Friday, December 30, 2011

How Americans find local information: study

On Dec 14 Pew Research Center published a report in their Internet & American Life Project, looking at how Americans find details of local businesses. The survey was carried out in January 2011 via telephone interview of 2,251 adults in the USA, aged 18 and over.
When it came to restaurants, bars and clubs, 51% relied on the internet (especially search engines), 31% on newspapers (mostly print rather than online), 23% on word of mouth and 8% on local television. The results were not wildly different for information on other types of business. The thing that got picked up in the press coverage of this report was the low usage of social media (including Twitter), which was 3% for restaurants etc. and 1% for other businesses.
The report includes analyses of which demographic was most likely to use each medium e.g. those using local broadcast TV were most likely to be over 65, non internet users, earning less than US$30,000.
Rainie, L. et al (2011) Where people get information about restaurants and other local businesses. Pew Research Center.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Branches against the sky, Lewes, December 2011 (photoshopped)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cfp: Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults

The (American)Young Adullt Library Services Association's peer-reviewed, open-access journal, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, has a call papers for its Spring 2012 issue on the theme of Twenty-First Century Literacies. "The issue will feature articles focusing on different twenty-first century literacies. Possibilities include information literacy, traditional literacy, multicultural literacy, transliteracy, visual literacy, media literacy, civic literacy, or economic literacy, to name a few. Contributors are invited to submit articles that focus on literacies from different theoretical, pedagogical, practical, policy and research perspectives. Guidance can also be found in YALSA’s National Research Agenda. Please contact Sandra Hughes-Hassell, editor, at to discuss submissions and use the author guidelines." Papers are due by February 13, 2012. The journal website is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Canary Wharf, December 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reference Services Review latest

The latest issue of Reference Services Review (volume 40 issue 1) is available online. Articles include:
- Demystifying the Data Interview: Developing a Foundation for Reference Librarians to Talk with Researchers about their Data by Jake Carlson
- Training Millennials: A practical and theoretical approach by Kathleen Langan
- Video lectures help enhance online information literacy course by Ed Hahn
- Research skills development through collaborative virtual learning environments by Adrian Stagg and Lindy Kimmins
- Digital Games in Academic Libraries: A Review of Games and Suggested Best Practices Mary Julia Broussard
- Empowered Library e-Learning: Capturing Assessment and Reporting with Ease, Efficiency, and Effectiveness by George Peter Germek
It's a priced publication, the home page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Late flowering scabious, December 2011, Hailsham.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Alfabetización Informacional en Iberoamérica wiki

This wiki on Information Literacy in South America (an initiative from Alejandro Uribe Tirado) covers articles, books, dissertations, past events, videos, courses etc. from each South American country: the majority of items are in Spanish or Portuguese. Alfabetización Informacional en Iberoamérica: estado del arte
Photo by Sheila Webber: White Hart Inn, Lewes, December 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all readers of the Information Literacy Weblog!
Photo by Sheila Webber: the Christmas wreath I made this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

News snippets: Malaysia; Dilgital illiteracies; Social media literacies

Firstly, several places have picked up a news release today on, which announced that The National Library Malaysia has launched a Malaysia Information Literacy Module "in an effort to enhance information searching skill more effectively, accurately and correctly. The launching ceremony was performed by Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Senator Datuk Maglin Dennis D'Cruz at Sekolah Kebangsaan Padang Luit" "Speaking to reporters later, Maglin said the module was an effort by the National Library to provide guidance to the public in terms of skill in searching and choosing information to be read. It is important because it will determine the quality of information to be stored in our mind."

Secondly, I noticed a short item about the need for digital literacy (and also, mentioned in passing, information literacy) in those teaching English as a second language:
Dudeney, G. (2011) "No place in class for digital illiterates." Guardian weekly, 6 December.

Finally, there is a guest blog post on the Scientific American site. A researcher discusses what the digital divide might consist of now in the 21st century; as well as social inequalities she describes various skills in using information and social media (i.e. saying that it is not just about access to technology/internet).
Radovanovic, D. (2011) "Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do." Scientific American blogs, 14 December.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Mistletoe, December 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Webcast of talk by Alison Head

On January 10 2012 Alison J. Head, Berkman Center Fellow, will have her talk on Searching for Context: Modeling the Information-Seeking Process of College Students in the Digital Age webcast live and then archived. The talk will be at 12.30 pm US eastern time (see for times elsewhere)
"What is it like to be a college student in the digital age? In this talk, I present a working typology of the undergraduate information-seeking process, including students’ reliance on and use of Web sources. Since 2008, as part of our ongoing study at the University of Washington’s Project Information Literacy, we have surveyed more than 10,000 students at 40 colleges and universities (including undergraduates enrolled at Harvard College). We have investigated how college students find information and conduct research—their needs, strategies, and workarounds—for solving information problems that occur during course-related research and in their everyday lives. We have found the large majority of students we have studied across all types of higher-education institutions in the U.S. still attend college to learn, but many are lost in a thicket of information overload. They struggle with managing the IT devices that permeate their lives. Our findings indicate that nearly all students intentionally use a small compass for navigating the ever-widening and complex information landscape they inhabit. These and other findings of Project Information Literacy have profound implications for teaching, learning, work, and play in the 21st century." Instructions at
Photo by Sheila Webber: "Let's gater with good friends" - sign outside Starbucks, Camrose, Canada, November 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Redefining the Academic Library

Just published, the USA's University Leadership Council's report Redefining the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Services
This has lots of short sections giving key messages and examples of what is seen as good practice, and what it sees as trends for the future. Google is identified as a key competitor. Key sections are:
- Leveraging Digital Collections
- Rethinking the Scholarly Publishing Model
- Repurposing Library Space (get rid of those open stacks and print journals, seems to be the message)
- Redeploying Library Staff (including to information literacy work. The report says that "Though information literacy is a growing presence in student learning outcomes and general education requirements, most institutions currently offer little more than a brief introduction to the campus library and its website." Surely that's not true any more?)
Full text at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Seasonal items in Second Life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ECAR National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

The 2011 ECAR National (USA) Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology gathered stratified data from "3,000 college students from 1,179 colleges and universities" via an opt-in invitation-only online questionnaire, in June 2011.
As usual, I have only skimmed through it, but it has interesting material. This is a sample of snippets, biased towards my interests.
"58 percent of all students say that online-only courses do not provide the same educational value as courses that blend face-to-face and online components, compared to 30 percent who say they believe they do provide equal value."
"Twelve percent of students say Facebook is “extremely valuable” to their academic success—and one in four students (25 percent) consider it “valuable” or “extremely valuable.” On the other hand, more than half of students (53 percent) think its academic value is limited or nonexistent."
"Nearly onethird of students (32 percent) say their skills using a course or learning management system, which is intended to facilitate academic life for students and instructors, aren’t where they believe they should be."
" .. the average student spends at least some time engaging in about 21 different kindkinds of software applications and activities out of 40 they were asked about.."

There is discussion around the importance of academics using technologies effectively, and how this influences students and their perception/use of technology "Projectors, Wi-Fi, laptops, desktops, and document cameras or digital overhead projectors are devices that instructors use “extremely effectively” to teach, mentor, or communicate, students report—and they’re generally technologies students also value highly. More personal technologies, such as e-readers, iPads, smartphones, and student response systems (clickers) are not used as effectively, students say."

Dahlstrom, E., de Boor, T., Grunwald, P. and Vockley, M. (2011) The ECAR National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology. Boulder: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Angel on my bookshelves, December 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Journal of Information Literacy

Volume 5, issue 2 (2011) of the Journal of Information Literacy is online.
There are a number of book reviews and the following articles:
- Information literacy in United Kingdom schools: by David Streatfield, Sue Shaper, Sharon Markless, Simon Rae-Scott
- Information Literacy and the Skunk Ape: Assessing the Impact of Online Library Learning Modules on Student Writing in English Composition Courses: by Randall McClure, Rachel Cooke, Anna Carlin
- Students’ Behaviour Playing an Online Information Literacy Game: by Karen Markey, Chris Leeder
- Tailoring Information Literacy Instruction and Library Services for Continuing Education: by Jessica Lange, Robin Canuel, Megan Fitzgibbons
- Is There a Difference Between Critical Thinking and Information Literacy? by John M Weiner
Photo by Sheila Webber: festive squah (photoshopped), December 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Libguide on lesson planning & Poll Everywhere

There is a nice Libguide on lesson planning resources for trainee teachers at from Michelle Costello, Milne Library, State University of New York. This was mentioned by her in the context of an ili-l discussion about using Poll Everywhere as a tool in information literacy sessions; she uses it on this site to get ideas (not, in this case, about information literacy). The majority of people in the ili-l discussion felt that using Poll Everywhere was better than using "clickers" (personal response devices), but that you couldn't assume that all students had mobile phones, so you needed to enable those without mobiles to access the poll in other ways.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Festive items in Second Life

Friday, December 16, 2011

Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

There's a new issue, 6 (3), 2011, of Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PESTHE) at Articles include:
- Group role-play as a method of facilitating student to student interaction and making theory relevant
- Click happy?: an analysis of the use of an Electronic Voting System (EVS) in large group lectures to improve interaction and engagement
- Creative professionals for a world of complexity, change and competition.
The Tagxedo of the PESTLE homepage is meant to be a snowman shape...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

cfp: Critical Thinking & Library Instruction

There is a call for proposals for the Library Instruction Roundtable (LIRT) Conference Program, Critical Thinking & Library Instruction: Fantasyland or Adventureland? during the 2012 American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, USA, which takes place 21-26 June 2012. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2012.
"As librarians move beyond "how to" instruction sessions, understanding and incorporating educational principles and practices, such as critical thinking, will help leverage their collaborations with user communities." "Successful proposals will:
- Include at least one learning objective
- Effectively engage the audience for a 15-minute presentation
- Offer practical applications/examples of incorporating critical thinking (CT) in library instruction
- Suggested topic areas: collaboration with faculty on CT, teaching methods for CT, CT in the “one-shot session,” collaborating on CT in general education courses"
Four 15-minute presentations will be selected and must be presented in person at the session (on June 24. Please include the following information in prposlas on 2 pages:
1. A cover sheet with your name(s), title(s), institutional affiliation(s), mailing address(es), fax number(s) and email address(es).
2. A second page without any personal identifying information. This page must include: the presentation title, a brief abstract (250 words), learning objective(s), and a paragraph describing how you will deliver the presentation (e.g., PowerPoint, learning activity, etc.).
Send submissions by email to: Arianne Hartsell-Gundy,
Photo by Sheila Webber: spiderwebs on rosemary bush, November 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reflecting on 23 Things: using 23 Things in an Information literacy class

Today I gave a presentation given in the virtual world, Second Life: Reflecting on 23 Things: using 23 Things in an Information literacy class. Firstly, I describe what is meant by a "23 Things" initiative, and identify some characteristics and examples. Secondly, I describe a "23 Things" initiative I have used in a Masters-level class in the Information School, University of Sheffield (Information Resources and Information Literacy). There are references at the end of the presentation. This is it on Slideshare.

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to make Google behave: techniques for better results

A seminar on 8 February 2012, to be held at the University of Birmingham, UK, is How to make Google behave: techniques for better results, organised by UKEIG and run by Karen Blakeman "Course Outline: Having problems with Google? Fed up with it ignoring your search terms and giving you something completely different? Or confused by irrelevant tweets from complete strangers appearing in your results? Personalisation, localisation, social networks and semantic search are all being used by Google in an attempt to improve relevance but it can all go horribly wrong. Austria suddenly becomes Australia and Google decides that coots are really lions! Nevertheless, just one really good result in the top five is often enough to persuade us to return to Google again and again. There are many tricks we can use to make Google return better results and this workshop will look in detail at the options that are currently available to us." For more info go to

Friday, December 09, 2011

Old information literacy videos: online

Jodi Kearns, University of Akron, has made available online some newly digitised information literacy videos from the 70s to early 90s. She acknowledges the work of Lorelei Hoover, an LIS student, on this project. They are definitely interesting from a "then and now" point of view (including the hairstyles!).
Welcome to Eureka:
Library Research Methods:
Touring Goleman Library:
Library Music Research (embedded below):
Surfin' Safari:
Library Collections and Services:
A Guide to Business Research:

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Information literacy meets E-learning: Let's talk about interconnections and outcomes: cfp

There is a call for papers for a session at the World Library and Information Congress: 78th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, which will be held 11-17 August 2012 in Helsinki, Finland.
The session is organised by IFLA's Information Literacy Section and the E-learning Special Interest Group and is titled Information literacy meets E-learning: Let's talk about interconnections and outcomes.
They invite papers that address a number of questions of research and practice:
- Is there any evidence to show that E-learning effectively promotes self-paced and sustainable learning in the area of information literacy skills?
- Has E-learning enabled libraries to extend their reach to new populations, or provided their existing population with new services and fresh possibilities for learning?
- While online tutorials are mainly used in the academic environment for large populations of students, what strategies have been introduced in public libraries to encourage lifelong E-learning?
- Are there any advantages in teaching information literacy skills using a virtual learning environment (VLE) or course management systems (such as Moodle, Blackboard, WebCT) in a blended learning context?
- Can information literacy education benefit from collaborative learning through forum, chat and distance learning class experiences?
- What aspects of information literacy (eg information skills instruction, research process education…) are significantly enhanced by the E-learning experience? What elements of the E-learning have the greatest value in information literacy training?
- Many tutorials focus specifically on information seeking and citing sources; can E-learning go beyond this to address a wider range of information literacy outcomes?
Proposals should include an abstract of paper approximately 500 words, and the author'(s) details (name, institution, position) and brief biographical statement of no more than 50 words. Proposals should be sent to no later than February 5, 2012 and indicate “IFLA proposal” in the subject line
The successful presenters will be expected to submit final versions of their papers by May 14, 2012. Papers should be in English (or in one of the official IFLA languages, with an English translation attached). For more information, please contact : or
Photo by Sheila Webber: sage leaves, photoshopped, November 2011

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

11th Annual Information Literacy Summit: call for presenters

There is a call for presenters for the 11th Annual Information Literacy Summit: Transforming Information Literacy which will be held: April 24 2012 at John A. Logan College (Carterville, USA); April 30 at Illinois State University (Normal, IL, USA); May 4 at Moraine Valley Community College (Palos Hills, USA).
You may propose one or more sessions for one or more of the three Summit locations. Breakout sessions and panels will be 50 minutes long and should include audience interaction or discussion. Hands-on lessons and demonstrations (and/or practical takeaways) are encouraged. Sessions typically have 20-40 participants. Deadline for proposals is January 6, 2012. To propose a breakout session go to
Some suggested topics are: partnerships with faculty and administrators; living in a post-text world; defining media literacy; rethinking credibility in a 2.0 world; new approaches to teaching searching. The featured speaker is Dr. Sharon Weiner on Who Teaches Information Literacy in Colleges?
Photo by Sheila Webber: Neighbour's door, December 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

Articles from SCONUL Focus

SCONUL Focus (no. 52, 2011) is full text online, and as usual contains numerous short articles. These include:
- 'If the library is the heart of the university, then information literacy is the brain': promoting 'Information literacy week' at Salford University, by Sue Barker-Mathews, and Maggie Costello
- The value of libraries for research:some themes, by Michael Jubb (He is summarising points from: The value of libraries for research and researchers report (2011), available at
- Tech tips for librarians: Twitterfeed, by Paul Stainthorp
- The SCONUL seven pillars model of information literacy: 2011 update, by Moira Bent, and Ruth Stubbings
- University Science and Technology Librarian's Group: Information Literacy event, reviewed by Jon Fletcher
The SCONUL Focus newsletter is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: first hint of snow, Sheffield, December 2011

Friday, December 02, 2011

Communications in Information Literacy (CIL): new issues

The latest issue (volume 5 issue 1) of Communications in Information Literacy (CIL) has been published. It includes:
Amy E. Mark: Format as a False Judge of Credibility: Messages from Librarians and Faculty and Student Responses
Brian Winterman, Carrie Donovan, Rachel Slough: Information Literacy for Multiple Disciplines: Toward a Campus-Wide Integration Model at Indiana University, Bloomington
Melissa A. Gains, Richard A. Stoddart: Supplementing a Librarian’s Information Literacy Toolkit with Textbooks:A Scan of Basic Communication Course Texts
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: another picture of the Christmas tree in Sheffield, with photoshopped colour

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Moving on up.......School/FE/HE transition

On 19 January at Durham University (UK) the University, College & Research Group (Northern Section) has organised Moving on up.......School/FE/HE transition. "This Event is aimed at School, Further Education and University Librarians and examines the transition that most 16 -18 year olds make from School to College to Higher Education. It will consider what support there is for students making the transition and what can we do to help. There is an impressive programme of presentations delivered by respected and knowledgeable speakers who will be sharing their broad range of experiences and skills." Speakers include: Jackie Dunn and Ann-Marie Laws: "Bridging the Divide: Information Literacy the Forgotten Link"; Elizabeth Astan & Julie Archer: "Mind the [information literacy] Gap: moving from School or FE to HE".
To reserve a place, please contact Helen Ashton, Bishop Auckland College, 01388 443018,
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas "Tree" in Sheffield city centre, yesterday.