Thursday, May 31, 2012

Information culture - different views on information literacy

An interesting new powerpoint from Thomas Hapke (University Library, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany) on the meaning of information literacy.

Survey on librarian's view of literature review

Wendy Highby, a Reference Librarian at the University Libraries of the University of Northern Colorado, USA, is investigating academic librarians' concept of the literature review and their experiences in teaching students about the literature review process. Participants should be working, or have worked, as an academic librarian. The online survey form is here:
Any questions to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sunlit escholtzia, May 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Information Skills for a 21st Century Scotland

Activists from the former Scottish Information Literacy Project have launched an online information literacy community of practice: Information Skills for a 21st century Scotland at hosted by Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC). It includes the Scottish Information Literacy Framework, information about the Scottish Information Literacy Project (formerly based at Glasgow Caledonian University from 2004 to 2010) and a valuable archive of material, including the Project blog.
The community is open to everyone who is interested in information literacy: you can join the community, share practice, contribute to the community’s knowledge of information literacy activities news, conferences and events, new research etc. They are also looking for individuals and groups across the library and information community to work with them to update the framework with new case studies.
There is a launch event on 11 June at 10.30 – 10.45 at the Apex hotel, in Dundee, as part of the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS) Conference 2012. The launch will be followed by a parallel session from 14.00 to 15.00 "Finding the right information: improving professional practice using the Scottish Information Literacy Framework" which will be an informal discussion to help build a Scottish Information Literacy Community of Practice.
I'm happy to see that the definition that they have on their logo is the one by me and Bill Johnston ;-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Adult Students using a Scoring Rubric to develop Information Literacy Skills.

An "in press" article online at the Journal of Academic Librarianship (likely to be published in vol. 38 no. 3, 2012) is:
van Helvoort, A.A.J. How Adult Students in Information Studies Use a Scoring Rubric for the Development of Their Information Literacy Skills. "The purpose of this article is to expand on a previous study on the development of a scoring rubric for information literacy. The present paper examines how students at the Department of Information Services and Information Management, The Hague University, use the scoring rubric for their school work and/or in their regular jobs and social life."
JAL is also implementing Article Based Publishing so that "individual articles [are] to be published in their final form, including volume, issue and page number, before the volume itself [is] completed." Recent articles are at
Photo by Sheila Webber: free art, seen on my way to work last week.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Developing Information Literacy for Lifelong Learning and Knowledge-Based Economy in the Western Balkan Countries

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) Library is managing a project, funded by the Tempus IV European Union programme, Developing Information Literacy for Lifelong Learning and Knowledge-Based Economy in the Western Balkan Countries, a project worth €1,171,557. The project is managed by Jerald Cavanagh (Institute Librarian, LIT) and coordinated by Padraig Kirby. It involves 12 other higher education institutions in Romania, Greece, United Kingdom, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo.
There is a prezi with a project update (March 2012) from Jerald Cavanagh and Padraig Kirby There is a report on an initial information day Finally, there is a press release
Photo by Sheila Webber, Chandelier, York, May 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"The Power of Information" (new Government strategy)

The power of information is the new information strategy from the UK's Department of Health which "sets a ten-year framework for transforming information for the NHS [National Health Service], public health and social care." As Vicky Grant noted in the talk she gave on Thursday, it doesn't mention information literacy and doesn't seem to say anything about libraries either. In fact it is using the word "Information" to mean (in a fuzzy way) technology, networks and actual information content. However, as regards information content, it seems like the focus is on the information generated within the NHS, rather than having a real perspective on patient needs for information.
I'm afraid with this one, I find it impossible to write impartially, as a quick glance at the site made me angry as a UK citizen who values the NHS. You will see from the one slide which is supposed to make the whole strategy easy to understand that basically they want everyone to go online for everything, including things like booking doctor's appointments. This will leave people like my mother (who is very alert and independent, but has worsening sight and does not use the internet) with a second class service, I assume.
"One of the key commitments is that you will be able to view your GP record online by 2015." I'm sure that this promise has nothing to do with saving the Government money - except Information Age reports that - "Online GP records will save over £2bn, DoH claims". Hmm.
On Thursday I did a post on my cpd23 blog about using Storify and coincidentally they have put together a Storify page on the new strategy: It would be an interesting task for an information literacy class to match the stories snagged for this Storify, and see whether they reflect the full spectrum of commentary on it, or indeed to assemble alternative stories.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Goat in Maryon Park, May 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Health Information Obesity

Today there was an event from CILIP Career Development Group (Yorkshire and Humberside Division) here at Sheffield University. Vicky Grant, Faculty Librarian for Medicine, Dentistry and Health at Sheffield, was talking about Health information obesity: the new epidemic? It was a very interesting presentation, and I'll mention a couple of things she talked about.
One was a new strategy from the Department from Health The power of information. I'm going to put more about that in a separate posting. Secondly, whilst talking about the value of patient networks for health information she showed some of a TED video about e-Patient Dave: "When Dave deBronkart learned he had a rare and terminal cancer, he turned to a group of fellow patients online -- and found the medical treatment that saved his life." Dave is also an advocate for libraries. Finally, she showed this video which tells the story of one person becoming empowered to find, evaluate and use information (including stories from fellow patients) to apply to her own illness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CoLRiC Roadshow 22 June

On 22 June in Liverpool, UK, there is the final CoLRiC roadshow Embedding information skills in the curriculum where you can "hear how the award winning Library Team at Northampton College collaborated with curriculum colleagues to embed information and study skills into the curriculum with enormous benefits for students" and have the opportunity to "Discuss concerns with colleagues in our professional surgery". Cost £20 for CoLRiC members, £40 for non-members. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: York City Walls, May 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Information Literacy briefing from CILIP

CILIP's Information Literacy Executive Briefing is on 5 July in CILIP HQ in London, UK: Information Literacy: Working together for the future of our profession. There are a number of speakers and opportunity for discussion. Early bird registration before June 1st gives a discount (e.g. £156+ VAT for CILIP members). More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: New concourse, Kings Cross Station, London, May 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Journal Club: 22 May in Second Life

Journal Club, led by Ridvan Ata, University of Sheffield, England.
When: 22nd May, 12 noon to 1pm Second Life time (8pm-9pm UK time)
Where: In the virtual world, Second Life,
Ridvan will lead a discussion of:
William C. Diehl & Esther Prins (2008) Unintended Outcomes in Second Life: Intercultural Literacy and Cultural Identity in a Virtual World. Language and Intercultural Communication, 8:2, 101-118. available from
You need a SL avatar, and the SL browser on your computer, to participate.

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research Event

Friday, May 18, 2012

Reference Services Review: twittering

There's a Twitter focus in the latest issue (vol 40 no 2) of Reference Services Review:
- Libraries atwitter: trends in academic library tweeting: by Darcy Del Bosque, Sam A. Leif, Susie Skarl (pp. 199 - 213)
- To tweet, or not to tweet? by Susan Jennings (pp. 214 - 216)
- Students tweet the darndest things about your library – and why you need to listen. by Steven Bell (pp. 217 - 220)
- Just the right tweet at just the right time. by Ameet Doshi (pp. 221 - 223)
- Beyond broadcasting: Customer service, community and information experience in the Twittersphere. by Lyndelle Gunton, Kate Davis (pp. 224 - 227)
Other articles include:
- Reference Services Review: content analysis, 2006-2011: by Katy Mahraj (pp. 182 - 198) This analysis confirms that the vast majority of authors are from the academic sector, with 83% from the United States, and "information literacy and instruction" is the topic with the biggest share of articles.
- Information literacy on Facebook: an analysis. by Donna Witek, Teresa Grettano (pp. 242 - 257)
- Student preference for tutorial design: a usability study. by Lori S. Mestre (pp. 258 - 276)
- Engaging undergraduates in discipline-based research. by Heidi Gauder, Fred Jenkins (pp. 277 - 294)
This is a priced publication: here is the home page:
Photo by Sheila Webber: York castle with bluebells, 2012

Short course in South Africa

ITOCA (Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa) is running workshops called 21st Century Information Literacy Skills in Centurion, South Africa on June 18-22, 2012 and July 2-6, 2012 and also via a web version. "Participants will learn how to acquire, and facilitate the acquisition and application of information literacy skills that are relevant for the information user in the 21st century."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The ways that young people experience information

Marian Smith gained her PhD from Loughborough University in 2010, with an interesting dissertation about children's perceptions of information (I was external examiner at her viva) entitled "Young people: a phenomenographic investigation into the ways they experience information". Mark Hepworth, who supervised Marian at Loughborough, recently did a blog post in which he outlines the framework she identified, that could be used to guide information literacy teaching to children. His blog post is here: and Marian's full dissertation is here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wildflowers, Maryon Park, May 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Plagiarism and attribution: an academic literacies approach?

Magyar, A.E. (2012) "Plagiarism and attribution: an academic literacies approach?" Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 4. "In many Higher Education courses in the UK the ability to write extended academic prose is central to assessment and therefore to student success. One aspect of academic writing which students struggle with is incorporating the work and ideas of others, using appropriate attribution conventions. This can lead them to fall foul of institutions’ plagiarism policies. Advice on plagiarism often consists of discussions around what is or is not plagiaristic behaviour while advice on attribution has tended to focus on referencing. This paper explores what an academic literacies approach to plagiarism might look like. It discusses and illustrates how an academic literacies approach was used in the design, analysis and application of a small-scale ethnographic research which set out to explore international postgraduate students' understandings of and questions about plagiarism across the disciplines in one UK university. The intention of the research was to use the findings in developing more culturally and context sensitive explanations of our attribution practices."
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Declaración de la Habana / Declaração de Havana /South American information literacy

The Havana declaration on information literacy, from March 2012, is available in Portuguese and Spanish. This asserts the importance of information literacy and calls for collaborative work and building of networks for the growth of information literacy in the context of Latin American countries. It has 15 points for action.
Declaração de Havana (Portuguese version):
Declaração de Havana (Brasilian Portuguese version):
Declaración de la Habana (Spanish)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Comedy facebook privacy video

I had an interesting talk yesterday with one of our third year BSc students, whose dissertation I'm supervising. He has carried out two focus groups with his peers about how and why they share information on Facebook and Twitter (no further detail yet, as he hasn't finished writing it up, but I will add some more in the future).
Coincidentally, I came across this spoof documentary from Bubblegum Comedy about a Facebook privacy action group that I found amusing. I think the video dates from about 2010, so certainly not new. Humour is a subjective thing, and I don't think I'd actually show it all to students in class, in case some of this thought it was dull or lame & therefore got turned off the topic. However I could perhaps use a scene to get a discussion going on a specific point, or refer to it as an example of people's underlying concerns.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Academic Skills Support event at Leeds Metropolitan University

There is an Academic Skills Support event on 20th June 2012, at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, Cost is £60. "Are you being asked to extend the range of academic skills support offered by your library? Would you be interested in hearing how other libraries provide this kind of service and the innovative ways in which they deliver tutorials, workshops and resources? Libraries and Learning Innovation at Leeds Metropolitan University is hosting a professional development event on the approaches used by a number of libraries to support students’ academic skills. The event will be an ideal opportunity for those involved in this area to share experience and discuss best practice."
There is a full programme, including "Skills for Learning at Leeds Metropolitan University" (Karen Croft and Marie Scopes); "Skills@Library at the University of Leeds" (Helen Howard); "Academic skills at Loughborough University" (Steph McKeating) and parallel sessions e.g. "Supporting international students in their academic skills".
Book by emailing by 6th of June with your details. Queries to (or 0113 812 3906)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Lady's smock, May 2012.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Health information obesity: the new epidemic?"

Health information obesity: the new epidemic? is a free talk organised by the Career Development Group, Yorkshire and Humberside Division in collobaration with the University of Sheffield's iSchool. The speaker is Vicky Grant.
Date: Thursday 24th May. Time: 4:00 - 5:30pm. Venue: 1st floor conference room in ICOSS, 219 Portobello, Sheffield University, Sheffield, S1 4DP
Register via Eventbrite Vicky Grant is the Faculty Librarian for Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the UoS. In this talk, she will look at how patients are using health information from the net and will question the validity of government initiatives to give patients more information. She will argue that what patients actually need is more equitable access to medical research and improved levels of information literacy, including the skills to think critically about the health information they are reading. She will ask you to consider whether open access and open data publishing are matters of medical ethics and will argue that more equitable access to health information could challenge the health inequalities which continue to pervade our society.
Photo by Sheila Webber: "John's van", Sheffield University, April 2012.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Information literacy instruction in four Vietnamese university libraries

An article I came across recently: Diep, K.C. and Nahl, D. (2011) "Information literacy instruction in four Vietnamese university libraries." The International Information and Library Review, 43 (4), 198-206.
"This case study explored the perceptions of academic stakeholders about the development and delivery of information literacy (IL) programs in four universities, and identified elements necessary to establishing IL credit courses in Vietnamese higher education. The following research questions framed this study: 1) How do library administrators, instruction librarians, and faculty perceive the current implementation of information literacy instruction (ILI) programs for undergraduates studies in universities libraries in Vietnam? 2) What are the challenges to including IL as a credit course in the curriculum as perceived by library administrators, instruction librarians, and faculty? Respondents were purposefully recruited from four universities, including library administrators, instruction librarians, and faculty. Three online surveys were distributed to 537 individuals through Survey Monkey with 149 replies and a final receipt of 133 completed surveys. Interview and focus group data collection included 23 face-to-face interviews and nine focus groups. Findings showed IL is considered the domain of librarians and has not influenced Vietnamese campus culture. IL activities at four university libraries take the form of lectures, workshops, and basic IL skills modules. Few ILI activities are subject discipline-related. Respondents reported challenges to an ILI credit course revolve around the lasting impact of teacher-centered instruction and rote learning, misperceptions about the effect of IL on student learning outcomes, degree of support of IL by academic stakeholders, degree of faculty-librarian collaboration, and scarcity of resources. Recommendations are given for academic librarians in Vietnam implementing ILI programs and considering developing IL credit courses."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pattern of new leaves, May 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

HUMANIT information literacies issue

This journal from the Högskolan i Borås in Sweden has some information literacy and learning articles in English (HUMANIT issue 11:2):
- Camilla Moring: Newcomer Information Practice: Negotiations on Information Seeking in and Across Communities of Practice
- Anna Lundh, Birgitta Davidsson and Louise Limberg: Talking About the Good Childhood: An Analysis of Educators’ Approaches to School Children’s Use of ICT
- Jan Nolin: Learning Technologies that Are Not Meant for Learning: A Critical Discussion of Learning Objects
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Crab apple, Sheffield University, April 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

School librarians Survive and Thrive!

Colorado Association of Libraries has a web site (unveiled at the end of January, I think) Survive and Thrive! An Advocacy Toolkit for School Librarians. This focuses on advocating the 21st century skills:
Self directed learning - “Own Your Learning”
Collaboration - “Work Together Learn Together”
Information Literacy - “Untangle the Web”
Critical thinking - “Think Deeply, Think Differently”
Invention - “Create Solutions" - Thanks to Judy O'Connell, I noticed this via her Scoop-IT page.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Crab apple blossom, Sheffield University, May 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The Informed Researcher Booklet and Information literacy lens on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework

There are two important new publications from Vitae (the organisation in the UK that focuses on developing researchers' skills and employability): a short and attractive booklet aimed at researchers themselves (that gives advice and explains the relevance of information literay) plus a 2-pager that relates the SCONUL 7 Pillars model of Information Literacy to the framework for developing researchers' skills and knowledge (the RDF framework). They were produced in collaboration with other key bodies including SCONUL and the Research Information Network. They are both professionally produced and can be downloaded for free.
- Bent, M., Gannon-Leary, P., Goldstein, S. and Videler, T. (2012) The Informed Researcher. Vitae.
- Information literacy lens on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework using the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy. (the picture here is the second page of this publication)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


There has been publicity for Pinterest, which allows you to assemble pin boards of images you have encountered on the web (though also intellectual property concerns). I've not seen that much specifically about information literacy (I've started a board, see below), but in terms of libraries there was this item a few days ago:
DeSantis, N. (2012) "3 Ways College Libraries Are Exploring Pinterest". The Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 April. and a slideshow:
Murphy, J. (2012) Pinterest for Museums and Libraries. Murphy's Pinterest site has some good examples as well.
I have just started using Pinterest at
Photo by Christopher Webber: cherry blossom in Greenwich Park, April 2012

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

2 articles: IL in health; policymaker's information behaviour

- Stevenson, P. (2012) "Evaluating educational interventions for information literacy." Health Information and Libraries Journal, 29 (1), 81–86.
- Greyson, D.L., Cunningham, C. and Morgan, S. (2012) "Information behaviour of Canadian pharmaceutical policy makers, Health Information and Libraries Journal, 29 (1), 16–27.
The journal home page is
Photo by Sheila Webber: rain-soaked apple blossom, April 2012.

Jane Secker new Editor of JIL

Dr Jane Secker has been announced as the new Editor of the Journal of Information Literacy.