Friday, September 28, 2012

Recent articles

A few assorted articles I hadn't picked up before:
- Kelley, J. (2012) "Off the Shelf and Out of the Box: Saving Time, Meeting Outcomes and Reaching Students with Information Literacy Modules" Library Scholarship. Paper 15.
- Limberg, L., Sundin, O. and Talja, S. (2012) "Three Theoretical Perspectives on Information Literacy" HumanIT. 11 (2) [I had already blogged the other papers in this issue, I think this one must have been added later]
- Gunton, L., Bruce, C., & Stoodley, I. (2012) "Experiencing religious information literacy : informed learning in church communities." Australian Library Journal, 61(2), 119-132. I already blogged an earlier article on the same research
- Emami, M. and Seify, S. (2012) "Determining the information literacy competence (ILC) of faculty members in University of Applied Sciences and Technology." Interdisciplinary journal of contemporary research in business. 3 (9), 1488-1495.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn starts to touch the beech leaves.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Proposed criteria for describing, reviewing and assessing practice in information literacy training

The Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition has developed a "draft set of criteria ... to help training practitioners in higher education describe and assess their training and development interventions and resources." "The criteria take the form of a set of structured questions intended to help you describe such interventions for the benefit of learners, but also for your peers in your own or other institutions."
I'm going to have to look at these carefully, which I don't have time to do today, so I may post about them again.The page from which you can download the criteria is here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ripening corn plants, Hellingly, September 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

nominations for the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian of the Year Award

The ACRL Instruction Section is now accepting nominations for the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian of the Year Award. It "recognizes an individual librarian who has made an especially significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment." Nominations are due December 7, 2012. More details about the award please are at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Marking in Remo's

New information literacy articles

The magazine SCONUL Focus Number 55, 2012, has been published. It includes a number of concise articles about information literacy e.g.
- The missing link: making the connection between information literacy and an excellent student experience by Christiana Titahmboh, Carol Price, Janice Wright
- ANCIL in action: progress updates on a new curriculum for information literacy by Emma Coonan, Jane Secker, Katy Wrathall , Helen Webster
- The ‘cut and paste’ of undergraduate research by Alison Henesey
The articles can be accessed freely at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Painting on an empty shop, Hailsham: it includes a QR code (I think to link to the artist's website)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2nd ASIST European Workshop cfp

The 2nd ASIST European Workshop will be held at Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, Finland 5-6 June 2013. ASIST is the American Society for Information Science and Technology. The conference theme is Digital information and institutions: changing practices of management and use. More specific topics include information behaviour and information literacy. There is a call for full research papers, position papers, panels and posters. Deadline for all submissions is February 1 2013. More info at

Monday, September 24, 2012

Latest version of WASSAIL free infolit assessment tool available

WASSAIL version 3.1 is now available for free download. This application enables you to manage question and response data from information literacy sessions, pre- and post-tests from credit-bearing information literacy (IL) courses, and user surveys. Its producer Nancy Goebel (Head Librarian / Human Rights Advisor at Augustana Campus, University of Alberta) says that "This update's most significant change is the ability to alter the properties of online questionnaires after they have been saved (e.g. add additional responses, change the "respond by date," and other questionnaire parameters). In addition, other smaller bugs have been fixed and interface consistency has been worked on throughout the software." Additional information and download at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Rudbeckia, September 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ALDinHE conference 2013 cfp

The Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) Conference 2013, Celebrating Learning Development, will take place at the University of Plymouth, UK, 25-27 March 2013 Key note speakers are Professor Leslie Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, Dr Stella Cottrell, Director for Lifelong Learning at the University of Leeds and Dave Cormier from Canada will share his experiences of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and rhizomatic learning. Further information and to submit a proposal go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: More michaelmas daisies, September 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

LOEX 2013 in Nashville: Call for Proposals

The major information literacy conference in the USA, LOEX, has a Call for Proposals. The 41st Annual LOEX Conference is on May 2-4 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Proposals are due on November 16, 2012
The six tracks are:
* Chart-Toppers -- Assessment and Evaluation
* All Together Now -- Collaborative Endeavors
* Talent Agents and Managers -- Program Leadership and Professional Development
* Legendary Venues -- Teaching and Learning Spaces
* Songwriter's Alley -- Instructional Design and Performance
* Mix It Up! -- Technology and Innovation
You submit a proposal for a presentation or workshop session. Library students can propose posters.
More information at
Questions to Judy Williams at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn sunflower, Sheffield, September 2012.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Search skills resource for history students, in French and German

Compas is a project og, which is a Swiss subject portal for the discipline of history. Compas is designed to be a resource for developing history students' information literacy and searching skills. The material is produced in two languages: French and German. I looked at the German version as my German is better than my French.
There are three themes: developing your own digital skills and support for your studies (e.g. using computers to help manage your work, take notes etc.); Researching topics in your discipline; Developing your network (including using social media, blogs and publication). For each there are subsections with advice (text is kept short), links, and the possibility to download the material in pdf.
For each theme there is a short video on the (mostly unfortunate) experience of a history student, done like silent films. Below is one of them (with German text, but I don't think you need to understand German to see what's going on). I think they are meant to convey "avoid being an idiot like Sophie" but I wonder whether it might rather say "you are doomed to fail". However the videos are professionally done and the rest of the resource is nice. But ... spot the librarian stereotype!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Digital Literacy Report: consultation

Consultation is open on the American Library Association's Digital Literacy Report, produced by their OITP Digital Literacy Task Force. This is an important area where it is obviously essential to stress the valuable role of libraries and librarians. You you not have to be an ALA member to comment, but you need to register with the ALA Connect system (free). Once you do that, and log in, a comment option appears at the bottom of the page. I haven't had time to look at it thoroughly, but my informal comment from a quick glance is that the definition of "digital literacy" seems too narrowly focused ("the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills") and although I can see why this happened in a library context, the digital literacy researchers I know stress the social aspect of digital literacy. I think it could be a good idea to acknowledge this, even if you go on to identify a spcial place for libraries/ librarians within that.
The report can be downloaded from.
Comments are open until October 19th. Thanks to Lyn Parker for alerting me to this report.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn perspective, taken in Second Life, September 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2 short research papers: Social Media as Information Source, and; Developing an IL game

Kim, K., Yoo-Lee, E. and Sin, S. (2011) Social Media as Information Source: Undergraduates’ Use and Evaluation Behavior. In: Proceedings of the 74rd ASIST Annual Meeting Retrieved 18 September 2012 from
An interesting short paper that reports on a survey of what sources students used, what they used them for and what evaluative strategies they used. For example Wikipedia was used for initially scoping a topic, and evaluated through looking at the links and sources, whereas Youtube was used for recreation and for instructions on how to do things, and was evaluated through the video quality and people's opinions.

Markey, K. and Leeder, C. (2011) The Effect of Scoring and Feedback Mechanisms
in an Online Educational Game. In: Proceedings of the 74rd ASIST Annual Meeting. Retrieved 18 September 2012 from

This describes the stages of piloting this information literacy game, and the changes that needed to be made as a result.

I discovered these 2 papers (and further interesting ones) as part of the October 2011 ASIST annual conference proceedings;
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blackheath Farmers' Market, September 2012

LILAC Conference in Manchester in 2013

It has been announced that the LILAC (annual information literacy) conference will take place at the University of Manchester (UK), 25-27 March 2013. The call for papers is not yet open.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Busy Librarian’s Guide to Information Literacy in Science and Engineering

A new book published by ACRL: The Association of College and Research Libraries:
O'Clair, K. and Davidson, J. (Eds.) (2012) The Busy Librarian’s Guide to Information Literacy in Science and Engineering. ACRL. ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-8619-6
It "provides a practical guide for librarians responsible for science, engineering and/or technology information literacy instruction to understand and apply the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Science and Engineering/Technology into curriculum design and ongoing instruction". You can get it in print, or as an e-book, or both together. Information is here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ducklings, Blackheath pond, on Sunday (I'm a bit worried about them surviving this time of year!)

Journal club in SL: 19 September (designing a tutorial)

What: Journal Club, led by Sheila Webber (i.e. me), Sheffield University iSchool (Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life (SL). Every month we have a discussion about a selected article; all are welcome, just turn up; you need a SL avatar and the SL browser installed on your computer.

When: 19 Sept, 12 noon to 1pm Second Life time (which is the same as US Pacific time; 8pm-9pm UK time, see for times elsewhere)

Where: Journal club room, Infolit iSchool, in the virtual world Second Life (That takes you to a map, you click Teleport to activate the SL browser)

Paper for discussion (about developing and use testing a tutorial on academic integrity, at Aukland University):
Wang, L. (2012) "Designing an interactive virtual learning environment (VLE) with a learner centered approach." In: IFLA World Library and Information Conference 2012: Helsinki August 2012: Programme proceedings. Available from

There will be a 10 minute introduction to the paper in voice and then a discussion in text chat. Potential discussion questions include:
- what kinds of user-testing have you done with tutorials?
- have you encountered the same responses/ issues as the author?
- have you used similar tools and colleagues when developing tutorials?

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research Event

Sunday, September 16, 2012

ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group

The September rticle for the ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group is
Blackburn, H. (2010) "Shhh! No talking about retention in the library!" Education libraries, 33 (1), 24-30.
This is an asynchronous discussion about the article: to join in you need to register at the site (free). Go to

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Library 2.012 call for papers - ends tomorrow!

The Library 2.012 virtual conference (to be held October 3 - 5, 2012) call for proposals end tomorrow, 15 September.  The conference is free and held online with events to suite different time zones. The broad theme is "the current and future state of libraries. Subject strands include physical and virtual learning spaces, evolving professional roles in today's world, organizing and creating information, changing delivery methods, user-centered access, and mobile and geo-social information environments." There are already a number of accepted proposals about information literacy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: washing on the line in what seems like it was the last of summer, a few days ago

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Power Searching with Google, free online course

There is an online training course Power Searching with Google running from 24 September to 5 October. It is run by Google themselves, and you can sign up for free. You get "Access to community discussion forum; The opportunity to put your new skills to test with mid and post class assessments; Support from Google course staff; An official Power Searching with Google certificate upon completion" Out of curiosity, I registered, but the dates coincide with the start of the semester, so I may not be able to give it full attention (will be embarrassing if I fail to get my completion certificate ;-)

I found some detailed reflections on the last running of the course on a blog the author is in Germany but writes in English, and she also has some interesting reflections on a MOOC about e-learning she took, and other aspects of teaching with technology. Her Google-course posts are here:

I discovered the Google course because I was following links to information about Google's "course builder" online educational software You have to install it on your own server. There is some advice about designing online modules that I would describe as "cheap and cheerful" though it does recommend that you start by spending at least 30 minutes planning the teaching!
Photo by Sheila webber: Poppy, Sheffield Botanic Gardens, September 2012.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New articles in Reference Services Review

The latest issue of (priced publication) Reference Services Review is online: volume 40 issue 4 2012. As with all issue 4s of this journal, it includes the useful annual annotated bibliography of articles on information literacy (522 identified this year).
- Library Instruction and Information Literacy 2011 by Anna Marie Johnson, Claudene Sproles, Robert Detmering, and Jessica L English.
Other articles include
- Development of the Graduate Library User Education Series by Lori Critz, Mary Axford, William Matthew Baer, Chris Doty, Heidi Lowe, and Crystal Renfro
- Working Together: Library and Writing Center Collaboration by Elise Ferer
- Information Seeking Behaviors of Music Students by Kirstin Dougan
Journal home page at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hawthorne branch, late sunshine, Hellingly September 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Making games for libraries, 10 December

Andrew Walsh is running an event Making games for libraries, including information literacy games. "We will play one or two games to start the day, followed by a short talk on games and play to help give context for the day. The bulk of the day will then consist of group work - creating and prototyping games for use within your libraries." This means games using all kinds of media, including cards, boards etc. The venue is Leeds Metropolitan Libraries, UK, on 10 December 2012 and the cost is £50 "Everyone will also take away a copy of SEEK!, an information literacy game" (see where Andrew is raising money for design costs). Book at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Michaelmas daisy bee, Sheffield Botanic Gardens, September 2012

Friday, September 07, 2012

Updated SMILE

SMILE was developed as a module which "develops study skills and employability skills, integrated with students academic work." There is now an updated version: SMILE 2.0 (SMILE= Study Methods and Information Literacy Exemplars). It is available as a set of zipped files in the JORUM open respository, advertised as a "Web based information literacy training package. Includes study skills and new modules on ethics, research design, group work. Version 2 of package, August 2012"
Photo by Sheila Webber: tips of corn plants, Hellingly, September 2012

New Book: Handbuch Informationskompetenz

For German speakers, an e-book published in May looks like essential reading: Handbuch Informationskompetenz (Information Literacy handbook). It has many chapters (in 583 pages), with excellent authors, and covers issues to do with information literacy in different sectors, information and digital literacy, information literacy in school and in Higher Education, teaching information literacy, changes to the "teaching library" and reports on information literacy in the different German-speaking countries. The only drawback is that is is really too expensive for an individual to buy, though the e-book format may make it convenient for a library.
Sühl-Strohmenger, W. (Ed). (2012) Handbuch Informationskompetenz. De Gruyter Saur. ISBN 978-3-11-025518-8. Price 128,95 € / $181.00 (or you can buy individual chapters for about 30 Euros each)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hawthorn leaves, Hellingly, September 2012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Media and Information Literacy: strength through diversity

I realised I hadn't blogged about my video presentation shown at the International Conference on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for Knowledge Societies in Moscow, Russian Federation in June. As I mentioned before, I was invited to the conference but then wasn't able to attend in person, so I produced a video which was shown at the event. It is just 17 minutes long, and is called Media and Information Literacy: strength through diversity. In it I talk how it is valuable to explore and celebrate cultural and national diversity in information literacy, and this national perspective might also encourage national governments to value it.

There are many presentations and pictures from the Moscow conference online here. Just to take a few examples at random, they include:
- An analysis of concept of information literacy by Serap KURBANOGLU, Hacettepe University, Turkey
- Mapping out media and information literacy by Jarosław LIPSZYC, The Modern Poland Foundation, Poland
- Computer literates and information illiterates by Gordana LJUBANOVIC, National Library of Serbia, Serbia
- Placing media and information literacy at the core of instruction ( Presentation / Paper) by Jagtar SINGH, Punjabi University, Indian Association of Teachers of Library and Information Science, India
- Children and the new media literacy: an Egyptian case study by Samy TAYIE, Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University, Mentor Association, Egypt

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Chat Literacy Information Literacy discussion: day 1

Today was the first day of the information literacy discussion on Chat Literacy. It's been very interesting - 80 posts so far, from all around the world. This is the page for Day 1 You have to join up to Chat Literacy to contribute to the discussion. I thought I would post my own initial posting to today's discussion here, as well, so here it is:

"My own view of information literacy is that it is both a subject in its own right and contextual, and I don't think these two things are contradictory. By "subject in its own right" I Mean that it is already something that people can study in itself (there are journals, people get PhDs by studying it, there are conferences etc.; I argued this e.g. in this paper about IL as an international concept

"I also think that learners need to be aware of information literacy as something each person has to develop for themselves through their lives, because information literacy will change for them through the course of their lives. In formal education, educators and librarians can support learners to develop the information literacy learners need to suceed in their studies and also to deal with the rest of their lives outside study. However, once they leave formal education, people tend to lack this support. They are lucky if they have a workplace that develops staff's information literacy. They are also lucky if they even have a public library system that helps them meet their changing information literacy needs. My information literacy/needs, at age 59, in 2012, are different from when I was (e.g.) 20, at university. I HAVE been lucky, because my jobs have given me the opportunity to develop my personal information literacy.

"Therefore I do not think it is a good idea ONLY to embed information literacy in another subject, in such a way that learners just tackle information literacy as part of the subject, without consciously developing their understanding of IL. I think that this is poor preparation for developing information literacy for the rest of your life. However, I'm not saying here that people shouldn't integrate IL into other subject teaching at all. This integration is sensible and useful, but I think that learners need to become aware of themselves as information literate people (indeed, take responsibility for themselves as information literate people)

"I said that I thought that information literacy was CONTEXTUAL, and part of what I meant was this need to look at your OWN context and diagnose how you need to develop new skills, knowledge and attitudes of information literacy. An important aspect is understanding how information itself is contextual (means different things to different people). One example is academic discipline e.g. "information" for a chemist is a different concept (e.g. molecular structures are very important) than "information" for a marketing person. Another difference is when looking at people of different cultures and nationalities.

"In the video, which I prepared for the recent UNESCO meeting on media and information literacy, I quote from the work of one of my former PhD students, Dr Shahd Salha. She investigated conceptions of information literacy amongst school librarians in Syria. Some of their conceptions, for example with information literacy seen as illumination, and with a spiritual dimension, have not emerged in Western studies. Personally I do not think it is duplication for different countries and cultures to reflect on the meaning of information literacy for them, I think it is an important step in seeing how information literacy is relevant to you, in your own time and place and culture.

"To take that back to the "micro" level of what this means if you ARE teaching in formal education, with a bunch of students in front of you ... well, I do put forward IL as an exciting, international concept, as well as a very practical concept that they can use to get better marks! I have classes with an international mix (e.g. more Chinese than British students in my largest postgraduate class of 114 students last year).

"One exercise they did was to find material about information literacy in their own language and post a link to this in their team blogs that they were keeping. Then they had to explain what the material was to people who were from different countries/language. This exercise went well - it got students talking about what information literacy was (and so developing their own ideas), it got them talking to people with different first langauges, and it made them aware that IL was indeed international."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wayside flower, Sweden, August 2012

Monday, September 03, 2012

4th Annual Inland InfoLit Retreat: Call for Presentations

On October 19 2012 there is the 4th Annual Inland InfoLit Retreat at the Bozarth Mansion, Spokane, USA. There is a call for proposals for mini-presentations "on topics relating to successes in the intersection of composition and information literacy". Proposals have to be received by 5 October, and should be emailed to Ielleen Miller at Include your presentation title, an abstract (maximum 100 words), and contact information for the presenter(s).
"Inland InfoLit is a local consortium of professional educators dedicated to promoting information literacy across the curriculum. Our members are composition and writing center faculty, administrators, and librarians from Inland Northwest colleges and universities."
More information and some links and past presentations at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Seed heads, August 2012