Friday, August 28, 2009

IFLA Reports: Information Literacy logo session

This is the last long report from the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference taking place in Milan, Italy, but I'll be doing a few shorter ones e.g. of a couple of posters.

This was a session on Wednesday focusing on use of the international UNESCO/IFLA information literacy logo (shown here). This logo was identified through a competition and judged by an international panel (including me). The logo website is at and you can download it in various formats and with "information literacy" in several languages. The idea is that people worldwide start using it, so that awareness of information literacy grows, and people also find it useful as a simple logo for branding.
Linda Goff started by explaining how the logo was chosen and gave an example of how she was using it as part of a big poster she has up in her university. She then handed over to Jesus Lau who talked about How to brand and market information literacy with the information literacy logo. He and Linda have been developing a marketing toolkit for the logo. This is not yet available, but I will blog it when it is.
Jesus started by talking about marketing, and giving a short introduction to that. As a shortcut, I will link to my own website that introduces marketing. I haven't updated it for a while, so the links may not work, but the main thing is the pages on key marketing aspects, and those are still valid (and short!). So, if you don't know what marketing is, feel free to divert to at this point.
Jesus went on to talk more specifically about information literacy and marketing. He encouraged people to think of problems and objectives in terms of marketing e.g. segmenting your market according to their characteristics and needs, looking at the place of delivery and whether it meets requirements and expectations etc. He talked hrough stages of identifying needs, refining your information literacy "service" and communicating your message. I would add that you also need to think of educational aspects, when you start doing indepth information literacy work, as you may want to challenge and change ideas through your teaching (not just please people!)
Branding is particularly relevant for the information literacy logo. It means creating a strong connection between the logo, the marketing efforts and the IL "service" you provide. Branding needs to be consistent and persistent to be successful, so Jesus suggested putting it on business cards, banners, pens, flyers, website etc., so people recognise it and understand its meaning. There will be some templates in the toolkit that he is producing. Jesus talked about getting your promotional message right and using appropriate channels, including social media such as Twitter. He advocated using the mass media (e.g. using free opportunities, sending press releases and getting on local radio). Don't neglect also to publish anything appropriate in the Infolit global directory (

If many people use it internationally, theinformation literacy logo will make it easier to communicate about information literacy, including with people and organisations you want to influence. The goal is to make it internationally familiar like the "i" for information symbol.
There was then a session for people to exchange ideas about marketing using the logo. I was deliquent and was talking to people about other things (other information literacy things, I hasten to add). However I have used the logo; you can see it on this blog's home page and also on teh CILR Ning, it is on the Information Literacy in Second Life calendar and I used it on posters for the recent information literacy seminar. However, I realised that we haven't really used it inside my university.
Just a couple of ideas from other people at the session: A medical librarian putting forward the slogan "we save lives with information literacy"; using the logo to create awareness with administrators; another slogan "As to me, all I know is that what I want to know, I get from IL" (after Socrates); someone from Cote d'Ivoire talking about using it on material from a training session. I and Lisa Hinchliffe suggested on setting up an online shop on one of the internet stores, with information literacy branded t-shirts, bags etc. and we are going to see if we can do that (I think the issue will be working out an account that doesn't infringe some IFLA bye-law).
There was a call to translate the logo toolkit, and more translations of the phrase "information literacy" were gathered. I will also point to these when they go online.

Swedish book

I spent yesterday at the conference & writing to dissertation students and today I actually want to see a little of Milan, so I will wait til this evening to post some more conference entries - particularly one about the information literacy logo competition.
In the meantime, a new book has been published in Swedish.
Lindqvist, M. and Söderlind, P. (2009) Informationskompetens: En grundbok. Santerus Forlag. Price: 199 kr Swedish; ISBN: 978-91-7359-016-7: 244 pages.
More information in Swedish at and the authors' information literacy blog
and they also referred me to an English language interview about their ideas at
This last is worth reading even if you do not have good enough Swedish to read the book!
Photo by Sheila Webber: Working where you can at the conference centre (I sat on that bench to use my laptop too!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

IFLA reports: Libraries driving access to knowledge

Yesterday I attended the brainstorming session of the IFLA President-Elect, Ellen Tise (South Africa), on her presidential theme: Libraries driving Access to Knowledge (A2K). Each IFLA president introduces a theme, and in this case the development is supported by a working group, discussion sessions and other input from members. It is important since apart from the President taking action, normally the Presidential theme influences strategy and conference themes. And this in turn is important since IFLA is recognised as the international library body, so can have some impact on international organisations and policies, although it still has to lobby hard.
There was a presidential brainstorming session last year, and points Ellen drew from that were:
- “knowledge is foundational to all spheres of life;
- “knowledge is produced when information is absorbed, processed and internalised by individuals;
- “knowledge is critical for the growth of society.”
In terms of libraries, she identified a number of points, including that libraries are critical providers of information; have an important role to play in the creation of new knowledge and are a vital institution for creation, development and sustainability of knowledge societies
Four key enablers of Libraries driving access to knowledge had been identified. The first one is User-oriented A2K (Access to Knowledge) actions. I think this is the most important point, and not just because it mentions information literacy! The sub-points were:
• bringing libraries and resources to their users
• empowering users through information literacy, social networking etc
• enabling access to info
• facilitating the full participation of all citizens in societal activities
The 2nd enabler was taking a strong advocacy role; the 3rd was creating partnerships including other societal stakeholders and private/public institutions and the 4th was fostering library as place and space (including providing “wow” experiences, and providing a safe, trusted space.)
After this Pascal Sanz (France) introduced a mindmap which had been created by students of Ana Maria Tamaro (University of Parma, Italy). They are taking a digital libraries programme run between universities in three countries, which has 20 students from 17 countries. They used free concept mapping software, blog and email to communicate. Their IFLA Presidential theme 2009 blog is public and is here: You can see the mindmap and their discussion.
They decided that the main concepts were: information, knowledge, library, access and data; each term was assigned to a group, and then went through drafts to reach version presented here. LINK (I hope) I think that this was a nice example of collaborative ideas development, and formed an excellent starting point for considering the overall theme. In terms of information literacy,though, it seems a little out on a limb in this mindmap, and I would say IL is more than competencies.

Panellists talked about the presidential theme in relation to specific interests. Kai Ekholm talked about the work of FAIFE (Free Access to Information & Freedom of Expression); Winston Tabb related it to intellectual property matters, and the access problems caused by this. He pointed out that the constant extension of the copyright term means that fewer items are out of copyright, and copyright holders are ken to enforce further restrictions. He emphasised that IFLA is in favour of copyright, but feels that the balance has moved away from the rights of users. They have developed 12 principles that embody what libraries need to be able to do their job. Another issue that was raised in questions was that of patrimony (e.g. important works and documents) being bought/ taken out of the home country. Further, someone else talked about the problems when many different people are contributing material to a web resource; issues of who should own it and issues of open access.
Theresa Hackett talked about which works with developing and transition countries. There are financial barriers, and eIFL negotiates with publishers for access; it also helps with technical barriers: this often means making partnerships, and cooperation is important; there is communal development of library systems (including language interfaces); Theresa also mentioned copyright restrictions and actions to give access.
Mike Crandall introduced the ICT4D (ICT for development) movement, which has emerged from the IT sector, and hasn’t connected with libraries much yet. This seems rather a no-brainer in terms of potential for cooperation. Deborah Jacobs (Director of the global library program at the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation) advised spending more time advocating libraries to stakeholders. Christoph Bruch (Max Planck Institut) talked about Open Access, including plans to build up a digital environment to share and exchange research knowledge, in cooperation with numerous organisations.

After a coffee break there was a discussion in groups about each of the enablers. I joined with others who wanted to talk about Enabler 1, User-oriented A2K (Access to Knowledge). We were supposed to just identify activities or achievements related to this, but we first revisited what “user” meant and whether “user” was really the right word. In the end we opted for “people”, who have multiple roles and should be actively involved in identifying their wants and needs (so they are central).
One of our group came up with “The people are the library” and “The library are the people”, so our poster (that’s my writing, apologies if you cannot read it) has some of roles of people, and some aspects of the library, and the lines in the middle are activities undertaken both by librarians and other people.

There are some examples in circles on the map e.g. 8-10 year old children in Hoorn (Netherlands) being library workers (lending books, providing information), examples of youth libraries from Stockholm and Aarhus (with young people planning and determining the physical spaces and services), and the example from Vietnam, with still-important information literacy training for users.
The groups’ posters will be incorporated into the students’ mindmap and put up on their blog.

At the end Ellen Tise gave her personal priorities for her presidential year. I may need to amend this bit, as I left the paper I scribbled this on, back at the hotel. If I remember correctly, her priorities were enabling access to print to the visually impaired, and advocacy.
The photos are of Jesus Lau (Mexico), who chaired the whole session, wearing his “Access to Knowledge” hat and with a banner of the four enablers round his neck; and our poster.

IFLA report: Libraries promoting twenty-first century literacies (3)

This is the 3rd and final report from Monday's 21st Century literacies session at the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference taking place in Milan, Italy. There were three speakers, and again I will link to their full papers (click the titles). Firstly Patrick Lo spoke about Effects of Online Audio-Book Resources on Library Usage and Reading Preferences and Practices of Young Learners in an Elementary School Library Setting in Hong Kong. This was his doctoral research, about use of online audio books and use of the school library. The sample were 11-12 years olds who were already good readers. He administered two sets of questionnaires, at a 5 month interval. 260 out of a possible 310 questionnaires were returned. Children were encouraged to use the Naxos spoken word online library, and there was log data from this resource. The online books were used book in school and at home, and there is information on length of sessions etc. in the paper. Contrary to hopes, frequency of use of library was slightly decreased, and students did not see the library as more fun after using the books.
The next speaker, Leone Tiemensma (Midrand Graduate Institute, South Africa) spoke on Visual literacy: to comics or not to comics? How libraries can promote literacy using comics. She talked about the long history of comics and cartoons and also its characteristics. She also talked about some of the ways in which comics support developing literacy and the ability to construct meaning (e.g. the pictures are part of describing context and meaning and these have to be decoded). Specifically in South Africa, there is reluctance to engage with texts, and graphic novels can provide way of engaging with ideas, history, literature. Also there is the fact that there are people with different first languages and this also puts the emphasis on using pictures to cross boundaries. English is lingua franca, everyone has to know it and it is seen (e.g. by parents) as the language you use to get on in life. Comics present English in a less daunting and more engaging way (from that perspective, Tiemensma was seeing it as a starting point; something you move on from - some others felt it was a destination for adults, too). Less than 50% of schools have libraries.
The third paper was Promote Popular Cultural Literacy throughout the Countryside in China from Huang Qunqing and Xu Yixing. The presenter started by defining this concept as a state or condition of studying or enjoying cultural works that are popular with most people. The are 1.3 billion Chinese living in rural places, spread through 56 nationalities with many cultural traditions, and part of this may be a preference for watching rather than reading. From a survey in 2000, playing cards or watching TV were most popular, with low use of/access to libraries. There differences between urban and rural areas. The cultural project started in 20002 and has already reached 60% of people. It involves public libraries and they offer e-books, films, stage and fine arts, sightseeing, lectures music, and with particular attention to videos (with centres offering satellite receivers and projectors). There is a lot more detail in her paper.
The discussion this time started with questions of how to organise graphic novels, since one of my Masters students has found out that “in no order at all” is generally the answer. A French delegate said it was the same in her library. She had an interesting point, which was that arabic-reading populations in parts of France prefer manga (Japanese graphic novels) since Japanese is read right-to-left, the same as arabic (manga usually keeps this layout even in translation), so the layout is familiar. Lesley Farmer talked about some ways she uses graphic novels etc. e.g. getting people to create cartoons about their experience of a graphic novel. There were also discussions about who chooses material that goes out on cultural initiatives.
So this was the end of the session! It was a great job from the session chairs, as it was a complex timetable, and most of the speakers had to be kept to 10 minutes. After all this I was ready for a cup of coffee ;-)
The pictures show Lesley Farmer chairing our group, and one of the posters in the exhibition, from Heike vom Orde

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IFLA report: Libraries promoting twenty-first century literacies (2)

Continuing my reports from the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference taking place in Milan, Italy and specifically giving the 2nd report on yesterday's session organised jointly by the Information Literacy and Literacy & Reading Sections of IFLA. I took shorter notes than for the 1st section: basically the whole session was 3 and quarter hours with no coffee breaks and although there were NO draggy bits and time flew by, I think my brain and fingers were tiring after a while. As before, the full papers are online and I have linked to them through the paper titles.
First talk in 2nd segment was from Saiquil Islam (BRAC, Bangladesh), talking about Community Learning Centre (CLC): Developing a learning society in Bangladesh. Literacy rate in Bangladesh is 47% and net enrolment is in secondary schools is 53%. There are ess than 100 public libraries for 144 million people. There is an information divide between urban/rural, rich/poor, women/men, and access to internet is not common. BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee ) has 121,000 staff and covers programmes in Education, health, social empowerment, and legal empowerment. It launched CLCs in 1995 and they are multipurpose: for example mobile library (in a rickshaw), children's corner, skill traing and socio-cultural activities.
The community itself has to contribute to found them and keep them going, and there are now 2,170 CLCs (so by far outnumbering conventional libraries).
All the librarians are women, which is a valuable new role for females in rural areas, and 1m people outside previous library catchment are being reached, about half women. This shows that the community is willing to support these needs, but not yet enough, because this still only covers a minority of the population. There was a question about - what happens to the library service: it seems that libraries (those outside the CLCs) were seen as more limited and specific in function, and not able to reach out to much of the population.
Secondly Kim Moody (Queensland University of Technology) talked about A constructivist approach to media literacy education: the role of the library. She started by defining media literacy, notably as the “ability to access, undertsand evaluate and create media content” (European Commission, 2007). She did a postal survey of 586 people in Brisbane, looking at whether people who were sceptical about the media used different media from those who trusted it. It turned out they used pretty much the same sources. So then she thought how the use of media may be more related to the specific need. Therefore the ability to identify your own needs should be part of media literacy and implies a constructivist approach to teaching media literacy.
This leads to a second point, the need to have more media literacy training aimed at adults (rather than, as at present, mostly aimed at children), both because they have different needs and because the media changes over time (i.e. through people’s lives). Obviously this all ties in with the spirit of the Alexandria proclamation etc.
I would also say that the SCONUL 7 Pillars of information literacy includes (as do some other framworks) "Recognising the information need" which I would interpret as including the ability to identify what kind of media is suited to your needs. Someone stated that they felt this "recognising" was not so relevant in a situation where media is being pushed at you. However,I feel that even in that situation, conscious competence in identifying whether or not something matches a need is helpful.
In response to a question, Kim said that North American studies had shown that there were differences in media uses between the sceptical and trusting. She thought that the difference between America and Australia might be to do with the differences in media ownership, with only a couple of owners dominating the Australian scene. The Gallup report at was circulated during the discussion time, and it shows some interesting differences in attitude towards the media between countries.
The discussion in my group afterwards was concerned with the challenges of educating adults in media literacy, since there are issues of values and attachment (e.g. feeling that a newspaper expresses your values, so not appreciating someone telling you it is not trustworthy). There was also discussion of the different media situations in different countries and what impact that had. I forgot to say before that my discussion group was facilitated ably by Lesley Farmer.

The photos show two of the poster presenters preparing yesterday, and the entrance door of the conference centre.

LILAC conference 2010

The Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference LILAC conference 2010 will be hosted by Library Network Support Services (LNSS) Limerick, Republic of Ireland. The dates are 29-31 March 2010 and the Call for papers will be launched 1st September 2009. Conference themes include: Measuring Impact; Developing the IL practitioner; IL and research; Making connections; Innovative practice
Photo by Sheila Webber: Rosehips, ugust 2009, Hellingly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

IFLA report: Libraries promoting twenty-first century literacies (1)

Another report from the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference taking place in Milan, Italy. The main session for information literacy is today, a session organised jointly by the Information Literacy and Literacy & Reading Sections of IFLA. I will blog it in a few sections. The structure was to have a few talks and then a short time for discussion in groups: so this is a report on the first of three sets. The speakers did not have very long, but the papers are all online full text and I will link to them as I go along. The photographs are from the "librarians take over La Scala" event yesterday evening (a special concert at the La Scala opera house).
Susie Andretta (London Metropolitan University) started the session as keynote. She called her talk Transliteracy: a walk on the wild side. She made sure that she did not just started by mentioning the practical problems of transliteracy: in the setup here the video clips did not work properly, concluding “Microsoft doesn’t believe in transliteracy” (though I am not sure Milan conference centre is transliterate either, since my seating was determined by the one power socket in the room that wasn’t on the podium).
Susie played an audio clip of Sue Thomas defining transliteracy as the ability to read write, and interact across a range of media. The emphasis is on being able to move between media, and also the emphasis is on content creation. Susie illustrated this with an advert which shows a small child using different media to send a photo of his rabbit to his aunt (one of the “I’m a pc” Windows ads). She also showed a video of the Mindspot project in Aarhus, which is a youth library project, which includes young people (“mindspotters”) as part of the team. See also Again, this is not a new idea (I remember the Yoker Youth Library in Glasgow, that was using similar principles of collaboration and user centredness), but it is incorporating the possibilities for technology and new communities/ activities.
Susie then gave quick sketches of four librarians who she interviewed to identify what transliteracy might mean to them (you can see more detail in teh full paper that I linked above). The first was Michael Stephens, a library & information academic from the USA. The 2nd was Bernadette Daley Swanson, who I know as HVX Silverstar in Second Life (this links to her video of me, apologies for self-promotion) and she was talking to Susie about the issue of intellectual property in virtual worlds. The third person was one of Susie’s students who is particularly keen on blogging, and sees that as a way of extending the reach of the service (interaction, current awareness etc.)
The third librarian was a collections manager in the UK, who started by saying that she wasn’t transliterate. However, it emerged that she belonged to the London and Information Knowledge Exchange, which uses a lot of social networking tools and therefore she was using them effectively to expand her professional network.
This was a very good presentation to start things off, and nice to have audio and video used. My position is still that this could still be termed information literacy, if you have a holistic vision of what information is. However, the aspect of moving between types of information and communication is an intersting thing to highlight, and think about whether this is something really new and what you might to to help people be information/trans-literate in this way
The next talk was from Sean Cordes (Western Illinois University): Broad horizons, the role of multimodal literacy in 21st century library instruction. He emphasised the way technology and need to interact is pervasive and won’t go away. Sean mentioned the number of literacies that people talk about e.g. multicultural literacies, and specifically multimodal literacies as the ability to manage and communicate across a range of media. He identified this as being pretty much like "transliteracy". He also referred to Foucault’s conceptins of “technologies” - of power, self, production ands sign systems, and that these can be interpreted in terms of the library user’s needs. He gave example of a grid in which people look at an object of interest (he used the term "text") and identify manifestations and then see whether these manifestations include video, gestures etc. (See his paper for lots more detail!)Final speaker in this group was Mark Hepworth (University of Loughborough, UK), presenting a joint paper with Julie Brittain (Institute of Development Studies, UK): A method for the design, delivery and evaluation of an information literacy programme for development workers studying Participation, Power and Social Change. They were looking at ways of designing an intervention to develop the information literacy of development workers (students studying social change etc.). The first stage was gaining participation from the key people: academics, other staff, learners and librarians. This was an essential stage in terms of embedding it into the curriculum (rather than an add-on) and getting buy-in. This involved understanding the wants and needs of each of the different groups. The intervention started by asking the learners to map the domain (subect), starting to get comfortable with the language and nature of the subject. They used flip charts, and there was a lot of interaction, and they also had to reflect on the process. Students then reflected on the information landscape, thinking of it as a journey - thinking of the types of information, the difficulties they might encounter on the journey. They then spent time on understanding the norms and forms of communication in the field. This happened over 3 half-days.
They did do diagnostic test (to help the students reflect on their understanding, and help identify improvements for next time). This showed that some students benefited more than others. The mind mapping and processing were found particularly valuable. More time was needed for discussion, critical reflection and using online sources (practical sessions).
My own reflection: This has something in common with activities that we do with our first year information management students, to help them map their understanding of the discipine at different stages and engage with the process of research. Ironically, perhaps, at the moment the information literacy aspect of this is not brought out strongly at that stage, and I think we could do this a bit more.
There was time for one question after these 3 talks, and Linda Goff raised the issue of how not all students are at the same level in terms of text literacy or digital literacies. Sean identified the same points that we have done (in surveys in my Department), i.e. that students are very familiar with a few tools like Facebook, but are unfamiliar with a good number of other tools. Other panellists also agreed, and they identified need to support, encourage peer learning, and acknowledge the anxieties of people having problems. Susie also stressed the point that if you use technologies, which cause anxiety etc., you have to be sure that is actually pedagogically necessary. She gave the example of learners rejecting use of blogs, when they were very happy just using email.
The small group discussion after this covered a number of points. I put my laptop down at that point and didn't take any notes .... (I think) people agreed about the importance of context (i.e. the context of someone learning to be trans/information literate), the need for more librarian education in use of technologies in some countries, and we had some discussion around the use of the word "text" (i.e. as used by Sean).
Readers may be relieved to know that the other (next) two write-ups from this session will be shorter!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

IFLA bloggers

If you are interested in more blog posts etc., so far I have picked up (NB these are not info literacy bloggers):
- German volunteer blogging in German and English at BibliothekarInnen sind uncool (meaning: librarians (of both genders) are uncool) and also has a Flickr stream at
- Nicolás Robinson García at (in Spanish)
- Javier Leiva Aguilera at (in Spanish)
- Plinius (Tord Høivik) at (in English and Norwegian)
- and I notice there was a post on the ALA blog about the US caucus last night
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pigeon approaches the Duomo.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

IFLA conference: 1st report

I am lucky enough to be in Milan for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information conference. This is a truly international association and conference. I am just starting as a member of the Information Literacy Section committee of IFLA (website is here: (I used to be on the Management and Marketing section committee). There are 20 members, from different countries/continents, though Europe is particularly well represented. Ruth Stubbings (Vice-Chair, CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group) is the other person from the UK.
Today was a day for meetings of the various IFLA committees and boards, and I attended the first of the IFLA IL Section meetings (there is also one at the end of the conference). Sylvie Chevillotte was chairing her last meeting, handing over to Maria Carme Torres. Antonio Calderón Rehecho remains Secretary and The Information Officer is Albert K. Boekhorst. IFLA recently restructured their website, so Albert has had to put older material into that structure. Dalia Naujokaitis (from Canada) and I are going to work with Albert on web communications. Lisa Hinchliffe offered to take over production of the Section's newsletter from Linda Goff (pictured above), who has come to the end of her time on the committee.
We were reminded that the IFLA Guidelines on Information Literacy have now been translated into a number of languages, most recently Greek. There was a lot of discussion about the satellite information literacy event for next year. Next year's IFLA conference was going to be in Brisbane, but it has been switched to Gothenburg, a somewhat controversial decision which has meant that existing Australian plans had to be abandoned.
Tomorrow is the opening session, and a chance to have a look at posters, I think. On Monday there is a session on literacies, with several speakers, and on Wednesday there will be a session about using the Information Literacy logo (see I will blog these and other sessions that have some relevance to IL. I probably won't be doing much liveblogging, though, as wifi costs 10 Euros for 4 hours, and there don't seem to be many power points to plug in my laptop during long sessions, either. However, otherwise the conference venue is very smart.

ICTs in Education Prize: Call for nominations

Teaching, Learning and e-Pedagogy: Teacher Professional Development for Knowledge Societies is the theme of the 2009 UNESCO-King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICTs in Education. Funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain, the US$50,000 prize is divided between two winners. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2009. Submissions for candidature must reach UNESCO via the governments of Member States, in consultation with their UNESCO National Commissions, or by international non-governmental organizations which maintain formal relations with the Organization. The 2008 Prize was awarded to China's Shanghai TV University (for its project 'Turning the Digital Divide into Digital Opportunity') and to Dr Hoda Baraka, of the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (for her leadership in the implementation of several national ICT projects in education).
For more information see this document.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tutorial news

From the ili discussion list I learn that the TILT tutorial is being removed by its inventors. Michele Ostrow announced this, and added
"Librarians who created the four excellent, comprehensive information literacy tutorials listed below were kind enough to give me permission to point to them from the TILT site. If you were using TILT, my hope is that one of these tutorials meets your needs.
* Empower from Wichita State University:
* IRIS from Clark College:
* LILI: LEARN Information Literacy Initiative: adaptation by the LEARN network of 32 TAFE library locations, South Australia:
* Pilot from Sacramento City College - Los Rios:
The option to download, modify and host TILT on your local servers will remain available until May 2010. You can get to it from the TILT site ("

This information came during a discussion on ili about information literacy tutorials. I recommended the Intute tutorials (, Mardi Chalmers recommended TIP-Tutorial for Information Power as being "very good"
and another recommendation was Bare Bones 101: A Basic Tutorial On Using The Web:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cooking (tilted), August 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nazari success

Today one of my PhD students, Maryam Nazari, successfully defended her PhD thesis in her viva, and has passed, subject to the usual minor amendments. Congratulations to her! The title is: Information Literacy for Online Distance Learning GIS (Geographic Information Systems/Science) Programmes.
In the photo is (left to right) her external examiner (Bill Johnston), Me, Maryam and Nigel Ford (the internal examiner), after the viva.
I have already blogged a paper that has emerged from her research, namely:
Nazari, M. and Webber, S. (2008) "Model of Geo/Spatial Information Literacy (MG/SIL): an innovative model for transforming learning in GIS education." In: Proceedings of the EUGISES 2008 conference.
and there is also
Nazari, M and Webber, S. (2008) "Conceptions Of Geospatial Information In Online Distance Learning Gis Programs." IADIS International Conference e-Learning 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 22-25, 2008. Proceedings 2008.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Technological literacy draft

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) draft document on Technological Literacy has been published. Doubtless the context and significance of this will be more obvious to people in the USA than to me, but what IS obvious is as follows.
a) This body has developed a framework for setting targets about what children should know in various areas to do with technology, and is proposing ways of assessing students' knowledge.
b) There are overlaps with what we would call information literacy.
c) The document doesn't seem to mention information literacy.
NEAP measures "student achievement nationally, state by state, and, most recently, across selected urban districts" and "has been used as an independent monitor of what students know and can do in various subject areas ... For each subject area, a framework provides recommendations on the content to be assessed, the types of assessment questions, and the administration of the assessment."
In the draft document (linked below) they define technological literacy "as the capability to use, understand, and evaluate technology as well as to apply technological concepts and processes to solve problems and reach one’s goals."
They see this as comprising 3 major areas: Technology and Society; Design and Systems, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). As a subsection of the first area they have "Effects of Technology on the World of Information and Knowledge" which "focuses on the rapidly expanding and changing ways that information and communications technology enables data to be stored, organized and accessed, and how those changes bring about changes in society". All of the subsections of ICT look relevant, namely:
- Construction and Exchange of Ideas and Solutions (skills needed to ciommunicate and exchange information and ideas)
- Information Research: "the capability to employ technologies and media to easily find, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information from different sources.
- Investigation of Academic and Real-World Problems (using ICT to define and solve problems)
- Acknowledgement of Ideas and Information: "respect for the intellectual properties of others and knowledge of how to credit others’ contributions appropriately"
- Selection and Use of Digital Tools

Photo by Sheila Webber: Ivy in the woods, Hellingly, August 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Science Information Literacy wiki

I think this is fairly new (started about a year ago) and it has a number of pages, for example a list of the ACRL Information Literacy standards with teaching tips; links to resources related to assessment. As you might guess, it it is focused on information literacy in scientific disciplines. The Science Information Literacy wiki is at

Additionally, there is an active group on Facebook which has "first wednesday" discussions.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Beans at the farmers' market, August 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Augustana Information Literacy workshop booking opens next month

Registration for the 9th Annual Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop will open on September 15 2009. The workshop itself takes place on December 3, 2009 at the University of Alberta, Canada. The topic is New Foundations: Building an inquiry-based information literacy agenda, and the presenter is Dr. Ross Todd, Associate Professor, Rutgers University School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, USA.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn approaches, Hellingly, August 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Developing academics

This is a full text article published earlier in the year about developing academics' information literacy, by Barbara Fister at Gustavus Adolphus College (includes some brief examples from other universities).
Fister, B. (2009) "Fostering Information Literacy Through Faculty Development." Library issues, 29 (4).

Photo by Sheila Webber: soft fruit at the farmers' market, August 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Intellectual property rights toolkit for public sector bodies

There is an intellectual property rights toolkit for public sector bodies, developed for the Strategic Content Alliance by the Alliance’s Intellectual Property Rights consultants, Professor Charles Oppenheim and Naomi Korn.
Just a quick glance indicates that this could be very useful - though people outside the UK will need to bear in mind that, although there are international agreements about IPR, there are all some variations in law between nations.
The toolkit starts with a useful navigation map for your IPR questions, then there is a glossary, case studies, model forms (e.g. for requests or permissions or contracts) and various information sheets e.g. one on Web 2.0 and Intellectual Property. The toolkit is at
The Strategic Content Alliance is also running some free Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing workshops in London, UK, aimed at people involved in the delivery of online content and services over the internet. The workshops are run by Professor Charles Oppenheim and Emma Beer and provide an opportunity to learn about developments and to test the SCA IPR and Licensing Toolkit. These workshops will be on Thursday 8th October 2009, Monday 26th October 2009, Thursday 12th November 2009. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Please email to reserve a place.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ivy leaves, sunlight, Hellingly, August 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Web 2.0 / Schools

From Joyce Valenza's Neverendingsearch blog (on the School Library Journal website) I learnt about the November Learning's Building Learning Communities conference (which took place in Boston, USA 2 weeks ago) and the 28 powerpoints from it that have been put on Slideshare at The presentations include ones such as:
- Top 10+ Online Web 2.0 Tools You Can Use for Teaching
- Extreme (web 2.0) Lesson Plan Makeover v2
- School library 2.0
- Narrative inquiry ("How to compose a story that represents experiences truthfully while also acknowledging that we can never really tell the whole truth")

There is also a presentation about Voicethread, which is one of the featured tools on the list in this article:
Brisco, S. (2009) "A 2.0 Toolkit: A hand-picked set of free Web programs to take to school this fall." School Library Journal, 1 August.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Corn cob field viewed through the gap, August 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Seminar presentations online

Three of the four presentations from the information literacy event held at Sheffield University on 6th August are available online. These were reports on projects that were undertaken for the Information Literacy Research module that is an option on the Masters programmes here. The three presentations are:
Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival. Developing a thesaurus for information literacy. (There is also a link to the draft thesaurus, and I will be posting some more about this)
Samantha Abrahams and Hannah Wood: Analysis of Departmental Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategies’ (DLTAS) treatment of information literacy
David Brown and George Davies: LILAC delegates’ influential books, articles & web resources.
These presentations are all linked from the event page on the new Centre for Information Literacy Research ning: . I took a few notes from the sessions which I will add here or on the ning, but for the moment I wanted to publicise the availability of the presentations. There was interesting discussion on all the presentations at the event.
The fourth presentation was from Shahd Salha (a PhD student here), on information literacy of Syrian school librarians. If you would like more information on this, please email me at and I will pass on your email.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Presenters (left to right) David Brown, Samantha Abrahams, Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival after the event.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

IL at Punjabi University

There is a report on an information literacy event held at Punjabi University, Patiala, India, organised by their Department Library and Information Science
Ahuja, G. (2009) "Library is a best friend of a man, says Dr.Jaspal Singh." Punjab newsline, 5 August.
Dr Singh is Vice Chancellor of Punjabi University.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Use of Web 2.0 in UK higher education

An interesting resource is the JISC SIS Landscape Study blog "This blog has been created to collect evidence about UK HE use of Web 2.0 services in preference to those provided by JISC or HE institutions." There are a number of specific headings e.g. "Sharing Research Data Content" "Referencing and Linking" where people are asked to add comments about why they use external tools to do these things, and there are already some comments here. Also they are doing short questionnaire/interviews with people about their use of Web 2.0 and I have just done one with them
The Sheila Webber "case study" is at
All the "case studies" (12 at time of writing) are at (Sheffield Uni library and a colleague from CILASS also feature)
Picture by Sheila Webber: contemplating a virtual card catalogue

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

24/7: The Life of University 24-hour Libraries

Not strictly information literacy, and not sure how many places are left , but this sounds interesting: 24/7: The Life of University 24-hour Libraries, 10th September 2009, held at the Information Commons, University of Sheffield, UK. Includes contributions from one of this year's MA Librarianship students (Katie Fraser), and from the student producer of the video IC girls (which I blogged when it got posted to youtube)
Photo by Sheila Webber: neighbour's garden.

Information providers in a virtual world

This is a presentation taking place in Second Life (SL), the virtual world.
When: Thursday 6 August 2009, 12 noon - 1pm SL time (this is 8pm UK time, go to for other times)
Where: Infolit iSchool

You need a SL avatar and the SL browser installed on your computer to
Lorri Mon (Lorri Momiji in SL, pictured), Assistant Professor, Florida State University, College of Information) will report on her study. For background reading see: Mon, L. (2009). Questions and Answers in a Virtual World : Educators and Librarians as Information Providers in Second Life. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Volume 2, Number 1 (April 2009).

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Teacher Training Resource Bank

The Teacher Training Resource Bank "provides access to the research & evidence base informing teacher education. All materials are quality assured through a rigorous process of academic scrutiny and monitoring undertaken by a team of expert teacher educators." For example, a recent addition is a summary/review of the following report (i.e. the review of the report is on the TTRB site, but not the report itself):
Meyer, B. et al (2008) Independent Learning Literature Review. Learning and Skills Network.

TTRB is provided by four bodies including the Institute of Education (in London) and has an e-librarian section with responses to questions and the option to ask new questions of the e-librarian (which has real librarians behind it).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Squirrel, almost seen, August 2009.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Detailed study of British children's use of media

Ofcom has published (on 17 July) detailed statistics from the first wave (20th April to 17th May 2009) of what it calls its Media Literacy tracker. What looks like a robust stratified sample (by social class, geographic location, age, gender) of 1000 British children and their parents have been asked a large number of questions (200 pages of statistical tables; no narrative is given). The children are split into 3 age groups, spanning between them age 5-15.
With that amount of data, I could only skim through, but this ongoing survey will itself be worth tracking. It starts with questions about access to different kinds of digital tools (TV, computer, MP3 player, radio, games consoles, mobile phone etc.), and whether children have access in their own rooms or to household equipment. Overall 65% had TVs in their bedrooms and 19% networked computers (although 35% of those in the oldest age group had networked computers). 76% of children had access to a networked PC somewhere in the house, and whereas there was not that much difference in social class as regards having their own PC, 91% of children in the highest social class had access somewhere in teh house, versus 56% of those in the lowest social class.
A bigger % of boys had games consoles, and a bigger % of girls had DVD players. Another thing I noticed was that children in the highest social class were least likely to have a mobile phone or a TV in their room. Actually one thing you learn from the statistics is that you shouldn't make assumptions about "everyone" having this or that technology, and also that you shouldn't make assumptions about who is most likely to have access to the technologies.
There are then questions about use of TV, radio and the internet: how much time the children spend on them, whether there are restrictions on what they do/watch, whether parents are concerned about their children's viewing, whether they use parental controls. There are a lot of questions to do with concerns about the internet, use of mobile phones, and use of computer games. 11% of parenets disagreed with the statement that the benefits of the internet outweigh any risks and 50% agreed that their child knew more about the internet than they did. There is a lot of detail about what children use the internet for - photo sharing sites score the lowest and doing schoolwork rates highest, followed by playing games online.
There are various questions to do with whether people believe what they see/read on TV, internet etc. is true. With the question "When you use the internet to visit sites where people can add and change information, like blogs or sites like Wikipedia... Do you believe that all of the information you see is true, most of it is true or just some of it is true?" only 12% thought it was all true, but it was only a relatively small number that said they looked at them in those kinds of sites first place.
There are a number of questions to do with use of, and confidence with, social networking sites. Twitter certainly hasn't made an impact on 5-15 year olds, by the way.
Coming even closer to information literacy, 94% of 12-15 year olds who used the internet were very or fairly confident that they "can find what [they] want when [they] go online". Of those who had used search engines 32% thought that "The most truthful results are shown at the top of the list". 78% were aware that downloading music etc. could be illegal.
I found this report at The Ofcom site is always a mine of useful information about telecommunications and media in the UK (Ofcom is the UK communications official "watchdog")
Photo by Sheila Webber: my two red roses, August 2009.

Mobile internet use in the USA.

The April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project "shows that 56% of adult Americans have accessed the internet by wireless means, such as using a laptop, mobile device, game console, or MP3 player. The most prevalent way people get online using a wireless network is with a laptop computer; 39% of adults have done this. The report also finds rising levels of Americans using the internet on a mobile handset. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking."

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Free event in Sheffield 6th August afternoon

Centre for Information Literacy Research event: IL in strategies; thesauri; inspiration; schools: project reports
I have organised this free afternoon with presentations on three information literacy projects completed earlier this year, and a report of ongoing doctoral work. (I almost forgot to advertise this on my own blog ;-(

When: Thursday 6 August 2009: 1.45pm-4.20pm (Registration from 1.15)
Where: Room 204, Regent Court, Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield (map at
How to register: This event is *free* but please EITHER notify us on, OR go to and join the Ning community to RSVP, if you want to attend

1.15pm Registration and tea/coffee
1.45 pm Sheila Webber. Introduction: Information Literacy, an evolving concept
2pm Kate Coleson and Chloe Furnival. Developing a thesaurus for information literacy
2.30pm Samantha Abrahams and Hannah Wood: Analysis of Departmental Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategies’ (DLTAS) treatment of information literacy
3pm Tea/coffee break
3.20 David Brown and George Davies: LILAC delegates’ influential books, articles & web resources
3.50 3.50 Shahd Salha: Information Literacy in school libraries in Syria
4.20 Close