Saturday, May 30, 2015

College and Research Libraries: classic commentaries; learning design

The 75th Anniversary Issue of College and Research Libraries (volume 76 no. 3) has an interesting format: reprinting some classic articles and providing a contemporary commentary on each. For example Megan Oakleaf responds to the article (first published in 2003) by George Kuh and Robert Gonyea The Role of the Academic Library in Promoting Student Engagement in Learning.
The latest C and RL (volume 76 no. 4 includes
- Katy Kavanagh Webb and Jeanne Hoover Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in the Academic Library: A Methodology for Mapping Multiple Means of Representation in Library Tutorials
- Amanda Rinehart, Jennifer Sharkey, and Chad Kahl Learning Style Dimensions and Professional Characteristics of Academic Librarians
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cow parsley, Gilbert's Pit, South London, May 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Esther Grassian honoured

The UCLA Library & Information Studies Alumni Association's (LISAA) Distinguished Alumni Award winner this year is Esther Grassian, who has (and continues to) make a great contribution to information literacy (see e.g. here and here). More details (and a nice photo) at

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blog post journal club: next discussion 3rd June: Information literacy learning design #ilread

The next discussion for the blog post journal club is 3rd June 2015 at 8pm UK time (which is 3pm US Eastern time, 12 noon US Pacific time). We will be discussing:
McNicol, S., and Shields, E. (2014). Developing a new approach to information literacy learning design. Journal of Information Literacy, 8(2), 23–35.
Anyone can join this discussion! Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm GMT and join in the discussion by adding comments to the blog post which introduces the article

You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions on the blog
Photo by Sheila Webber: dandelion clock, photoshopped, May 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

cfp for #iFutures 2015

The call for poster and paper proposalss for the 2015 iFutures conference (to be held at Sheffield University, UK, on 7 July 2015) closes on June 5 2015. The conference is run by, and for, PhD researchers in the information science field (so it is run by PhD students in my department ;-) The theme of the 2015 conference is Open Information Science: exploring new landscapes. "Openness is a key part of Information Science research, from using open source tools and big open data sets to open standards advocacy, creating open accessible environments in institutions, and opening information science to radical perspectives and exploring diverse communities. The conference will give delegates the chance to talk about how open information influences and relates to their research." Submissions can be for posters, papers, or pecha kucha presentations, and are welcomes from PhD students at any stage of their research. There are two keynote speakers: Fabio Ciravenga (Professor of Computer Science, University of Sheffield) and Helen Kennedy (Professor of Sociology, University of Sheffield). More details at
There is also a twitter chat today at 5pm UK time (which is e.g. 12 noon US Eastern time) using the hashtag #iFutures

cfp: Designing information literacy programming for an academic library

Cinthya Ippoliti and Rachel Gammons are producing a book to be published by ABC-CLIO/Libraries Unlimited (publication date 2016)on designing information literacy programming for an academic library. They are seeking case studies which "serve to highlight the challenges and opportunities of information literacy programming in today’s complex academic environment" and specifically ones focusing on challenges and opportunities created by "spaces". The studies can be from any type of academic library, and they are particular interested in the first year experience. They say "Please note that case-studies do not necessarily have to have a 'happy ending.' We want to hear about your challenges and the process by which you have worked through them, but we understand that sometimes the most valuable experiences are those that do not turn out as we expected!" The case studies are not very long (about 1000 words in total). Deadline is 5 June 2015 (it says 22 May on the form, but they just issued an extended call). There is a proposal form with more details at
Photo by Sheila Webber: young beech leaves, May 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Land on troublesome knowledge

Ray Land's keynote from the #LILAC2015 conference, 'There could be trouble ahead’. Threshold Concepts, Troublesome Knowledge and Information Literacy – a current debate can be viewed as a recording at
Photo by Sheila Webber: the heath, Blackheath, May 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The NICE Evidence Search Student Champion Scheme

A scheme organised by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, in the UK) selects students to be student champions, aiming "to improve the routine use of evidence-based information by future doctors, pharmacists, nursing and other healthcare professionals. ... These students receive bespoke training and support to enable them to disseminate information about NICE Evidence Search to their fellow undergraduates in structured hands-on learning sessions." The scheme launched in 2011. Another good example of making students active in information literacy!
Photo by Sheila Webber: One of the Sheffield peregrines feeding the chicks see - at the moment the chicks seem to love huddling in the corner the camera can't see, but there is often a parent bird visible on the perch outside the nest platform

Friday, May 22, 2015

ACRL instruction recordings: collaboration and learning outcomes

Recordings of webinars recently organised by the ACRL Instruction Section Management and Leadership Committee are now available:
Char Booth: Cultivating Campus Collaboration ("For librarians who work in information literacy program development, creating and sustaining meaningful ties with a diverse range of campus stakeholders is an essential and complex task. This webinar will involve participants in a discussion about cultivating effective institutional collaborations, from identifying and engaging potential partners to curriculum mapping strategies to assessing (and sometimes ending) campus relationships.")
Sara Lowe: Developing Learning Outcomes ("For librarians who teach, learning outcomes are vital. Without them, it is difficult to assess learning and gauge success. This session will discuss all aspects of learning outcomes so that participants can integrate them into their teaching practice.")
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring path, Blackheath, May 2015

Teaching or Training? Academic librarians’ conceptions of their IL teaching

In my previous post I mentioned that Emily Wheeler was presenting at the LIRG AGM on 1st July. Embedded below is her presentation on the same topic given at the LILAC conference in April. Emily also blogged about LILAC at and

Thursday, May 21, 2015

#LIRG member's day: information literacy featured

The Library Information Research Group Member’s Day & AGM is taking place on 1 July, 3pm-6.30pm, in Liverpool, UK. It includes talks from LIRG prize winner (and one of my current PhD students) Jess Elmore on An exploration of the information literacy experiences of home educating families and Emily Wheeler (who was a Masters student here last year) on Teaching or training? Academic librarians’ conceptions of their IL activities. There is also a talk from Miggie Pickton on Developing a research culture in the workplace: top down and bottom up approaches
This event is free to CILIP and/or LIRG members, £21 to non-members. It says there is a limit of 15 participants, which seemes extremely small, but if this is true it is important to book at once!
Registration form at
Jess Elmore's abstract: The presenter will discuss her dissertation, which explored the information literacy experiences of five home educating families. The research was constructivist with a grounded approach to data analysis and involved in-depth interviews with family groups (parents and children were interviewed together). The children in the study were aged between eight and seventeen. The presentation will include a summary of the context of home education in the UK and highlight the lack of information literacy research in this area. It will involve a brief discussion of the research methods and findings. The focus will be on how these findings relate to existing models of information literacy, with particular reference to the importance of reflection; the significance of communities of practice and the potential challenge to the orthodoxy of formal educational models.
Emily Wheeler's abstract: Despite much research into where and how librarians acquire their teaching skills and how much importance they place on teaching, not much is known about how they conceive of their teaching, their skills or themselves as teachers. This MA dissertation investigated the variation in conceptions of their own teaching skills among academic librarians who teach information literacy in higher education. The project used a qualitative phenomenographic interview approach with a sample of six academic librarians. This presentation will discuss the results of the research, presented as four categories of description, which vary according to interviewees’ conceptions of themselves, their teaching skills, IL, and other teachers. The research revealed how librarians conceive of themselves and their roles within the institution, as well as highlighting a lack of confidence among some participants.
Photo by Sheila Webber: horse chestnut blossom, May 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#LOEX2015 encore sessions

Online "encore" versions of some of the sessions held at LOEX 2015 (the key information literacy conference in the USA) are being run. "Each session will be one hour, will be (very likely) held in GoToMeeting or WebEx, and will allow for live interaction between presenters and attendees. These virtual sessions will utilize the material presenters have prepared for the LOEX 2015 conference and enable them to reach a wider audience of people, acting as a nice supplement to the conference."
Registration is priced per session ($15 US for those who attended the conference, more for those who didn't) and there is a limit of 40 for each.
The sessions are:
- June 11 Drinking on the Job: Integrating Workplace Information Literacy into the Curriculum, Alison Hicks (University of Colorado, Boulder)
- June 15 Two Information Literacy Threshold Concepts Walk into a Bar: Using Satirical News Sources to Promote Active Learning and Student Engagement, Stephanie Alexander (California State University East Bay)
- June 16 Reconsidering Threshold Concepts: A Critical Appraisal of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, Lane Wilkinson (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)
- June 16 Distributing Your Craft: Scaling Quality Instruction, Theresa Westbrock and Felipe Castillo (New Mexico State University)
- June 17 Does It Really Take 50 Minutes? Insights from Faculty Focus Groups on Delivering Library Instruction in a General Education Program, Jackie Sipes (Temple University)
- June 18 Taste Testing Research Topics: Assessing the Scope and Feasibility of First-Year Students' Research Paper Topics, Erin Rinto and Melissa Bowles-Terry (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
- June 18 Bias Isn't Always Bad: Teaching Students to Evaluate and Use Information Effectively, Anthony Sigismondi (St. Norbert College)
- June 22 Do You Come Here Often? Using Student Course Registration Data to Improve Your Teaching, Outreach, and Information Literacy Program, Erica Schattle (Tufts University)
More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: white lilac, May 2015

Information literacy student awards

Penn State University (USA) has announced the winners of the 2015 University Libraries Award for Information Literacy which "recognizes students who have excelled in locating and using scholarly resources to support their research projects". The prize is focused on students participating in a poster exhibition.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Augustana human library

I have previously mentioned an iniative at the Augustana Library, University of Alberta, Canada: the human library. This consists of events where "people who have experienced prejudice or stereotyping in life" are invited to become human books; to come into the library in a relaxed coffee-chat environment, to tell their story and help their "readers" understand their stories. This is part of the information literacy programme at Augustana. I just noticed that there is a paper on this:
Goebel, Nancy. (2011). Fags, blacks and Hutterites: Challenging Prejudice and Stereotypes with the augustana human library. In Dawn W. Mueller (Ed.) Proceedings of the 2011 Conference of the Association of College & Research Libraries. Philadelphia, PA: Association of College and Research Libraries.
Photo by Sheila Webber: white lilac, May 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Some educational links

A couple of resources just noticed:
- A "53 ideas" series on the SEDA blog. The blog is publishing Graham Gibbs’ 53 Powerful Ideas All Teachers Should Know About (Gibbs is an educationalist of many years experience) and encouraging others to contribute ideas once they've finished the 53! (SEDA is "the professional association for staff and educational developers in the UK" and has useful material for higher education teachers).
- Latest issue of the open access Journal of Educational Technology & Society
Photo by Sheila webber: spring along my path to work, May 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015


An valuable new blog on Academic Library Instruction Burnout has been set up by Maria Accardi. Accardi opens up her own experience and is encouraging others to share their own stories of burnout and emotional labour, anonymously if they want. "I think that one way of combating the state of burnout, examining its root causes, and inspiring a culture shift in the profession is giving voice to those who are experiencing the problem."
Photo by sheila Webber: Copper beech, new leaves, May 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Resources on pedagogy in higher education

Mick Healey is a long-established educational researcher in the UK. His website is a treasure trove of resources relevant to higher education (particularly in the UK). Through searching my own blog, I realise that I highlighted his bibliographies a few years ago, but it is worth mentioning them again as he continues to update them periodically (e.g. selective bibliographies on: Active learning and learning styles; Discipline based approaches to supporting learning and teaching; Pedagogic research and development; Students as change agents; Research-based curricula in college-based higher education). He also has substantial handouts from workshops that he runs e.g. one on Refreshing the Curriculum: Approaches to Curriculum Design (updated March 2015) and another useful item is a spreadsheet with a list of links to the archives of the former Higher Education Academy subject centres (which were centres in the UK focusing on pedgagy in different subject areas e.g. psychology, history, law; they all had some useful resources such as open access journals, teaching resources, but the centres were victims of government budget cuts).
Photo by Sheila Webber: fallen cherry blossom petals, April 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

International school libraries conference: also online #IASL2015

The 44th Annual International Conference & 17th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship takes place June 28 - July 2, 2015. The main conference is in Maastricht, The Netherlands. However, I mainly want to highlight that you can view a livestream of many conference presentations. You do not get alternatives, but certainly the provisional programme provides a full stream of sessions over the length of the conference. This includes numerous ones which are relevant to information literacy e.g. "Transformation, transfer, transition: what the school librarian can do in transliteracy, the French context" "Inquiry learning: educating librarians for their educational role" "Igniting the passion: Practical ways to engage and inspire our students to learn through the school library!". There is a fee (between 75 and 125 Euros depending on which region of the world you come from)
Photo by Sheila Webber: candytuft, April 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

#WILU2015 early bird rate

The early bird rate for the Canadian information literacy conference WILU ends on May 15. The conference is June 15-17 in St John's, Newfoundland, Canada. The abstracts of papers etc. are now on the website too at
Photo by Sheila webber: waystation, London Marathon day, April 2015

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Workshop zur Informationskompetenz im Netz

For German-speakers: a useful set of materials for running a workshop about information searching, evaluation of websites etc. You get teacher's materials, worksheets, powerpoint etc. It was produced by the Landesanstalt für Medien Nordrhein-Westfalen (LfM) in cooperation with the German UNESCO Commission and the Verband der Bibliotheken des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen Bildungsinstitutionen. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: hawthorn, Blackheath, May 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Social media/ Networking

A local-to-me event: #UKeiG and #CILIP Yorkshire & Humberside Member Network have organised a "networking event with talks on social media followed by light afternoon tea". It will be at Nabarro LLP, 1 South Victoria Quay, Victoria Quays, Sheffield, UK, on 16 July 2015 at 2pm. The speakers are:
"Laura Woods (Subject Librarian for Engineering and Allied Health at the University of Huddersfield). She has worked in information professional roles in several different sectors, including commercial law and charity. She can be found on Twitter as @woodsiegirl, and blogs at
"Penny Andrews is an artist, para-athlete, researcher and librarian. She'd call herself a polymath, but that would imply a greater objective level of success at these things, when she's probably better known for deconstructing popular culture and engaging in professional debate via social media. She manages not to swear on radio and TV, where she makes regular appearances. Doctor Who is one of Penny's special interests (she's autistic, so that implies a very special level of interest), but she can often be persuaded to talk about libraries, Open Access to research, social media, accessibility and other slightly less cultish topics.
"Karen Dolman began work on the Mobile and Home Library Service in a Black Country Local Authority. After many different roles in libraries, since qualifying, she now works as an Information Adviser at Sheffield Hallam University, in the Health and Wellbeing Faculty. She is really interested in how social media is used for study, and how useful it can be. She will be talking a little about her experience of engaging with social media in work and how she uses social media. She can be found @Podling on Twitter and blogs as 'Two-Wheeled Librarian' ."
Costs: UKeiG or CILIP members £6.00 (£5.00 + £1.00 VAT) Non-members £12.00 (£10 + £2.00 VAT)
To apply, email
Photo by Sheila Webber: apple blossom, Sheffield, May 2015

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

New free textbook: Teaching in a digital age

Just published on open access, Tony Bates has published Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age. It is available in various formats. I haven't read it yet, but it definitely looks interesting. The blurb runs "The book examines the underlying principles that guide effective teaching in an age when everyone,and in particular the students we are teaching, are using technology. A framework for making decisions about your teaching is provided, while understanding that every subject is different, and every instructor has something unique and special to bring to their teaching.The book enables teachers and instructors to help students develop the knowledge and skills they will need in a digital age: not so much the IT skills, but the thinking and attitudes to learning that will bring them success."
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring branch, May 2015

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Presentations on information literacy and society

An interesting set of presentations from an event organised by the Scottish Information Literacy Community and SLIC in February 2015 e.g. on Information Literacy and the housing sector; infolit and young people; health literacy There is also a Storify of the event:
Photo by Sheila Webber: apple blossom, May 2015

Monday, May 04, 2015

#Copyright card game

A card game to help teach (UK) copyright was developed by Chris Morrison, Naomi Korn and Jane Secker for a SCONUL seminar and the material to create the card game is available on the repository JORUM under a creative commons (CC-BY-NC-SA) licence. There are instructions for tutors, a file of the cards to print and explanation for the learners. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: "Lost item" series: lost plush big cat, April 2015 (fyi the last lost item was rescued, cleaned and adopted)

Friday, May 01, 2015

Ooer- #OERS: using free, shared, information literacy resources

On 24 June in Leeds, UK there is an event: Ooer- OERS: using free, shared, information literacy resources organised by ARLG Yorkshire and Humberside. This will look at "The what and how of using, re-writing and sharing Open Educational Resources in HE and FE library contexts. Speakers are:
Siobhan Burke, Open Educational Resources Service Manager at JISC. The information and digital literacy collection of Jorum, JISC’s learning and teaching resource sharing site.
Nancy Graham, Research Support and Academic Liaison Manager, Library Services at the LSE. Chair of CoPILOT (Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching): CoPILOT: what can we do for you? Supporting librarians to create, share and re-use information literacy resources openly.
Helen Howard, Learning Services Team Leader at the University of Leeds. Skills@Library: using and creating OERS
Sarah George, Subject Librarian at the University of Bradford (runner-up for CILIP IL Group’s Information Literacy award, 2015) OERs for people with no technical skills and no money.
£20 + VAT students/unemployed; £30 + VAT CILIP members; £40 + VAT non-CILIP members. Tea and lunch will be provided.
To book a place, please provide the following details and send to Katherine Turner at
Name: Job title (if applicable): Institution (if applicable): Student/unemployed: Y/N CILIP member: Y/N If Yes, membership number: Dietary requirements: Access or support requirements: Name and address for invoicing:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Borage, April, 2015