Monday, November 19, 2018

Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe

There is a call for papers on the new International Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe, taking place on 10 May 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Conference is a final stage of the Erasmus+ project Information Literacy Online. The deadline for abstracts is 15 December 2018.
They have been developing an Information Literacy MOOC "covering six language and cultural areas" "designed to improve students' abilities to cope with the claims of present-day information society." which will be launched in May 2019.
"The Conference will be a forum for the exchange of research and experience associated with Information Literacy (IL) Learning. Besides three keynotes and a panel, several tracks of paper sessions are planned. Submissions to the following topics of interest are invited: IL as a learning process, including assessment; Digital learning resources for IL (e.g. MOOCs, Learning-scenarios, OERs); Comparative studies of courses and curricula with an IL lens; Cultural diversity of IL; IL in connection with other literacy concepts". There are 3 options: Long-papers, Short-papers, and Posters. "The Long-paper track provides the opportunity to present state of the art research. The Short-paper and Poster tracks call for original ideas, application areas and schemes. The inclusion of results is encouraged but not required. Submitted abstracts should not exceed 400 (Long-papers) or 200 (Short-papers and posters) words.". The conference proceedings will be published online. If you submit an abstract you are expected to produce a full text paper: 10 pages for long papers, 2 pages for short papers; due 29 January 2019.
Go to for more information and a link to the online submission portal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn branches, November 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Word clouds and questions: Slido, Tagxedo and Worditout

Today I'm mentioning two applications that I just came across and am using in teaching sessions, and one that I like but which is getting harder to use. I'll start by saying that the two things I wanted to do were: (1) Create a word cloud from a padlet on which students had posted their initial ideas about information literacy, at the start of the semester and (2) enable students in class to type in ideas for information literacy research, and then vote for the ones they thought were most important.
First of all, apps for creating word clouds using a desktop PC. My favourite for creating word clouds from web pages etc. has been Tagxedo and the illustration to this post is a Tagxedo wordcloud of this blog's home page. I like it because you can easily exclude words, change the colour scheme and fonts, and you can have the word cloud in cute shapes like this cat. However, it requires Silverlight, and even if you install Silverlight, it still won't function with a lot of common browsers: I had to use Internet Explorer to get it to work. Nevertheless, it has that good functionality, and it allows you to save the image in various formats and sizes, without trying to sell you stuff, so I will still use it when I can.
However, I thought I should track down something that worked without having to install anything. As Wordle say on their website "the Wordle web toy no longer works for most people", although you can download a desktop app. Thus I ended up with Worditout which doesn't have as much functionality, you can't download a version without saving it as a webpage, and they are keen to get you to plaster the resulting wordcloud on a tshirt/mug. However, you can change the wordcloud colours, remove words from the cloud, and also correct the words in the cloud (which was actually useful in my case, as I you can't read text from a padlet page, I had to create a pdf and copy/paste from that, and for some reason there were a couple of textual glitches).
For my second task, I remembered having been in meetings where you were asked to submit questions online, and vote for ones you most wanted answered. I think there are numerous apps that do this, but the one I came across first (thanks to this article: 19 must-have apps for better business meetings) was Slido. You can use it for free in a limited form (3 polls and 1 brainstorming session per event, and a number of features not enabled), but that was enough for my purposes. You set up an event, you get an event code, and you can (1) get people to type in free text questions (in my case, research questions or aims!) and then they can click on ones they want to upvote and (2) create polls. All you have to do is give people the Slido web address and the event code and they can go ahead and use the functions.
If you have any favourites in the above categories, do add comments to the post.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Recent articles: Pedagogy; First Year experience; Transition; Cognitive dissonance: Credit course

Recent articles from the priced journal Journal of Academic Librarianship: Firstly from the latest complete issue, Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 2018)
- The Actor-oriented Transfer Perspective in Information Literacy Instruction by Karen Sobel (Pages 627-632)
- We May Be Teaching Information Literacy, but Are the Design First Year Students Actually Getting It? by Debby R. Wegener (Pages 633-641)
- Ecological Study of Graduation Rates and GPA in a Library Credit Course by Christina Heady, Megan M. Morrison, Joshua Vossler (Pages 642-649)
Go to:

There is one article at time of writing in the "in progress" Volume 45, Issue 1 (January 2019)
- Architects, Renovators, Builders, and Fragmenters: A Model for First Year Students' Self-perceptions and Perceptions of Information Literacy by Maoria J. Kirker, Ilana Stonebraker. (Pages 1-8). "This year long qualitative study uses cognitive dissonance theory to examine first-year students' changing perceptions of their information literacy competencies throughout their freshman year."
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: tree wrapped in Remembrance Day poppies, Blackheath, November 2018

Survey on use of ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards

Dana Statton Thompson (Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business) is doing a research study on academic librarians’ perceptions and use of the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education ( in their instruction and/or research. She's "interested in hearing from both librarians who have used the ACRL Visual Literacy Standards and those who have not."The survey is at

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Recent articles: Apps for IL teaching; #ACRLframework use; Reflection; Collaboration

Recent articles from the open access journal College & Research Libraries News:
- Basile, A. & Matis, S. (2018). Is there an app for that? A review of mobile apps for information literacy classes. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10). They discuss the pros and cons of Padlet (which sadly now only allows a few padlets for new users, but I find it a very useful tool in teaching); Socrative; Mindomo; and AnswerGarden.
- Green, E. (2018) Meet them in the proximal zone: Introducing framework concepts to “novice learners” using reference sources. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10).
- Pullman, E. (2018). Applying the Framework as a reflective tool: A teacher learner perspective.College & Research Libraries News, 79(8).
- Chen, Y-H. (2018) Faculty/librarian collaborations enhance doctoral student success: Strategies for retention and graduation. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10).
- Vine, R. (2018) Realigning liaison with university priorities: Observations from ARL Liaison Institutes 2015–18. College & Research Libraries News, 79(8). Their 3 concluding recommendations are: "Foster more frequent and deeper communication between librarians and faculty to understand their research and teaching challenges","Find ways to help librarians use internal teaming and collaborations to solve university challenges","Increase liaison activity with non-departmentalized units on campus, which are often drivers of institutional initiatives and university priorities."

Photo by Sheila Webber: little library in Kaunas, Lithiania (it just had one rather damp paperback in it), October 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Courses: Crash Course in Assessing Library Instruction; Addressing Misinformation and Fake News; SoTL

Some Library Juice Academy online short courses coming up in the new year are:
- Crash Course in Assessing Library Instruction (Instructor: Candice Benjes-Small); Runs January 7th to February 1st 2019. Price: US $175
- Addressing Misinformation and Fake News: Resources and Strategies (Instructor: Sarah Morris) Runs January 7th to February 1st 2019. Price: US $175
- An Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Instructor: Lauren Hays) Runs February 4th to March 1st 2019. Price: US $175
Photo by Sheila webber: remebrance day knitted poppies, Blackheath, November 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Collective #LibCol19

The Collective, March 6-8 2019,in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA is an unconference style conference, with many interesting sessions proposed, including some on information literacy. Registration costs US $86.50 and includes: "a light continental breakfast, snacks, and coffee Thursday and Friday, the opening night dinner and reception on Thursday, and a lovely swag bag." Registration at and full info on the conference programme etc. at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Shadows, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Featured Teaching Librarian: Jenny Stout

There is an interview with ACRL's latest "featured teaching librarian", Jenny Stout, Teaching and Learning Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. It is at

Friday, November 09, 2018

Information Literacy Teaching for New(er) Professionals in the South West

On March 4 "019 there will be a one-day event run by the Information Literacy Group (ILG) of CILIP in Bristol, UK: Information Literacy Teaching for New(er) Professionals in the South West. This is "particularly suited to new professionals or those new to teaching Information Literacy and associated skills.This day will introduce some key Information Literacy frameworks and give an overview of key ideas associated with teaching information skills." The trainers are Abi Ward, Jane Secker, and Andrew Walsh. Costs are: students / unemployed £50; CILIP members £90; others £120. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: scattered leaves, October 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Webinar: Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Developing Programs for Undergraduate Researchers

There is a priced webinar from ACRL on November 13 2018, at 1pm-2.30pm US Central time (which is a 7pm start for those in the UK). The topic is: Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Developing Programs for Undergraduate Researchers. Costs are: ACRL member: US $50; ALA member: $75; Nonmember: $90; Student: $40; Group*: $295. "Undergraduate research is one of several high-impact educational practices identified by George Kuh and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and is increasingly seen as a vital part of the undergraduate experience. Research helps students connect the dots between their interests, general education courses, writing requirements, and major coursework, and increases learning, retention, enrollment in graduate education, and engagement in future work. During this interactive webcast, presenters will discuss the process, issues, and ultimate practice recommendations from three of the case studies covered in their recent ACRL book, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices: developing archival literacy and conducting original research in the archives at Purdue; subject specialized data management at Carleton College; and first year undergraduate research experiences at the University of Oklahoma."
Presenters: Tracy B. Grimm, Associate Head of Archives and Special Collection and Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration, Purdue University Libraries’ Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center; Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Haverford College; Tim O’Neil, Assistant Director of Special Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, University of Colorado Boulder; Matt Upson, Director of Library Undergraduate Instruction and Outreach Services, Oklahoma State University. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, Sheffield, October 2018

IL spaces and wonder; Game on!; Staff education

Three interesting blog posts from other blogs!
- The mature student encounters the wonders of library services by Rose O’Connor (Project Coordinator and Junior Researcher, Massey University, NZ) (this is from the blog on the website of the IL spaces project in New Zealand which "aims to improve students’ information literacy competencies and learning across the senior secondary and tertiary sectors.")
- Game On: Enhancing engagement, interaction and reflection in library workshops by Adam Edwards and Vanessa Hill (The Sheppard Library, Middlesex University, UK)
- Thinking holistically about information and digital literacy: musings from a heady June day by Steve McIndoe (Faculty Librarian for Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield, UK)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Outside a wool shop, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Monday, November 05, 2018

UCISA 2018 Report on their Technology Enhanced Learning survey

UCISA (the "member-led professional body for digital practitioners within education" in the UK) have produced their survey-based annual review of Technology Enhanced Learning in UK higher education. Although I think there is a caveat (see below) it is a useful document which presents a perspective on TEL development.
Conclusions include that the top five services are " the virtual learning environment (VLE), text matching tools, provision for the electronic management of assignments (EMA), reading list software and lecture capture provision", with over half of the respondents having their VLE externally hosted. "Despite the investment in TEL services, we are not seeing major changes in the way that technology is being used to support learning, teaching and assessment activities. Blended learning delivery focusing on the provision of lecture notes and supplementary resources to students still represents the most commonly supported activity, with active learning, open learning and fully online course delivery modes showing little change from 2016." There has been "slow progress" on fully online delivery but "institutions are exploring ways of expanding their fully online provision through the creation of dedicated distance learning units and collaboration arrangements with external/ commercial partners."
My reservations about the report are that the respondents are those in charge of, or engaged with TEL provision, and therefore this is not a fully rounded perspective on what might be happening in institutions, especially as both educators and students are increasingly using technology not provided by the institution. It says at the end of the executive summary that "Lack of academic staff knowledge re-emerges as one of the top three barriers to TEL development in this year’s Survey, in combination with lack of time and a supportive departmental/school culture." However, I think it should be emphasised that this is the opinion of people in charge of TEL, who are not necessarily unbiased in their perceptions of barriers. As was emphasised at a meeting I was at recently, academic staff (like me) may perceive the barriers rather differently: e.g. as a lack of institutional support for academic staff, and technical, policy, infrastructure and physical space constraints on what academic staff can do ;-)  The report is at
Photo by Sheila webber: Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Friday, November 02, 2018

#AFMIL The Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate City: Combining policies and strategies for ageing populations in media and information rich societies #GlobalMILweek

This is the presentation that Bill Johnston and I gave at the Global Media and Information Literacy week conference in Kaunas, Lithuania last week. The presentation was only allowed to be 10 minutes, so I also include here the extended abstract, which was written when we though we were going to have more time than that! We are launching the concept of #AFMIL: Age-Friendly media and Information Literate cities.

Abstract: This paper examines the intersection between the Media and Information Literate (MIL) city and the Age-friendly city and considers the alignments between the two concepts. We contend that a MIL city develops and enables the MIL of its citizens and (through its policies, procedures and representatives) itself engages with its citizens in a media and information literate manner. A MIL city should collect, communicate and manage the information needed by its citizens, at all stages of their lifecourse, applying ethical and transparent information policies. However, earlier research by the authors identified that government’s information illiteracy is a problem (Webber and Johnston, 2002). Recent research has shown, e.g., that information needs of older people and their carers are not met by local government even when legislation seems to require it (Baxter et al; 2017; Think Local Act Personal, 2017).
Demographic ageing is a key challenge for societies and numerous issues arise: risk of intergenerational inequality; negative portrayal of older people in the media; need for urban renewal for anticipated population changes; specific adjustments in health, care and housing to accommodate older people; need for opposition to ageist behaviour (Johnston, 2016). Age-friendly Cities are one of the international responses to these issues. The World Health Organization (2017 p.3) identifies that “Age-friendly cities and communities foster healthy and active ageing and thus enable well-being throughout life. They help people to remain independent for as long as possible, and provide care and protection when they are needed, respecting older people’s autonomy and dignity.”
“Communication and information” is one of eight policy domains identified in the WHO (2017) Handbook for age-friendly environments. Some recommendations intersect with objectives familiar from “smart city” initiatives (e.g. digital connectivity for good access to assistive technologies in the home; smartphone apps tailored to needs of older people; closing the digital divide). However, the Handbook also identifies that age-friendly communication and information involves using word-of-mouth, traditional media, public meetings and neighbourhood centres. It means improving the accessibility of all forms of communication (from websites to signage).
An Age-friendly MIL (AFMIL) city values its older citizens. It pays attention to older people’s MIL development through specific policies and service programmes and enables them to contribute their own experience and stories using their MIL skills, recognising that “Every citizen is a creator of information/knowledge and has a message” (UNESCO, 2016). An AFMIL city identifies and satisfies citizens’ differing preferences for media and information channels. This includes recognising that older citizens are not one homogenous group and should not be stereotyped as deficient in their capacity to engage with MIL. Some older citizens may be adept users of virtual worlds, social media and the internet of things, demanding optimum broadband connectivity. Others may prefer to get their information from trusted human sources. AFMIL cities also need to be understood in terms of the varied contexts of power and authority in different national settings.
In this paper the authors draw together elements from frameworks for age-friendly, “smart” and MIL environments, and from research into information needs of older people, (such as those cited above) to present an encompassing analysis to generate new practices. They will also give some examples of cities pursuing age friendly developments, which could act as sites for MIL initiatives.
In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “As we get older, our rights do not change. As we get older, we are no less human and should not become invisible” (HelpAge International, 2016, p.3).
Baxter, K. et al (2017). Older self-funders and their information needs. Social Policy Research Unit, University of York.
HelpAge International. (2016). Global Age Watch Index 2015 Insight report.
Johnston, B. (2016). Ageing and information: The Scottish older people’s movement. Library and Information Research, 40(123), 4-13.
Think Local Act Personal. (2017) Survey Results Exploring the impact of the Care Act on the lives of people with care and support needs.
UNESCO. (2016). Five laws of MIL.
Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2002). Information literacy: the social action agenda. In: D. Booker. (Ed.) Information Literacy: The Social Action Agenda: Proceedings of the 5th National Information Literacy Conference. Adelaide: UNISA Library. 68-80.
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. (2017). Age-friendly environments in Europe: A handbook of domains for policy action. Copenhagen: WHO.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

News on News

SLA Europe has organised an event on 21 November 2018, 18.00-21.30 in London, UK: News on News. It is free to SLA members, £15 to others. It is "an evening with three subject matter experts. Hear from our speakers on the applications of artificial intelligence, solving fake news and the impact of social media on traditional news media.After hearing from our expert speakers, continue the discussions afterwards and network with colleagues and contacts over food and drinks." The three talks are:
- Present and future applications of artificial intelligence for current awareness. Dr Andrew Duchon, Director of Data Science, Manzama Inc
- How social media changed everything and nothing in the newsroom. Martin Buchan, The Guardian
- Fifty shades of fake, 12 months on. Jo Tinning-Clowes
Get your ticket at
Photo by Sheila Webber: taken at the Global MIL Conference last week.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Free webinar: Impressions of #globalMILweek and UNESCO's MIL initiatives from me and IFLA's Stephen Wyber

At 2pm-2.30 pm (which is 10-10.30am US EST, see for start times elsewhere in the world) Wednesday 31st Oct, I (Sheila Webber, Information School, University of Sheffield) and Stephen Wyber (IFLA Manager, Policy and Advocacy, pictured right) will give our Impressions of the Global MIL Week feature conference. Join the webinar at I presented at the conference, and I will also include a brief talk about #AFMIL - Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate cities

Today! 30 Oct: Twitter Webinar: Tackling disinformation with Media and Information Literacy #GlobalMILweek @Livingstone_S @jesuslau @100yrsofsol

UNESCO has organised an international Twitter event today. experts will post tweets and you can engage with her/him using the hashtag #GlobalMILweek
Sonia Livingstone @Livingstone_S (Professor, London School of Economics) will be engaging 3pm-4pm UK time (see for times elsewhere in the world), Jesus Lau @jesuslau (Professor, Universidad Veracruzana) will be engaging 11am-12.30pm Mexico City time (starting 5pm UK time, see for times elsewhere in the world) and Maha Bashri @100yrsofsol (Associate Professor, United Arab Emirates University) will be engaging 5pm-6.30pm Abu Dhabi time (1pm start UK time, see your local time here

Monday, October 29, 2018

Comment on the draft Global Framework for Media and Information Literate Cities by November 4th #GlobalMILWeek

At the end of the feature conference for Global Media and Information Literacy week, a Draft Global Framework for MIL Cities was put forward and adopted by the conference subject to a very brief consultation period. This sets out some requirements for cities that wish to be Media and Information Literate, and proposes criteria that could be used to judge the level to which they are MIL. You can download the draft framework at and send comments to Alton Grizzle at by November 4th

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Disinformation; Internet Literacy Handbook; Media Literacy #GlobalMILweek

Some more impressions from the Global Media and Information Literacy week feature conference, from a few different sessions, yesterday and today. Maha Bashri (United Arab Emirates University) talked about media literacy and milennials in the UEA. This is a young country with a young population. She reported on a survey of undergraduates. It found that students read news for less than 15 minutes a day, mostly getting it from Instagram. They gravitate towards social issues, entertainment and technology. They were aware of the issue of fake news, but not necessarily looking out for it, and might not have the skills to critically assess the news.
Elizabeth Milovidov talked about the Council of Europe's Internet Literacy Handbook which has recently had a new edition. It is free to download. The handbook aims "to offer families, educators and policy-makers sufficient technical know-how to allow them to navigate, with young people, through communication technology". She also mentioned Digital Citizenship Education project: 10 domains
Lisa Jane de Gara (University of Saskatchewan) talked about Digital falsehoods and analogue consequences. She reflected on how false narratives take hold, for example anti-vaccination, flat earthers, the new world order. She noted that these are not random, e.g. the anti-vaxers feeling that their role and power as parents is being undermined. de Gara talked about emotional narratives associated or provoked by fake news. The picture above is one of the examples she used. She noted that "Understanding the emotional drivers of different communities allows those communities to be unknowingly manipulated".
Polen Turkmen and a colleague from St Andrews University (whose name I did not catch) talked about ways to address the problem of disinformation. One of the things they talked about was the possible use of augmented reality for disinformation. They called for mandatory MIL education at primary and secondary levels, as a necessary condition, but not a sufficient one. They felt that since technological solutions usually address production side and education side, they felt it was important to address both and were also proposing a project to deal with the problem.
Lesley Farmer, in her talk on fake news mentioned her own LibGuide on Fake News which is at which includes a very useful set of links.

Health, planning, youth and cities #GlobalMILweek

Some liveblogged impressions from a session on "Imagining city transporation, healthcare systems, city planners etc. that stimulate MIL cities" at the Global Media and Information Literacy week feature conference.

Agnaldo Arroio (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) reported on a project in Mozambique on the methodology of teaching to use media tools in health education, as part of a project to strengthen teachers' technical and pedagogical skills. Some watchwords were: autonomy, decentralisation and production. Videos can be very useful to show at health centres, for example videos which stories giving health messages in local languages can be shown when people are waiting to be seen in health centres. Since there is a literacy problem, using videos is a good idea. The photo shows one of his slides.
Sherri Hope Culver (Center for Media and Information Literacy, Temple University, USA) was focused on general practical steps towards creating a MIL city. Her steps were: (1) Assemble your dream team (who you want to bring to the table); (2) Align the vision (at the start, before moving forward); (3) Grow the rainbow (4) Place a line in the sand (e.g. finalise deliverables, timelines etc.); (5) Engage and Share (making things timely and relevant, sharing it in an intentional way); (6) Fill the toolbox (thinking about essential elements such as a logo, website, press release templates); (7) Build the excitement (8) Plan the future.
Yunting Zheng (Peking University) talked about health information inquiry habits and health information literacy. She identified that health is a UN Sustanable Development Goal and also presented Harold Lasswell's 5W model (who, says what, in what channel, to who, to what effect). She also presented some definitions and a model of health promoting information literacy developed by Bergsma. Her first research study focused on internal migrants in China (of which there are many millions). These migrants tend to have low socio-economic status and low health literacy. The sample size was 7200. 62% had ever proactively sought health info, risk factors were gender, education, occupation and duration of migration (so highly educated professional females who had been migrated a while were most likely to seek). TV was the most popular source, except for the higher education/ younger group (who used the internet).
The second study looked at service employees in Beijing. The sample size was 2030. Both these studies were drawing on (I think) quantitative data from larger studies. Risk factors were age and education in this group, and 23.5% were judged to have information literacy. One of the recommendations was designing interventions to accord with the different inquiry habits and demographics of the different populations.
Amina Alaoui Soulimani (Blogger, Afrika Youth Movement, Morocco) was the next speaker. She started by talking about the origins and nature of the Afrika Youth Movement The organise forums, bringing together young activists and tackling issues that matter to them. She identifed that "a city is a place where we interact", and the cities where there are hubs are very different. This was youth led, so that their voices were to the fore, and there were various campaigns e.g. #periodnotshame and #ilovemycontinent. There were committees focused on different issues, namely: health, gender, education, peace and security, agriculture.
Sara Haddou Amar (an engineering academic at the Universite Ibn Tofail, Morocco) presented on Introducing MIL in urban planning: a reconsideration of MIL cities and technology, and she started by talking about the importance of efficient structure and information flow in manufacturing, and that similarly a city was a network which needed to function effectively and efficiently. She observed that it was evident from the presentations at the conference, that each country had its own culture and norms: this meant it was difficult and probably undesirable to impose the same ideas about a MIL city in every country. Amar talked about how in her neighbourhood people exchanged and demanded information very actively in the neighbourhood, and distrusted official media. She had done a study in her home country, and found there was very little awareness of media and information literacy, including a lack of awareness amongst academics. There was awareness of issues such as fake news, but not awareness of what could be done to challenge or prevent it. She identified some factors (see photo) for designing and planning a MIL city, and requirements such as strategic planning, easy data gathering and data analysis, reachable services and community.

Safe, inclusive, media and information literate cities #GlobalMILweek

Some more liveblogging today from Global Media and Information Literacy week feature conference, from a session which covered various aspects of MIL cities. The session was chaired by Paulette Kerr (University of the West Indies) who also presented her idea of a smart city (smart - security, town planning, transportation, water & sanitation, infrastructure, energy, healthcare, education, building, governance) and noted that "smart cities require smart actors". She also stressed that a creating MIL cities involved effective creation, storage, retrieval, interpretation etc. of information.
Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco (University of Gastronomic Sciences, Italy) talked about the project aiming to combat online hate speech: Words are stones One of the points he made was that people make assumptions that young people understand social media and the impact they have when they use it: their research showed that this is not the case (so this shows the harm of buying into the "digital native" discourse!) He stressed that what is said online has an impact on what happens offline, and young people, as much as anyone, need consciously to learn how to engage thoughtfully and carefully with each other online as well as offline.
Maximo Dominguez Lopez (Autonomous University of Mexico) started by talking about the importance of learning how to communicate inormation (e.g. using infographics or videos to communicate research results). He then mentioned the initiative to educate citizens about the issue of fake news, at the time of national elections, which also showed how librarians are relevant and active. Lopez moved on to identify the importance of copyright and ethical approaches for academic work. He emphasised the value of public libraries in working for equality, including for migrants.
Supreet Karanjit Singh (Red Dot Foundation, India) talked about the issue of violence against women, and ways of making cities safer for women. Singh stated that you cannot have a smart, MIL city if it is not safe from sexual harrassment. She identified the widespread problem of sexual harrassment and violence, and that 80% of these events do not get reported, and that if you do report incidents you go through a gruelling process that may not end up being successful. This raises the question "how do you solve a problem that is invisible". They created a web app, encouraging people to report sexual harrassment saying what happened and where, so they could develop a map. They have had 11,000 over 4 years. She said "you can use it like a TripAdvisor", which can make you more situationally aware when you visit somewhere. The website is at and you can download the app from that. Singh talked about one practical example, of a road that showed up was a site of a lot of sexual harrassment, and going to the community, engaging with the women and girls' stories. A key outcome was covering a wall with a mural that identified the problem and also the fact that it was illegal, and that led to citizens starting to self-police, and the road becoming a much safer place.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Livingstone on media literacy #GlobalMILweek

Sonia Livingstone (LSE, UK) is the keynote speaker in the next session I'm liveblogging from the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy week in Kaunas. As usual, I have the caveat that these are my impressions as she spoke. The overall session is entitled MIL empowering active engaged communities and participation in city elections but Livingstone focused on her current thoughts about Media Literacy (she talked about Media Literacy rather than MIL throughout). She talked about the all-encompassing nature of media, and that this made a key question - how do people communicate through and with media in their lives. There was an ever widening group of stakeholders, some of whom are not aware of the existing work in media literacy (let alone information literacy, I would add). This has led to one-shot campaigns from companies or government agencies who want to show they are "on board" with media literacy.
In terms of policy, media literacy has been seen as a policy of last resort: she thought that there tended to be discussions and calls for legislation to start with, with calls to educate for media literacy following on.
Livingstone stressed that she obviously in favour for media literacy education, but she saw challenges. Firstly, education was an investment (including investment in teaching training and assessment), and in many or all countries inadequacies in education systems was identified, and seeing education as the "solution" was problematic. It was unclear what agencies and people would deliver education for media literacy for those outside formal education; which private and public sector organisation would be involved. Secondly, the rhetorical aim for education is democracy and equality, but in fact education is inequal in terms of takeup etc. and in some cases by its structure it fosters inequality.
Then there were also digital challenges. Firstly, digital grows at exponential rate, with more things expected of people (e.g. understanding the way search engine algorithm works, understanding how to protect your privacy on a smartphone). This was a great deal to teach, especially when even experts struggle to explain these matters coherently. "We can only teach people what they can learn" - she gave examples such as understanding the detail of Terms and Conditions. She felt that there needed more transparency in the design of the digital environment, before it became easier for people to learn about this. Secondly: postponing the benefits. Livingstone felt people were too obsessed with the negatives that needed to be battled before the positive things can happen. Then there was sustainability - too many small scale underfunded ventures "start up culture without the venture capitalists". Thirdly there was the lack of robust evidence and evaluative base for media literacy, which she felt would involve research such as randomised controlled trials. Livingstone also felt the need for cost-benefit analysis.
She then moved on to talk about the problem of making individuals responsible for solving media literacy challenges that governemnts etc. cannot solve. This can lead to a blame culture, with calls for people to be dutiful and to fit in, with media literacy as a moralising discourse.
Livingstone ended with suggestions for the positive. Firstly this would involve working with others and making more realistic plans for what could be changed. Secondly, charging the whole variety of agencies that could be working for media literacy to get more involved and think what they could be doing to improve transparency. Thirdly to bear in mind goals of empowerment and critique, so that citizens are empowered to propose new solutions and to protest, not just be dutiful citizens.

#Libraries, museums and Media and Information Literacy #GlobalMILweek #MILcities

I will liveblog a few snippets from a session on Revitalizing city libraries museums and archives through creative MIL actions, from the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy week. Aleisa Fishman (Levine Institute for Holocause Tducation, USA) talked about an educational exhibit they had developed on how the Nazis used propaganda, with material available to help educators teach students about the issues arising from that. "We wanted visitors to be better consumers of media". She referred to the website which they had collaborated to produce: Mind over Media which focuses on issues such as recognising propaganda, and analysing propaganda. It also has an interactive element.
Kyoko Murakami (Director of the Asia-Pacific Media and Information Literacy education Centre) talked about Empowering future citizens through MIL in city libraries and social network services. She started by highlighting how libaries are using social media. She went on to talk about the Japanese situation, identifying how everyone is using smartphones, with a dramatic change in the way they use the internet. A map of Japan showed coverage of the internet - with the big concentration on big cities, in particular Tokyo. In terms of use of social media, it is a minority of city libraries that use it. She showed a slide (see picture) which had some characteristice of library use. She used the University of Tsukuba as an example of effective use of social media, a video of a robot helper at a public library, and also use by the National Archives.
She summed up issues for libraries: that communication was mostly one way; that libraries were seen as unattractive; and that only a quarter of Japanese were confident in evaluating information (from one research study). Murakami advocated collaboration with other stakeholders, more understanding of effective use of social networking applications, education for effective use of these applications, and more participative use of the services by libraries.
Monika Straupyte (Culture Manager for Public Relations, Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kurdika Public Library) talked in particular about their computer classes for seniors (with several thousand participants) and their Media and Information Academy for seniors (with 36 participants, 60-80 years old). Activities varied from searching, to editing and uploading. She said that they learned about dangers as well as opportunities. This helped the seniors to become "full members of society". The MIL academy also included public lectures on topics such as fake news. They also had a course in MIL for librarians.
Viorica Palamarciuc (IREX Europe) talked about, in particular, librarians becoming ambassadors of MIL in Moldova. 113 librarians have been trained, so they can then carry out activities in their own (I think, rural) communities. They have organised over 250 events for over 3000 people. They have set up "media corners" in libraries in some cases. She also talked about activities with young people in Moldova.

Frau Meigs identifies important MIL isues at #GlobalMILweek

Divina Frau-Meigs (Professor, Sorbonne Nouvelle University) gave the first keynote speech which I am liveblogging from the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy week.
She felt we needed to change the metaphors and terminolgy. She identified that MIL was important lifewide. She saw it as an ecosystem that has changed drastically. Whereas the first image of the internet was about surfing (being free and open) but as it developed, continents have developed. For example there are social media, search engines, navigators and exploitation systems owned by companies (she saw this as the blue continent) and the orange continent, with similar systems but operated as open access or as alternatives. From the metaphor of surfing, we have gone to the metaphor of mining and what she called the black continent with private and illegal networks and systems. With the black continent have come threats such as cyberterrorism.
Frau-Meigs, went on to talk about the information disorders associate with these developments. The first was: disinformation in the "blue" continent. In some cases it brought back problems that it was thought had been conquered. She highlighted some research in this area, including how people react emotionally to social media and the life cycle of fake vs. true news. Secondly she mentioned use of the "black" continent used to fuel radicalisation and hate, noting how "extremists are early adopters" who also use the "blue" continent to produce their own narratives of victimhood, war etc. Research she was involved in has identified that the internet is not a cause of radicalisation, but it is a facilitator.
Digital engagement, critical MIL, counter narratives, multi-stakeholder engagement were all needed to address information disorders. She noted the rise of fact-checkers as a response to these problems e.g. Whilst she thought this was good for fact checkimg, she was not so sure it was good for MIL. This was because fact checkers were not always really aware of MIL, and there were also other issues: problems of sustainability, lack of clarity of objectives, lack of communication with those involved in MIL, specialisation on text, little evaluation of effectiveness, risk of subjective evaluations, low use of automated solutions.
Frau-Meigs also stressed how it was importance to promote these issues into policy, and not to just rely on good practices: these good practices needed to be promoted into policy. This implied external evaluation of good practice. She noted also that these good practices were often not based on frameworks of MIL competences (whether national, international, produced by associations etc.)
She finished on the opportunities for Media and Information Literacy. MIL has changed, and she acknowledged that MIL is not just about news, but also about all kinds of documents and data: she saw these as three interacting environments. This formed a huge ecosystem of information that could be turned into malinformation, which can go as far as threatening countries' stability and democracy. This had also widened her idea of the scope of MIL. She identified "MIL and digital citizenship education" as being important and presented a "butterfly" of competences associated with it: she also talked of this beig a discipline which was needed from primary school level.
Frau Meigs highlted the EC work she has been involved with and noted one weakness was the current private-sector (rather than public sector) funding.

#GlobalMILweek award winners

I was privileged to be on the international judging panel for the Global Media and Information Literacy awards, which were just announced at the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy week. Alton Grizzle (UNESCO) and Carolyn Wilson (GAPMIL leader) presented the prizes.
First Prize: Jane Tallim and Cathy Wing (Canada), for their work on Media Smarts , "Canada's Center for Media and Information Literacy".
Second Prize joint winners: Jordan Media Institute (Jordan) and Hemmo Bruinenberg (Netherlands) for his media production project for young migrants, with the ITHAKA film festival and "video bakery"
Third Prize: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos (Mexico) for its MOOC aiming to promote information literacy to fight fake news, aiming to reach the public at large.

Opening of feature conference of #GlobalMILweek - vital importance of MIL empasised

I am liveblogging from the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy week, which takes place in Kaunas. Lithuania, starting today.
Ineta Dabasinskiene, Vice Rector at Vytautas Magnus University made the opening remarks, identifying the vital need for Media and Information Literacy in the 21st Century, and the general need for people to become media and information literate, within all levels of education, and beyond. She also read a message from the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Construction of Knowledge Societies, which contrasted the Soviet era which controlled media and polished the image of government, with democratic processes of citizen engagement. He also identified the current risks for democratic openness and participation, and the need for MIL in fostering critical thinking and participation in democratic society.
Moez Chakchouk, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Communication and Information brought the welcome news that the United Nation has endorsed an annual Global MIL week. He also emphasised how member states can no longer assume that MIL is already covered, and how important it was to civil society to address the development of MIL and take account of this in policy and strategy. He identified MIL as a flagship area of UNESCO’s work.
Patrick Penninckx talked about how the digital revolution was more insidious than had been the industrial revolution, the digital “Creeps into our lives”. He felt that the digital was bringing about a paradigm shift, influencing state and society, that we were not prepared for. For example, education was preparing students for the 20th rather than the 21st. He quoted Kofi Annan, saying that literacy was “ a bridge from misery to hope” and vital for culture and development: and now the meaning of literacy had expanded into a multilayered concept. He noted that “the virtual world is also the real world”, for example it may be the first place in which people encounter their life partners. He also noted the importance of taking account of informal as well as formal education, and also the needs for the rights of the child. Penninckx emphasised that the expertise of those at the conference was needed to help transform our environments, each of us needed to think what our own role was in the digital revolution.
Anni Hellman, EC DG CONNECT, talked particularly about the problem of disinformation, the fact that the news media has fragmented, that people don’t seem to have the time to assess the trustworthiness of information. She also mentioned the European Union’s high level expert group and its work, she “hoped that our democracy will not be at stake” because of the problem of people posting untrue information and people’s inability to judge good quality news. This problem has, on the positive side, led to more attention from the European Commission for Media and Information Literacy and more funding possibilities.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

UK iSchools celebrate #GlobalMILweek including free webinar on 24 October

The University of Sheffield Information School kicks off events to celebrate Global Media and Information Literacy with a webinar from Pamela McKinney and Sharon Wagg on 24th October and my liveblogging from the Global MIL week conference in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Global MIL weeks runs 24-31 October and information about this UNESCO sponsored initiative is here
Webinar details, Wednesday 24 October, 10.15 UK time. Pamela McKinney, a faculty member in the University of Sheffield Information School will present on Information and data literacy of using mobile apps for diet and fitness tracking. Sharon Wagg, a graduate of the University of Sheffield MA Librarianship programme, has worked for the Good Things foundation and is now undertaking a PhD at Loughborough in the field of digital inclusion. The title of Sharon’s presentation is A literature review on the linkages between digital inclusion and information literacy. You can join the webinar live at It uses the Adobe Connect platform, so if you have not used it before, check in a little while in advance and see whether you need to download the Adobe Connect app. The webinar will be recorded, so you can catch up with it afterwards; we will publicise the address after the webinar.There will be further webinars next week.

On the first day of the Global MIL week feature conference, 24 October, I will be presenting on #AFMIL - the age friendly Media and Information Literate city, and also liveblogging here on selected sessions. I was one of the international judges for the Global MIL awards, and these will also be presented tomorrow, so I'll be excited to reveal the winners.

Elsewhere in the UK, the CILIP Information Literacy Group has organised events to celebrate Global MIL week. There are more details and booking links here:
The events are:
Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2018: Emerging directions for IL research and practice
University College London, Department of Information Studies, Monday October 29th 2018, 6pm – 8pm
A range of talks from recent UCL Library and Information Studies Masters’ graduates, highlighting emerging directions for IL research and practice in a range of contexts.

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2018: Information literacy – an antidote to fake news?
Manchester Metropolitan iSchool, Manchester, Thursday October 25th 2018, 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Geoff Walton and guests will discuss the latest research which addresses this question.

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2018: Digital competencies for digital citizenship: an emerging agenda for students, academics and libraries in partnership. 
N204 (Meeting Room) in Sir Ian Wood Building of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Wednesday 31st October, 4.30 – 6pm.
Dina Martzoukou will talk on Digital competencies for digital citizenship, Jacqueline Geekie will share the New Definition of Information Literacy and the work of the Information Literacy Group and there will be some time for networking with your fellow professionals before heading home and going out Trick or Treating!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bursaries for #LILAC19

There are five bursaries available for the UK's LILAC (information literacy) conference in April 2019. They are aimed at places for applicants in certain under-represented sectors and communities, namely: BAME, Schools, Further Education, Public, Health (e.g. NHS; librarians working in Higher Education who support health subjects are not eligible). The bursary "includes 3 days attendance of all LILAC sessions, social events (networking evening and conference dinner) and accommodation at Cripps Hall. Travel expenses up to the value of £100 are also available if required. To be eligible for a place you must be a librarian, volunteer or information professional working in the above mentioned sectors/communities in the UK. You will have to show your commitment to information literacy by writing a short personal statement explaining what benefits you would gain from attending the conference, and how you intend to use your conference experience in your work." Deadline for applications is 19 November 2018, sent to More information and a form at
I notice that when the UK's New Library Professionals Network retweeted this, they linked to their top tips for applying for bursaries, which is worth a look:

#OAweek and #OERs

This is Open Access Week - the website is here
Part of open access are Open Educational Resources, and this post summarises five 2017 articles about OERs and libraries / information literacy:
- Cassity, E. & Renirie, R. (2018, January11). Top 5 Articles about OER [Blog post].

Also, here are some recently published open access/ open access versions of articles or chapters I've co-authored:
- Madden, A.D., Webber, S., Ford, N. & Crowder, M. (2018). The relationship between students’ subject preferences and their information behaviour. Journal of Documentation, 74(4), 692-721.
- Andrews, P., Chapman, E., Elmore, J., Grace, D., Nunn, E., & Webber, S. (2017). Reflections on Running a critLIS Reading Group. In K.P. Nicholson and M. Seale. The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship. (pp.167-179.) Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press. ISBN: 978-1-63400-030-7. Open access here:
- Webber, S. & Johnston, B. (2017). Information literacy: conceptions, context and the formation of a discipline. Journal of Information Literacy 11(1), 156-183.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Nominations for PRIMO

The Peer Reviewed Instructional Materials Online (PRIMO) Committee of the ACRL Instruction Section invites submissions of online information literacy tutorials, teaching modules, or other online library instruction project for review and possible inclusion in PRIMO: Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online. Site submissions for PRIMO are accepted continuously, but are reviewed for possible inclusion twice per year. Deadlines for autumn are: Nominations (i.e. you nominate someone else's tutorial, and use the "nominate a site" form): November 2; Submissions (i.e. you nominate your own tutorial, and need to use the "site submissions" form): November 16. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: mosaic water feature (Howard Street Rill by Emma Biggs) next to Sheffield Hallam University, which you see when walking down to Sheffield (train) Station. October 2018. I was glad they restored it as it wasn't working for a while.

Online short course: Active Learning Strategies

The Library Juice Academy short online course Active Learning Strategies, taught by Mimi O'Malley, runs from November 5-30 2018, price US $175. "This course will explore active learning strategies for both in-class and online courses and instruction. Cooperative, collaborative, problem-based, and project-based learning will be explored. Reviewing assessments of active learning strategies will also be discussed. The course will conclude with potential barriers along with strategies to keep students motivated during active learning. Participants will complete the course with one active learning activity to incorporate into a class or instruction."
Photo by Sheila webber: autumn leaves, October 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

#LOEX2019: Call for Breakout Session Proposals

There is a call for proposals for the major US information literacy conference: LOEX 2019: Up North: Reflect, Reconnect,and Renew. This is the 47th Annual LOEX Conference and will be held May 9-11, 2019 in Minneapolis, USA. "This year’s LOEX tracks are: Lead & Innovate: Blazing New Trails; Collaboration: The S’more the Merrier; Strategies for Outreach & Engagement: Navigating the 10,000 Lakes; Pedagogy & Information Literacy: Jumping into the Deep End; Facilitating Student Research: Igniting the Flame; Assessment: Are We There Yet?
Proposals for 50-minute long presentations and interactive workshops should be submitted through the online submission form. The deadline is November 16, 2018. The primary contact for the proposal will receive a message indicating receipt of the proposal when it is submitted and will be told whether the proposal has been accepted by January 14, 2019. More info at

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pathways into Information Literacy and Communities of Practice: Evidence Based Nursing and Information Literacy

Two more books I haven't mentioned previously (both priced):
- Sales, S. and Pinto, M. (Eds). (2017). Pathways into Information Literacy and Communities of Practice: Teaching Approaches and Case Studies. Chandos. ISBN 978-0-08-100673-3
- Phelps, S., Hyde, L. and Wolf, J. (Eds) (2018). The Intersection: Where Evidence Based Nursing and Information Literacy Meet. Chandos. eBook ISBN: 9780081012994; Paperback ISBN: 780081012826.
Photo by Sheila webber: wild fungi by Blackheath pond, October 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon #globalMILweek #GlobalMILHack

A Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon will take place in Global MIL week 24 – 26 October 2018. "Disinformation, Sustainable Development Goals, children protection in media, dialogue and social inclusion, these are some vital challenges and opportunities that are present today in the fields of information and communication. How can we tackle these issues through media and information literacy (MIL)? Join the Global MIL Youth Hackathon and find answers together with other young people from around the world and win seed funding from MiSK Foundation and UNESCO to support your youth-led project."
The hackathon is coordinated by DesignEDly and Global Student Square, in cooperation with University of Latvia, Vytautas Magnus University, and University of Tampere, with the support of UNESCO and MiSK Foundation, and in the framework of Global MIL Week 2018.
Deadline for registration is 21 October 2018. This is aimed at young people: it says "Age of the participants have to be within the age criteria for youth respective to the country of origin."
People can participate online, or in person if they can afford to get away to Riga. The options are: "Online: work with your team on Facebook and submit a video presentation of your final pitch." OR "Offline: come join us in Riga and work with your team on-site."
The website is here (you register on a different form depending on the challenge you want to address e.g. "Disinformation")
The Facebook page (that lays out the key information clearly)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

cfp: LILAC conference

There is a call for proposals for the UK's information literacy conference, LILAC, which will be taking place 24-26 April 2018, in Nottingham, UK. The deadline for submission of proposals is 14 November 2018 at 17.00 UK time (they are strict on this!). "LILAC welcomes proposals which address information literacy from all sectors and contexts. In 2019 we invite you to present on any aspect of information literacy, there are no specific themes. We ask that your presentation makes explicit reference to your innovative practice or research in information literacy. LILAC is committed to encouraging diversity at the conference and we would specifically like to encourage proposals from members of the BAME community and other under-represented communities and sectors." For more information about presentation types, go to:
To submit a paper you need to register at - if you already have an account then you just need to login and go to 'my account' where you will see details of how to submit your abstract

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Visualizing the library: extension to deadline for chapter proposals

There is an extension to the deadline for submitting proposals for chapters (to October 31st) for the book Visualizing the Library: A Primer on visual research methods in Library and Information Sciences, to be published by Facet Publishing and edited by Shailoo Bedi, University of Victoria, and Jenaya Webb, University of Toronto. "Part 2 [which is where the contributed chapters will be] will showcase contributions from researchers and practitioners using visual research methods in a variety of contexts (eg. galleries, libraries, archives, and museums). Going beyond a step-by-step “how to” guide, this book will provide readers with practical approaches to applying visual research methods as a methodological approach while providing a grounding in research theories and the overarching theoretical foundations underpinning visual research methods. Thus, readers will come away equipped to apply visual methods in their research and practice along with the ability to frame their research in theory." There is more information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Michaelmas daisies, October 2018

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

MIL in higher education; online information literacy teaching

A couple of books (not open access, published by Chandos, which is now an Elsevier imprint) - full list of chapters, with abstracts, on the web pages:
- Ingwaldsen, S. and Oberg, D. (Eds). (2017). Media and Information Literacy in Higher Education: Educating the Educators. Chandos. ISBN 978-0-08-100630-6. "written for librarians and educators working in universities and university colleges, providing them with the information they need to teach media and information literacy to students at levels ranging from bachelor to doctoral studies."

- Maddison, T. and Kumaran, M. (Eds). (2017). Distributed Learning: Pedagogy and Technology in Online Information Literacy Instruction. Chandos. ISBN 978-0-08-100598-9. "provides evidence based information on a variety of issues, surrounding online teaching and learning from the perspective of librarians."
Photo by Sheila Webber: apples from my tree, October 2018

Research survey: impact of academic libraries on student success

James Cheng and Starr Hoffman are seeking participants for a survey related to their ACRL Impact Grant-funded research study: Researchers on Academic Library Impact: Characteristics and Perspectives. "This is a research study; its purpose is to explore the perspective and experience of academic library professionals related to library impact, particularly around their experiences conducting research in this area. If you are an academic library professional and have either conducted, will conduct, or used research on the impact of academic libraries on student success, you meet the criteria for this study.
"By exploring the perspective and experience of academic library professionals related to library impact, we aim to enrich the information provided in ACRL’s 2017 Academic Library Impact (ALI) Report. The individual perspectives sought through interviews for the ALI report primarily consisted of library administrators and provosts, not librarians. However, the perspective and experience of library professionals who perform the research upon which the ALI report relies is an overlooked but valuable area of research.
"This project will survey and interview professional librarians and researchers, particularly those who are directly conducting research on the academic library impact of student success, to understand their perspective and research experiences. This project seeks librarians' perspectives on the six ALI priority areas and selected ALI research questions (e.g. “What factors influence librarian communication with academic library users and potential users?” or, “What factors affect librarian decisions regarding the level of confidentiality or privacy of student data?”). This study will also ask how prepared librarians felt to perform this research and how confident they are in the meaningfulness and rigor of their results, to provide a nuanced context for digesting and using this research. Lastly, this project will give insight into this population by defining their demographics and working habits."
The online survey "should take approximately 15-30 minutes, and you will have the opportunity at the end to indicate whether you would be interested in participating in a follow-up interview at a later date." The survey is at
Questions to Starr Hoffman, or James Cheng,
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bessemer converter, Kelham Island industrial museum, Sheffield, August 2018

Monday, October 08, 2018

Information Literacy and #librariesweek

In the UK it is national libraries week this week (8-13 October). The website is here and this is the twitterstream
The focus is on wellbeing, with the infographic on the right having been produced for the week. Initiatives highlighted in public libraries include Reading Well, and of course there are the health and medical libraries that can showcase what they are doing e.g. The School Library Association is running a library/wellbeing photo competition
Obviously there can be a link between information literacy, libraries and wellbeing. I was reminded first of all about the Augustana Human Library in Canada, and as another example there are presentations concerning libraries and wellbeing here.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

ALA Library Instruction Round Table awards - call for nominations

The ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) "welcomes submissions for two awards created to recognize excellence in information literacy and instruction. Submissions from all types of libraries (public, school, special, academic) are encouraged. Winners will receive a US $1,000 award, a plaque, and a $500 travel stipend to be used to attend the 2019 ALA (American Library association) Annual Conference in Washington, DC, where the awards will be presented. The LIRT Librarian Recognition Award honors a librarian for her/his contributions to information literacy and instruction. The LIRT Innovation in Instruction Award honors a library for their innovative approach to information literacy and instruction. Submissions will be accepted until January 15, 2019. For full details on how to apply for these awards or to nominate someone to receive them, please see the LIRT Awards site ("
Photo by Sheila Webber: cat at UCL, Louvain la Neuve, September 2018

Thursday, October 04, 2018

What's my approach? Deciding on the approach to use for your research #ecil2018

This is the presentation that formed the introductory part of the workshop that Pamela McKinney and I gave at the European Conference on Information Literacy , in Oulu, Finland, on September 26 2018. The objectives of the workshop were:
"(1) To identify key characteristics of selected qualitative and mixed-methods research approaches, and to show what kinds of research questions and problems each approach is most suited to. The research approaches covered were: action research; case study; phenomenography; ethnography; autoethnography.
(2) To enable participants to understand the issues, advantages and disadvantages of different approaches, by looking at a practice-based information literacy problem, and asking participants to identify the implications of choosing one approach or another."