Friday, August 31, 2012

Presentations: Supporting Diverse Student populations

Presentations from the ALISS conference on Supporting Diverse Student populations (held in August 2012) are available. They include:
- Ethnicity and Study Skills: active intervention in the library setting (Suzanne White and Lisa Lawrence, Subject Librarians Coventry University.)
- Using Elluminate to deliver library training to distance/ part time learners (Helen Clough Learning and Teaching Librarian, The Open Univeristy.)
- Library support for International students (Helen Ireland , University of Warwick.)
- Online learning: Can a generic tutorial meet the disparate needs of researchers? (Jenny Coombs- University of Nottingham)
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: seed head, Jonkoping, August 2012

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Conceptions of Information Literacy in an international context - join the e-discussion

Another alert for the e-discussion taking place next week on 4 to 6 September on the theme of information literacy in the international context. It has been organised by the IL advocates at the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex University) and there is more information here
Photo by Sheila Webber: from the plane over Sweden, August 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pew Report: Future of Higher Education

In July, The Pew Internet/Elon University (USA) published results of a survey of about 1000 "nternet experts, researchers, observers and users". Most people thought there would be more reliance on technology (e.g. teleconferencing, more blended learning), and not everyone thought this was a good thing. “They are worried over the adoption of technology-mediated approaches that they fear will lack the personal, face-to-face touch they feel is necessary for effective education,”
Anderson, J., Boyles, J. and Rainie, L. (2012) The Future of Higher Education.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Albert Memorial, August 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Value of Information Literacy: Conceptions of BSc Nursing Students at a UK University

I'm currently travelling to the Special Interest Group Phenomenography and Variation Theory conference in Sweden (my first blog post from a plane! (Norwegan airlines) and so it is appropriate to highlight a recently completed PhD using the phenomenographic approach: Dr Antony Osborne's The Value of Information Literacy: Conceptions of BSc Nursing Students at a UK University. This investigated the perceptions of nursing students at a UK university. In phenomonography you aim to discover what the differences are in the way in which people experience or conceive of a phenomenon. You normally do this by conducting indepth interviews probing this experience or conception, and then you put all the interview data together and identify the qualitatively different ways in which people are experienncing/ conceiving of the phenomenon. I haven't had time to read the thesis yet (actually I'm having family health problems which mean I'mjoining the conference later than intended) but you can find the whole thing at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: View from St Thomas' Hospital ward (of Houses of Parliament and Big Ben etc.), August 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Information Literacy and Open Educational Resources: new report, and presentation

The report Librarians, Information Literacy and Open Educational Resources: report of a survey has just been published This is part of a project led by Nancy Graham (University of Birmingham) and Dr Jane Secker (London School of Economics). There is also a mailing list for those interested in IL OERs: and they have set up a wiki at They have been seeking other people to contribute to this initiative. It is supported by UNESCO and they have given presentation at various meetings. The latest was on 14th August 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Posters at #WLIC2012 Furry ears; librarian image in gaming

A couple of posters at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland that caught my eye although they aren't on information literacy. The first one is just cute: "Furry ears are listening" from Jani Keranen of Finland. You can read a little more about the programme to encourage reading, by reading to a dog, here:

The second one, Library in computer games: the major discourses, is a serious piece of research into the image of libraries and librarians in computer games, using discourse analysis, by Olga Einasto (Estonia). The discourses were: library as temple; library as order symbol; library as memory institution of society; library as labyrinth. The librarian is always the magical helper and supporter of "good guys".
Here's a short video of the poster session, from the IFLA people.

Photos by Sheila Webber

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Informationskompetens (Information Literacy)

Continuing my international theme, here is an interesting Swedish blog (in Swedish) on information literacy from Peder Söderlind and Martin Lindqvist
Photo by Sheila Webber: The Walking Man, in Glasgow, July 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Infolit at South African meeting

The South African Online User Group had its annual meeting in June 2012 and the presentations are online. I will particularly highlight:
- Changing Mountains into Molehills (about teaching information literacy, note that the Word document is the fuller version): Denyse Knipe
- If love is in the air… will students put more effort into information seeking? Liezl Ball and Ina Fourie
- The librarian is dead .. Oh Google me! (use of social media): Maggie Verster
Website with links and also some blog posts
Photo by Sheila webber: reflection of the Uspenski cathedral, Helsinki, Finland, August 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Online discussion 4-6 September: Conceptions of Information Literacy in an International Context

Do join us discussing important aspects of information literacy - you can contribute anytime, as little or as often as you want, over 3 days. The British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has organised this online discussion on the conceptions of information literacy in an international context. The e-discussion will take place on 4th- 6th of September 2012 and is hosted on their Chat Literacy forum on Eldis Communities. Each of the 3 days will focus on a different area of information literacy:
- Day 1: What is information literacy? (Tuesday 4th September)
- Day 2: What is the link between information literacy and research skills? (5th September)
- Day 3: What are the effective tools and approaches used in teaching information literacy? (6th September)
Nine people (including me) will be taking a lead in the discussion. Between us we represent a broad range of experiences in the field of information literacy from the academic, Non-Government Organisations and public library sectors. As well as academics (e.g. me) it includes research consultants, programmatic officers, librarians and information specialists interested in e-learning, monitoring and evaluation, programme development and conceptions of IL.
"We welcome you to join us in this discussion, whether you are an academic or a practitioner in the field or interested in finally comprehending what it means to be an information literate individual!"
You need to become a member of Chat Literacy on Eldis Communities to join in: it is a simple process and you would probably want to do this before 4th September. To find out more about how to join and contribute, go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Inside the Observatory Tower, Helsinki Zoo, Finland, August 2012.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

ALFIN en el Congreso #wlic2012 de la IFLA

Good detailed posts (in Spanish) from Andoni Calderón about the IFLA World Library and Information Conference held last week:
1. mostly talking about the posters which were relevant to information literacy:
2. summarising key points from the session on information literacy and e-learning:
Photo by Sheila Webber: A mobile library outside the IFLA conference last week in Helsinki, Finland.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Alfin Argentina

For Spanish speakers: an Argentinian blog on information literacy, Alfin argentina, by Ana Chiesa
Photo by Sheila Webber: Observatory Tower, Helsinki Zoo, August 2012.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Using Flickr for scientific discovery

Not sure whether this is information literacy, but it is an example of knowledge being extended and disseminated using the internet. It is also an example of the power of browsing and encountering as information behaviour strategies, as the taxonomist came across the new species because he randomly browses pictures of insects on Flickr.

Winterton, S., Ping Guek, H. and Brooks, S. (2012) "A charismatic new species of green lacewing discovered in Malaysia (Neuroptera, Chrysopidae): the confluence of citizen scientist, online image database and cybertaxonomy." ZooKeys, 214, 1–11.
In fact the title gives you the idea: a taxonomist spotted a picture of an insect on Flickr, thought it was a new species of green lacewing (though it must be said there are 1200 different species), contacted the photographer in Malaysia who was able to capture a specimen a year later and send it to the taxonomist, who verified that it was new. Also, the authors used Google Docs to write the article, and the journal this article is published in is open access. However, you have to pay to publish, a minimum of 300 Euro, with some discounts (but I will write about my opposition to the author-pays model of publishing another time...)
The photo is by me, and is not a lacewing (the photographer does not alllow embedding or downloads) but a bee in my garden in Sheffield a week ago.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 Inspiring and empowering women through access to information

Today one of the sessions at at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland, focused on Inspiring and empowering women through access to information. I have linked to the four full text papers at the bottom of this post.
I will say a few words about the presentation Sources and channels of information access and use in the information and knowledge society: a case study of informal sector women entrepreneurs of Hlabisa Local - Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This study looked at women with small businesses, and their information needs. This mixed-methods PhD study surveyed 118 informal sector women traders, with trades like making attire, craft work, selling food etc. 23% had not had any formal education and 86% were sole breadwinners. The research looked at why they were working and what kinds of possessions/ information channels they had. In terms of their needs, they needed government information (e.g. training opportunities), business, market and financial information. Social visits, face to face communication, mobile phone and telephone were the main ways of getting infpormation. Libraries and internet cafes did not rate high. In terms of barriers, these included foreign language documents, lack of education and skills, lack of time (with the women overworked and exploited). For conclusions, there is obviously much to do: libraries need to be brought phyically nearer in some way, and have a more demand-driven collection (e.g. not in foreign language), promotion of services, and changing the image of libraries (seen as not being a place for working people but rather "wasting time"). Developing financial literacy of women is important.
As well as the paper linked below, you can also look at the PhD thesis itself: go to and search for the thesis (author family name is Jiyane)

- Women empowering through access to information: the strategic roles on NGOs in Nigeria: ADETOUN A. OYELUDE & ALICE A. BAMIGBOLA (University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria)
- Sources and channels of information access and use in the information and knowledge society: a case study of informal sector women entrepreneurs of Hlabisa Local - Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: VELI JIYANE, and MABEL MINISHI-MAJANJA (University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa) and JANNEKE MOSTERT and DENNIS OCHOLLA (University of Zululand, KwaDlangezwa, South Africa)
- Women as leaders of culture and change: a paper on BRAC’s Multi-purpose Community Learning Centre (MCLC): NAZRUL ISLAM and ARCHI BISWAS (Brac Education Programme, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
- Providing information to women in Croatia: improvements inspired by feminist groups' initiatives: EDITA BAČIĆ (University of Split, Split, Croatia)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ferry boat, Helsinki, August 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 Podcamp in a public library

Judith Hare (Halifax Public Library, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) talked about Podcamp and social media: keeping the public library connected (at at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland). This is an initiative of Halifax Public Libraries They have a really large constituency: 395,000 inhabitants, over 2000 square miles. Hare looked at the question "What if you have a traditional library space and no money for rennovation" etc.? Their answer is Podcamp "an open space volunteer-driven unconference".
This is the website for the free one-day Podcamp 2012 As with all podcamps, the participants provide the content. Examples include some IL-related issues e.g. Twitter unleashed; Social media safety; OccupyNS [NS=Nova Scotia] and the use of social media in the Occupy movement; You Will Create a Tumblelog Before This Is Done. The library provides space, but presenters bring their own equipment. The podcamp attracts a range of ages and both men and women. Benefits include extending the reach of the library, to non-traditional users. It builds the library's image and generates publicity (in mainstream and new media). They think the idea could be extended to different themes e.g. bookcamp, multiculturism.

IFLA #wlic2012 Developing new services in a suburban context

Not specifically about Information Literacy, but at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland, there was an interesting example of a local library being focused more to new media. Kurt Hirn talked about Developing new services in a suburban context: Myllypuro Reading Room becomes a Media Library.
This includes (e.g.) a studio where you can edit audio and video, so there are possibilities for creation as well as consumption. The library is part of a brand new housing scheme. They already had community meetings in the old library, but they now have new facilities, including use of the community room in the housing scheme. They have partnerships with local groups, private-sector and public sector organisations. Events include a laptop club, poetry evening, skateboarding video shooting and meetings for local immigrant groups. There is definitely less emphasis on physical products e.g. no books now for children, but there are films.
The full paper is at

IFLA #wlic2012 Internet censorship in context: the shape of things to come

Another post from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Päivikki Karhula (University of Tampere, School of Information Sciences, Tampere, Finland) spoke about Internet censorship in context: the shape of things to come. Again this was livestreamed, so should be viewed afterwards on

Karhula traced the origins of the open internet and the growing practice of control, through legislation and filtering. From about 2005-2010 the control and surveillance became more nuanced and pervasive. She felt that the latest issue was the militerisation of cyberspace.
About 20 countries are reckoned to practice pervasive levels of censorship, including very large countries like China. There are different actors in censorship and control, public and private, and an increasing range at different points in the process. Karhula gave some specific examples involving journalists and artists. She identified some worrying trends, with increased ability to identify where people were, and when they were there, integrated with other information giving new mass surveillance. She felt that digital civil rights therefore needed to be redefined. We need protective technologies (against data sharing and tracking), legislation to protect rights, and activism and lobbying to highlight these issues.
Some questions afterwards were raised about the place of libraries. The panel chair pointed to the work of FAIFE itself: notably the IFLA Internet manifesto. Obviously there are implications for information literacy here (though I'm afraid I didn't raise them - too busy blogging!), making people aware of the issues and indeed helping people understand how they can know whether such controls are being practised in the first place.

Karhula finished by showing the video: (un)LAWFUL ACCESS: Canadian experts on the state of cyber surveillance.

A recent article by Karhula on the FAIFE site is:
Karhula, P. (2012) Data driven futures - censorship takes new forms. FAIFE spotlight.

IFLA #wlic2012 Privatization of cyberspace - case Google

Siva Vaidhyanathan was the first speaker in a session from IFLA's Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE) group, which is taking place at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. He spoke on Privatization of cyberspace - case Google. He is the author of:
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011) The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry). Updated Edition. University of California Press.
This whole FAIFE session is livestreamed and I think it will be available here from tomorrow:
Siva Vaidhyanathan (pictured speaking at the session) started by identifying the ways in which Google search has changed, to have more localisation and personalisation, to smooth out some more offensive sites and to screen out what they term "low quality" news: in other words making editorial decisions. I've blogged presentations from Karen Blakeman, that detail this kind of thing.
Most recently (last week) Google has yielded to pressure, and will give more prominence to "legitimate" sites for films, music and television (so bit torrent sites and fan sites will slide down the rankings). Thus it has moved towards consumerism and he saw further movement in that direction in the future.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 23 Things as transformative learning

Another post from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. In one of the sessions, Michael Stephens talked about 23 Things as transformative learning: promoting confidence, curiosity and communication via library staff professional development. He pointed out that this movement is now 6 years old. If you don't know what "23 Things" are: people learn (usually) about Web 2.0 applications by following weekly blog posts. Each lead post describes the application and sets a task. Participants blog their own progress on each "Thing", and it is a great mode of on-the-job learning (though I also used it with my students last year, see my link at the end).
Stephens has surveyed people who started 23 Things programmes in Australia, and found (for example) that even if people didn't finish the programme, it wasn't necessarily a "fail" as they might still have used what they did learn, or return to the programme later on. Also a strong majority of those who completed said they felt confident exploring and using new technologies: confidence and curiosity were identified as partcularly notable outcomes. Therefore, the personal benefit emerges first, and organisational change may and can flow out of that. Stephens advocated ongoing organisational commitment to communication after the programme finishes, to get the most benefit.

The full paper (which obviously also covers things I haven't mentioned e.g. what he means by "transformative learning") is here: and the powerpoint linked from here:

I will also mention the presentation I did about 23 Things in December 2011:

The picture is of a cute creature in cafe Taikalamppu, Helsinki, as the picture I took of the IFLA session was too awful to use.

IFLA #wlic people: Google search educator

Today at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland I met Tascha Bergson Michelson (pictured right), Search Educator with Google, and had some interesting discussion about the importance of information literacy. Google's Search Education site is at: It has lesson plans and activities(e.g. "Evaluating credibility of sources"); Live Training (forthcoming events and recordings of past one); and A Google a Day Challenges.

IFLA #wlic2012 Information Literacy Section 2nd meeting

Today was the second meeting of the standing committee of the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Information Literacy Section. I will pick out a few things that were discussed.
1. There was a report back on a session yesterday which was about the work of UNESCO, in particularly the Information For All Program, and the involvement of IFLA in UNESCO. Our chair, Maria Carme Torras, presented the joint work on Media and Information Literacy.
2. Looking to next year (August 2013, in Singapore), it looks like we will have a session with the Literacy and Reading Section, on intragenerational literacy and information literacy. This theme was already part of the Literacy and Reading session yesterday e.g. this paper: Promoting inter-generational literacy: the case of Gayaza Family Learning Resource Centre (GFLRC) programme in Central Uganda where mothers read and write with their children by NAPAGI AUGUSTINE TIMOTHY (Gayaza Family Learning Resource Centre, Kampala, Uganda). The other conference sessions aren't fixed yet. I mentioned in my previous post that we will have a pre-conference satellite meeting in Singapore, for which planning is well advadnced, Defining and redefining Information Literacy and Reference Services in the Digital Age. A call for papers will go out fairly soon.
3. We had further discussion about the project on the profile of the Information Literacy professional. As I am coordinating this, you will hear lots more about it on this blog! The goal is to develop sector-specific, and country/lamguage-specific profiles of the Information Literacy Professional. The first phase will be gathering relevant existing documents and ideas.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Helsinki Cathedral, August 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 Information for civic literacy

There was a pre-IFLA-conference meeting in Riga, Latvia, on Information for civic literacy, 8-10 August 2012. This sounds a very interesting meeting with lively discussion, with people from different countries and contexts presenting very different points of view. There may be a follow-up conference. There are some papers online at including:
-Saknicté Pisté Beltrán: Propuesta: La alfabetización en información como motor de la educación cívica en México (A proposal: information literacy as the driving force of civic education in Mexico) [in Spanish and English ]
- Natalia Gendina: Триада ‘Гражданская, информационная и медиаграмотность’ в контексте новой инициативы ЮНЕСКО - Учебной Программы ЮНЕСКО по медиа- и информационной грамотност (The triad of civil literacy, information literacy and media literacy in the context of a new initiative of UNESCO, the Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers) [in Russian and English ]
- Vincas Grigas: The preparedness of librarians to undertake educational activities in the context of civic literacy development [in English ]
- Reyna Josvah-Rabiaza: Accès à l’information et à la documentation: enjeu pour le développement de l’individu et de la société (Access to information and documentation: a challenge for the development of citizens) [in French ]
- Emmanuel Kabou: L’information pour une culture civique (Information for civic literacy) [in French ]
- Joyce Kinyanjui, Dennis N. Ocholla: The missing link: civic literacy when information literacy or financial literacy are lacking? [in English ]
- Ahmed Ksibi: Le programme OpenGov de l’alphabétisation civique pour le Printemps arabe (The OpenGov program of civic literacy for the Arab Spring) [in French ]
- Simon Jules Koudjam Yameni: La fonction didactique de l’information dans une bibliotheque universitaire comme outil de sensibilisation à la citoyennete de la jeunesse estudiantine : cas de la Bibliothèque Centrale de l’Université de Douala au Cameroun (The instructional role of information delivery in a university library as a tool for developing awareness of citizenship among student youth : the case of the Central Library of the University of Douala in Cameroon) [in French ]
- Mandiaye Ndiaye: La maîtrise de l’information pour un meilleur exercice de la citoyenneté (Information literacy for a better exercise of citizenship) [in French ]
- Yan Xiangdong, Guo Wanli: Library service and civil information literacy [in Chinese and English ]
Photo by Sheila Webber: coffee in Johan and Nystrom, Helsinki, August 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 Designing an interactive virtual learning environment (VLE) with a learner centered approach

Final post for today from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. The wifi connection went down during Li Wang's presentation this morning on Designing an interactive virtual learning environment (VLE) with a learner centered approach, so I'll catch up with it now.
Li Wang described the process of developing an academic integrity tutorial, and it was a great example of a learner centred design process. They identified 5 personas for their students with typical characteristics and motivations. They then produced paper prototypes of the tutorial, and elicited feedback from learners. Using a paper product was effective for getting more feedback. They then developed activities, did user testing and went through several user testing phases before moving into the full pilot stage. They will also evaluate the pilot. For each user testing stage they have just four or five students each time, but of varied demographics.
Some of the issues they identified were:
- some people want to try the test without doing the course, so they have put a link to the test on the home page
- "students don’t read" – so they've added speech bubbles and graphics to highlight key point and take learners through the story
- students didn’t use left the navigation panel in the tutorial, but did use the back button. Therefore they put in links at the bottom of each page, linking to the next and previous content
- students didn’t open “accordian” pages (i.e. where there was a plus sign indicating more pages under that heading). It turned out that most people don’t know this means extra information. Therefore they made it more obvious that there is information under the top link
- students were confusing activities and tests (so thought they’d already done the test, when they had just done the activity). Therfore they are tring to make it clearer which is which.

The course website is at

The full paper, with lots of details is at: Designing an interactive virtual learning environment (VLE) with a learner centered approach LI WANG (The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand) wlic2012

IFLA #wlic2012 IL in developing countries; Faculty attitudes to librarians

I'm blogging froom the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. In this post I'm going to highlight a couple more papers from a session this afternoon.
Dan Dorner (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand) talked about Improving the resources for supporting information literacy education in developing countries. A key theme was the contextual and culturally-situated nature of IL. He cited work by me and Bill Johnston (this is one of our key themes), so I immediately felt more warmly towards him ;-) He also mentioned, for example, Hofstede's framework for cultural analysis [Hofstede, G. (1983) "National Cultures in Four Dimensions: A Research-Based Theory of Cultural Differences among Nations." International Studies of Management & Organization, 13 (1/2), 46-74]. Dorner discussed this in relation to two countries: Vietnam, USA, UK and Sri Lanka and proposes a conceptual model of IL education. Questions after his talk raised the important issue of indigenous knowledge. His full paper is here:

In the same session, Christina Nilsen (Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC, Canada) presented on Faculty perceptions of librarian-led information literacy instruction in postsecondary education. As a practitioner, she understands the challenges of integrating IL and gaining access to students, and she highlighted the research and writings about faculty-librarian relationships. Nilsen carried out a questionnaire survey of faculty in Canada (106 respondents), to investigate their perceptions of academic librarians and the importance they placed on information literacy in their discipline. A large number rated their students' IL as poor or fair, also a majority rated IL as important and about half don't regularly ask librarians to teach their students. There was an interesting variety of reasons for not inviting librarians into their classes. Nilsen's full paper is here:

IFLA #wlic2012 E-Learning in Information Management Education in Sri Lanka: discussion of the impact of information literacy

Liveblogging at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. By the way, the connection failed during Li Wang's talk (actually it came and went in this talk too), so I'll blog that later. Next is E-Learning in Information Management Education in Sri Lanka: discussion of the impact of information literacy, presented by Namali Suraweera (pictured), presenting her PhD research.
She started by identifying current issues and barriers in IM education, a subject offered in three colleges, all in Colombo. The fact that they are all in the capital means that there is a problem about students physically attending, plus a lack of equal services to part timelearners.
The investigation was a case study using the Hutter-Hennink qualitative research cycle (I think, as outlined in this book Data was gathered through interviews, documents and focus groups and coded thematically. Findings included that:
- Information workers as learners are not familiar with student-centred education and found it difficult to navigate e-learning systems and other computer-based study tools. They lacked information literacy and a sense of autonomous learning.
- Secondly, the study found that the academics themselves were not familiar with constructivist approaches, as well as lacking information literacy. There is no incentive to develop IL at the school level, because of the transmissive approach of teaching. This lack of student-led approach in education is perceived as a definite barrier to development of effective e-learning programmes.
- Thirdly, there is little partnership between librarians and academics. The librarians themselves need to learn how to teach, as well.
The conclusions include that lack of staff awareness about information skills, lack of understanding about constructivist pedagogy and lack of training opportunities; learning theories, pedagogy and e-learning are not yet incorporated into Information Management education in Sri Lanka.

Therefore recommendations include a need to update IM curricula and generally increase awareness of constructivist and e-learning pedagogies in teachers.

Full paper at: E-Learning in Information Management Education in Sri Lanka: discussion of the impact of information literacy NAMALI SURAWEERA, CHERN L. LIEW and JOCELYN CRANEFIELD (School of Information Management, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand)

IFLA #wlic2012 Information literacy interconnections using a virtual learning environments

Liveblogging at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Next up is Information literacy interconnections using a virtual learning environments from David Loertscher and Blanche Woolls.
They started by giving a glimpse of their long experience in teaching, and outlined the value of a constructivist approach to networked learning. They described an approach based on learner's individual portfolios, using tools on the cloud, so students construct their own learning. Activities would include researching and teaching other learners about topics (rather than being told by teh teacher). They gave the example of using Google tools such as docs, powerpoint collaboratively during learning and teaching. They provided a link to a site where they have a template:
The full paper (with useful links) is at Information literacy interconnections using a virtual learning environments DAVID V. LOERTSCHER and BLANCHE WOOLLS (San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA). There was also a website - but I can't get the url to work at the moment so I'll add it later.

IFLA #wlic2012 >Form@doct: quels apprentissages en ligne pour des doctorants?

Liveblogging at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Next up is Form@doct: quels apprentissages en ligne pour des doctorants? (Form@doct: Designing innovative online tutorials for PhD students in France) presented by Marie-Laure Malingre.
This concerned online training of PhD students, a collaboration of several universities in two regions of France. There were 3 main starting questions, about the nature of information literacy for PhD students, whether e-learning was appropriate/better for PhD students and which resources and tools were appropriate.
The project was stimulated by a number of factors including new higher education frameworks and the move to the virtual campus.
They had carried out a study in 2007 which had revealed some of the issues - such as the patchy nature of current coverages, the need for personalised, flexible learning. One challenge was having several approaches in the same tool, another was supporting distance learning without sufficient human resources, and also there was the issue of forming a link betwen clasroom and distance learning.
They had to decide whether they would try to cover all material comprehensive, or be more selective, also there was the balance of practical and theoretical material. There was disagreement over the latter point, so both practice and theory is included. In terms of the balance of general and specific, the material is first of all generic, but with disciplinary material inserted appropriate. There is a hierarchical arrangement, with strong granularity, so specific items can be identified and used. The 4 main ways of accessing are Tree Structure, FAQ, Search Engine and Tag Cloud.
Overall a key problem is that one of lack of human resources to develop and support the resource. However, there have been 89,000 consultations of the 40 guides. The FAQ has had increasing use, and has become a way of accessing the content. They have had some suggestions from learners of resources to be covered, and some individual questions submitted to the FAQ.
I asked whether the doctoral supervisors had been involved, and it was emphasised that the doctoral colleges had indeed been involved in development and understood the value of the material.
Full text at Form@doct: quels apprentissages en ligne pour des doctorants?
Translations: [English version here]
MARIE-LAURE MALINGRE and ALEXANDRE SERRES (URFIST de Bretagne et Pays de la Loire, France) with ALAIN SAINSOT and HERVE LE MEN (Service commun de documentation, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France)

IFLA #wlic2012 Embedding e-learning into Science and Engineering Graduate Information Literacy Course

Liveblogging from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland, the next paper is Embedding e-learning into Science and Engineering Graduate Information Literacy Course By Ma Xiaomin (my photo of her on the right).
She described an initiative with a class of 90 students, with a pre test and post test, which were analysed and the course evaluated. The content was based closely on the ACRL standards for science and technology. The speaker presented spider diagrams which revealed which aspects of IL were most problematic for the students (these are in the full paper, linked below). Students also identified what extra support they felt they needed - again the diagram is in the paper, and a number of options were popular, with information literacy courses scoring top.
In one diagram, the workflow of the IL course was portrayed with four key aspects: Information morality, Information competence, Information knowledge and Information awareness
I'm afraid this report is a bit short, as I'm starting to flag a bit! I hope to get my 2nd wind before the final 4 papers in this session.
Full paper at Embedding e-learning into Science and Engineering Graduate Information Literacy Course WU MING, WANG CHUN, WANG LI, JIN YING and MA XIAOMIN (National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)

IFLA #wlic e-Learning delivery mode extends reach to IL learners in Singapore

I'm liveblogging the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. The next paper is Proliferating Information Literacy - e-Learning delivery mode extends reach to IL learners in Singapore from Gee Miaw Miin.
She explained how schools in Singapore schools may not have librarians, and they look to the National Library to provide training. So there was a 5 year project (2007-2011) involving parents and teachers as well as students. They developed 26 "bite sized" IL modules, which people have to pay for, with a target of 40,000 learners.
The skills they targetted were resource skills, serach skills, critique skills and publishing, focusing on citation and presention. They used an instructional designer, with the principles:
- allow individual control of pace and learning activities (allowing pause and additional sources)
- addressing three learning styles (visual aural, kinesthetic)
- break information into bite size (the photo shows that slide)
- connect information to ptrior learning (e.g. reflecting on past searching experiences)
- create scenarios around real life information problems e.g. a housewife looking for recipes, a businessman looking for data
- provide hands on activities or incorporate games e.g. crossword puzzles
- provide templates and summaries for learners' future use
- have final assessment
In terms of marketing, to get 40,000 people to actually pay and take the modules, the speaker emphasised parttnerships with all sorts of agencies - a real variety including business sector and public sector organistions. There was support from the top level, as there was a media and information literacy initiative from government. This includes training adults (about 10% of the total of 50,00 people taking units, I think).
The Ministry of Education's 21st century Competencies framework provides a valuable context, and also there is an initiative to train all teachers, so that IL is integrated into the curriculum. They are exploring the possibility of supporting more collaborative leraning (which is not an element at the moment). A project team is also looking at delivering the IL training using mobile apps.
There is preview material at
Full paper at Proliferating Information Literacy - e-Learning delivery mode extends reach to IL learners in Singapore GEE MIAW MIIN (National Library Board, Singapore)

IFLA #wlic2012 Micro-E-Learning in Information Literacy

I'm liveblogging from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland
The next talk in this session on e-learning and information literacy was Micro-E-Learning in Information Literacy from NICOLE KRÜGER (my phot of her, right). To quote her paper "The term "Microlearning" refers to the acquisition of a given information or learning
material in small units that can be absorbed quickly." She started by explaining why microlearning is useful - with some arguing that some e-learning is too long and ineffective, and microlearning seen as appropriate for digital natives by commentators such as Prensky.
So in her library, firstly they have an online reference service, so that users can interact via chat and email. The librarians aim to give short clear answers, but obviously this short answer may not answer the complete information need.
The second microlearning option is LOTSE, a modular online tutorial. It has multimedia content, interactive learning in a Moodle section. However, the speaker observed that this still might be too macro for the users.
Therefore they tried to merge the advantages of the two services. Thus on the reference desk they still give short answers, but also provide a link to the relevant bit of LOTSE and point out other multimedia content. For LOTSE, there is now a personal tutor available to help people orientate themselves in LOTSE. Further ideas are: making the e-learning content searchable, offering service on Facebook, forums where people can discuss their questions and publication on Youtube.
There were a number of questions afterwards, including one person troubling the notion that you have to acceed to a microlearning approach, when people still need to learn to engage more deeply (this was a point that came to me, too, as I am not happy with teh "digital native" discourse either). The speaker admitted this was a problem, but felt that since IL was so essential and the IL was not compulsory, it was at least a way of getting the information to those who would not otherwise be engaged with IL at all.
I blogged about LOTSE in more detail before:
The full text paper is at: Micro-E-Learning in Information Literacy
Translations: [Français]
NICOLE KRÜGER (ZBW - German National Library of Economics, Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel/Hamburg, Germany)

IFLA #wlic online information literacy course for undergraduates

I'm liveblogging from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland there is a session organised by the Information Literacy section and the E-learning section. The first talk is on An online information literacy course for undergraduates: early experiences presented by
It was converted from an existing face to face course "Introduction to library research practices". The speaker said that she's trying to change the name as she feelsd it isn't really up to date. It is a popular course, on the books for 25 years, and over 5000 students have taken it over the years. Recently it was adapted for Education students, and it's now a required course for them.
The online version has "built on the sucesses" of the f2f course. The biggest reason for putting the course online was to increase the reach and impact of the module.
They have three main phases covered in the module (the photo shows the slide associated with this bit). They teach about planning the search, carrying out the search critically, and about applying and using the information. They had the support of an e-learning team who helped convert existing content and creating new content.
Each section starts with a pre-test, activities and reading and then ends with a post-test (the tests are the same). If peoples till have problems in the post-test, support and revision is offered. People are presented with all the study materials for each session, so learnres can tackle it in whatever order they like. There is audio material, video and animated diagrams, plus tutorials to show an expert modelling good practice.
In terms of feedback, particularly popular was a discussion lists where they could interact with the tutor and the other students. Retention was good.
Changes are: to simplify the assessment, as it is challenging coping with this with the larger number of students, and to increase the amount of synchronous interaction. (click on courses and go to Inst250) and there is also info on
Full text at: An online information literacy course for undergraduates: early experiences ANNE WADE and JOANNE LOCKE (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada) and PATRICK DEVEY (eConcordia, Montreal Canada)

Posters at #WLIC2012 searching tutorial and course development

I will have a few posts over the next few days covering a few of the 190(!) posters at the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. Firstly, here is one by Terje Blasternes at the University of Stavanger, Norway: Searching scholarly information and citing sources: e-learning courses in information literacy.They cover searching and evaluation: the tutorials (in Norwegian) are at

Secondly, a poster by Sarah Bordac and Carina Cournoyer of Brown University, USA: Lining up the guideposts: integrating media and information literacy frameworks for first year university students. They have examined a range of existing standards and frameworks (as listed on the poster), and found that none of them gave exactly what they wanted. However they have drawn on them to develop their own framework, and are currently at the pilot stage.

I found a libguide on searching at Brown by Sarah Bordac here: and you may also be interested in a list of resources drawn up by an intern at Brown University.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Road to Information Literacy: Librarians as Facilitators of Learning

TampereThe Road to Information Literacy: Librarians as Facilitators of Learning was a conference that took place last week in Tampere, Finland, as a pre-conference satellite of the IFLA conference. You can see what the programme was on the website here: (The photo of Tampere on the right is by tempuu_ on Flickr)
One of the impressive feats was to get the published proceedings produced by the time of the conference, although it is a bit pricey (Euro 99.95):
Gwyer, R., Stubbings, R, and Walton, G. (2012) The Road to Information Literacy: Librarians as facilitators of learning. The Hague: De Gruyter. IFLA Publications 157.
ISBN: 978-3-11-028100-2. The information is here:

A couple of content links:
- The slides for the workshop from Jane Secker, Maria Bell and Katy Wrathall are here:
- A poster from the University of Padua "ABC of Information Literacy: info license for aware driving" is here:
- Prezi from Andrew Whitworth:
- Full text of: Sormunen, E., Eriksson, H. and Kurkipää, T. (2012) "Wikipedia and wikis as forums of information literacy instruction in schools"

There are pictures from the conference here:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

IFLA report #wlic2012 IL Section Committee: UNESCO, IL professional

I'm attending the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland, which lasts still next Thursday. There were also a successful pre-conference satellite meetings in Tampere: although I didn't attend these, I can give some links etc. so I will have a separate post for those. I am a member of the IFLA Information Literacy section committee, and we have a section meeting before the main conference starts.These are some key points from the meeting.

UNESCO. A key thing has been the work with UNESCO/IFAP (Information For All Programme). Last year IFLA did the initial draft of UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Recommendations. This has cleared the first hurdle of approval, and will be presented at next year's UNESCO General Conference for discussion and hopefully endorsement. If this happens it will be a big step forward for information literacy at the national and international level.
There was also a brief report on the contribution to the ongoing development of the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Indicators, and the production of the Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy. They have also contributed to the dicussion and development of UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Teachers.

Profile of the IL professional. Last year I proposed  a project to develop sector-specific profiles of the Information Literacy Professional (sectors to be finalised, but likely to be: Academic sector; Schools sector; Public Library sector; Workplace library sector), and also to create through this process a resource of material organised by country and/or language. This was accepted, but for various reasons I did not get this moved forward. However, we are now starting again from scratch, so you will be hearing more about that on the blog and elsewhere!

Wiki of the international state of the art reports. There are plans to develop these reports (see into a wiki, so they can be kept more current and be more accessible.

Future events.
These include a pre-IFLA conference meeting in August 2013 at the National Library of Singapore, on Redefining and refining information literacy and reference services in the digital age.

Photos by Sheila Webber: a snap taken during the meeting break; the outside of the conference hall.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Social media and the life cycle of rumors

A TED-London talk from Farida Vis is: Social media and the life cycle of rumors. She talks about her research into the way misinformation is spread and quashed (as mentioned in an earlier post)
Farida will also be speaking at the OKFestival in Helsinki 17-22 September 2012. This festival looks interesting, of relevance to Media and Information Literacy, and I think some sessions will be streaming to the web.

NoWAL Conference: "Beyond the library: student transition and success

On 4 September 2012 NoWAL CPD Programme Beyond the library: student transition and success takes place at the University of Cumbria, UK. Booking closes next Friday 17th August.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

European Conference on Information Literacy #ecil2013

I already blogged a couple of times about the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL), to be held on October 22-25 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. Note that the date is slightly different from the first announcements, due to availability of conference halls. As noted before, the call for papers is open.
Paul G. Zurkowski, who is generally cited as having originated the term "information literate" is the Honorary Chair of the Conference. You can follow the conference on the website:; Facebook; Twitter and via

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Open University announces a MOOC on OERs

"The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology is leading the first Open Learning Design Studio MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) focusing on the theme of curriculum design with OERs (Open Electronic Resources), to be held in Autumn 2012. This course will be valuable for anyone seeking to develop their professional skills and experience in curriculum design, learning design and use of OERs in education. In particular the course will appeal to new and established HE and FE lecturers, to those completing professional certificates in teaching, and to researchers and managers of teaching and learning innovation." Register your interest at

There are a couple of interesting posts on MOOCs from one of those (I think) involved in the course, Martin Weller: here and here. One of founders of MOOCs, Dave Cormier, also did a long post recently on MOOCs here. Below is a video of his on Success in MOOCs, from 2010.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Information literacy meets E-learning: let’s talk about interconnections and outcomes #wlic2012

At the IFLA World Library and Information Congress on 13 August, in Helsinki, is the session Information literacy meets E-learning: let’s talk about interconnections and outcomes. You have to register for the conference (11-17 August) to attend, but there are full-text papers online already here: I will be attending the conference, so I will blog the session here, too. The session is organised by the IFLA Information Literacy Section and E-learning Special Interest Group. The papers are:
- An online information literacy course for undergraduates: early experiences: ANNE WADE and JOANNE LOCKE (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada) and PATRICK DEVEY (eConcordia, Montreal Canada)
- Micro-E-Learning in Information Literacy:NICOLE KRÜGER (ZBW - German National Library of Economics, Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel/Hamburg, Germany)
- Proliferating Information Literacy - e-Learning delivery mode extends reach to IL learners in Singapore: GEE MIAW MIIN (National Library Board, Singapore)
- Embedding e-learning into Science and Engineering Graduate Information Literacy Course: WU MING, WANG CHUN, WANG LI, JIN YING and MA XIAOMIN (National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
- Form@doct: quels apprentissages en ligne pour des doctorants?:MARIE-LAURE MALINGRE and ALEXANDRE SERRES (URFIST de Bretagne et Pays de la Loire, France) with ALAIN SAINSOT and HERVE LE MEN (Service commun de documentation, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France)
- Information literacy interconnections using a virtual learning environments: DAVID V. LOERTSCHER and BLANCHE WOOLLS (San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)
- Designing an interactive virtual learning environment (VLE) with a learner centered approach: LI WANG (The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
- E-Learning in Information Management Education in Sri Lanka: discussion of the impact of information literacy: NAMALI SURAWEERA, CHERN L. LIEW and JOCELYN CRANEFIELD (School of Information Management, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand)
The main conference website is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, Sheffield, August 2012.

Student retention ACRL discussion

The ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group is discussing the article: Emmons, M. and Wilkinson, M. (2011) "The Academic Library Impact on Student Persistence". College and Research Libraries, 72 (2), 128-149.
The discussion takes place throughout August. You can read the comments by visiting the page, and can also join the discussion if you sign up to ALA Connect (free, you don't have to be an ALA member): go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: My front door, August 2012

Monday, August 06, 2012

Project Information Literacy seeks volunteers

The USA's Project Information Literacy (PIL) is seeking further volunteer colleges and universities with calls to participate in forthcoming PIL research studies. In autumn they will begin "a year-long investigation of first-time freshmen in US colleges and universities" I think you have to be located in the USA. The PIL project does the actual research, only some time acting as liaison person is required.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Olympic park and cable car, on Saturday, viewed from the motorway bridge.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

New book: Ways of Experiencing Information Literacy

Out in September: Andretta, S. (2012) Ways of Experiencing Information Literacy: Making the case for a relational approach. Woodhead Publishing. ISBN 1 84334 680 X; ISBN-13: 978 1 84334 680 7; £47.50 / US$80.00 / €55.00
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, Sheffield, August 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012

The Growing Shift to Video Explanations

The Common Craft video on Plagiarism was being tweeted a lot a couple of days ago, so I checked out their site again. You will probably know that they developed a style for explaining technological apps etc (e.g. wikis, Twitter) using paper cutouts and plain English, in short videos.
1) It did not seem straightforward to identify exactly when each video was made (and they haven't updated their Youtube channel for a while, I think to drive traffic to their own site). However, trawling through their news blog, the Plagiarism video was released in October 2011. More recently they have produced ones on Crowdsourcing, Cookies and Apps.
2) Some of the videos are available in 8 other languages e.g. Spanish, German, Japanese. To go to the sites in other languages, click on national flags at the top of the main website :
3) The art of explanation is a forthcoming book by Common Craft's Lee LeFever, which should be worth checking out. It has its own website at, but there is not anything much there at time of writing, and the posts about its progress are on the Common Craft Blog.
4) One interesting blog post by Lee LeFever is 5 Trends Behind the Growing Shift to Video Explanations. I realise, myself, that I'm doing more and more short explanatory videos e.g. I made short video recordings to explain to my students how to get to unfamiliar rooms (like this one, one on how to fill in our research ethics application form (etc. etc.) LeFever finishes by saying "We could be at the beginning of a wave that will change how we think about the role of video in helping people feel more confident and informed in the face of a rapidly changing landscape. Perhaps soon we’ll see that the genres of video have a new and productive member. Drama, comedy, documentary, advertising and explanation."

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Innovating Pedagogy: Open University report

The Innovating Pedagogy report is published by the UK's Open University (OU), and also has a blog. "This first report [published in June] proposes ten innovations in pedagogy that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education." The 10 are: Assessment for learning; Badges to accredit learning; Learning analytics; MOOCs n(Massive open online courses); New pedagogy for e-books; Personal inquiry learning; Publisher led mini-courses; Rebirth of academic publishing; Rhizomatic learning; Seamless learning. Some of these overlap with the NMC's Horizon report, but I think they are trying to get away from a purely technical focus (although there is still something of an emphasis on use of technology). The authors are Mike Sharples, Patrick McAndrew, Martin Weller, Rebecca Ferguson, Elizabeth FitzGerald, Tony Hirst, Yishay Mor, Mark Gaved and Denise Whitelock, all of the OU.
I think that in fact some of these "innovations" have already had an impact, and the short chapters do not explore all the issues (e.g. in the section about academic publishing), but it makes a nice starting point for discussion. The blog (from which you can download this first report, and comment on it) is at
Thanks to ALISS news for alerting me to this.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, Hailsham, July 2012

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Web 2.0 legal book; Social media seminar

Book: Oppenheim, C. (2012) No-Nonsense Guide to Legal Issues in Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing. London: Facet. ISBN: 978-1-85604-804-0. Info (including a sample chapter, chapter 1) at

Event is: Social Media for Organisations: Getting the Basics Right, led by Megan Roberts and Ned Potter, a UKeiG event at York St John University, UK, 4 September 2012. "This one-day seminar will give attendees a basic grounding in social media so that they can get started using and making the most of the main platforms available. The seminar will focus on how to use social networking to market your organisation or service." Costs UKeiG members £180 + VAT; others £220 + VAT. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cow parsley, Hailsham, July 2012