Monday, January 30, 2012

Video: College Research: What I Wish I Had Known

Evelyn Barker, Instruction and Information Literacy Librarian, at the University of Texas at Arlington, interviewed students to ask them for their advice to people aiming to study at university as regards what "would have better prepared them for college research." She published the resultant video on Youtube in December, entitled College Research: What I Wish I Had Known. The students come up with a lot of sensible advice about managing time, using resources etc.

Information Literacy in the wild: free book

This book, Information Literacy in the wild, is an outcome of a module at the School of Information at the University of Michigan, USA: Information Literacy for Teaching and Learning which is taken by Masters students in librarianship and in Education. The students have to observe a mentor's teaching practice on placement, do some of their own teaching and develop a teaching intervention or tool in a placement for the class. There are 27 short chapters in which students reflect on their teaching experiences. The chapters are grouped by the educational context: school classroom, school library, college, university, public libraries and a couple of other other contexts.
In an introduction, the designer and coordnator of the module, Kristin Fontichiaro, talks about the rationale behind the class and introduces the book. There is a one-page module outline at the end of the book and you can find the full class outline here
I haven't read through all of the chapters yet: the most appealing to me are the ones in which reflection dominates over description e.g. Caroline Mossing's "How to tame a bird unit". However, altogether it is a really nice idea and well executed by the students and their teacher.

Fontichiaro, K. (ed) (2011) Information Literacy in the Wild. Ann Arbour: University of Michigan Library. You can download it free for eReader: and as a pdf:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Early primrose, January 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Missing Link: making the connection between information literacy and an excellent student experience

On 19 March 2012, Birmingham City University Library and Learning Resources has a conference on its City South Campus, Birmingham, UK: The Missing Link: making the connection between information literacy and an excellent student experience.
"This conference is for you if you are interested in Information Literacy and if you would like to take advantage of some professional networking opportunities. The presentations and workshops/seminars will be focussing around the three themes of the conference: Inspirations, Innovations and Collaboration. The speakers are practitioners in the field of Information Literacy or actively involved in student learning. They will be presenting their experiences on the various projects and collaborative efforts they have been involved in and will also be sharing with you some of their inspiring and innovative ideas."
More info at or email
Photo by Sheila webber: apple, leaf, November 2011

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another journal special issue! Infolit policy

Library Trends, volume 60 issue 2, Fall 2011, focuses on "Towards policy formulation" on information literacy, a special issue edited by John Crawford. This looks a very interesting issue! This is a priced journal.
- Introduction: Information Literacy Beyond the Academy: Towards Policy Formulation; by John Crawford
- Information Literacy Advocacy-Woody's Ten Commandments; by Forrest Woody Horton, Jr.
- Trapped Between a Rock and a Hard Place: What Counts as Information Literacy in the Workplace and How Is It Conceptualized? by Annemaree Lloyd
- How Information Literacy becomes Policy: An Analysis Using the Multiple Streams framework; by Sharon Weiner
- Empowerment or Instrumental Progressivism? Analyzing Information Literacy Policies; by Andrew Whitworth
- The Concept of Information Literacy in Policy-Making Texts: An Imperialistic Project? by Ola Pilerot and Jenny Lindberg
- Is There a Right To Information Literacy? A Practice in Search of a Policy; by Catherine Haras and Stephanie Sterling Brasley
- Reconnecting Information Literacy Policy with the Core Values of Librarianship; by
Heidi LM Jacobs and Selinda Berg
- A Framework for Analysing and Comparing Information Literacy Policies in European Countries; by Carla Basili
- National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland): Pioneering Work to Influence Policy-Making or Tinkering at the Edges? by Christine Irving
- Think Global, Act Local: Expanding the Agenda for Media Literacy Education in the United States; by Vanessa Domine
Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter trees, Sheffield, January 2012.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

LILAC registration open

Booking is open for the LILAC 2012 (information literacy) conference to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, 11-13 April 2012. There is now a Linked In group, a Facebook group and a Twitter feed (they are all linked from the LILAC home page, at the bottom).
Photo by Sheila Webber: lilac in a dickerware vase, 2005

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Information Literacy in the Workplace

The new issue of Education Libraries, the open-access journal published by the Education Division of the (US) Special Libraries Association, focuses on workplace information literacy. This is Volume 34, Number 2; Winter 2011. Key articles are:
Information Literacy and the Workforce: A Review; by Sharon Weiner
21st Century Workforce Initiatives: A New Wave of Educational Reform Movements; by Laura L. Leavitt
From the Classroom to the Boardroom: The Impact of Information Literacy Instruction on Workplace Research Skills; by Tiffini Travis
There is also an annotated bibliography, which I'm happy to say mentions this blog, though it says it started in 2008 (rather than 2005)
The journal home page is at and the pdf of the issue is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bingxin Liu (MSc Information Management) and her parents, at our graduation ceremony for Masters students on 12th January; I supervised her dissertation.

"Last Wednesday" infolit discussion

On Wednesday 25 January 2012 at 2pm USA Eastern Time (7pm UK time, 11AM US Pacific Time) there will be a "Last Wednesday" information literacy discussion using tinychat, sponsored by the ACRL (US Association of College and Research Libraries) Science and Technology Section’s Information Literacy Committee. To join the discussion, go to

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mobile information literacy; 2 articles

1. Havelka, S. and Verbovetskaya, A. (2012) "Mobile information literacy: Let’s use an app for that!" College and research libraries news, 73 (1), 22-23. A short article. Their mobile resources page, as an example, is at Thanks to Mark Jones, who highlighted this article.

2. Yarmey, K. (2011) "Student Information Literacy in the Mobile Environment." EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 34 (1). A longer article which reports on a survey at the University of Scranton, USA. Their "Smartphone Survey" was aiming to investigate students' use of them for searching and evaluating information, and assimilating the information. "The results of the Scranton Smartphone Survey indicate that, while students are interested in using their phones for academic purposes, they still require guidance from educators to choose the most appropriate mobile resource and to evaluate mobile websites and mobile apps." One interesting thing was the range of things (e.g. spoken words, barcodes, pictures) used to start a search, and this varied by device.
Photo by Sheila Webber: First snowdrops, January 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

SCONUL digital literacy and open content lenses

When it launched the revised Seven Pillars model of Information Literacy (shown right), the (UK) Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) said they aimed to develop further "lenses" on the pillars. They have just updated the draft of The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy through a Digital Literacy lens and there is also the draft of an Open Content lens. The 7 Pillars page, with the links, is at
Ant article by Alison Mackenzie in the Guardian on Wednesday talks briefly about the digital lens:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Film clips of libraries

This is about library publicity not infolit - a clever compilation of film clips which have libraries in them. Thanks to Richard Wakeford who drew this to my attention. The tag line is "Visit the Greene County Public Library to check out any of these films!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thoughts about SOPA/PIPA protest

Many of you will have heard about the one day "strike" being held today by some websites, to protest against the proposed legislation SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (The Protect IP Act). You can find out more about this on the SOPA Strike website. The most publicised action has been the blackout of the English-language Wikipedia site (although not its mobile version).
I do think that these bills are worrying, so broadly support the campaign. However, the protest actions have also raised some worrying issues.
I have been ill at home with a nasty bug for the last couple of days, and not checking my social media like I usually do. I was a bit disturbed to find out when I logged in, just now, that Flickr, as a protest, has been allowing members to block not just their own pictures, but other people's. This has a limit of 10 pictures that can be blocked, and you can "opt out from any photo" of yours being blocked - still I feel uncomfortable that Flickr is allowing other people to block my content. The opt-out clause is all very well, but if like me you have been out of it for a day or so you aren't aware that you NEED to opt out.
Some people who have made significant contributions to Wikipedia have also debated the ethics of an editorial collective making this decision about content created by a whole lot of other people. One of the issues that concerns me about SOPA/PIPA is the way in which US legislation can affect people in other countries (like me), but today also shows that actions by those who are "well intentioned" can also deprive people of access and rights.
The discussions about how companies are taking decisions based on commercial issues (e.g. likely protests from advertisers) are also interesting. As SilverPanda commented on a post at the Verge, "Wikipedia doesn’t have ads so it can do whatever it wants."
Altogether a day that gives someone like me, who has a lot of content in "the cloud" (including my university email account...) pause for thought.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Graduation Hall, Sheffield University, January 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New articles in JOLIS

Huvila, I. (2011) “The complete information literacy? Unforgetting creation and organization of information.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 43 (4), 237-245. "Even though the concept of information literacy typically embraces an idea of a complete participation in an information community, its definitions have tended to underline the phases of seeking, searching and evaluation instead of creating information. Shortcomings of information creation can, however, explain many of the difficulties of finding information. This article develops the notion of information literacy with a specific focus on integrating creation and organization of information as central aspects of being information literate and discusses the implications of developing information creation processes from the point of view of information professionals and users. Finally, suggestions are made for how information creation might be improved in practice."

Sales, D. and Pinto, M. (2011) "The professional translator and information literacy: Perceptions and needs." Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 43 (4) 246-260
JOLIS is a priced publication:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Brussels sprouts at Blackheath farmers' market, January 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Library and Information Research - new issue

Vol 35, No 111 (2011) of Library and Information Research has been published. It is an open-access online journal. Articles include:
- Practical tips on interviewing the great and the good by Barbara Jo Buckley Owen
- Considering the place of practice-based evidence within Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) by Denise Koufogiannakis
- Creating information literacy partnerships in Higher Education by Clare Joanne McCluskey
- Quantitative vs. qualitative – do different research methods give us consistent information about our users and their library space needs? by Susan E Montgomery
Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter tree, Sheffield, January 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Infolit Toolkit

Ohio State University Libraries recently announced their Infolit Toolkit "The goal of the toolkit is to provide a framework for sharing resources, insights and discussions that can enhance the teaching of information literacy on our campus and to support faculty efforts towards that end. The toolkit consists of tools, blog posts, interactive commenting features, and linking features that allow participants to find and share aids for teaching IL and to deepen their own understanding of IL." The tools, blog posts and links can be browsed and are also grouped under the headings "Advising Students", "Teaching", "Research" and "New Faculty".
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield winter trees, January 2012.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

(UK) National Library Day

February 4 2012 is the United Kingdom's National Libraries Day "a national celebration of libraries, librarians and library staff." There is a website at The hashtag is #nld12 and the event is on Facebook and Twitter (@NatLibrariesDay) and has a Flickr pool at The logo shown here,by richhawk57, is available from the Flickr pool under a Creative Commons License.

Manchester Teachmeet

A few places left at the Manchester (UK) Teachmeet on Tuesday 17 January):

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Online training

Diane Kovacs offers self-paced online training courses, some of which are approved by the (US) Medical Library Association for Continuing Education credits.
They include: Instructional Design for Online Teaching and Learning and Implementing Online Teaching and Learning: Using Moodle and Other Web 2.0 Features. Go to

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

Last week saw the announcement of the new Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education by the (US) Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL). They define Visual Literacy (VL) as "a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media". The VL Standards include: an introduction & definition; brief discussions of VL as it relates to higher education and to information literacy; "suggestions for implementing the Standards"; a bibliography, and, obviously, the standards themselves. The document is at and the ACRL VL blog is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter trees, Sheffield, January 2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

Search smarter, Search faster

Thanks to Sharmana (Alison Sharman) who highlighted this video from the University of Sydney from a few years ago, which provides an amusing take on search terms and Boolean logic. Sharman identifies that it is more successful with UK students than with students who do not have English as a first language and there are also some interesting comments on the Youtube site (e.g. "this lesson was boring and a waste of period 5 friday") but still it is worth a look. The video is on Youtube at
Photo by Sheila Webber: winter trees, Sheffield, January 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012

Social media to update health care managers

On Dean Giustini's blog (he is a medical librarian in Canada) I found a link to a recent paper of his, which can be read in full on his Slideshare page. It is about a workshop helping healthcare managers understand how social media could help them keep up to date (and obviously, keeping up to date is part of information literacy):

Read, K. and Giustini, D. (2011) "Social media for health care managers: creating a workshop in collaboration with the UBC Centre for Health Care Management." Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, 32 (3), 157-163. This is Giustini's Slideshare:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Robin, Hailsham, January 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Eisenberg and Vasil: Keynote speakers at WILU 2012

Dr. Michael Eisenberg (University of Washington Information School) and Adria Vasil have been announced as keynote speakers at the Canadian Information Literacy conference, WILU (May 23-25 2012; Edmonton, Canada). Vasil is "a Canadian journalist who advocates for environmental issues, women’s and human rights, and the author of Ecoholic, a book that helps consumers make environmental product choices." The conference website is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Macdonald Stewart Sculpture Park, Guelph, Canada, taken at the WILU 2005 conference, May 2005

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Library Impact Data Project

I think I failed to blog about the Library Impact Data Project (based at the UnNiversity of Huddersfield), for which Phase 1 was carried out last year and Phase 2 is continuing this year. The aim of Phase 1 was "to prove a statistically significant correlation between library usage and student attainment." This they did by taking data from 8 universities and showing a correlation between class of degree and both borrowing books and using electronic resources. As they emphasise, this is a correlation, and you cannot prove causality, but nevertheless it is a very useful piece of research. They also did some focus groups, and Phase 2 is exploring further; it "will further exploit the data, investigate possible causal aspects and disseminate findings from both phases". The project blog is at, with papers at and a data collection toolkit at
Photo by Sheila Webber: People photgraphing the huge Christmas tree made of Lego, at St Pancras Station, January 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Draft LILAC programme

The preliminary programme for the LILAC (UK information literacy) conference (being held in Glasgow, Scotland, 11-13 April 2012) is available:
And - Happy 2012!
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blackheath Farmer's Market, December 2011