Wednesday, September 30, 2015

USA's Information Literacy month in October

Tomorrow (1st October) is the start of Information Literacy Awareness month in the USA. President Obama made the first proclamation of an Information Literacy month in October 2009.
Go to There is also an ongoing campaign to get individual US states to sign up for information literacy

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Understanding Young People's Information Literacy Beliefs and Practices in the United States

An interesting recent article:
Metzger, M. et al (2015). Believing the Unbelievable: Understanding Young People's Information Literacy Beliefs and Practices in the United States. Journal of Children and Media, 9 (3), 325-348.
This is a study of young people's credibility judgements about websites (e.g. could they identify hoax websites). "2,747 responses were obtained from children [in the USA] between the ages of 11–17 years plus 18-year olds still residing with their parents." The researchers formed hypotheses that various factors would affect credibility judgements. The older children were better at evaluating websites (as had been hypothesised) but there was no correlation between higher economic status and evaluation skill.
"Across all outcomes except believing the hoax websites, the thinking style variables—including need for cognition, flexible thinking, and faith in intuition—emerged as the strongest predictors of young people's awareness of credibility problems and information evaluation skill. Overall, and as predicted, being open to various and conflicting perspectives and liking to think hard about problems lead to higher reported use of more effortful credibility evaluation tactics, while faith in intuition and trusting others lead young people to be more trusting of online information."
However, having had teaching in how to evaluate websites did not necessarily improve people's skill in spotting hoax websites "these findings suggest that young people might be using the evaluation techniques they have learned they should use (or perhaps just reporting that they use these techniques) without understanding their purpose." It is recommended that children should be taught the purpose of evaluation, rather than a checklist of how to evaluate.
Photo by Sheila Webber: trees moving to autumn, September 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Recent theses: Information Literacy in an Irish Higher Education; Minecraft and IL; Critical literacy; IL and serious leisure

Delaney, M. (2014) Concept, Ownership and Impact of Information Literacy in an Irish Higher Education Setting. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield. (Education School)

Bebbington, S. (2014) A Case Study of the Use of the Game Minecraft and Its Affinity Spaces for Information Literacy Development in Teen Gamers. Masters thesis, School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa.

Alford, J. (2015) Conceptualisation and enactment of critical literacy for senior high school EAL learners in Queensland, Australia : commitments, constraints and contradictions. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology. (Education School)

Demasson, A.. (2014) Information literacy and the serious leisure participant : variation in the experience of using information to learn. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn anemone, September 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

European Conference on Information Literacy programme available #ecil2015

The provisional programme for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) 2015 is available. ECIL 2015 is organized by the Institute of Information Studies of Tallinn University, on 19-22 October 2015, in Tallinn, Estonia. Go to for more information. I and two of my PhD students are presenting there ;-)
Photo by Sheila Webber: the first apples from my tree, Sept 2015

#OERs section on CILIP ILG site

There is a new section on the CILIP Information Literacy Group website, focusing on OERs (Open Educational Resources). They provide "an overview of the wide variety of OERs available for information literacy teaching and learning" and will also have sections on Finding OERs, Using OERs, Creating OERs and Sharing OERs. The first two sections are already there. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: more hydrangea, September 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Threshold Concepts in the Information Literacy Classroom

A 6 week online course, Threshold Concepts in the Information Literacy Classroom: Translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into Our Teaching Practices, is offered by Library Juice Academy October 5 to November 13 2015, cost $250. The educator is Andrea Baer. More info at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Call for Proposals #LOEX2016

There is a call for proposals for LOEX 2016 (the main USA information literacy conference) to be held May 5-7 2016 in Pittsburgh, USA. The conference theme is Learning from the Past, Building for the Future. The conference tracks are: ReImagine- Rethinking Teaching & Learning; ReFrame- Exploring Multiple Perspectives on Pedagogy; ReCycle- Using Technology & Keeping Teaching Fresh; ReConnect- Meeting Your Neighbors - Outreach & Collaboration; ReInvigorate - Leading to Create Change; ReAssess - Learning from Success & Failure.
Proposals for 50-minute long presentations and interactive workshops can be submitted through the online submission form; deadline November 20 2015. For more info, go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, September 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Futurelearn Academic Network (FLAN) meeting #flnetwork

Today I'm attending a Futurelearn Academic Network (FLAN) meeting being held at the British Library (which has its own logoed water bottles, see pic). Futurelearn operates the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform that my university (Sheffield University), and numerous others, use. There is a special focus on collaborations, particularly with cultural organisations such as museums.
From this morning's session I'll just pick out a few points
- Issues around literacies in using MOOCs - one of the MOOCs had a real time discussion within the MOOC and found that participants were a bit confused about how this worked and how to engage with it.
- Thinking about the relationship between your pedagogic and media approach and the actual topic of the MOOC. Thus within the Propaganda and Idealogy in everyday life MOOC there was a backlash against using Flickr to share images from participants (because of privacy and surveillance issues).
- The way in which the tone of the conversation within the MOOC is set: there was some discussion around why discussion wasn't having much trolling, even when the topic was potentially contentious. This could be because a MOOC was flagged up as being "academic", because of the way moderators managed the conversation (through their comments and replies), or because of the tone set at the start of the MOOC (if people's comments showed empathy and respect from the start, making the MOOC a safe place).
- The importance of building on existing partnerships (using the example of Cardiff University's Muslims in Britain: Changes and challenges MOOC) and how a MOOC could lead to future partnerships.
- There were interesting questions about the way in which the physical and digital worlds interacted. For example, MOOCs "piggybacking off exhibitions" (and how, if the MOOC and the exhibition were on together, you would track whether people at the exhibition had participated in the MOOC). Someone who was involved in the Richard Third MOOC said there had been cross fertilisation, with people at the visitor centre promoting the MOOC, and the MOOC offering opportunities to promote the centre. A further example was the plan for the London Central Mosque linking to MOOC material from their printed guide. Someone representing the National Trust said they were interested in MOOCs helping them to tell more engaging stories, for deeper connection. There was also discussion about whether, if you had a live physical event during the MOOC, people would attend (I think the answer to that is "it depends".

Monday, September 21, 2015

MOOC for librarians, on literature searching

There has been an invitation for librarians to register for the LIHNN (Library and Information Health Network North West (of England) Introduction to Literature Searching MOOC which "aims to provide librarians with the knowledge, skills and examples to provide an effective literature search service." It is a pilot project funded by Health Education North West and is targeted at:
- Health care Librarians (not students/users/clinicians)
- Librarians new to literature searching or wanting a refresher
- Librarians wanting to undertake CPD for CILIP accreditation or revalidation
- Librarians wishing to look for examples of how to deliver their search results
- Librarians looking for examples and ideas to evaluate the impact of their literature searches to provide evidence for the (NHS) Library Quality Assurance Framework

"Hosted in Blackboard CourseSites [you need to use Google Chrome or IE10], the content is broken down into 6 sections:
Week 1 ASK will look at how we refine the request from the user so we know exactly what we are searching for.
Week 2: will look at how we SCOPE the resources, to select the most appropriate source to undertake the literature search in.
Week 3: will look at how we can undertake an effective literature SEARCH using textwords and thesaurus terms.
Week 4: will look at how we can REFINE the search, techniques to narrow/broaden the search
Week 5: will look at how we can SUMMARISE the results of the literature search and how we can present these results to the user.
Week 6: we’ll look at how we can EVALUATE the quality, the performance and the impact of our literature searches to provide evidence for the Library Quality Assurance Framework, or LQAF."
It is scheduled to take about 1.5 - 2.5 hours a week and starts on October 5 2015
If you are outside the national Health Service, you won't be able to try out the demonstration searches, but you can still join the MOOC (free) Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: michaelmas daisies, September 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Purdue "data information literacy" studies

Purdue University has a number of sets of material that they have developed to teach data information literacy in different subject areas. "Each of the DIL case studies includes a description of the educational program and any accompanying supporting materials such as syllabi, lesson plans, rubrics, exercises or other learning objects." The most recent is:
Johnston, Lisa and Jeffryes, Jon (2015). Teaching Civil Engineering Data Information Literacy Skills: An e-Learning Approach. Data Information Literacy Case Study Directory, 3(1), Article 1.

Other case studies are listed at e.g.
- Teaching Data Information Literacy Skills in a Library Workshop Setting: A Case Study in Agricultural and Biological Engineering by Marianne S. Bracke and Michael Fosmire
- Developing a For-Credit Course to Teach Data Information Literacy Skills: A Case Study in Natural Resources by Sarah J. Wright and Camille Andrews
- Teaching Ecology Data Information Literacy Skills to Graduate Students: A Discussion-Based Approach by Brian Westra and Dean Walton
- Planting the Seeds for Data Literacy: Lessons Learned from a Student Centered Education Program by Jake Carlson and Marianne S. Bracke
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, September 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

cfp Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies

There is a call for papers for the inaugural issue of the open-access Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, with the theme: Why is the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies needed today? Deadline for receipt of manuscripts is December 18th, 2015 (and there are various contributions solicited e.g. research papers, reviews, interviews. The journal "addresses the need for critical discourse in library and information science and associated domains such as communication and media studies. It critically engages the cultural forms, social practices, the political economy, and the history of information and information institutions. It also seeks to broaden the methodological commitments of the field and to broaden the scope of library and information studies by applying diverse critical, trans-disciplinary, and global perspectives. The journal engages issues of social and cognitive justice and the historical and contemporary roles of documentary, information, and computational technologies in creating, mediating, surveilling, and challenging personal and social identities in cultural and political economies of power and expression."
Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in Second Life, which I was demonstrating today at a Technology Enhanced Learning fest.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

New articles: Information Research

A new issue of the open-access journal Information Research has just been published. Articles include:
- Naresh Kumar Agarwal: Towards a definition of serendipity in information behaviour
- Gloria Ponjuán, María Pinto and Alejandro Uribe-Tirado: Conceptualización y perspectivas de la alfabetización informacional en Iberoamérica: un estudio Delphi [in Spanish. tr Conceptualisation and perspectives on information literacy in Latin America: a delphi study]
- Lin Wang and Fei Guo: Environmental cognitions and scanning behaviour of managers of Chinese small and medium-size enterprises: an empirical study of a multidimensional model
- Jin Ha Lee, Rachel Ivy Clarke and Yea-Seul Kim: Video game information needs and game organization: differences by sex and age
- Tung-Mou Yang and Yi-Jung Wu: Exploring the effectiveness of cross-boundary information sharing in the public sector: the perspective of government agencies
- Safirotu Khoir, Jia Tina Du and Andy Koronios: Everyday information behaviour of Asian immigrants in South Australia: a mixed-methods exploration
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Beer on bench, Boras, Sweden, September 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New US libraries survey reports public "thinks libraries are important to communities"

A report on Libraries at the Crossroads was published yesterday by the Pew Research Center. The results come from a survey of 2,004 Americans aged 16+, which was carried out in spring 2015. The researchers note that use of libraries "edged downward over the past three years" but many positive messages came through. For example "85% of Americans say that libraries should “definitely” coordinate with schools in providing resources for children." "65% maintain that libraries contribute to helping people decide what information they can trust." "78% of those 16 and older say libraries should “definitely” offer programs to teach people how to use digital tools such as computers, smartphones and apps."
Full report at
Photo by Sheila Webber: lemon meringue pie, Brogyllen cafe, Gothenburg, September 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

cfp Creating Knowledge #ckviii

The 8th Creating Knowledge conference will take place at the Hilton Nordica Hotel in Reykjavík, Iceland, 2-3 June, 2016. There is a call for abstracts. The main theme is Practices, goals and visions for information literacy in higher education. The sub-themes are Implementation of information literacy into the curriculum; Assessment of information literacy; Information literacy and writing centres; New challenges for information literacy. Abstract submission closes on January 15th 2016. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: damsons, September 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

cfp COLIS 2016

Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS) 2016 will be held in Uppsala, Sweden, June 27-9 2016. COLIS "is a series of international conferences aiming to provide a broad forum for the exploration and exchange of ideas in the field of Library and Information Science, Information Studies, and related disciplines." The keynote speakers are Geoffrey Bowker (University of California, Irvine), Louise Limberg (University of Borås) and Pamela McKenzie (University of Western Ontario). You can submit research papers, short papers, panels, workshops, alternative events and posters. Contributions can be in any area of information science, including Information behaviour and information practices, digital literacy and information literacy. Full papers have to be submitted as complete research papers. Deadline for all submissions is January 15, 2016.
There is also a doctoral forum, to be held on 26 June. Submissions for this are due on March 1, 2016
Photo by Sheila Webber: I'm sure these were labelled kohlrabi, but they look more like beetroot to me

Sunday, September 13, 2015


EdTechReview is an "Education Technology Community for Developing Nations to enhance the relationship between Technology and Education" and their Youtube channel has just loaded talks from the 3rd Educational Leadership Conference held in August including a talk on Media and Information Literacy Curriculum for Schools
Photo by Sheila Webber: plums, September 2015

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Links to #wlic2015

Today I was doing feedback sessions on the World Library and Information (IFLA) Conference that took place last month, and for that purpose I listed some key links, so here they are.

- 2015 Conference website
- IFLA Library, where this year’s full-text conference papers are uploaded: (click on “search” in the red area on the top left, and you have a form which allows you to filter in various ways, including by conference year)
- Twitter
- Facebook
- Flickr – in particular note the good set of poster pictures
- My blog posts
- Sarah Bratt’s Storify
- Thoughts of delegate Shaharima Parvin:
- Interview with Lambert Heller (in German) on his thoughts on the conference and on information literacy - one amongst many blog posts by the German biistories folk

Some statements and documents released during the conference:
- Statement on Privacy in the Library Environment “This new Statement on Privacy in the Library Environment is intended to give guidance to libraries and information services in an environment that includes mass surveillance by governments and routine user data collection by commercial interests that provide content or services through the Internet. Risks to library users' privacy might arise through their use of search or social media applications on the Web or their use of library platforms and content that collect data on end users.”
- Cape Town Declaration (as already blogged)
- New standard: IFLA School Library Guidelines, 2nd edition
Photo by Sheila Webber: apples and pears, September 2015

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

International Literacy Day

Rather belatedly, Today was International Literacy Day.
There is a Call To Action on the IFLA website, with a quotation from Kofi Annan " For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential." and IFLA says "On International Literacy Day, 8 September 2015,we would like to ask the United Nations Member States to go further in their ambitions to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all as stated in the Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goal 4." IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) then identifies the key action points.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Librarians and faculty both rate information literacy highly in survey

Library Journal and Gale conducted surveys of academics (using Gale's mailing lists) and academic librarians (using Library Journal lists) asking each about what the most important activities were for librarians, what librarians did well, and how they communicated with each other. In the article cited below they summarise results and there is a full report. One has to bear in mind that the librarians and faculty members didn't necessarily come from the same institutions, but it is still interesting to see the comparison of results. Both librarians and academics agreed that "information literacy instruction" was most important ;-)
Unsurprisingly, faculty was less concerned than librarians about communicating (98% of librarians thought communication with faculty could be improved, whilst 45% of faculty thought communication with librarians could be improved). Faculty members seemed to perceive the librarians as having a wider role than the librarians did (e.g. rating text and data mining by librarians more highly than librarians did).
Schwartz, M. (2015, September 1).Closing the Gap in Librarian, Faculty Views of Academic Libraries| Research. Library Journal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherries from my tree, July 2015: as usual birds got more than I did

Friday, September 04, 2015

Gamification resources

A recently released "Infokit" on Gamification from JISC, authored by John Kirriemuir, is at and there is also a note from the author at
A couple of other useful resources:
- Educause. (2011) 7 Things you should know about gamification.
- Hamari, J. et al (2014). Does Gamification Work? — A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Gamification. (conference paper).
- Kim, B. (2015). Understanding Gamification. American Library Association Library Technology Reports. Downloadable version at (subscription only) and a review at
- Perrotta, C. et al (2013). Game-based Learning: Latest Evidence and Future Directions. NFER Research Programme: Innovation in Education.
Photo by Sheila webber: hydrangea, September 2015

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Transparency in Teaching and Learning

The latest Project Information Literacy (full text) interview has just been published. It is with Mary-Ann Winkelmes "As the director of the Transparency in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Project, she urges faculty to think about how they teach by asking their students to think about how they learn." The interview is at
Looking at the Transparency project website, one part of it has a process where:
"Instructors invite their students to complete a 7-10-minute online survey about their learning experiences. The survey data complements traditional student ratings of instruction by providing a measure of how students view their learning experiences and learning strengths. [people are invited to sign up for this: I don't think it gives the survey instrument, I don't think it can be the well-tried "approaches to study" inventory]
"An individualized, confidential report offers real-time insights to each instructor about how to improve students' learning, based on analysis of the data gathered from their own students and other, similar students in comparable courses.
"Optional workshops offer guidance for participating instructors on how to implement small teaching changes that will enhance their students’ learning, depending on the level and discipline of the course."
There is a page which has a list of ways in which students could be more actively involved in their learning, with examples: I don't think any of this is new, but it is nice to have it brought together in one place. For those interested in this area, there is a lot of relevant material on the UK Higher Education Academy's website, for example the report Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education
Photo by Sheila Webber: ice plants, September 2015

Calibre e-book software

Not really IL-related, but a colleague (in fact an educator I got to know in Second Life, the virtual world I still use for development and networking) recently highlighted this free e-book software, that she uses with students as well. More information at

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

CONUL Annual Teaching and Learning award

CONUL, the Irish Consortium of National and University Libraries has introduced the Annual Teaching and Learning award for outstanding contribution, achievement, excellence or innovation in the field of information literacy and teaching in Ireland. The winner will receive €1,000 for use in professional development or project related activity, the opportunity to publish their findings and a certificate of recognition. The award is open to all library staff working in CONUL libraries. The deadline for nominations is 2 October 2015. More information at
Photo by Sheila webber: another fern, August 2015