Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Facebook articles (student engagement; review on students' and teachers' use)

A couple of interesting papers I encountered whilst searching for something else. They are in priced publications:

Junco, R. (2012) "The relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement." Computers and Education, 58 (1), 162-171. This study partly used the student engagement questionnaire that is a standard tool in the USA. There was an interesting correlation between people doing more active things on Facebook (e.g. signing up for events) and engagement. "This paper fills a gap in the literature by using a large sample (N = 2368) of college students to examine the relationship between frequency of Facebook use, participation in Facebook activities, and student engagement. Student engagement was measured in three ways: a 19-item scale based on the National Survey of Student Engagement, time spent preparing for class, and time spent in co-curricular activities. Results indicate that Facebook use was significantly negatively predictive of engagement scale score and positively predictive of time spent in co-curricular activities. Additionally, some Facebook activities were positively predictive of the dependent variables, while others were negatively predictive."

Hew, K.F. (2011) "Students’ and teachers’ use of Facebook". Computers in Human Behavior, 27 (2), 662–676. This is a very useful review article.
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, Sheffield, July 2013

Congratulations to Emily Allbon and David Parkes

Congratulations to Emily Allbon @lawbore, Law librarian at City University, London, and David Parkes, Associate Director of Information Services, Staffordshire University, who have been awarded (UK Higher Education Academy) National Teaching Fellowships for 2013. Emily's Lawbore website is particularly commended in her citation. Further information at and Previous librarian National Teaching Fellows include Andrew Walsh and Moira Bent.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Developing Digital Literacy in your organisation

Presentations are online from the JISC Regional Support Centre West Midlands Digital Literacy event, held in April 2013 in Birmingham: Developing Digital Literacy in your organisation. Presentations include:
- Update on Digital Literacy and the Jisc programme by Sarah Davies
- The WORDLE project at Worcester College of Technology by Richard Goddard's
- Digital Identity by Judi Millage and Lyn Lall from RSC East Midlands
- The PADDLE project at Coleg Llandrillo by Andrew Eynon
- Jisc RSC Digital Literacy Organisational review tool
- Digital Literacy barriers
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: edge of the pond, July 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Online Information Literacy Tutorials

Primary Research Group announced a priced publication (US $89) which reports on a survey about online information literacy tutorials
Holland, J., DeFrain, E. and Mery, Y. (2013) Survey of Best Practices in Developing Online Information Literacy Tutorials. PRG. ISBN 978-1-57440-247-6.
Tutorials that respondents highlighted included:
- Manor College, Basileiad Library's
- University of California-Irvine, Science information tutorial
Photo by Sheila Webber: plants at the pond's edge, July 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

#IFLA conference papers library

The full-text papers from the annual IFLA (World Library and Information) conference are an excellent international resource, but up til now they have been embedded in each annual programme web page, which is rather useful whilst you are at the conference, but cumbersome ever afterwards. Now things should become easier. The papers for the 2013 event are being loaded into a new conference papers library, and there are already a number of items relevant to information literacy e.g.
- NARDINE, Jennifer and MOYO, Lesley (2013) Learning community as a model for cultivating teaching proficiencies among library instructors – a case study. Paper presented at: IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 17 - 23 August 2013, Singapore.
- BAKER, Kim (2013) Information literacy and cultural heritage for lifelong learning: applying the model to develop texttotechno intergenerational literacies. Paper presented at: IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 17 - 23 August 2013, Singapore.
- PHILIP, Kathryn J. (2013) Training for religious information literacy and community dialogue: the experience of WOREM Theological College, Southeast Nigeria. Paper presented at: IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 17 - 23 August 2013, Singapore.

The IFLA papers 2013 database is at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Leighton House, July 2013.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My 2,500th post! and - why do people cite?

We had a good discussion yesterday in the #ilread information literacy blog-post journal club, on Barbara Fister's paper ( You can have a read through the discussion at and you can still add to it, too (though as we switched moderation on again, there will be a slight delay before your comment appears).
One of the discussion points was citation - do we need to be so obsessive about students citing things? do we have to be so picky about citation styles? One thing I mentioned in a final comment was a study that my colleague Peter Willett did about why people cite. He took a journal issue that several people in the Information School had contributed to: authors had to say why they had cited items, then we read other people's articles and said why we thought they they had cited them (by the way, the readers' perceptions didn't match the authors' very well!) There have been a number of studies on citation behaviour, and Peter was using a list of reasons from a previous study.
I mention this, as I think that asking students to look at articles and try and work out why sources have been cited by the authors is one way to get students to think about why they are using other people's work in their own work. I did one exercise last year with students which included examining in more detail what was cited in an article and why it was being used, and I think I will do a bit more this coming year. Peter gives the list of reasons at the end of his article (taken from Harwood, 2009), and the main headings are: Signposting; Supporting (justifying your work or your arguments); (giving) Credit (to previous work); Position (establishing your position in relation to others); Engaging (with previous work e.g. criticising it); Building (on previous work); Tying (tying in your work with others in terms of research methods etc.); Future (flagging up your future research path), Competence (i.e. proving your competence in the subject by citing authoritative works) and of course “other”.

- Willett, P. (2013) "Readers' perceptions of authors' citation behaviour." Journal of Documentation, 69 (1), 145 - 156.

- Harwood, N. (2009) “An interview study of the functions of citations in academic writing across two disciplines”, Journal of Pragmatics, 41 (3), 497-518. nb I am citing this particular article without having read it ;-)

And this is my 2,500th post - blogging here since 2005 ....
Photo by Sheila Webber: Tiles, Leighton House, London, July 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

International Conference on Performance Measurement #north10york

The 10th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services #north10york is on at the moment in York, UK, and there is a lively twitterstream ( Some staff and students from my department, Sheffield University Information School, are presenting e.g. colleague Barbara Sen on Partial Findings from a Case Study Exploring the Strategic Orientations Adopted by a Public Library Service in Relation to their Performance and Success
Some links have been highlighted in twitter (thanks particularly to Bethan Ruddock @bethanar and Graham Stone @Graham_Stone) e.g.
- Showers, Ben and Stone, Graham (2013) "Safety in Numbers: Developing a Shared Analytics Services for Academic Libraries." In: 10th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, 22-25 July 2013, Royal York Hotel, York. - this is talking about the Library Impact Data Project
- The Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services (MINES) for Libraries protocol ("a convenient way to collect information from users in an environment where they no longer need to physically enter the library in order to access resources.")
- Heading for the open road: costs and benefits of transitions in scholarly communications (RIN report from 2011)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Vegetable tian when it came out of the oven, July 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

New articles: Infolit in Canadian academic libraries; early literacy programme in public library

The new issue of the (subscription only) Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science includes:
- Julien, H., Tan, M. and Merillat, S. (2013) "Instruction for Information Literacy in Canadian Academic Libraries: A Longitudinal Analysis of Aims, Methods, and Success." Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 37 (2), 81-102. "This study reports a survey of information literacy instruction practices in Canadian academic libraries"
- Graham, S. and Gagnon, A. (2013) "A Quasi-experimental Evaluation of an Early Literacy Program at the Regina Public Library" Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 37 (2), 103-121.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sliced vegetables about to go in the oven, July 2013

Patterns of blended information behaviour in Second Life: presentation

When: Tuesday July 23, 12 noon SL time (which is 8pm UK time, see for times elsewhere)
Where: Infolit iSchool, in the virtual world, Second Life,
What: Presentation from Sheila Webber (i.e. me, Sheila Yoshikawa in SL, Information School, University of Sheffield): Patterns of blended information behaviour in Second Life
I will present findings from a thematic analysis of transcripts of 91 interviews undertaken in SL by my students, talking about the patterns of information behaviour that I discovered. This will be the same presentatiion that I gave at the i3 conference in Aberdeen last month. I haven't uploaded this prsentation to slideshare yet, but I will do so later today or tomorrow.
This is a Sheffield University iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Report: Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing

On Tuesday The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project published:
Purcell, K., Buchanan, J. and Friedrich, L. (2013) The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools. Pew Research Center.
The research methods consisted of: "an online survey of a non-probability sample of 2,462 middle and high school teachers currently teaching in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands" (March/April 2012) and "a series of online and in-person focus groups with middle and high school teachers and students in grades 9-12" (2011/12).
A majority of teachers felt that learners' ability to share and collaborate, and their creativity, was affected positively by use of digital technology. Google Docs (for collaborative writing) seemed particularly popular. Digital tools also seem to include social networking sites, mobile phones etc.; so a broad interpretation. Teachers also had some concerns, e.g. "68% say that digital tools make students more likely—as opposed to less likely or having no impact—to take shortcuts and not put effort into their writing". Despite the fact that 88% of teachers spent "class time “discussing with students the concepts of citation and plagiarism” there were also particular concerns about learners' understanding and ability as regards fair use, citation etc.
You can download the report or read it online at

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Infolit grant for US county college

A news snippet from last month, that I just came across "A (US) $50,000 grant is helping McHenry County College figure out where the information literacy gaps are for high school students in the county. The money, awarded by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program, will help MCC gather research about how well students locate, evaluate and effectively use information." More information in the short news article at
Photo by Sheila Webber: (very small) strawberries from my garden, July 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Infolit blog-comment journal club on 24 July: #ilread outrageous claims

Space to thinkThe next online online blog-comment information literacy Journal Club meeting takes place at 8-9 pm UK time on Wednesday 24th July 2013 (see for times elsewhere). It will take place on the Infolit Journal Club blog, as a discussion in blog comments.

The topic will be Barbara Fister's stimulating keynote paper, aimed at academic librarians, presented at the LOEX (USA information literacy) conference in May. The paper is online at:
Fister, B. (2013) Decode academy. Paper presented at LOEX, 3 May 2013.
In the paper, she makes some "outrageous claims" (e.g. "We should stop teaching students how to find sources" "Very rarely are citations needed") and everyone is welcome to come along and add as much or as little as they want to the discussion ;-)
More information at
The picture is one of those which Barbara uses in the paper: it is by juggzy_malone (2007) on Flickr.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Presentations from #ub13 available

Powerpoints from the Umbrella conference #ub13 held on 2-3 July have been put online. These include a number directly relevant to information literacy including the following (there are a couple more I will blog separately):
- Information to best support society strand included: Welsh Information Literacy Project (by Patricia Hebron and colleagues)
- The benefits and possible drawbacks of automating the discovery and sharing of online information resources across multiple social networks (by Gary Green, Surrey County Council Public Library Service)
- A critical approach to information literacy (by Lauren Smith, The University of Strathclyde)
- Information prescriptions: personalised information through libraries and information services (by Ruth Carlyle, Macmillan Cancer Support)
- Emergence of social learning and its impact on education (Hannah Gore, The Open University)
- Using Twitter to create an interactive information literacy lecture (Suzanne Tatham, University of Sussex)
- Are librarians delivering good practice in information literacy for postgraduates in UK Higher Education? (Charlie Inskip, Research Information Network / SCONUL)
- Systematic searching - you CAN control the internet (Emily Houghton, National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bluebells, May 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why do I MOOC, the experiences of a MOOC learner #mooclib

The only formal talk this afternoon at the MOOCs and libraries event #mooclib was Sally-Anne Betteridge, University of Birmingham, on Why do I MOOC, the experiences of a MOOC learner.
She is a graduate trainee in professional services, and a recent graduate. She was interested through curiosity, an element of professional development and also initially the idea of continuing "academic" study. She signed up initially for courses on Gamification (which she enjoyed, but she moved house before it finished which was very- time-consuming, so she will finish another time). Then she did the Education and Digital Cultures course (i.e. the one Sian Bayne talked about earlier) which was her favourite course ("I still speak to a few of the people I met through that course"). Ones on Aboriginal Worldviews on Education and The Camera Never Lies have been enjoyable in terms of content, but not so good as regards the way they are delivered. Thyere was one on art education in museums (sorry, didn't get the title) which she was currently following. She has also done World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Leadership Development Programme - she wasn't sure it was really a MOOC, but she included it as it served the same sort of purpose, involving online learning with people she didn't know. There were also 3 she signed up for but which she never even started, but she stressed this was for personal reasons, not because of the courses.
She noted that her favourite course did have any lectures! She did not like recordings of "proper" lectures (i.e. in a lecture hall "it was like I was watching other people learn"), and preferred the Gamification lectures where it was simply the lecturer talking at his desk.
She preferred "in course" assessments to ones where you had to do something outside the course structure. She did not like "endless multiple choice quizzes". Where the assessments were interesting she did them, even when they were optional.
In terms of interaction, she preferred Twitter to discussion boards (which seemed to link back to poor experiences of discussion boards in formal learning). It was good when interaction through social media was encouraged. She hadn't been to a face to face MOOC meetup, but hadn't been to one yet - but mostly because there hadn't been one in her home city.
Sally-Anne talked about course resources. They usually seemed to be open access (since she could access them), with a lot of BBC and Guardian articles, and some other news sources. Some resources were only available in one particular country (e.g. only in Canada). As a result of these problems, she didn't tend to go and read additional resources. For quizzes, she might skim (rather than try to understand) resources, which is why she preferred other types of assessment (i.e. the quizzes didn't help her learn anything).
Finally, she enjoyed the experience, but she didn't feel it served any real academic purpose, so she wouldn't see it substituting for formal education and she wouldn't be interested in certification or paying for a MOOC. However, she mentioned that the EDC course at Edinburgh had led to her considering their distance Masters course, and left her with a good opinion about Edinburgh University. She also mentioned another MOOCer saying that she used MOOCs to judge the quality of universities that she might want to study at.
The rest of the day is a workshop, so I will not be liveblogging those, as I need to be a live participant instead! I will probably blog about it afterwards, though. Inj fact I have some further thoughts on Sally-Anne's presentation too, but I had better stop, since I'm currently not concentrating properly to the briefing for the workshop exercise....

Challenges for Libraries, a US Case Study #mooclib

Challenges for Libraries, a US Case Study from Jennifer Dorner, University of California, Berkeley is the final talk at the MOOCs and libraries event #mooclib this morning. The university is part of EdX. My liveblogging fingers are getting a bit numb, so apologies to the speaker and you for inadequacies in capturing this talk. Also I abandoned attempts to get a decent picture of the speaker: here's a flower arrangement at the Pullman hotel (conference venue).

The speaker talked about summer courses offered at Berkeley, mostly taken by existing students and new blended on campus/ off campus courses. There were also undergraduate students (possibly on extension courses) who were not graduating within four years because of issues of accessing core classes. So MOOCs are seen against this kind of background.
She said that so far the MOOCs had been from electrical engineering and computing, though others have plans. Librarians were already providing support to summer classes etc. because those students were already enrolled, and had not been involved with extension classes where students were not formally enrolled. There was a lack of consultation with librarians initially, but the librarians have themselves drawn up guidelines. There are still issues to be worked out concerning support of the diverse range of learners. Dorner noted the range of roles adopted by other libraries e.g. some involved actively in design of materials. However, this can depend on where the library sits organisationally (e.g. if they are in the same division as learning teachnology, or educational developers it is likely the library may adopt a wider role).
Dorner talked about the group that librarians from different universities have formed, and some of their work. I think she said that one team was looking at information literacy, but she talked a bit more about advice/experience that they have shared on how to share content on MOOCs (advice/experience which they could bring to MOOC designers/teachers in their own institutions).
Dorner looked at existing MOOCs in her university to examine library-related learning objectives, or where there was potential for such objectives. They identified a range of tactics to approach teachers and help learners. Their position is that they would support the teachers, rather than trying (with limited resources) to support learners directly (this was not seen as sustainable). They felt that any faculty-librarian developments were likely to come out of existing relationship, rather than representing new opportunities for collaboration (which I would say seems a bit of a shame - but she talked about new collaboration in terms of cold-calling, whereas I would say new collaborations would come if you show that you already are out there and have experience, which would require taking the risk of developing your own MOOC, perhaps...)
Having said that, the librarians' working group also identified that creating a research skills (infolit) MOOC for universities to share could be valuable. It could concentrate on helping learners navigate the free resources available. The speaker also talked about other things which interested her (if she could find the time) which did involve interacting with learners, encouraging them to crowdsource etc.

An overview of MOOCs and Libraries to date, based on OCLC Research #mooclib

Next up in my liveblogging at the MOOCs and libraries event #mooclib is An overview of MOOCs and Libraries to date, based on OCLC Research: from Merrilee Proffit, Senior Program Office, OCLC Research.
Proffit was reporting on information gathered (via email or phone call) from partners in the OCLC network. They also hosted an event in the USA in March. There is a lot of information, on the OCLC research blog, at
Those libraries that WERE involved were either entrepreneurial or had strengths/ services that evidently matched with the needs of MOOCs (e.g. dealing with rights issues)
Themes that emerged were as follows. Most emphasis (in existing practice reported) was on this use of resources (e.g. fair use, permissions/licensing, linking, questions on who owns new MOOC content, open access issues). This may involve being hands-on, or taking on an advice role. Although obviously important, Profit identified this as "the intellectual property cul-de-sac", indicating that there can be a less restricted area for library involvement. This isn't to underestimate the intellectual role, as the expert librarian in this field can become "the most important person in the building".
Also librarians thought this was a great opportunity for faculty to rethink teaching on-campus e.g. providing a sandbox for experimentation (for staff and students). It gives librarians an opportunity to rethink how what she called library instruction (ie information literacy) connects and supports this form of learning and teaching. There may be opportunities for new ways of working with teachers and learners. It is more challenging because there is no one way of delivering MOOCS (although I will throw in the observation that this goes for face to face teaching too!)
Proffit mentioned Eleni Zazani's small scale survey of MOOC members about their use of information for the MOOC. You can find this linked from a post I did about MOOCs  at
Like Bayne, Proffit mentioned the large amount of social media around the MOOC (learner or teacher initiated) - this is an area where librarians could get involved. In general Proffit recommended signing up to or getting to know the MOOCs being offered, to learn how they work and work out how the library could get involved. You can also develop relevant skills (e.g. in video making) and tap into conversations and learning opportunities (like this conference ;-)
Proffit said that the increasing amount that US students/ their parents are paying for higher education is one of the key concerns (an "ugly" in terms of good/bad/ugly) that is driving interest in things like MOOCs.

MOOCs at Edinburgh #mooclib

MOOCs at Edinburgh: challenges and successes was the next talk from Sian Bayne, Edinburgh University, at the MOOCs and libraries event #mooclib which I am liveblogging.
She explained that Edinburgh already had a culture of digital education, including off campus Masters programme. Reasons included reputational gain, new partnerships, exploration of a new pedagogical space and - fun (nice to see that mentioned)!
They joined up with Cousera and offered 6 MOOCs over a wide range of subjects.
There was a big sign up - even "Equine nutrician" had 23,00 sign up. 309,00 signed up over the 6 MOOCs, 123,000 accessed the courses, 36,000 took final assessments. There was variation in course completion(between courses), also variation in pedagogic approach. They did follow up surveys. They found that 28% were from the USA, 25-34 was the dominant age group. 95% had found the course at least "good". The results can be looked at in detail at
Then Sian talked about E-learning and digital cultures MOOC in more detail: she was part of the core team. They drew on open access videos and readings, because they didn't want to take a talking-heads approach. She talked about how they emailed people in advance to encourage people to blog, tweet etc. about the MOOC, and during the MOOC they aggregated the blog feeds of learners, so there was a learner blog around the MOOC. They used Google hangouts and Cousera discussion, but Sian emphasised that it was what the learners created in and around teh MOOC was important. As someone who signed up to this MOOC specifically to lurk and learn about running MOOCs (I was definitely a non completer) I would say that this didn't come out of nothing - the course was designed to suport and encourage people to use different in-the-cloud tools and interact.
Sian showed a slideshow video from one learner who identified all the different ways (lots of them!) in which members of one group used their skills and web-based applications to document, create and learn.
Sian identified that whilst some learners were stimulated by this model of learning, others felt overwhelmed by the social media information flood (some people create more of a road map is a future plan) and some asked "where are the professors" - wanting a more evidently teacher-led experience and more visible teacher presence.
Sian showed some of the digital learning objects (videos etc.) that were created as the final assignment (I will add some links later!) The course had good feedback.
Fuinally, the are now doing MOOC evaluation, making recommendations for the future, and they have also joined the Futurelearn consortium.

The Changing Face of MOOCs #mooclib

The Changing Face of MOOCs was the first talk, given by Hugh Davis, Southampton University at the MOOCs and libraries event #mooclib
Davis is covering rather a lot of content rather quickly in this talk, so I won't be able to capture it all! He started out by defining MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and identifying some characteristics, such as the need to deal with the very large volume of assessment e.g. by having peer assessment. He identified some motivations for universities, such as increasing flexibility and accessibility and enhancing the reputation of the university. There can be a hope that you pull people through from informal learning with the university (looking at Youtube videos by university staff, and then the next stage is MOOCs) through to formal learning (taking individual modules and then whole modules).
How can MOOCs make money? Through certifications, sponsorship, authenticated assessments, corporate learning (with companies paying) and selling access to student records. Who does MOOCs? - Davis showed a slide about an Edinburgh University MOOC which showed that 40% already had postgrad qualifications, and 30% had undergraduate - so these were well qualified learners. There are now various consortia offering MOOCs, including Futurelearn (which Sheffield University, my university, has now joined). Davis' university is also a member, and he said that his university is aiming at obviously popular subjects (like business) and unique/strong offerings e.g. Oceanography or Web Science at Southampton.
Davis briefly touched on patterns for socal learning and flagged up MOOCs as being about social learning - though my personal observation was that, overall, his presentation tended towards the corporate approach to MOOCs, rather than the more radical social constructivist roots of MOOCs.
Davis framed MOOCs as potential disruptive technology, with "education having its Napster moment" (e.g. because of there being so much content around, because of opportunities for private sector companies, employers looking to skills rather than qualifications). However, some people are quite robust about the future lives of universities, but may feel that the student experience needs to change more.
Davis outlined a structure for MOOCs at Southampton, with each MOOC or mini-MOOC having so many learning blocks (i.e. a sequence, e.g. video-text-discuss-quiz). Finally, Davis talked about various decisions that had to be made about the amount of time devoted to MOOCs, and this included use of resources (and thus the involvement of libraries). They need to identify high quality existing materials that are either open access or could be licensed by the university for all MOOC participants. Davis also flagged up that further intellectual property issues were being brought into focus (e.g. could an academic use material if he/she moved institutions).
At Southampton they have various teams and groups focused on MOOCS, including a steering group with includes "The Librarian" (I assume his means the library director). The role of the library was identified particularly with resource discovery and rights clearance (so, not explicitly information literacy - my observation, not his). Davis siad a MOOC was likely to be costed at several tens of thousands of pounds each (I won't be more precise as I'm not sure I heard it correctly).
A good question after this talk was about the role of public libraries (which hadn't been mentioned at all).

MOOCs and libraries #mooclib

I am at the at the first EuropeanMOOCs and libraries event #mooclib and it started with an introduction from Belinda Tynan, Pro Vice Chancellor, Learning and Teaching, The Open University. The subtitle of the conference is "the good, the bad and the ugly" (a reference to the Clint Eastwood film) and Belinda asked us to briefly discuss which of these we thought we were. Some of us thought, as regards MOOCs, at the moment we might be more like the extras who got downed by a stray bullet from Clint .... I have been thinking about MOOCs and information literacy for some time, and I have come along to this conference as part of the process of making those IL MOOC plans more concrete. Otherwise, Belinda highlighted the overall context of changes in the higher education landscape and the choices and opportunities for learners. The conference is chaired by Nicky Whitsed, Open University Libraries, by the way. I will be liveblogging the event.
Photo taken in the Pullman Hotel, London, where the conference is.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Developing Digital Literacies: Staff development

JISC's Developing Digital Literacies programme website includes a set of resources, and links to resources. A newly updated page is on Staff development materials produced by the programme: other areas include: Materials designed for/with students; Organisational development materials and resources on organisational change; Case studies from the programme and Resource kits for specific purposes/users e.g. Developing digital literacies in the curriculum for curriculum teams and teaching staff; Developing digital literacies for employability for students, employers, and staff concerned with employability issues; Developing digitally literate institutions for strategic managers and governors.
They say on the home page that "By digital literacy we mean those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cafe, Lund Botanic Gardens, May 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Discussion: Assessing information literacy and student learning in the online environment

ACRL's Distance Learning Section Discussion Group will have an online discussion about assessing information literacy and student learning in the online environment on Friday July 19t at 1pm EDT (which is 6pm UK time). Register (anyone can do this) at The organisers say "We will consider how assessment can be used to show library value, how to approach faculty and administration to get a foot in the door with embedding assessments, and whether librarians should be doing assessment"
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom road, Lund, May 2013

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Health Literacy Month on Chat Literacy

The discussion forum Chat Literacy is having a Health Literacy month, with a series of articles focusing on key aspects of health literacy posted during July. Chat literacy has participation from people around the world (and indeed has a focus on the developing world), so it is an interesting forum to join in with. Themes will include:
- The role of librarians in advancing Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and Evidence Based Health Care (EBHC) amongst healthcare professionals and in partnership with other key stakeholders.
- The importance of critical public health literacy in developing community participation towards a people-centred public health system.
The series is led by Isabelle Wachsmuth, of the World Health Organization. She added some links to her opening post, including:
- World Health Organization (2007) People-Centred Health Care, a policy framework.
- Sørensen1, K. et al (2012) Health literacy and public health: A systematic review and integration of definitions and models. BMC public health, 12.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Lantern at my window, Lund, May 2013

Monday, July 08, 2013

Developing and enhancing undergraduate final-year projects and dissertations

A free 93-page book: Healey, M. et al (2013) Developing and enhancing undergraduate final-year projects and dissertations. Higher Education Academy.
This "explores how to engage students in the production of knowledge" with examples of specific modules and programmes. There is mention of developing skills in evaluating information etc. through undergraduate study and in the research process, although (something of an omission, obviously ;-) not specifically information literacy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: window in one of the houses in open air museum Kulturen, Lund, May 2013

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? success for a clinical librarian #ub13

The final session at the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester last Tuesday was Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a librarian! from Victoria Treadway, Clinical Librarian, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust & Dr Girendra Sadera, Consultant, Critical Care and Anaesthesia, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This was a very popular session, with lots of people tweeting about it.
Treadway is a clinical libararian who, with the championing and support of Sadera, has become part of the critical care team. Being incorporated into the ward round means she can pick up on information needed by the health team on the ward. At first she had to return to the library to search for information, but now she is able to search on an ipad whilst they are doing the rounds. The advantage of being at the patient's bedside with the team is that she can understand the context and contribute to the discussion in a more meaningful way. Having an ipad also means she can pass round the things she finds at once.
They described the way this initiative had developed. Victoria found it daunting at first: apart from anything else there are gruesome procedures and distressing injuries etc. on a critical care ward, and about 40% patients will die.
There was a10 month period as a pilot phase, during that time Victoria did 29 supported ward rounds, and also provided additional services. When asked what impact the information had, the team said that it did improve knowledge and care, and evidence provided by Teadway confirmed or added to their current knowledge. The speakers gave three examples of times when the information had made a difference:
- finding evidence that administering paracetemol made a condition worse;
- finding the latest guidelines for anorexic patients in critical care to prevent refeeding syndrome so a managmeent plan could be formed;
- comiling an evidence summary on use of decompression stickings to respond to a complaint from relatives of a patient who had died.
Treadway mentioned getting confidence and integrating with the clinical team:
- she started each session by explaining to the team why she was there to support them
- it was invaluable to have a champion for the project i.e. her co speaker
- she started to have requests for help outside ward rounds and responded to these questions promptly; she "went the extra mile"
- at the end of each ward round, she stayed for the tea and toast afte the ward round; this social aspect was important
Sadera said that to begin with some of his colleagues were sceptical. Also it took a while to convince IT to lend them an ipad ;-) He stressed that becoming part of the team was a key factor. I also liked something he said later on about convincing senior managers "You keep banging at the doors and at some point they just give in".
The speakers talked about moving the initiative to the wider organisation. A 10 minute video doing a mock ward round, including interviews with the clinical team, was a good marketing tool. The video is at
The speakers had talked about the initiative at a critical care conference in Delhi in October last year, giving "an opportunity to communicate clearly". Then Treadway took Sadera to the Canadian Health Libraries conference. Again they got some useful lessons on how to package and describe what they were doing, and they wanted to use this to promote more within the organisation. Finally, Sadera made a nice statement when he said that Treadway was "the secret weapon of our [health services] Trust".
There is a careers profile of Treadway here:
There is more information on the initiative here:

More snippets from #ub13

My catching up with conference blogging has been delayed by trying to catch with all the other things, plus I'm suffering from dreadful hay-fever at the moment. Doing another quick search for Umbrella-related items, I found:
- Simon Barron's presentation Rise of the cyborgs: the growth of librarian-IT hybrids at "In this presentation for CILIP's Umbrella 2013 conference, Simon Barron explored the impact of technology on librarianship and the increased amalgamation of library and IT roles. By examining the skills and technologies of librarian-IT hybrids, we see the future of librarianship and information management."
- 3 posts about conference sessions on the MMIT blog, from Catherine Dhanjal:

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Catching up with #ub13

I did a quick trawl for other people's posts on the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester. I only attended the first day, 2nd July (and I do have a couple more catch-up posts I will do from that, hopefully later today). The quick trawl found:
- Elisabeth Goodman with some useful notes on the sessions she attended on both days
- A Storify from Victoria Treadway who gave a very interesting presentation at the end of day one (I'll be blogging about it):
- Post from Brian Kelly (pictured)
- Prezi of the #uklibchat presentation that I liveblogged on Tuesday
- Quote from a 13 year old Phil Bradley
and of course there was a lot of discussion and interaction on Twitter - the hashtag is #ub13

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Where does the internet end and the library begin? #ub13

The first afternoon session at CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK is called Where does the internet end and the library begin? There is a panel led by Chris Dymond, an Independent Digital Producer: panel members are Ben Lewis (filmmaker, author and art critic); Rebecca Bartlett, Innovation Manager, Library of Birmingham; Shay Moradi, Creative Director, Running in the Halls (RITH).
It started with a presentation from Shay Moradi (right), who explained that RITH makes games and apps, working with a variety of organisastions e.g. universities or the auction house Christies. He also said that "we love libraries" and he talked about how this started when he was studying at Huddersfield University, making little apps and then after graduating using library data. Shay went on to say something about gamification - using a gaming approach in "non game" contexts. He was interested in "subtle gamification" like the British Gas app that shows a smiley face when you are using energy efficiently. However library interfaces tend to be pretty ugly, and they found that librarians were very welcoming to the idea of introducing more playfulness and user interaction.
So they have developed Lemon Tree for academic libraries (implemented at the University of Huddersfield), where you hook up your library card to the system and get points for things like borrowing books, or coming in at certain times of day. You get little badges for these different types of activity and you can see what your friends have been doing too. They've found that people like personal analytics too and have visual metaphors e.g. a tree that grows over time. There is a link to Facebook and they have also tried physical badges etc. but those are not so popular. As well as working with other universities they have also developed a public library version, Orangetree.

Ben Lewis started by talking about his attachment to libraries as places to find knowledge. He played a clip from his film Google and the world brain, which highlighted the issue of what Google is able to do with the digital version of books from various important libraries that it has digitised. As noted in the earlier talk from Roly Keating, libraries may welcome the opportunity to get collections digitised, when the libraries can't afford to do the digitisation themselves. There is the issue of intellectual property and of what could be done with the immense knowledge base that Google is amassing. Ben also talked about his concerns about the lack of criticality about the internet, and concerns about intellectual property. He noted how Google and major publishers were not willing to talk to him about the film. Ben finished by talking through the issues to do with out of copyright, in copright and out of print books. Ben risked pelting with conference handbooks, by suggesting that libraries are shy out of the way places, but countered by saying that he now realised they could be forces in society ;-)
Finally Rebecca Bartlett talked about the new Library of Birmingham: 1,000 book crates a day are currently being moved to the new library. She talked about rethinking the library, and thinking about the relationship between the physical, the digital and the staff with their expertise.In particular she picked out three new systems/interfaces, to do with gaming ("Information overlord" - curently prototyping a game in which you run your own library), search (concerning metadata generation, including crowdsourcing) and mobile (showcasing the collections).
The session is finishing with a discussion session, but this post is already long, so I'll finish here and do another post if I blog the discussion

Reflecting on Yesterday, Understanding Today, Planning for Tomorrow #ub13

A talk I'll miss because it clashes with my own talk at CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK, is Brian Kelly's Reflecting on Yesterday, Understanding Today, Planning for Tomorrow Making Sense of the Future. Efficiently, he already put it on slideshare, so here it is.

#uklibchat #ub13

Last in the session I'm attending this morning at the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK, today was a talk on#uklibchat: instant ideas and collaboration + access to knowledge from Ka-Ming Pang @agentk23, Online Support Librarian, St George’s University of London. The website is at Ka-Ming talked about what it was and how they ran it. #uklibchat runs regular discussions on library and information topics using tweets.
I am liveblogging and this was the third of three 15-minute talks, which I was working hard to keep up with, so at this stage I missed some of Ka-Ming's points, but there is lots of information on the website ;-)
She was urging people to join in - as it helped to get connected, share views and find out about things. Key to running #uklibchat was team work, exploiting a range of technology, being willing to ask people to do things, being adaptable and always looking for ways to improve things. They worked hard to promote #uklibchat, and when they added feature articles and implemented a daily tweets rota, then hits on the website went up.
Points from discussion afterwards included that: employers should see that it WAS benefiting work life, but whilst some employers were very welcoming of work-time twitter use, others were not (also some employers might have very specific policies about use of social media: and Keri added that they had examples of people losing their jobs because of use of social media). #uklibchat runs in the early evening (for UK people) so people could engage in their own time.This led to the issue of how people can manage their personal and professional use of social media, and Jo Alcock talked about how she has managed to keep very up to date professionally using social media. She saw social media complementing the other tools people use for continuing professional development. Some people in the audience talked about how they had personal and professional identities in social media, which they kept separate.

Managing change and changing mindsets #ub13

Next up at the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK is Managing change and changing mindsets from Keri Gray, Business Development Consultant, Sue Hill Recruitment. Sue Hill Recruitment is an agency which is specialist to the information and library sector and has been around for a good while. Therefore Keri (an experienced professional who used to run her own agency) was able to draw on a good range of observations and experience. She started by noting that librarians had a valuable range of skills, that they could be more assertive about!
Changes that commonly emerge across the sector now are to do with: budgetary cuts, increased use of volunteering and recruitment of non-professionals, and the transformation of the media market and the emergence of e-books. She felt that barriers to change included: reluctance to change, resources (being squeezed), accountability (having to justify your existence) and self-promotion (or lack of it!).
It is easier to change your own mindset than take the organisation with you. When Keri asked the audience whether any of us had a "fixed" mindset, no-one put their hand up, but several people raised their hands when she asked if anyone had to manage teams that included people with fixed mindset.
Her "Tips for success" slide included having vision, identifying or setting up champion groups and communities of practice to support them through change, partner and engage with people who had similar roles, keeping a positive minset and making your user central to the process.

#CPD23 and CILIP PKSB #ub13

Next up for me at the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK, today was CPD23 and CILIP PKSB from Niamh Tumelty, Assistant Librarian, English Faculty Library, Cambridge and Jo Alcock,Evidence Based Researcher, Birmingham City University.
Niamh gave an introduction to CPD23, which I've blogged about before as I participated in the latest round. The "23 Things" concept is to enable professional development by identifying 23 things (e.g. blogging, using Youtube) that people want to learn about using, and to blog about one of these each week, setting tasks for people following the 23 things to do (e.g. create your own blog and blog about your progress in the 23 Things). Early versions were within one institution, but CPD23 opened this out, including some elements like "participating in professional associations" that were specific to Continuing Professional Development. It was also open to anyone who wanted to join in.
Jo then introduced the CILIP Professional Knowledge andSkill Base (PSKB) - CILIP is the UK professional association for librarians. The PSKB lists a lot of knowledge and skills that may be important in different library and information jobs. It is used for formal course accreditation and for people e.g. who are working towards cecoming chartered members of CILIP.
Niamh and Jo had mapped the activities in CPD23 onto the PSKB and found that CPD23 covered rather a lot of skill and knowledge areas. For example 70% of "Organising Knowledge and Information" skills/knowledge including "file planning" (through e.g. using Dropbox) and elements of "indexing" (through covering things like tagging). Elements like reflective practice and strategic thinking were covered, since a key aspect of CPD is reflecting on progress, how CPD23 is relevant to you and your practice, how you plan to use new skills in teh future etc.
This is the presentation:

Umbrella keynote: 40 years of the British Library #ub13

The opening keynote at the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK, today, was from Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library. His talk was entitled: Born digital? The British Library at 40. He started by putting up some of the statistics about the Library's holdings. This was a bit nostalgic for me, as I worked for the British Library for 13 years, starting in 1980. Keating highlighted that Apple and Microsoft were founded just a couple of years after the Library was founded (its foundation brought together existing organisations like the British Museum Library, the National Reference Library for Science and Invention). He mentioned that there were differences in culture between the organisations (which I can testify to), but he felt that digital developments and the move to the new British Library at St Pancras has brought people together.
Keating talked about things like the business innovation service (which is now partnering with city libraries), its exhibitions, events and education programmes. Along with its development it has had to change its organisational structure: now into - audiences, collections, finance and operations, with a Chief Digital Officer and Chief Executive at its centre. He noted that since only 1% of the Library's vast collection (which includes millions of books, patents, stamps, recordings etc.) was digitised. This is why, for example, they have partnered with organisations like Google, as digitisation is not something that the Library can afford on its own.
In particular Keating drew attention to the digitisation project for newspapers (which are particularly fragile and important social records), with Brightsolid: for the first 10 years the digitised papers are part of a subscription service, but after that they become open access. There is also going to be a newly built research room for news and media. Thisd connects with projects to capture and archive more video and audio news sources e.g. from the BBC.
Other projects he mentioned were geo-referencing (crowd-sourced) and having donations of archives of writers - but with the added archival challenge of working with authors' emails as well as digital and paper documents. Keating announced a partnership with Arts Council England and Local Government: a competition with 10 awards of up to £45,000 "to support local economic growth with the business and intellectual property national network."
Digital copyright deposit has finally come into law in the UK (in April this year) which means that there is even more of a challenge, but it does give the Library the right to store "the UK web domain". There is likely to be an annual trawl with more frequent collection of some specific items. It's called the UK Web Archive, and involves the cooperation of the other British copyright libraries (e.g. the National Library of Scotland)
Photos by me: Keating presenting, and a photo I took of the Library's courtyard at St Pancras, from inside the conference suite.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Helping citizens develop their own information literacy curriculum for lifelong learning #ub13

Tomorrow (2nd July) Bill Johnston and I are presenting at the CILIP Umbrella conference #ub13 in Manchester, UK, on Helping citizens develop their own information literacy curriculum for lifelong learning. The abstract reads "Sheila and Bill will outline a framework to enable citizens to self-audit their changing information literacy needs through life, so they can identify strategies for meeting those
needs. In particular they will highlight lifestage transitions. They will indicate implications for people who support these citizens, including possibilities in using tools such as MOOCs."
I am aiming to be doing some blogging from the conference as well (just on Tuesday, I'm just going for the one day: I've still got blogging catching-up to do, including from my own presentations at the i3 and ELEL conferences!).

Language as talisman #elel2013

Yesterday at the  Everyday Language, Everyday Literacies Conference taking place in Sheffield, UK, the afternoon started with presentations from members of the Language as Talisman project, starting with Richard Steadman-Jones exploring the meaning of "talisman" (e.g. power, protection) and how that related to language. He was followed by Accents are R8 GR8’ – accommodating accents and dialects from David Hyatt. This project aimed at helping students to be confident about their use of language, be proud of their cultural heritage and help the school counter the criticisms from school inspections on the use of accent and dialect by teachers and pupils (i.e. non-use of "Standard English").
Rather than seeing this use of dialect as a deficiency, he put forward the contrastivist approach, in which you learn to be attuned to the differencies between one way of speaking and another, so that you are also capable of switching between them. Hyatt also mentioned accommodation theories.
The children in the study were asked when they would use their normal Rotherham accent and when they would "speak a bit more posh". They said, for example they might speak posh with new school-mate they didn't know, but otherwise would speak normally with their friends. However with a school inspector they were divided, some would speak normally, others explained that if you didn't talk posh the inspectors would think the teachers hadn't taught you to speak properly.
Kate Pahl tweeted a related work (some research mentioned by the speaker) at
The website for the Talisman project is at
Photo by Sheila Webber, photoshopped, 2013