Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Scaffolding Information Literacy

Scaffolding Information Literacy is an online course running from October 14-November 10 2019, taught by Andrea Baer and costing US $175. "In brief: Educators and instructional designers frequently emphasize the importance of scaffolding, through which learning supports are developed and later removed in order to help students build on prior learning, progressively strengthen their understandings and abilities, and ultimately to be more self-directed learners. Whether a teacher is designing a single class session, a series of class sessions, an assignment, an online learning object, or a credit course, scaffolding is a powerful technique that informs the entire instructional design process. Often, however, it does not receive the attention that it deserves. In this 4-week course participants will learn about various scaffolding techniques and will apply these to developing or revising an instruction plan of their choice."
More information at
Later in the month, another course starts, Information Literacy in Politically Polarized Times, running October 28 - November 24. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, Weston park, September 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Call for proposals: Exploring Literacies Through Digital Humanities

There is a Call for short papers for a special issue of dh+lib on Exploring Literacies Through Digital Humanities. Proposals (250 word abstract + brief biography of authors) should be sent to the editors at using the subject line: 2019 Special Issue by October 30, 2019.
"The aim of this special issue is to provide readers from all areas of librarianship with greater insight into the intersection of DH and literacies, therefore, please keep the audience in mind and make choices such as defining DH-specific terms or linking out to resources that provide further explanation of DH methods and concepts. New voices and submissions from graduate students, junior scholars, instructional technologists, and others who work on the frontlines of DH and literacy work are encouraged. Perspectives from outside of the U.S. are particularly welcome. Submissions may take the form of short essays (between 750 and 1500 words long) or responses in other media that are of comparable length."
Possible topics include: How can digital humanities tools/methods inform teaching information literacy concepts? (Or vice versa?); How do aspects of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, such as the constructed and contextual nature of authority, fit in with digital humanities work? How do digital humanities methods and scholarship create challenges for the ACRL Framework?; How might our professional literacies inform our collection practices, especially around collections as data?; How might DH literacies inform other areas of professional practice?; Discuss criticisms of literacies as a concept or issues with applying a literacy framework to DH work.

More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Flowers outside Wahnfried, Bayreuth, August 2019

International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL)

The International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) takes place next week 23-26 September 2019, in North-West University (NWU), South Africa. The programme is here:, with a lot of interesting presentations, so Ihope that some people will be tweeting and blogging the conference.

Monday, September 16, 2019

New articles: politics; attention and literacy; Virtual reality; ethics in journal article publication

Thornton, S. (2019). A longitudinal comparison of information literacy in students starting Politics degrees. Learning and Teaching, 12(2), 89-111. [priced] there is an open access record at but it is still embargoed.

Hautala, J. et al. (2019). What information should I look for again? Attentional difficulties distracts reading of task assignments. Learning and Individual Differences, 75 (101775). [open access]. Results included "Students with attentional difficulties made less likely look-backs on the relevant task-objective sentence." and "Probability of look-back on relevant sentence was associated with better performance in the informational tasks" (this seemed interesting to me in linking reading ability, attention, and ability to locate information on a page/screen).

Smith, F.A. (2019). Virtual reality in libraries is common sense. Library Hi Tech News. [early access: priced.]

Routledge and COPE have released a research report Exploring publication ethics issues in the arts, humanities, and social sciences which is free if you give them your contact information. It investigated what scholarly journal editors perceived as ethical problems (there are plenty of them!).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wine in the Adelaide Hills, July 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

New articles: teaching clinicians; gamification of searching

There is a new issue of the open access Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (JEAHIL), vol. 15 issue 3, 2019. It includes:
- How do we teach clinicians where the resources for best evidence are? by Sandra Kendall, Michelle Ryu, Chris Walsh
- Searchaton: a gamified, team-based on-site teaching format for literature searching for medical students by Michael Wilde, Monika Wechsler, Hannah Ewald
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Gerhard Horak "Landschaftsstücke"; Juliusspital park, Germany, August 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Reading in a Digital Environment

The conference Reading in a Digital Environment: Media Use, Functional Literacies and Future Challenges for Universities, taking place at Universität Regensburg, Germany, November 8, 2019, has an interesting programme. They are also seeking poster proposals, deadline 11 October 2019. The conference is free to students, and 75 Euros to others. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: open bookshelf for children, Bayreuth, Germany, August 2019

Recent articles: STEM; history; bootcamps; teaching librarians

Recent articles from the open access journal College & Research Libraries News include: from Vol 80, No 8, 2019 includes
- Assessment and social change: Empowering underserved students to reimagine their future through STEM outreach by Thura Mack, Savanna Draper
Go to

I haven't yet covered the previous issue, Vol 80, No 7, 2019, which included
- New models for instruction: Fusing the ACRL Framework and Roles and Strengths of Teaching Librarians to promote the lifelong learning of teaching librarians by Annie Armstrong
- A restructured freshman history course: The evolution of a librarian’s role by Laurie Scrivener
- Repackaging library workshops into disciplinary bootcamps: Creating graduate student success by Erin R. B. Eldermire, Erica M. Johns, Susette Newberry, Virginia A. Cole
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Juliusspital park, artwork, August 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Library Research Seminar #LRS7

The Library Research Seminar takes place in Columbia, SC, USA, at the University of South Carolina on October 16-18 2019. The conference theme is Research Matters: Strengthening Our Values, Defining Our Practice. It has an interesting programme, including a session focusing on information literacy research. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Glenelg, July 2019

Monday, September 09, 2019

Information Literacy in Public Libraries #PMLG

The PMLG (+ ILG) National Conference 2019: Information Literacy in Public Libraries takes place on 4 October 2019 at Canada Wharf Library Theatre, London, UK. The "conference explores: Health Information Literacy; eSafety for Public Library Users; Information Literacy Skills for Children and Young People; The Architecture of Information; Basic Digital Literacies for the Otherwise Disenfranchised; Drawing together the many strands of information literacy in public libraries. Often overlooked, information literacy stands at the core of a public library’s purpose. Whether it is teaching children how to answer their own questions or supporting retirees to get online, public libraries daily contribute to the development of information literacy skills within their communities."
Sessions will include a workshop on information literacy in everyday life from my colleague in the University of Sheffield iSchool, Dr Pamela McKinney.
More information and registration at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blackfriars station, London, September 2019

Sunday, September 08, 2019

New articles: algorithms; advertising literacy; story sharing; assessment; #medialiteracy

Volume 11 issue 2 of the open access journal Journal of Media Literacy Education has been published. Articles include:
- Media Literacy Education for All Ages by Päivi Rasi, Hanna Vuojärvi, and Heli Ruokamo (introduction to the issue)
- Media Literacy Education in the Age of Machine Learning by Teemu Valtonen, Matti Tedre, Kati Mäkitalo, and Henriikka Vartiainen
- Assessing Online Viewing Practices Among College Students by Elizabeth J. Threadgill and Larry R. Price
- Story Sharing in a Digital Space to Counter Othering and Foster Belonging and Curiosity among College Students by Gina Baleria
- Adolescents' Digital Literacies in Flux: Intersections of Voice, Empowerment, and Practices by Sandra Schamroth Abrams, Mary Beth Schaefer, and Daniel Ness
- Measuring Media Literacy Inquiry in Higher Education: Innovation in Assessment by Evelien Schilder and Theresa Redmond
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, August 2019

Friday, September 06, 2019

Call for proposals for #liw20 ends 23 September

The Call for Proposals for the Library Instruction West 2020 is open until 23 September 2019. The conference takes place at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, on unceded Duwamish lands, July 22-24, 2020. The conference theme is Justice.
"The concept of justice raises more questions than answers: justice for whom, and when? What does justice look like when done well? Is justice something that can ever be achieved, or is it the goal toward which we continually work? The conference organizing committee seeks creative, dynamic session proposals that engage with the conference theme. How can instruction in libraries yield more just outcomes for our learners and library workers? How does “justice” differ from neutrality, fairness, or open-mindedness? How do libraries perpetuate injustice, and what steps can we take to address oppression and inequality in our workplaces?"
Session formats include: Hands-on workshops (up to 2 hours); Solo or panel presentations (approximately 1 hour); Lesson plan demonstrations (approximately 1 hour); Case studies (approximately 1 hour); Facilitated group discussions (approximately 1 hour); Short talks (approximately 30 minutes); Lightning talks (10 minutes or shorter).
Themes they are particularly interested in include: Information privilege; Power and hierarchies in information systems, including bias in algorithms/machine learning/artificial intelligence; Propaganda and misinformation; Teaching information literacy, including outreach, empowerment of learners and use of technologies; Models for information literacy instruction programs tailored to specific populations. This year they are using an open review process "where identifying information (including your name, institutional affiliation, and self-disclosed positionality) will be included with proposals when reviewed." More details are on the website at
Photo by Sheila Webber: unripe apple on my tree, August 2019

Thursday, September 05, 2019

New articles: social justice; library anxiety; research clinics; misinformation; sociology; MIL laws; #critinfolit

The latest issue of open access journal Communications in Information Literacy (volume 13 issue 1) has been published. Articles are:
- Illuminating Social Justice in the Framework: Transformative Methodology, Concept Mapping and Learning Outcomes Development for Critical Information Literacy by Nicole A. Branch
- Investigating the Effectiveness of a Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Course in Reducing Library Anxiety for Adult Learners by Roslyn Grandy
- Through the Looking Glass: Viewing First-Year Composition Through the Lens of Information Literacy by Alexandria Chisholm and Brett Spencer
- The Context of Authority and Sociological Knowledge: An Experiential Learning Project by Julia F. Waity and Stephanie Crowe
- Research Clinics: An Alternative Model for Large-Scale Information Literacy Instruction by Glenn Koelling and Lori Townsend
- Libraries and Fake News: What’s the Problem? What’s the Plan? by Matthew C. Sullivan
- Analyzing the Laws of MIL: a Five-step Scientific Conversation on Critical Information Literacy by Andréa Doyle
Plus book reviews. Go to
Photo by Sheila webber: my hydrangea, August 2019

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

cfp Shaping the Futures of Learning in the Digital Age

There is a call for contributions of all sorts for a publication, Shaping the Futures of Learning in the Digital Age. It is part of the ShapingEdu initiative and they say it "is an open access, online publication that aims to capture perspectives on what it means to be creating the future of education -- how we do it well, what success looks like, how we overcome barriers, and all of the big questions and ideas that come with transforming an entire ecosystem." The submission deadline to November 1, 2019.
Possible contributions are: "Short 1-2 page papers (e.g., a trends paper focused on something that deserves our attention in this space); Poems; Video stories (include YouTube or Vimeo link in a word doc, with a brief text summary); Podcast episodes you produced (include the link in a word doc, with a brief text summary); Think-pieces or Feel-pieces (We’ll let you decide what that means.); Bold predictions about the future; A research proposal or research findings; Technology architecture blueprints; Write-ups of any projects you’re working on focused on any of the 10 Actions" They urge that the items should address one of the ShapingEdu 10 actions: These don't explicitly include information literacy, but I can see actions which are very relevant to information literacy and libraries. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Juliusspital park, Wurzburg, August 2019

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Online course: Primary Source Pedagogy

The online course Primary Source Pedagogy, taught by Robin Katz, runs from September 3-28 2019. It costs US $175. "This course will explore what "primary source" even means. It also assumes that they can be found everywhere — in museums, archives, or special collections; in circulating collections or subscription databases; on the open web, in private hands, or even in natural and built environments. A key text for this course will be the new Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy. ... Students who successfully complete this course will gain confidence in their teaching by: - recognizing what skills and expertise they bring to primary source pedagogy; - developing new conceptual frameworks for understanding primary sources; - discovering useful, trusted resources for teaching with primary sources; - mastering concepts of instructional design and active learning; - applying practical strategies for planning and facilitating learning experiences in a wide variety of library settings"
More information at

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Disinformation and fake news: parliamentary sub-committee

Following on from the (UK Government's) Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee report on Disinformation and 'fake news' (published February 2019), and the UK Government's response to it (published May 2019), there is an ongoing Sub-Committee [i.e. a UK parliamentary sub-committee] on Disinformation
Sadly, the Government response mentioned above mostly responded to the call for compulsory media and digital literacy education by saying that it was already happening or planned into other initiatives, but also said that " we are developing a counter disinformation communications campaign which will support the public by providing them with the skills they need in order to recognise and respond to disinformation; showing people how it can affect them and what they can do about it." (p20) though I haven't noticed this yet.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Würzburg, August 2019