Wednesday, December 27, 2006

ANZIIL symposium

Details of ANZIIL's next symposium, on 29 January at the University of Woollongong, Australia, are on the web at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Oberlaa's window, Vienna, December 2006.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

A happy Christmas to all from the Information Literacy Weblog.

Photo: the Christmas wreath I made this year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Anjos Biblio

There is another useful site from Julio Anjos, who already produces Info Lit World News: this is Bibliorandum, which gives the latest additions to e-print archives in the information field:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Ivy, Sheffield, November 2006.

Engineering IL presentations

The website of the conference (June 2006) of the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Education has some information-literacy related powerpoints and posters e.g. The Literate Engineer: Infusing Info Lit Skills throughout an Engineering Curriculum, Info Lit and Learning Outcome Analysis of Freshman Engineering Course

Photo by Sheila Webber: Calatrava Bridge, Bilbao, October 2006.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Articles from ALIA conference

Sorry for the pre Christmas pause - have been on holiday in Vienna. Hereis something I found earlier . I mentioned the new librarians' conference a little while back, it took place at the start of the month. Papers are already archived with ALIA e-prints:

Blanchard, Libbie and Keleher, Jo (2006) "Federated Searching: Is the death toll sounding for Information Literacy? Do we really want to "Google" our libraries?" . In Proceedings ALIA New Librarians' Symposium 2006, The John Niland Scientia Building, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Paul, Lisa (2006) "Librarian as Lecturer: how information literacy is paving the way for librarians to be integrated into student’s learning with advantages for both the student and your career." In Proceedings ALIA New Librarians' Symposium 2006, The John Niland Scientia Building, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

There are also papers and powerpoints linked from the conference site itself at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Sydney Opera House, June 2004.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Netskills workshops

Netskills are running more workshops in the UK in 2007, at Nottingham University, in January 2007. They are: Communication and Collaboration for e-Learning; Problem Based e-Learning; Effective e-Learning with Moodle; Information Skills: Is Google Enough?; Blogs, Wikis & Social Networking; Surviving Web Overload. See for full details.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Swan, Blackheath pond, November 2006.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Farewell to Yazdan

On a personal note, today Yazdan Mansourian returns to Iran, his homeland. The photo shows him with my co-supervisor of Yazdan's PhD, Nigel Ford (once again I prove that I am better at photographing flowers than people). Yazdan has also been a good teaching assistant on my information literacy and business information classes and recently (as noted on this blog) contributed to lectures as well, so he will be missed! However, we still have papers to write together, including ones about how a key model from his research (on information visibility) can be used in information literacy education.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Recording & blogging talks

Yesterday (Tuesday) rather than blogging I posted a comment on Brian Kelly's blog entry about Being blogged at an event. I won't reproduce the comments, but the entry stimulates a whole raft of thoughts about: copyright; politeness; attention; & approaches to teaching & presenting. Do people mind being faced with an audience of people apparently immersed in their laptops? Should we, in fact, be planning for how we can help students record their thoughts and our sayings in different ways? (note taking is a skill that many people don't seem to have by the time they come to university).

Do we need to be saying more about rights & permissions at the start of talks and lectures, since it is increasingly easy for students and audience members to be taking recordings and sharing them with friends or on blogs and youtube? If people record a whole session, which as far as I'm concerned would often include other discussion and presentation from students, do people realise that everyone who contributes has intellectual property rights? Unsurprisingly, Graham Cornish, who talked to students here about copyright issues yesterday, made some clear statements about the rights and permissions associated with the powerpoint he presented. Graham was with the British Library as their copyright guru for many years, and now he works freeklance; his website is By the way, a useful site for UK copyright is

I would see knowledge and thought about such issues as being part of information literacy, and obviously many of the IL frameworks list ethical and legal issues as part of IL. One thing that struck me during Graham's talk is the need to be clear about the differences between students infringing copyright and students plagiarising, as I think it is possible to confuse the two if you don't go into enough depth about copyright. Although intellectual property is often seen as a daunting area, I have found that students may actually be interested in exploring it, especially where it relates to topical issues such as downloading music and uploading videos.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Uni campus, Dec 2006. Not sure if this photo works or not.

Library 2.0 generator

A while ago I mentioned the Web 2.0 bullshit generator. Dave Pattern has thoughtfully created the Library 2.0 generator. This has layers of meaning, since for people who know little about Library 2.0 it nicely confirms all your prejudices by juxtaposing fancy jargon with names you don't recognise, whilst for the Library 2.0 cogniscenti it provides amusing counterpoints of names and 2.0-isms. Plus you feel cool for recognising the words and names. I didn't recognise every single word/name, but enough to feel cool. I will pick out "podcast Lorcan Dempsey using facets". Dave has even put an artefact in a Second Life library that you touch to generate a Library 2.0-ism, and you can't get much more Library 2.0 than that. See:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Pathway by the Information Commons ("more than a library, more than a study space, more than an IT centre") building site, November 2006.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Podcasts on information

I came across a whole academic class-worth of podcasts from the the University of California at Berkeley (I know I came across this resource via another blog - but can't currently remember which one! When I've traced it back, I'll make an acknowledgement). The class is called History of Information and it covers topics of great interest to anyone concerned in information science and the information landscape. Most of the lectures are from Paul Duguid, of the Social life of information fame. I've only listened to some snippets so far, but intend to listen to some of them properly. Sessions include ones on intellectual property, information work, information economy etc. As you might imagine, one of the lectures I sampled was on Internet and Information Literacy. However, I think he is unaware that there is actually a concept "information literacy" already, since he seems to be talking about other things (interesting though those other things are). On the other hand, perhaps I should listen to all the talk before commenting ;-)

My only pedagogic comment would be that the lecture seems to dominate this class - but that's useful from a podcasting perspective (much more difficult to capture sessions with lots of class discussion and interaction without more sophisticated sound setup). The page from which you can listen or download is

Photo by Sheila Webber: Hawthorn Terrace, Sheffield, November 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another take on the doctors google story

Thanks to Vivienne Bernath for emailing me about another story on the "research" that showed that Doctors might find Google useful for diagnosing patients. It's in the Australian newspaper The Age and the principal reason for linking to it is really the photograph....
Reuters and AFP. (2006) "For rare diseases just try Google." The Age, 10 November.

Friday, December 08, 2006

LILAC earlybird registration

Earlybird rates are avialble for registration for the LILAC conference until December 31st, 3 day rate:£295.00 - plus vat : go to

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Intute updates

Intute has released a number of new Internet tutorials for the Social Sciences, to add to the updates to Arts and Humanities tutorials a couple of months ago They can all be found in the Virtual Training Suite at Social Sciences tutorials updated: Internet Business Manager; Internet for Business Studies ; Internet Economist ; Internet for Education; Internet for Government and Politics; Internet for International Relations; Internet for Lawyers; Internet for Social Policy; Internet for Social Statistics; Internet Social Worker. Udpated Arts/Humanities tutorials are: Internet Archaeologist; Internet for Historians; Internet for Modern Languages ; Internet for Performing Arts; Internet for Religious Studies; Internet Philosopher.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Taken on the magical boat trip by the Goteborg Archipelago during the 2004 phenomenography conference.

Conference presentation

Here is the pdf of the presentation that Bill and Stuart presented at the Phenomenography conference in Hong Kong today: Further reflections on the phenomenographic team research process. As the title implies, it is probably of interest mainly to qualitative researchers! We were reflecting on the impact of working as a team (rather than e.g. as a lone researcher, or in a hierarchical way) on the analysis process. We used an account of team working from another research, Bowden, as a point of comparison. We intend writing this up as a paper. Looking back again to the 2004 phenom. conference in Sweden, above is a picture taken by Bill which shows me (right) and Stuart (left) enjoying the coffee break whilst fellow delegates debate the finer points of phenomenography.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Phenomenography conference

On Thursday Bill Johnston and Stuart Boon will be presenting a talk that I have co-authored with them, at the Phenomenography Special Interest Group workshop in Hong Kong. This event happens every couple of years , and we were all able to go the last one in Goteborg in 2004 (Stuart and Bill are pictured outside Goteborg University on the right), but unfortunately I couldn't get to Hong Kong this time ;-( Our talk is called Further reflections on the phenomenographic team research process, so we are looking at how we worked as a team, particularly in the analysis phase (of our project on UK academics' conceptions of teaching information literacy). Great names in phenomenography are there (e.g. Ference Marton), and there are also participants who may be familiar from this blog and elsewhere e.g. Christine Bruce, Mandy Lupton and Sylvia Edwards. In case you don't know, phenomenography is a research approach which it is valuable to use if you are trying to identify variation in people's way of experiencing or conceiving of a phenomenon.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Birmingham Re-Usable Materials (BRUM) Project

The Birmingham Re-Usable Materials (BRUM) Project aims to "develop 15 electronic re-usable learning objects (RLOs) to aid student's information skills then explore academics' and students' perception and use of the learning objects as they are embedded into the curriculum." There is a website to host the learning objects at and a blog at A week or so ago they said they were "interested in hearing from anyone who is currently undertaking any similar projects particularly those involving working closely with academics to embed training." Nancy Graham, or Ann-Marie James,

This was one of the projects supported by the Eduserv Foundation as part of their Information Literacy funding programme. The others to receive funding were Christine Irving and John Crawford (Glasgow Caledonian) for their work on an information literacy framework; Kingston Hospital NHS Trust on behalf of the E-learning Group which aims to develop an Information literacy learning tool for healthcare staff; and Netskills, to develop two workshops for the school sector.

Photo by Sheila Webber: The Sage (large building) and The Baltic, dusk, Newcastle, November 2006.

Fly the web (again)

Just discovered Dave Pattern's blog at (a mixture of automation e.g. a post on "export from the OPAC to and LibraryThing", and Alfred Hitchcock) and also a couple of photos taken during my talk (Dave was a speaker at the event, see below). It reminded me that Brian Kelly had suggested tagging things to do with the event in a standard way. I'm not yet using the beta features on Blogger, though....

Photo by Sheila Webber: dusk on the Tyne (photoshopped), Nov 2006.

Monday, December 04, 2006

More new literacies

Thanks to Dave Parkes for alerting me to a post at Findability which talks about a digital media and learning initiative to help determine how digital technologies are affecting young people's behaviour ( and a white paper, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture in which Jenkins, the author, proposes eleven new skills or literacies... I approached the latter rather sceptically, and still think there's a certain amount of old-wine-new-bottles going on, but some of the explanations of the "new literacies" are interesting (concerning play, remixing etc.).

Photo by Sheila Webber: part of "One hundred books" by Stephen Hurrel, Leeds Metropolitan University, Nov 2006.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blogs and blogging in libraries

This was the title of the presentation I gave at the Fly the web event mentioned in the previous post. Since Dave Pattern had just made everyone a blogger through the practical exercise in the previous session, I didn't have to spend time explaining what a blog was! However, I did identify characteristics which I think lead to blogs being (quoting from my powerpoint) "Good for news, things with timelines, developing ideas; Not so good as a reference tool or to foster ongoing discussion on a range of topics." I drew a disctinction between individual bloggers and organisational bloggers. I talked about my experiences of blogging (as an "individual" blogger - it's certainly not part of my job description, and it isn't hosted at Sheffield either, now).

I identified four areas in which blogging can be useful for libraries, and gave some examples of blogs of different kinds. I also highlighted some management type issues. Finally I identified some resources for library blogging: articles, wikis, search tools etc. For example sites that are useful for searching library blogs are:
Anjos, J. Infolitworld news: blogs.
Bradley, P. Librarian Weblogs. (Google custom search, 25 blogs)
Bradley, P. (2006) Librarian weblogs. Pageflakes.
(has search options for Google & Liszenembedded)
Libworm. (Searches 1400 RSS feeds)
Liszen. (searches 500 library blogs, Google custom search)

My PowerPoint is available in pdf format at:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Newcastle road bridge, Nov 2006.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Fly the web

I'm blogging from the CILIP Universities College and Research Libraries seminar Fly the web: power to the user, which is focusing on Web 2.0 applications. Everyone else is creating a blog in blogger in a hands-on session, but I thought I would sneak into this instead and mention some useful insights so far. Brian Kelly (UKOLN) gave the introduction, and he has posted his material at It includes his PowerPoint and some bookmarks. He gives an introduction to the concept and some of the tools and application areas. I won't try and answer the question "what is Web 2.0?" in this entry, as he's done that already!

Things I noted down include: that Web 2.0 is essentially a marketing (rather than technical) term; the importance of as a search tool for blogs; how Northumbria University is using Google maps in a neat way to customise maos for particular occasions or events. Also he highlighted the use of the tag "embarrassing" in (the place where you can create a catalogue for your books online - mentioned in one of my postings a while back) where people use the tag to flag up books they are embarrased about owning!

The session I'm in at the moment is being run by Dave Pattern (pictured above), Library Systems Manager at the University of Huddersfield. He gave a nice introduction and again has posted his presentation at together with a very useful set of links. He's actually started talking again, so I'd better stop blogging!