Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Facebook articles

Not totally new, but I just came acroos this item:
Baran, B. (2010) "Facebook as a formal instructional environment." British Journal of Educational Technology, 41 (6), E146–E149.
This has a brief evaluation of an intervention using Facebook as the focus for a class, including for assessment. There was positive feedback from students on a number of aspects, although some felt that it wasn't appropriate as a site for asssessment, and a small minority thought it wasn't appropriate for a teacher to have a social Facebook profile.
Some other items which are cited (I haven't looked at them) are:
- Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J. & Hooley, T. (2009). "Facebook, social integration and informal learning at University: it is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work." Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141–155.
- Selwyn, N. (2009). "Faceworking: exploring students' education-related use of Facebook." Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 157–174.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Forth Bridge, June 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WILU 2011 presentations

Presentations from the Canadian Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU) annual conference (held June 1-3, 2011) are being added to the website. Ones already there include:
- DO Get Technical! Using Technology in Library Instruction
- Harnessing New Tools to Provide Quality Instruction through Chat Reference.
- Engaging High School Students in Library Instruction: 10 Tips for Success
- Mobile Technology and Learning: Information Literacy Beyond the Classroom
- Showcasing Undergraduate Research: The Role of the Instruction Librarian
Photo by Sheila Webber: view from Forth Road Bridge, June 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

RIN consultation

The RIN information-handling working group are seeking views on the Researcher Development Framework / SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy mapping that they have been working on. They have set out a short consultation document on the RIN website, at and they welcome feedback by 15th July.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

SL Journal club 29 June 12 noon SL time

The next meeting of the journal club in Second Life, the virtual world, will be on Wednesday June 29 2011, at 12 noon SL time (8pm UK time, see for times elsewhere). We will be discussing:
Webber, S., Boon, S. and Johnston, B. (2005) "A comparison of UK academics' conceptions of information literacy in two disciplines: English and Marketing." Library and Information Research, 29 (93), 4-1.
Questions for discussion will include: have you observed differences in the information literacy of students and faculty in different disciplines?
This is a one hour session, with a short introduction in voice, and discussion in text chat. The location is : (you need a SL avatar and the SL browser installed on your computer, to attend). There will be a short orientation session for people who haven't used SL before, at 9am SL time (5pm UK time) at the same location on the same date.
A Centre for Information Literacy Research event

Supporting researchers using Information Literacy

Supporting researchers using Information Literacy is a half-day event on 11 July, hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), Scotland, and sponsored by the CSG Information Literacy Group
This is a free event but places are limited. To book a place contact Heather Marshall:
12.10-12.30 Registration, coffee and biscuits
12.30-3.00 Prof. Sheila Corall and Ruth Stubbings: Workshop: Using the Researcher Development Framework to Develop Postgraduate Information Literacy
3.00-3.30 coffee break
3.30-4.30 Aileen Breen: Bibliometrics support for the research community: the experience of 4 Irish University libraries collaboratively producing a suite of Open Access reusable learning objects
Photo by Sheila Webber: Verbena "peach melba", June 2011

Project: Deep Critical Information Behaviour

Professor Nigel Ford and I presented some basics about this project, funded by the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council, for which Nigel is Principal Investigator. The project blog is at (at the moment it doesn't have much more than the powerpoint, but you may want to keep track of it)
This presentation was given by Professor Nigel Ford (Nigl Forder in Second Life) and Sheila Webber (Sheila Yoshikawa in SL) on 13 June 2011 in the virtual world, Second Life, on Sheffield University’s island, Infolit iSchool.

Friday, June 24, 2011

College students' advice to school leavers on IL

The Western New York Library Resources Council has a committee called "High School to College" which "is a collaborative network of Western New York high school and college librarians formed to investigate ways to ensure the continuation of information literacy skills between high school and college."
They have made a video in which new college students give advice to people leaving school about what you will need in terms of information literacy and study skills.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

i3 report: everyday information practice #i3_conference

Camilla Moring (pictured right) talked today about Studying information practice from a practice perspective: Outlining an analytical model of information practice, at the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen
She undertook an ethnographic study of sales assistants who had just started working for the Danish train company. Her theoretical base was the work of Etienne Wenger, with focus on situated practice and communities of practice (CoPs). Moring emphasised that the theory of CoPs was really an analytical tool (rather than a management tool!) She talked about issues of negotiation (e.g. negotiation of meaning in whether to follow or bend the rules about railway ticketing) and identity (with the idea of "trajectories of participation", identity developing through time and through engagement with communities).
There were a number of interesting findings presented, but just to pick out part of this, Moring identified four focus points in development of the newcomers' information practice. These were about the participants:
- asking (which provided information about rules),
- observing practice (so they learnt sales behaviour and locally negotiated ways of doing things),
- overhearing conversations (learning norms and values) and
- seeking printed and electronic information resources (to explore possible identities as salepersons, and keeping track of news to keep up-to-date).
As I said, there was a lot more of interest in this presentation, including the diagram you get a glimpse of, above, I will add any links I find about her research.

i3 report: Forensic and Archaeological Human Identification #i3_conference

Caroline Wilkinson gave a keynote on Forensic and Archaeological Human Identification: Information Processing and Presentation at the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen
She talked about recognition of people from human remains; what it was easier or reconstruct and what was more difficult. A lot of changes happen to a body immediately after death (apparently 10% of dead bodies in the 2004 tsunami were mis-recognised by relatives) and once you are reduced to bones or have decomposed further, the extent to which you can recognise or reconstruct will depend on various factors (e.g. gender is easier to judge from the fast once someone is past childhood and before they get ). Wilkinson gave some interesting insights into the extent to which faces can be reconstructed (for the purposes of publicising the reconstruction, so a body can be identified by the member of the public). Things like skin texture, modifications, weight changes, and habitual expressions can make faces look very different, and cannot be identified from the skull alone. If the person doing the reconstructed picture gets these kinds of detail wrong, it can make the person more difficult to identify.
Sometimes the final image might be given an artistic effect, so that people get an impression and don't fix to much on the detail. Also, several variations could be provided: however what the police like is one photo-like issue.
Wilkinson contrasted this with the process of archeological reconstruction, where the purpose of reconstruction is normally different (e.g. giving people a vivid impression of the person in their times, rather getting an individual identified). She gave a couple of specific examples, including discussing reconstruction of the composer Bach's head.
There is a little news item about her from the bbc and she has written a book:
Wilkinson, C. (2004) Forensic Facial Reconstruction. Cambridge University Press. 978-0521820035
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wilkinson presenting, our first keynote speaker Eric Meyer taking notes and (I think) tweeting in the foreground).

i3 report: source credibility, and using wikipedia creation for IL #i3_conference

I chaired a session with two research papers involving Wikipedia yesterday at the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen It’s rude (I think) to blog and chair at the same time, so I’m relying on my notes and the abstracts. Firstly Helena Francke and Olof Sundin talked about New media in the classroom: Challenged notions and transformed practices?
New media here in particular means social media. This presentation drew on two pieces of research, one investigating teachers and librarians notions of credibility, and the other investigating students’ practice in making decisions about credibility. Previous studies have indicated that teaching credibility of information is a difficult issue.
The presenters had examined curriculum documents for upper secondary schools in Sweden (where they are based); aspects of IL are included in various subjects, including the pupils being required to search for and evaluate information in different media, so that the information could be used (e.g. to make arguments).
In their first research study, they had focus groups with 9 school librarians and 8 teachers, and six interviews. The participants expressed varying views of what a credible source was. Wikipedia was a source that there was a particularly wide variety of opinions about. For the second study, they undertook an ethnographic study of students gathering information for class projects in two Swedish schools ; sources of evidence were diaries from pupils (aged 17/18), documents, interviews, and observation.
The four notions of credibility which were discovered through their research were:
- Credibility as control of sources (stability, known author/publisher)
- Credibility as comparing sources (double-checking sources that are seen as doubtful; or checking facts: underlying this is an assumption that something is ok if found in two places)
- Credibility as relational and partial (credibility depending on the purpose and situation; a pragmatic view of web credibility, which requires knowledge of what kind of information is available on a topic);
- Credibility in multiplicity (which has the underlying idea that there are different perspectives on a topic, and many people contribute to provide a good picture of a subject)
All four notions of credibility were found, but the teachers and librarians focused primarily on control (for example, in their instructions for the task). In the blog dairies, there wasa tendency for students to record what they found where and how, rather than how they evaluated the sources.
Conclusions included: the difficulty in making information literacy a subject of teaching, that social media bring new challenges in judging credibility, and that the notion of control seems to dominate practices of credibility, a “discourse of control”. It was suggested that the four notions could be used as repertoire in teaching. It was also noted that teaching of information literacy will be dependent on the educator’s pedagogic approach in formulating the task.
Relevant references are:
- Francke, H., Sundin, O., and Limberg, L. (2011) "Debating credibility: The shaping of information literacies in upper secondary school", Journal of Documentation, 67(4) [an “earlycite” with no page numbers at time of writing].
- Sundin, O. and Francke, H. (2009)"In search of credibility: pupils' information practices in learning environments." Information Research, 14(4).

The second paper, by Eero Sormunen and Leeni Lehtiö (presented by Lehtiö ) was on Wikipedia articles as a genre for authentic learning-by-writing assignments. This was investigating several instances of using wiki article creation as a framework for IL instruction. Potential advantages included: that the form of Wikipedia articles is familiar to students; there is a real reason for writing, so students may pay more attention, and feel more responsibility to the reader, encouraging a high quality response. There were two pilot studies, in both of which the students were working in small groups over a period of 8 weeks to create wikipedia articles:
Pilot 1: 10 pupils (data was gathered through questionnaires and interviews either side of the activity, and non-participatory observation of students)
Pilot 2: 16 pupils (using the same methods, except replacing the observation – it had proved hard to be unobtrusive – with context inquiry interviews)
The researchers examined the number of sources used: there were 70, 13 of which were not referenced. The largest categories were: 26% government sources, 27% “communal” (e.g. organisations), 9% Wikipedia, 10% reference sources. The researchers checked 230 sentences to see whether pupils had plagiarised. They found 6% had been copied, 21% had minimal change, 30% had been rewritten, some were merged from (14%) single or (11%) multiple sources, 13% were direct translation, 4% edited translations of material not in Finnish.
From the data collected, pupils felt they had learnt about Wikipedia itself (the mechanics and process of how to write) and the appreciated the difficulty of good writing for Wikipedia. Pupils had learnt about their own Wikipedia topics, but not about other groups’ topics. They had also learnt about evaluation of sources (including English-language sources), copyright (e.g. though trying to get pictures for articles), and information seeking .
The pupils had been careful with use of information (one said he wouldn’t have been so careful if just giving it to the teacher) – using citations, verifying facts, and mostly avoiding copying. Thus the Wikipedia learning task did increase motivation & commitment; students worked on selecting sources (with relatively little word-for-word copying) and had relevant learning experiences
The main study for this research was carried out in April-May this year. They were studying a Wikipedia-article project in a literature class, and a project on history, creating an article to include in the school wiki. The data collection was the same as for the pilot but also included examining wiki material and pupils’ self-assessment and teachers’ assessments of the wiki material. This is part of the Know-ID project, and progress can be followed at
Photo by Sheila Webber: piper at the reception on Tuesday evening

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

i3 report: development of LIS research in the UK #i3_conference

Hazel Hall talked about Coalition and collaboration: supporting the development of LIS research in the UK, at the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen In particular, she was talking about the UK's Library and Information Science Research Coalition. Hall, who heads up the Coalition, started by outlining the history of research funding in the UK: after having some library & information-specific bodies, now the major funding body is the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which makes it difficult for non-academics to apply for research funding.
The idea of forming a new body emerged about 5 years ago, and this developed into the Library and Information Science Research Coalition. Some problems it strives to address are:
- identification of sources of funding,
- accessing previous research output (in contast to previous requirements to publish a substantial report from projects),
- practitioners who are not very engaged with other people's research and lack confidence in research skills,
- need to demonstrate impact of libararies, and get better at using non-tangible evidence,
- also there is an underlying belief that engaging with research can enhance practioners' job satisfaction etc. and enhance career progression and retention.

The research Coalition has funding for 3 years, with support from JISC, British Library, CILIP, MLA and the Research Information Network, and it was launched in 2009. Hall was keen to get more practitioner groups involved e.g. public librarians. There is a lot of information about the Coalition on its website (linked above) so I won't repeat too many basic details. In particular, Hall highlighted the resources about the 2010 conference, the events listing, the HEALER research toolkit, and their Twitter stream (an interesting sidenote is that Hall started by giving about whether she should be tweeted in her individual or organisational capacity (LISRC). She also talked about the DREAM (Developing Research Excellence and Methods) project
including the upcoming conference and the RiLIES (Research in Librarianship – Impact Evaluation) Project
Hall also mentioned the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, which is one of the ESRC-funded doctoral training centres (Sheffield University belongs to a regional consortium for this). They have succeeded in getting an information science pathway within this, which is an achievement, since normally it would just be the AHRC (rather than the ESRC) offering doctoral awards in the library and information field (that is how we get our awards in Sheffield).

i3 report: screening everyday health information literacy #i3_conference

Raimo Niemelä presented a paper, coauthored with colleagues, Designing a self-assessment tool for screening everyday health information literacy, today at i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen
A simple screening tool was needed to identify people who needed health information literacy counselling, as part of a wider health project involving hundreds of people.
They started with the definition of Health Information Literacy by the Medical Library Association, and from that developed the idea of Everyday health information literacy puts HIL in everyday life contexts, a "concept for studying layperson's general and non-professional abilities related to health information."
They developed a 10-item questionnaire, with questions like "It is difficult to get health information from printed sources", "Terms and sentences of health information are difficult to understand", "I apply health related information to my own life or those close to me" plus additional question asking what type of health related issues people had searched for and asking how people evaluated information.
They used this with a sample of 217 students 17-20 years, and found a normal distribution on the EHIL scores. Findings included that: there were gender differences, with females more interested in health information than males and using information from various sources. First year students were more likely to disagree with the statement that it was difficult to know who do believe in health issues than older students. Some broader constructs, such as "confidence" could be identified through analysis of responses. In terms of how the participants evaluated health information, authority of the writer or publisher was top, followed by sources from scientific research. Things like blogs and chat rated very low.
The interesting question for EHIL follow up was: what would be the key indicators of a need for EHIL counselling? From this initial pilot study, they decided they could reduce the questionnaire to key statements (likert scale, strongly disagree to strongly agree)
- I know where to seek health information
- It is easy to assess the reliabilityof health information on the internet
- Terms and sentences of health information are difficult to understand
- It is difficult to know who to believe in health issues
In discussion afterwards, the point was made (by researchers working in the health informationbehaviour field) that people may have a lot of information, but they may have a problem with (or reluctance to) contextextualising the information to their own situation and health. Also there was discussion around the gender differences (other studies have shown that females are higher users ofhealth information).
I'll be catching up with blog posts from yesterday, this afternoon, by the way.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Scottish dancing last night

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

i3 report: Exploring Undergraduates’ Information Worlds #i3_conference

Lisa M. Given and Heidi Julien (University of Alberta) talked about Exploring Undergraduates’ Information Worlds: Conceptualizing Information Literacy from the Ground Up, at the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen One of the goals of the study (which had other team members, including librarians) is to improve teaching of IL pedagogy in their library and information programme and they started by talking about current influences on librarians' teaching practice.
This study assesses skill development (in students in the final school years and post-school) and explores their "perceptions of how IL contributes to their academic engagement and success". This is looking at the transitional period which, I would add, is an increasing area of research interest. The focus in this research is on arts and social science students. The researchers wanted to assess students' preparation for study at university and then follow them through the first year of university study, although for practical reasons they had to use different university students (rather than following students from school to uni).
They used mixed methods:
- The "James Madison University Information Literacy Test" with more than 100 students.
- Audit of existing IL practice at Alberta University
- Qualitative study of new university students. After taking the IL test, they are using photovoice (students telling the story through photographs) and participating in focus groups.
In terms the Alberta context, a document Focus on Inquiry (2004) sets an inquiry based agenda for educators. The researchers also drew on the library's Libqual (library service quality) results, previous information literacy surveys, documentation, and eliciting student and librarian views on IL activity.
The result from the IL audit indicated that students value IL but are not aware of the support available. Although there were useful course and subject guides, it seemed they were not much used. There are IL courses, but they are targetting specific kinds of student or particular subject disciplines. A survey in 2009 had indicated that three quarters of the IL teaching was done as part of credit classes, not involving librarians.
In terms of the James Madison IL test results (this test is based on the ACRL standards) from this research project, Julien and Given reported that the results were "not encouraging" since it indicated that students were not very proficient. The strongest results were around ethical and legal issues of information.
Julien and Given presented some of the photographs from the student photovoices (they have not yet undertaken the focus groups). There was one of a student on the phone, one of a noticeboard, one of someone indicating bewilderment in library stacks, a photo of a clock, of a smartphone.
It was obviously too early for firm conclusions, but it was evident that students were arriving at university without well-developed skills (which means there is a gap between reality and the curricula mandate in the state). The upside was that this gave plenty of the University to develop skills with evidence-based pedagogy!
Photo by Sheila Webber: Civic reception last night

i3 report: Uncovering Information Literacy: mythology, myopia and movement #i3_conference

Ross Todd (Rutgers University) gave a keynote on Uncovering Information Literacy: mythology, myopia and movement at the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen He is Director of the Center for International Scholarship in School Librarianship. He gave a very stimulating talk, and I can only provide a glimpse of it.
He examined the 1989 ALA definition of the information literate person, and questioned whether it was something of a myth: could someone really conform with all these requirements, and was this "information literate person" really what information literacy was about?
Todd talked about information literacy "going global" in the 2000s e.g. with the Prague Declaration and the Alexandria proclamation, which indicated politicisation of IL, and bringing in a more humanist approach (positioning IL as a basic human right). At the same time there was the confusion about terms, and the issue of the extent to which IL was the same as, or overlapped with, various literacies or literacy itself.
He welcomed the discourse around the nature of information literacy, which was challenging and probing meaning and experiences of IL. However, the research seem to still consist of jigsaw pieces. He felt that there was a "terratorial battleground for intellectual possession" with competing or conflicting models, most of them not generated by research. Those models that there were, tended to be based on quite small scale pieces of research. There waso the issue that skills-based models were generally built on "assumption of well-formed statement of need".
So Todd advocated "getting beyond model mania" and engaging in constructive critique of each others' work. He wanted more meta-analysis of the research, to develop, collectively, a "formal theory of information literacy as an active experience", working towards a metatheory of information literacy. He also also critiqued a pedagogical approach where IL was treated as "a separate skills-based discipline", with finding information, rather than understanding it, being celebrated. Todd felt that more attention should be paid to information use, and sense making: both in terms of research to probe this area, and pedagogic approaches which engaged with it. He refreed to a couple of surveys of school librarians in the USA. In a recent one, of school librarians in New Jersey, there were "high umbers of collaborations with classroom teachers", but these collaborations did focus around finding and critically selecting infortmation (rather than using information, which can be the most challenging thing).
Todd also talked about a study by Kerr comparing academic librarians' espoused conceptions of IL, and actual practice of IL. The investigation was through examining IL tutorials and structured interviews, and she did find a gap between what was being said about IL (which included generating knowledge etc.) and what was being taught (which focused on searching. I will mention here that there is a good paper by Olaf Sundin, published some years ago, which analysed IL tutorials in a valuable way.
Todd said he believed that the information behaviour/ information literacy field did provide a basis for developing pedagogic approaches in IL. In particular he highlighted the work of Carol Kuhlthau on the information search process, which he particularly valued because it had been tested and critiqued over a period of time.
I'm trying to liveblog the conference, so I haven't much time to add my own comments. I thought this was a valuable talk; I suppose because I agree with a number of points, and also feel I have made my own research contribution in this area ;-) I might come back to it in a separate post, as it is worth engaging with.
Rather poor photo by Sheila Webber: Theresa Anderson and Ross Todd taking photos in the Town House, Aberdeen, last night

EMPATIC report: IL and virtual mobility

In this post on the EMPATIC project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held in Krakow, Poland I will summarise some points from about virtual mobility, and examining IL and information behaviour in people having a virtual mobility experience.
Monika Krakowska’s (Jagiellonian University, Poland) talk was entitled Information Literacy development in the international environment of virtual mobility. She started by outlining her ideas on IL. Krakowska had started with the model in The ANZIIL framework (where IL is within independent learning and, more broadly, within lifelong learning). She had added to this model by placing it within a wider framework that included the influence of social, political, individual, environmental etc. issues as well as the impact of scientific and technical developments.
Krakowska went on to discuss Virtual Mobility. This starts with the concept of “mobility” which is important in the European Union context (where encouraging physical mobility, to experience different cultures, is the goal of a number of prgammes). Virtual Mobility is supposed to have some of the impact of physical mobility (in exposing people to different cultures, societies, languages and so forth) but with the use of technology. Virtual Mobility can be implemented in school sectors as well as higher education, and in the educational context it can be “a kind of academic pilgrimage”.
Krakowska has been involved in a virtual mobility initiative, TeaCamp (, with partner Higher Education institutions from Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, and Finland, as well as her own university in Poland. There were 14 teachers and 29 students who were studying education or who aimed to work in school libraries (though only 13 students completed the programme). It included modules on learning strategies, cultural models, IL, electronic assessment strategies and others to do with teaching. Krakowska encountered new types of student and student expectation, but the students did not necessarily have good IL skills. She has carried out a case study of this programme, using observation. There was formal communication (including video conferencing and email), and informal communication (including Facebook, Skype and many other channels).
Conclusions included that the students had little awareness of IL except associated with library matters, and did not display many IL skills. They tended to fall back on a few resources, already known to them, and not be so keen on exploring a lot of new ones. This highlights the need for teachers to present new resources. “VLHE module has developed different IL skills (media, digital, library literacy, cultural awareness etc.) that were important for raising IL awareness of teachers, scholars, pedagogy students and LIS students”
Photo by Sheila Webber: Krakow square, June 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

i3 report: young people's experience of information #i3_conference

The next report from the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen This paper continued the theme of young people's information behaviour.
Marian Smith presented the paper co-authored by Mark Hepworth on Young people: A phenomenographic investigation into the ways they experience information. This was her doctoral research. She was identifying the qualitatively different ways in which they experienced information. She had some focus groups to familiarise herself with the young people's world. She conducted 18 long interviews, and short interviews from the other participants, and collected 41 drawings from 23 young people from year 7 and 18 from older students (the interviews started with the young people doing a drawing of "information").
There were six categories:
- "knowledge of sources of information" (information resides in the sources). It can be noted that there were a range of sources experienced (e.g. family members), and no awareness of information use.
- "receiving information" (information is experienced information as something that was received): this might be receiving knowingly (e.g. at school) or encountered.
- "process of finding information" (information is experienced as something that is found). This might not be a planned process, and it was mostly unsupported (i.e. they weren't being educated to develop a process, and in school they might usually "receive" information)
- "store of unprocessed information" (information was experienced as something that was internalised, stored and unprocessed: it wasn't necessarily understood, but it could be retrieved). This was associated with factual information, and regurgitation of information e.g. for school tasks.
- "processing information" (information was something processed): they said that they were interpreting, seeing information in a new way, and linking up with other information. Participants mentioned motivation e.g. projects they were interested in.
- "use of information" (information is experienced as something that is used); this included information shared or passed on.
Insights that Smith highlighted included that processing of information is not always considered important, and other implications for teaching information literacy.
Discussion afterwards included the extent of similarity and difference between different phenomenographic studies of information/ information literacy, the issue of whether information literacy education should pay more attention to these conceptions (unsurprisingly, I think they should) and (from the previous paper) people's news habits and the attachment and affective issues to do with print news.
Photo by Sheila Webber: wild rose, Garthdee campus, Aberdeen, June 2011.

i3 report: young people's use of news sources #i3_conference

Another report from the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen Kirsty Williamson talked about the research carried out by her and her research partner Asim Qayyum: News Seeking: Young Adults and Everyday Life Information. The research questions included the types of news used, their preferences, what they trusted, which sources they used purposively, and which they used incidentally. Previous research by Savolainen, McQuail ("uses and gratification" theory) and Williamson informed their research.
The sample was 34 students aged 18-15 studying at Charles Sturt University (Australia), 20 being interviewed and 14 being subjects of observation ("thinking aloud" tasks comparing print and online newspapers).Findings included:
Local news was of high interest. Experiences in the past, and potential impact on their own lives, affected current news interests. There was a range of source preferences. The internet was the primary source for only a few (although for a large number it was common to come across news stories whilst browsing), with print newspapers popular, and TV, radio and word of mouth were also used. Therefore it was evident that people were using a mix of sources to get a picture of what was going on. Reasons for a preference for print included convenience, or it was part of the lifestyle (e.g. liking visiting the library), or because it was readily available in the places they relaxed or lived. TV was liked because it enabled news sharing with others.
Social networking tools were mostly used for communication rather than news, and blogs were distrusted, since participants didn't want "just anyone's" opinion. In contrast, major national TV and newspaper online sites were trusted. There seemed to be a good deal of incidental information acquisition (encountering as I would call it, using Erdelez' term)
Finally, for everyday life information, "the majority were more likely to use Google"; some were unaware of newspaper features like job listings, and they might search for things like "what's on" or used cars, rather than thinking of these as things covered by newspapers.
These finding contradict the literature or opinions that sees traditional media having a steeply declining role. The sample was well educated, which may have an influence. The aggregation of news into personal communication seems important.

i3 report: Opening keynote #i3_conference

I am attending the i3 conference at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and I'll be doing some reports from it.
The first keynote was from Dr. Eric Meyer, on Engaging with Information: Knowledge in the Digital Age. I won't try to summarise all of his talk, but just pick out a few things. He works at the Oxford Internet Institute. Meyer is particularly interested in e-research. He has proposed a matrix, with collaboration complexity on one axis and computational complexity on the other axis. For example face to face meetings are lower in computational complexity and high in collaboration complexity, and text mining tools are high in computational compelexity and lower in collaborative complexity. He thinks this could be one way of looking at e-science behaviour and they used it in the study of humanities scholars that I blogged about a little while ago.
He cited a paper
Wuchty et al (2007) "The increasing dominance of teams in the production of knowledge." Science, 316 (5827), 1036-1039.
looking at the size of teams writing academic articles: which is increasing, even (slightly) in the humanities. Meyer highlighted a couple of examples of scientists or scholars "harnessing the power of the crowd", or "distributing brainpower": one was members of the public helping to idenify the form of items in the huge number of pictures taken of far galaxies (including a Dutch primary school teacher identifying a new phenomenon), another was a wiki on Pynchon's books, and another was being able to (effectively) track whales by getting people to submit whale pictures, and matching them up visually. Formalising the latter initiative into a project "SPLASH" with 500 identified observers, they have got some good data on migration patterns and a better idea of whale numbers. Meyer is also interested in the changes that takes place when people move from analog/print to digital and he talked about that in the context of a couple of his studies (including the whales).
Meyer mentioned a research approach that he uses in social informatics research, and I am going to follow up on. It sounded interesting, and there is an explanation here:
Meyer, E. (2005) "Socio-Technical Interaction Networks: A Discussion of the Strengths, Weaknesses and Future of Kling’s STIN Model." In Berleur, J., Numinen, M.I., Impagliazzo, J., (Eds.), IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, Volume 223, Social Informatics: An Information Society for All? In Remembrance of Rob Kling (pp. 37-48). Boston: Springer.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hanging basket, St Nicholas, Aberdeen, June 2011.

Library Teach Meet in Scotland

On 20 July 2011 1-4pm there is a Library Teach Meet in Stirling, Scotland, with video-conferencing in Inverness. "Everyone is welcome to attend the TeachMeet, but we do need speakers. Could you give a two minute or seven minute presentation on any aspect of your teaching?" Booking via and event blog at
Photo by Sheila Webber: St Nicholas churchyard, June 2011

IL at school and work

Herring, J.E. (2011). "From school to work and from work to school: information environments and transferring information literacy practices" Information Research, 16(2). "This study, based in a Scottish secondary school, aimed to examine the views of students who were completing work experience, on their information literacy practices, and the differences they found between the school and workplace information environments while on work experience. The views of guidance teachers were also explored." An interesting paper.
Other papers in this latest issue of Information Research include:
Peta Wellstead "Information behaviour of Australian men experiencing stressful life events: the role of social networks and confidants"
Vivienne Waller "The search queries that took Australian Internet users to Wikipedia"
Helaiel Almutairi "Factors affecting the information behaviour of managers in the Kuwaiti civil service: a relational model"
Daniel G. Dorner and G.E. Gorman "Contextual factors affecting learning in Laos and the implications for information literacy education"
Yujong Hwang "Measuring information behaviour performance inside a company: a case study."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Rose, June 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grampian Information Conference

The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland is the venue for the 15th Annual Grampian Information Conference Information: Skills for Learning, Work and Life on 10 November 2011. The Conference "will address key Information literacy initiatives in schools and universities as well as within the workplace, the public sector and adult learning. Presentations will touch on where libraries fit and what role they need to play at each of these life stages."
Grampian Information Members : £50 to include buffet lunch, (or 2 persons, same organisation for £80). Non-members: £60
Please enquire for availability of student discounts and sponsored places. For further information please contact Amelia Davies, GI Executive Support Officer, or Lorraine Robertson, Librarian, JHI Aberdeen,

Citation therapy

The video Why you should cite it right takes a "therapist's couch" approach, It is produced by The University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries and you might also like their video The importance of investigating the author.

Friday, June 17, 2011

iSchool launch event in Second Life

This is a short machinima that I made highlighting our University of Sheffield iSchool launch event in Second Life on 13 June 2011.

The machinima was created by me, Sheila Webber (Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) and the music "Forest Dance" is released under a Creative Commons License by Butterfly Tea:
The speakers at the iSchool launch event were: Dr Lorri Mon (Lorri Momiji in Secoind Life); Dr Joe Sanchez (North Lamar in SL); Lyn Parker (Maggie Kohime in SL); Professor Nigel Ford (Nigl Forder in SL) and Sheila Webber.
"Second Life" is a trademark of Linden Lab. The iSchool website is at

EMPATIC report: eTwinning

In this post on the EMPATIC project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held in Krakow, Poland on 8 June, I will summarise a talk by Gracjana Wieckowska on eTwinning. eTwinning is a European project which involves schools in European countries twinning electronically. School librarians can apply for these projects, as well as school teachers etc., which is why it was being promoted at this seminar. As well as EU countries there are some others eligible, such as those in Norway, Turkey and Macedonia. The age of schoolchildren can be from Kindergarten through to 18, and it is open to all schools to apply.
Teachers have a lot of freedom in deciding in the subject, duration and scope of the project. In Poland (which has had the most eTwinning projects so far), one year projects are the most popular, though they alaso have two and three year projects. Projects should be connected with curricula and/or developing key competencies. eTwinning offers a safe digital platform for running the project, and there is a shared “twinspace” for the children’s work. They can also use the technologies that students are already fond of. The projects may involve information creation, and this also leads to explanation of intellectual property rights andf other IL issues.

Being involved in eTwinning can provide motivation e.g. a student may be extra motivated to do well if the project output iis to be shared with a student in another country. The project should also stimulate language skills. The role of the teacher is to develop the tasks, but in particualr to support the students in being creative and active. Wieckowska gave some examples of eTwinning: 5 and 6 year olds learnt about the dangers of environmental pollution, slightly older children had projects about “Music without borders” (involving childrent from Slovakia, Poland and the UK), there was “The classroom full of cars”, and another about water pollution (“Adventure of the drop”). Children collected information in different ways, including observation, interviewing and using print and electronic sources. They sometimes communicated through performance (e.g. for the music project).
You can see more in the eTwinning newsletter and these were prizewinning eTwinning projects for 2011. The embedded video above is about these winners.
Any school librarian in one of the eligible countries could follow this up and consider applying for a project.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DELILA Dissemination event

On 26 July at Senate House, University of London, UK, there is a dissemination event for the DELILA project (Delivering Educators' Learning and Information Literacy for Accreditation), a "One day event for developers of information and digital literacy teaching and learning material"
"OERs (Open Educational Resources) are a growing area of interest, both in the UK and internationally, and a community of practice for librarians and educational technologists to share ideas and resources in re-using and re-purposing information literacy learning objects has emerged. The DELILA Dissemination event will be a day of talks and a workshop to exchange ideas and good practice and to experiment with existing information literacy and digital literacy OERs." You are encouraged to bring a poster publicising anything you have to do with OARs. The day runs 10.30-3.30pm. The DELILA blog is at
To book a place, please send the following information to Tom Inkelaar by 1st July 2011: Full name, Job title, Institution, Postal address, Postcode, E-mail address, Contact telephone
Although this is a free event, if you book a place and do not attend without letting us know in advance then you will be invoiced £25 to cover administration costs.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bees love the poppies, June 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Researchers of Tomorrow: latest report

A new report has been published in the Researchers of Tomorrow project that is sponsored by JISC and the British Library, aiming to examine the information behaviour of Generation Y (i.e. born between 1982 and 1994) researchers. The report is based on:
- A cohort of 47 Generation Y doctoral students in the second year of a longitudinal qualitative study;
- Responses to a national study carried out in 2010 with responses with over 2000 Generation Y doctoral students;
- Responses by over 2000 older doctoral students to the same survey.
The students are all studying at universities in the UK; the larger survey population includes international students, but the in-depth study of 47 students only includes people who were at school in the UK (i.e. teh vast majority will be British). I think it's rather a pity that there is this British-student focus, myself (most of my PhD students have not been, and international students are tremendously important to doctoral programmes).
An example finding is that "More of the Generation Y sample [than that of older students] had used at least one kind of open web or Web 2.0 technology (only 8% said they had used none at all). However, passive use of these technologies (i.e. reading wikis only but not creating content, following blogs but not blogging themselves) is much more common than active use. For example, 29% made passive use of internet discussion forums, while 13% made active use of them; 23% followed blogs but only 9% actively blogged themselves." They make lots of use of e-journals, gain a lot of information from supervisors, find training provided informally and in their Department most useful, and are not keen on sharing their research (unsuprisingly to me).
The home page for the project is There are also some videos on the JISC youtube site, and I've embedded the key one above.
Thanks to Richard Wakeford for alerting me to this material.

EMPATIC report: IL in Hungary

In this post on the EMPATIC project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held in Krakow, Poland on 8 June 2011, I will summarise some points from the presentation by Tibor Koltay (Szent Istvan University, Hungary): Musings about information literacy in school settings: old and new questions. The old questions included whether “present educational practice prepares schoolchildren for using information critically” and whether putting IT equipment in schools led to equality: in both cases the answer seemed to be no.
Koltay cited Godwin , who asked whether education for IL was solely up to public librarians,;deciding that it was a wider responsibility. There was still the question of whether the lack of IL was of more importance to information professionals than to others.
Koltay mentioned that Hungary has a new Digital renewal Action Plan (published in 2010) which uses the Hungarian terms for both IL and digital literacy, but both of them restricted to the efficient use of information technologies, showing ongoing misunderstanding about IL and neglect of non-IT skills. He also said that there was too much mythology about “digital natives” because he agreed with William Badke that this generation was not good at information handling, and was also heterogeneous.
Koltay said something about IL education for library and information students, where there was really a minimal framework in Hungary although they emphasised the importance of IL for lifelong learning. The exception is the University of Pecs where they have a specialisation in information literacy pedagogy. There used to be a qualification for teacher librarian in Hungary, but that does not exist any more. Koltay also mentioned in passing a Hungarian project Digital Fortress (where children have to get out of the fortress by solving information problems, so learning through gameplay/problem-solving).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Visiting Professors House (where I stayed), Krakow, Poland, June 2011.

Monday, June 13, 2011

EMPATIC report: IL and the Finnish school curriculum

In this post on the EMPATIC project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held in Krakow, Poland on 8 June, I will summarise some points from the presentation by Anu Ojaranta (pictured right at the seminar), who spoke about the research she is starting to do on Information Literacy, the Finnish core curriculum and the role of school libraries in this combination. Ojaranta is a school librarian, though she got a grant to take six months to concentrate on her ongoing doctoral studies at Abo Akademi (Turku, Finland). This study focuses on IL in the curriculum and in teaching in the seventh grade (about 15 years old): research into the role and attitudes towards IL and information seeking. She wants to investigate the perceptions of teachers, students, librarians and head teachers, and is currently in her second year of working on her thesis part-time.
Ojaranta noted that there are a lot of definitions of IL, but that the official Finnish school curriculum does not mention the term itself (although it does identify skills which can be seen as part of information literacy). She is also interested in why media literacy has gained so much ground, and how media literacy relates to information literacy. The Finnish core curriculum is currently being revised, and the new one will be introduced in 2014. This core curriculum is adapted and implemented at the local level, and there are various aspects which makes integrating IL into this curriculum difficult. As already noted, there is no definition of IL in the curriculum, and responsibility for teaching IL lies with everyone, but therefore potentially with nobody. As in numerous other countries, there is not enough teaching about IL in teacher education, either, so teachers have low awareness of IL.
Ojaranta has identified things in the Finnish curriculum which could be seen as IL, although they are scattered and sometimes vague. These include
- the statement that “the work methods [in schools] should promote skills in information seeking, using and evaluating information” and also in using information technology.
- annual cross-curricular themes, one of which is “communication and media competence”. Finnish schools have to chose one of these themes each year, but unfortunately they tend not to choose this theme.
- In the Finnish langauge curriculum one of 5 central subject areas is information management skills (e.g.searching for information, making notes, making a presentation)
Ojaranta noted that in Finland, most IL conversation has been focused on higher education. There have been some major projects or initiatives outside this sector, such as “The reading Finland”. These initiativesd mostly focused on literacy and books, but raised the profile of school libraries, and also resulting in a bit more attention to school libraries’ IL role. There have been some local initiatives too, such as Oulu’s “School library of the information society”.
Ojaranta mentioned her own region, where all 9 schools have a school library. There has been the will for the local education department to support school libraries, which has been very encouraging. She noted that different municipal authorities have some very different viewpoints and aims, which will have an impact on potential developments. It required long-term commitment from all those involved; government, municipality, school and teacher to make IL in schools an onging practice. It will be interesting to follow the progress of Ojaranta’s research. There is a picture of her with a nice cat on the IASL (school librarians) ning. If you speak Finnish then you will also be interested in her 2010 conference paper Informaatiolukutaito ja tiedonhakutaitojen opettaminen seitsemäsluokkalaisille : tutkimus kouluista ja koulukirjastoista sekä toimijoiden suhtautumisesta informaatiolukutaitoon ja tiedonhankinnan opetukseen

New issue of Journal of Information Literacy

The Journal of Information Literacy is open access at The new issue (Volume 5 number 1) includes:
- Editorial: Information literacy: a term whose time has passed? by Susie Andretta

- The Evolution of an Embedded Information Literacy Module: Using Student Feedback and the Research Literature to Improve Student Performance by Allison Kavanagh

- Instructional Design for the Active: Employing Interactive Technologies and Active Learning Exercises to Enhance Library Instruction by Anthony C Holderied

- ILS and RTP: Support to Researchers provided by Information and Learning Services as part of the Research Training Programme at the University of Worcester, Past, Present and Future by Rachel Elizabeth Johnson

- Faculty Attitudes, Perceptions and Experiences of Information Literacy: A Study Across Multiple Disciplines at York University, Canada by Sophie Bury

- Evidence-Based Practice: a mind-altering substance. A blended learning course teaching information literacy for substance use prevention work by Brian Galvin

plus two LILAC conference reports, from Matthew Harvey and Eleni Zazani and reports on the DELILA – Embedding Digital and Information Literacy OERs into the PG Cert and The Welsh Information Literacy Project
Photo by Sheila Webber: Out the window, Krakow, June 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

EMPATIC report: planning an information literacy (IL) strategy

In this post on the EMPATIC project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held in Krakow, Poland on 8 June I will summarise a presentation from Serap Kurbanoglu (pictured here; she teaches at Hacettepe University, Turkey) on How to plan and develop an information literacy (IL) strategy in Schools. She had an extensive presentation, which addressed various aspects and stages in planning. Elements that were important included reviewing past performance, determining learners’ needs and preferences, and ensuring that the IL plan was in line with institutional and other library strategies. Firstly, she advocated having a mission statement for the IL programme, making sure it appears in official documents and gets reviewed periodically. From this, specific goals can be identified. An environmental scan, to identify changing conditions, threats, opportunities etc. was important. This could be done using tools such as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and TOWS (like SWOT but looking externally).
Obviously resources are required, which may involve a team approach to cover teaching, assessment, evaluation and promotion of IL. Kurbanoglu emphasised that staff capacity has to be developed, including planning continuing professional development. Adminstrative and institutional support is essential and Kurbanoglu argued that IL is a learning issue relevant to the whole school. Successful programmes needed adminstrative support in encouraging teachers to collaborate, integrating IL into the school’s mission etc. The librarian needed to examine the curriculum to identify which subjects were the best for integration of IL education, and to enable competencies to be developed through the student’s time at school.
Collaboration was not just with teachers, but also with parents (who are a big source of support in homework etc.) and other staff in the school. There were challenges in developing partnership, since (for example) IL is not at the top of teachers’ busy agenda. Kurbanoglu thought that it was important to create awareness of “what IL is, why it is important and what problem it is solving” and to continually develop this awareness in stakeholders. To interest some teachers, it is valuable to create a connection with critical thinking, lifelong learning and specific problems such as plagiarism. There were some pitfalls to be avoided, such as flooding teachers with too much information about IL standards etc., not paying attention to curriculum constraints or not choosing the right time to approach someone.
In terms of pedagogies, Kurbanoglu mentioned the need to identify learning outcomes and appropriate assessment, supporting different learning styles, acknowledging existing knowledge and “linking information literacy to ongoing coursework and real-life experiences appropriate to program and course level”. Kurbanoglu identified that outreach and promotion was important: to staff, parents and students. There would be a variety of promotional strategies and channels, including IL workshops for staff and parents, one to one advocacy, preparing formal papers, using flyers and notice boards, picking up on opportunities (e.g. if a teacher complains about plagiarism, you can offer to help), using the intranet or virtual learning environment, and having orientation sessions included in the school’s compulsory programme. Evaluation was also essential (she mentioned the WASSAIL program that I blogged about from LILAC), to improve the quality of IL and to demonstrate value.
As an example of best practice, Kurbanoglu gave OSLIS “Bringing information to Oregon students” which was prepared by Oregon School Library Association (USA). They have examples for elementary school and middle & high school .

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Geosocial Universe

A lot of people have blogged or tweeted Jess3's graphics of the Geosocial Universe.So here I am blogging them as well, though one question is where they got the data from. It also made me think how I only have one Facebook and one Twitter account, but I have several each of Gmail and Yahoo email accounts, so perhaps the email numbers are even less likely than some of the other services to have a direct relationship with the number of individual users? Below is an embed of the graphic on Slideshare (drawn in different ways, their business is data visualisation).

Teachmeet in Bedfordshire 21 July 2011 #bedstm

Hilary Johnson has announced there will be a Library TeachMeet at the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus (UK) on 21 July 2011. "So, whether you're a librarian, in study support or a learning technologist (in any sector), you will be very welcome. The only rules are that your presentation must stick to the time limit (5 minutes) and you must not be trying to sell us anything." Register your interest at, hashtag is #bedstm and the blog is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bluebells, April 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011

EMPATIC report: school library initiative in Southern Poland

In this post on the EMPATIC project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held in Krakow, Poland on 8 June, I will report on the talk by Hanna Batorowska, who had led a long term and successful initiative in school libraries.
Batorowska (Krakow Pedagogical University) talked about Information Literacy Development in Schools. She started by tracking the development of the Polish concept of information literacy (IL). She saw it as both a research area and a set of skills (which meant developing awareness of information competencies). Development of IL policy depended on developing the concept of IL, and she advocated a wider understanding of IL as a discipline. In Polish there are many terms that are used in the area of information and digital literacy, but she stressed that IL was not just about digital matters. She thought the sociological and political aspect was important to develop policy in the area. She talked about some Polish commentators. Waldemar Furmanek, for example, took an IT approach, which she did not agree with. She advocated the concept of Information Literacy which stresses Information Culture (she used the Polish term Kultura Informacyna for IL) . She also mentioned the continuum model of information by Katarzyna Materska.
Batorowska talked about how information literacy was approached in one region of Southern Poland, which she was using as an inspiring case study. She felt that IL initiatives should be created from grass roots, regionally (rather than taking a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach). The initiative she described included giving IL education to trainee teachers (including IL projects), to produce a generation of teachers who could understand IL. The initiative also needed the cooperation of the local authorities (in charge of education) and they had been very supportive. They also had support from the Ministry of Education, particularly in the area of digital literacy. There was cooperation with other agencies, such as local museums. They had organised were national and regional activities, which helped to develop a lobby for information literacy.
Batorowska felt that you could only implement a good IL strategy when you had prepared the ground strategically. All of the initiatives she described took 10 years to fulfill: this was a long-term, not a “quick fix”, approach. It had been particularly important to find a Head of School who realised the importance of IL, though having official funding to support the library activities (focused around a new multimedia library) was also vital, as was development of IL-aware teachers. Promotion and development were active and ongoing, with a lot of publicity for the new & information literacy activities, including in the local press.
One of Batorowska's publications is:
Batorowska, H. (2009) Kultura informacyjna w perspektywie zmian w edukacji. Stowarzyszenia Bibliotekarzy Polskich. ISBN: 978-83-61464-10-5 (which Google translates as: Information culture [I think that should be "Information Literacy"] in the perspective of changes in education)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

EMPATIC Report: IL in schools sector: introduction

On 8 June 2011 I was an invited participant in the EMPATIC (Empowering Autonomous Learning through Information Competencies) project seminar on Information Literacy (IL) in the Schools Sector, held at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. This project is funded by the European Commission. The EMPATIC website is at It already has a number of reports, and they will be mounting presentations from the seminar on the website in due course.
The workshop was held in English and Polish, with simultaneous translation. The day started with an introduction to the project from Maria Prochnicka and Sabina Cisek (Jagiellonian University). The project is managed by the Education, Audiovisual ad Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission, and is seen as being relevant to lifelong learning. It is a 2 year project, finishing December 2011, with 5 partners. The company MDR ( from the UK, academic partners from Italy, Poland, Greece, and the Turkish Librarians Association. They aim to identify existing IL initiatives which could be seen as best practice, and also to look at the literature to survey practice and theory. They aim to convince decision makers in Europe that IL is very important and that action is needed in this area, since without it you cannot have an information society. In particular they hope to influence strategy and policy, and convince decision makers that a planned strategy is needed on education of citizens for information culture and information literacy.
The aims of the workshop I attended were to discuss strategies, models and methods of IL development in the school learning sector across the EU and to share experiences and opinions on the development of information competencies in the schools sector. I will do several blog entries about the sessions.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Horse carriages in market square, Krakow, June 2011

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Call for posters: Information Literacy and its impact on Women

There is a call for posters for the meeting Information Literacy and its impact on Women, to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico 11-12 August, as a Satellite to the World Library and Information Congress: 77th IFLA General Conference and Assembly. This is organised by the IFLA Information Literacy Section & IFLA Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group, in partnership with Turabo University and Universidad Metropolitana
del Sistema Universitario Ana G. Mendez, Puerto Rico.
"The broad focus of this satellite meeting is information literacy (IL) and its impact, especially on women. We are interested in library and information professionals working on information literacy in all sectors, but in particular in public libraries and local community centres. At the same time we want to know about research projects on the impact this work has on women in local communities and the society as a whole. Examples of best practices, success stories and lessons learned are very welcome."
Proposals must be submitted by email to by 1st July 2011 including: Title of the poster; Not more than 200 words summarising the content of the poster; Speaker's name, professional affiliation, postal address, email address and brief biographical note. Conference posters can be made in English or Spanish. For further information about the Satellite Conference and registration visit:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Tallinn, May 2011

Research Essentials Tutorials

The Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee has announced the the Site of the Month for May 2011. It is Research Essentials Tutorials by Bentley University, "These three tutorials, which may be viewed separately or as a sequence, are designed to teach students how to find specialized business information about companies and industries using Bentley University library resources."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Tallinn, May 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Filter bubbles

There has been a discussion on the ili list about "filter bubbles" (being in a bubble where a lot of information is being filtered out before it reaches you). Thanks to Jennifer Ballance for posting about a video of Eli Pariser talking about this subject " With increased filtering and anticipation of our search needs, "there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Tallinn, May 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

University of Sheffield iSchool launch day in SL

On 13th June starting 11am Second Life time (which is 7pm UK time, 2pm EST, see for times elsewhere) we are celebrating the fact that we became an iSchool with a full programme of events in Second Life. You will need a SL avatar and the SL browser installed on your computer to participate.
- 11:00 SLT: Sheila Webber (Sheila Yoshikawa in SL), Senior Lecturer, the iSchool, University of Sheffield & Director of the Centre for Information Literacy Research. "Introduction to the iSchool and opening of the Exhibition"
- 11:15 SLT: Dr Lorri Mon (Lorri Momiji in SL), Assistant Professor, College of Communication and Information, Florida State University. "Libraries and social media." [Presentation in voice]
- 12.00 SLT: Dr Joe Sanchez (North Lamar in SL), Assistant Professor, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University. "Reconfigurable culture: a journey through cyber ethnography." [Presentation in voice]
- 12:45 SLT: Lyn Parker, (Maggie Kohime in SL), Head of Academic Development, Sheffield University Library leads a text chat discussion: "The potential benefits of having an iSchool/ library network for information literacy." with special contribution from Esther Grassian (Alexandria Knight in SL), Information Literacy Librarian, UCLA College Library
- 13.30 SLT: Professor Nigel Ford (Nigl Forder in SL), University of Sheffield iSchool, and Sheila Webber launch the project on "Deep critical information behaviour", funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council [Presentation and discussion in text chat]
- 14.15 SLT: Close. Poster exhibition will remain on Infolit iSchool.
Go to

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Poster abstracts

There are abstracts of the posters for the American Library Association conference at including some about information Literacy.

Friday, June 03, 2011

CPD 23 things

Katie Birkwood, Cambridge University Library, has announced that there will be a Continuing Professional Development 23 things initiative starting soon.
"23 Things for Professional Development is a free online programme open to information professionals at all stages of their career, in all types of role, and anywhere across the world. Inspired by the 23 Things programmes for social media, this new programme will consist of a mixture of social media "Things" and "Things" to do with professional development. The programme starts on 20 June and will run until early October 2011. Each week the CPD23 blog will be updated with details of the next thing to be explored.""
The 23 things themselves are listed at
Photo by Sheila Webber: June roses, 2011


This site makes wordles in different shapes: here you have the Squirrel of the Information Literacy weblog:

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Carrie Donovan posted a message to the ili list, about a meeting (24 June at 5pm) to look at good questions to ask in the USA's National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) (in higher education) which could indicate engagement with information literacy. Although most readers of this blog won't be able to attend the meeting, I think it's an interesting development (and contrasts sadly with the National Student Survey in the UK, which just has a question about satisfaction with library resources). Carrie Donovan wrote "NSSE currently includes questions that gauge students’ involvement in undergraduate research, higher-order learning, and reflective learning activities, and has experimented with some questions about information literacy, but this new project will be the NSSE’s first foray into a fully developed module that is dedicated to measuring information literacy education across the undergraduate curriculum. In preparation, NSSE researchers are hoping to gather input broadly from librarians at a variety of institutions and a meeting at ALA Annual will be the first of many such endeavors to do so. All are welcome to attend and contribute to the discussion." The meeting will be held in Mulate’s Cajun Café, 201 Julia St. New Orleans, USA. Email Carrie Donovan ( by June 17th if you want to attend.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cake, Kumu Museum cafe, Tallinn, May 2011