Friday, December 28, 2007

More quality enhancement

Penny Beile just added a comment to my November 14th entry with some useful information - I'll highlight it in this main post as it might otherwiese get overlooked. This is a link to the entry and comment. Penny mentions the University of Central Florida's initiative in adopting "information fluency" as a SACS quality enhancement plan project. The website is at and contains their plan, objective, progress and resources. It also has some general information about information fluency. I found the list of 2007-8 projects particularly interesting (section: 2007-2008 IF Enhancement Grant Recipients) - there might be ones of interest to academics here at Sheffield.

Penny also draws attention to Public Services Quarterly (vol 3, issues 1/2, 2007) which is also published (in that way Haworth have as The Teaching Library: Approaches to Assessing Information Literacy Instruction. The introduction, by editor Scott Walter, is "Telling the Story of the Teaching Library". There are 9 articles about assessment approaches in various North American institutions, including one about the University of Central Florida (assesssment in this case means assessment of student learning and evaluation of teaching programmes). Public Services Quarterly is a priced publication: you can find free abstracts on Haworth (the publisher's) website at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Crowd and betting ring, Lingfield Park racecourse, December 2007.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Information Literacy Network of the Gulf Region

Zayed University, Dubai, organised the First Information Literacy Network Professional Development Conference on December 8 and 9 2007. The programme (together with a list of participants in the Gulf IL network ) are the main items currently on the website of the recently formed Information Literacy Network of the Gulf Region, at The confrence included a focus on Web 2.0 and also a focus on case studies from the region. It will be interesting if presentations and proceedings become available.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Lingfield racecourse as the sun goes down, December 2007.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to all from the Information Literacy Weblog
Photo by Sheila Webber: the Christmas wreath I made this year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Learning Through Enquiry Alliance (LTEA) Conference

3rd Learning Through Enquiry Alliance (LTEA) Summer Conference takes place on 25-27 June 2008. This year the conference will be hosted by the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning (CILASS) at the University of Sheffield, UK. The deadline for abstracts for papers, workshops and symposia is 29 February 2008. One of the threads is information literacy. For more information, visit the conference website:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Frosty leaves, Sheffield, December 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

UNESCO-SALIS e-Learning Portal

The UNESCO-SALIS e-Learning Portal on information literacy for South Asia has been launched. There is a story about it here and the portal itself is at
Photo by Sheila Webber, Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan, 2005

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

e-content collections - opinion wanted!

Today, here's a guest post from Chris Armstrong (Information Automation Limited,
"Since OCLC declared about 3 or 4 years ago that ‘users are format agnostic’ and NetLibrary began adding forms of content other than e-books to its aggregation, there has been a growing trend towards ‘eContent’ and e-book aggregators have begun adding anything from journal articles (apparently randomly selected) to video into their
collections. Now (quoted in an article in Research Information by Siân Harris - ) “Springer’s eBooks are integrated on SpringerLink, as Ernst explained, ‘Researchers care if information is relevant and trustworthy, not whether it is in a book or a journal.’ Similarly, Wiley’s science and technology books are part of Wiley InterScience and Elsevier’s science and technology books are part of its ScienceDirect platform. ‘If researchers are looking for a specific topic on ScienceDirect they will be given results in journals and books, both the latest news in journals and the substantial body of reference in books,’ said Ellen de Groot, senior product manager for ScienceDirect at Elsevier”. Dave Nicholas (UCL) talks of ‘walled gardens’ of secure, high quality resources, each from a single trusted source.

"I have been fighting a rear-guard action against this reductionism with little effect. I feel that scholars do not search so vaguely, and are not helped by being presented with such an odd admixture of resources. I do recognise that it may be nice to have everything in one place, but since, for example, the journal articles in the mix do not represent a comprehensive or even near-comprehensive subject collection, this is not really much of an argument. I do not think that it is really helpful to libraries either.

"My reason for this posting on this blog is to try and collect some feelings from practitioners about whether vague collections of eContent are a ‘Good Thing’ or whether e-book aggregators should stick to e-books. In Information Literacy terms are users, scholars and readers being helped or disadvantaged by such supra-aggregation?"

If you have views, please do comment here!

Friday, December 14, 2007

CK V: correction

It turns out that the Creating Knowledge V cconference has put out the call for papers on its new website at
. Currently it says that the deadline is 31st December, but I've been told that this is likely to be extended into January 2008. A 500 word abstract has to be submitted. The main theme is: Information behaviour on the internet: challenges for libraries. Subthemes are:
Information behaviour (e.g. in different contexts; social, cognitive and psychological aspects; non-goaloriented information behaviour)
Educational challenges of libraries (e.g. Developing information literacy; information literacy in different contexts; joint projects and collaborators; learning environments on the net)
Technological and organizational challenges of libraries (e.g. Web 2.0, web 3.0 and the library; librarian/customer contacts on the net; establishing the library in new virtual environments)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blackberry leaves, Sheffield, December 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Teaching skills for Librarians

This is a one day course taking place on 28 February 2008, at the Frenchay Campus, University of West of England, Bristol, 10.00 - 4.30 pm.
"A key course aimed at building on your current experiences of teaching information skills in libraries and learning centres. Developing new skills and adapting to new learning environments is essential for increasing levels of information literacy amongst our users." Jo Webb (De Montfort University, Leicester), Chris Powis (University of Northampton)and Judith Stewart (University of West England, Bristol) lead the day. Contact: Hannah Rose ( for bookings and more details.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Weston Park and Firth Court, Sheffield, December 2007

LILAC conference update

Tara Brabazon,author of The University of Google: Education in a (post) information age has been announced as another keynote speaker at the 2008 LILAC conference taking place next March. The call for papers closes this Friday, and the early bird registration rate closes on 24th December.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


NordINFOLIT conference Creating Knowledge V takes place in Åbo, Finland 20-22 August 2008. The theme is Information behaviour on the Internet – challenges for the libraries. Subthemes are: Information behaviour; Educational challenges of the libraries;Technological and organizational challenges of the libraries
There is more information and, although the call for papers has not yet been published.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Anemones, autumn 2004, Sheffield.

Article in Information World Review

Daniel Griffin came up to Sheffield to interview me about information literacy a little while back, and the article has just appeared:
Griffin, D. (2007) "Is virtual a virtue in scholarship?" Information world review, (241) 36-38.
The article also includes some quotes from Andy Powell of Eduserv. Unfortunately they don't put the feature articles online. You can sign up for a free print subscription to the magazine if you are in the UK.

Added on 14 December - thanks to Andy and John for pointing out that the text of the article os reproduced in What PC at

Case studies wiki

A learning and teaching Case studies wiki has been started up at my University, the University of Sheffield. You may be particularly interested in the case study from the Town and Regional Planning Department, on their Information Literacy strategy but others may also be of interest e.g. the case study on First year podcasts: Drip feeding students information via RSS fe from a Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering. I am a CILASS (Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Science) Fellow this year and another Fellow (Brendan Stone, in the School of English) is coordinating a section, the CILASS IBL ideas bank.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Konstanz, Germany, November 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Librarian looks in Second Life

Ths is not really on topic, but as librarians read this blog, perhaps you will excuse an excursion into Image of the Librarian: specifically image of the librarian in Second Life. There is a thriving fashion industry in SL and I've been noting those designs which feature librarians. You will see a certain similarity between these three (in fact it wasn't until I put the pictures together that it ocurred to me that with two of them the similarity was VERY close, ahem. Anyway, despite the fact that I've NEVER seen a SL librarian look like this, the demure fantasy sterotype persists..... (brands are ICING (two pictures), Relika and First impressions)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Learn More

Through Stephen Abram's blog (http://stephenslighthouse.
) I found out about Learn more a series of short tutorial/articles being published as part of a blog of a US librarian: so far, avatar, flickr and youtube have been covered. See

Photo by Sheila Webber: Konstanz, Germany, November 2007.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Talk on IBL and SL

I have finally uploaded the presentation from last week to slideshare. This was the talk I gave at Strathclyde University on 29th November. The main focus was on Inquiry Based Learning: firstly I talked about what it was and how it was different from problem based learning (since the starting and/or finishing point are less fixed than with PBL).

I moved on to talk about the Centre for Inquiry Based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS), which is based at Sheffield University, with some examples of some modules that have carried out IBL activities with CILASS support. I mentioned the level 1 module Inquiry in Information Management (new last year), where I am part of the teaching team, and in particular I talked about the activity in Second Life with my first year Information Literacy class. The stage the students have reached now is interviewing Second Life residents about their information behaviour, by the way. The presentation is at

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Online Conference

I'm not attending the Online conference currently taking place in London, but it's being blogged by others, of course. I was particularly interested in the perspective of Roo Reynolds, someone from outside the core information field (he is with IBM, as a metaverse evangalist : a phrase I feel no shame in using now as I think I'm one too). Reynolds has written a very detailed posting about some of Tuesday's sessions at You can also find Karen Blakeman's presentation Searching without Google on her blog at and various people are blogging on the conference and exhibition on the Information Today blog: I used to go to Online every year (for about 20 years, ahem) but now I haven't for a couple of years and I think I'm now OK with participating vicariously. Next year they ought to have a Second Life track (I mean in SL): I was going to suggest it this year, but too much work already.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Konstanz, Germany, November 2007.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Political Web 2.0

Searcher's free article this month is an indepth look at the way the runup to the US elections is being covered on the web; in particular there are detailed tables of the kinds of media and channels that presidential hopefuls are using. Quote: "You know blogs have come a long way when all the Democratic candidates agree that, if elected, they will have an official White House blogger." The homepage for the Nov/Dec issue is
Photo by Sheila Webber: Beech tree, Sheffield, December 2007.