Friday, July 10, 2020

New articles: News credibility; Students preferred text format; Academic websites' information for those with disabilities

Articles from the latest issue (vol 81 no 5) of open access College and Research Libraries includes:
- News Credibility: Adapting and Testing a Source Evaluation Assessment in Journalism by Piotr S. Bobkowski, Karna Younger "This paper discusses the development of a source evaluation assessment, and presents the results of using this instrument in a one-semester information literacy course for journalism students."
- Beyond the Surveys: Qualitative Analysis from the Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS) by Diane Mizrachi, Alicia M. Salaz "The Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS) collected data from more than 21,000 university students in 33 countries regarding their reading format (print or electronic) preferences and behaviors when engaging with academic texts during a three-year period. Quantitative analysis shows a consistent preference for print reading among most students worldwide. This paper presents new findings from our qualitative analysis of students’ survey comments"
- “Without That Detail, I’m Not Coming”: The Perspectives of Students with Disabilities on Accessibility Information Provided on Academic Library Websites by Amelia Brunskill
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, July 2020

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

ISIC virtual conference

The ISIC (Information Seeking in Context) conference, taking place 28 September to October 2 2020, is now an online conference. Keynote talks are: Archie L Dick on South Africa’s Long Walk to Information Freedom; Gunilla Widen on Infodemic – the challenges of making sense of information disorder and what is the cure?; Naresh Agarwal on The many meanings of Context: Can we arrive at a shared understanding?
Panel sessions are: Exploring the affective dimensions of archives (Wendy Duff, Heather MacNeil, Jennifer Douglas, Henria Aton); Information behaviour and practice research for social impact (Heidi Julien, Rebekah Willson, Ian Ruthven and Nicole Dalmer); What’s fun got to do with it? What fun-life contexts teach us about the bounds of context (Melissa G. Ocepek, Gary Burnett, Eric Forcier and Yazdan Mansourian). Registration at
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, June 2020

Monday, July 06, 2020

#HIW2020 Health Information Week

This week is Health Information Week 2020: 6 July to 12 July. There is a website with information for professionals and the public at at According to the NHS Knowledge for Healthcare blog there will be themes for each day
Monday 6th July: Health literacy
Tuesday 7th July: Mental Health
Wednesday 8th July: Sepsis
Thursday 9th July: Healthy lifestyles
Friday 10th July: Mobile apps
Saturday 11th July: Mythbusting Common Conditions
Sunday 12th July: Wellbeing and mindfulness

One event is the WeNurses Health Information Week chat on 9 July at 8pm UK time "The chat will explore a number of questions to mirror this year's Health Information Week themes from a nursing perspective. Visit the website"

Sunday, July 05, 2020

#uklibchat 6th July 2020 - LGBTQ+ representation and support in libraries

The next #uklibchat takes place on 6 July from 7.00 – 8.30pm UK time. The topic is LGBTQ+ representation and support in libraries and more information can be found here

Friday, July 03, 2020

After the Fact: Carla Hayden on America's Library; Infodemic

An interesting podcast series is the Pew Trust's After the fact. The latest episode (2 July) is The New American Library "Everybody knows what happened on the Fourth of July, but what about the First of July? That’s the anniversary of America’s first free library. Established in 1731 by Ben Franklin, it marked the democratization of information. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden—the first woman and African American in that role—talks about how libraries and librarians continue that mission to this day." Go to

The previous podcast was on The Infodemic "According to the World Health Organization, people are not only living through an epidemic but also an “infodemic”—a surge of information about COVID-19 that has made it hard for people to know which news and guidance about the virus is accurate. In a conversation with Alan Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project, we discuss how to sort fact from fiction today"

Ones before that included topics such as The Broadband Gap—Who's Not Online in America Today (picking up on Pew's research studies).
The homepage for the podcast is here and you can subscribe through Apple, Spotify etc.

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Webinar: Wellbeing: let’s talk… from a distance

There is a webinar on 8 July 10-12.30am UK time: Wellbeing: let’s talk… from a distance, organised by CILIP ARLG North West. "The sessions will look at supporting both student and staff wellbeing in our [further andd higher education] organisations. The sessions, a mixture of exchange of experience and a workshop, will provide an opportunity to reflect on your own wellbeing and give you ideas to support students." Speakers are
- A whole college approach to wellbeing (Corinne Walker, Learning Resources Manager, Oldham College LRC)
- Learning lessons: a plan for working well at home (Mark Burgess & Helen Dobson, Manchester Metropolitan University Library)
- Creativity for wellbeing (Emma Thompson, Education Lead: Creativity for wellbeing (KnowHow/Library), University of Liverpool)
- Shelf Help (Lorna Thomson, Resource Librarian, Bury College LRC)
To book email Jacqueline Ponka and there is more detail at
Photo by Sheila Webber: sun through new leaves, May 2020

Webinar today: Media and Information Literacy as a defence against privacy and data protection infringements #MILCLICKS

There is another UNESCO Media and Information Literacy webinar on July 2nd 2020 at 4pm Paris time (3pm UK time). The topic this time is Media and Information Literacy as a defence against privacy and data protection infringements You cannot miss this high-level UNESCO-GAPMIL webinar next Thursday at 4 PM Paris time. Speakers are Professor Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics and Political Science - LSE), Professor Joe Cannataci (UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy), Professor Hopeton Dunn (University of Botswana_Official), Toby Mendel (Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy) and Professor Gretchen King (Lebanese American University - LAU).
Go to for the webinar, no registration needed

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

LIRT top twenty articles

The latest issue of LIRT [Library Instruction Round Table] News has the annual LIRT list of their "top 20 articles" (published in 2019) on teaching information literacy. As usual, there is a bias towards North American articles, but it is still an interesting list to dip into. An attractive feature is the provision of an informative abstract for each item (not just a copy of what was in the original article). The issue is at and the Top 20 list starts on page 9.

Quite a few of the articles are not open access and I have listed a number of them on this blog already. One which I have missed previously is:
Douglas, V. A., & Gadsby, J. (2019, July 10). All carrots, no sticks: Relational practice and library instruction coordination. In the Library with the Lead Pipe.
Photo by Sheila Webber: vase of peonies, June 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

#TakeCareBeforeYouShare #ThinkBeforeSharing

Today, as part of its anti-misinformation campagign, the United Nations launched the campaign #TakeCareBeforeYouShare There is a video of the launch press conference here: They chose to launch on World Social Media Day (30 June), a day that, when it was started a few years ago, was initially rather more celebratory, but today is characterised by people emphasising how you need to counter misinformation.
This adds to the existing UNESCO #MILCLICKS campaign #ThinkBeforeSharing

ALDinHE recordings: Librarians as teachers; Embedding micro-sessions; emotional labour

There are recordings from a number of webinars related to higher education, that took place over the last few months, including some presentations that were due to be given at the 2020 LILAC (information literacy) conference. They are on the ALDinHE (Association for Learning Development in Higher Education) website. ONes particularly relevant to information literacy are:
- Librarians' development as teachers: A Survey on Changes over Time in Pedagogical Roles, Approaches, and Perspectives by Andrea Baer [The recording is embedded below]
- What makes information literacy relevant to higher education students: the kaleidoscope effect by Dr. Karen F. Kaufmann
- Can You Teach Research in 10 Minutes? Embedding Information Literacy micro-sessions in module programmes by Rachael Hunter

- Emotional Labor of Teaching Information Literacy: Impact, struggle, and strategies by Lorrie Evans and Karen Sobel
- Strange New Worlds: Re-purposing librarian skills in the changing HE environment by Sarah George and Jennifer Rowland
The other webinars are all focused on learning in higher education and so if you work in that sector, then others will be interesting e.g.
- Does Learning Development have a Signature Pedagogy? by Helen Webster
Go to for links to the recordings.
For future ALDinHE webinars go to

Monday, June 29, 2020

Recent articles: financial literacy; graduate researchers; IL through virtual reference

The latest issue of priced publication Reference Services Review is Volume 48 Issue 2. It includes
- Teaching financial literacy through the use of market research and advertising instruction: A non traditional approach by Alyson Vaaler, Jennifer Wilhelm "The purpose of this paper is to describe how librarians used elements of market research, advertising and media literacy in a personal finance class."
- Graduate researchers’ perceptions and expectations: An exploratory study about reference and information services by Kanwal Ameen "The findings revealed that the graduate research students had hardly any idea of reference and information services. Their perceptions of the services were vague. Due to this lack of understanding, they would not expect an important role of the library professionals in their research activities except providing access to physical or online information sources"
- Instruction through virtual reference: mapping the ACRL framework by Rebecca Hill Renirie "The purpose of this study is to examine teaching intent of information literacy threshold concepts via asynchronous reference transactions"
- Hosting Inspec on Engineering Village or Web of Science: A case study in comparing database platforms by James Thomas McAllister III, Nancy Stephanie Diaz
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: June roses

Friday, June 26, 2020

Webinar: Preconference & outcomes from the WHO Infodemiology Conference #infodemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding an Infodemiology Conference over the next couple of weeks, and there are two open sessions.
Firstly, on 29 June 2020 1pm-6pm Paris time (which is noon to 5pm UK time) there is a preconference in which "experts engage with the public with 7 inspiring talks how the infodemic affects the world currently and reflections how it can be managed." See the poster, right, for the speakers. To register, go to
Secondly on 21 July 2020 at 3pm Paris time (which is 2pm UK time) there is an open webinar to discuss the results of the conference. Go to
Background: "In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the phenomenon of an ‘infodemic’ has escalated to a level that requires a coordinated response. An infodemic is an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – occurring during an epidemic. It makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it. Even when people have access to high-quality information, there are still barriers they must overcome to take the recommended action. Like pathogens in epidemics, misinformation spreads further and faster and adds complexity to health emergency response. An infodemic cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed. To respond effectively to infodemics, WHO calls for adaptation, development, validation and evaluation of new evidence-based measures and practices to prevent, detect and respond to mis- and disinformation. In the context of this meeting, “infodemiology” is defined as the science of managing infodemics. The overall aim of this consultation is to take stock of relevant research and effective practices and define public health research needs in order to advance this field."

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Enhancing students' employability, innovation and reflection skills

There is a webinar on 1st July 2020 at 11am UK time, organised by OneHE Mindsets Enhancing students' employability, innovation and reflection skills: the SISA programme offered by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise. The presenters are Ann Davidson (Programme Manager, the Scottish Institute of Enterprise) and Dr Pauline Bremner (Lecturer in the School of Creative and Cultural Business, Robert Gordon University). "The format of this session will slightly differ from the previous webinar giving more time for a Q&A session. We would like to invite you to send us one or more questions related to the topic. We have created a form to add your questions below. Alternatively, you may also email us your questions or just ask a question on the day. Please add/send us the questions by 29th of June 2020 to provide sufficient time for the speakers to prepare the answer." The form for questions is at and the registration at
Photo by Sheila Webber, shaded path, June 2020

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Webinar: self-help guides, tutorials, and FAQs

There is a free webinar on July 10 2020 at 1.30pm US Eastern time (which is, e.g., 6.30pm UK time) from the Special Libraries Association's Education Division, as part of their Inside Byte series. "During this pandemic environment, the uncertainty of in-person access to the library makes providing some kind of 24/7 help even more critical. In an ongoing project begun several years ago, librarians at the University of Alaska Anchorage created a series of self-help guides, tutorials, and FAQs to serve students with their most basic research needs. Join us as we share our best practices so that you too can learn how to create or improve your library's 24/7 self-help content efficiently and effectively." The presenters are: D’Arcy Hutchings (Instructional Design Librarian), Jennifer McKay (Nursing and Education Librarian), Anna Bjartmarsdottir (Instruction and Research Librarian and liaison to English, Writing, Creative Writing, and Theater) and Daria O. Carle (Science Librarian) - they are all at the UAA/APU Consortium Library at the University of Alaska Anchorage. To register go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: produce from the Farmers' market, June 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Media and information literacy as self-disruption #IDE2020

I still intend to do a few blog posts about the Information Literacy and Democracy conference that I attended online last Friday and Saturday. I will start with the last presentation: Media and information literacy as self-disruption, presented by Mario Hibert and Emir Vajzović, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I liked the way in which the presentation raised some critical issues about the use of technology, starting with how we had to make "hard choices" between "investing in humans and investing in technology". I liked the idea of thinking about the post-digital (rather than post-human) and the critique of the fetish surrounding the idea of the "smart".
All the videos were prerecorded and this one is embedded below (18 minutes). You can also see some pre-conference comments here and the session (including the lively chat and the authors' discussion after the presentation) is here in the recording of the whole session (their talk starts at 3 hours).

Monday, June 22, 2020

Information Literacy teaching and COVID-19

The UK's CILIP Information Literacy Group are "collecting data about the shift to online teaching that has taken place in UK education in relation to information literacy teaching", via an online questionnaire. They say "We will write up the findings and share them via LIS-Infoliteracy and the IL website but also are using this information to develop a new training course to share good practice" Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Fresh new leaves blown down, May 2020

Friday, June 19, 2020

Livestreaming Information Literacy and Democracy conference #IDE2020

Today's I'm attending the first day of the Information Literacy and Democracy conference (Informationskompetenz und Demokratie - this is a German project but this conference is in English) which was moved online (happily for me, as otherwise I wouldn't have attended it). I probably won't be liveblogging, but I will publish one or two posts about the conference. This post is mostly to alert you to the livestream on Youtube at
The conference programme is here - in UK time it runs today from now until 5.30pm, and tomorrow (20th June) it runs from 12 noon til about 5pm. The programme is in German time (1 hour ahead of the UK).
The Twitterstream is here

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

New articles: Health information behaviour; Librarian identity; online research skills

The new issue (vol. 25 no. 2) of open-access journal Information research has been published. Articles include (picking out the ones most relevant to this blog):
- Jonas Tana, Emil Eirola, and Kristina Eriksson-Backa: Exploring temporal variations of depression-related health information behaviour in a discussion forum: the case of Suomi24
- Cameron M. Pierson, Anne Goulding, and Jennifer Campbell-Meier: Metaphors and critical incidents: introduction to a methodological approach derived from expressions of librarian professional identity
- Tuulikki Alamettälä and Eero Sormunen: The effect of a teaching intervention on students’ online research skills in lower secondary education.
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink roses, June 2020

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Webinar - Media and Information Literacy & Quality Journalism #MILCLICKS

On Thursday 18th June at 3pm UK time (4pm Paris time) I am excited to be part of a UNESCO-GAPMIL webinar on Media and Information Literacy & Quality Journalism. My fellow panellists are: Alice Lee, Professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University, and José Manuel Tornero, UNESCO Chair on MIL and Quality Journalism at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. "Why do we need quality journalism and professional journalists, especially in times of crisis?" Anyone can join in, as it is streamed on UNESCO's #MILCLICKS Facebook page

Monday, June 15, 2020

New articles: Critical pedagogy; Critical Information Literacy; Critical Race

The latest issue of the open access journal Communications in Information Literacy has been published (Volume 14, Issue 1, 2020). The articles are:
- Beginning and Extending the Conversation [editorial] by Maria T. Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and Alana Kumbier (this issue marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of Critical Library Instruction - n.b. in North America, the word "instruction" did not have the negative connotations it would have in the UK)
- Dreaming Revolutionary Futures: Critical Race’s Centrality to Ending White Supremacy by Sofia Y. Leung and Jorge R. López-McKnight
- Iterable Ciphers for Insurrection by Dolsy Smith
- Moving from Critical Assessment to Assessment as Care by Veronica Arellano Douglas
- Rethinking the Neoliberal University: Critical Library Pedagogy in an Age of Transition by Jason Coleman and Lis Pankl
- Critical Library Instruction, Causing Trouble, and Institutionalization by Maura Seale
- Critical Library Instruction as a Pedagogical Tool by Nicole A. Cooke
- Teacher as Stranger: Unfinished Pathways with Critical Pedagogy by Caroline Sinkinson
- That Was Then, This Is Wow: A Case for Critical Information Literacy Across the Curriculum by Margaret Rose Torrell
- Building a Critical Culture: How Critical Librarianship Falls Short in the Workplace by Jennifer A. Ferretti
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: white roses, May 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020

Online discussion: Online learning & Non-traditional student populations

ACRL DLS (Distance Learning special interest group) has organised an online forum on June 30 2020 at 3pm US Central time (9pm UK time) on Online learning & Non-traditional student populations. "As universities continue to experience a decline in the number of “traditional” college enrollees and an increase in non-traditional, online students how can we alter our systems, services, and instruction to better support a more experientially diverse student population? Join us for an open forum discussion on this topic, where librarians will be encouraged to share their ideas and strategies used." Registration at
Photo by heila Webber: the largest clinbing rose tree I've ever seen, May 2020

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Doctor & patient perspectives; Information use in pregnancy; Eating disorders #AECIST20

Yesterday (10 June) was the third and last day of the online conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior, organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T. As I was presenting I didn't do any liveblogging, but here are some notes on the other three talks that day (the slides of the talk given by me and Dr Pamela McKinney are here.)
The keynote was from Christiane Grünloh on “My Work Tool” versus “My Body, My Data”: Conflicting stakeholder perspectives on digital data access. She started by talking about changes in health-related technology and how that has affected the citizen and the interactions between patient and healthcare practitioner. There have also been changes in the way patients are involved in decision making, making them more equal partners, each partner bringing their own expertise. She mentioned the advocacy for epatients or Dana Lewis, for example.
Grünloh went on to talk about online health records, and specifically the national system in Sweden, which currently has about 3 million people registered. This was the focus for the research she was reporting. The introduction of this system was controversial, in particular with some physicians opposing, although some though it was democratising. Their research was looking into what the concerns of the doctors were, and the perceptions of patients after implementation of ehealth records - revealing contrasting views about what the records were for and who the records belonged to.
The physicians saw the patient records as tools important for their work: they were concerned e.g. about increased workload, patients monitoring doctors' behaviour in viewing records. The patients, on the other hand, were mostly positive about having access, for example feeling that they could communicate better with doctors, and access to records made it easier to follow up things they did not understand.
The researchers explored the findings further in terms of values in design. Considering "ownership and property" the doctors saw the record as their property and their tool to do their work, whereas the patients saw it as their property since it is about them. As regards "Autonomy" the doctors felt they should have control over their work, so they could make the necessary decisions and keep records in a way that made sense to them (rather than writing to be understood by patients). However patients could have the perspective of "nothing about me without me".
The patients' well-being was the doctors' chief preoccupation and they were concerned that this might be compromised by free access to your record: for example that patients might be worried by information without being able to sk immediately for clarification. Finally, there is "accountability and transparency, and privacy" with is associated with issues of trust, with doctors feeling that they will be trusted less and more checked-up-on.
The different assumptions and values of different stakeholders can hinder effective dialogue about these issues. The final message was "it's complicated"!
Following my and Pam's presentation, Paulina Bressel talked about #Recovery of Eating Disorders on Social Media - the extended abstract of her talk is here. Finally the third presentation was Health Information Use During Pregnancy from Carolanne Mahony (presenter), Ciara Heavin and David Sammon (all from University College Cork, Ireland). Using Tom Wilson's information behaviour model, they identified the "information processing and use" part of that model as being under researched and the part they wanted to focus on. They rationale for focusing on expectant mothers was to do with this being an important life event, and literature showing e.g. that expectant mothers combined information when making decisions.
Overall they did a longitudinal study over 18 months, but the results reported here related to the intervews before the child was born. There were 12 interviewees, in which the researchers asked the participants to identify information seeking incidents and tell the story of each. The researchers did thematic analysis, inductive and deductive coding, and the participants were given the analysis to check themselves. The researchers divided the themes into positive and negative impacts, and internal or external use. For example one participant talked about being given a lot of books, and then being overwhelmed and avoiding books altogether (so that was Negative external/behavioural); another was someone looking up physical symptoms online and getting reassurance (so that was Positive/internal).
Big thanks to those organising and moderating the conference, which was really well run and engaging! The team consisted of Aylin Ilhan, Crystal Fulton, Noora Hirvonen, Kaja J. Fietkiewicz, Isabelle Dorsch, Fabian Odoni and Tamara Heck of the ASIS&T European Chapter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The information worlds of non resident informal carers: stakeholder perceptions #AECIST20

Today, Dr Pamela McKinney and I are presenting at the online conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior, organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T (Association for Information Science and Technology).
This is our presentation, The information worlds of non resident informal carers: stakeholder perceptions, (embedded below), the references are here and the extended abstract is here.

Webinar: Media and Information Literacy and Public Policies #MILCLICKS #GAPMIL

On Thursday 11 June at 4 pm Paris time (which is, e.g., 3pm UK time or 10am US Eastern time) there is another UNESCO-GAPMIL webinar Media and Information Literacy and Public Policies. Speakers are Dorothy Gordon (Chair of UNESCO's Information for All Programme); Peter Bruck (Chairperson of World Summit Awards; Maha Bashri (Associate Professor at the United Arab Emirates University); Carolyn Wilson (Past Chair of GAPMIL). The Moderator is Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist, UNESCO. The webinar will be at

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Health (mis)information behaviour in the Covid-19 era #AECIST20

Today is the second day of the the online conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior, organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T. The keynote talk today is Diane Pennington (University of Strathclyde, Scotland) who talked about Health (mis)information behaviour in the Covid-19 era . Misinformation is not new, but an obvious difference between the pandemic a hundred years ago and this one was the slower rate of mass transmission of information then (e.g. death figures appearing in newspapers then, and in real time on the web now). Pennington highlighted the coining of the term "infodemic" by the World Health Organization, and also the article by Xie et al. in JASIST (Global health crises are also information crises: A call to action - which was written pre COVID but which links the issues of misinformation and health information. She also talked about the seven types of #COVID19 #MisInformation which have been identified in the current work of the Social Media Lab.
Pennington went on to talk about her own work investigating at the authority of information, for example She explored the concept of post-truth, which doesn't imply that there is no truth, but that people are relying more on their own epistemology, and their own gut feelings and values to judge what is "true". She highlighted the problem of people (like Donald Trump) who manipulate and distract from the real problems and obviously influence those who believe in and trust the non-truth speaker. Pennington cited Lewandowsky et al ( in saying that a post-truth world"empowers people to choose their own reality where facts and objective evidence are trumped by existing beliefs and prejudices" (p361).
Pennington talked about social media and misinformation (issues such as bots, echo chambers/filter bubbles, the fact that reposting on socal media or adopting conspiracy theories may make people feel better). She also showed examples of people debunking those fighting misinformation, using conspiracy theories. Initiatives such as the WHO myth busters site try to counter this and Youtube's misinformation policy
There is a good deal of work examining mis/information about Covid19, primarily concentrating on social media platform. Pennington finished by identifying work for information scientists in terms of research, practice, teaching and service/citizenship (see the second screenshot)

Monday, June 08, 2020

Health Literacy at university level; Information avoidance #AECIST20

Continuing liveblogging notes from the first day of the online conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior, organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T. Noora Hirvonen gave a presentation based on her ongoing doctoral work, Girls' Positions and Authoritative Information Sources in Finnish Online Discourses on the HPV Vaccine: the abstract is here
Kristin Hocevar and Melissa Anderson (Southern Oregon University in the USA) presented a poster on Teaching Online Health Literacy at the University Level. The library collaborated with the Healthcare Studies programme to develop learning about ehealth, cognitive processing theories and calculating risk; there is information teaching and an assessed project which gets students to find and evaluate information for themselves. This has run twice, the second time (only) with the library input, and evidence was that the students had learnt from the experience.

Gemma Webster and (presenter) Bruce M. Ryan (Napier University, Scotland) had authored a poster on Information avoidance and diabetes: a preliminary empirical study. The focus of this ongoing project is those with type 1 Diabetes. There have been studies on information avoidance, but in the healthcare field the main focus has been information avoidance as regards cancer. The researchers carried out 10 interviews with young adults and 5 health practitioners. Early findings are that healthcare professionals lack the time to support the patients with information. In terms of the young adults with diabetes, findings include going through a period in adolesence where they want to deny the disease; distrust of sources of information and advice; and there is avoidance because future complications (e.g. blindness) are just too depressing. There also seem to be regional differences (even within Scotland) in terms of information and advice available.

Health literacy in practice in Ireland; health information behaviour and e-health services #AECIST20

Today was the first day of the online conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior, organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T (Association of Information Science & Technology). I will be liveblogging a few of the talks. Extended abstracts of many talks are here:
The keynote Inez Bailey (CEO of the Irish National Adult Literacy Agency) talked about Health literacy in practice in Ireland. She started by explaining the remit of NALA, which includes health literacy, then she defined Health Literacy, situating literacy in social practice. Bailey identified that health literacy is required from the health agencies as well as from individual citizens. She also highlighted the importance of health numeracy as part of health literacy. Bailey presented statistics that showed higher-than-one-might-have-expected levels of poor literacy, numeracy and specifically health literacy. She showed how lower levels of health literacy correlated with behaviours (such as not attending health screening, taking the wrong doses of medicine) which lead to poorer health. NALA has an archive of research here and aims to bring research evidence to bear in influencing policy.
NALA have developed the idea of being health literacy friendly (see slide, above), with recommendations to practitioners and policymakers of what this should involve, and has literacy-friendly quality standards, including the Crystal Clear quality mark (they found it was easier to get engagement with standrads from pharmacists than with GPs). Bailey went on to give examples of good practice and examples in using language and numbers, to make things easily understood. With food labelling, Bailey raised the issue that some food manufacturers might not want to be totally "plain" in their English if they were trying to make their food seem very healthy....
There were also a lot of interesting questions in discussion e.g. discussing why it is the 18-35 age group who are least likely to ask questions when they don't understand things, asking whether there is evidence that "plain English" writing works better (there is).

The second talk was from Heidi Enwald, Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Noora Hirvonen and Isto Huvila (presented by Enwald and Hirvonen) on Taking health information behaviour into account in user-centered design of e-health services - key findings from an ongoing research project. The extended abstract is here. They were presenting results from the Taking health information behaviour into account project. They are interested in how health information behaviour affects use of technologies associated with health services and information, with particular emphasis on older people.
They did systematic review which was recently published as Older adults’ views on eHealth services: a systematic review of scientific journal articles Key findings were that "Common themes [in the literature] include eHealth service uses, enablers and barriers, and outcomes; eHealth service use can have positive outcomes but also negative consequences; Findings indicate a positivity bias particularly in quantitative studies." Enwald talked about some other findings which have been published: there is a list of publications here In 2019 they did a questionnaire survey and focus groups with older finns, in particular asking about using electronic health records, but they are writing those up at the moment.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Free 3-day online conference: Health Information Behavior

From 8th- 10th June, each day at 2pm-5pm UK time (which is, e.g., 9am-12 noon US Eastern time) there is a free conference Information Science Trends: Health Information Behavior. It is organised by the European Chapter of ASIS&T (Association of Information Science & Technology). You need to register here.
I and Pam McKinney are presenting on the 10th June on the topic The information worlds of non-resident informal carers: stakeholder perceptions and I will post the slides here next week. This is the main programme:
 8th June: Inez Bailey (Title: Health literacy in practice in Ireland); Heidi Enwald, Kristina Eriksson-Backa, Noora Hirvonen and Isto Huvila (Title: Taking health information behaviour into account in user-centered design of e-health services - key findings from an ongoing research project); Noora Hirvonen (Title: Girls’ Positions and Authoritative Information Sources in Finnish Online Discourses on the HPV Vaccine) + 3 posters
9th June: Diane Pennington (Title: Health (mis)information behaviour in the Covid-19 era); Prasadi Kanchana Jayasekara (Title: Usage of social media in finding information related COVID-19); Kaitlin Costello (Title: Correcting health misinformation online: Collaborative crosschecking) + 2 posters
10th June: Christiane Grünloh (Title: My Work Tool” versus “My Body, My Data”: Conflicting stakeholder perspectives on digital data access); Sheila Webber and Pamela McKinney (Title: The information worlds of non-resident informal carers: stakeholder perceptions); Paulina Bressel (Title: #Recovery of Eating Disorders on Social Media); Carolanne Mahony, Ciara Heavin and David Sammon (Title: Health Information Use During Pregnancy)
Full schedule at (you need to scroll down the page some way to see the schedule).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Rose, May 2020

Friday, June 05, 2020

New articles: training trainers; Il programmes in HE; Advocacy; projects

Articles in the latest issue of the open-access Journal of Information Literacy (vol 14 issue 1) are:
- Training the trainer to embed IL into curricula by Michael Flierl, Rachel Fundator, Jason Reed, Bethany McGowan, Chao Cai and Clarence Maybee
- A review of information literacy programmes in higher education by Delyth Morris
- Advocacy engagement by Peggy Nzomo and Paul Fehrmann (this "sought to identify what skills, knowledge, and behaviours (SKBs) in advocacy engagement are closely associated with information literacy skills")
- The amazing library race: Developing students' media and information literacy skills through games (project report) by Joseph Marmol Yap and Janice Penaflor (initiatives in the Philippines and Kazakhstan)
- Library SkillUP: Digital information skills module for students at the University of Hertfordshire (project report) by Monica Jane Rivers-Latham, Helen Singer and Louise Conway
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom petals and borage, April 2020

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Webinar: The COVID-19 pandemic of disinformation and hate speech: How can education and digital citizenship help?

There is a UNESCO webinar on 5 June 2020, 13.00 to 14.30 (Paris time, so e.g. 12 noon til 1.30pm UK time) The COVID-19 pandemic of disinformation and hate speech: How can education and digital citizenship help? "A webinar to explore how education can support young people to navigate the online world in relation to civic engagement. The webinar, part of the UNESCO COVID-19 Education Response webinar series, will bring together experts to discuss how young people navigate the current online environment and how it is affecting their civic participation, negatively as well as positively." Speakers are:
- Jonathan Bright, Oxford University (UK)- Junk news in the time of Covid-19
- Joseph Kahne, University of California, Riverside (USA) - Redesigning civic education to help young people share their views and confront disinformation in the United States
- Nelson Kwaje (South Sudan) Tackling misinformation and disinformation on COVID-19 in Africa with #DefyHateNow
- Victoria Ibuwoye (Nigeria) Teaching global citizenship education and the rule of law in a digital world: A youth perspective
Photo by Sheila Webber: bee on a bottlebrush plant, May 2020

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Webinar 4 June: MIL, Media, and Mindset #MILCLICKS

There is a free webinar on Facebook organised by UNESCO on 4 June at 4pm Paris time (3pm UK time) MIL [Media and Information Literacy], Media, and Mindset.Speakers are Olunifesi Suraj and Radwa Hemida, moderated by Jesus Lau.

Access the webinar at

Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene

The latest issue of the open access Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies (vol 3 no 1) is a specal issue on Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene (quoting the editorial "the Anthropocene can loosely be defined as an epochal age in which humans have made lasting marks in the geological record, stratigraphy, and other earth systems"). The articles are:
- Material Provocations in the Archives by Dani Stuchel
- Dying Well In the Anthropocene by Samantha R. Winn
- Re-Localizing the Library by Amy Brunvand
- The Living Archive in the Anthropocene by Nora Almeida, Jen Hoyer
- Troubled Worlds by Megan Finn, Daniela K. Rosner, Suzanne Black, Nathan Cunningham, Kristin N Dew, Josephine Hoy, Kevin McCraney, Colin Morgan
- Documents for the Nonhuman by Erik Radio
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: linden tree flower, May 2020

Monday, June 01, 2020

Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners

Starting 8 June, this 12 week course online is not free (the fee is £475), but Online Teaching: Creating Courses for Adult Learners looks interesting, with an excellent teaching team. "On this microcredential, you’ll discover how adults learn online – and at a distance – drawing on key theories. You’ll evaluate technologies for supporting online and distance learning in specific contexts, drawing on a range of experiences and research to learn how to design engaging and inspiring online courses successfully. You’ll examine different online teaching and learning methods in terms of their appropriateness for specific settings and learners, and ways of ensuring your classes are inclusive and accessible."
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber, May 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

Online conference: Information Literacy and Democracy (IDE)

Another free conference to move online: Information Literacy and Democracy (IDE), 19-20 June 2020. The sessions are:
- Artificial intelligence and its application in information and media literacy education (William Cope & Mary Kalantzis; University of Illinois, USA)
- Views on and the shape of information literacy (Johanna Rivano Eckerdal; Lund University, Sweden)
- Information literacy for a functioning democracy in the post-truth era (Serap Kurbanoǧlu; Hacettepe University Ankara, Turkey)
- Learning intercultural aspects of information literacy: an experiential experiment involving German and Indian students (Tessy Thadathil, Francis Jarman, Sophie März & Joachim Griesbaum; Symbiosis College Of Arts & Commerce Pune, India & University of Hildesheim, Germany)
- Media and Information Literacy as self-disruption (Mario Hibert & Emir Vajzović; University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Conference programme at
If you are interested in participating up or want to get more information on the conference, sign up by emailing by 12 June 2020
Photo by Sheila Webber: eschscholzia, May 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020

#CALC2020 recordings available

There are now links to recordings of all the Critical Approaches to Libraries Conference (CALC2020) parallel sessions and keynote talks - the conference took place on May 13th 2020. I'm looking forward to catching up on the parallel sessions I missed! The sessions are:
- Keynote 1: Campaigning for Change (Quinn Roache : Policy Officer – LGBT+ and Disabled Workers – Equalities and Strategies Department – Trades Union Congress)
- Shared Reading with Portuguese Speakers (Elena Traina)
- Ageism and Libraries (Sheila Webber i.e. me)
- Read at Leicester (Heena Karavadra)
- One Subdivision at a Time (Sarah Hammond)
- Sick Systems: Is Cruelty the Point of HE? (Hannah Hickman)
- Developing Credit-Bearing Modules in Critical Library Practices (Michelle Bond and Darren Flynn)
- Keynote 2: Academic Libraries: A Critical Postcolonial Feminist Perspective (Dr Zainab Naqvi: Senior Lecturer in Law, Leicester De Montfort Law School)
- Critical Role of the Area Information Specialist Towards Decolonisation (Waseem Farooq)
- How Witches Use the Libraries: The Information Behaviour of Contemporary Pagans and Ritual Magicians (Joanne Fitzpatrick)
- Embedding Change in HE through Decolonizing Academic Practices (Sara Ewing)
For the list of links, go to

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Recent articles: Cultural context; student-parents; value of academic libraries

Articles from the latest issue (vol 81 no 4) of open access College and Research Libraries includes:
- Crist, E. & Popoa, D. (2020). Information Literacy and Cultural Context: Chinese English Language Learners’ Understandings of Information Authority. College & Research Libraries, 81(4), 646-661.
- Scott, R. & Varner, B. (2020). Exploring the Research and Library Needs of Student-Parents. College & Research Libraries, 81(4), 598-
Go to

Vol 81 issue 3 focused on value of academic libraries and included:
- Anderson, L. & Vega Garcia, S. (2020). Library Usage, Instruction, and Student Success across Disciplines: A Multilevel Model Approach. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 459-
- Lowe, M.S., Currier, A. & Graunke, S. (2020). Documenting the Value of Librarians in the Classroom: Results from a Mixed-Methods Research Collaboration with Campus Partners. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 492-
- Epstein, M. & Draxler, B. (2020). Collaborative Assessment of an Academic Library and Writing Center Partnership: Embedded Writing and Research Tutors for First-Year Students. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 509-
- Beile, P. et al. (2020). Aligning Library Assessment with Institutional Priorities: A Study of Student Academic Performance and Use of Five Library Services. College & Research Libraries, 81(3), 435- [the 5 services included IL teaching]

Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Foxglove, May 2020

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

#Metaliteracy MOOCs

Two MOOCs on Metaliteracy start today (26 May) and are available for registration via Coursera
(1) Metaliteracy: Empowering Yourself in a Connected World. Week 1 "defines metaliteracy and explains what it means to be a metaliterate learner in today’s connected world. We describe the four learning domains of metaliteracy and explore the roles of the metaliterate learner. We also interview an expert who defines metacognition, one of the key aspects of metaliteracy.... [week 2] explores intellectual property and information ethics. ... [week 3 explores] the different ways in which we create and share information. ... [in week 4] we ask you to examine what you have learned about metaliteracy. ... You will create a digital artifact or story of your choosing that will address one key aspect of metaliteracy."

(2) Empowering Yourself in a Post-Truth World "In this course, you will gain insights to recognize your own biases and identify preconceptions in today’s dynamic social information environment. Through metaliteracy, you will practice self-reflective, metacognitive processes and reexamine fixed mindsets. Together, we will consider the importance of facts and expertise in reinventing a truthful world based on inclusive communities of trust. This course will empower you to be a reflective consumer and a creative, responsible producer of information, and to raise and share your voice in this post-truth milieu."
Photo by Sheila Webber: roses in a garden, May 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020


There is a free virtual event in June: ACRL Together Wherever "a week of virtual programming and networking opportunities for the academic and research library community to be held June 8-12, 2020" It includes some sessions relevant to information literacy, including:
- Students Do Not Attend Alone: A Community Approach to College Information Literacy
- Flip the Deficit Script: First-year student interviews about everyday life research can change your instruction
- Reframing reference services: Perceptions and futures of the reference desk, findings from a mixed-methods survey
Sign up for each session individually using the registration links. You are encouraged to network using #ACRLtogether2020
For the schedule, go to
Photo by Sheila Webber, April 2020: for these events it seems like it sin't residents only, anyone can sign up

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Skills Toolkit

I think this is new - on the UK Government website - with curated links to online courses. "The Skills Toolkit is made up of free online courses, tools and resources to help you improve your digital and numeracy skills. The Department for Education has consulted some of the country’s leading educational experts and employers to make up a collection of high quality resources to suit a range of interests and skill levels." The useful entry page is the slash page is but it doesn't have much extra information and is only worth linking to if you think are people are only going to be accessing it on their phone.
Photo by Sheila Webber, April 2020

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Webinar: Thinking Critically About Information in Uncertain Times

A webinar on 3 June 2020 from ACRL is: Thinking Critically About Information in Uncertain Times at 2-3pm US Eastern time, which is (e.g.) 7-8pm UK time. This one hour webinar, led by Sarah Morris, costs: ACRL member: US $50; ALA member: $75; Nonmember: $90; Student: $40.
"Libraries, universities, schools, and other learning environments are grappling with numerous changes and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including significant shifts in how we teach, learn, and research in now remote and online environments. Now, more than ever, it is vital to equip learners with the skills they need to navigate a rapidly changing information landscape and to empower learners to be critical consumers, users, and producers of information. Increasingly, our students and patrons need information and media literacy skills to not only achieve success in learning environments that are undergoing a great deal of change, but also to navigate challenging information landscapes that influence the decisions they might be making about their health, their career, and their role as citizens.  ... Together, we will unpack and share some of our current challenges. Next, we will explore select vital, and highly transferrable, information and media literacy skills and concepts that can be empowering and beneficial for students to learn during this time. We will then consider instruction strategies, methods, and approaches for delivering this content to students. Finally, we will explore ideas for ways to communicate and share our content and ideas with different audiences and partners to ensure our efforts can not only meet the needs of the present moment but also continue in the future." More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: wild roses in a garden, May 2020

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Recent articles: CPD; Assessing IL; Impact; Writing Services

The last 2 issues of the Journal of Academic Librarianship (priced) include:
In Volume 46 issue 3
- Continuing professional development as transformational learning: A case study by Agnes Namaganda
- Japanese manga in translation and American graphic novels: A re-examination of the collections in 36 academic libraries ten years later by Glenn Masuchika
- Assessing information literacy in first year writing by Kevin W. Walker and Sara Maurice Whitver

In Volume 46 issue 4
- Demonstrating library impact: Liaison assessment by Eric Resnis, Jennifer Natale
- Unifying academic research and writing services: Student perspectives on a combined service model by David Ward, Carolyn Wisniewski, Susan Avery, Kirsten Feist
Photo by Sheila Webber: beneath the cottonwood tree, May 2020

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

New articles: SoTL; Inquiry Based Learning; Impact

The latest issue (Vol. 8 no. 1 2020) of Teaching & Learning Inquiry, the open access journal of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL), includes
- Behari-Leak, K. (2020). Toward a borderless, decolonized, socially just, and inclusive Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 8(1), 4-23. " Drawing on Africa as a case study to explore a framework for thinking outside borders, the author invites the reader to embrace a global social imagination that disrupts and transcends the epistemic, social, and cultural borders designed to produce knowledge that is ahistorical and decontextualized. "
- Pechenkina, E. (2020). Chasing impact: The tale of three SoTL studies. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 8(1), 91-107. "the author proposes a rubric by which to judge various levels and dimensions of impact achieved in SoTL-focused projects. To operationalize it, the rubric is applied to three completed projects, which while differing in their initial scope and intended outputs were united by a shared goal of improving learning by the means of innovative teaching."
- Archer-Kuhn, B., Lee, Y., Finnessey, S., & Liu, J. (2020). Inquiry-based learning as a facilitator to student engagement in undergraduate and graduate social work programs. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 8(1), 187-207. "This seven-cohort mixed methods study examines student engagement in their learning in higher education utilizing inquiry-based learning."
Photo by Sheila Webber: seeds from the cottonwood tree, May 2020 - this has covered the pavement in a cloud of cottony material

Monday, May 18, 2020

Online course: Online Instructional Design and Delivery

A Library Juice Academy online course Online Instructional Design and Delivery runs June 1 to July 12 2020, costing US $250 and led by Mimi O'Malley. "this six week course will navigate participants through course design and delivery ... By the end of this course, participants will be able to: Determine the importance of learning objectives in relation to assessments.; Explore various instructional materials and learning activities to enhance student learning outcomes.; Identify techniques for increasing instructor presence in an online course.; Explore techniques to help pace students in an online course.; Discuss various student online misbehaviors and identify ways to remediate such behavior." More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: chestnut leaves, May 2020

#uklibchat - libraries after lockdown

The next #uklibchat (librarians' chat on Twitter) is on 1 June 2020 on Libraries after lockdown. "As the coronavirus pandemic continues, countries and library workers are considering what a physical library service (if any) will look like in the future. What are libraries across all sectors considering? What best practice can we take from other areas and countries? How do we manage the practical and emotional issues around going back into workspaces?" Go to for full information and you can add discussion questions here
Photo by Sheila Webber: fallen pink chestnut blossom, May 2020

Sunday, May 17, 2020

New: Research coherence; Learning design; thesis topics; Open Science; Data literacy

A few recent articles, a blog post and a thesis.
- Sisamaki, E. (2020). The Advising Dimension of Information Literacy: Helping Students Decide on a Thesis Topic. (Masters thesis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences). (the research was undertaken in Greece)
- Hart, E. & Annear, C. (2020). Research Coherence: A Framework for Successful Student Research. College Teaching. [early online publication]. (priced) "This article develops a coherence framework to address problems students face throughout the research and writing process. This framework joins literature on coherence techniques and effective pedagogies including guided research, peer modeling, checkpoints, and reflection. The article presents pedagogical recommendations for establishing coherence in student research and writing projects."
- Pagowsky, N. (2020). Leaving the one-shot through a feminist approach to designing an instruction program. (a blog post with text and slides from a talk she gave at NELIG, April 15, 2020).

(Not new, but new-to-me)
- Lopes, C., da Luz Antunes, M. & Sanches, T. (2019). Information Literacy and Open Science: Before and After the New ACRL Framework. European Conference on Information Literacy 2018 proceedings.
- Dai, Y. (2019). How many ways can we teach data literacy? IASSIST Quarterly, 43(4), 1-11. (open access) "(1) We initiated the yearlong series of events titled ‘Lying with Data’, inviting faculty across disciplines to each address one core data literacy question that students of data science may elude. (2) We offered workshops and in-class instruction that are up-to-date with the latest technology and that fit with the curriculum. (3) We created online casebooks on various topics in the data lifecycle, tackling user needs at different levels."
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink horse chestnut blossoms, May 2020

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Celebrating Shane Godbolt

The latest issue of Focus on International Library and Information Work is dedicated to Shane Godbolt, who died last year, and who I remember with respect and affection from when we were both young information professionals. As the editorial says she was "someone who championed libraries sharing expertise and working together across borders" and the issue includes an article detailing her extensive work, and reprints of coauthored articles Promoting the Health of the People of Africa Building Library Partnerships for Better Health and Building a Partnership to Promote Health Information: A Case Study in Kenya.
The issue also includes a report on the conference Decolonising Library Collections and Practices: from Understanding to Impact. Go to
Photo of Shane Godbolt by Tom Roper: "At the launch of the North Thames Regional Documents Database in 1996, in a hotel next to paddington station. Shane Godbolt and I are holding copies of the CD-Rom version of the database." Roper, T. (1996). shanetom. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Friday, May 15, 2020

Webinar: Connecting Justice to Frameworks: Information Literacy in Social Work

There is another interesting free ACRL webinar: Connecting Justice to Frameworks: Information Literacy in Social Work on May 21 2020 at 10am US Central time, which is e.g. 4pm UK time. "Standards, frameworks, and guidelines help us define and describe the work we do to ourselves and to external stakeholders. If budget decisions tell us what our priorities are, documents like the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education tell us what they should be. Integrating social justice into these documents can serve as a platform for directing attention and resources to our commitments around equity, diversity, and inclusion. The EBSS Social Work Committee has been hard at work developing an information literacy disciplinary framework that does just that. Join this committee and the Information Literacy Standards and Frameworks Committee to learn about this project. Participants will come away with concrete strategies for integrating social justice efforts with standards work."
Registration at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Chestnut tree, April 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Webinar: MIL and critical online presence to deal with #COVID19 crisis and beyond #MILCLICKS

Today (Thursday 14 May) at 3pm UK time, 4pm Paris time, experts Professor Davina Frau-Meigs and Dr Michael Hoechsmann will discuss MIL and critical online presence to deal with COVID19 crisis and beyond for the latest UNESCO GAPMIL webinar.
Go to for the livestream, and the recording afterwards.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ageism and libraries #CALC2020

Today I gave a presentation on Ageism and libraries at the Critical Approaches to Libraries Conference 2020 (held online). I talked about what ageism was, how the COVID19 crisis has brought ageism more sharply into focus, ageism in the (library) workplace, and ageism in services to library users. These are the slides, and the references are at