Friday, January 31, 2014

Library Teachmeet #staffsltm Staffordshire University: 18 March 2014

There is a free Getting the message across Library Teachmeet at Staffordshire University, UK, on 18 March 2014 from 11:00 to 14:00. Refreshments provided. There are places for presenters (10 min presentations) or "enthusiastic audience members". In presentations, examples can include promotion (of your service or yourself!), support/training for students or staff, working with academics or embedding your service. To book, and for more information,
Photo by Sheila Webber: mossy seat, Gothenburg, January 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bowman Library Research Skills Tutorial

The PRIMO site of the month for December 2013 was the Bowman Library Research Skills Tutorial. PRIMO is a database of recommended online resources for teaching information literacy, on the ACRL website. The PRIMO team interview whoever produced the Site of The Month as well: this time it was Linda K. Smith and Lisa Velarde, Bowman Library, Menlo College. The tutorial itself is at and the interview is at

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

6 February, Sheffield: Information Literate Lives in the 21st Century

On Thursday 6 February 11.00-12.30 UK time, there will be a (free) presentation and discussion at the Information School, University of Sheffield, UK: Information Literate Lives in the 21st Century. This is a Centre for Information Literacy Research event. I (Sheila Webber, Senior Lecturer, Information School, University of Sheffield) and Bill Johnston (Research Fellow, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Strathclyde University) will give a presentation: Information Literate lives in the 21st Century. This is a revised version of the invited talk given at the European Conference on Information Literacy (Istanbul): the powerpoint from that ECIL talk is at After the presentation, there will be an open discussion about future events and plans for the Information School's Centre for Information Literacy Research. Tea/coffee and biscuits will be available. You can book here:
If you have any questions, contact me (Sheila Webber,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Information literacy competency standards for nursing

The (US) Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) approved Information literacy competency standards for nursing in October 2013. They are based around the existing ACRL standards and focused mainly on use of the published evidence base. The standards are here:
- There is a short article just published (with essentially the same text as the above web page):
College and research libraries news.(2014) Information literacy competency standards for nursing: Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors, October 2013. College and research libraries news, 75(1), 34-41.
- There is an article about the rationale and process:
Phelps, S. (2013) Designing the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Nursing. Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 32(1), 111-118.
- There is a document on the (US) Health Sciences Interest Group wiki which relates the ACRL standards to key nursing education documents:
Phelps, S. et al. (2012) The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice and The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing
As They Apply to the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards.
Photo: me interacting with a sculpture, Gothenburg, January 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Symposium on Integrating Library & Information Resources into Chemistry Curricula

There is a call for proposals for the Symposium on Integrating Library and Information Resources into Chemistry Curricula, which takes place as part of the 2014 Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, 3-7 August 2014 at Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA. The deadline for proposals is 28 February. "This symposium provides a forum for librarians and teachers to share activities that help students find and evaluate information resources in the context of a science course. Of particular interest are chemistry projects that incorporate information literacy as a learning outcome – or any activities that integrate information literacy and chemical literacy. All forms of activities are encouraged, including assignments, course projects, in-class activities, video tutorials, and online activities." Presentations are 15 minutes plus five minutes for questions. Information on submitting abstracts is at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: bird tracks, Gothenburg, January 2014

New articles: Using wikipedia; Flipped classroom; Comedians; Who teaches IL

Open access (free):
Calhoun, C. (2014) Using Wikipedia in information literacy instruction: Tips for developing research skills. College and Research Libraries News, 75(1), 32-33.
Arnold-Garza, S (2014) The flipped classroom: Assessing an innovative teaching model for effective and engaging library instruction. College and Research Libraries News, 75(1), 10-13.
Tewell, E.C. (2014) What stand-up comedians teach us about library instruction: Four lessons for the classroom. College and Research Libraries News, 75(1), 28-30.

Subscription (priced):
Weiner, S. (2014) Who Teaches Information Literacy Competencies? Report of a Study of Faculty. College Teaching, 62(1), 5-12. Preview at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Reflections, Gothenburg, January 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Programme out for the #i2c2 conference

The i2c2. Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity Conference takes place on 6-7 March 2014 at Studio Venues, Manchester, UK. The programme is now up on the website. They key speakers are David White (Working in the space between education, academia and technology) and Brendan Dawes (Fillings for rectangles) and there are numerous interesting sessions. For more info go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: wet berries in sunlight, January 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Introduction to OERs for teaching information literacy: Glasgow: 12 February

On 12 February 2014 there is an event at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, an Introduction to OERs (Open Educational Resources) for teaching information literacy. This uis associated with project coPilot. "This workshop will give a practical introduction to OER for teaching information literacy. Though a mixture of presentation, group work and hands-on activity participants will learn to find, evaluate and consider adopting OER for use in their own practice." A free sandwich lunch is provided. To book, go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Semla and coffee at my favourite cafe in Gothenburg, January 2014.Yum.

iTEC project: workshop IL and learning scenarios: final places!

On 3 April 2014 13.00 to 17.00 UK time, at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, there is a half day workshop Information literacy: Future trends, scenarios and learning activities. 4 tickets left when I looked just now! It is free.
"The Europe-wide iTEC project is a 4-year project focussed on methods for fundamentally redesigning teaching and learning for the twenty-first century. During this half-day workshop, participants will take part in a series of activities devised as part of this project, including identifying future trends; using these as the basis for learning scenarios; and creating learning activities using the InFlow information literacy model ( Although iTEC is focused on schools, the workshop is designed to be suitable for library staff in all types of educational setting." Register at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Judy O'Connell and Tara Brabazon Talk Tech videos

Judy O'Connell (Courses Director, School of Information Studies in the Faculty of Education, Charles Sturt University , Wagga Wagga) and Tara Brabazon (Professor of Education and Head of the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University) did a series of short tech talk videos at the end of last year. They are: Email and the digital glut; Information Organization; Managing Digital Lives; reating rich learning management systems; Open Access Resources; Fast Media; Sound and Vision; The Google Effect; Are books dead; The future? Mobility. There is an introductory post here and they are all on Tara Brabazon's Youtube channel here I have embedded the introductory one, below.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Swedish information research

Last week I visited the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, University of Borås, to hold a research seminar, and in particular to discuss information literacy research with Ola Pilerot and Professor Louise Limberg. You can see lists of some of their recent publications if you follow the links I just gave, but I thought I would also highlight a couple of recent publications directly.

- Pilerot, O. (2013). A practice theoretical exploration of information sharing and trust in a dispersed community of design scholars. Information Research, 18(4) paper 595.

- If you can speak Swedish, an interesting new book about school libraries:
Limberg, L. and Lundh, A.H. (Eds.) (2013) Skolbibliotekets roller i förändrade landskap : en forskningsantologi. (The role of the school library in a changing landscape: a research anthology). Lund: BTJ Förlag. and in pdf form

They are both also part of the major Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS) project, which I think I have mentioned before. The focus of the research centre is "on issues of the relationship between learning and media, in particular how digital technologies and media transform how knowledge and information circulate in society, and the implications of these developments for learning at the individual and collective level."
Photo by Sheila Webber: my hotel last week, the Ibis in Gothenburg (the rooms are pretty standard Ibis rooms, but nice views on the river side of the boat)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Next blog post Journal Club: 22nd January 8pm UK time: UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy resolution

The next online online blog-comment information literacy Journal Club meeting takes place at 8-9 pm UK time on Wednesday 22 January 2014 (see for times elsewhere). To participate you go to (where there is more information) and comment on that blog post.

The topic will be the resolution on Media and Information Literacy that was approved by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2013. UNESCO member countries are now encouraged by UNESCO to endorse these at a national level. This provides an opportunity to lobby governments to address information literacy at a strategic level.

Do join us for the real-time discussion of this short document at 8pm UK time on the 22nd, or you can add comments afterwards (or before) if you can't make it at that time. We will be encouraging discussion of questions such as:

- What can be done (or is already being done) in your country to lobby and challenge your government about these recommendations?
- Who can we work with on getting UNESCO member states to (quoting the resolution) "to take the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations into consideration during the planning of future strategies, policies, and initiatives on education, lifelong learning, literacy, and other areas which will contribute to building a Knowledge Society."
- How can we ensure that there isn't a focus on media literacy to the exclusion of information literacy?
- Should we rebrand all our information literacy efforts as "Media and Information Literacy" (rather than "Information Literacy"? For example, I understand that the Swedish Library Association has gone in this direction. (by the way, my view on this is a definite "no" but it will be interesting to have a debate!)

The full draft resolution is at

If you want to see what a blog post discussion looks like, just click on any of the previous discussion posts on the journal club blog at

Thursday, January 16, 2014

International Librarians’ Conference: Western Balkan Information Literacy: Call for papers

There is a call for papers for the 11th International Librarians’ Conference: Western Balkan Information Literacy which takes place 11-14 June 2014 in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conference theme is: Embracing Relentless Change: Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning in a Digital Age. The conference organizers are The County and University Library of Bihac (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Limerick Institute of Technology (Ireland) and University of Bihac (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Deadline for submission of papers is May 16 2014. There is a large scope for submissions, with the main sub-themes being: IL in the modern world; Librarians as support to the Lifelong Learning process; Media and Information Literacy, theoretical approaches; New aspects of education/ strategic planning etc.
Go to for more information
Photo by Sheila Webber: Clothes Library, Gothenburg, January 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

LILAC Conference: 3 free places

There are free places at the LILAC (UK information literacy) conference that takes place in Sheffield, UK, 23-25 April 2014. They are available for librarians working in the following sectors: Schools/ Further Education; Public libraries; Health. The deadline for application is 7 February 2014.
"To be eligible for a place you must be a librarian or information professional working in the above mentioned sectors. You will have to show your commitment to information literacy by writing a short personal statement and explain what benefits you would gain from attending the conference and how you intend to use your conference experience in your home institution." More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cushions, Haga district, Gothenburg, January 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Project Information Literacy

In December 2013 The US Project Information Literacy published a research report about first-year university students and information literacy. It is based on interviews with 35  first year students (from 6 institutions), a survey of school and university students (all in the USA) and analysis of library resources."In this study, we investigate the challenges today's freshmen face, and the information-seeking strategies they develop, use, and adapt as they make the transition from high school to college and begin to complete college research assignments."
Head, A. (2013) Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College. Project Information Literacy.
The main website is at
There is also a related video: Major Findings: PIL's Freshmen Study.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Crows in trees, Gothenburg, January 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Journal Club in Second Life: 16 January: Conceptualising information literacy as social practice

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Led by me (Sheila Webber, Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) we will be discussing:
Papen, U. (2013) Conceptualising information literacy as social practice: a study of pregnant women's information practices. Information Research, 18(2)

When: 16 January 2014 12.30 noon SL time (which is 8.30pm UK time and the same
as US pacific time: see for times elsewhere)

Where: Infolit iSchool Journal Club room, in the virtual world Second Life, You need a SL avatar and the Second Life browser installed on your computer.

Everyone is welcome to join the one-hour discussion. A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event.
The picture shows the Journal Club on 5th November 2013.

First steps into learning and teaching in higher education; and a student video

There is an online course that is available free non-assessed, or as a priced tutor-marked assessed course. Oxford Brookes University (that have specialised in these courses for some years) are offering First steps into learning and teaching in higher education (FSLT), January 27 2014 to March 7 2014. "The course relies on sharing knowledge with your peers, and will leave you better informed about teaching and learning in higher education and confident that you could try out new things. Through the course you may also form and strengthen your professional support network of teachers in higher education." "On successful completion of this module, you should be able to: Identify and share key texts in the field of learning and teaching in higher education, and illustrate the personal-professional impact of such texts on your practice; Identify, reflect on and critique your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of learning and teaching in higher education; Appraise your learning and teaching skills and critically evaluate your professional practice in your local context, identifying your own professional development needs; Propose, plan and present an evaluation of a learning activity to a virtual (online) conference; Recommend appropriate improvements to the learning experience within your teaching programme; Engage in both collaborative as well as individual professional development practices at an appropriate level of academic, digital and research literacy; Apply global perspectives to your work in higher education." More information at

This video Teaching and the digital world is nothing to do with the above, but is on the teaching theme. My university (University of Sheffield) had a competition for students, for them to make a short video about digital teaching. This is the one which won, from Kieran Bentley

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Online discussion, 15 January: Teaching the art of academic dialogue: a discussion on threshold concepts

The ACRL (US Association of College and Research Libraries) Instruction Section is holding a Midwinter Current Issues Discussion Forum online, January 15, 2014 at 2.00-3.30 US Central time (see for times elsewhere). This coincides with the ACRL Midwinter conference, I think. The theme is Teaching the art of academic dialogue: a discussion on threshold concepts. "Kathleen Langan, Humanities Librarian at Western Michigan University, will lead a lively discussion on the value of using threshold concepts to shape information literacy instruction. We’ll discuss the importance of teaching students the “whys” of research rather than just the “how-tos” and learn how this shift in curricular focus can help librarians impart a meaningful and lasting understanding of research." To register go to The event on January 15 is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Trafalgar square (with the blue cockeral on the "4th plinth"), January 2014

Monday, January 06, 2014

Journal of academic librarianship latest articles

Articles in the latest issue of the (priced) Journal of academic librarianship (Volume 39, Issue 6, 2013) include:
- Faculty–Librarian Micro-Level Collaboration in an Online Graduate History Course; Pages 458-463; Erin Dorris Cassidy, Kenneth E. Hendrickson
- Factors Predicting the Importance of Libraries and Research Activities for Undergraduates; Pages 464-470; Krista M. Soria
- Just Enough of a Good Thing: Indications of Long-Term Efficacy in One-Shot Library Instruction; Pages 488-499; Elizabeth R. Spievak, Pamela Hayes-Bohanan
- Distance Learners' Self-efficacy and Information Literacy Skills; Pages 517-521; Yingqi Tang, Hung Wei Tseng
- Intentional Informationists: Re-envisioning Information Literacy and Re-designing Instructional Programs Around Faculty Librarians' Strengths as Campus Connectors, Information Professionals, and Course Designers; Pages 546-551; Debra Hoffmann, Amy Wallace
- Game as Book: Selecting Video Games for Academic Libraries based on Discipline Specific Knowledge; Pages 522-527; Christopher M. Thomas, Jerremie Clyde
Journal home page at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Neighbour's Christmas wreath, December 2013

Friday, January 03, 2014

Presentations from #ecil2013 online: a great resource!

Many presentations from the European Conference on Information Literacy (held in October 2013) have been put online. Although they are not all there, this is a great resource, as there were a huge number of presentations, on all sorts of aspects of information literacy. There are presentations from people in many different countries, with both research-focused and practice-focused presentations. The links are on the programme page at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas ornament, 2013

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Revolutionising Libraries with Social Media

Revolutionising Libraries with Social Media is a Libguides site from Judy O'Connell (Charles Sturt University) which was (I think) created for a workshop in November 2011 with sections on things like "The case for social media" and on specific social media.
I found the reference of this in: O'Connell, J. (2013) Working with technology is more than a trivial pursuit. Connecting Commonwealth Librarians, (18), 4-5.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas ornament, 2013

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Sheila Ivy Starns; 31 Dec 1921 - 5 Nov 2013

My mother would have been 92 yesterday. She passed away, after a decline in health, in November (the reason why my blogging was a little more erractic that month). Although it's nothing to do with information literacy, I'd like to use today's New Year's post to provide a short memorial to her (that's her on the right, in her early thirties).

She was born Sheila Ivy Hancock in 1921, and was the second eldest of seven children. She is survived by my aunts Jane, Doreen and Margeret, but her brothers Jim (the eldest), John and Ted predeceased her. She was brought up by her maternal grandparents; my great-grandfather managed one of Thomas Tilling Ltd.'s stables, hiring out horses and carriages, near Baker Street in London. She survived childhood illnesses including rheumatic fever, and must have been bright and intelligent. She got a place to continue on at school, but was expected to leave school at 14 (by that time her grandfather had died, and they had to move away immediately, she later moved back with the rest of her family).

Her first job, at 14, was as an apprentice seamstress at a couture house in London: after a year they offered her a sort of promotion, but by that time she was fed up of the long commute, long hours, low pay and volatile atmosphere, and she gave up the post. She was much happier taking up a more local job in a dairy shop, rising to become manageress at quite a young age. This work was interrupted during the war. She experienced the London Blitz, with houses close by destroyed, and then she signed up with the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service).

Initially she was a telephonist, then she trained to be a driver. At one point she was offered the job as colonel's driver, but she said that she thought this would be too boring, with lots of hanging about, so she opted to drive lorries, which were sent in convey to major cities up and down the country (including Edinburgh). Apart from the lorries being tough to drive, of course there were no lights during night driving, because of the blackout. One of her anecdotes, (that she recalled not long before she died), was in an early convoy, when she stuck her head out of the window at a roundabout and her hat blew off. She was in a quandry: stopping the lorry would get her into trouble, but so would losing her hat. In the end she stopped, grabbed her hat and (from what it sounds) charmed her way into getting into no trouble with the sargeant. When I say "charm", it wouldn't have been a wheedling charm, she had charm with an iron will behind it ;-)

After she had returned to her job in civilian life and enjoyed some years of independence, she got engaged to, and then married, my father, Tom Starns, in 1951 at age 29. He worked in the family greengrocer and florist business with his brothers and sister. My mother moved to Essex with him, initially over a shop (where I was born, an only child, in 1953) and then to a house near Romford. My mother helped in the shop sometimes, but she preferred staying at home. She read to me a lot; I remember acting out the Teaparty scene from Alice in Wonderland with her. When I was 12 my father sold his part of the greengrocer business, and we moved to Patcham, in Sussex, near Brighton.

We had two shops: the larger one, a hardware shop, we lived above, and my mother managed full time. Oddly, this shop is still called T.C. Starns (my father's name) although the business must have changed hands a couple of times since she sold it. They also leased the next-door-but-one shop, which my father managed as an ironmonger's. Between them those two shops sold everything you might want in the hardware and ironmongery line, and neither of my parents ever got much of a holiday. My mother did excellent window displays to entice in the customers, got on well with the customers and was terrifically well organised.
They were both still working in the shops when my father died suddenly of an aneurism. She had to keep the shops going for a while, so the business could be sold as a going concern, which was pretty awful for her.
For the last  30 years of her life she lived on her own in a bungalow near Eastbourne, in Sussex. She made friends and took up yoga, which she continued with into her seventies. She was a very good gardener and until the last years, when she couldn't do things herself, her garden was a picture. She was also good at baking, in particular, and was well known for her shortbread and sponges.
My mother was very independent, and got increasingly frustrated with her declining health. She will live on now, in her neighbours' s and relatives' memories.