Friday, December 30, 2005

UNESCO sponsored IL projects

UNESCO has announced sponsorship of a number of information literacy projects. In one, involving 8 secondary schools and libraries in Tamale, in the northern region of Ghana, "10 students, 2 teachers and a librarian from each school will receive training in computer and Internet skills, in order to enhance the mastery of computer use in the study of subjects such as mathematics, English, science and social studies."

Another is aimed at higher education in Vietnam: " Within 12-month period, the project activities will include four phases:

1. Selection of appropriate key information professionals from about 10 major academic libraries in various Vietnamese regions;

2. Development of pre-course readings and exploration of information literacy practice in other academic environments;

3. Organization of a round table meeting at the Hanoi University of Foreign Studies;

4. Report by the participants on their individual and networking activities.

In addition to basic training, the project will produce a variety of Guidelines, in particular on the information literacy concept, competencies, framework and practical plan, applicable to academic library communities in Vietnam."

A further project is taking place in Nigeria.
There is news on the UNESCO IFAP page at: ev.php-URL_ID=1627&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Photo by S. Webber: Blackheath pond, Dec. 2005.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


There are a few websites that we remind people about periodically. One of them is the LOEX website that has some material freely available (notably links to some material to do with training people in information literacy - tutorials etc.). There are further services for LOEX members and a long-running conference (usually held in the USA, where LOEX is based)

Photo by S. Webber. Venice, Dec 2005.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy festive season

A happy Christmas and holiday time to all our blog readers!

Photo: the Christmas wreath I made.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Some recent Information Literacy articles

Catts, Ralph (2005). "Confirming the relational model of information literacy." International Information and Library Review, 37 (1), 19-24.

Fields, A.M. (2005) "Self-Efficacy and the first-year university student’s authority of knowledge: an exploratory study." Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31 (6), 539–545

Gratch-Lindauer, B. (2005) "Information Literacy behaviors: potential items for the National Survey of Student Engagement." College and research library news, 66 (10). crlnews/backissues2005/november05/infolitbehavior.htm
Johnson, A. M. and Jent, S. (2005) "Library instruction and information literacy – 2004." Reference services review, 33 (4), 487-530. (This is the *big* annual annotated listing of information literacy articles, though it does miss quite a lot of things outside the USA)

McDermott, D (2005) "Library instruction for high-risk freshmen: Evaluating an enrichment program." Reference services review, 33 (4), 418-437.

Ondrusek, A. et al (2005) "A longitudinal study of the development and evaluation of an information literacy test." Reference services review, 33 (4), 388-417.

Snavely, L. (2005) "Visual Images and Information Literacy." Reference and user services quarterly, 45 (1), 27-32.

(Photo by S. Webber: Copper beech, Sheffield, Dec. 2005)

Learning about Learning course, London

There is a CILIP workshop on Learning about learning, being held on 7 February 2006 in London, UK ; and workshops on Teaching skills on 14 February and 16 March 2006. More details from:

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Presentations from day on elearning and IL in health libraries

There was a joint study day held by Information for the Management of Healthcare and Libraries for Nursing on 14 November 2005 in Leeds, UK: E-learning and information literacy: initiatives and challenges. You can find most of the PowerPoint presentations on the conference webpage, including:

Peter Godwin (Academic Services Manager, London South Bank University) Information literacy: present and future challenges.
Alison Lahlafi (Faculty Team Librarian, Leeds University Library) and David Clarke (School of Healthcare, Leeds University) Implementing an information literacy audit in the School of Healthcare, Leeds University

Webpage at:
(Photo by S. Webber: Copper beech leaves, Dec. 2005)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Short IL articles

Some articles relevant to information literacy are in the latest issue of the SCONUL newsletter, SCONUL focus, no. 35, Summer/autumn 2005, namely:

Infoteach: developing an online community of practice of librarians who teach by Chris Powis

Learning and information services support for international students at the University of Hertfordshire by Helen Singer

E-learning at the University of Exeter Library by Jessica Gardner, Michelle Allen, Dominic Prosser, and Helen Hanson.

plus some relevant book reviews, and a number of other interesting articles (e.g. a survey of cafes in university libraries). The articles are all linked from the title page at
(Photo by S. Webber: autumn leaves on a sunny day in Sheffield, Dec. 2005)

2nd call for WILU

There is a Second Call for Proposals, deadline Monday January 9, 2006, for the 35th Annual Workshop on Instruction in Library Use (WILU) to be held at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia May 10-12, 2006. This was an excellent conference in 2005, with interesting sessions and discussions. The theme of next year's conference is Charting a Course for Instruction. See for more info. (Photo by S. Webber: Chipmunk spotted during the 2005 conference. Not actually in the conference room, obviously)

French information literacy articles

Thanks to Sylvie Chevillotte for alerting us to as special issue of Bulletin des Bibliotheques de France on Information Literacy ( or rather "Formation des usagers" - user training).

It can be accessed directly at frontoffice/2005/06/sommaire.xsp or choose Feuilletage and select n°6, 2005.

There are a number of articles, with a few giving perspectives from outside France, others addressing specific examples in France, an article on the TUNE project, and also an article from Sylvie herself in her tour of US libraries and conferences.

I will pick out one small part of the article by Claire Panijel-Bonvalot, which has a note on the concept itself, and what terms are used in France"On appelle « maîtrise de l’information » un ensemble de compétences intellectuelles et instrumentales permettant, dans un objectif de connaissance, de mettre en œuvre un processus de collecte, d’évaluation, de traitement, de production et de communication de l’information. Le terme anglais Information Literacy semble plus stable que sa traduction française « maîtrise de l’information », à laquelle on préfère parfois « culture de l’information » ou « éducation à l’information ».

(Photo by S. Webber: Window in Lyon, France, June 2005)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


A colleague here has recently reminded me about the The Plagiarism Advisory Service (PAS), run by Northumbria University and containing useful information on plagiarism:

Monday, December 12, 2005

Last chance to sign e-petition on IL!

Th e-petition to the Scottish Parliament on Information Literacy closes on December 16th. Sign up now if you haven't already! view_petition.asp?PetitionID=76

Invisible Web Weblog

One of my PhD students had, like me, a blog that was victim of technical problems this summer. Yazdan Mansourian's blog on has now also been revived on Blogger at and is still called the Invisible Web Weblog. The invisible web was the starting point for his research, although the focus has subsequently moved to focus on perceptions of failure and success in web search. You can find out more about his research on his web page at
(Photo by S. Webber: Wedding at Sydney harbour, Australia, November 2005)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Changing students' perceptions of research

There is a PowerPoint up from the ANZIIL Symposium Series Five Information Literacy: Getting Back to Basics, which was held on the 10-11 November 2005 at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Lorette Rayner (Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) Changing students' perceptions of research: A partnership to achieve information literacy 2005/events/symposiumseriesfive/overview.htm
From the slides it seemes that the librarian organised a series of exercises that encouraged the students and librarian to take a personal journey in reflecting on what, how and why to search ... interesting.

(Photo by S. Webber: Jacaranda, Oxford Street, Sydney, Australia, Nov. 2005)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

"Digital Divide" statistics

Thanks to Michel Menou for the following: "The Eurostat publication Statistics in focus, 38/2005 is devoted to recent data regarding the so-called "digital" divide (aka internet
penetration) in the countries of the European Union ITY_OFFPUB/KS-NP-05-038/EN/KS-NP-05-038-EN.PDF "
This highlights differences between countries and also common features e.g. there is more likely to be internet access in households with children.

(Photo by S. Webber: Kofukuji temple at night, Nara, July 2005)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rencontre FORMIST: 12 Janvier, Lyon, France

Continuant son ouverture vers les pratiques d'autres pays, le service Formist, enssib (see photo on right), propose le jeudi 12 janvier 2006, à l’enssib, une rencontre avec Jocelyne Poirier, bibliothécaire spécialisée à l’Université de Technologie de Queensland, Australie. staff/j_poirier.jsp Journée d’étude gratuite sur inscription.

Matinée (10-12.30): Présentation générale des bibliothèques en Australie, puis des réalisations des bibliothèques australiennes en matière de formation. Cette conférence s’adresse aux élèves conservateurs de l’enssib et est ouverte aux professionnels intéressés. (dans la limite des places
Après-midi (14-16.00): (réservée aux professionnels). La formation documentaire dans les bibliothèques australiennes (Queensland) et plus spécifiquement la formation des ingénieurs. Exposé suivi de débat avec les professionnels présents et intéressés par la formation des usagers.

Lieu: enssib. 27 Boulevard du 11 novembre 1918. 69623 Villeurbanne Cedex

Inscription et renseignements auprès de Sylvie Chevillotte . 04 72 44 43 18 ou Informations sur le site de l’enssib
et sur le site FORMIST

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Market research about libraries and internet use

The company OCLC (seller of library services) has published a full report on a survey they commissioned from Harris Poll Online (a market research company) about perceptions of libraries and competing products and services (in particular bookstores and search engines). The 290 page report is available in full or section by section from:

There were 3348 respondents, 450-500 each from Canada, UK and "Australia, India and Singapore" (latter treated as one region), and the rest (i.e. over half) from the USA. The researchers claim a hugh confidence level in terms of generalisability to the internet-using populations of the respective countries, though I would want to know more about how they selected the sample and how representative Harris' database of online users was to start with. They don't compare their findings with anything much else except some general stats of what % of the population uses the internet (i.e. they don't compare their findings with other surveys about people's use and perceptions of search engines, or stats on library use in the respective countries etc.), and knowing something about UK stats makes me think that you can't generalise these findings to the whole UK population.

However, having said all that, there's some interesting stuff in there. There are questions about perceived relative trustworthiness and use of search engines & libraries, extent to which people have used/heard of search engines, libraries and bookstores, positives and negatives about libraries, and so forth. A good sized sample of free-text responses to questions like "what's the first thing you think of about libraries" is given (by the way, the answer is that most people think - "books"). The conclusion (related to this "book" dominance in perception of the library brand) is that "It is time to rejuvinate the library brand" (section 6-8) Hmmm.

de Rosa, C. et al. (2005) Perceptions of libraries and information resources: a report to the OCLC membership. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC.

(Photo by S. Webber: Rose Apple tree (flower), Sydney Botanic Gardens, Australia, Nov. 2005.)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Creating Knowledge IV: Call for papers

There is a call for abstracts of papers and presentation for the Creating Knowledge conference IV: "Empowering the Student through cross-institutional support with focus on collaboration between library and academic support" which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 16-18, 2006. My colleague Bill Johnston is one of the keynote speakers - the others are Patricia Senn Breivik, Jude Carroll, Birgitta Hansson and Hans Siggaard Jensen.

It is organised on behalf of NORDINFOlit the Nordic Association on Information Literacy, by The Forum for Library User Education under the auspices of The Association of Danish Research Libraries. Co-organizers are Danish Network for University Pedagogy (, a grassroot initiative of university teachers with intentions to develop the quality of
university education and teaching.

"The organizers of this conference would like to emphasize and support the idea of a learning conference. This indicates that participants will be engaged in networking and active participation during breaks, sessions and workshops. Traditional paper presentations are most welcome, and presentations of good practice will definitely also be valued."

Abstracts must be submitted by February 1, 2006. Chosen papers and presentations must be submitted by May 1st. Registration deadline is June 15th 2006. The conference website is at:

Photo by S. Webber: White agapanthus and blue jacaranda petals, Sydney Australia, Nov. 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005

Alexandria meeting

A couple of weeks ago I posted the web address for the Alexandria Proclamation about information literacy and lifelong learning, produced on 9 November 2005. There are now translations into a number of languages, and a 2-page press release which includes the information that "Building upon the results and outcomes of the regional meetings, a series of thematic meetings will next be held, concentrating in depth on particular socioeconomic sectors such as Business and Economic Development, Education and Learning, Health and Human Services, and Governance and Citizenship. Finally, the results and outcomes of the various sector meetings will then be consolidated and analyzed for possible worldwide consensus and prioritizing. The regional and thematic/sector meetings will then be followed by the third stage - - a major World Congress on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning, which will be held in 2008."

The original conference website, with information about who attended and the agenda for the day is at

(Photo by S. Webber: Circular Quay, Sydney, November 2005)

Online conference blog

The annual Online conference has been taking place in the UK. As I am in Australia I haven't got there, obviously, but I can glean some experiences of the conference from the "official" conference blog at:
and there's also a blog (and swiki) from the UK Electronic Information Group blogged by assorted information luminaries at:
I learnt from this that one of my colleagues at Sheffield University, Mark Sanderson, was giving a talk (he's an Information retrieval expert)!

The actual conference website is at
and has lots of info on exhibitors.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

CAVAL infolit conference 2

I have just been given the web address of the CAVAL page with the presentations from the CRIG seminar held last Wednesday (23rd) in Melbourne, Australia (see right for a picture of delegates at the conference), so that is where I will refer you. Thanks to Valma Datson for the web address. It has the presentations that Bill and I gave (on our research on academics' information literacy, plus material on information literacy and educational development), plus the case studies that were presented in the afternoon. These case studies were:

Kerry Vickers, University of Melbourne: Undergraduate Sequenced Information Literacy Skills Program in the Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne
Beverly Forsyth, Latrobe University: Information Literacy Subject for Nursing Undergraduates
Joyce Jenkin, Monash University: Information literacy for the Health Sciences -essential
ingredients for successful collaboration

Narelle Love, Jo Reidy & Jacqueline Kapnoullas, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus: Foregrounding information literacy in order to prepare international students for unfamiliar assessment tasks in Australia

This is where you can find the presentations:

Deadline for LOEX 2006 approaching

The 2006 LOEX Conference, Moving Targets: Understanding Our Changing Landscape, will be held May 5-6 2006 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Check out the web site for information and updates.

The proposal deadline is December 2, 2005 and is rapidly approaching. Themes related to information literacy include:
  • How have librarians dealt with the changing landscape of academic integrity, plagiarism and the ethical use of information?
  • How do we translate our understanding of how students use sources into effective information literacy instruction?

For information about submitting a proposal, go to:

Sunday, November 27, 2005

CAVAL Reference Interest Group: Report 1

The main reason that Bill Johnston and I have come over to Australia was to deliver half a day on the CRIG annual seminar in Melbourne. CRIG (CAVAL Reference Interest Group) is a special interest group for librarians in Victoria which focuses mainly on information literacy. This year the title of the conference was Lifting the Lid: Information Literacy and Academics – Challenging the Assumptions of Librarians. Bill and I found ourselves actually becoming merchandise, since the logo featured us "lifting the lid" and this appeared on bags, posters etc. and on the mugs that were the presents to speakers! (see the logo on a laptop in this photo. A younger, slimmer version of me is represented on the left.)

Bill and I had 2 sessions in which we concentrated particularly on talking about the discoveries from our project on UK academics' conceptions of, and pedagogy for, information literacy. We were talking about the implications for librarians, including how it might challenge certain assumptions e.g. the assumption that the lecturer was information illiterate and the librarian information literate. In the second session Bill was talking about looking at information literacy from an educational development perspective, and I was looking at it from a marketing perspective.

The conference was held in Storey Hall, pictured on the right, which is a refurbished hall from the 1890's, and is now part of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). The day was attended by about 140 librarians, mainly from Victoria, but some from other States and a couple from further afield.

At the moment I can't upload our presentation, but I'll upload at least some of it when I get back to the UK.


The November 2005 issue of the ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) information literacy forum newsletter is available at

(Photo by S. Webber: St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia, Nov. 2005)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Mindmapping seminar 2

A little bit more about the seminar which Bill and I held yesterday in Melbourne, Australia. There were 13 delegates (see some of them on the right), mostly from university libraries. If you aren't familiar with the concept of mindmapping then there is a nice introduction at The "father" of mindmapping is Tony Buzan and his website is at (there is a lot of information about his priced products and services, but also a short intro to mindmapping).

We were talking about different ways in which this technique can be used. Bill was particularly focusing on its use in stimulating creativity, and I was particularly focusing on its use in information work. In particular, my students in my 1st year Information Literacy class have to use it as a tool for planning & representing searches. I gave a paper about this aspect at the Online conference in December 2002 which is available in pdf at

Thursday, November 24, 2005

LILAC 2006 Call for Papers

Call for papers - LILAC 2006

Deadline for proposals: 30th November 2005.

LILAC 2006 Conference themes

* Embedding and enriching
* Information Literacy and citizenship
* New areas of practice and research
* Practical approaches to Information Literacy
* Staff development and Information Literacy
* Strategic approaches to Information Literacy

All presentations should address one or more of the conference themes. This
year's conference will include papers and presentations in the following formats:

* Short Papers <>
* Long papers <>
* Demonstrations / hands-on / workshop sessions
* Posters <>

Further details and an Online submission form can be fund at:

Mindmapping seminar 1

Today Bill Johnston and I have been giving a workshop about mindmapping, creativity and information literacy for CAVAL ( in Melbourne, Australia. On the right is a picture of what the training room looked like earlier in the week ... shortly I will post a photo of what it looked like during the seminar! The last few days have been full of preparations for this and for talks at a one day conference on information literacy that took place on Thursday. Over the next few days I'll catch up in reporting on those.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Health Information literacy

There is a special issue of Health Information and Libraries Journal (2005 vol. 22 issue s2) edited by my colleague Phil Levy, focusing on e-learning and learner support. It includes:

"Healthcare librarians and learner support: a review of competences and methods"
Lyn Robinson, Julia Hilger-Ellis, Liz Osborne, Jane Rowlands, Janet M. Smith, Anne Weist, June Whetherly, Ray Phillips (p42-)

"Learning and teaching resource discovery in the Health and Life Sciences—partnership and interoperability"
Donald M. Mackay, Suzanne Hardy (p70- )

"E-learning in the common learning curriculum for health and social care professionals: information literacy and the library"
Debra Morris (p74- )
(Photo by S. Webber: Unseasonal cherry blossom on autumn tree, Sheffield, UK, Nov 2005. Actually I am now in Melbourne, Australia, preparing for seminars for CAVAL, but I haven't photoshopped any of my photos here yet)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Award: IL research review

I am leading a team that has been awarded a Review of Research Literature project. It will be undertaken January-June 2006 with funding from the UK's Higher Education Academy, in conjunction with the Society of College, National and University Libraries.

The aim is to inform practitioners, policy makers and researchers in UK Higher Education (HE) by illuminating key concepts, evidence and issues concerned with information literacy in students’ experience of learning in HE. This will include a focus on approaches to teaching and support of information literacy, and on the impact of information literacy and libraries as regards the student learning experience.The rest of the team consists of:

–Professor Sheila Corrall, DIS
–Bill Johnston, Centre for Academic Practice & Learning Enhancement, Strathclyde University
–Dr Philippa Levy, Director, Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences, & DIS
–Sharon Markless, Institute of Learning and Teaching, King’s College, University of London
–David Streatfield, Information Management Associates.

There is a brochure with more information at and there is a blog at

(Photo by S. Webber: York (where the HEA is based) in the sun, Nov. 2005)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Information Literacy for a Lifetime set for Hawaii

The biennial LOEX-of-the-West Conference, Information Literacy for a Lifetime, will be held June 8-10, 2006, in Fairmont Orchard, Hawaii.

The Association of College & Research Libraries proclaims that "information literacy forms the basis of lifelong learning." This conference explores the extent and the ways that information literacy programs and instruction librarians in academic libraries are developing lifelong learners.

More information is available on the conference website. Oh, and did I mention it's in Hawaii?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Alexandria proclamation

The Alexandria proclamation on information literacy and lifelong learning has just been produced. This will be promulgated by UNESCO, including at the World Summit on the Information Society that takes place 16-18 November. It starts "Celebrating this week’s confirmation of the site of the Pharos of Alexandria, one of the ancient wonders of the world, the participants in the High Level Colloquium on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on 6-9 November 2005 proclaim that information literacy and lifelong learning are the beacons of the Information Society, illuminating the courses to development, prosperity and freedom. "Information Literacy lies at the core of lifelong learning. It empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations." It can be found at [url updated 3 Feb 2021 (SW)]  (Photo by S. Webber: Poppy, Sheffield, June 2005)
Stuart Boon, who was working full time on our Arts and Humanities Research Council- funded project "UK academics' conceptions of, and pedagogy for, information literacy" has finished his 3 years here. We congratulate him on securing a post as Lecturer in Strathclyde University's Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement. To mark this shift to educational development he started up a new Educational development in Scotland blog a little while ago. There is a link on the sidebar on the right, but here it is as well:
(Photo by S. Webber: Stuart at the FORMIST conference in Lyon in June, where he and I gave a talk. Sorry, Stuart, I'm better at photographing flowers than people)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

WLIC 2006 Soeul - another call for papers

The IFLA Section of School Libraries and Resource Centres is calling for proposals for papers and posters for the Section's Open Session to be held as part of the 2006 World Library and Information Congress in Seoul, South Korea 2006. The theme of is Information Literacy for Young People: Evolving Models in a Changing World. Proposals that consider schools, school libraries, children's libraries, or home schooling environments will be considered. The Section is also seeking proposals for Posters on the same theme. Note that IFLA does not meet conference registration, travel or accommodation costs for presenters, nor does it provide financial support.

Proposals should include the following information:
Title of Proposed Paper or Poster; Name of Presenter/s; Contact Information (mailing address, fax, email); Abstract of Paper or Poster (200-300 words); Short Biography of Presenter/s (maximum 100 words each.

Proposals may be submitted by air mail, fax, or email, to:
Prof. James Henri; Division of Information & Technology Studies; Faculty of Education; The University of Hong Kong;

31 January 2006: Deadline for submission of proposals
28 February 2006: Notification of acceptance of proposals
15 April 2006: Submission of full papers.
(Photo by S. Webber: WLIC banner in Oslo, Aug. 2005)

Peacock at Augustana IL Workshop 2005

This year's Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop speaker will be Judy Peacock (Information Literacy Coordinator - Queensland University of Technology - Brisbane, Australia). The workshop will be on December 12-13, 2005 in Camrose, AB, Canada.

For more information, please visit the workshop website.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Competition for free student place at LILAC conference

The Information Literacy Group of CILIP is sponsoring one free place at the Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference - LILAC 2006 for a student delegate. If you are interested in applying for this free place, please submit a short written piece (maximum 400 words) explaining why you would like to attend this conference and how the conference might benefit you in your future career. Applications will be assessed by the conference committee.

In return for this free place the successful applicant will be required to write a brief report on the impact their attendance has had on their knowledge and understanding of Information Literacy. Please note that the sponsorship is open to UK applicants only. The sponsorship covers conference attendance & student accommodation. It does not include travel expenses. Applications for sponsorship should be made by Friday 23rd December 2005. All applicants will receive notification of the result by January 23rd 2006. Please send your submission via e-mail only, along with your own full contact details including job title to Jane Secker at

Details of the conference are at: bysubject/informationliteracy/lilac/lilac2006

(Phot by S. Webber: Autumn leaves, Sheffield, Nov. 2005)

Friday, November 11, 2005


More on blogging ... the Blog Business Summit (about business blogging) took place about 10 days ago. It is a commercial operation but it has a blog (in fact the whole site looks like a blog) which includes some material and also links to people blogging about the blogging conference.

Also I picked up a useful reference from the Sept/Oct issue of eLucidate, namely
Gardner, S. (2005) "Time to check: are you using the right blogging tool?" Online journalism review, 14 July.
It focuses more on professional (rather than free) services, but includes Blogger, and makes some good comparative points.

(Photo by S. Webber: Snow on Remembrance Day wreaths, Weston Park, Nov. 2004. Today is Remembrance Day - and Google Uk has a Remembrance poppy logo!)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Library education wikis

Two wikis concerned with education and libraries have emerged recently. Wikis are designed so that anyone can edit and create content in the wiki. One wiki was started by Chris Powys, in the UK and is at It says that "The Infoteach Wiki is intended to be a dynamic information base on teaching and learning in a library or information context. The aim of Infoteach is to play a part in enabling librarians and information workers, in every sector, to be competent teachers and facilitators of learning."

The second is based in the USA, created by the Oregon Library Association's Library Instruction Roundtable and at is at It is "a collaboratively developed resource for librarians involved with or interested in [library] instruction ... The Library Instruction Wiki was designed to help librarians learn from one another. Use the wiki to find handouts, tutorials, suggested reading, and more!"

At the moment the latter has more content than the former, but the type of content differs. Infoteach also has a discussion board section. I think the scope implied by the statements quoted above is slightly different - though part of the difference is in the terminology current in the USA vs. the UK. For example in the UK the word "instruction" is one you would avoid, as it implies transmissive teaching (bad, bad, bad...) whereas in the US this word doesn't seem to be interpreted in the same negative way. Both wikis look useful - but future usefulness obviously depends on people contributing to the wikis. (I'm afraid I haven't contributed to either yet...)

(Photo by S. Webber: Leaf on a bench in sunlight, Sheffield, Nov. 2005)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Xanga and infolit

I was having a look at Xanga ( , a blogging tool. To get a feel for the blogs there, I searched Xanga on Information Literacy. What I came up with were mostly entries from various (probably American) my-life blogs, saying things like (to take 5 different blog examples):

"It was a review day in my information literacies course... which meant... wait... it still a nap time... I hate that class... but don't mind some of my classmates"
"Monday's I have that stupid one credit course information literacy."
"Should of went to school today to work on a paper for Information Literacy, but when I woke up, I felt about as energetic as a dead man inside of a box."
"I'm also going to try and take [snip] Principles of Speaking--oh god..., Intro to Philosophy, Information Literacy...pointless class, Wellness Concepts...another pointless class"
.... though also ...
" Well anyways, class was great. I got another perfect on my Information Literacy Project! "

Mostly people weren't being that enthusiastic about other studies either. However, it was a salutary reminder about what students might be writing about my classes in their blogs....
(Photo by S. Webber: Hydrangea & spider's web, Oct. 2005)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


For some harmless time wasting (or is time wasting never harmless?) try Googlefight at You type in two words or phrases and it shows a little stick-figures-fighting animation, then it shows two bars, indicating the number of hits on Google for the two terms. Thus one sees that there are, for example, a lot more hits for "information literacy" than for "information skills", and "e-literacy" vs. "information literacy" is no contest, but "information literacy" and "media literacy" are closer (though with IL still the winner).

One can also do sad stuff like putting in one's own name and the name of someone else and shouting "yay" when one gets more hits than the other name. Not that I'd ever do anything like that, of course.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Blogging presentation

There's a nice presentation by Frances Jacobson Harris called What's a Blog Doing In My Library? which goes through some basics of what blogs are about, including what some different types of people want from them. It also identifies some options for running blogs and gives examples. It was given at the AASL 12th National Conference.
(Photo by S. Webber: Bicycles, Sheffield University, November 2005)

Libraries and E-Learning

ALISS event Libraries and E-Learning, London School of Economics, London, UK, 14th December 1.45-4.30. The speakers will include:
Jane Secker, London School of Economics: "Licence to thrill: getting the most out of CLA Higher Education Digitation Licence."
Gwyneth Price, Institute of Education: "Libraries and the e-Learning Curve."
Keri Myers: "Workers' War Home Front Recalled."
Cost: £20 ALISS Members, Non-Members £25. Places are limited. To register contact.
Heather Dawson, ASSIGN Secretary, LSE Library 10 Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HD.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

ANZIIL powerpoints: IL in universities

There are 3 powerpoints available from ANZIIL Symposium Series Four, held on the 6th and 7th of July 2005 at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. The theme was Information Literacy: Getting Back to Basics. The PowerPoints are:

Richard Deardon (University of Tasmania): Aligning information literacy with Faculty teaching and learning: a case study
Rigmor George (UNISA): A Strategic Approach to Information Literacy and Life Long Learning
Melanie Lazarow (University of Melbourne): Invisible threads: Weaving critical information literacy into a course: Criminology 2nd and 3rd year students: A case study events/symposiumseriesfour/overview.htm
(Photo by S. Webber: Port Julia, South Australia, July 2004)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Podcasting in education

I thought that this article about podcasting was interesting. Podcasts, by the way, are basically digital audio files (usually MP3) which can be signed up to, to be sent to you automatically:

Campbell, G. (2005) "There's something in the air: podcasting in education." Educause review, 40 (6), 32-47. er/erm05/erm0561.asp (includes a link to a podcast of the paper!)

The author starts by sketching out a scenario ("Jenny" receiving podcasts relating to both leisure and academic work) He then describes what he sees as the educational benefits of podcasting. As well as highlighting the possibilities, I thought the paper was interesting in its assumptions about students. The "Jenny" scenario reminded me of the "Alice the undergraduate" scenario in the Follett Report (see - this was an important report for UK academic libraries). Both Jenny and Alice are young women who are very digitally literate and probably "Academic Susans" too, to use the term that John Biggs coined to describe the sort of students who are academically able and motivated. Not every student is like this (e.g. someone might be very motivated in general, but see having to listen to a load of podcasts every day as a complete chore).

Also, it strikes me that podcasting isn't really that radical, although obviously the greater availability of handy storage/receiving devices, and the greater supply of audio feeds and downloads, has made the whole "current awareness of audio files" thing easier. There's a point where Campbell says that podcasting has the "potential to be uniquely immersive, to evoke the intimacy and focus of a study carrel deep in the stacks of a library. One emerges from those dark, womblike spaces blinking and perhaps a little disoriented: a useful state of being in the constant struggle to defamiliarize one’s surroundings and to prepare oneself for fresh insights. " And there were librarians, on the whole trying to move away from the "dark, womblike" conception of libraries...

There's a podcasting trial on a BBC radio site, which includes a simple "what is podcasting" explanation:

(Photo by S. Webber: Autumn in Weston Park, Sheffield, Nov. 2005)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Call for papers: IFLA in Seoul 2006

There is a Call for Papers for a joint Information Literacy/ University Libraries session at the World Library and Information Congress (72nd IFLA Conference) taking place in Seoul, Korea, 20-24 August 2006. The theme of the joint program will be: Transitions to College: How Information Literacy Answers the Knowledge Society Challenge.

"As a result of the Internet, dramatic changes have affected the way information is stored, located, and retrieved. Many students feel that libraries are no longer relevant and that everything they need can be found using search engines on the Web. A rude awakening may be in store when they discover that their college or university professors require them to use scholarly resources. Information Literacy is crucial to student success in an academic information environment. The ULS/ILS joint conference program will focus on effective pedagogy and best practices in teaching the skills students need to survive the critical first year of College and beyond.
"In this call for papers we are especially looking for case studies or practical presentations for:
- a two hour session with speakers presenting papers that describe information literacy programs for high school or the first year of college.
- a two-hour hands-on session with speakers presenting best practices in how to develop and deliver instruction to this population."

Proposals should include title, abstract of 200-400 words and relevant biographical information and be sent to Linda J. Goff at by 15 January 2006.

(Photo by S. Webber: Oslo (where this year's WLIC was held) Central Station, Aug. 2005)

Petition to Scottish Parliament on information literacy

John Crawford, at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, writes that "Chris Milne at Abertay and I have just presented a petition to the Scottish Parliament on the subject of information literacy. It calls upon the Scottish Parliament 'to urge the Scottish Executive to ensure that that national school curriculum recognises the importance of information literacy as a key lifelong learning skill.' The supporting document explains this and suggests ways forward. There are two stages in petitioning the Scottish parliament.
1. An electronic petition which aims to collect signatures in support of the petition
2. A petition to the Public Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament
Obviously the second stage will carry much more weight if the e-petition attracts a lot of signatures and I would urge people to add their names which they can do by going to the under noted URL. My MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) Ken Mackintosh has been very supportive in preparing the petition and is going to ask a question in the Scottish Parliament in support of the petition so we should be able to generate quite a lot of interest. The petition will be up on the web until Friday 16th December. The Petitions Committee meets on 21st December and will consider the petition then. Although the Public Petitions Committee is a Scottish institution it very much welcomes support from all over the world so contributions are welcome from south of the Tweed/ Solway and beyond."

(Photo by S. Webber: Kelvinbridge, Glasgow, October 2005)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

E-learning journals

A magazine and a journal concerned with e-learning are highlighted today. Firstly, E-learn magazine is produced by the reputable ACM, and includes short articles, case studies, "tutorials" (which may comprise of articles covering basic concepts) and reviews. Skimming through a couple of recent items, my eyes lighted on the concluding lines from a report on a conference session where delegates were reflecting on what made e-learning "fun". Factors such as social interaction, sponteneity and flexibility were identified, and "As the session drew to an end, the group moved towards one additional realization, that the dimensions that make e-learning and e-teaching effective are, in essence, the same as those that make any learning and teaching situation effective. However, virtual environments can be used in ways that present new opportunities and which provide new ways to enable experiences that have been shown to be effective in face-to-face learning situations."
Neal, L. and Normore, L. (2005) "eLearning and Fun: A Report from the CHI 2005 Special Interest ." elearn, 5 July.

Secondly, the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning includes refereed journal articles. It is produced by Athabasca University, the Canadian online distance-learning university. The item I'll highlight here is actually not refereed, but as I'm looking for social software to use for communicating with partners involved in a project, it caught my eye, namely:
Challborn, C. and Reimann, T. (2005) "Wiki Products: A comparison." International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 6 (2).

(Photo by S. Webber: Weston Park, Sheffield, Nov. 2005)

Monday, October 31, 2005

TUNE project website

It's worth looking at the TUNE website, particularly if you are in a public library wanting to deliver information literacy training to your users. TUNE (Training of Library Users in a New Europe) has been a project of Biblioteca de Castilla la Mancha, Toledo, Spain, Randersegnens Biblioteker, Randers, Denmark, Stadsbiblioteket, Helsingborg, Sweden, and Ljubljana (Slovenia) Oton Zupancic Public Library. There is a newsletter, material from a seminar held this summer, the Tune "User Training Model" which is a sort of manual with examples, and journals (diary type entries).

I find the following reflection, from their final journal (no. 22) quite inspiring: "above all, it has help us to reflect on what working with librarians for other countries is. We have also realized that even though there are small cultural differences among our countries, we all believe that the public library is essential for the democratization of culture. Inger summarized what working together was very well. That is working under the same mission and feeling that we all belong to the same library. In regards to these, we believe that the methodology and planning of the work steps has been very important. "
(Photo by S. Webber: Autumn rose, Blackheath, Oct. 2005)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

LILAC conference 2006

The 2006 LILAC information Literacy conference will take place in Leeds, UK, 27-29 March. It is organised by the CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group. Conference themes are: Embedding and enriching; Information Literacy and citizenship; New areas of practice and research; Practical approaches to Information Literacy; Staff development and Information Literacy; Strategic approaches to Information Literacy. There is a call for papers and posters for which there is a deadline of 30 November 2005.

The keynote speakers are: Lynne Brindley (British Library), Peter Brophy (Manchester Metropolitan University), Philip Candy (NHS Connecting for Health), Jonathan Douglas (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Dorothy Williams (The Robert Gordon University). There are discounts for early booking, Group members and presenters. There are rates for the full conference, and for individual days.

For more information and forms for papers and bookings go to: bysubject/informationliteracy/lilac/lilac2006

(Photo by S. Webber: Sedum and hydrangea, Hailsham, Oct. 2005)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

ACRL blog

If you need yet another blog to help fill those empty corners of your life, then you might want to consider the US Academic, College and Research Libraries group's blog at It is a collaborative blog with some interesting contributors: Steven J. Bell, Barbara Fister (whose information literacy talk at WILU 2005 I very much enjoyed), Marc Meola, Scott Walter, and Kevin S. Clarke.
(Photo by S. Webber: Dahlia, Blackheath, October 2005)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

S.O.S. for Information Literacy

S.O.S. for Information Literacy was launched this month in the USA. S.O.S. stands for Situation, Outcomes, Strategies. It is a "database of standards-based information literacy lesson plans and other teaching materials" which "is a dynamic, multimedia, Web-based and freely accessible resource for K-8 library media specialists and classroom teachers." It was created by people at Syracuse University ( with a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The database is at

You need to register, but I was able to do so and get access immediately. It contains "lesson plans" input by librarians, media specialists and teachers, I think all from North America at present. You can search the database by keyword, subject context for the IL lesson, education level, and also by learning outcome (as identified in information literacy standards) or broad area of IL skill. So, for example, you can search for plans for 7-8th graders that target the outcome "Selects information appropriate to the problem or question at hand." Links on the website include links to information literacy guidelines or standards from different US states.

People are encouraged to contribute new lesson plans, as well as search. There are guidelines for creating the lesson plans in the right format for S.O.S. I was a bit put off by the first line of one of these tip pages ("Think "motivation" in every part of your lesson plan": my sour and cynical British temperament tends to surface in response to things like that) but they do explain things clearly, which is the main point really. They also aim to create a similar resource for other school levels and higher education.

(Photo by S. Webber: York in the rain, Oct. 2005)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

WILU call for papers

There is a call for papers for the 35th Annual Workshop on Instruction in Library Use (WILU) conference, which is the annual Canadian information literacy conference. It will be held at at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 10-12, 2006. The theme is Charting a Course for Instruction.

Topics include:
- mentoring between new and mid-career librarians
- collaborating with administration to establish and promote information literacy programs
- working with educators across the curriculum
- providing peer support and techniques for keeping connected
- partnering between school and academic libraries
Proposals for one-and-a-half-hour sessions and three-hour workshops related to the theme of the conference are also welcomed. Deadline for proposals is November 28, 2005. Online proposal submission forms are available at:

(Photo by S. Webber: Macdonald Stewart sculpture park, at the University of Guelph, venue for this year's excellent WILU.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Research about students' use of textbooks

There are some results of research into students' use of information, on a new website - principally students' use of textbooks. The research was carried out on behalf of the Publishers Association. Frustratingly, it doesn't say anything much about the methods or sample used in the survey, but the results are of interest.

(Photo by S. Webber: Cape gooseberry and Rudibekia, Hailsham, Oct. 2005)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Learning styles: Help or hindrance?

There is a meeting with this title on 10 November 2005 at the University of London (UK) Institute of Education. The speakers are Prof. Frank Coffield, Kathryn Ecclestone and David Moseley who recently authored interesting reports for the Learning and Skills Development Agency. "Only one of the thirteen models of learning style we examined was found to fully meet our criteria for reliability and validity. Does this matter? Despite weaknesses in all of the most popular models, the promotion of learning styles as a way to transform learning continues apace. Can these models still help us to improve the quality of teaching and learning?" For more info on the seminar contact:
You can download both the reports from - search on publication reference numbers 041543 and 041540.
(Phot by S. Webber: Red Devil apple on my tree, Oct. 2005)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Launch of CILASS and Learning & Teaching strategy

On Tuesday 18th, the official launch of the Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) took place. This is one of the Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and CILASS will receive £4.5million over 5 years. My colleague Dr Philippa Levy is Director of CILASS (though she will still spend 80% of her time in this Department (Information Studies). The strapline for CILASS is "Modelling the process of research within the student learning experience" and most of the work will be carried out via projects in different departments that change the curriculum or approaches to learning & teaching in some way.

Information literacy is a key strand in CILASS' work and a full time Information Literacy person has been appointed to work in CILASS (more about her when she arrives next month!) I am leading a CILASS project in my department, Information literacy in the curriculum, in which we aim to audit the extent to which IL is addressed in all our courses (using the SCONUL "7 Pillars" model of IL) and improve the extent to which IL is progressed in our programmes. There is some information about CILASS at including summaries of the "Phase 1 projects" (of which mine is one). You will see that the University Library here is also one of the partners and participants in CILASS.

Sheffield University's new Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy was launched at the same event, and Information Literacy is now in this Strategy document as something that the "Sheffield Graduate" should develop. Hurrah! There is a page from which I can download the LTA strategy (and I think that people outside can download it too - for those interested in such things).

(Photo by S. Webber: Trees in the park outside Firth Court: Firth Court is where CILASS etc. were launched)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

E-learning and information literacy: initiatives and challenges

Joint IFM Healthcare and Libraries for Nursing Study Day
Leeds University Library, Monday 14 November 2005, 10.30 - 16.00

E-learning and information literacy: initiatives and challenges

Lifelong learning is part of all healthcare professionals' lives, and e-learning and information literacy have important roles to play within it. This study day will be an opportunity to share experiences and gain ideas. It will consist of a mix of presentations, group discussions and opportunities to explore some on-line resources.

  • Present and future challenges of information literacy (Peter Godwin, Academic Services Manager, London South Bank University)
  • Implementing an information literacy audit in the context of nurse education (Alison Lahlafi, Faculty Team Librarian, and David Clarke, School of Healthcare, Leeds University)
  • Key e-learning themes and developments (David Peacock, Knowledge Service Manager, Northumberland Tyne & Wear SHA)
  • Creating multiple choice questions for a virtual learning environment for nurses (Karen Smith, York University)
  • E-learning for health librarians (FOLIO Team, Sheffield University)

  • RCN e-learning resources (Caroline Lynch and Angela Perrett, Royal College of Nursing)

  • How do we asses the effectiveness of information skills training? (Alison Brettle, Salford University, and Joanne Greenhalgh, Leeds University)
This is an update of the extremely popular workshop held at the HLG conference in 2004
Booking form and provisional programme details are available on the IFM Healthcare Web site:
If you require any further information, please contact: Heather Williamson (

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Blogs in Iran & blog usability

Last night (Monday 17th) there was a feature on blogging in Iran in the BBC Radio 3 programme Night waves: it was "a discussion of We are Iran, a book of web-diaries which offers young Iranians the chance to express opinions in cyberspace about subjects including the condition of women and of repression and its subversion." You can download the programme from the BBC website up until 23rd October, from (the blog feature is towards the end of the programme)

Thanks also to my colleague Nigel Ford for "alerting" me to this item
Nielsen, J. (2005) "Weblog usability: the top ten design mistakes." Alertbox, 17 October.

(Phot0 by S. Webber, Oct. 2005)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Adelphi Charter

An outcome from an initiative by the Royal Society of Arts is The Adelphi Charter which "sets out new principles for copyrights and patents, and calls on governments to apply a new public interest test." If you wanted some material for advanced discussion about ethical use of information and intellectual property dimensions, this could be an interesting focus for discussion. The site includes background material that informed the people who wrote the Charter, including some useful summaries and links. Thanks to Michel Menou for highlighting this site on another discussion list I belong to.

(Phot by S. Webber: Hydrangea and cotoneaster, October 2005, Sheffield)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

5th Annual Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop

Judy Peacock, the Information Literacy Coordinator at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia will be the guest speaker at this year's Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop, whose theme is Intentional Information Literacy Strategies. The workshop is held on December 12-13, 2005 in Camrose, AB, Canada. Early registration deadline: October 31, 2005.

For more information, visit the conference website.

Friday, October 14, 2005

BOBCATSSS 2006 in Tallinn

The BOBCATSSS 2006 Symposium "Information. Innovation. Responsibility: Information Professional in the Network Society". takes place 30th January - 1st February, 2006 in Tallinn, Estonia. This is an annual symposium organised by students at a number of universities in Europe, of interest to information specialists, students, academics etc. One of the key themes is: Supporting Learning and Information Literacy. You can find more information about the Symposium at

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Conference papers

Papers from the 3rd Evidence based Librarianship conference being held in Brisbane, Australia are available on the web at . There are a number of papers relevant to IL e.g.
  • Exploring evidence-based information literacy. Catherine Clark, University of Western Australia, Australia.
  • What can students' bibliographies tell us? Evidence based information skills teaching for engineering students. Fei Yu, Jan Sullivan, Leith Woodall University of Queensland, Australia.
  • But does it work? Building the evidence for information literacy development. Gill Needham The Open University Library and Learning Resources Centre, UK. (HT)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Information Literacy seminar, London

There is an Information Literacy seminar organised by the Career Development Group (London and South East Divisions) at King's College London, UK on Monday 17 October 2005 (6-8pm) [photo on the right taken on Chancery Lane, outside one of KCL's libraries]. The seminar is run by Debbi Boden (Imperial College London) and Jane Secker (London School of Economics) "Examples of IL policies and strategies will be examined as will the future relations with e-literacy and media literacy. Practical hands-on sessions will provide an opportunity to assess two online IL programmes; one aimed at library users, the other a staff-development programme aimed at library staff. This course is aimed primarily at those new to the information profession and those with an interest in IL from the perspectives of public,
health, academic and commercial libraries."

Cost (including VAT) is £15 for members of the Career Development Group, £20 for non-members , £10 for students and the unwaged. To register your booking, please contact Jeremy Crumplin, Email:

Monday, October 10, 2005

Impact of Information Literacy

The Spring 2005 issue of Library and Information Research has just been made available free on the web, and it is devoted to reports from the LIRG/SCONUL IMPACT initiative. I highlight a couple below, but actually most of the articles are looking at aspects of information literacy.

Crawford, J. (2005) "Glasgow Caledonian University: impact of developing students’ information literacy". Library and Information Research, 29 (91), 20-21.

This article includes a short section on the results of a survey of alumni (who thought IL was really useful!) [I bumped into John Crawford on Sauchiehall Street while in Glasgow last week - the photo on the right was taken while I was up there, and is of the River Kelvin, Kelvinbridge, Glasgow]

Baker, C. and Needham, G. "Open University Library: impact and effectiveness of information literacy interventions" Library and Information Research, 29 (91), 30-31.

The whole issue is at