Monday, August 31, 2015

Learning theories map

The EU HOlistic approach to Technology Enhanced Learning (HoTEL) project has produced a learning theories map. You can click on the map to access an interactive version of the map. I'm not sure if all of the links on it are the best links, but it's useful in listing a whole load of learning theories with brief explanations and links to further information

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Free Technology for teachers blog

Richard Byrne blogs free technology useful to teachers, including some tutorials. He just put together a pdf The Practical Ed Tech Handbook, a "30 pages of the best ed tech tools for k12 teachers"
Photo by Sheila Webber: fern, Sheffield, August 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Georgia presentations and conference

Presentation materials from a number of the sessions at the 2014 Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy (held held in October 2014) are available. These include:
- The Best Laid Plans of Librarians and Faculty: Information Literacy Instruction in a General Education Literature Course, Difficulties and Successes
- The Proof is in the Worksheets: Assessing Information Literacy Outcomes from Library Instruction in an Evolved FYE Program
They are at
The 2015 Georgia conference is on September 25-26, 2015 in Savannah, Georgia, USA and the full programme is available at - registration seems to be at
Photo by Sheila Webber: first apples at the Farmers Market, August 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lifelong Information Literacy conference - videos added #lilicon2015

I mentioned before that the presentations from the LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) conference held on 3 August 2015 in Los Angeles, USA were online. Now the presentations are all there, and there are videos of the sessions too

Growing Our Teaching Practices: priced online short course

Andrea Baer is teaching an asynchronous online short course New Directions in Information Literacy: Growing Our Teaching Practices, for Library Juice aacdemy. It runs 7 September - 16 October asnd costs US $250. There is more information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: wellie boots on the ground, Blackheath, August 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wrocław in 2017, Columbus in 2016 #wlic2015

Wrocław, Poland will be the venue for the 2017 World Library and Information Congress, as was revealed at the closing ceremony to the 2015 World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa last week. In this picture you can just about see the Mayor of Wrocław who had flown in to encourage delegates to visit his city in 2 years time. Next year WLIC (or, IFLA) conference takes place in Columbus, USA (as you will gather, the IFLA conferences rotate to different parts of the world each year) and they already have a website here:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cape Town Declaration #wlic2015

The Cape Town Declaration was announced at the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. "Ministers and country representatives from Angola, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Lesotho, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan and Swaziland met to discuss the status of libraries and implementation of access to information agenda" and they made various commitments concerning information and libraries. The declaration is here:
Photo of the cultural evening at the conference

Putting the IFLA Media and Information Literacy Recommendations into practice #wlic2015

Most of today was spent preparing for and delivering a workshop at World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa (for the IFLA Information Literacy Section). I have embedded the powerpoint below: it outlines the process we went through, where people were thinking of examples of success in information literacy, and desirable actions, relating them to key points in the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations We have some notes from the workshop which we will put online when have written them up. I will also be doing some final posts about the conference tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Reference Librarian’s new approach to coaching information literacy for children in Cape Town #wlic2015

Flippie Van der Walt (Department Library and Information Services at the City of Cape Town, South Africa) talked about The Reference Librarian’s new approach to coaching information literacy for children: new approach in reference and information services in the City of Cape Town, at the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a liveblog from the session: the full paper is here
The aim of their Information Literacy programme was to develop something that could be used by reference service librarians in 104 public libraries across the city. As a background, he explained that there is a lack of school libraries (only 7% have a functional library) and there are low levels of literacy skills. However, more public libraries have been opened, therefore that is where children (especially primary school children) go. Also, the new South African educational system acknowledges the value of using information, but it isn’t taught at school.
Reference librarians became concerned at the increasing number of children (from this very populous city) needing help: they were not able to deal with the demand. It was felt that if the children had training, then they would be better able to help themselves. The librarians did a project to address this. Questions were
– why the public library? (this was answered by a literature search and looking at official documents e.g. the UNESCO Manifesto identifies teaching IL as part of public library service)
- what is information literacy? For this they explored various models such as the Big 6, and the LIASA information literacy guidelines for grade R-12. In the end they developed an 8 step model from these models (see below).
- who is the target group? They decided to focus on children at Grade 6 (age 10-12) as it was felt that at that age the child would be better able to learn the principles (e.g. more than a primary school child), and also on training the librarians themselves.
They developed a comic as a workbook for the information literacy programme (see picture). They picked on a zombie theme as it was currently popular. This made a “zombie challenge”. They piloted the programme with schools, and made changes based on that. They are preparing to roll out the programme. Now they need to train 600+ reference librarians so they understand info literacy and can be “zombie librarians!” There also a challenge in getting many schools involved, but it means particularly building on existing good connections with schools – they haven’t yet managed to get the local government to urge schools to get involved.

This is the information literacy model
Defining the problem
1. Information source identification
2. Information resources retrieval
3. Retrieve the information from the Source
Analyse the retrieved information
4. Synthesize
5. Organise the information
6. Present the information
7. Evaluate of the final product
8. Acknowledge the sources used

Diversity, Recognition, Respect: Embedding Indigenous Services #wlic2015

Catching up with a final post from the IFLA Indigenous Matters Special Interest Group at  the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference. The presentation Diversity, Recognition, Respect: Embedding Indigenous Services at the State Library of New South Wales, Australia was made jointly by Kirsten Thorpe and Monica Galassi (Indigenous Services, State Library of New South Wales, Australia).

The speakers started by acknowledging the traditional holders of the land and placing themselves. They introduced the services of the State Library of New South Wales (NSW). The aboriginal studies collections are among its strengths: they provide evidence from the colonial past and from current days of resistance and protest. In NSW in 2011 2.9% of the population were indigenous, and the speaker highlighted the districts which are most disadvantaged, which often have high percentage aboriginal population.

The library has developed and indigenous services business plan, with indigenous people and communities as partners. The libararians brainstormed, had focus group sessions, did benchmarking and a literature review, and evaluated past services.

Their vision is that “indigenous people are connected, engaged and represented within the library, collections and services. The vision is everybody’s business.” They are working first to implement the ATSILIRN protocols. Secondly they are developing a collection strategy. Thirdly they are investigating needs for digital resources preservation, creation and access (with emphasis on local keeping places). Their Indigenous Languages website is here (they showed a video celebrating indigenous languages at a symposium) and their Tumblr blog (which includes a word of the week feature) at

Curating with Community: Indigenous Knowledge Informing Cultural Collections #wlic2015

More liveblogging from the IFLA Indigenous Matters Special Interest Group session at the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. Curating with Community: Indigenous Knowledge Informing Cultural Collections was presented by Damien Webb (State Library of Western Australia, Australia). There is a paper at Although Webb was not present, he had recorded the presentation, starting with a traditional welcome to the country.
The State Library's four key areas are: heritage and history; creative community engagement (cultural events, outreach etc.); supporting the public library network; championing literacy and learning. He was presenting the Storylines project at the State Library of Western Australia, an online keeping place:
They have developed software collaboratively with the community, and there is a central archive (with things kept private if it is culturally sensitive) and community keeping places (the librarians help the community set up the system locally). After digitisation, items are repatriated to communities if they wish it (digitally or sometimes physically). The speaker showed how the system allowed rich information to be presented with the photographs and documents to explain their context and place. You can see this by exploring the website.

Webb highlighted that there were geographical barriers to enabling people to have physical access to libraries. Language was also a challenge, as there were more than 100 language groups and English is often a 2nd and 3rd language. Before the storylines project, people would have had to travel far and negotiate alien systems to get access to photographs of their family that the library might have.

However, Storylines has made this material more accessible, and local language overlays are also being worked on, so a high degree of literacy is not required. The service has built in cultural restrictions and sorrow protocols, with secret or sacred material kept private. Community ownership has been vital in the success of the project. Storylines also works as a platform for digital and information literacy training.

Management of Indigenous Knowledge in Primary Healthcare #wlic2015

A new day of liveblogging from the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. Management of Indigenous Knowledge in Primary Healthcare: Bridging the Gap between Library and Alternative Healthcare Practitioners in Nigeria was a paper presented by Ebijuwa Adefunke (Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria). The setting is an inland state in Nigeria. Here the traditional doctors are important providers of healthcare, with knowledge orally transmitted through generations. The speaker saw libraries as agents of access, development and transformation, and this involved developing the role of librarians too.
She quoted the the World Bank's definition of indigenous knowledge.(IK) She defined traditional healthcare as derived science. In Nigeria 80% use traditional herbs as primary health care. Traditional healthcare providers are custodians of IK sytems. However these healthcare providers do not necessarily think of the sustainability of the herbs they use.
Adefunke identified the role of the library in preserving IK for the future, helping to manage it, so that it is not lost. Therefore she has done a study to idenify the needs and means of preserving this knowledge. 400 heathcare providers had questionnaires administered. Most were male, some had formal education, documentation was through writing in books, and preservation was mainly through storytelling and oral instruction. Barriers include language, illiteracy and financial barriers. There was also reluctance to share with outsiders. Ways out for libraries were seeing as identifying with practitioners, collaborating with them and demonstrating the need to the communities. Alternative healthcare providers could be trained in systematic management of traditional knowledge.
There is a paper at

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning #wlic2015

A final post about the Literacy session at the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference yesterday. Lisa Krolak (UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning) talked about Literacy Matters! Literacy as a foundation for lifelong learning. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning is at and this is an interesting initiative: I only came across it recently, but it should have relevance for lifelong information literacy initiatives. They have a "Literacy and basic skills" section on the website which notes that "The right to literacy is an inherent part of the right to education. Yet adult literacy is one of the most neglected of the Education for All (EFA) goals".

To turn to Krolak's presentation, she explored definitions of lifelong learning and literacy, including UNESCO's 2003 definition of literacy (shown in the photo above). The reference to a "continuum of learning" makes a particular link with lifelong learning. Krolak said that "Literacy, as a human right, lies at the heart of basic education and is the foundation for future learning opportunities". She saw literacy as a continuous life-wide and lifelong process and identified the need for development on five fronts. These were: laying down strong foundations through early childhood care and education; universal good quality basic education for all children; "scaling up and reaching out with relevant literacy provision for all young people and adults"; developing literacy-rich environments and a literate culture; dealing with root causes of illiteracy (e.g. poverty). She mentioned a programme at Vancouver City Libraries, but I haven't been able to track down a link for that yet.

Krolak highlighted a just-published special issue of the International Review of Education: Journal of Lifelong Learning focusing on lifelong literacy: volume 61 issue 3 at (priced publication). It includes articles on Literacy in the 21st century: Towards a dynamic nexus of social relations; Lifelong literacy: Some trends and issues in conceptualising and operationalising literacy from a lifelong learning perspective; Learning and literacy: A research agenda for post-2015; and (coauthored by Krolak) The potential of community libraries in supporting literate environments and sustaining literacy skills.
During her presentation, Krolak showed this nice video, on the Power of Literacy. She identified it as demonstrating some of the characteristics of literacy learning, for example that it takes place in various life contexts, and that emotional engagement is important.

Using Research to Promote Literacy and Reading in Libraries #wlic2015

Blogging from the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference, another current publication which the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) Literacy and Reading section wants to update is Using Research to Promote Literacy and Reading in Libraries: Guidelines for Librarians. There was some discussion about this at the roundtable session I attended, with suggestions such as wanting advice/support on carrying out studies into user needs, finding out about your population and also looking at what they are actually doing in the library. In this context I will also mention the Centre for the Public Library and Information in Society led by my colleague Dr Briony Birdi which includes research into reader development.

Successful #literacy programmes #wlic2015

The IFLA Literacy and Reading Section's 2nd session at the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference had some short presentations about successful literacy programmes. I will blog these briefly together. Firstly, Christina J. Nel talked about Library competitions promoting libraries, reading and literacy in a rural African environment. There were annual competitions for children, which involved having a standard form each year for children to work with or complete. They tried different things each year. For example, one year had a comic strip with speech bubbles (see example above), another year children had to illustrate the idea that "books take you anywhere". The children who won certificates were very proud and encouraged by them (see 2nd photo, below), and children enjoyed the competitions. There is a full paper here

Libraries, literacy and technology: A new training module for public librarians in developing countries targeted at integrating libraries into literacy projects was presented by Ari Katz. He was describing an initiative, Beyond Access, supported by the Gates Foundation. There is a lot of information on the website and a paper here:

Reading aloud as intangible cultural heritage: A German initiative to support literacy, reading and libraries worldwide was presented by Klaus U. Werner. He was advocating the value of live reading aloud as something to be preserved consciously as cultural heritage, to be added to the UNESCO official list. The paper is here:

Library for all: Also for the print disabled was about a Finnish initiative concerning talking books (they reckon that about 5% of Finns are print disabled, and 11% of the population are poor readers). It was presented by Rauha Maarno. The initiative took talking books to the local level, and now covers 144 libraries: loans of talking books increased 50% in 2014. They included other stakeholders, such as users and disability organisations, in planning the service. Specific examples of  services were a talking book club for those with intellectual disabilities, and collaboration with a prison for talking books for prisoners. The conference paper is here and there is an article by the presenter here:
Maarno, R. (2014) A library for all – including people with print disabilities. Scandanavian library quarterly, 47 (4).

Finally, Atlanta Meyer talked about Technology classes for senior citizens: Creating an environment where senior citizens can develop technology skills to actively participate in a strong society (this is in Australia). These include classes e.g. in "using your android" and "using an ipad". The paper is here

Literacy matters #wlic2015

I'm attending the 2nd session of the IFLA Literacy and Reading Section the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. This is a round table session, so I'm not sure yet whether liveblogging will be appropriate. However I wanted to highlight the "Literacy Matters" statement (see photo and below). The Section's website is here: . The current guidelines for Library-Based Literacy Programs are at, and one of the aims of the session is to work to revise these
This is the Literacy Matters! statement:
"I read, therefore I am.
I can.
- Be smart and become smarter;
- Communicate with others;
- Understand and connect with new challenges;
- Participate in family life, the workplace and community life;
- Use a range of technologies;
- Think for myself and with others;
- Keep my culture alive;
- Share with others; and
- Be creative and laugh.

I have the world and beyond at my feet.
I can read, therefore I am empowered and can learn lifelong.
I can read, therefore I am part of the future.
I can read, therefore I am,

Because literacy matters!"

Alinah Segobye: plenary at #wlic2015

The archaeology academic Alinah Segobye opened today's proceedings at the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm liveblogging, so note that these are just my impressions of her thoughtful and passionate talk.

After reflecting on some of the anniversaries and current world issues, Segobye went on to consider Africa's place in the global development agenda. She mentioned Agenda 2063 which articulates a vision for the future of the continent ("A global strategy to optimize use of Africa's resources for the benefits of all Africans"). There is an issue of how to get the African citizens to own this agenda, since citizen involvement was vital. There were challenges to the region, for example HIV/AIDS, inequality, ongoing conflict, and the impact of climate change. However, the region has also seen peaceful transitions of government, some rising stars in economic terms, and a young population which can be an opportunity for development and growth.

Segobye then highlighted the South African National Development Plan 2030 which she saw as ambitious and challenging, but very hopeful. She identified "why knowledge matters" in this context (and she included libraries in supporting the knowledge agenda) - she saw knowledge reducing inequality, realising a developmental and capable state, and helping it to develop from a mineral-dependent economy to a knowledge based economy. Knowledge could also help the "rainbow nation" of South Africa broaden social cohesion and unity.

Finally Segobye talked about the issue of gender "No woman left behind: why gender matters". She emphasised women as key to knowledge development. She celebrated librarians as having strong women as practitioners and role models attaining positions of leadership, and librarianship as a discipline in transforming with the times. She saw librarians driving not only only their own development but also the development of others. Segobye talked about her personal experience of librarians helping her to get through her studies, for example by looking after her young son in the library.

Segobye saw the empowerment of female children as central to human development, including keeping young girls at school and enabling them to make informed choices about their futures (including helping them to avoid inwanted pregancy and avoiding contracting HIV/AIDS). Thus gender equality was important to the future of the continent. She saw women as custodians of Indigenous Knowledge (IK), with vital roles in health and nutrition, culture and education, and also beauty and aesthetics. Segobye mentioned here the issue of intellectual property, both in terms of acknowledging the originators of products (e.g. where it originated with IK) and in unlocking opportunities for innovation.

This brought the issue round to the importance of data, information and knowledge in all sorts ways to support sustainable development. Libraries were vital in helping transform and support citizens. This could help people learn, create, innovate and share to achieve the visions embodied in the 2030 and 2063 agenda.

cfp on Web 2.0, for First Monday

There is a call for proposals (abstracts) for a special issue of the open access journal First Monday with the theme A Decade of Web 2.0: Reflections, Critical Perspectives, and Beyond. Abstract deadline is 1st September 2015. More information at

Monday, August 17, 2015

Literacy Matters! Information literacy, reading and libraries #wlic2015

A catchup blog from the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. Another talk in the Literacy and Reading session was Literacy Matters! Information literacy, reading and libraries from Sharon Mader (Chair IFLA Information Literacy Section, United States).
Like others in this session, Mader started by looking at the term literacy. She identified that it could be seen at a personal, professional, national or global level. Looking at her own region, she noted that one in six people in Louisiana had literacy problems, so that even in developed countries there were inequalities in literacy levels (as is highlighted in the Lyon Declaration on access to information and development).
So, how do literacy and information literacy relate to each other? Mader first turned to Wikipedia to see what it said about the term literacy: there it was noted that the term had developed from the simple ability to read and write, to include a wider range of literacy skills. She then looked at the definition of literacy of the IFLA Literacy and Reading section, that incuded “the capacity to question, problem solve think and create” which overlaps with definitions of information literacy.

That brought Mader to information literacy. She talked about the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations developed by IFLA with UNESCO and accepted by the UNESCO General Conference. Then Mader mentioned the definition of Information Literacy that was presented in the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, which includes ethical engagement with information and creation of new knowledge. The Lyon Declaration talks about universal literacy being essential in order to gain access to information, which should link literacy and information literacy.There is a statement from IFLA Literacy and Reading section relating to the Lyon Declaration here, by the way

Obviously those assembled at the IFLA conference thought that literacy matters, and libraries support literacy: but not everyone seems to be so committed to that. The IFLA Toolkit: Libraries and the UN post-2015 development agenda can help librarians take the message outside of the circle of those who already know. The toolkit "provides background on the issues and practical advice on how to set up meetings with government representatives." Mader mentioned the UN2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and particularly goal 16 where ensuring access to information is said to contribute to sustainable development. The Lyon Declaration is a response to the new agenda and several sessions at this IFLA conference look at how libraries can contribute to these new United Nations sustainable development goals.

Going back to IFLA’s Media and Information Literacy Recommendations, these urged governments to embed MIL in curricula, use MIL for employability etc. However, this needs advocacy to achieve, to lobby government to implement the recommendations. The IFLA Information Literacy section has got IFLA project funding to produce a MIL Recommendations Advocacy Brief, to help people campaign. There is also a workshop session on Thursday which is also looking at the impact of information literacy, and I’ll blog a report from that (though probably not a liveblog as I will be helping to facilitate, I think).
Photo by Sheila Webber: marimbas and librarians at the conference exhibition opening yesterday

Literacy Matters! Literacy, libraries and building strong societies in Africa #wlic2015

This is the next liveblog from the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. Victoria Okojie (IFLA Chair, Africa Section, Nigeria) talked on Literacy Matters! Literacy, libraries and building strong societies in Africa. She started by highlighting that Africa is a diverse continent, with countries at different levels of development. Generally literacy levels are low for various reasons (e.g. political instability, poverty) and there is a poor reading culture with a high school drop-out rate. Libraries are poorly resourced.
The roll out of ICTs has been low in Africa, reflected in the lack of technology in schools and libraries. However, there are opportunities to leapfrog, as new mobile tecdhnologies come along: Africa has one of the fastest growing mobile penetration.
Libraries of course have a role for literacy development, aligning with government programmes, training community leaders and trainers etc. Libraries are also identified by IFLA as helping to build strong societies, for example giving access to lifelong learning and promoting equal opportunities. Thus they can, for example, provide an enabling environment for innovation.
Okojie picked out some examples of initiatives in Africa. Generally, they were aiming to support literacy anfd reading, help children with school work and ICT skills, and encourage the community to use the library. Challenges include the lack of local language materials, funding, inadequate skills, a lack of an enabling environment, a definition of literacy, and monitoring of impact. Some initiatives:
- Reading Clinics in Ghana: this is a partnership between school and the Ghana Library Association, designed for pre-school children. An example is
- Bring Back the Book programme in Nigeria. This was initiated by the President, so put reading on the agenda of local government. See
- Use of tablets: with the eKitabu project in Kenya and Opn Imo project in Nigeria.
- National Farmers Information Network in Kenya
- Center for the Book programmes and projects e.g. Funda Mzantsi in South Africa
- Mobile library services e.g. donkey carts in Zimbabwe; services to Internally Displaced Persons camps.
Okojie concluded by identifying the need to reprofile, reposition and restructure library services, for example to be able better to meet needs, to collaborate and to market services. There were already good examples and success, but there needed to be a lot more work to make libraries a pivot for development.

Literacy Matters! The literacy and reading needs of people with special needs #wlic2015

Further liveblogging from the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town. Helle Mortensen (IFLA Library Services to People with Special Needs, Denmark) talked on Literacy Matters! The literacy and reading needs of people with special needs. A paper is already online at
Mortensen talked about the work of the People With Special Needs IFLA section, which includes meeting the needs of those who cannot visit the library. Literacy matters because it is crucial for education and participation. Those with special needs have particular literacy and reading needs. Firstly, easy to read publications - appropriate to different age groups, and taking account of those with intellectual disabilities, dyslexia etc. (there are IFLA guidelines for easy to read materials). There also have to be alternative ways of reading: this involves a lot of reading tools and devices. The next thing that Mortensen mentioned were materials for raising memories e.g. memory boxes: again there are IFLA guidelines for library services to those with dementia.
Techniques included guided shared reading, which could be used with homeless people, those with dementia etc. Some librarians in Denmark have been trained as reading guides. It was important that library staff were unprejudiced and were aware of the different kinds of reading needs. Mortensen emphasised that these needs were diverse.
It was important to have a physically accessible library, with an inviting space and presentation, with outreach for those who cannot visit the library. The speaker recommended partnering with appropriate organisations, and also employing those with special needs.

Literacy Matters! Digital Literacies, Reading and Libraries #wlic2015

I'm liveblogging from the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference taking place in Cape Town, South Africa. In the session on Literacy, a paper Literacy Matters! Digital Literacies, Reading and Libraries was given by Barbara Combes (Charles Sturt University, Secretary IFLA Literacy & Reading
Section, Australia). She started talking about the vast amount of information that isn't found by search engines. It is a dynamic information lanscape and can make information decontextualised, so that there are problems along with the many benefits and convenience of online information.Coombs highlighted the multipliocity of apps and technologies available.However, many people do not have physical or cognitive access to the web. Cognitive access means not being able to read or interpret the information, even if you physically have access.
Coombs went on to consider the word literacy. She wondered - had it been hijacked, when it has been tacked on to so many other words? She posed the question whether competency, rather than literacy, was meant. She showed some definitions of literacy that included critical thinking and reading, learning, and also being actively literate (e.g. "purposeful" reading). Thus it was more than just being able to read, and including understanding and reusing.
Turning to digital literacy, she saw it as including computer and ICT literacy, Web 2.0 literacy, network/internet literacy (including "knowing where you are" on the internet), multimedia literacy and information management. However she also saw digital literacy as about ethical use of information, cultural awareness, access for the disabled, privacy and safety, and applying information to your lives. Thus digital literacy was a complex and evolving concept, and it was affected not just by technology but by the people developing and using technology. A prerequisite is literacy: being able to read, write and understand.
Coombs concluded that although "literacy" did mean competency in the context of digital literacy, it was important to think about the deeper aspects.

MOOCs, Information Literacy and the role of the librarian at #wlic2015

I'm attending the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference, taking place in Cape Town, South Africa I'm attending a section meeting of IFLA's Information Literacy Section committee (of which I'm a member) and also presenting a poster. This is the poster. The references are at

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saturday amusement: Harry Potter lawsuits

A thorough and and readable post which summarises and links to the highlights and lowlights of the law suits brought against J.K. Rowling and the ones she herself has pursued. There is a tenous link with information literacy, since obviously part of being information literate involves knowing how to avoid copyright infringement...
Kluft, D. (2015, 27 August). Harry Potter Lawsuits And Where To Find Them. Trademark and Copyright Law.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Dahlia and cosmos, Farmers Market, August 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Reflections on teaching and information behaviour in a Futurelearn MOOC

Professor Shailey Minocha invited me to give a presenation at the Open University on 23 July. I have been a bit late uploading it to slideshare, but now this is it: Reflections on teaching and information behaviour in a Futurelearn MOOC. The first part has a further elaboration on my ideas about MOOC teaching, and the last part identifies information behaviour within the Play MOOC (that I taught on), and implications for information literacy teaching.

Call for chapters: Peer-Assisted Learning in Academic Libraries

There is a call for chapters for a forthcoming Libraries Unlimited book Peer-Assisted Learning in Academic Libraries. The editors seek "proposals from librarians who have utilized peer-assisted learning programs to enhance library services in the areas of reference, instruction, and/or co-curricular outreach." Proposal submission deadline is September 30 2015. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cosmos and stattice, Farmers Market, August 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Game-Based Learning in Library Instruction

A four week asynchronous online course is: Game-Based Learning in Library Instruction, led by Scott Rice. It takes place September 7 to October 2, 2015 and costs US $175

Registration opens for Augustana workshop

Registration for the 15th Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop opens on Monday, August 17 2015. The workshop takes place 21-22 October 2015 at the University of Alberta, Canada. The theme is Considering Implementation Options for ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, led by Sharon Mader (ACRL's Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy). The first day is a consultation day, and the second day includes short talks by partcipants using the new ACRL Framework. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: palms at the IFLA conference in Singapore, August 2013: soon I will be reporting from this year's conference!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Recent articles: Curriculum mapping; Engineering students; pre-university students; Ghanaian youth

Firstly, an open access version of
Archambault, S. and Masunaga, J. (2015) Curriculum Mapping as a Strategic Planning Tool (post-print proof) Journal of Library Administration. 55(6) Available at:
"Curriculum mapping is a procedure for documenting and visualizing student learning at the programmatic level. The process allows libraries the opportunity to record where information literacy skills are taught across the curriculum in order to locate gaps and redundancies within a library instruction program. It also allows for alignment of the library’s learning outcomes with the learning outcomes important to the institution. This paper presents a review of the history of curriculum mapping, followed by a case study of how Loyola Marymount University (LMU) used the process to support information literacy in a new core curriculum."

Secondly, recent items from the priced publication International Information and Library Review (2015, not yet allocated to an issue at time of writing)
- Perceptions of Faculty about Information Literacy Skills of Postgraduate Engineering Students by Mamoona Kousar and Khalid Mahmood
- Perceptions and Knowledge-Sharing Behavior of Pre-University Students by Shaheen Majid and Chitra Panchapakesan
Abstract extracts: "Knowledge sharing is an essential element of a collaborative learning process. The purpose of this study was to investigate students' knowledge-sharing behavior with their classmates, frequency and type of knowledge shared, preferred communication channels, and the factors likely to motivate or inhibit knowledge sharing. A pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection and 220 higher secondary students (equivalent to “A” levels) from India participated in this study. ... It was found that the top three sources for seeking study-related information were the internet, teachers, and classmates. The primary motives of sharing knowledge were to improve understanding of concepts discussed in the class and to build good relationship with classmates. For group assignments, more knowledge sharing occurred within the group members than with other groups. The major barriers to knowledge sharing were the lack of time, lack of a sharing culture, and inadequate depth in relationships"
- Everyday Life Information-Seeking Behavior of Marginalized Youth: A Qualitative Study of Urban Homeless Youth in Ghana by Evelyn Markwei and Edie Rasmussen
Abstracts extracts "Forty-one homeless youth, ages 15 to 18 years participated in this qualitative study. Participants were identified by snowball sampling and data was collected by field observations, an adaptation of the critical incident technique and in-depth interviews. The results show that (1) information needs of the homeless youth in the study relate to basic needs following Maslow's hierarchy of needs; (2) their information sources are primarily interpersonal and comparatively limited in range; and (3) the most important information-seeking behavior is a community approach, characterized by free sharing of information among their social network of friends. The results further revealed that participants relied on their social network of friends to meet 8 of the 11 information needs identified in the study."
Photo by Sheila Webber: plums, Farmers Market, August 2015

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Social media use

Slightly off topic, but I liked this advice by Matt Holland on getting reluctant parent organisations to let you use social media. Although he's talking about libraries in the UK's National Health Service, I think the advice would hold true in many organisations that want to control organisational use of social media.
Photo by Sheila Webber: redcurrants, whitecurrants, farmers market, August 2015

ACRL instruction camp

Kate Ganski (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Libraries, USA) has given a report on a 3 day "instruction camp" aimed at helping librarians to better understand the new ACRL Information Literacy Framework. It includes a link to materials used in the camp
Photo by Sheila Webber: farmers market, strawberries, August 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

Presentations from the #LiLicon2015

There are presentations from the LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) conference (that had the theme Collaboration for Lifelong Learning: Innovative and Effective Approaches to Information Literacy) that was held on 3 August 2015 in Los Angeles, USA. Presentations are entitled:
- Gaining Ground: Building Lifelong Information Literacy Skills
- Getting Students College-Career Ready
- "Lightning round" talks: Creating a Local Computer Skill Cooperative; Information Literacy for Educators; Long Night Against Procrastination: Connecting Stressed Out Students with Library and Writing Resources; Outreach to Your Child Development Center.
The presentations are at and there is a Storify for the conference at (spot the Californian palm trees!)
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn anemone, August 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015


iRights "is a civil society initiative [in the UK] that seeks to make the digital world a more transparent and empowering place for children and young people (under 18) by delivering a universal framework of digital rights, in order that young people are able to access digital technologies creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly."
A couple of publications have recently been launched. The first one (the iRights report) reports on activities since this movement (supported by various individuals and organisations: for example NESTA) came together last year. The second (the Legal Framework) is an examination of whether the six rights that are set out are supported by existing legislation. The rights are:
- "The Right to REMOVE: Every child and young person should have the right to easily edit or delete all content they have created.
- "The Right to KNOW: Children and young people have the right to know who is holding or profiting from their information, what their information is being used for and whether it is being copied, sold or traded.
- "The Right to SAFETY AND SUPPORT: Children and young people should be confident that they will be protected from illegal practices and supported if confronted by troubling or upsetting scenarios online.
- "The Right to INFORMED AND CONSCIOUS CHOICES: Children and young people should be empowered to reach into creative places online, but at the same time have the capacity and support to easily disengage.
- "The Right to DIGITAL LITERACY: To access the knowledge that the Internet can deliver, children and young people need to be taught the skills to use, create and critique digital technologies, and given the tools to negotiate changing social norms."
I think one idea behind it is to think of protecting young people by giving them rights, rather than seeking just to control. This initiative hadn't really been on my radar, but it has got a flurry of attention at the moment and is obviously interesting and relevant to information literacy.
I may be missing something, but I'm not it is clear whether the "i" is for internet or for information (or perhaps it's both). In the section on the right to informed and conscious choices, it says "Children and young people have a human right to access information, to communicate with others, to participate as social actors and to learn. Access to the internet is essential in fulfilling these rights." Talking of the "human right to access information" immediately reminded me of the UNESCO-sponsored Prague Declaration on Information Literacy (2003) which identifies information literacy as "part of the basic human right of lifelong learning".I think this is a useful document to engage with, also placing it in the wider context of a young person's information world (digital and non-digital).

As a sidenote, this initiative seems not to be connected to the German organisation iRights, which appears to be older and is concerned with intellectual property in the digital age (though presemably they hadn't registered a trademark for "iRights"..... or in fact they have registered the trademark)
Photo by Sheila Webber: me taking a selfie in Second Life (Second Life is a trademark of Linden Lab)

Thursday, August 06, 2015

#MOOCs and the older learner

Spotted via Professor Shailey Minocha's Delicious on older people: An informative long blog post about research into older people's needs when learning through MOOCs. The issues raised (e.g. need for clear navigation, not having to turn on captions every single time you play a video in a MOOC) are ones which do not just affect older people but (following the principles of Universal Design) would improve the experience for everyone.
Hoffman, S. and Crown, C. (2014). MOOCs and the Older Learner. Learning with MOOCs.

This item is part of the proceedings for the whole Learning with MOOCs conference that took place 12-13 August 2014. The webcasts, and some extended descriptions of sessions, are at and the website for the 2016 conference in October is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn anemone, August 2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Was unter Informationskompetenz verstanden wird, verändert sich

For German speakers, a thoughtful blog post from Thomas Hapke which identifies recognition for information literacy, but also people proposing various alternatives. Inter alia, Hapke identifies the need for metacognition and the ability to engage critically with the knowledge worlds of different societies and disciplines.
Hapke, T. (2015, 21 July). Was unter Informationskompetenz verstanden wird, verändert sich [What we understand by information literacy is changing]. Hapke-blog.
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn anemone, August 2015

cfp: #iConference 2016 and #bobcatsss 2016

The iConference is the annual conference for iSchools (Information Schools). The 2016 conference takes place in Philadelphia, USA, March 20-23 and the theme is Partnership with Society. "This year’s theme of “Partnership with Society” examines the dynamic, evolving role of information science and today’s iSchool movement, and the benefits to society. The conference includes peer-reviewed papers, posters, workshops and sessions for interaction and engagement, interspersed with multiple opportunities for networking. Early career and next generation researchers can engage in the Doctoral Student Colloquium, Early Career Colloquium and Undergraduate Student Showcase forums." The deadline for paper submissions is September 9 2015. You do not have to be at an iSchool to submit a proposal. More information on the conference website:

BOBCATSSS is the annual conference for students of library and information science. The next conference, taking place 27-29 January 2016, will take place in Lyon, France, organised by French and North American students. "BOBCATSSS 2016 will explore several key topics: The Role of Libraries in Democratic Cultures, Intellectual Freedom and Censorship, Libraries, Open Access and Open Data, and Protecting Privacy." Deadline for abstracts is September 15 2015. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: a bee on teh wild oregano by my front door, August 2015

Monday, August 03, 2015

Call for papers: Library Instruction West 2016 #liw16

There's a call for proposals for the Library Instruction West 2016 conference (theme: Learning Elevated), June 8-10 2016, to be held in Salt Lake City, USA. The deadline for proposals is October 2nd 2015. "possible topics include: Beware of false summits: Elevating student learning; Tools for the trail: Supporting innovative technologies & online learning; Improve the path for next time: Building authentic assessments; Establish new footholds: Implementing threshold concepts & the Framework; Never hike alone: Collaborating with faculty; Finding your path: Developing ourselves as teachers
Session formats are: 15 minute talk or 45 minute session (which can be a talk, panel, workshop etc.). More info on the conference website:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Botanic gardens, daisy, July 2015

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Journal club in SL studies @JInfoLit article: 3 August

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Professor Diane Nahl (Adra Letov in Second Life) leads a discussion on:
Forster, M. (2015). Refining the definition of information literacy: the experience of contextual knowledge creation. Journal of Information Literacy, 9(1), 62-73.

When: 3 August 2015 at 12 noon SL time (which is 8pm UK time, see for times elsewhere)

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

Everyone is welcome to join the one-hour discussion. A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event.
Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in Second Life

Saturday, August 01, 2015

School Libraries and Guided Inquiry

It's not too late to register for the IFLA Satellite conference School Libraries and Guided Inquiry taking place 13-14 August 2015, in Cape Town, South Africa. The programme etc. is here: