Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Global Forum on Media and Gender: Media and Information Literacy

On December 2-4 in Bangkok, Thailand, there was a UNESCO Global Forum on Media and Gender. One of the strands was titled Media and Information Literacy, although it seems like the focus was on media literacy, not information literacy. The sessions that made up the strand were:  
- Use access to information provisions to report on gender equality and women’s human rights issues: Some experiences;  
- Girls/Boys, Women/Men and Technology: Enabling voices Social media, Internet blogging and GEwe; 
- Gender, media and identity; and  
- MIL and cultural competencies to advocate GEwe: A practical workshop for youths ( girls/boys and young women/men).
There are abstracts from this page http://unesco-ci.org/cmscore/gfgm-themes/media-and-information-literacy and the following articles gives an account of some of the sessions.
Ndlovo, S. (2013) Africa: Critical Audiences Have the Power Watch the Watchdogs. AllAfrica. 4 December. http://allafrica.com/stories/201312050541.html
My perception is that this is an area where there could be more thinking and development in identifying gender issues to do with information literacy (i.e. apart from issues to do with literacy and gender, the media and gender, or computer skills and gender; where there is more activity and literature).
The following page links to numerous publications relevant to the conference, for example Gender-sensitivity: a training manual for sensitizing education managers, curriculum and material developers and media professionals to gender concerns and Gender issues in the information society.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas tree ornament, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Information encountering and management in information literacy instruction of undergraduate students.

I have included information encountering in my infrmation literacy classes for many years, as it is an information behaviour that I think it is important for people to reflect on. If (like me) you are a "super encounterer" it is important to adapt your information management practices. Therefore I was interetsted in this new (priced) article:
Stewart, K. and Basic, J. (2014) Information encountering and management in information literacy instruction of undergraduate students. International Journal of Information Management, 34 (2), 74–79. Abstract: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268401213001321
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas tree ornament, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Information behaviour of people with chronic conditions in the USA

Since I am still feeling poorly, I picked up on a health-related report from Pew Internet Research, published a month ago. The study surveyed 3,014 adults living in the United States, via landline phone or mobile phone, in August-September 2012. People who reported a chronic health condition and used the internet were "more likely than other online adults to: Gather information online about medical problems, treatments, and drugs.; Consult online reviews about drugs and other treatments.; Read or watch something online about someone else’s personal health experience."
They were also more likely to consult a doctor about the reliability of the information they had found. They used a wide range of sources (online and face to face), but mainly free ones. As in previous studies, they found that searches tended to start with search engines, and that many health searches were carried out on behalf of others. Those with chronic conditions were also more likely to be collecting information about their own health regularly (e.g. sleep patterns, blood pressure).

 Additionally "People living with chronic conditions are significantly less likely than other adults to have internet access: 72%, compared with 89% of adults who report no chronic conditions." Although some of this can be attributed to the fact that those with chronic health problems tend to be older and less well educated, there was still a difference even when factors such as age, gender and education were factored into calculations.
Fox, S. and Duggan, M. (2013) The Diagnosis Difference. The Pew Internet & American Life Project. http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/The-Diagnosis-Difference.aspx
Photo by Sheila Webber: mulberries on the the oldest mulberry tree in the UK (planted in teh 17th century) in Charlton Park, August 2013.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belated Merry Christmas!

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days. I am finishing the year with a nasty cold/flu - feeling dreadful for nearly a week now. Fortunately I'm not chief cook over Christmas! Anyway, starting to feel a little bit better, so here are slightly belated Christmas greetings to all blog readers!
Photo: my 2013 Xmas wreath

Friday, December 20, 2013

New articles in Information Research

The latest issue of the open access journal Information Research (18 (4), 2013) includes the following articles:
- Miamaria Saastamoinen, Sanna Kumpulainen, Pertti Vakkari and Kalervo Järvelin: Task complexity affects information use: a questionnaire study in city administration
- Ola Pilerot: A practice theoretical exploration of information sharing and trust in a dispersed community of design scholars
- Mette Skov: Hobby-related information-seeking behaviour of highly dedicated online museum visitors
- Douglas Edward Abrahamson and Jane Goodman-Delahunty: The impact of organizational information culture on information use outcomes in policing: an exploratory study
- Jenny Bronstein: Being private in public: information disclosure behaviour of Israeli bloggers

Photo by Sheila Webber: Sunset, Sheffield, December 2013

New issue of Communications in Information Literacy focuses on #ACRL standards

Volume 7 no 2 (2013) of the open access journal Communications in Information Literacy focuses on discussion around the revision of the (US) Association of College and Research Libraries' information literacy standards: Reflecting on the standards. The articles are:
- Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy -- Trudi E. Jacobson, Thomas P. Mackey
- Rethinking the 2000 ACRL Standards: Some Things to Consider -- Carol C. Kuhlthau
- Info lit 2 .0 or Deja Vu? -- Patricia Anne Iannuzzi
- A Threshold Concepts Approach to the Standards Revision -- Amy R. Hofer, Korey Brunetti, Lori Townsend
- Refreshing Information Literacy: Learning from Recent British Information Literacy Models -- Justine Martin
- Minding the Gaps: Exploring the Space Between Vision and Assessment in Information Literacy Work -- Heidi LM Jacobs
- The New ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards: Revising Reception -- Benjamin R. Harris
- Affective Learning and Personal Information Management: Essential Components of Information Literacy -- Ellysa Stern Cahoy
- A Reconsideration of Information Literacy -- Stanley J. Wilder
- Marketing Information Literacy -- Maura Seale
- Transforming Information Literacy in the Sciences Through the Lens of e-Science -- Elizabeth Berman
- How AASL Learning Standards Inform ACRL Information Literacy Standards -- Lesley S.J. Farmer
- Information Literacy and Digital Literacy: Competing or Complementary? -- Rosanne Marie Cordell
- Time for a Paradigm Shift: The New ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education - Marcus Banks
- Moving Forward: A Discussion on the Revision of the ACRL Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education -- Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Craig Gibson, Trudi E. Jacobson
The issue is at http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php?journal=cil&page=issue&op=view&path[]=14
Photo by Sheila Webber: Reflection, Sheffield, November 2006

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Recent articles: nursing; public libraries and literacy; university libraries

A new open access article dealing with nursing is: Carter-Templeton, H., Patterson, R. and MacKey, S. (2014) Nursing faculty and student experiences with information literacy: A pilot study. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4 (1), 208-217. http://www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/jnep/article/view/2985/2229

The latest issue of the priced publication, Libri, Volume 63, Issue 4, December 2013, includes: Better Beginnings: Public Libraries Making Literacy Links with the Adult Community by Anderson, K. et al; Information Literacy Programmes in University Libraries: A Case Study by Baro, E., Seimode, F. and Godfrey, V. Abstracts can be seen at: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/libr.2013.63.issue-4/issue-files/libr.2013.63.issue-4.xml
Photo by Sheila Webber: Dusk, December 2013

First call for papers: European Conference on Information Literacy #ecil2014

There is a first Call for Papers for the 2nd European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL), to be held 20-23 October 2014 in the Hotel Valamar Lacroma, Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is organized by the Department of Information and Communication Sciences of Zagreb University and Department of Information Management of Hacettepe University, Turkey. Information Literacy, Media Literacy and Lifelong Learning are the key foci and there is a long list of suggested topics. Proposals can be made for of several types of contributions; full papers, posters, PechaKucha, best practices, workshops, panels, invited talks, and a doctoral forum. Deadline for proposals is 16 March 2014.
The web page is at: http://ecil2014.org/
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ECIL2014
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas tree, Firth Court, Sheffield University, December 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Research Activities

A useful post from Brian Kelly on using social media for your academic research http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/using-social-media-to-enhance-your-research-activities-workshop/. It particularly appeals as he's talking about a presentation he gave to the DAAD conference (Deutscher Akademische Austausch Dienst), which I remember from my days as a Germanistin (I studied German for my BA). This is the presentation he gave:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

cfp “Google is not enough: Reference and Information Services for the transfer of knowledge - reframing the discussion

There is a call for papers for session Google is not enough: Reference and Information Services for the transfer of knowledge - reframing the discussion. This is organised by the Reference and Information Services Section of IFLA, and will take place as part of the World Library and Information (IFLA) Congress, 16-22 August 2014, in Lyon, France. This year the overall conference theme is: Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge.
"Highly engaging papers will approach the main themes with reference to case studies that illustrate best practices. During the two-hour session we hope to have between 4 and 6 speakers, presenting a paper in advance of the Congress – see important dates below - but also giving a 15 to 20 minute summary during the RISS Session." Topics include:
- The 21st century reference librarian: is she/he a human search engine or a partner in knowledge creation? What training and development is required to fulfill this role? What is not being addressed in library education?
- Is reference a form of activism? How does this relate to the social role of reference librarianship in the transfer of knowledge? How do reference services help people to do something, make something, or change something?
- How do public library reference services build individual and community assets? Examples for this topic could address how do these services strengthen civic engagement, or support multicultural societies or provide a community hub.
- Are reference services in your library about access (the delivery of answers) or about knowledge creation? How is this enacted in day-to-day services? Examples for topics could include: digital and mobile libraries and their use in service delivery/knowledge creation, remote reference services and support for the new kinds of learning environments, or delivery of essential services to support a knowledge driven economy.
- Reference without technology – the possibilities and perils. What will these services look like in 5 years? What sort of innovative reference work in non-technological environments is being done?

Proposals should include: Title of presentation, Abstract of no more than 500 words in English, Name, e-mail address, position (title) of presenter(s), plus a brief presenter(s) biography, Presenter(s) employer or affiliate institution
Please send your proposal for papers by email, headed IFLA RISS Papers, to both janeweller9@btinternet.com and marydee@xmission.com
Deadline for submitting proposals is 1st February 2014.
Photo - cakes and fruit at our research group meeting today.

Monday, December 16, 2013

LibTeachMeet at MMU on Weds 22nd January

There is a free teachmeet meeting in Manchester, UK, at Manchester Metropolitan University Library on 22nd January 2014. Only a few presenter and audience tickets remaining! Details at http://goo.gl/25C83K

Friday, December 13, 2013

More research on student expectations and experiences #qaa

The report I mentioned yesterday on student expectations reminded me that research was carried out in:
Johnston, B. and Kochanowska, R. (2009) Student expectations, experiences and reflections on the first year. The Quality Assurance Agency. http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/publications/student-expectations-experiences-reflections-first-year.pdf?sfvrsn=16

This report concentrated on students studying in Scotland. The researchers interviewed a slightly larger sample of students than the UK-wide study. Bizarrely (but why am I not surprised), despite the fact that they were both funded by QAA, the latest study does not appear to reference this earlier one.
Some similar points emerge (e.g. to do with contact with academic staff, and the need for support through transition), but some further interesting nuances were discovered, so it is definitely worth reading both reports.
The "want value for money" theme did not emerge as strongly in this 2009 report. The 2013 authors say that this theme emerged UK-wide (i.e. including in Scotland) but obviously there were far fewer Scottish-based students in their study, so it's difficult to say whether this is because of the worsening economic conditions between then and now, or because the (I imagine, I don't think it says) predominance of non-Scottish-based students brought the issue of fees more prominently into the data.

While I'm mentioning resources about higher education, there is a new Resource database with materials relating to teaching quality in Scottish universities: http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/resources . It includes reports, presentations, posters, videos etc. When I searched "information literacy" I just found 3 items, but one of them was a booklet pulling together key findings from the enhancement work of the QAA in Scotland by eminent educational researcher Dai Hounsell. "Communication and Information Literacy" (and it doesn't just mean IT literacy) is identified as a graduate attribute which has been adopted. "Across the Scottish higher education sector, the most prominent outcome of the work of the G21C Theme is a robust and well-articulated collaborative grasp - or understanding - of the attributes and qualities which are needed by the twenty-first century graduate."
Hounsell, D. (2011) Graduates for the 21st Century: Integrating the Enhancement Themes. QAA. http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/publications/graduates-for-the-21st-century-institutional-activities.PDF?sfvrsn=34
Photo by Sheila Webber: Glasgow Botanic Gardemns, Scotland, April 2006

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Student expectations and perceptions of higher education

An interesting study has just been published, commissioned by the Quality Assurance Agency, which the body which has responsibility for (as the name implies) assuring the quality of teaching in higher education in the UK (through developing standards and guidelines and carrying out evaluations of teaching quality etc.). This report is is:
Kandiko, C. (2013) Student expectations and perceptions of higher education. London: King's Learning Institute. 
The aim was "to undertake research into student expectations and perceptions of the quality of their learning experience and the academic standards of their chosen programmes of study." The researchers undertook interviews and focus groups and analysed the data using a grounded theory and concept mapping approaches. Important themes were: a consumerist orientation, expecting value for money; wanting well-trained expert staff, good organisation and facilities, socialisation (including face to face time with teachers), and an employability focus.

There were issues around transition "It was common that students felt lost, unsure of what was expected of them and not sure of where to go for assistance in their transition to higher education." and this was really the only place where the value of information literacy could be inferred (it wasn't mentioned directly). One of the participant quotes was:
"‘I was not prepared for uni, let’s say in terms of how to actually learn…that was a massive, massive shock to me in terms of, you know, how to proactively go to the library and get all this information…I think I was maybe hoping for some more guidance in the first year maybe just so you kind of knew what you were doing was okay. [Second year, Male, International Politics, Research‐intensive institution]" (p64)

There are some useful recommendations about meeting student expectations better. However, I was a bit disappointed (though not surprised) that there wasn't something about challenging some of these assumptions and expectations (e.g. whether a learner gets value-for-money from their fees also depends on what he or she is willing to input in terms of motivation and interest in learning).

For those interested in these issues, another recent publication is focused on the Scottish Higher Education scene (there are differences in English and Scottish education e.g. the Scottish 4-year honours degree and different position on tuition fees)
Mayes, T. (2013) 10 years of the Scottish higher education Enhancement Themes 2003-13. http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/sheec/10-years-of-the-enhancement-themes
Photo by Sheila Webber: Greenwich Park, November 2013

Students' educational preferences; US librarians' teaching orientation

A couple of interesting articles in a recent issue of open-access title College and Research Libraries.

- Latham, D. and Gross, M. (2013) Instructional Preferences of First-Year College Students with Below-Proficient Information Literacy Skills: A Focus Group Study. College and research libraries. 74 (5), 430-449.
They used focus groups, asking participants to describe their strategies with searches they were doing for their own interests, and searches they were doing for academic work, and also asked about teaching strategies that motivated and demotivated the participants and ways the library could encourage participation in IL education. I think the recommendations are applicable to all types of students, not just the "below proficient" ones.

- Gilstrap, D. (2013) Why Do We Teach? Adult Learning Theory in Professional Standards as a Basis for Curriculum Development. College and research libraries. 74 (5), 501-518.
Rather disturbingly, the finding of the North American study was that there was a negative correlation between knowledge of the ACRL information literacy standards and adult learning orientation. A stronger adult learning orientation correlated with more years of experience of teaching information literacy. The survey instrument, one that was developed several decades ago and has been used in numerous pieces of research, is designed to distinguish between an orientation (in educators) towards andragogy (adult learning approaches, what might be termed nowadays as a more constructivist approach to teaching at any level) and pedagogy, with "pedagogy" here meaning transmissive and directive approaches to teaching.
Photo by Sheila Webber: golden beetroots, Farmers' market, November 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Library 2.013 session recordings online

Recordings of presentations from the online Library 2.013 conference (held this October) are available. There are loads of presentations, with some bias towards North America, but also numerous ones from other countries such as China, Australia and Hungary. To pick out some that sound IL-related:
- Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (Kara Malenfant, Sr. Strategist for Special Initiatives - Association of College and Research Libraries, IL, USA)
- Incorporating Information Literacy into Instructional Designs of PreService Teachers (Dr. Lesley Farmer, Professor of Library Media - California State University Long Beach, CA, USA)
- Toolkit for Creating Student Presentations in the Online Classroom (Jean Bedord, Lecturer - School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University, USA)
- Who's in the MOOD for M.O.O.C.s? (Ana Guthrie, Reference and Instruction Librarian (Nathan W. Collier Library, Florida Memorial University, FL, USA)
- Writing library instruction with mixed media (Sean Cordes, Associate Professor, Instruction Service Coordinator and Mahryah Carcncross, Instructor - Western Illinois University Libraries, USA)
Long list of sessions at: http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/center-information-research-and-innovation-ciri/library-2013-worldwide-virtual-conference/presentations
Photo by Sheila ebber: War memorial at sunset, Sheffield, December 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

UNESCO General Conference endorses Media and Information Literacy resolution: an international step forward!

The latest meeting of the UNESCO General Conference voted in favour of the draft resolution on Media and Information Literacy that my colleagues on the IFLA Information Literacy Section Committee had been working on persistently through its various stages and drafts, with UNESCO staff. UNESCO is the social/educational arm of the United Nations. Member states are now being encouraged to endorse this at a national level (so, the lobbying needs to continue!) The resolution was submitted by the Philippines, with support from Croatia, Finland, Germany, Oman, Poland, and the Russian Federation. It is so nice not to have to infer information literacy from statements about IT or literacy or knowledge society etc. - there the phrase is, in the title of the resolution.

The terminology in these kinds of documents has to follow certain patterns. It starts with several statements, notably that
"Recognizing that the achievement of UNESCO’s vision of Knowledge Societies is dependent on moving beyond ICT infrastructure and access to building the capacity of all citizens to participate actively and effectively in emerging knowledge societies,"
"Recognizing that Media and Information Literacy is essential for lifelong learning and is a prerequisite for sustainable development,
"Further recognizing that Media and Information Literacy is a means for achieving the goal of universal and equitable access to information and knowledge,
"Commends IFLA for its efforts in developing the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations;
"Invites Member States to endorse the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations;
"Further invites Member States to take the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations into consideration during the planning of future strategies, policies, and initiatives on education, lifelong learning, literacy, and other areas which will contribute to building a Knowledge Society."

In the middle portion of the document, amongst other things it notes that:
"The IFLA Media and Information Literacy Recommendations can provide the vital foundation for ensuring that all citizens have the skills and capabilities to participate equitably in the Knowledge Societies by outlining actions for multi-stakeholder collaborations between governments, private sector and civil society organizations, librarians, educators and other stakeholders in developed and developing countries"

Then there are the recommendations themselves, which end with some bullet points:
"In particular IFLA recommends that governments and organisations to do the following:
• Commission research on the state of Media and Information Literacy and produce reports, using the Media and Information Literacy indicators as a base [I have blogged about this indicators initiative previously, it is still ongoing], so that experts, educators, and practitioners are able to design effective initiatives;
• Support professional development for education, library, information, archive, and health and human services personnel in the principles and practices of Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning;
• Embed Media and Information Literacy education in all Lifelong Learning curricula;
• Recognise Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning as key elements for the development of generic capabilities which must be demonstrated for accreditation of all education and training programmes;
• Include Media and Information Literacy in the core and continuing education of information professionals, educators, economic and government policy - makers and administrators, as well as in the practice of advisors to the business, industry and agriculture sectors;
• Implement Media and Information Literacy programmes to increase the employability and entrepreneurial capacities of women and disadvantaged groups, including migrants, the underemployed and the unemployed; and,
• Support thematic meetings which will facilitate the acquisition of Media and Information and Lifelong Learning strategies within specific regions, sectors, and population groups."

The full draft resolution is at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002242/224273e.pdf
A press announcement from IFLA is at http://www.ifla.org/node/8208

Sunday, December 08, 2013

SL Journal club: Wednesday 11 December: Critical Theory for Information Literacy Instruction

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Led by Ewa Rozkosz (Documentation and Information Specialist , University of Lower Silesia, Wrocław, Poland, and Saba Pearl in Second Life) we will be discussing:
Doherty, J. J. & Ketchner, K. (2005). Empowering the Intentional Learner: A Critical Theory for Information Literacy Instruction. Library Philosophy and Practice, 8(1). Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac/70/

When: 11 December 2013 12 noon SL time (which is 8pm UK time and the same
as US pacific time: see http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?iso=20131211T12&p1=234 for times elsewhere)

Where: Infolit iSchool Journal Club room, in the virtual world Second Life, http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/106/209/31 You need a SL avatar and the Second Life browser installed on your computer.

Everyone is welcome to join the one-hour discussion. A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event.
The picture shows our last Journal Club, on 5th November.

Friday, December 06, 2013

New issue of Journal of Information Literacy

Volume 7 issue 2 has been published. It has the following articles, plus conference reports and reviews.
- Being an embedded research librarian: supporting research by being a researcher (Clare McCluskey)
- Towards a model of critical information literacy instruction for the development of political agency (Lauren Smith)
- Integrated instruction framework for information literacy (Pamela Kessinger)
- Creating, sharing and reusing learning objects to enhance information literacy (Philip Russell, Gerard Ryder, Gillian Kerins, Margaret Phelan)
- Faculty and student perceptions and behaviours related to information literacy: a pilot study using triangulation (Barbara Jean Ganley, Amy Gilbert, Dianne Rosario)
- Faculty perceptions of students' information literacy skills competencies (Eleonora Dubicki)
- Rethinking library instruction: using learning-outcome based design to teach online search strategies (Meagan Lacy, Hsin-liang Chen)
- Confidence as an indicator of research students’ abilities in information literacy: a mismatch (Cathie Jackson)
- Longitudinal update: business information literacy teaching at different academic levels (Mariela Hristova, Cynthia E. Miree)
- Get the Digital Edge: a digital literacy and employability skills day for students (Emma Woods, Ellie Murphy)
- Chat Literacy: Reflection on approaches and methodology towards setting up a community of practice on information capability in an international context (Emma Rachel Greengrass)
- Information literacy in public libraries (Jacquie Widdowson, Darren Smart)
Journal of Information Literacy is open access at http://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/JIL/index
Photo by Sheila Webber: yesterday was very windy.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Flexible Pedagogies: new pedagogical ideas

This is a report from the UK's Higher Education Academy, as part of a project Flexible Pedagogies: preparing for the future. "The report identifies six 'new pedagogical ideas' for the future of an increasingly flexible HE which offer new pathways for graduate attributes or capabilities" These are:
- learner empowerment;
- future-facing education (helping people "to consider prospects and hopes for the future across the globe and to anticipate, rethink and work towards alternative and preferred future scenarios");
- decolonising education ;
- transformative capabilities ("using pedagogies guided by engaged, ‘whole-person’ and transformative approaches to learning");
- crossing boundaries (e.g. inter-disciplinary;
- social learning.
Flexible Pedagogies: new pedagogical ideas is at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/flexiblelearning/Flexiblepedagogies/new_ped_ideas/npi_report.pdf
Diagram copyright Higher Education Academy, York, UK

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Facing the Future: Librarians and Information Literacy in a Changing Landscape cfp

There is a Call for Papers for the IFLA Information Literacy Section Satellite Meeting taking place in Limerick, Ireland, August 14-15 2014. The conference title is Facing the Future: Librarians and Information Literacy in a Changing Landscape. Main themes are: Information literacy and lifelong learning in a changing landscape; Information literacy - theoretical approaches (standards, assessment, collaboration, etc.); Success stories and best practices and Strategic planning, policy, and advocacy for media and information literacy in a digital age. Contributions can be: Full papers, Presentations, Roundtable discussions, Poster sessions, Train-the-trainers workshops, and PechaKucha presentations. Deadline for proposals is February 28 2014.
More information on the conference website: http://www.iflasatellitelimerick.com
Photo by Sheila Webber: old chestnut tree, Greenwich Park, November 2013

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Registration for LILAC conference open

Registration for the UK's main information literacy conference, LILAC, is now open. There is an early bird rate til 21st February. More info at http://www.lilacconference.com/WP/bookings/

Annual Conference of the Higher Education Academy, cfp

The 10th Annual Conference of the UK's Higher Education Academy is 2-3 July 2014 at Aston University, Birmingham, UK. The conference theme is Preparing for learning futures: the next ten years. "Change is fundamental to how we make sense of, work in and research, higher education (HE). HE is both conceived of as a catalyst for change (at a personal, societal and international level) and responds to ever-changing contexts cultural, technological, economic and political. The conference will focus on the future of the student learning experience and explore how we are preparing for it; it will look at how current policy and practice is (or is not) equipping us for the opportunities that lie ahead and what may need to be done to both adapt to and create new learning environments. The conference will also ask what the next ten years hold, what will change, what needs to change, and how can we prepare for that change." The strands are: the future is now; the future is connected; the future is global; the future is unwritten. The call for papers is open, closing 27 January 2014. More info at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/annual-conference
Photo by Sheila Webber: view to Thames from Greenwich Park, late November 2013.

Friday, November 29, 2013

What does a Digital University look like?

The ASCILITE (Australiasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) conference is taking place 1-2 December in Sydney, Australia , and my colleague Bill Johnston is co-presenting some more of their work on the digital university. There is a session Moving from ‘e’ to ‘d’: what does a Digital University look like? by Keith Smyth (Office of the Vice Principal (Academic), Edinburgh Napier University), Bill Johnson and Sheila MacNeill (Glasgow Caledonian University). Since Bill is involved it goes without saying that a digital university is also information literate. There is an abstract here http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/sydney13/program/workshops/digitaluniversities.php and it will be developing the ideas in this previous powerpoint, I think: http://www.slideshare.net/sheilamac/dundee-symposium-31may13-21833957.
ASCILITE looks an interesting conference with an element of information literacy e.g. Amy Antonio is talking about Creating engagement and cultivating information literacy skills via Scoop.it
Photo by Sheila Webber: Beef the cat was reluctant to be photographed.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

#txeduchat on digital literacy in education, 1st or 2nd December (depending where you are)

At 8-9pm 1st December US Central time (that's 2am on 2nd December UK time, 1pm 2nd December in Sydney, Australia, see here for times elsewhere) Valerie Hill will be leading a Twitter chat about Digital Literacy in Education. The hashtag is #txeduchat and there is more info at http://txeduchat.com/digital-literacy-on-121-with-dr-valerie-hill/
Also, whilst searching for the #txeduchat home I came across this useful video about how to participate in the chats

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jorum launches OERs in information / digital literacy

Jorum ("the place where you will find free open educational resources produced by the UK Further and Higher Education community") has launched its "collection" of Open Educational Resources [OERs] related to information literacy and digital literacy. Quite a number of them are OERs created at the London School of Economics or the University of Birmingham, during the DELILA project. Some random examples are: a powerpoint on using statistics and newspapers; a powerpoint and reference sheet on blogging for beginners; a package of various materials which provide training on setting up Moodle quizes. http://www.jorum.ac.uk/blog/post/77/il-launch

Friday, November 22, 2013

Augustana Teaching Faculty Award

The latest recipient of the Augustana Teaching Faculty Award for the Support of Information Literacy has been announced: Dr. Glynnis Hood, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Alberta, Canada. This is an annual award, given to an Augustana Campus teaching faculty member who has contributed consistently and notably to the support and promotion of information literacy at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. This type of award seems an excellent idea to raise the profile of information literacy. As part of the citation, it is noted that Dr Hood worked with Augustana librarians to develop an annual event to promote the concept of information literacy with students: the Great Augustana Library Snowshoe Chase (a scavenger hunt). More information at http://www.library.ualberta.ca/augustana/infolit/awards/#faculty
Photo by Sheila Webber: Farmers market, apples, November 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Journal of academic librarianship latest articles

Articles in the lastissues of the (priced) Journal of academic librarianship (Volume 39, Issue 5, 2013) include:
- The Search for Elusive Social Media Data: An Evolving Librarian–Faculty Collaboration; Latisha M. Reynolds, Siobhan E. Smith, Margaret U. D'Silva
- Transitioning to the Embedded Librarian Model and Improving the Senior Capstone Business Strategy Course; Marilyn M. Helms, Melissa Whitesell
- Uncovering Impact: The Influence of Archives on Student Learning by Morgan Daniels, Elizabeth Yakel
and (not really about information literacy, but interesting, I think!)
- Wide Awake at 4 AM: A Study of Late Night User Behavior, Perceptions and Performance at an Academic Library; Edith A. Scarletto, Kenneth J. Burhanna, Elizabeth Richardson
Journal home page at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00991333
Photo by Sheila Webber: preening swan, November 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Google and Beyond: NOT Google

Information consultant Karen Blakeman has posted another excellent powerpoint on Slideshare, focusing on alternatives to Google, including alternatives to Google Scholar

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Information Literate Lives in the 21st Century #ecil2013

This is the presentation that I gave at the European Conference on Information Literacy in Istanbul in October 2013.
Information Literate Lives in the 21st Century from Sheila Webber

This was the abstract
"The aim of this paper is to outline a curriculum for an information literate lifecourse, sensitive to the context of the individual within a changing information culture. Citizens need to be able to self-audit their changing information literacy needs through life, so they can identify strategies for meeting those needs. Developing this kind of information awareness is vital to empower learners. It should also focus the efforts of professional educators and librarians on lifelong IL, and not only on the immediate needs of a specific course or job. This is different from the more usual generic approach which aims to intervene to develop skills for a citizen’s immediate needs at particular life-points, most generally within formal education.
In presenting our argument we draw on our own work (e.g. Johnston et al., 2012; Johnston & Webber, 2006) and that of Schuller & Watson (2009). A key element is our model of the information literate person in the changing information environment, introduced in Webber and Johnston (2000). This locates the Information Literate person at the centre of five powerful social and economic vectors. These are: the nature of the information economy, technology, organisational culture, local/national culture & society, and personal goals. In order to develop as an information literate citizen, each person needs to be able to identify changes relevant to their life path. This process of creating and updating a personal information literacy map would be the central focus for preparing people to cope with, and plan for, information literacy transitions.
The curriculum for an information literate lifecourse is framed, on the one hand, by these vectors. It is also framed by the life stage of the individual, using the four key stages and transitional points proposed by Schuller & Watson (2009). Schuller & Watson (2009) recommend that people at these transition points should be entitled to guidance and learning opportunities, and they note the current lack of support and investment post-formal education.
We will further identify that as well as personal transitions (age and life events), transitional points emerge from the dynamism of cultural, economic and political circumstances, such as revolution and recession. Living examples from today’s world (from knowing how to find the information to escape from a country torn by civil war, to drawing on the resources which can make life with an old-age-related illnesses tolerable) demonstrate that educating citizens to develop their information literacy to changing circumstances is a necessity in the 21st Century world.

Johnston, B., Anderson, T. & McDonald, A. (2012) Improving pre-entry access to university: Towards a model of transformational alignment. Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education , 82-96.
Johnston, B. & Webber, S. (2006) As we may think: Information Literacy as a discipline for the information age. Research Strategies, 20 (3), 108-121.
Schuller, T. & Watson, D. (2009) Learning through life: Inquiry into the future for lifelong learning (IFLL). Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).
Webber, S. & Johnston, B. (2000) Conceptions of information literacy: New perspectives and implications. Journal of Information Science, 26(6), 381-397.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Teachmeet Staffordshire University 20 November 2013

There are still places (for 5-minute presenters and "enthusiastic audience members") at the Library Teachmeet at Staffordshire University. It is on 20th November, 11am-2pm, in Thompson Library, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. The theme is: Creating the difference – how you improved the student experience. "You can have the floor for 5 minutes to present to colleagues some creative and inspiring suggestions. You are invited to present (via powerpoint / prezi / talk / bingo / drawing / anything) for 5 Minutes on the theme. Time is your only limit." It is a free event. More info at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/library-teachmeet-staffordshire-university-tickets-8872703495
Photo by Sheila Webber: happy cat, Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul, October 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

New articles; Bibliography for 2012

The latest issue of Reference Services review (volume 41, no 4, 2013) is available (priced publication). It includes their very useful annual annotated bibliography (with over 500 items listed this time), and a couple of other articles on information literacy.
- Assessing a web library program for information literacy learning by Rafael Bravo, Laura Lucia, Maria J. Martin (pp. 623 - 638)
- Assessing information literacy among German psychology students by Nikolas Leichner, Johannes Peter, Anne-Kathrin Mayer, Günter Krampen (pp. 660 - 674)
- Library instruction and information literacy 2012 by Anna Marie Johnson, Claudene Sproles, Robert Detmering (pp. 675 - 784)
Issue home page at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0090-7324&volume=41&issue=4
Photo by Sheila Webber: Dog, Istanbul, October 2013

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Call for LOEX posters #loex2014

There is a call for proposals for posters at the 2014 LOEX (Information Literacy) Conference taking place on May 8-10, 2014 in Grand Rapids, USA. Proposals can come from "graduate students currently enrolled in library and information science programs and to library residents or fellows who have been in the field no more than two years." The deadline is January 24 2014. More info about the conference at http://www.loexconference.org/.
Photo by Sheila Webber: dogs, Istanbul, October 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

New Directions in Information Fluency: A Conference

On 4-5 April 2014, at Augustana College, Illinois, USA,  in there is a conference: New Directions in Information Fluency. The keynote speaker is Sandra Jamieson, Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Drew University and a principal researcher on the Citation Project.
There is a call for proposals for presentations on themes such as: new pedagogical approaches to teaching; research writing; real-world research skills for life beyond the academy; transformative assessments of information, visual, and primary source literacies; collaboration; the place of information fluency among college- and university-wide learning outcomes. Deadline for proposals is February 15 2014. More info at http://www.augustana.edu/x11824.xml?eventid=10806
Photo by Sheila Webber: Istanbul, October, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The 2014 LACUNY Institute: Information Literacy to Empower: Theory and Practice: cfp

The 2014 LACUNY Institute has the theme: Information Literacy to Empower: Theory and Practice. It takes place on April 4 2014 at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA. The keynote speaker is Barbara Fister (Professor and Coordinator of Instruction, Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, Gustavus Adolphus College, blogger and writer). There is a call for papers: "proposals that suggest ways we can further develop the concept of critical information literacy, whether or not one wishes to use that term. We are interested in both proposals that think big about information literacy as well as those that are more concerned with specific practices and experiences. We are particularly interested in work that brings the two together to show how critical information literacy can be successfully achieved in the library classroom, reference interview, or other, non-conventional instruction spaces."
Potential topics include: Critical thinking and the research process; Class and information-seeking; LGBTQ issues in information retrieval; Assessing information literacy beyond the library. Deadline for proposals is 7 January 2013.
There is more information at http://lacuny.org/institute-call-for-proposals/
Photo by Sheila Webber: Istanbul, October 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

Student Guide to Social Media

The Student Guide to Social Media has been produced jointly by the Universities of Leeds, York and Manchester. It can be explored via the type of social media, or the purpose for which you are using it (academic as well as recreational). http://libassets.manchester.ac.uk/social-media-guide/
Photo by Sheila Webber: kitten, Arasta bazaar, Istanbul, October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

CongRegation: blog-your-way-in

An interesting meeting on social media in Cong, County Mayo, Ireland on 30 November 2013, CongRegation. "CongRegation is a one day ‘un-conference’ social media gathering ... This free 'earned entry' event focuses on peer to peer sharing of quality information and social media insights through a ‘huddle’ style collaborative structure." "A Huddle is a small grouping of people with an insight to share - in a naturally social setting. Each huddle will be made up of no more than 10 people clustered around tables in either coffee shops, bars, restaurants and exhibition spaces all within walking distance of each other." In order to attend, you have to do a blog post on one of their key themes and then be willing to talk about it in a Huddle.
To judge from the sponsors, this was organised by people in the internet/PR area, but certainly librarians and information literacy specialists could blog to the themes. Also, more broadly (and as a committed blogger) I think it's a nice format that could be used in other unconferences. Hmmm, it could certainly work in Sheffield .... More info at http://www.congregation.ie/
Thanks to @LAICDGroup for tweeting about this event.
Photo by Sheila Webber: an essential accompaniment to blogging - turkish coffee at Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul, October 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


WILU (the Canadian information literacy conference) will be at Western University in London Ontario, Canada, May 21 -23 2014. The conference thme is E-magine the Possibilities. There is a call for papers, the deadline for proposal submissions is December 9, 2013. Possible topics include:
e-learning: have you explored any opportunity in e-Learning, such as using social media in information literacy classes, teaching with mobile-devices, or developing e-Learning best practices?
e-volving: how is your information literacy instruction evolving? Are you involved in a Makerspace? Are you exploring multiliteracies or new models of critical information literacy? Or do you see emerging trends in collaborative learning?
e-valuating: how are you assessing your students? What types of practical and rigorous assessment strategies have you explored? How does your assessment change with e-Learning related instruction?
e-magining: where is information literacy instruction headed? How can information literacy librarians take advantage? How can we move forward with change together, in a learning community?
There can be proposals for presentations, posters, ignite (pecha kucha) presentations and workshops. More information at http://www.lib.uwo.ca/wilu2014/program/proposals.html
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blue Mosque, Istanbul, October 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

200 search engines

Phil Bradley has made a neat collection of links using the Pearltrees application. He has categorised the search engines e.g. similarity search, news, multimedia.
This is the page on Pearltrees http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-s=1_9624450&N-f=1_9624450&N-u=1_76567&N-p=93540036&N-fa=858472&N-reveal=5 and this is Phil's blog post http://www.philb.com/searchenginespearl.htm
Photo by Sheila Webber: cat in Istanbul, near the Blue Mosque, October 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Onward to ECIL2014! #ecil2013

I haven't finished blogging the European Conference on Information Literacy,apart from anything else I have to blog my own presentation, workshop and poster, but I will report quickly on the closing moments. The final tally of delegates was 367 from 59 countries.There was generally a warm feeling of success about the conference, and the good news is that ECIL 2014 is planned for roughly the same time next year in the historic city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Perceived Barriers in Relation to Health and Lifestyle Information among Icelanders #ecil2013

The penultimate talk in a session on workplace/ everyday IL, was Perceived Barriers in Relation to Health and Lifestyle Information among Icelanders by Ágústa Pálsdóttir at the European Conference on Information Literacy. I am afraid that I was by now feeling a bit weary, since the day started with my workshop (which I will blog later) and then a poster session (which I also participated in) and then a rather long session (and no lunch until 3.15pm!) Therefore I am unlikely to do this speaker justice.
The speaker was reporting on a study carried out in 2012, with a sample of 1200 Icelanders, which used a questionnaire to ask about information seeking. The respondents were categorised into enthusiastic, convential, contemporary and inactive searchers. There were some barriers which were very problematic to all of them i.e. difficulties getting away from home to seek information and cost of acquiring information. Overall, external barriers were seen as more problematic than internal ones. The barriers found most problematic by everyone was that it was difficult to find information with good advice about health protection, followed (I think) by information being hard to understand. The extent to which people experienced barriers varied with the categorisation.

These articles report on a similar, earlier study:
Pálsdóttir, Á. (2008). "Information behaviour, health self-efficacy beliefs and health behaviour in Icelanders' everyday life" Information Research, 13(1) paper 334. http://InformationR.net/ir/13-1/paper334.html
Pálsdóttir, Á. (2009). "Seeking information about health and lifestyle on the Internet" Information Research, 14(1) paper 389. http://InformationR.net/ir/14-1/paper389.html

Tranforming Information Literacy Knowledge and Skills across Practices #ecil2013

Tranforming Information Literacy Knowledge and Skills across Practices Camilla Moring at the European Conference on Information Literacy. She espoused a socio-cultural approach to IL. She questioned the idea of transfer as moving skills/knowledge from one part of life to another, as the skills/knowledge was tied to the specific practice context in which they were developed. Her ideas were informed by a research study that was looking at transition from school to university in Denmark. This aimed to improve general academic study competencies at school, as preparation for university. The competencies (divided into subject and general competencies) did not explicitly include IL, but some items in the competencies could be identified as parts of IL. Ability to seek and evaluate information was listed as a general competence whereas one could argue it is a subject competence.
In a pilot study, 8 students were interviewed at school, 4 of whom were able to go on to university (and were interviewed again), and the teachers were also interviewed, as well as documentation being examined.
Moring went on to define transfer as "the use of knowledge and skills learned in one context to qualify actions in another" - undepinning this are ideas such as - that there are general principles which can be used in both contexts. However, Moring put forward the idea of transfer of practice, which took account of social and symbolic elements that were associated with practice.
She presented a triangle of meaning (discourses, narratives etc. of the situation and practice), materials (transport, access, distribution) and competence (requiring transformation, recontextualisation and adapation). So with the example of the students: meaning for them when still at school was learning to use subject related methods, competence was related to subject knowledge and methods, and the materials were articles and a variety of other things. However, when they went to university, students were confused about meaning, and the competences they felt they needed were related to things such as "structure and write assignments", but they were struggling to fit their existing knowledge in this new situation. Also the materials they were using were more limited in university.
This all has implications for how (or indeed, whether) this practice can travel across contexts.

mpowering through Information Culture: Participatory Culture, a Stepping Stone? A Theoretical Reflection #ecil2013

Empowering through Information Culture: Participatory Culture, a Stepping Stone? A Theoretical Reflection was the next paper, from Yolande Maury, at the European Conference on Information Literacy.
Firstly she noted that statements about IL talked about empowerment and participation, but with some lack of definitions. "Empowerment" itself was an ambiguous concept with the ideas of power to act and of development in order to have impact; however "action is not enough" - there was a need to understand the links between action and the context in which you take action. The speaker also identified a lack of definition when talking about "power" of information. There might be various forms of power e.g. as a catalyst for change, as an emancipatory process; there was some logic in liking these ideas with shared knowledge using social media.
Maury noted the new relationships with media, markets and audiences, and the resultant claims about the potential of new media, with the idea that people could act and communicate, and be co-creators and actors in the process. So, was this really a new possibility or "a form of policy marketing speak"? For example, social media were seen as implicitly as interactive, even though now research studies show that not everyone uses these tools as creators or in a truly interactive way. "Community" is also seen as something desirable: whereas one might trouble that idea.
Maury said that (for example) "action is not a guarantee of empowerment" and that there was a confusion between consumption and contribution. She felt is was necessary to take an information view of this process.
The challenges she put forward included "providing tools for thinking in a comprehensive and generic way" which might (for example) include developing a new common language about this area of communicating and participating; "a (re)configuration of information culture in a more cultural and holistic way" (bearing mind that la culture d'information is the more holistic translation of information literacy, in French).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Flower circlets in Taksim Square, Istanbul, October 2013 (these are apparently worn by young girls)

Is Information Literacy Enough for a Knowledge Worker? #ecil2013

Katarzyna Materska talked about Is Information Literacy Enough for a Knowledge Worker? at the European Conference on Information Literacy.
She identified the paucity of research in the workplace IL field and the presented the concept of IL in an educational setting (which she saw as focusing more on skills, and textual information). However, she identified the changes that affected IL and the need to take account of different contexts.
Moving on to the knowledge worker lens, she identified the role of IL in workplace learning outside specifically educational settings. Knowledge workers were characterised as developing knowledge through long practice, with the outputs of their work often being non-material, who like to work both colaboratively and individually. She concluded that workers needed to be creative, understanding situations, questioning, adaptive and problem solving (amongst other things). Although they were thinking beings, they also had the mental and emotional states that everyone goes through. The latter point means that people do not always use information logically.
She portayed knowledge as an iceberg, with tacit knowledge that people have about their lives and practice below the iceberg's waterline, with a smaller amount of explicit knowledge visible above the water line. Materska saw organisations as "knowledge ecosystems" with knowledge emerging through "connections, dialog and social interaction", and learning being a form of social interaction. Materska identified the importance of IL to knowledge management (something which I emphasise with my information management students!) and highlighted that this included being information literate with the tacit/social sources of knowledge. Like Lloyd in the previous speech she say human relationships being key in the development of IL. She also posed the idea of knowledge literacy rather than information literacy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Taksim Square, Istanbul, October 2013

Building Information Resilient Workers: The Critical Ground of Workplace Information Literacy. What have we Learnt? #ecil2013

Building Information Resilient Workers: The Critical Ground of Workplace Information Literacy. What have we Learnt? was presented todat by Annemaree Lloyd (Charles Sturt University) at the European Conference on Information Literacy.
In the workplace IL is not generally considered “real” labour: however now work is being reshaped. Increasingly, it is taking place collaboratively, with the use of technology, needing workers to draw on varied information landscape, so the multimodal workplace really needs information literacy. It requires workers who can cope with the overload and uncertainty caused by information-intensive workplaces. She said that in her research information literacy connected people in their workplace, including the performative aspect of work. Workers needed information resilience, a term she put forward for discussion. They needed to understand the skills and knowledge required to innovate and to solve workplace problems.
Lloyd went on to discuss issues “in the critical ground of workplace information literacy research”. Her first lesson was that “workplace is a situated practice”, characterised by people engaged in the pursuit of a particular activity. Lesson 2 was that “information needs are referenced against normative and non normative dimensions” (e.g. nurses having to pay attention to information practices determined by doctors). Lesson 3 was that "work is a collective endeavour", with value placed on collective knowledge. Lesson 4 was that "performance of work requires other information modalities" (e.g. drawing on knowledge of corporeal practice). Thus IL emerges as a social practice, which means negotiating practice, working out the shape of practice and associated knowledge. Lloyd talked about a “People In Practice Approach” to IL (there is a website, but I didn't catch the address, I will aim to post it later)
So, Lloyd identified that IL was articulation work that drew people together, and fundamental to workplace practice. She saw challenges for librarians in supporting people transitioning between education to work, or between workplaces. Turning current workplace research into guidelines that can be used in the workplace was also seen as important.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Information Literacy Research and Practice: An Experiential Perspective #ecil2013

The second keynote talk at the European Conference on Information Literacy was Information Literacy Research and Practice: An Experiential Perspective from Christine Bruce. I know a lot about some of what she was talking about, but some areas were new and I needed to stop and think rather than blog. Therefore I certainly haven't captured everything in her presentation (and apologies for any misinterpretations)!
Bruce started by identifying experience as "something profound" and she said that she would talk about IL phenomenographically. (Phenomenography is a research approach which aims to identify variations in conception or experience of a phenomenon (a research approach I have used too). Bruce was focusing particularly on research work of her group, in her examples. She first highlighted Yates' work that discovered that health IL was experienced in a variety of ways such as "knowing myself" or "striving for wellness". The second example (from research by Gunton) was investigating religious IL, experienced e.g. as "growing faith" or "serving the community". Thirdly she mentioned a study of native American IL where IL may (for example) be experienced as "a communal, shared information experience...". All these examples were shedding light on the richness and variety of people's experience of information literacy and learning.
From her perspective IL "may be said to be about the experience of using information to learn" (a position that she unfolds in her book, Informed Learning).
Going back to earlier days, Bruce looked at early motivators for engagement with IL research. She named, amongst other things, the belief that information literacy changes lives, that it is relevant to life and a source of empowerment. She put forward two different early orientations for IL,with a "healthy tension" between the two: the first encouraging conformity, and the second valuing diversity.
Bruce revisited her most well-known piece of research, in which she investigated the conceptions of IL of staff at Australian universities and discovered 7 qualitatively different ways of experiencing IL (the "7 Faces"). For this presentation she highlighted the shift from information being at the core of the experience in faces 1-4, whereas she saw learning as the core focus in faces 5-7. She also identified that variously people experienced information as objective, subjective, or transformational. Bruce talked through the outcome space for the research (see rather poor photo I took, above): you can find an explanation and the original face diagrams here http://www.christinebruce.com.au/informed-learning/seven-faces-of-information-literacy-in-higher-education/
Bruce moved on to talk about taking an experiential approach to education, which means acknowledging varying experiences, and focusing on enabling learners to experience in new ways. She also noted that "information can take surprising forms" - for example even silence and stillness. Also experiences "are deeper and more powerful and may contextualise skills" and skills may or may not be important as part of the experience. Technology could "skew" perception of information literacy experience. (There were other points in this section of the talk that I didn't capture)
Bruce then moved to current research, noting "diversification and expansion in the research territory". She talked some more about IL as informed learning, and provided a definition (see here), and referred to the six frames for IL education approach. The key publication on the six frames is available as an eprint here: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/5011/.
Bruce emphasisied this involved "turning our eyes" from having information capabilities, to focus on the experience of using information to learn.
She revisited the health information literacy and faith community research she had mentioned at the start of the talk, looking at the variations concerning the conceptions of learning and information (which were part of the analysis structure). At this point I was concentrating even more on what Christine was saying, so I haven't tried to blog the details ;-)  I refer you to Bruce's eprints page for original articles on this research: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Bruce,_Christine.date.html#group_2013
In conclusion Bruce emphasised the "fundamental interdisciplinarity" of IL, and that she felt that we need to understand more deeply "what matters", for example: how do we help people change their lives? how does IL transform and empower? It was important to pay attention to diverse peoples. She gave an example from Auraria Library, where the community was invited to share their information experiences, by creating an archive and working on IL with the community (I think part of this initiative).
Altogether, Bruce was stressing the transformational nature of IL, and the importance of addressing big issues (such as poverty and homelessness) and big questions in our research and practice.

Web Resources Credibility; Teacher's role as facilitator #ecil2013

Earlier today Ana Lúcia Terra presented on Strategies to Assess Web Resources Credibility: Results of a Case Study in Primary and Secondary Schools from Portugal, a paper co-authored with Salvina Sáthe, at the European Conference on Information Literacy.
She started by talking about different models of web credibility assessment, variously concentrating on authors, affiliation, comparison with other sources etc. The authors produced an omline questionnaire, administered in 7 schools in the Oporto district of Portugal; there were 195 respondents, aged between 11 and 19. They asked them about what criteria the students used in evaluating websites. The top criterion was "Ease of navigating the website" (chosen by 76%), the 2nd was "appealing design", 3rd was "Information about last update", then "author is identified" (chsoen by 19%), finally "there is music I like" (respondents could choose 2 items).
In another question, 33% students stated they looked for identification of the author in a website. 62% said that did know that author name was an important element to consider, with email and Facebook contacts also considered useful. 79% of students said they considered website originality, whilst 84% said they assessed website design (for example looking for information in thematic blocks, and correct grammar and spelling). The authors hope to use the results to plan training in evaluation.

Teacher's Role as the Facilitator of Collaborative Learning in Information Literacy Assignments #ecil2013

Eero Sormunen presented on Teacher's Role as the Facilitator of Collaborative Learning in Information Literacy Assignments (co-authored with Tuulikki Alamettälä and Jannica Heinström) at the European Conference on Information Literacy this afternoon. This was reporting on part of a study in upper high schools in Finland (students aged 16-17 years). I have blogged about some other findings from this study (for example, how the students work with wikipedia in their studies) but in this paper the focus was on the teacher's role.

The presenter noted that group work source-based writing assignments are popular for information literacy teaching. However, an issue is: how are these interventions designed and taught? In some cases the focus is on the end product (e.g. a report) rather than the process of aquiring, selecting and using the information. The researchers were investigating differences in teaching and assessment in two different source-based writing assignments (one in a history class, one in a Literature class), questioning whether differences in learning were associated with different approaches to teaching. In both cases, groups of students had to produce a wiki entry on a topic.

Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews with students and teachers, observation, and documents such as class instructions. Students were asked to state their level of learning in the stated learning outcomes for the 2 classe. The literature students said that they understood better the differences between wiki and other sources, the nature of wikipedia and how to refer to sources, and on average rated the learning experience higher.

Comparing the two classes' research design, there were differences in publishing forum (Wikipedia itself for Literature), topic scope (narrower for Literature students), preliminary activities (the Literature students did an essay on the chosen novel before the wiki exercise), modeling the end-topic (the Literature students had explicit teaching about wiki structure) and time allocated (5 weeks for Literature, vs 2 weeks for history). Looking at interactivity, there were more teacher initiated and student initiated interactions (face to face and virtually) in the Literature class.
Overall it was noted that learning experiences were quite weak in most areas of IL, with the strongest learning experiences in the areas were teachers intervened, where the students made most effort, and which were mosdt clearly planned in teaching.
There is more information on the whole project at http://www12.uta.fi/blogs/know-id
Photo by Sheila Webber: You don't seem to have any food for me, cat, Istanbul, October 2013

National Information Literacy Survey of Primary and Secondary School Students in Singapore #ecil2013

Intan Azura Mokhtar presented on National Information Literacy Survey of Primary and Secondary School Students in Singapore - A Pilot Study, co-authored with Yun-Ke Chang, Shaheen Majid, Schubert Foo and Yin-Leng Theng and Xue Zhangthe, at the European Conference on Information Literacy. My poor quality photo shows the end of her presentation.
She started by talking about Singapore (those of you who followed my IFLA posts will know something about it) - it is a young, developed nation with a high literacy rate. Every school has a school loibrary, but not every library has a qualified librarian. They are proposing a model for IL competence in Singapore schools. As well as five components (e.g. selecting information sources), they also identified 3 qualities: Collaboration, social responsibility and positive attitudes. This fits with a Singaporean focus on active citizenship. Recent policy changes have emphasised 21st century competencies including information literacy and critical thinking.
However IL tends to be interwoven into policy initiatives rather than standing on its own. Therefore they wanted to present a model of IL for the school curriculum to the Ministry for Education. To achieve this they planned to do a pilot study, initially doing a pen and paper pilot study to assess IL. The pilot was small, but they have already followed up on this with a larger study. They have identified that pen and paper questionnaires are not so good for assessing qualities, it really needs observation.
From the pilot of grade 3 students (I think, primary school), the most difficult questions were selecting information sources, seeking & evaluating information from sources, and defining the information task. Some of the inferences for the baseline data collection and designing the intervention programme are:
- children may not have been taught about fiction and non-fiction books, or be introduced to parts of a book
- more than 95% having internet access, so that they may think that information is largely available through online sources
- they may not see the value of print sources
- not able to understand the components and purpose of different sources (e.g. if you want current news, where do you go)
For slightly older (grade 5) children, the most difficult questions included synthesising and using information. Inferences included that students were not aware of how books and other library materials were organised, and they relied on online sources.
At grade 9, they did not know how to cite, or use keywords, and were not so good at evaluating information (depending on views of friends, rather than family or teachers). They did not use librarians, and were quite confident in their own IL abilities.
From these results, they are considering the role of the school librarian and the role of school libraries: in Singapore there have been a lot of developments, but school libraries have not changed so much.

Information Literacy in Europe: Ten Years Later #ecil2013

Sirje Virvus (Tallinn University) talked about Information Literacy in Europe: Ten Years Later following up from her much-cited 2003 paper, at the European Conference on Information Literacy. She started by summarising conclusions from the 2003 paper (which is linked below). She went on to talk about her doctoral work, an exploratory study of online distance learning in higher education in Europe, with the research question What is the nature of successful information literacy educational practice and what are the factors which influence this?
There is a reference below (Virkus, 2012) which gives some information from this work. She used a mixed methods approach. She carried out an email study of people in European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, getting 71 respondents.
She then did case studies in six universities in 5 European countries and her data collection included interviews with a sample of academics, students and librarians. The results showed that their were promising developments, but progress was patchy and variable. She concluded that the integration of Information Related Competencies (IRC) into curricula was a the "beginning stage": academics, or academics and librarians, were incorporating IRC into courses, but there was not enough evidence to identify "best practice" in most areas.
One issue (apart from the usual ones of lack of time etc.) was the modular nature of the distance learning courses.Another conclusion that Virkus drew was that the concept of Information Literacy was perceived as useful by the participants, but that the term itself was a barrier. Also participants noted that IL was not included in key policy documents at the national and European level. It emerged how important individuals (such as library managers) were bringing about IL developments.
In the end she identified four dimensions influencing the development of IRC: Strategic, professional, educational and research; "a complex interaction of factors in each of these dimensions enhance the development of IRC".
Looking at other people's publications, Virkus showed how the number of publications about information literacy has grown since 2013,and although the USA, UK and Australia are the top 3 countries for authorship, there were many more publications from a wide variety of countries, than there had been 10 years ago. At ECIL itself there are 126 presentations from 31 countries, with co-authorship from different countries. Another trend she noted is the better recognition that "one size does not fit all" in teaching information literacy, with an emphasis on context and more attention to the socio-political issues. IL is also better embedded in European policy and strategy documents (though not always by that name). However there is still a lack of a holistic approach to IL in European higher education.

- Virkus, S. (2012) Information Literacy from the Policy and Strategy Perspective. Nordic journal of information literacy in Higher Education, 4 (1).  https://noril.uib.no/index.php/noril/article/view/153
- Virkus, S. (2003) "Information literacy in Europe: a literature review." Information Research, 8(4), paper no. 159 http://informationr.net/ir/8-4/paper159.html
Photo by Sheila Webber: purposeful cat, Istanbul, October 2013