Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tips: Mind and Concept Mapping

The new issue (Winter 2014) of ACRL Instruction Section's Tips & Trends has been published. The theme is Mind and Concept Mapping. It has a concise 3 pages outlining benefits, drawbacks and examples, plus a bibliography. Go to for this and also for previous Tips and Trends.
On this topic, I have just put up a full-text paper I wrote about using mindmapping as part of teaching students to search: it was written in 2002 but I think it's still relevant.
Photo: student map, created 2008.

Library TeachMeets wiki

Helen Blanchett has helpfully created a Library TeachMeets wiki with information about upcoming TeachMeets in the UK and links to past ones (which usually have their presentations etc. online), together with a page to share TeachMeet tips. A useful resource!
Photo by Sheila Webber: Lost rabbit, lost item series, February 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Survey on using "learning theories for libraries"

Jenny Dale and Lauren Pressley are seeking input for a book they are preparing on learning theories for libraries. They say "One of our primary goals is to make theoretical topics applicable and useful for an audience of librarians. To achieve this goal, we would love to include lesson plans, activities, and approaches practicing librarians use to incorporate various learning theories into their pedagogical practices." They are collecting examples though a survey at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: shadow, stairwell, education building, January 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Journal Club in Second Life: 26 February: Threshold Concepts Approach to the Standards Revision

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Led by me (Sheila Webber, University of Sheffield iSchool, Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) we will be discussing:
Hofer A, Brunetti K, Townsend L. (2013) A Threshold Concepts Approach to the Standards Revision. Communications in information literacy. 7(2), 108-113.
The new draft ACRL standards have just been published, so it is timely to discuss this article which puts forward the rationale behind taking this approach in the new standards. As well as the article by Meyer and Land that is cited in this paper, if you are keen, you could also look at some other articles on threshold concepts e.g.
Cousin, G. (2006) An introduction to threshold concepts. Planet. (17), 4-5.

When: 26 February 2014 12.00 noon SL time (which is 8.00pm 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.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Comment on the new draft ACRL standards! #ACRLILRevisions

The draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education which will update the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (commonly called the ACRL information literacy standards) has been published. The current document contains the Introduction and Three Threshold Concepts plus a Glossary and Bibliography. In early April they will also release Additional Threshold Concepts and Sample Scenarios
They are open for comment until April 15. Whilst the primary target for these standards are people in North America, the ACRL standards have been very influential elsewhere and as far as I can see they would welcome feedback from people elsewhere in the world. Since I am up to my eyes in work at the moment I haven't read through the document, but I will do so shortly, and aim to organise some discussion around it. Go to the following page for more information and links
Photo by Sheila Webber: someone had placed a rose in a tree trunk that I pass on the way to work; it lasted several days.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Evaluation of best practices in the design of online evidence-based practice instructional modules

New article: Foster, M., Shurtz, S. and Pepper, C. (2014) Evaluation of best practices in the design of online evidence-based practice instructional modules. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 102 (1), 31-40. The focus is on evaluating tutorials about critical thinking and evidence based practice. "By systematically collecting and evaluating instructional modules, the authors found many potentially useful elements for module creation. Also, by reviewing the limitations of the evaluated modules, the authors were able to anticipate and plan ways to overcome potential issues in module design." I think that some of the criticisms at the end apply to quite a lot of online tutorials related to information literacy .... The article is on open access at
Photo by Sheila Webber: lunch, February 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Research about technology and relationships; Facebook

A new survey from the Pew Research Center asked a sample of 2,252 adults, aged 18+, in the USA, about how use of the internet and social media affected their relationships. Some interesting results, for example:
- "10% of internet users who are married or partnered say that the internet has had a “major impact” on their relationship" (74% of those said a positive impact)
- "23% of 18-29 year olds in serious relationships report resolving an argument using digital tools that they were having trouble resolving in person"
- "9% of adult cell owners have sent a sext of themselves to someone else, up from 6% of cell owners who said this in 2012"
The report is at
Also earlier this month Pew posted 6 new facts about Facebook, which are:
- "Some users dislike certain aspects of Facebook, but fear of missing out on social activities (or “FOMO”) isn’t one of them"
- "Women and men often have varying reasons for why they use Facebook – but everything starts with sharing and laughs"
- "Half of all adult Facebook users have more than 200 friends in their network"
- "12% of Facebook users say that someone has asked them to “unfriend” a person in their network"
- "Facebook users “like” their friends’ content and comment on photos relatively frequently, but most don’t change their own status that often"
- "Half of internet users who do not use Facebook themselves live with someone who does"
This comes from a survey - more details pop up if you click the link to the survey near the top of the page.
Photo by Sheila Webber: had forgotten I'd planted these, February 2014

Primary Research infolit benchmarking survey

Market research company Primary Research is looking for respondents from university libraries to fill in their Information Literacy benchmarking report. The incentive is that you get a free copy of the report if you complete the questionnaire. The survey is here and information about the previous report is here:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New edition of William Badke's Research Strategies

There's a new, 5th, edition of:
Badke, W. (2014) Research Strategies: Finding your Way through the Information Fog. (5th edition). Bloomington, IN:
More about it here, it's available in print or e-book:
Photo by Sheila Webber: after the trip to the farmers market, the pudding was delicious, February 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CILIPS Discovery Day: Putting Research into Practice

On April 22nd 2014 CILIP Scotland are running a Discovery Day: Putting Research into Practice, in collaboration with Information Science Scotland. It will be held at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. "The day will focus on various research projects and look at how the results and findings can be applied by delegates in their day jobs. Covering a range of topics it will inform advocacy, good practice and improve the links between academic practice and the day to day challenges professionals face." More details at

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New articles: faculty-librarian collaboration

Two new articles from the open access journal Collaborative Librarianship.
Gardner, C. and White-Farnham, J. (2013) “She Has a Vocabulary I Just Don’t Have”: Faculty Culture and Information Literacy Collaboration. Collaborative Librarianship, 5 (4). "The authors describe difficulties pertaining to discipline-specific discourse and identity among collabora-tors during the process of revising the information literacy component of a first-year writing program. Hardesty’s term “faculty culture” offers a frame through which to understand resistance and tension among otherwise engaged faculty and situates this experience within the uncomfortable history between faculty and librarians who may be perceived as “inauthentic” faculty. The authors suggest ways to im-prove communication between librarians and writing program faculty when collaborating on information literacy instruction."

Sanabria, J. (2013) The Librarian and the Collaborative Design of Effective Library Assignments: Recommendations for Faculty on Question Design for Student Success in Research Assignments. Collaborative Librarianship, 5 (4). "The success of library research assignments depends to some extent on the quality of the research question posed to students. Librarians can help teaching faculty craft more effective research assignments through intentional partnerships where librarians discuss with faculty how to pose well-structured research questions, what library resources are available to support the research and what a faculty member expects a student to learn from the exercise."
Photo by Sheila Webber, bluebells, 2011

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Survey on risks of social networking (UK respondents sought)

David Haynes is running a short survey (as part of a PhD) which seeks UK residents' views on the risks associated with online social networking and the ways in which those risks might be managed. If you can spare 15 minutes or so (it took me less than that) go to You can ask for a copy of the results if you complete the study.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Blog-post Journal Club: 19 February: the research agenda for Information Literacy #ILread

The next blog-post discussion on the Infolit Journal Club blog will take place on Wednesday 19th February at 8pm UK time (See for times elsewhere). The focus is on the agenda(s) for information literacy research. For example:

What do you think of the research agendas that other people have drawn up?
What do you think are the top priorities for research in Information Literacy?

The idea is that people aim to read something before the discussion: there are three *short* papers linked on the website at giving three different perspectives on priorities, approaches, topics etc.

Then just go along at 8pm on the 19th, and join in the discussion, through posting comments to that blog post. The journal club team hope you can join us to discuss this fascinating topic. If you have any questions, email me at
Picture by Sheila Webber, motivator format from

Thursday, February 13, 2014

LILAC programme published #lilac14

The UK's information literacy conference, LILAC, has published its programme. The conference is being held 23-25 April at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. I'm not going this year, but several of my colleagues in the Sheffield University iSchool and Library are presenting papers or posters, and iSchool students as well. Namely the following:
Innovation, creativity and change: utilising appreciative inquiry and reflective practice to achieve asset based information literacy: Vicky Grant, Barbara Sen and Denise Harrison
Supporting young people’s heath information needs: Barbara Sen and Hannah Spring
Supporting information literacy educators: reflective pedagogic planning improving information literacy practice: Pam McKinney and Barbara Sen
Myths or facts: what do serodiscordant couples in Malawi know about HIV ad AIDS? Kondwani Wella
Embedding multiple literacies in a MOOC for professionals: Penny Andrews
History of Medicine 2.0: using creative media to enhance information literacy teaching for 1st year medical students: Catherine Bazela, Vicky Grant, Anthea Tucker,
Digital literacy in practice: bringing the library to the classroom: Jen Smith
The full programme is at:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Information Literacy: a subject for the 21st Century

I was invited to do an editorial for an issue of the Pakistan Journal of Library and Information Science on information literacy, and it has now been published. I called it Information Literacy: a subject for the 21st Century and you can find it here: This issue also contains an article with one of my PhD students as second-named author (Job Satisfaction among Public and Private University/Degree Awarding Institution Librarians of Lahore: A Comparative Study by Moeen Hyder, Syeda Hina Batool) and the article Variable Affecting the Information Needs and Seeking Behavior of Educational Administrators: A Review is also of relevance to this blog. The issue containing all three items (and others) is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: a beautiful morning in Birmingham, February 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New articles in SCONUL Focus

The latest issue of SCONUL FOCUS (no. 59) includes
Evaluation of a self-audit tool to support information skills development in postgraduate students (Suzie Kitchin , Dr Sue Lampitt)
MOOCs and libraries: the good, the bad and the ugly (Sarah Davis)
Twitter at Canterbury Christ Church University (Ian Clark)
and other short articles from practice at UK academic libraries. Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: train/canal, Birmingham, February 2014.

Monday, February 10, 2014

cfp Journal of Creative Library Practice

The the open-access Journal of Creative Library Practice (JCLP) is accepting papers and manuscripts concerning information literacy/ library instruction. "We know that many librarians employ creative techniques to teach library instruction sessions, so if you have had success implementing a new method or idea, we would love to hear about it. Below are some other topic ideas. Did you: Teach elementary school students how to code? Demonstrate how to use a 3D printer? Implement board game concepts into a session? Create a new way to assess learning outcomes? Teach a class using an established technique but with a twist? Have students use a unique piece of software?"  JCLP publishes articles, opinion pieces, and peer-reviewed research. For more info, go to
Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in Second Life: a student at Edinburgh University visits my information literacy installation, January 2014

Support for holding infolit training events

The CILIP (UK's Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Information Literacy Group is offering financial support for organisations hosting information literacy events. It is hoped that this "will enable smaller institutions and organisations to develop and provide additional events that can support staff IL skills in the workplace. Where possible funding received should enable an event to be held for free, making it accessible for all." Sponsorship of up to £500 is available for applicants to host information literacy events, e.g. where you may have to pay for speaker fees and/or travel and subsistence, refreshments, lunch etc. for delegates.
Sponsorship of up to £250 is available for applicants to host libteachmeets. e.g. where you may have to pay for refreshments for delegates, or venue hire.The money should cover things like venue hire, refreshments, speaker fees or expenses. "As part of the funding conditions you would need to promote the sponsorship of the group and produce a short reflective article/blog post (approx 1000 words) about the event held." For further information about applications, contact the Catherine McManamon,
Photo by Sheila Webber: rare lull in Remo's, February 2014

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Report on teaching information literacy at Penn State

My eye was caught by a news release on the Penn State University (USA) website about a presentation by Anne Behler and John Meier being accepted for the LOEX (US information literacy) conference. Well done to those librarians as regards the PR! It links to a report that they have produced which surveyed other academic libraries' practice in teaching information literacy, and audits Penn State's own practice: Moving Forward: Envisioning Instructional Services for the Future. The report is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: St Georges, Sheffield, February 2014

Friday, February 07, 2014

Metaliteracy blog

I think I've mentioned it before, but it's well worth keeping track of the Metaliteracy blog At time of writing recent posts including some thoughtful reflections from participants in the Metaliteracy MOOC, and reports and links to presentations from an event on Developing Metaliterate Learners: Transforming Literacy Across Disciplines.
Photo by Sheila Webber: reflections of Sheffield University Jessop building, February 2014

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

2014 Information Literacy Summit: Into the Next Generation:

On 25 April 2014 at the Moraine Valley Community College campus (Palos Hills, USA) there is the 2014 Information Literacy Summit: Into the Next Generation: The Future of Information Literacy. The keynote is from Trudi Jacobson (University at Albany, SUNY; Co-Chair of ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force) and Tom Mackey (SUNY Empire State College) on Changing Models, Changing Emphases: The Evolution of Information Literacy. Cost is $40 for attendees or $20 for presenters. Registration at
Photo by Sheila Webber: shabby chic cabinet, Haga, Gothenburg, January 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014

New articles: evaluation; lifelong learning; humanities information behaviour; embedding librarians

The latest issue of the priced publication Reference Services Review (volume 42, issue 1) is available online. Articles include:
- Evaluating an Instruction Program with Various Assessment Measures: Sarah R. Gewirtz
- Promoting Lifelong Learning through Government Document Information Literacy: Curriculum and Learning Assessment in the Government Document Information Literacy Program (GDILP) at Washington State University: B. Jane Scales, Marilyn Von Seggern
- Information Behaviour of Humanities PhDs on an Information Literacy Course: Ronan Madden
- Academic Business Librarians' Assistance to Community Entrepreneurs: Louise Mort Feldmann
- Retaining Students by Embedding Librarians into Undergraduate Research Experiences: Jeffrey A. Knapp, Nicholas J. Rowland, Eric P. Charles
Abstracts at
Photo by Sheila Webber: synchronised cranes, Sheffield, February 2014

Sunday, February 02, 2014

cfp Connecticut Information Literacy Conference

There is a call for proposals for the 13 June 2014 Connecticut Information Literacy Conference, titled Our New Frontier: Metaliteracy, Threshold Concepts, New Standards, and Other Wild Ideas, to be held at Manchester Community College, Connecticut, USA. Deadline for proposals is 28 February 2014. Proposals can be "general session presentations, panel discussions, or breakout workshops (45-50 minutes long with a 10-15 minute Q & A session)." "Today’s information literacy landscape can certainly feel like uncharted territory. Lifelong learners require skills in a wide range of literacies including digital, media, and visual. How will these multiple literacies transform the ways in which we interact with students both inside and outside the classroom? What will changing ACRL standards mean to existing information literacy programs?". More information here:
Picture taken by Sheila Webber in the virtual world, Second Life (trademark Linden Lab), on Cougar Sangria's estate

Lever initiative

The Lever Initiative is a project on open access book publishing, supported by The Oberlin Group of liberal arts colleges (in the USA). "This project explores whether libraries collectively could launch a sustainable Open Access press to provide scholars editorial attention worthy of their best work in whatever form this might take – and offer it to the world." In December 2013 they put a review of "the current open access book publishing landscape" and they had an online survey of academics about their views on open book publishing: the survey closed in December and there is a preview of results in the December 2013 newsletter which is on the Lever website.
No, you can't have the blackbird. (Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in Second Life (trademark Linden Lab) - this is me with one of my kittycats, Hestia