Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Journal of information literacy is launched!

Today saw the launch of volume 1 issue 1 of the Journal of Information Literacy, a new open-access (free on the web!) journal that focuses on all aspects of information literacy. I am the Editor and here is my Editorial. It accepts refereed articles and "articles from practice" (shorter articles from practitioners discussing their experiences, often experiences of teaching information literacy). There are also three book reviews in the first issue and the articles are as follows (the first two are refereed):

An evaluation of an information literacy training initiative at the University of Dar es Salaam. By E. Wema and M. Hepworth.
Using online collaborative learning to enhance information literacy delivery in a Level 1 module: an evaluation. By G. Walton, J. Barker, M. Hepworth, and D. Stephens.
Show them how to do it: using Macromedia Captivate to deliver remote demonstrations. By S. Patalong, and O. Llewellyn.
Transform your training: practical approaches to interactive Information Literacy teaching. By R. Jones, K. Peters, and E. Shields.
Online information literacy learning for nurses: exploration of an RCN learning area. By C. Lynch and A. Perrett.
The Information Literacy Resource Bank: re-purposing the wheel. By C. Jackson and R. Mogg.
Embedding Information skills into the Year nine PSHE/ Citizenship curriculum at Malvern Girls' College: integrating learning styles with pupil research. By R. Jones.

The Journal of information literacy is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ambleside, Lake District, Jan 2007.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Creating an impact: enhancing teaching to large groups

On 16 February 2007 at St William's College, York, UK, there is an event for law librarians: Creating an impact: enhancing teaching to large groups. "Law librarians are frequently called upon to teach to large groups of students. The main aim of this event is to look at ways in which large groups can be managed in a way that enhances both the teaching and learning experience. In addition there will be a session on overcoming the perils of speaking in public. The day will conclude with a briefing on the OSCOLA training materials and a roundup of developments in e-learning technologies."
Non-BIALL members: £150.00; BIALL members: £120.00
More info at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Stockghyll, rivulet , Lake District, Jan 2007.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

ACRL conference

Photo by Sheila Webber: Roast squashThe Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference takes place March 29 - April 1st in Baltimore, USA. There are various Information Literacy talks and events e.g. the workshop Tossing a Life Preserver! Using Characteristics of Best Practices to Assess Your Information Literacy Program and the session Rocking the Boat & Catching the Wave: A Gaming Solution for Library Instruction ("Because computer games are popular among “millennials,” University of Cincinnati librarians created an online interactive game that actively engages students in learning about plagiarism. The panel will discuss the creation of the game, share assessment results and will demonstrate it.") Information is at:

There is also a conference wiki

Photo by Sheila Webber: Roast squash, filmgrain effect, Jan 2007.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Experience of learning

A seminal work is The experience of learning, which appeared in two editions. There were imporatnt contributions from Entwistle, Hounsell, Marton, Dahlgren, Laurillard etc. Since it is now out of print in both versions, they have put it free on the web. Their suggested reference is:
Marton, F., Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N., (eds.) (2005) The Experience of Learning: implications for teaching and studying in higher education. 3rd (Internet) edition. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Shrine in Hakone, Japan, July 2005.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Netskills Schools Information Literacy Projects

I forgot to report that Netskills announced a month or so ago that they had published final reports on two projects, one on a programme of workshops Exploring and Deterring Plagiarism in Schools. There is a report and a description of the workshop.
Similarly, Netskills first did an online survey on teachers' information use, followed up by interviews, and then ran two pilot workshops on Information Skills for Teachers, aimed at secondary school teachers (I think that would be "K12" in the USA). Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Plane trees at dusk, Blackheath, December 2006.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shock of the social

My colleagues Phil Levy, Andrew Cox and Peter Stordy and I have had a paper accepted on The use of blogs in inquiry based learning at a one-day conference. The rest of the programme looks interesting too, but unfortunately I have a faculty teaching quality committee that day so it looks like I won't be able to go ;-( but I know my colleagues will do a good job.

The Shock of the Old 6: The Shock of the Social at Said Business School, University of Oxford, March 22 2007. "Shock 6 will explore the issues arising from the rise of social networking tools, Web 2.0 software and related collaborative technologies, and how best to make use of these innovative tools in teaching, learning and research."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Near Higham Hall, Lake District, Jan 2007.

LILAC programme available

The programme for the LILAC (Information Literacy) conference to be held in Manchester, UK, 26 - 28 March 2007 is now online, and there is a booking form online as well. Ross Todd and Christine Bruce are among the keynote speakers and I am speaking at the conference as are some of my colleagues at Sheffield University.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter hills, Ambleside, Jan 2007.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Inquiry-based learning (2)

I've just read the first posting on the CILASS blog about the CILASS academy that I attended last week. The posting is here and it has a group photo taken at the front of the building. Included are me, and also my colleagues from Information Studies, Andrew Cox and Philippa Levy (Phil is also Academic Director of CILASS, so that takes up most of her time currently), and Peter Stordy from the Library. My photo here is of sheep near Higham Hall.

One of the "tangible" outcomes I had resulted from a pair activity in which I developed more fully a piece of assessment for a forthcoming Business Information Module. I have done away with the exam, and in addition to the existing coursework (an analytical reprt on a company, together with a short reflection on the student's information literacy in carrying out the work) each student will also be doing a short, critical media report. I had already decided I wanted the students to compare news reports about their chosen company with what the company said about itself. Marie Kinsey (a lecturer in Journalism) helped me to develop my idea further, so now I will be telling the students to focus on a financial announcement (annual accounts or interims) and specific types of media. This activity is already supported by various elements in the lecture sessions and labs, but I will further tweak the curriculum in order to encourage students to prepare themselves and gather data.

Evaluation of information literacy questions

An interesting document on the Higher Education Academy site:
Stubbings, R. and V. Franklin (2006) Overview of the HEA Development Fund project: Critical evaluation of information literacy questions used to support the Department of Politics, International Relations & European Studies (PIRES). Information and Computer Science Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy.

"Loughborough University Library and the Department of Politics International Relations & European Studies (PIRES) wished to enhance second year student information literacy skills, so that they were able to produce good quality research dissertations. To achieve this, information literacy skills were embedded into the EUB608: Research Methods module and was delivered via the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), called Learn. The student understanding of the principles of information searching was assessed using computer aided assessment (CAA)."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Near Higham Hall, Lake District, Jan 2007, lightly photoshopped.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lifelong learning in Scotland

Photo by Sheila Webber: Jemima Puddleduck and friends
A consultation exercise is taking place in Scotland on lifelong learning. Themes covered include: Engagement with Employers; Flexible Learning Opportunities, Entitlement and Discretionary Support; Information, Advice and Guidance; Community Learning and Development; Journeys into and through Learning. There are some questions suggested, but comments outside these questions are welcomed. The closing date for responses is 12 February 2007.
Lifelong Learning - Building on Success: a discussion of specific issues related to Lifelong Learning in Scotland.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Jemima Puddleduck and friends, Lake Windemere, Jan 2007.

eIFL Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues for Libraries

Photo by Sheila Webber: Stockghyll waterfall, Ambleside, January 2007
The eIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) Handbook on Copyright and Related Issues for Libraries has been published. "Sponsored by the UNESCO Information for All Programme, this is a practical guide to topical legal questions affecting the information work of libraries in the fast moving digital environment. Each topic is described briefly, the main policy aspectsfor libraries are outlined, and there are links to library policystatements for further reading. Where there are special issues for developing or transition countries, these are covered." The complete Handbook, as well individual chapters (available as web pages or in pdf), can be downloaded from the eIFL website:

eIFL is interesting in itself: it arose out of a Soros foundation initiative and its members are "local library consortia that are in charge of national licenses for e-resources", with an emphasis on Eastern & Central Europe and Africa.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Stockghyll waterfall, Ambleside, January 2007.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Inquiry-based learning

There has been a bit of a gap in blogging, because I have been at an "academy" organised by the Centre for Inquiry-Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences for some of the people involved in CILASS e.g. academics from departments (archaeology, English, education etc) who have been implementing CILASS projects. The academy was held at Higham Hall in the Lake District, which is lovely (see fire assembly point, right & nearby field, below), but there was no internet access (broadband had gone down) so my dreams of blogging were doomed. You had to go to the end of the drive for mobile coverage too.

Anyway, it was avery stimulating event, with about 25 participants (a nice number) and two excellent guest facilitators/speakers in Angela Brew and Carolin Kreber. One thing this kind of event can do is remind you of the student experience e.g.

1) I realise I misunderstood the "homework" we were asked to do, writing about an experience of collaboration. I thought it meant you were collaborating to teach, whereas in fact it was supposed to be the students collaborating to learn. Fortunately I didn't look a complete idiot, since my example was an exercise in which students design, respond to and critique a questionnaire (in order to learn about questionnaire design) and there was student colloaboration as well as teacher collaboration (the description is here if you are interested).

2) In one of the first exercises (which was something like "write down one thing which inquiry-based learning means to you" on a post-it note, then swap it round til you don't know whose you've got, then put the post it on the board reading out the statement loudly) my mind went a complete blank. Help! I hadn't got my head round it and everyone else was swapping! Would anyone notice I hadn't handed round a note and didn't post anything?! (they didn't)

I think it is salutary to be in this sort of position periodically, to remind one of real anxieties first hand! More about the positive experiences anon.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Request for workplace partner

Photo by Sheila Webber: Dusk, Couthurst Road, Blackheath
I am passing on this request from John Crawford: "I am interested in undertaking a small(ish) scale study/ies on the use of information literacy in the workplace and problems encountered in promoting the understanding of it. It is part of the project Information literacy, the link between secondary and tertiary education. See
I am looking for partners in the work situation either in not for profit or commercial organisations and would welcome outline expressions of interest from workplace librarians or people with appropriate contacts. If it proves possible to recruit a partner(s) it would then be a case of seeking funding and prospective partners would have to be prepared to be named in Applications. "
Please contact Dr. John Crawford , Library Research Officer, Glasgow Caledonian University,
Room 302, (3rd floor) 6 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB . Email: jcr@gcal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Tree & telephone wires, dusk, Couthurst Road, Blackheath, December 2006.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

IL events at Staffordshire

fiacre, Vienna
There are two Information Literacy Community of Practice at Staffordshire University (UK) events coming up:
28 February afternoon: The speakers are Lucy McKeever (Netskills, Newcastle University) discussing the work Netskills have undertaken on the JISC i-skills project and Julie Adams (Learning Support, Information Services, Staffordshire University) discussing approaches to integrating IT into Learning Support.

18th April afternoon: Jo Parker (Information Literacy Unit Manager, Open University) discussing the rationale behind the Open University's new module TU120 Beyond Google and the emerging tools which students are now encountering in their everyday lives to deliver the IL message, and Andrea Hatton (Learning Support, Information Services, Staffordshire University) discussing how we learn about the learner and exploring the way in which we teach information literacy.

Go to for more details
Phot by Sheila Webber: Matched greys drawing a fiacre, Vienna, December 2006.

Article on blogs

Ramos, M. and Piper, P.S. (2006) "Letting the grass grow: grassroots information on blogs and wikis." Reference Services Review, 34 (4), 570 - 574.
"The purpose of this paper is to illustrate some of the major uses and limiting factors of blogs and wikis, as well as the ways that these resources can be used by librarians and educators."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Health information literacy

Photo by Sheila Webber: Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna

Thanks to Michael Lorenzen for bringing this paper to my attention: it is available full text on the web. Ivanitskaya, L, O'Boyle, I and Casey, A. (2006) "Health Information Literacy and Competencies of Information Age Students: Results From the Interactive Online Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA) ." Journal of medical internet research, 8(2).

"The Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA) is based on the [ACRL] Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, and it measures proficiency in obtaining health information, evaluating the quality of health information, and understanding plagiarism. [...] This study aimed to measure the proficiency of college-age health information consumers in finding and evaluating electronic health information; to assess their ability to discriminate between peer-reviewed scholarly resources and opinion pieces or sales pitches; and to examine the extent to which they are aware of their level of health information competency." 308 students participated. As well as being asked some multiple choice questions and doing some short exercsies, the students were asked "How do you rate your research skills?" . "Most respondents (84%) believed that their research skills were good, very good, or excellent. Students’ self-perceptions of skill tended to increase with increasing level of education. Self-reported skills were weakly correlated with actual skill level, operationalized as the overall RRSA score..."

Photo by Sheila Webber: ground of Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, December 2007.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Recent articles, mostly academic libraries

Stevens, C. and Campbell, P. (2006) "Collaborating to connect global citizenship, information literacy, and lifelong learning in the global studies classroom." Reference Services Review, 34 (4), 536 - 556.
"The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the concepts of lifelong learning, information literacy, and global citizenship, making explicit connections among them via theories of social capital. It then presents a model of librarian-faculty collaboration that relies upon information literacy as a framework for fostering lifelong learning and global citizenship." (I thought this paper was particularly interesting, and it describes the tasks and assignments in some detail.)

Boyd, J. et al (2006) "The One-Box Challenge: Providing a Federated Search That Benefits the Research Process." Serials review, 32 (4), 247-254.
Five US librarians briefly describe comment on their institution's implementation of federated searching, including some observations about the relationship with information literacy.

Harrison, J. and Rourke, L. (2006) "The benefits of buy-in: integrating information literacy into each year of an academic program." Reference Services Review, 34 (4), 599 - 606.
"The purpose of this paper is to describe the integration of information literacy into each year of a Bachelor of Arts and Science (BAS) program at the University of Guelph, Ontario, and to explain the role of librarian mentors in this program. "

Jackson, L. and Hansen, J (2006) "Creating collaborative partnerships: building the framework." Reference Services Review, 34 (4 ), 575 - 588.
"The paper seeks to explore the nature of a collaborative relationship among school and academic librarians in order to enhance the information literacy skills of students as they matriculate to college ... [it] discusses collaboration among school librarians in Madison County, Illinois and one academic library."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

5 things about me

While I was away, I was blog tagged by Brian Kelly. There is a meme going round where bloggers give 5 things that people are not likely to know about them. Although it’s several weeks now since I was tagged by Brian, I can’t resist joining in.
1) I was born in Essex, and am therefore an Essex girl. For Australian visitors, Essex Girl means much the same as I believe a “Sheila” does in Australia. However, I attempt to subvert the stereotype by wearing long skirts and sometimes dress head to toe in black (see photo, by the Strauss memorial in the Stadtpark).
2) I am a fan of Babylon 5, and not only have the TV series 1-5 (i.e. all of them) on DVD but am collecting the script books as they come out.
3) I played Anne Frank in an amateur production of the play about her story, shortly after leaving university.
4) The last play I saw was Grillparzer’s “Konig Ottokar’s Gluck und Ende” in the Burgtheater in Vienna at Christmas (just showing off, there ;-)
5) There appears to be a sort of “5 things” competition going on about who did the first internet course in the UK (see Brian's, Phil Bradley’s and Karen Blakeman’s "5 things" blog entries). Actually I can’t compete there, as I did my first talk about Business Sources on the Internet in 1994 and I don’t think I started doing courses on business sources til the following year, but I think I might have had the first UK site with annotated links to Business Information Sources on the Internet (ftp in 94 and a website in 95). In its heyday (it is dead now) it was listed in the Rough Guide to the Internet & the Economist guide to the internet, as well as being on the initial "Business" page in the Yahoo! directory. Happy days.

One is supposed to tag other bloggers, and I choose 5 information literacy-ish people: Yazdan Mansourian, Thomas Hapke, Michael Lorenzen, Moira Bent and Julio Anjos (that is his personal blog in Portuguese, he has information literacy sites including

Friday, January 12, 2007

Horizon report

Thanks to Dave Parkes, Head of Learning Support, Information Services at Staffordshire for alerting me to "an interesting report from NMC and Educause which celebrates the need for Information literacy. The annual Horizon Report is a collaborative effort between the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). Each year, the report identifies and describes six areas of emerging technology likely to have a significant impact on teaching, learning, or creative expression in higher education within three adoption horizons: a year or less; two to three years; four to five years.

The areas of emerging technology cited for 2006 are: Social computing; Personal broadcasting; Cell-phone-accessible educational content and services; Educational gaming; Augmented reality and enhanced visualization; Context-aware environments and devices."

He was delighted to highlight the paragraph (in the "Critical challenges" section): "Information literacy should not be considered a given, even among "net-gen" students. The skills of critical thinking, research, and evaluation of content, not to mention creative demonstration of mastery or knowledge, are needed more than ever; yet these very skills are underdeveloped in many students. Techniques for finding and assessing relevant information from the array of resources available both on- and offline are crucial, especially in light of the rising trend toward collaborative work. "

New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. (2006) The horizon report: 2006 edition. Austin: NMC.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter moon through tree, Couthurst Road, Blackheath, December 2006.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Name Assessment Exercise: a proposal

[Some whimsy for British readers] In UK universities we have something called the Research Assessment Exercise, and teaching quality assessments too. These cause a tremendous amount of angst & breakdown for staff and cost huge amounts of money and time. I just had a brilliant idea that would cut all of these down to a minimum, which would be to replace them all with a Name Assessment Exercise, whereby a Department gets points for having staff members with the same name. For example we have 4 Peters, 3 Andrews, 2 Sheilas and 2 Pauls. I might score the Department some bonus points for having another colleague with the same initials as me. You would achieve a top score by having everyone in the department with the same name (cross-gender names like Chris or Phil, say, which would enable one also to maintain equal opps). This would mean that staff recruitment costs would be cut, as obviously someone with a name that was going to give the dept bonus points would become the lead candidate, and you wouldn't have to bother with references, presentations and so on.

It would personalise the department e.g. we might become known as Peter the information or (in deference to the Head of Department, in this case my colleague Professor Sheila Corrall) Sheila the library. Academic plans, another bane of one's life, would become so much simpler e.g. "Recruit more staff called Peter" (rather than a load of stuff about enhancing the student learning experience and engaging in cutting-edge research). There would have to be some regulation forbidding changing your name by deed poll immediately prior to the NAE, of course. If any reader from the Higher Education Funding Council for England wishes to give me large amounts of cash for researching the feasibility of this option, I will be happy to oblige....

Photo by Sheila Webber: Johann Strauss' grave, Vienna, Dec 2006. He would of course count as "John" in the NAE.

IL in German academic libraries

A resource I'd missed on the German information literacy site is a full text Masters dissertation.
Hütte, M. (2006) Zur Vermittlung von Informationskompetenz an Hochschulbibliotheken: Entwicklung, Status quo, und Perspektiven. [Facilitating information literacy in academic libraries: development, status quo and perspectives.] Köln: Fakultät für Informations- und Kommunikationswissenschaften, Fachhochschule Köln. Linked from

The dissertation is in German, but the English abstract reads: "The present Master’s Thesis deals with information literacy in academic libraries. Following the description of theoretic principles, development and current state of discussion in the US are compared to the situation in Germany, drawing on important surveys, strategic papers and models. The main distinctions between both countries are the different historic initial conditions and the varying general frameworks. The current practice of information literacy in university libraries and libraries of universities of applied sciences in the state of Northrhine- Westphalia is explored within the empiric part by website analysis. It shows that manifold activities to enhance information literacy can be identified, whereas the usability of the websites can be improved. The final part oft the survey outlines possibilities for further improvement of general information literacy in Germany."

Photo by Sheila Webber: Beethoven House in Heiligenstadt, Vienna, Austria, December 2006.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Articles on academics' perceptions

Stadtpark, ViennaThanks to Chris Armstrong for highlighting this article from Claire McGuinness' doctoral work:
McGuinness, C. (2006) "What faculty think: exploring the barriers to Information Literacy development in undergraduate education. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32 (6), 573-582.
Abstract: "This paper reports findings from a recent Irish-based study into faculty-librarian collaboration for information literacy (IL) development. Qualitative analysis of comments made by Sociology andCivil Engineering academics shows how entrenched beliefs and perceptions may adversely affect the potential for collaboration, and prevent the inclusion of information literacy in undergraduate curricula."

In checking this I also noticed:
Gullikson, S. (2006) "Faculty perceptions of ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education." Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32 (6), 583-592.
Abstract: "Faculty were asked how important for their students the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards'outcomes are, and when students should display the relevant skills. Faculty believe most of the Standards' outcomes are important but show little agreement on when students should acquire them."

Photo by Sheila Webber: Stadtpark, Vienna, Johann Strauss memorial in background, December 2006.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

ic3 submission deadline

The deadline for submissions to the Information: Interactions and Impact (i3) conference, 25 - 28 June 2007, at the The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland is 22nd January 2007. Preference will be given to papers which address two or more of the following conference themes: the quality and effectiveness of user/information interactions (e.g. information literacy); patterns of information behaviour in different contexts; impact of information or information services on people, organisations, communities and society (e.g. social, learning, cultural and economic outcomes of engagement with information). The conference website is at

Photo by Sheila Webber: I was using my bird-of-paradise umbrella today, bought in Australia in June. Here it is in its country of origin, pictured with some actual b-o-p flowers.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Teaching information skills

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) Centre for Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) together with the Engineering Subject Centre is running a workshop on Teaching information skills at the University of Northampton, UK, on 7thFebruary 2007. The workshop is aimed at librarians and information professionals who teach information literacy and is suitable for those in a new role with little or no previous experienceof teaching, as well those with more experience who want to enhance their teaching skills. As well as providing an opportunity to share good practice this workshop will showcase some of the projects being undertaken by a number of librarians who have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships. Speakers are Chris Powis, Jo Webb, Moira Bent and Gill Needham, with a workshop session "How does critical thinking fit into information literacy?" led by Ruth Stubbings. The event is free, too, so it looks very attractive! Go to
for more details.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Zeitgeisty or what: someone using a wireless laptop/camera for a video conversation in Weston Park, Sheffield this morning. Well, it IS a nicer background than an office. Bit cold, though.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

SCONUL web addresses

Since SCONUL redesigned its site a few months ago the web addresses for key publications have changed (I was just checking one I was citing). Here are the current web addresses of:

Peters, J. (ed) Learning outcomes for information literacy. London: HEA/SCONUL. pp22-30.

SCONUL (1999) Information skills in higher education: a SCONUL position paper. London: SCONUL.

The section which has the downloadable "7 Pillars of IL" graphic and other 7 Pillars material is at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Zemlinksy's grave (composer of the opera "The dwarf" etc), graveyard, Vienna, Austria, December 2006.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Indian workshop report

A 100 page document was published in December 2006, containing papers presented at a workshop held in India for information professionals providing services to disabled people. There is not actually so much focusing specifically on IL education for disabled persons, but some papers more generally on what IL and why it is important, material on services to the disabled, information about initiatives in India, papers on assistive technology and the relevance of IT to the lives of the disabled. The workshop was organised by the Society for the Advancement of Library & Information Science (SALIS), the Madras School of Social Work (MSSW) andUNESCO.

Organising Committee of the Workshop. (2006) Workshop on Information Literacy Competency Development for Library & Information Science Professionals and Special Educators (Southern-States): 6-10, Nov., 2006: Chennai, India. Paris: UNESCO.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Vienniese underground, Austria, December 2006.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Swedish dissertation on blogging

Thanks to the Swedish IL blog (see link on the right) for reference to a Swedish Masters dissertation on blogging in libraries in Sweden.
Swedman, Angelica. (2006). Bloggtider för bibliotek och bibliotekarier?: studie om bloggars användbarhet i bibliotekssektorn. Boras: Hogskolan i Boras.
It is in Swedish, but with an abstract in English "The purpose of the study is to examine the Web phenomenon: Weblogs, and their significance for a total of 11 Library Heads and librarians together with their view on the Weblog activity at each library connected Weblog, to get comprehension and new knowledge on the usability of Weblogs in the library sector ... From the result and analysis can be found that Weblogs serves a purpose as virtual arenas, where people can meet, communicate, discuss and exchange information along with networking. The Weblog is a complement to other information channels as for example Web, e-mail and intranet. Weblogs are used for the purposes of communication and information, for marketing and for pedagogical activities. My conclusion is that for libraries and librarians the Weblog activity means a new way of communication and dialog with the surrounding world. The Library Sector can make its activities come into sight and the librarians can inform and communicate with colleagues and users." The web address is

Photo by Sheila Webber: Gloriette, Vienna, Austria, December 2006.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Standards for teaching in lifelong learning sector

After a consultation process, in December 2006 LLUK published standards for those engaged in any type of teaching in the further education sector. They "describe, in generic terms, the skills, knowledge and attributes required of those who perform the wide variety of teaching and training roles undertaken within the sector with learners and employers." (pII) Five "domains" are identified, with standards for each domain: Domain A: Professional values and practice; Domain B: Learning and teaching; Domain C: Specialist learning and teaching; Domain D: Planning for learning; Domain E: Assessment for learning; Domain F: Access and progression.

This is obviously interesting for those in further education, but I think can also be of interest to other sectors. There is interest both for librarians (and information departments) considering what librarians need to know as teachers, and in terms of implications for curricula that librarians might be teaching into. Unfortunately the document does not seem to specifically identify librarians as people who sometimes have a teaching role, but it says that these standards apply to anyone who teaches. It identifies information skills as being part of Domain B (Learning and Teaching) so you would expect to see information skills incorporated into curricula for further education teachers. I think that Chris Armstrong had mentioned that there was input from the library and information sector to the consultation. The specific standards relating to information are (BK5.1 are the standrad numbers, in this case standard 5.1 relating to knowledge in domain B):

In terms of knowledge "Teachers in the lifelong learning sector know and understand:
"BK 5.1 The impact of resources on effective learning.
"BK 5.2 Ways to ensure that resources used are inclusive, promote equality and support diversity."
and in terms of progfessional practice "Teachers in the lifelong learning sector:"
"BP 5.1 Select and develop a range of effective resources, including appropriate use of new and emerging technologies.
"BP 5.2 Select, develop and evaluate resources to ensure they are inclusive, promote equality and engage with diversity." (p6)

Lifelong Learning UK (2206) New overarching professional standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector. London: LLUK.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Tree and telephone wires, dusk, Blackheath, December 2006.

Happy new year!

I'm just back at work, being horribly reminded of all the work I left to do "after Christmas"...

Looking back on 2006, interest in Information Literacy still seems to be growing, as does the concern about things I would see as being part of (or closely related to) information literacy e.g. media literacy. Nevertheless, there are still struggles to get, or keep, information literacy on the agenda in some institutions. What I find most depressing is when well-established, influential librarians are publically dismissive of information literacy and librarians' teaching role, and see the future just in repositories and other more depersonalised "backroom" roles (not that those roles aren't important, but they aren't the only ones in my view). Hopefully there will be a really positive time for information literacy in 2007!

Photo by Sheila Webber: Blackheath, December 2006.