out a request "for information about or links to information literacy assessment tools which have been developed by librarians, school leaders or teachers to assess the information literacy of pupils in primary, secondary or upper secondary schools. Documents in English and other languages would be useful. A group from ENSIL (European Network for School Libraries and Information Literacy) and the SLO (Foundation for Curriculum Development) in the Netherlands are working on the development of an assessment and would like to review the efforts which have been made by other colleagues. Also any information or links to assessment tools which can be used to judge the information literacy skills of teachers would be appreciated." Contact her at
Photo by Sheila Webber: students election placard, February 2011