Tuesday, January 31, 2006

6èmes Rencontres FORMIST: 15 & 16 Juin 2006

"Les 6èmes Rencontres FORMIST se dérouleront le jeudi 15 juin à l’enssib, et seront suivies le vendredi 16 par une demie journée d’ateliers. Thème de ces Rencontres: «Exploitation et usages de l’information». Ce thème, large devrait être abordé sous les angles méthodologiques, juridiques, techniques, cognitifs, pédagogiques… Plus d’infos dans les semaines à venir, sur le site Formist (http://formist.enssib.fr ) et Blog Formist Information (http://blogformist.enssib.fr)"
(This is an announcement of the annual information literacy conference in Lyon, France: Les Rencontres FORMIST, held on 15 June with workshops on 16 June)
Photo by S. Webber: pretty berries in Lyon, June 2006. [added 2nd Feb - oops, that should be June 2005, I haven't yet mastered time travel]

Monday, January 30, 2006

Asia-Pacific conference on LIS education

The Asia-Pacific conference on Library and Information Education, "Preparing Information Professionals for Leadership in the New Age" has information literacy as one of its themes. It is being held in Singapore, 3-6 April 2006 and the website is at http://www.ntu.edu.sg/sci/a-liep

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Library + Information update - IL articles

The latest issue of Library + information update has a number of articles about Information Literacy:
- Putting our own house in order: CILIP-accredited LIS courses, by Kerry Weller.
- Learning in spite of being solo: Humeyra Ceylan.
- Information literacy in FE: Alexandra Stearn.
- Begin at school: Christine Irving & John Crawford.
- Information literacy development in Australia: Angela Newton & Debbi Boden interview Christine Bruce.
- Raising the profile of information literacy in public libraries: Rónán O’Beirne.
and one of them is available free on the internet:

Todd, R (2006) "It’s all about getting ‘A’s." Library + information update, 5 (1/2).
http://www.cilip.org.uk/publications/updatemagazine/ archive/archive2006/january/toddjan06.htm "In a major US project, more than 10,000 pupils have been revealing how their school librarians have taught them how to get the most out of information sources. Ross Todd gives us the background."

Photo by S. Webber: Snow last year (Jan 2004) in Sheffield. No snow yet this January!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Student use of electronic information services in further education

There is less research about information literacy in further education than there is about IL in higher education, so I thought I'd highlight this article (not free, I'm afraid) which summarises results to do with further education, drawing on two major UK studies (JUBILEE and JUSTEIS):

Urquhart, C. et al. (2005) "Student use of electronic information services in further education." International journal of information management, 25 (4), 347-362.

"... Information skills and experience develop across work, home and study. There is a growing use of EIS in curriculum, but practice varies between institutions and disciplines. Tutors express concern about student's ability to evaluate and use the information that they find. Assignments can promote EIS use. The main categories of EIS used by students are search engines and organisational web sites. Search engines are the preferred search tools and search strategies are basic. Information skills are acquired through a variety of routes, with peer instruction, surfing and personal experience, instruction from tutors, and LIS induction and training all making an important contribution. The solutions to improving students’ information skills may include use of the Virtual Training Suites, but librarians need to adopt different roles in promoting and evaluating use of such tools. "

Photo by S. Webber: Man & dog on Blackheath, London, with the Paragon in the background.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Link between secondary and tertiary education

John Crawford at Glasgow Caledonian University is leading a project Information literacy skills - the link between secondary and tertiary education. There is some information at http://www.learningservices.gcal.ac.uk/
plus updates about the Scottish Parliament IL petition which has been mentioned on this blog. (And apologies if you were trying to get into this blog and failed on the 25/26 January ... Blogger had a "scheduled" outage of what was supposed to be 30 minutes, but I haven't been able to get into my blog for nearly a day... the penalties of free blogging...)

Photo by S. Webber: Apples in Blackheath farmers' market.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

International Information Literacy Resources Directory

There is a project to collect information about information literacy initiatives around the world. The website is at http://www.uv.mx/usbi_ver/unesco/
The Information Literacy Section of the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions (IFLA) is carrying forward the project, on behalf of UNESCO, and the project is coordinated by the Section Chair, Jesús Lau. You can submit details of training courses, publications, websites, discussion lists, research etc. online once you have registered (which you can do instantly). There are just a few resources listed at the moment (as it is a new project), but in due course it should become very useful.
As you will see, I am the coordinator for the "Anglophone European Countries" ;-))

Photo by S. Webber: Squash at Blackheath farmers' market

Monday, January 23, 2006

Digital Information Fluency

Thanks to Yazdan Mansourian for reminding me about the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (USA) Digital Information Fluency website. I've not actually been back to it for a while (they linked to our Christmas Quiz a couple of years ago...) and I think the site has been redesigned since then. It has a lot of interesting content including "micro modules", little exercises, annotated bibliographies, lesson plans that teachers have submitted etc. http://21cif.imsa.edu/

Friday, January 20, 2006

Journal with some IL articles

A free online journal I've just come across is the Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship. It has some infolit articles e.g.
Kennedy, C. (2005) "Teaching Information Literacy to the Advanced Writing Class in Three Sessions." Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, 6 (1/2)
Home page of the journal: http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/index.html

Photo by S Webber: Fountain in Oslo, Norway.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

LILAC conference programme

Th LILAC conference full provisional programme is available. The LILAC (information literacy) conference is being held at the University of Leeds, UK, 27th-29th March 2006.
Keynote speakers include:
Lynne Brindley - The British Library; Peter Brophy - Centre for Research in Library & Information Management, Manchester Metropolitan University; Philip Candy - Director of Education, Training and Development, NHS Connecting for Health; Jonathan Douglas - Museums, Libraries and Archives Council; Dorothy Williams - Dept. of Information Management, The Robert Gordon University.
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.
Further details at:
http://www.cilip.org.uk/specialinterestgroups/ bysubject/informationliteracy/lilac/lilac2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Journal of eliteracy

Vol 2 no. 2 of the Journal of eliteracy has been published at http://www.jelit.org/ tocDec2005.html
The lead papers are:
Peter Godwin: Making Life Easier for Academics: How librarians can help staff weather the technological storm
Amanda C. Elliott and Ruth A. Hunn: An E-Learning Tutorial for Vocational E-Literacy
Ruth Stubbings and Ginny Franklin: More to life than Google - a journey for PhD students

Photo by S. Webber: San Michele at dusk, Dec 2006.

Teaching and Research Relationship

There are numerous presentations online from the Higher Education Academy's conference on The Teaching and Research Relationship: Developing Institutional Policy and Practice, held in November 2005, at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/3849.htm (including one from my colleague Dr Philippa Levy).

Monday, January 16, 2006

2006 eLit conference

The 2006 eLit conference will take place at the University of Loughborough, UK, 28th -30th June 2006. There are further details at http://www.elit-conf.org/

There are also links from this page to previous years' conference websites, which include some of the presentations (on eliteracy, information literacy etc.)

Photo by S. Webber: Sunset, the Lido, Venice, Dec 2005.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Information society articles

There are some interesting articles in vol 1 issue 4 (2005) of the online journal International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology
at http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/index.php, including

Martin, B. "The Information Society and the Digital Divide: some North-South comparisons." (which I skimmed through and found useful summaries of the situation and thoughtful discussion).

Macleod, H.J. "What role can educational multimedia play in narrowing the digital divide?" (highlights the value of multimedia e.g. in cultures which put more emphasis on oral traditions).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Teaching tips

The Haworth journal College and undergraduate libraries has a "teaching tips" column as well as articles about information literacy.
You can view abstracts via the home page at http://www.haworthpress.com/store/ product.asp?sku=J106

Photo by S. Webber: Shadow on the wall in the Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Dec 2005.

Assessment of librarians as teachers

Scott Walker (UNiversity of Kansas, USA) maintains a list of resources about "assessment of the professional performance of librarians as teachers. His "Instructional Improvement in Academic Libraries" page is at

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Verbatim report of Scottish Parliament petition

John Crawford writes "For the benefit of those who were kind enough to sign or otherwise support the petition on information literacy presented to the Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament on 21st December 2005 I include below the URL for the verbatim report on the petition presented by Christine, Chris Milne at the University of Abertay and myself. I shall be writing a short report on the process for an upcoming issue of Information Scotland."
By the way, the Information Literacy petition is the second item to be recorded on this document (and I think John put things rather well!) - the first item is a petition from schoolgirls about overpackaging.
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/ committees/petitions/or-05/pu05-1902.htm
(Photo by S. Webber: Italian Centre, Glasgow)

Study on children's internet use in USA

DeBell, M. (2005). Rates of computer and internet use by children in nursery school and students in kindergarten through Twelfth Grade: 2003. Washington, DC: NCES.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Academic librarians' perspectives

NFAIS always has an interesting speaker for its Miles Conrad Memorial Lecture. I just noticed that in 2005 this was James P. McGinty, Vice Chairman of Cambridge Information Group on What it Takes to Gain “Mindshare” from the Perspective of Academic Librarians. He reports on a survey of US and European academic librarians asking their opinions on various issues. Some of these, since he is an information vendor, are about preferred relationships with vendors, and it also includes perceptions about changes in academic librarianship, importance of difference factors (e.g. involvement of academics) etc.

NFAIS has a good site, and they put up slides from their events (which focus on the information industry) pretty promptly. NFAIS used to be the (US) National Federation of Abstracting and Indexing Services but they ditched the full form of the name some time ago and now just say that "NFAIS seeks to be recognized globally as the premier membership organization for groups that aggregate, organize and facilitate access to information".

Photo by S. Webber: view from boat between Torcello and Burano, Italy, Dec 2005

Wikipedia vs. Encyclopaedia Britannica

Thanks to my colleague Daniela Petrelli for alerting me to a short article in the journal Nature about a survey of quality in the articles in these two publications (summary: wikipedia has some mistakes, but then Britannica has some too). There is also a plea for more academic experts to contribute to Wikipedia.
Giles, J. (2005) "Internet encyclopaedias go head to head." Nature, (438), 900-901.
http://www.nature.com/news/2005/ 051212/pdf/438900a.pdf

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Information Literacy: recognising the need

The one-day conference Information Literacy: recognising the need will take place at Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent campus (UK) on 17th May 2006. Cost is £80. Speakers are: Susie Andretta, Moira Bent, my colleague Sheila Corrall, Debbi Boden, Peter Godwin, Mark Hepworth and me (Sheila Webber), so obviously a class line-up. I'm talking about
"Working towards the Information Literate University"
Full details at http://www.staffs.ac.uk/infolitconf and there is still a call for posters.

Photo of me taking taking a photograph, reflected in the door of the Foscari Palace Hotel, Venice. Arty or what. (As is often the case, I think the answer is "what")

Another IFLA call for papers - ending now, so hurry!

A third session at IFLA 2006 is going to have an information literacy focus (frustrating, as I am unlikely to be going this year!) IFLA World Library and Information Congress will be held in Seoul, Korea, 20-24 August 2006. The call for Papers is on the Theme, Information Literacy for the Knowledge Society. Division VIII of IFLA (Regional Activities) invites proposals for papers on any aspect of Information Literacy as it affects the growing Knowledge Society in the regions of Division VIII, i.e. Asia and the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean.

Contributions can seek to address aspects of Literacy, Information Literacy, the Digital Divide and the Knowledge Society. Papers may be research-based or evidence-based, may deal with theory, 'best practice', institutional frameworks and management, curriculum and delivery, evaluation and review, etc. Proposals in the form of a working title, abstract of 150 words (max.), name and affiliation of author(s), and an email contact address should be sent by 11 January 2006 [which is today already in New Zealand, but as this only just got posted out to the listserv where I picked it up, I assume there may be a few days slack] to: Professor Gary Gorman, Secretary of Division VIII, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, Email: gary.gorman@vuw.ac.nz

ALISS links

ALISS (Association of Librarians and Information Professionals in the Social Sciences) has a page which includes links to past presentations, including ones from an event Libraries and E-Learning held on 14th December 2005.
Gwyneth Price - ppt called "Libraries and the E-Learning Curve"
Keri Myers - paper on "the TUC Workers war Resource"
Jane Secker - ppt on "CLA Higher Education Digitisation License"

Monday, January 09, 2006

Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework

A "National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework" has been developed for the Australian Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. They define Consumer and financial literacy as "the application of knowledge, understandings, skills and values in consumer and financial contexts and the related decisions that impact on self, others, the community and the environment."

This short document includes indicators for learning and a short list of 11 critical success factors. They relate the framework to four dimensions: Knowledge and understanding; Competence; Enterprise and Responsibility (see quote below). I thought this was interesting and gave food for thought as regards information literacy: knowledge and competence are usually addressed in IL frameworks, but Enterprise not, and Responsibility perhaps more implicitly than explicitly.

"The dimension of:
· Knowledge and understanding is about the nature and forms of money, how it is used and the consequences of consumer decisions
· Competence is the application of consumer and financial knowledge and skills in a range of changing contexts
· Enterprise is the opportunity to use initiative, build financial capabilities and manage risktaking when making consumer and financial decisions
· Responsibility is appropriate consumer and financial decisions that display care for self, others, the community and the environment. "

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment Training and Youth Affairs (2005). National consumer and financial literacy framework. Carlton South, Victoria: MCEETYA.

Photo by S. Webber: Dog at the S. Sofia traghehtto stop, Venice, Dec. 2005.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

HigherEd BlogCon 2006

There is an online conference: HigherEd BlogCon 2006: Transforming Academic Communities with New Tools of the Social Web taking place 3- 28 April 2006 at http://www.higheredblogcon.com There is a call for presentations which closes on 31 January. It is "Presented by Thomson Peterson's, PRNewswire, and The Council for Advancement and Support of Education ... All presentations will be made available on the event Web site at no charge to participants (with the exception of the live, Web/audio CASE Online Speaker Series events). Modeled after Global PR Blog Week 2.0 http://globalprblogweek.com/ *, Higher Ed BlogCon 2006 will focus on the use of blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, vblogs, and other digital tools in a range of areas in academe."
* There's some useful stuff on this if, like me, you're interested in marketing.

Photo by S. Webber: Bluebells, Hailsham, April 2005. It's a really grey day here, so I thought I remind myself spring is only a few months away...

Literacy and digital technologies: linkages

A recent Statistics Canada publication looks at ICT use and correlates it to educational and literacy levels. It is based on a survey (using the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey) of people in Italy, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Norway and Bermuda .
Veenhof, B., Clermont, Y. and Sciadas, G. (2005). Literacy and digital technologies: linkages and outcomes. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. http://www.statcan.ca/english/research/ 56F0004MIE/56F0004MIE2005012.pdf

Friday, January 06, 2006

Educational role of the university library

There is a new, interesting article by Thomas Hapke, Subject Librarian for Chemical Engineering, Hamburg University of Technology, which can be accessed on the web:

Hapke, T. (2005) "In-formation’ of Better Learning Environments - the Educational Role of the University Library." Liber, 15 (3/4). http://liber.library.uu.nl/cgi-bin/pw.cgi/articles/000145/index.html
(added on 10 Jan - Thomas has also put up a copy at

Photo by S. Webber: Thomas Hapke in Frankfurt, at the DGI conference he mentions in the paper - May 2005 (I was giving a talk there on information literacy)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Information literacy in the library & information curriculum

In 2005 I reported that I had been invited to be part of a group of European library and information school educators who were aiming to write a chapter about "Information literacy and learning" in the curriculum of library and information science (LIS) students. This was part of a European project looking at some core areas of the curriculum, especially in the light of the Bologna Process (harmonising certain aspects of higher education in the European Union). My Group was led by Sirje Virkus. There was a virtual discussion (involving a wider range of people) and then a 2-day conference in August.

The book has now been published virtually and can be downloaded in full as a pdf. The reference for our chapter is:
Virkus, S., Boekhorst, A. K., Gomez-Hernandez J.A., Skov, A. and Webber, S. (2005) “Information literacy and learning.” In: Kajberg, L. and Lørring, L. (Eds) European Curriculum: Reflections on Library and Information Science Education. pp65-83. Copenhagen: The Royal School of Library and Information Science.

On the front cover is a photo of us all at the conference and I'm 3rd from the right in front, in brown, with Sirje just behind me and to the left.

ALA sessions

The American Library Association Midwinter conference is in San Antonio, USA and the ACRL Instruction Section’s Bright Ideas Roundtable Discussion will be held on 22 January at 4 - 5:30 p.m. It is entitled "Hello, anybody out there? How to improve outreach efforts and build positive relationships for your academic instruction program." More info at http://www.indiana.edu/~libinstr/ ACRL-MIS/brightIdeas2006.pdf There is also an Instruction Section Soiree on 20 January from 6 -7:30 pm at Durty Nelly's Irish Pub* "located on the Riverwalk adjacent to the Hilton Palacio del Rio." See also the ALA site at http://www.ala.org/
*Yes, that's right "Durty Nelly's Irish Pub".
Photo by S. Webber: Burano, Italy, Dec 2005.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Information literacy petition to Scottish Parliament: update

Previous blog entries urged readers to sign the Information Literacy petition being presented to the Scottish Parliament. John Crawford now writes
"The Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament met on Wednesday 21st December, and I attended with Christine Irving and Chris Milne. In the end the petition attracted 710 signatures in total; 415 were from Scotland, 186 from England, 31 from Wales and the rest from other parts of the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who signed. It strengthened our hand greatly.

I made a short opening presentation in which I drew attention to the worldwide interest in the petition. We then answered questions for about half an hour and it was clear that the committee members were genuinely interested in the issue and had given it some thought. These included:
* What research and development activity is taking place
* Should information literacy be implicit or explicit in the curriculum
* Do librarians feel undervalued and are they just trying the raise their image
* Who will take responsibility for information literacy within the curriculum

After the questions there was some discussion about how to progress the issue and it was decided to put it out for comment to relevant trade unions, Universities Scotland, and relevant specialist bodies such as Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) and The Scottish Qualifications
Agency (SQA). It has to be said that Christine and I are in contact with many of these bodies already but a letter under the banner of the Scottish Parliament will carry a lot more weight than we can. The collated responses will come back to the Petitions Committee for further consideration."

Photo by S. Webber: Sunset on the Grand Canal, Venice, Dec. 2005.