Monday, August 15, 2022

Media and Information Literacy news

A couple of UNESCO-related news items. Firstly, various news outlets have reported on Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, saying why he thinks that Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is important. This is as plans go ahead for Nigeria hosting the in-person Global MIL Week conference in October 2022.
Oyedeji, N. (2022, 7 August). UNESCO confab to boost war against fake news, misinformation – Lai Mohammed. 

Secondly, there is a short report on a training session organised by UN Lebanon via UNESCO, for 15 young people, to help youth combat hate speech and misinformation under the Youth Countering Hate Speech and Misinformation project
Lebanese youth learn to stand up to hate speech. (2022, 12 August).
I also came across a series of short Youtube videos from UNESCO Beirut Office Verified - Youth Countering Hate Speech and Disinformation - the first one is here (n.b. I haven't viewed them)

Photo by Sheila Webber: my hydrangea, August 2022

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Using Social Media to engage Communities with Local History Workshop

The IFLA Local History and Genealogy Section has organised a free webinar on 23 August 2022 15.00-16.30 CET (which is, e.g., 14.00-15.30 UK time) Something Old, Something New ー Using Social Media to engage Communities with Local History Workshop which has a number of interesting speakers from different countries and sectors. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: washing on the line, August 2022

Saturday, August 13, 2022

COVID19 and #misinformation

A special issue of the open access Journal of Medical Internet Research (vol 24 no 7, 2022) focused on Social Media, Ethics, and COVID-19 Misinformation. It contains a lot of articles, for example:
- Inoue, M., Shimoura, K., Nagai-Tanima, M. & Aoyama, T. (2022). The Relationship Between Information Sources, Health Literacy, and COVID-19 Knowledge in the COVID-19 Infodemic: Cross-sectional Online Study in Japan. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24(7):e38332.
"An online cross-sectional study was conducted in November 2021. Participants were 477 individuals aged 20-69 years. After obtaining consent to participate in the study, participants were asked about sociodemographic indicators, sources of health-related information, health literacy, and COVID-19 knowledge. Sources of health-related information were categorized into 4 types: mass media, digital media, social media, and face-to-face communication. The Spearman rank correlation test was conducted to determine the relationship between health literacy, the number of correct answers to COVID-19 knowledge, and the number of information sources used. Multiple regression analysis was conducted with health literacy and the number of correct answers as dependent variables, the 4 media types as independent variables, and age and sex as adjustment variables.
"Mass media was the most frequently used source of information, followed by digital media, face-to-face communication, and social media. Social media use was significantly higher among individuals aged 20-29 years than among other age groups. Significant positive correlations were found between health literacy, the number of positive responses to COVID-19 knowledge, and the number of information sources used. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that health literacy is associated with access to information from digital media and face-to-face communication. Additionally, COVID-19 knowledge was associated with access to information from mass media, digital media, and face-to-face communication."
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Rowan berries, August 2022

Thursday, August 11, 2022

How many sources are needed? The effects of bibliographic databases on systematic review outcomes

An interesting preprint, which takes articles which were identified in german systematic reviews of educational topics, and identifies which of 7 databases contain the articles (the databases were: Catalogue of the German National Library; Education Research Complete; ERIC; FIS Bildung Literaturdatenbank/ German Education Index; Google Scholar; LearnTechLib; Web of Science Social Science Citation Index).
- Keller, C., Heck, T. & Rittberger, M. (2022). How many sources are needed? The effects of bibliographic databases on systematic review outcomes. in: Aizawa, A., Mandl, T., Carevic, ., Hinze, A.,Mayr, P. & Schaer, P. (Eds). Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2022 (JCDL '22), hybrid conference, Cologne, Germany and online, June 20 - 24, 2022. New York : Association for Computing Machinery.
"The database coverage showed high variations and clearly indicates that one source on its own does not cover a sufficient amount of relevant literature. Some databases are very similar in coverage, while national and discipline-specific databases hold publications that cannot be found elsewhere. Google Scholar outperformed all databases regarding recall. However, due to poor precision this database is considered inadequate for review purposes" - the latter sentence highlights that Google Scholar yields by far the largest % of the articles - but although they are there, you wouldn't necessarily find them if you were using a subject (rather than a known item) search. In the original search some of these items could only be found through hand searching. There are also observations on why the authors of the original systematic reviews did not find items in other databases, when the items were in fact there. This includes the poor quality of metadata, and sometimes over-specific searches.
Photo by Sheila Webber: dry heath, summer 2018

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Recent articles: Librarians and IL education; schools and literacy policies; COVID19 information; Information behaviour; Teachers' self-efficacy

The latest published issue of Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (vol. 54, issue 3) includes the following (priced unless marked as open access)
- The expanding circles of information behavior and human–computer interaction by Tim Gorichanaz, Sukrit Venkatagiri
- Relegating expertise: The outward and inward positioning of librarians in information literacy education by Alison Hicks, Annemaree Lloyd (open access)
- Information and information resources in COVID-19: Awareness, control, and prevention by Mohammadhiwa Abdekhoda, Fatemeh Ranjbaran, Asghar Sattari (open access)
- Information seeking behaviors of environmental journalists by Stacy Gilbert, Philip B. White, Kathryn Tallman
- The role of the library within school-level literacy policies and plans in Australia and the United Kingdom by Margaret K. Merga
- Teachers’ perceived information literacy self-efficacy by Miri Shonfeld, Noa Aharony, Noa Nadel-Kritz
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: my hydrangea, August 2022

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Building community partnerships through digital literacy workshops

A priced webinar from ACRL: Building community partnerships through digital literacy workshops on 11 August at 2-3pm US EAstern time (which is, e.g., 7-8pm UK time) "Digital Matters Interim Director Rebekah Cummings will share her experiences at the University of Utah partnering with the College of Education to disseminate online digital literacy training to 7-12 grade teachers. In this session, we will discuss the initial needs assessment, building community partnerships, creating a digital literacy curriculum, and delivering the content online in 2021 and in-person in 2022. This interactive session will explore how the instructors mixed practical digital literacy skills such as podcast production and video essays with relevant digital literacy concepts such as misinformation, digital citizenship, and ethical use of online sources. Engage in exercises used with the teachers such as online investigative journalism and an interactive game designed to gather social media followers. Be challenged to consider how we they unlock their own ivory towers to disseminate digital and information literacy to their communities." Cost: ACRL member: US$50; ALA member: US $71; Nonmember: US$79. Registration and more details at
Photo by Sheila Webber: poster at WLIC, July 2022

Monday, August 08, 2022

Call for proposals #BOBCATSSS2023

The theme for the Bobcatsss 2023 conference is: A New Era: Exploring the Possibilities and Expanding the Boundaries. It takes place 25-27 January 2023 and the deadline for proposals is 12 September 2022. The conference is based on the campus of Oslo Metropolitan University (Norway) but there will be a hybrid attendance possibility. The co-organisers with OsloMet are University College London, UK, and University of Borås, Sweden. The conference "will explore the possibilities for services and programming and the expansion of physical and virtual boundaries in this new era for libraries, archives and information services" Subthemes include: Universal design; User communities; Gaming; ; Information behavior and practices (for the full list follow the link). BOBCATSSS was started as a conference "for students by students" and still has strong student involvement. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Howth harbour, July 2022

Sunday, August 07, 2022

New articles: Critical media literacy; Digital games; Media literacy

There is a new issue of the open access journal comunicar (No. 73, October 2022) which has the theme Future Education: Prospective for sustainability and social justice. As usual articles are in Spanish and English. Articles include:
- The COVID-19 infodemic among young people and adults: The support of critical media literacy by J.-Roberto Sánchez-Reina, Barcelona (Spain) & Ericka-Fernanda González-Lara, Puebla (Mexico).
- Learning strategies through digital games in a university context by Fernando-Silvio Cavalcante-Pimentel, Alagoas (Brazil), Margarida Morais-Marques, Aveiro (Portugal) & Valdick Barbosa-de-Sales-Junior, Alagoas (Brazil).
- Secondary education students and media literacy in the age of disinformation by Eva Herrero-Curiel, Madrid (Spain) & Leonardo La-Rosa, Madrid (Spain).
- Emoticons in student-professor email communication by Alenka Baggia, Maribor (Slovenia), Anja Žnidaršič, Maribor (Slovenia) & Alenka Tratnik, Maribor (Slovenia).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Docklands near convention centre, Dublin, July 2022

Friday, August 05, 2022

Libraries and Literacies in the Metaverse #WLIC2022

At WLIC 2022 last week in Dublin I presented a poster co-authored with Dr Valerie Hill (USA) and Rossanna Barrios-Llorens (Puerto Rico) entitled Libraries and Literacies in the Metaverse. It is embedded below and there are references and links here. On the right you see Dr Joe Sanchez in front of the poster. Our abstract was
"In uncertain times, virtual libraries connect patrons to vital information that they may not be able to access in the physical world. They can also be sanctuaries from pandemic and war. Librarians (including the co-authors) have worked in virtual worlds for 15 years (e.g. Webber & Nahl, 2011) and the Community Virtual Library in the 3D virtual world Second Life exemplifies global connectivity, with volunteers collaborating internationally to enact diversity for information access. A current exhibit, "Social Determinants for Access to Information: Virtual World Library Exhibition" includes 3D rooms filled with resources on racial diversity, gender diversity, issues of changing literacies, digital legacy, confirmation bias, digital citizenship, and the digital divide. Visitors interact with content and share a sense of place and presence through embodiment in the metaverse, providing advantages beyond web platforms such as Zoom. Our poster shares examples of using 3D virtual worlds for librarianship through international collaboration across learning communities. The 3D virtual library is a real space where librarians can offer services such as reference work, exhibits, workshops, conferences and discussions, and embed themselves into virtual spaces without the boundaries of physical space (e.g. Hill, 2016; Hill, 2021)." 

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Russia-Ukraine ConflictMisinfo Research Portal

Today I learnt about the Russia-Ukraine ConflictMisinfo Research Portal, a project of the Social Media Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada and led by Anatoliy Grudz. The portal has
- the Russia-Ukraine ConflictMisinfo Dashboard, an interactive tool "for monitoring online misinformation and disinformation about the Russia-Ukraine war. It tracks and visualizes debunked claims from 100s of trusted fact-checkers worldwide. Debunked claims are collected live and auto-translated into English, Ukrainian and Russian." and
- a Russia-Ukraine ConflictMisinfo Geo-Map "A geo-visualization of debunked claims about the Russia-Ukraine war that specifically reference a geographical location."
- Additionally it has "A curated list of projects and initiatives aimed at investigating and countering Russian propaganda and disinformation on and offline." and a "Curated list of publicly available datasets for studying dis- & misinformation campaigns on social media in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war."
The website is here
Photo by Sheila Webber: librarians with Ukrainian flag at World Library and Information Conference last week

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Recent articles: Community college students; Engineering students and researchers; Competence in data management

The latest issue of open access journal College & Research Libraries (Vol 83, No 4, 2022) has been published at Articles include:
- Community College Students’ Perceptions of Their Information Literacy Needs by Don Latham, Melissa Gross, Heidi Julien, Felicia Warren, Lindsey Moses
- Identifying Scholarly Search Skills Based on Resource and Document Selection Behavior among Researchers and Master’s Students in Engineering by Yasuko Hagiwara, Emi Ishita, Yukiko Watanabe, Yoichi Tomiura (the comparison of the responses from the 2 groups is useful in identifying what  skills students need to learn in finding and evaluating research articles)
- Reflection and Analysis of Implementing a Free Asynchronous MOOC to Build Competence in Biomedical Research Data Management by Julie Goldman, Nevada Trepanowski
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ireland's Eye, July 2022

Monday, August 01, 2022

IFLA-UNESCO Public Library Manifesto #WLIC2022

The new version of the IFLA-UNESCO Public Library Manifesto was launched at the WLIC last week and can be found here I note that one of its misions is (my emphasis)
"initiating, supporting and participating inliteracy activities and programmesto buildreading and writing skills, and facilitating the development of media and information literacy and digital literacy skills for all people at all ages, in the spirit of equipping an informed, democratic society"
Photo by Sheila Webber: conference centre, Dublin, Ireland, July 2022

Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Art of Being a Leader #WLIC2022

Today the IFLA SET conference started with a talk from IFLA President Barbara Lison on The Art of Being a Leader. She started by stating her belief in the value for learning and professional development. She then presented a professional motto for a library leader "the library is you", and stated that leadership needed personality and skills. Lison reminded us that people form opinions very quickly when they first see you. This led to her saying that we need to think about what impression we make on others, and then an interesting conversation amongst participants about whether or not people cared about what impression they made and issues such as stereotyping. Lison also presented some statistics that, in terms of being perceived of being capable, that it was based: 30% on your work, 30% on presentation of self; 30% of being seen to do a good job, and 10% on what you are saying and doing. Lison went on to talk about personality (which she saw as consisting of assets, values and image), and how you need to be aware of it and reflect whether you want to change it. This led to the idea of personal branding, which you can strengthen through listing (your assets etc.), auditing, choosing an accountability partner, creating a tagline for your brand, designing an action plan, and ask yourself questions. Lison advocated: having a clear focus and goals; developing critical self-awareness; being consistent in your branding; being clear; being ready to fail and show weakness; creating a positive impact (since one creates an impact whether or not you want to); following a successful example; being likeable not liked; having more questions than answers; build relationships. Lison also listed skills for successful leadership such as social competence, belief in oneself, consistency, empathy.After the talk there was a lively discussion on topics such as finding your voice, and presenting your case