Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Librarians working with a writing centre

Foutch, L. (2010) "Joining forces to enlighten the research process: a librarian and writing studio integrate." College & Research Libraries News, 71 (7), 370-373. http://crln.acrl.org/content/71/7/370.full
This discusses a collaboration between the library and the Writing Studio to support students on the Human and Organizational Development (HOD) undergraduate programme at Vanderbilt University, USA.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Conwy, Wales, August 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Contribute your ideas for future events on Infolit iSchool, in Second Life

On Tuesday August 31 there will be a discussion in the virtual world, Second Life: Contribute your ideas for future events on Infolit iSchool (our SL island devoted to literacies and learning)
When: Tuesday August 31st, 12 noon SLT (which is 8pm UK time, see http://tinyurl.com/323l83u for start time in other countries)
Where: Infolit iSchool http://slurl.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/127/236/22/
We already have lined up for Oct/Nov 2010: talks from Alexandria Knight (Esther Grassian outside Second Life) & Adra Letov (Diane Nahl outside SL) and Sheila Yoshikawa (i.e. me) plus a reading group! But we want more! Come with more ideas of visits, discussions, events to do with information literacy, digital literacies and learning.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Health literacy indicators

DSS Research specialises in market research for the healthcare industry in the USA; therefore it aims (I assume) to show how it can help them maximise profits, which can be done by keeping those who take out health insurance healthier, so people don't make so many claims (or am I being cynical here?) Anyway, this "Health Care Engagement Index" did seem interesting and relevant to those aiming to improve health information literacy. Also, for those interested in information literacy indicators, the inclusion of "behaviours" and "attitudes" is interesting (i.e. it isn't just a matter of testing skill and knowledge).
"To help our clients identify the level of involvement of their customers and how best to encourage those consumers to adopt healthy behaviors, DSS Research applied its years of experience in the health care industry to create a definitive measure of consumer engagement. The DSS Health Care Engagement Index™ (HCEI™) uses health literacy, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors to measure each consumer’s involvement in their personal health care and the health care system overall."
The 4 constructs they look at are: health care literacy, health care knowledge, health care attitudes and health care behaviours
There are some results (identifying four degrees of engagement: disengaged, reactive, involved, and engaged) at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Memorial benches, Happy Valley, Llandudno, Wales, August 2010. I have never seen so many memorial benches in any other town: a lot of people loved holidaying in Llandudno.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Partnerships for HE in FE: the library perspective

Conference on 26 November 2010 at UWE Conference Centre, Bristol, UK: Partnerships for HE in FE: the library perspective. "The conference will cover many aspects of supporting Higher Education in Further Education students, and in developing the HE/FE partnerships to best advantage. Book at https://www.formstack.com/forms/uwe-heinfepartnerships Full info at http://www.uwe.ac.uk/library/info/academic/docs/he-fe-programme.pdf Blog at http://heinfelibrary.wordpress.com/
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn anemones, Sheffield, August 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Report from IFLA: The Information Literacy Section meeting

In this post I will describe some key items that came out of the IFLA Information Literacy Section committee meetings that took place during the IFLA conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden, 11-15 August (the poor pictures were takenat the section committee dinner). IFLA (International Federation for Library Associations and Institutions) has a very small headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands, and most of its work is done by its members. IFLA has many sections and divisions, representing different regions of the world and different subject areas. One of the sections is Information Literacy and I am a member of its Standing Committee. As with all IFLA comittees, it is truly international, with members from Africa, Australia, Asia, North America, South America and Europe (though there is a bit of a bias towards Europe).
The IFLA Information Literacy Section website is at http://www.ifla.org/en/information-literacy
At the Section Committee, apart from talking about events we were organising, the following topics were discussed:
1. International Information Literacy logo. The website where you can download this is at http://www.infolitglobal.info/logo/en/ We decided that we are going to make an effort to make this available in more languages (currently it is there in French, Spanish, Russian, English), so people have been asked to say what the right phrase is in their language and we will arrange the graphic design
2. The Marketing manual for the logo was published earlier in the year at http://www.infolitglobal.info/logo/en/manual and is a useful online guide for marketing more generally
3. “State of the art” of IL in different countries. Reports on some countries were drawn up a few years ago and are available at http://www.infolitglobal.info/en/ There are also some updates at http://www.ifla.org/en/publications/81 (scroll down to see them) There was a proposal to turn these into an open wiki so that they were easier to keep up to date. The wiki will also cover definitions of IL. A small party are responsible for this, so look out for announcements later in the year.
4. There is an initiative to get Information literacy put more officially on the agenda of UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization) and thus on the agenda of governments worldwide. The UNESCO Information For All Programme (IFAP) has put together a paper in consultation with the IFLA Section, recommending that international recommendations on information literacy be drawn up and that they create indicators so that progress on IL could be reported internationally. A working party has been formed to follow this through and I am now is one of the members. UNESCO already has funded some projects in IL (e.g. “Training the Trainers” but this is stepping things up a notch.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Plagiarism; Transliteracy & Web 2.0

Half day seminars: 1) Plagiarism: Stopping it before it Begins (morning, led by Anne-Marie Tarter; Marianne Bradnock and Nazlin Bhimani) and 2) Transliteracy and Web 2.0 (afternoon, led by Phil Bradley) both on 22 October 2010 at CILIP, London, UK. Cost is £75 ILIG member, £85 CILIP member, £50 concession, £110 otherwise. Discounts if you book for both events, or for multiple bookings. Enquiries about the programme and bookings to Norman Briggs, email: nwbriggs@iliacuk.co.uk
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sunflower, Sheffield, August 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

IFLA Report: Health Information

At the IFLA 2010 conference, there was a session on health information. I'll pick out two presentations:
Small steps to a healthier nation: providing and delivering health information across Wales
SUE THOMAS (Health Promotion Library, Department for Public Health and Health Professions, Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom) http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/100-thomas-en.pdf and she was talking about the Health Promotion Library: http://www.wales.gov.uk/healthpromotionlibrary

Public access to health information: how partnerships can strengthen the role of librarians in developing health
SHANE GODBOLT (Partnerships in Health Information, Pinner, United Kingdom), EMMA STANLEY (Partnerships in Health Information, Wimborne, United Kingdom) and PAUL STURGES Loughborough University, United Kingdom) http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/100-godbolt-en.pdf
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn anemones, Sheffield, August 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Exhibit in Second Life about the Information Literacy conference

There is an exhibit in Second Life about the conference (for which I was committee chair) Information Literacy: Context, community, culture. You can go there if you have a Second Life avatar, and if you have the Second Life browser installed on your computer. the location is: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/143/187/21/

I did a very quick screencast of the exhibit: here it is:

On Thursday 19th August there was a session in Second Life, in which I talked about the conference and showed people the exhibition. There were people from several different countries (e.g. Colombia, USA, UK), including one person who had worked on the German version of IFLA Express!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

IFLA World Report

IFLA announced the launch of its new World Report. "For the first time, the World Report is being made available online in a fully searchable database, complete with graphical map interface. By clicking on a country's marker, you can either select "View individual report" if you would like to view a single country's report or "Add to report list" in order to view multiple countries in one report. The report includes questions on: Internet access in libraries; Copyright; Library initiatives for providing information to different categories of citizens (such as senior citizens, women, the disabled and visually impaired); The role of libraries in universal primary education and environmental sustainability; And much more!" http://ifla-world-report.org/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Articles: blended librarian and parental health literacy

Howard, J. (2010) "A blended librarian talks about information literacy." Chronicle of Higher Education, August 2. http://chronicle.com/blogPost/A-Blended-Librarian-Talks/25938/ (short article reporting on a "Library 300" class at Buffalo State College of the State University of New York).

Kumar, D. et al (2010) "Parental Understanding of Infant Health Information: Health Literacy, Numeracy, and the Parental Health Literacy Activities Test (PHLAT)" Academic Pediatrics, In Press. The abstract is linked from http://www.chimat.org.uk/resource/item.aspx?RID=94170
Thanks to Yazdan Mansourian for alerting me to this one.
Photo by Sheila Webber: bridal party crossing the road from the conference centre to the amusement park, Gothenburg.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Australian award for excellence

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Information Online Group are presenting an award to acknowledge excellence/innovation in performance by an information professional, primarily based on a project undertaken individually or in collaboration. The award supports travel and attendance at a conference, up to the value of $10,000 Aus. This is not just about information literacy, but I think a number of Australian information literacy specialists might be eligible! Deadline 31st August and more info at http://www.alia.org.au/awards/merit/IOG.excellence/index.html
Photo by Sheila Webber: Dahlia in Southover Gardens, July 2010

Podcasts from the IFLA conference

Niels Damgaard has posted a number of podcasts, and in many cases accompanying slides, from the IFLA conference that took place last week in Gothenburg, on his Ning for Nordic school librarians, SBNING: http://skolebibliotek.ning.com/. The page that links to each session that is podcast is at http://skolebibliotek.ning.com/profiles/blogs/listen-to-iflasessions

I will pick out a couple of talks: unsurprisingly one of them is mine! This was on Sustaining learning for LIS through use of a virtual world and the podcast is at http://skolebibliotek.ning.com/group/ifla2010session123/forum/topics/sustaining-learning-for-lis though I would be grateful if you would pretend not to look at the accompanying photo!

He has done the same for the pre-conference seminar on school libraries: The future of school libraries in a national and international perspective. The links are all at http://skolebibliotek.ning.com/group/thefutureofschoollibrariesinanationalandinternatio and they include a keynote from Ross Todd.

I already linked to all the podcasts from the IL and Reference session, so I won't highlight those again, but otherwise these caught my eye:
Gunilla Hagman and colleagues: Information literacy - step by step: Result of a partnership between the public library and school libraries in Gävle, Sweden
http://skolebibliotek.ning.com/group/ifla2010session108/forum/topics/information-literacy-step-by and as something different Learning 2 teach - U.S. public libraries from Martin Gomez at http://skolebibliotek.ning.com/group/ifla2010session68/forum/topics/martin-gomez-learning-2-teach
Photo by Sheila Webber: at the IFLA exhibition (photoshopped)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lawyer's information behaviour

A break from IFLA reports: think I missed this PhD when it came out: an interesting study of the legal context.
Makri, S. (2008) A study of lawyers’ information behaviour leading to the development of two methods for evaluating electronic resources. PhD dissertation. London: University College London.
"In this thesis we examine the information behaviour displayed by a broad cross-section of academic and practicing lawyers and feed our findings into the development of the Information Behaviour (IB) methods - two novel methods for evaluating the functionality and usability of electronic resources.
We captured lawyers’ information behaviour by conducting naturalistic observations, where we asked participants to think aloud whilst using existing resources to ‘find information required for their work.’ Lawyers’ information behaviours closely matched those observed in other disciplines by Ellis and others, serving to validate Ellis’s existing model in the legal domain. Our findings also extend Ellis’s model to include behaviours pertinent to legal information-seeking, broaden the scope of the model to cover information use (in addition to information-seeking) behaviours and enhance the potential analytical detail of the model through the identification of a range of behavioural ‘subtypes’ and levels at which behaviours can operate.
The identified behaviours were used as the basis for developing two methods for evaluating electronic resources – the IB functionality method (which mainly involves examining whether and how information behaviours are currently, or might in future be, supported by an electronic resource) and the IB usability method (which involves setting users behaviour-focused tasks, asking them to think aloud whilst performing the tasks, and identifying usability issues from the thinkaloud data).
Finally the IB methods were themselves evaluated by stakeholders working for LexisNexis Butterworths – a large electronic legal resource development firm. Stakeholders were recorded using the methods and focus group and questionnaire data was collected, with the aim of ascertaining how usable, useful and learnable they considered the methods to be and how likely they would be to use them in future. Overall, findings were positive regarding both methods and useful suggestions for improving the methods were made."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Gothenburg harbour

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Report from IFLA" event in Second Life on 19 August

There will be a one-hour session in Second Life, the virtual world next Thursday August 19th, starting at 12 noon Second Life time (this is the same as Pacific time in the USA, see http://tinyurl.com/2wge69r for start time in other countries. Sheila Webber (Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) will report backgive a brief report from the World Library and Information (IFLA) main Conference, 11-15 August, and in particular report with material from the pre-conference satellite meeting 8-9th August on Information Literacy: Context Community Culture (see the conference blog: http://infolitsatellite.blogspot.com/
The venue for the discussion is Infolit iSchool, as part of the Centre for Information Literacy Research discussion series: location http://slurl.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/127/237/21/ - in order to participate you need a SL avatar (you can get one free on the SL website http://secondlife.com/) and need the SL browser installed on your computer (you download it free from that website).

There will be an exhibit of material from this satellite conference (part of which is shown in the picture) to stimulate discussion. Please come along in particular if you participated in the satellite event or the main conference, to contribute your views!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

IFLA Report: Researching the Information Commons

Kerry Smith was just talking at the IFLA conference about about Researching the Information Commons (RIC). There is a section on defining the IC on the website, including
"A commons, simply understood, is a resource, or a facility, "that is shared by a community of producers or consumers" (Oakerson, 1992 as quoted in Kranich 2004). The resources within a commons may be either "public goods" or "common pool resources." Some examples of public goods are streets, parks, beaches, common transit routes, stores of knowledge, and national defense." and
"An imaginary "place" where works in the public domain and works affirmatively made under conditions less restrictive than full copyright "reside" (Campbell, 2005)" (see http://infocommons.curtin.edu.au/). Kerry showed pictures of her local beach and bush, as examples of physical commons she was free to roam.
This is therefore something a bit different from the use of the phrase to apply to library/services (as in the "Information Commons" at my university, which you can't get into unless you have a university card). This is an important topic to think about and debate (and take action on) and its worth having a look at the website to see the issues being researched, and you can join in if you are a researcher passionate about this area.
Photo by Sheila Webber: another cute mobile library parked outside the conference centre.

IFLA Information Literacy Section newsletter

The IFLA IL section published its newsletter just before the IFLA conference. It includes short reports on information literacy in various countries e.g. Spain, Italy. You can find the newsletter at http://www.ifla.org/files/information-literacy/newsletters/Newsletter-v8n2.pdf
Photo by Sheila Webber: there was a mobile library mini-meet today a tthe conference

Friday, August 13, 2010

IFLA Report: Posters on media literacy

This highlights a poster presented at the WLIC/IFLA conference being held this week in Gothenburg (http://www.ifla.org/en/ifla76). Heike vom Orde emphasises how young people can learn media literacy by learning about media (learning to analyse it, produce it, and understand more about the social context) and learn with media (learning to access it and communicate with it). Click on the picture to see it larger.

There is a short paper from Heike on this topic from the INFORUM 2010 conference: “We have evidence; they are learning!” How to enable students to become media literate users of information resources
If you can speak German there is also a relevant powerpoint which Heike recently presented at the 99. Deutscher Bibliothekartag, Medien- und Informationskompetenzförderung durch Bibliotheken: Anmerkungen aus Sicht der Kinder- und Jugendmedienforschung [Libraries developing Media and Information Literacy: observations from the perspective of media research concerning children and young people] http://www.opus-bayern.de/bib-info/volltexte/2010/903/

IFLA Report: Wholebrain learning of information literacy

Ann-Louise de Boer presented a paper which she has coauthored with Pieter du Toit and Theo Bothma (all from University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa), Multidisciplinary collaboration: A necessity for curriculum innovation. The full paper is at
http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/95-toit-en.pdf She discribed a project which aims to develop material and teaching and learning approaches as a basis for teaching information literacy (for a module taught to all first year students, 8000 a year!). The guiding principle is "whole brain learning", based on the idea that there are four quadrants to the brain and that people tend to favour one type of approach e.g. a logical approach, or a more emotional approach. They propose that since there are all types of learner, the teaching needs to engage with all four types of approach.
The project is part educational development, part research (e.g. action research by the teachers, investigation into the multidisciplinary approach) and part curriculum development. There is a lot of discussion and reflection within the team, and the team members come from different disciplines. The presentation includes the "whole brain" diagram and profiles of two different lectures/teaching styles.
This is interesting from the sheer scale of the teaching challenge (I was involved in a teaching as part of a cross-discilinary team to a class of 500 students, and that was challenging enough, though a wonderful development experience), and I think it is significant that they are spending this time on developing the pedagogic approach, and that they are doing it in such a participative way. When team teaching, it can be too easy to slip into just talking about dividing up the content (you do this , I do that) rather than spending time discussing what the overall approach is to learning and teaching in a class (the "how and why", which can transform the "what" you teach).
The photo is of a power socket, that rare thing that you mostly hunt for in vain at a big conference venue. This specimen was found hiding at the side of the coffee room.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

IFLA Report: questions after the information literacy session

This is the final post about the panel session organised by the Informtion Literacy Section and Reference Section at the 76th IFLA General Conference . If you are wondering why I have been quite so conscientious about blogging it all, I was asked to take notes, so obviously I am doing that via this blog! This last post covers the questions after the papers from Sheila Corrall, Vicki McDonald, Cathy Palmer, Huy Nghiem,Kaijsa Calkins and Cassandra Kvenild. Once again they are included in the podcast of this talk at this location, courtesy of Niels Damgaard.
Question: Librarians feel that there is a difference in reception from students when librarians rather than academics are teaching (i.e. they pay less attention when librarians teach). Any views?
Sheila made the point that projects for collaboration bteween academics and staff enable librarians to get credibility with students and staff – based on the notion of PATRNERSHIPS.
Caisja said it varies in the USA, also there are status issues in the USA: some librarians are faculty and therefore have greater status. Cathy said that it is important that you are not positioned as an “add on”, but rather that the IL and librarian are seen as an integral part of the class. Being involved in planning is important. She thought that attitudes of academics can transmit to students
Vicki agreed with these points and said that it about relationships with the faculty, and that it works better in some disciplines than others.

Question to Vicki: does having research group (i.e. Christine Bruce’s research group) have any impact on what happens in the library?
Vicki answered that this had helped profiling IL within Queensland University of Technology, and work that Christine Bruce and others have done provides a foundation, but also support from other faculty in the university had been important. Sheila added something about Sheffield University (i.e. my department): she mentioned work that I have discusssed on the blog from time to time, e.g. collaboration through the Information Literacy Network and joint work on seminars for academic staff.

Question: Has embedding IL got faculty to change their pedagogy at all?
Cass and Caijsa replied that it has impacted some: they gave the example that someone in nursing was excited by the initiative and is now rewriting the curriculum taking this into account. On the other hand there are some departments where frankly there has been no impact at all: again a disciplinary thing. Generally though “it’s spreading”.

Question: The questioner was interested in sustainable, scalable solutions. Is it better to be a node rather than being at the centre, given realities of scarce time and resources?

Sheila mentioned working in partnership with academics, so that the librarian is more of an expert consultant. She noted technical/procedural barriers to becoming node (e.g. not being given access to the virtual learning environment for a class). Vicki said there had been worries about 1-on-1 consultancy, but is all part of delivery model which has a number of complementary strands. Offering across a number of channels in a number of ways helps achieve sustainability. Huy mentioned librarian having right to add elements that were important to course curricula.

Question: to Vicki: do students realise who is providing things?
Vicki said there are services or resources that people don’t know about – this is one reason for their plan for a one stop learner support portal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Colourful candles, August 2010.

IFLA report: Embedding in the 21st Century Academy

This report on a talk by Kaijsa Calkins and Cassandra Kvenild yesterday continues blog posts from the 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, held 10-15 August 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference site is at http://www.ifla.org/en/ifla76. There is a podcast of this talk here, courtesy of Niels Damgaard. The full text of the paper is:
Kaijsa Calkins and Cassandra Kvenild (University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA) Embedding in the 21st Century Academy: crossing curriculum and geography

The speakers started by quoting Shumaker and Tyler (2007) who said that "Whether it is physical or virtual, meeting the needs of the user at the point of need wherever that may be is critical to the embedded librarian service model." They also wanted to emphasise the access entitlement principle: especially important as 25% of their students are distance learners. Their concern was taking the “point of reference” away from the library website, and instead bring it to users by having it in online coures, facebook etc. They had also decided to make document delivery free and accessible, whether the recipient was in the in library building or remote.
They had experimented with onsite reference in academic Departments, but found that students actually didn’t mind coming to the library. Instead, the librarians have partnered with the writing centre, so they can support students who need help in writing essays.
They also do embedded teaching; they do collaborate in IL teaching, but there is a limit to what they can do, so they concentrate on identifying sticking points for students and redeveloping IL teaching.
As regards online tutorials, the speakers found that embedding themselves in discussion boards of online subject courses has been effective in meeting students’ questions and needs. However you DO need to limit time you soend on it e.g. just going in for a week a two at a critical time for the students. Cass said that she took a strategic approach, targeting courses with a strong IL element.
The final thing is embedding IL in the curriculum (curriculum collaboration). They were able to get IL added as graduation requirement. Library has created two for-credit courses, and, more largely, have assisted in academics’ developing courses to include IL.
Also have got inolved in school/ university collaboration in Wyoming: many students stay in Wyoming through school to university, so there is strong link that can be used to improve transition from school to college.
As regards assessment (ie evaluation): they are getting some feedback from ongoing review, and they also identified that they needed to do better marketing of servvices for those academics who aren’t collaborating already. They do an analysis of student citation practice and are using the national student satisfaction survey and any other data to get view of how they are doing.
They have a book coming out shortly but I culdn't track down the details quickly, I'll post it when I do.
Reference (taken from their paper) Shumaker, D., & Tyler, L. (2007). "Embedded library services: Initial inquiry into practices for their development, management, and delivery." Contributed paper, Special Libraries Association Annual Conference.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Harbour, Gothenburg, August 2010

IFLA Report: Queensland University of Technology Library's approach to learning support

This report on a talk given by Vicki McDonald yesterday continues blog posts from the 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, held 10-15 August 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference site is at http://www.ifla.org/en/ifla76. There is a podcast of this talk here, courtesy of Niels Damgaard. The full paper is available as follows:
Vicki McDonald (Library Services, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Queensland, Australia) Get the edge, get ahead: Queensland University of Technology Library's approach to learning support
QUT has had a strong Information Literacy programme for some years and has IL as graduate attrribute, and an IL framework was endorsed by the university in 2001. However in 2008 a new initiative created "Integrated literacies” combining academic literacies and information literacies.
There is an Integrated Literacies action plan, affecting a range of staff involved in supporting learners. However, although they had intergrated action plans and strategy, two sets of staff were still really working separately. Therefore there have been a number of integrative steps.

In the past academic year they introduced Studywell, a website which has learning resources for Integrated Literacies.The website is at http://www.studywell.library.qut.edu.au/. There are three main ways into the resource: "Know about" (topic listing), "I want to" (e.g. "I want to read more critically") and "This week think about ...". Academic staff have been enthusiastic about the resource. They have a flash based and an accessible version of the site. This material is being used in all library workshops and tutorials, so students can go away and orientate themselves in the website in their own time. The site has powerpoints with clear text and lots of images. They have some templates and course material (e.g. a weekly reading template)

They only just finished user testing last week. Students like the modern feel, use of colour, meaningful terms, and the accessible version (some prefer text to images). The "I want" category was underused and "This week" section not noticed, and they need to promote individual bits of Studywell better, in contexts where they are immediately relevant.
A second approach has been to introduce 25 minute one-on-one consultations with learners, called Study Solutions. These have been very enthusiasticly received. They had, in the first year, 191 appointments, with a large numberof consultations initiated by students themselves. The most popular topics for discussion were task analysis and essay writing, followed by researching. They are now offering an increased number of sessions. Vicki noted that the Library also continues to be key provider of learning and it is continuing to work to embed IL in the curriculum
The need for proper staff training, including of paraprofessionals, was mentioned, and Vicki showed an advert for an internal training course. I know from previous visits to QUT library that they have had a policy of supporting library staff in learning about teaching, including supporting them to get qualifications.
In the next academic year QUT library will have a new help desk model, staffed by “learning advisors”, who will be people specifically employed to work on them. To free up staff, they have been trying to cut down questions and staff involvement in lending (e.g. by simplifying procedures). The library is also developing a one stop information portal for learner support (services from across the university); "learner support" being the key emphasis.
Photo by Sheila Webber: (1) The exhibition, and (2) I failed to find any freebie chocolate worth speaking of on the exhibitors' stands. It must be the recession.

IFLA Report: Delivering information literacy programmes in the context of network society and cross-cultural perspectives

This report on a talk by Huy Nghiem continues blog posts from the 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, held 10-15 August 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference site is at http://www.ifla.org/en/ifla76. There is a podcast of this talk here, courtesy of Niels Damgaard. The full paper is:
Huy Nghiem (College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam) Delivering information literacy programmes in the context of network society and cross-cultural perspectives
Huy started by briefly indicating recent trends. He noted that there are many theories and frameworks on IL (e.g. SCONUL, Big 6). There is a new information lanscape, with social networking tools, and the way we use these digital tools has changed our information landscape and also opportunities for cross-cultural communication.
Nuy presented a diagram (shown in the full text paper) that illustrated that individuals on the one hand are receiving information from many channels, often passively (with channels that cannot be controlled or customised), but also with opportunities for sharing and communicating. Also individuals are retrieving material (e.g. from wikis, paper based surces) to learn or make meaning, education, social inclusion or employability. Information literacy is important in helping to achieve this.
In terms of the network society, so much is powered by networks and technology nowadays. What is important is the principle of inclusion. The network society can have an impact that is related to culture, country etc.
Huy quoted Spiranec and Zorica (2009) “IL [IL] has its root in the activities of particular groups and communities; it evolves in disciplinary and other contexts and is practiced by communities using their corresponding technologies”, emphasising that is social as well as technical issue.
Huy presented a table which identied the current context and next context for some core elements of IL.
For example: if the core element is "information concerns"; the current context is personal information needs and the new context involves communities concerns, communicating and living in different cultural and social environments. Another example is that if the core element is "information evaluation", the current context is based on formal knowledge and learning and the future context is based on the judgement of the community. A further example in the Vietnamese context is that if the core element is "learning", then the current context is passive learning and the impact of Confucianism (e.g. face saving), and the new context is flexible space, community based learning, cross cultural perspectives and rich resources.
Huy proposed Flexible Learning Communities as the ideal way of developing IL. This requires social and technological conditions for people to develop their IL in community, with their own leraning goals and using whatever technology is suitable. Huy saw librarians as nodes, with the role of libraries including building & developing learning communities and using social networking tools.

Reference: Spiranec S, Zorica M, 2009, ‘Information Literacy 2.0: hype or discourse refinement’, Journal of Documentation, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 140-153
Photo by Sheila Webber: Exhibition

IFLA report: How do we hook them once we've got them to look?

This report on a talk by Cathy Palmer continues blog posts from the 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, held 10-15 August 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference site is at http://www.ifla.org/en/ifla76. There is a podcast of this talk here, courtesy of Niels Damgaard. The full text paper is:
Ferry, C, Johnson, C and Palmer, C.(University of California, Irvine, California, USA) Proof of concept: the fatal first click. How do we hook them once we've got them to look?

Only Cathy Palmer was present. She firstly talked about what a "proof of concept" is, i.e. a “use of evidence which demonstrates that a model or innovative approach to solving a problem is viable, can be done with the resurces available, and solves the problem that it aims to solve.
Cathy explained that a proof of concept approaches encourages the use of data. therefore she gave us some of the statistics they have gathered. In a typical day have two instruction sessions (55 people), 8000 physica; visits, 360 reference questions, but 25000 visits to websites. Most visitors are therefore virtual: so tehlibrarians want to want to transform casual users into dedicated users.
She emphasised data aspect, because IT colleagues sometimes need convincing about what the problems with the website are.
Digital reference also enabled them to gather and analyse transcripts of reference interviews, so they can see what people are asking about. They identified the top 10 reference transcript questioins; the top three were: find an article, books, login to licensened resources. They also use Google analytics so they could look at page views, visits, jump off points etc. However you can’t know WHAT people are doing (e.g. spending a long time on a page could mean positive use, but the users may just be getting baffled) They have analysed searches from the online catalogue to see what they are looking for, what are they calling it and what do they use.
Cathy then gave examples of interventions that have arisen from the project.
1) Make it easy to ask a librarian. The chat function is now at top of page and on many pages, which includes live caht and one-on-one consultations
2) Embed the chat widget into pages that staff refer to, to make it easier to start the chat
3) Creating a popup window for people that need to be authenticated (recognising their IP address, and popping up the alert) questions about this went down 30% in first 6 weeks after making the change
4) Using google search traffic results so they can identify the words people are using to serach and use them as synonyms
5) Make some decision trees to help people to work through more complex library procedures
6) There was the idea of the "Pop up librarian" (a virtual guide"), but this has paused after quesions about who would cover the online librarian
7) Digital concierge to cover some common problems (they are exploring this)
The next stage is evaluation and they are movingforward with that

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

IFLA conference: Developing inclusive models of reference and instruction to create information literate communities

I will be doing a number of blog posts from the World Library and Information Congress: 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, held 10-15 August 2010, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference site is at http://www.ifla.org/en/ifla76. A few thousand librarians from (literally) all over the world have gathered together for these few days.
I hope to be doing some liveblogging, but the wifi connection today was poor quality so instead I rattled in some notes and am posting them tonight. The conference session I attended today was organised by the Information Literacy Section and the Reference and Information Services section. With most of the sessions I blog, I already linked to the full papers in previous pre-view posts, but I will link again for your convenience.
The session was introduced by Amanda Duffy and she emphasised the value and relevance of information literacy. She also identified a number of challenges e.g. identifying: the required information skills for users, the role of the library website and the way in which we can educate the reference librarians of the future. Amanda stressed that librarians were no longer “tucked in the corner” but now needed to come forward and take the initiative.
The first paper was from Sheila Corrall (Head of my Department at the University of Sheffield): Developing inclusive models of reference and instruction to create information literate communities. The full paper is at http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/74-corrall-en.pdf
Additionally there is a very clear podcast of Sheila's talk here, recorded by Niels Damgaard (pictured) for his school libraries Ning, who I met as I was sitting next to him for this session!
Since it was a joint session Sheila thought it was a good opportunity to explore the connection between these two areas of practice: i.e. reference and information literacy (IL). She identified that they are both central to professional practice: however we are not always inclusive in the way we deal with them. There are some questions that come up e.g. Does reference include IL teaching? Does IL include informal approaches on the reference desk?
Sheila noted that there are different interpretations in different countries: e.g. with "reference" in the UK the focus is on services from the reference desk, whereas in the USA “reference” is usually taken to include IL elements. However, there is common ground in definitions of IL (e.g. CILIP, UNESCO and ALA).
In terms of trends and developments: technology has had the biggest impact in both reference and IL. Another factor has been growing awareness of pedagogical issues amongst librarians, and more stress on independent learning by educationalists. The formalisation of librarians' training roles is also significant.
There is recognition of the changing role, e.g. as represented in the conceptof the blended librarian. However there may be less acknowledgement of the expansion of the skillset of reference desk staff, including the skills of paraprofessionals.
Sheila referred to the model identified in the Fielden Report, which sees "learner support in the LIS context as embracing a grid of activities along two matrices, one relating to the support skills and competences needed (whether LIS or academic) and the other to the style of support (whether structured or unstructured)." She found this model useful to consider the spectrum of interventions that exist (for example, the "teachable moment" would be academic/ unstructured).
Sheila identified a number of questions, for example: a strategic issue is staffing: who should be involved in reference services and what skills do they need? What mix of competencies is required for current information teaching roles?
Also, how should libraries articulate their roles and goals: one issue is that theses statememnts tend to focus on formal (or "structured") interventions in learning, rather than informal (or "unstructured"). There is also the issue of responsibility for the lifelong learning of those people that librarians support.
Sheila identified some examples of successful practice: Firstly the Scottish Information Literacy project (often featured on this blog!), stressing how they have a comprehensive approach, from small children to the workplace, involving partners in different sectors
The second example was at Oxford University, where they explicitly include all staff in their impressive staff development programme. Finally, at Sheffield University she noted the identification of IL as a graduate attribute in the university's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. She also talked about the course in Inquiry Based Learning that the librarians took, and now a second innovative programme which includes the IT support and paraprofessionals in training about IL and learning, so that they can understand and support the students’ needs better.
Sheila concluded by identifying technical impact on reference service and IL education; noting that paraprofessionals are often involved in informal learning, but not often included in pedagogical development programmes; identifyng that policies tend to address formal rather than informal teaching strategies, and stating that there is a need to connect up across sectors.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Information Literacy: Context, Community, Culture

There are already the abstracts of this conference and the posters from the first workshop session on the conference blog for Information Literacy: Context, Community, Culture, held 8-9 August in Gothenburg, Sweden, organised by the IFLA Information Literacy Section (I was conference chair).
- There is a pdf with informative abstracts and biographies of speakers, plus the programme and guidelines for the unconference: http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/satellite-brochure.pdf
- There is the briefing for the Sunday workshop sessions: http://dis.shef.ac.uk/sheila/briefing-sunday.pdf
- There are the posters that were produced on the Sunday: Group A, Group B, Group C, Group D, Group E, Group F
Photo by Sheila Webber (photoshopped): at the conference

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Information Literacy conference, and teaching LIS in Second Life

This coming week is the World Library and Information Conference. Firstly, I am conference chair for a pre-conference event on 8-9 August in Gothenburg, Sweden, Information Literacy: Culture, community, context. This is organised by the IFLA Information Literacy Section, of which I am a member. We have an exciting programme, which you can see on the conference blog: http://infolitsatellite.blogspot.com/. The blog will have the extended abstracts and other material from the conference. I will probably do the main blogging about that conference there rather than here, but in that case I will do some linking posts here too. I will blog information literacy matters from the main conference on this blog.
Secondly, at the main conference, I am presenting a paper coauthored with Professor Diane Nahl, of the University of Hawai'i, Sustaining learning for LIS [Library and Information Science] through use of a virtual world. The full paper is at http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla76/123-webber-en.pdf and the powerpoint is on Slidehare: I have embedded it below.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Researcher Development Statement

Vitae, the body in the UK concerned with developing researchers, has published its Researcher Development Statement. This outlines attributes, skills & knowledge which are needed by researchers. This will set the agenda for training for research students and other researchers in UK universities. It identifies four domains: Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities; Domain B: Personal effectiveness; Domain C: Research governance and organisation; Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact. "Information literacy and management" and (separately, curiously) "Information seeking" are included in Domain A, in the subdomain "Knowledge base". There are some other aspects of what I would call IL elsewhere, but at least IL is in it (there was some good lobbying from the CILIP IL Group). You can find the statement, and associated material, at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Farmer's market, Blackheath, August 2010.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

IFLA papers:

This is another batch of papers online for the World Library and Information Conference (or IFLA conference) which takes place 10-15 August.
- Maija Berendtson (Helsinki City Library, Helsinki, Finland) Libraries promoting multimodal literacy in an intercultural society

- There is a session on parliamentary libraries and their role with the public, for example:
Abdolreza Noroozi Chakoli (Shahed University, Tehran, Iran) et al. The role of parliamentary libraries in increasing citizens' access to knowledge and its barriers in the developing countries

There are obviously lots more papers on a huge variety of library and information subjects, so it is well work browsing through the conference programme: as I said before, most of the papers are already online (and they are papers, not powerpoints). Four academics from my Department (including me) are speaking at the main conference (see this post for more information) and I will be talking more about the events I am involved in, in my next post. I will also be blogging the conference as will these people.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Study on US millennials and social networking

The Pew Research Center has published results of a survey of "895 internet experts and other internet users" to ask their opinion about (essentially) whether the millennial generation will do less social networking as they get older. There were respondents who thought that they would use sites like Facebook less, but the majority position was that millennials "will retain their willingness to share personal information online even as they get older and take on more responsibilities. Experts surveyed say that the advantages Millennials see in personal disclosure will outweigh their concerns about their privacy." The report is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea in Weston Park, August 2010 (with drybrush effect)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More online papers from IFLA: health, agriculture

A second batch of papers online from the World Library and Information Conference (or IFLA conference) which takes place 10-15 August..
- Shamin Renwick (University of the West Indies, Agriculture and Life Sciences Division, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago) Current trends in agricultural information services for farmers in Trinidad and Tobago/Caribbean
- Liangzhi Yu (Nankai University, Department of Information Resource Management Tianjin, China) Information worlds of Chinese farmers and their implications for agricultural information services: a fresh look at ways to deliver effective services
- Lynn Woolfrey (DataFirst Resource Unit, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa) Skills development to assist data usage for policymaking in Africa

There is a session on health information, including:
- Sue Thomas (Health Promotion Library, Department for Public Health and Health Professions, Welsh Assembly Government, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom) Small steps to a healthier nation: providing and delivering health information across Wales
- Jagtar Singh (Department of Library and Information Science, Punjabi University, Patiala, India) and Dilara Begum (East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh) Student awareness of health information initiatives of the Governments of India and Bangladesh: a study of Punjabi University, Patiala and East West University, Dhaka
Photo by Sheila Webber: Dahlia, Southover Gardens, July 2010

Copyright and E-learning

A new book is: Secker, J. (2010) Copyright and E-learning: A guide for practitioners. London: Facet. ISBN: 978-1-85604-665-7
There is a contents list, extract from the book and a video from Jane secker on the Facet website: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/title.php?id=665-7
Photo by Sheila Webber: Corn (on cob) field, Hellingly, July 2010