Friday, April 28, 2017

Teachmeet: Supporting online learners, what works?

There is a Teachmeet in Birmingham, UK (at Aston University), on 12 July 2017 1-4pm: Supporting online learners, what works? A discussion of innovative methods in providing distance learners with information literacy and library skills. It is a free event and is sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group.
"Different modes of study are becoming increasingly common in education and at Aston University we are about to launch several online learning courses. This, coupled with the busy schedules of full time on-campus students, means that we may never encounter some students in the library. As librarians we are looking at how we provide these students with essential information literacy and library skills and to ensure their experience is of a similar quality. This teachmeet is an opportunity to discuss what an ‘online learner’ is and what they want from a library.It will also aim to instigate discussion of the challenges in provision of information literacy support to online learners and gain an overview of the potential methods and good practice involved. We are looking for a number of presenters to deliver 10 minute talks on a variety of issues relevant to the day’s theme, perhaps covering; case studies, demos of a new resource and its application, discussion of how online learning has affected the role of a traditional librarian and so on. We would also welcome enthusiastic audience members that are willing to contribute to the afternoon’s discussions."
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spring branches, April 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tips and Trends: Accessibility and Universal Design

The ACRL Instruction Section, Instructional Technologies Committee, has published the latest in their series, Tips and Trends: Accessibility and Universal Design. The four page document was written by Bonnie Fong, Elizabeth Johns, and Becka Rich and is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: daffodils in York, April 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The critical role of the librarian in the development of a critical skills community of practice

A video of a presentation at the Academic & Special Libraries Conference, held 16-17- February 2017 in Dublin, Ireland: The critical role of the librarian in the development of a critical skills community of practice by Lorna Dodd (Maynooth University). "This paper describes how librarians at Maynooth University (MU) used the opportunity presented by a new curriculum to develop close working relationships with staff in MU’s Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL), academic departments and other key student supports to create a new ‘community of practice’."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New German articles on information literacy

The latest issue of the German-language open-access journal o-bib (volume 4 number 1) features information literacy. Apart from the 2nd and 3rd last items (which are in English) the articles are all in German. Apologies for any mistakes in my translation of the German titles. I couldn't decide whether to use "delivery" or "facilitation" for "Vermittlung" and I've used the former, as I think which would be appropriate depends on the context and I'm afraid I haven't read all of these articles [yet]
- Die Förderung von Informationskompetenz ist Kernaufgabe von Bibliotheken – und nicht nur der Senf zur Bratwurst! by Fabian Franke [Development of information literacy is a core mission for the library, not just the mustard on the sausage (i.e. an accompanying garnish)]
- Information Literacy Threshold Concepts and the Association of College and Research Libraries' Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education by Gayle Schaub, Hazel McClure
- Threshold-Konzepte, das ANCIL-Curriculum und die Metaliteracy – Überlegungen zu Konsequenzen für die Förderung von Informationskompetenz in deutschen Hochschulen by Wilfried Sühl-Strohmenger [Threshold concepts, the ANCIL curriculum and metaliteracy: reflections on the consequences of development of IL in German higher education institutions]
- Threshold Concepts in deutschen Bibliotheken - eine Utopie? by Carolin Ahnert [Threshold concepts in German libraries - a utopia?]
- Fit für die Vermittlung von Informationskompetenz? Anforderungen an die Qualifikation von Teaching Librarians in bibliothekarischen Studiengängen und Ausbildungseinrichtungen by Inka Tappenbeck, Anke Wittich, Maria Gäde [Fit to deliver IL? Requirements for German teaching librarians' qualifications]
- Lehre in Zeiten von Framework und Qualifikationsprofil vor dem Hintergrund der HRK-Empfehlung: Überlegungen zu einer möglichen Umsetzung des „shifts from teaching to learning“ im IK-Unterricht am Fachbereich Archiv- und Bibliothekswesen der Hochschule für den öffentlichen Dienst in Bayern by Naoka Werr [Teaching in the time of the Framework and qualifications profile against the background of the HRK recommendations: Reflections on a possible implementation of "shifts from teaching to learning" in IL teaching in the field of archive and library science at the Hochschule für den öffentlichen Dienst in Bavaria]
- Die Strategie der Kultusministerkonferenz „Bildung in der digitalen Welt“ und der „Referenzrahmen Informationskompetenz“ des Deutschen Bibliotheksverbandes by Andreas Klingenberg [The strategy of the ministerial conference "Education in a digital world" and the "guidelines on IL" from the German Library Association]
- Teaching Libraries zwischen Vermittlung fachwissenschaftlicher Informationskompetenz und der Unterstützung einer Propädeutik für die Digital Humanities by Marcus Schröter [Teaching libraries between delivering IL in the disciplines and the support of a induction for digital humanities]
- Information Literacy an der Pädagogischen Hochschule Thurgau – ein spannendes Experiment zwischen Bibliothek, MDZ und dem Fachbereich Wissenschaft und Forschung by Verena Maria Muheim [IL at the Pädagogischen Hochschule Thurgau – an exciting experiment involving the library, MDZ [I think this means the Medien-und Didaktikzentrums' (MDZ) library] and scholarship and research]
- Kein Königsweg - die Vermittlung von Forschungsdatenkompetenz auf allen universitären Ebenen by Kerstin Helbig, Pamela Aust [No easy way - the delivery of research data literacy at all university levels]
- Quantitative information literacy: Designing an online course at the interface between information literacy and statistical literacy by Christina Kläre
- Die Generation Y – Ein Plädoyer für die Analyse einer „vernetzten Generation“ zur Weiterentwicklung der Bibliotheksdidaktik by Kim Farah Giuliani [Generation Y: a plea for analysis of a "networked generation" for further development of library pedagogy]
- Kooperative Informationskompetenzvermittlung im Fach Architektur: Lehrveranstaltungsreflexion eines Blended-Learning-Workshops mithilfe der Theorie des constructive alignments by Simone Kibler [Cooperative delivery of IL in the discipline of architecture: reflection on learning design of a blended learning workshop, using constructive alignment]
Thanks to Thomas Hapke for tweeting this
Photo by Sheila Webber: St Georges , Sheffield University, April 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

PRIMO Site of the Month: Scholarship Is a Conversation

The PRIMO Site of the Month for April 2017 is Scholarship Is a Conversation, produced by Julie Hartwell, Geoff Iverson, Sara Kearns, Kate Otto, Ashley Stark, and Rachel Vukas (New Literacies Alliance). "The New Literacies Alliance is an inter-institutional consortium of academic libraries aimed at building ACRL Framework-based online information literacy lessons. The lessons can be embedded in websites and LibGuides, synced with most learning management systems, or hosted in the cloud for students to review. All lessons are institution-, vendor-, and technology-agnostic—meaning that they can be used by any institution. The lessons are also licensed through Creative Commons, so individual branding and other modifications can be made. This lesson is mapped to the Scholarship as Conversation Frame and introduces the concept of scholarly conversations developing over time, and how to follow a scholarly conversation." The resource itself is at and the interview with the authors is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: bees and blossom, April 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Badke's Research Strategies

There is a new edition (the 6th) of William Badke's Research Strategies: Finding your Way Through the Information Fog. As well as a general update, the new edition has a new chapter "What is this Thing Called 'Scholarship' and Why Does it Matter? incorporating a clear explanation of the main features from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education" and "Interaction with concepts from the Framework for Information Literacy throughout the book". "At this point only print is available, but various e-formats are coming soon." For more information go to
- Badke, W. (2017). Research Strategies: Finding your Way Through the Information Fog. iUniverse. ISBN-13: 978-1532018039 (note that, when I looked, the links on the Amazon site to the kindle and hardback versions were for the previous edition, it is just the paperback version which is the new edition)
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017


InfoFest is a free one-day conference (with free lunch) for information professionals taking place at the University of Kent's Canterbury (UK) campus on 4 May 2017. "The day, organised by CILIP in Kent and the University of Kent, will include a range of talks on challenges and opportunities for information professionals in the digital age, with a particular focus on digital literacy and combatting fake news. You'll have the chance to learn: what it was like to be in charge of Sweden's national Twitter account when Donald Trump mentioned a non-existent security incident in Sweden; how information literacy in schools affects students' transition to university; how to manage your digital footprint and online identity; why accessibility tools are good for everyone.... InfoFest is open to staff in all sectors, at all levels." Additionally, one of the morning breakouts is Information literacy framework in higher education from Maria Bell (London School of Economics). It looks an interesting day. Register at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Charlton Park, April 2017

Designing Information Literacy Instruction: The Teaching Tripod Approach (event)

Organised by Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL), Designing Information Literacy Instruction: The Teaching Tripod Approach takes place on May 12 at the Geisel Library, University of California, San Diego, USA. CARL Members: $67; Non-members: $100; Student/Retiree: $33.50 "Spend the day with Dr. Joan Kaplowitz as she helps us transform our approach to providing information literacy instruction through the use of instructional design principles. Discover the interconnectedness of learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment, and how these elements fit together in her Teaching Tripod Approach along with other insights to provide engaged learning for both face-to-face and online learners." Register at
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring, April 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Featured Teaching Librarian: Christina Holm

The ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee's latest Featured Teaching Librarian is Christina Holm and the interview with her is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: white lilac, April 2017

Webinar: Accessibility in Teaching with Technology

The ACRL Instruction Section Management & Leadership Committee offers a free webinar on May 1 2017 at 1-2pm US Eastern time, which is 6-7pm UK time: Accessibility in Teaching with Technology. "Students bring a diversity of needs to our classroom. Teaching with accessibility in mind can help us include and accommodate them all. In this webinar you will learn how to incorporate accessible practices and values into your teaching with technology. This webinar will focus on classroom climate, selecting tools and platforms, presenting information, and training student creators." The presenter is Stephanie Rosen (Accessibility Specialist at the University of Michigan Library, USA). Register here
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry, April 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into Our Teaching Practices @LibJuiceAcademy

Translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into Our Teaching Practices is a 6 week asynchronous online course; part of the Library Juice programme, this course is run by Andrea Baer, and it starts on May 1 2017, until June 9 2017. The cost is US$250. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry blossom, April 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

New articles: Student confidence; gender difference; visual tools; graphic novels

The latest issue (volume 43, no. 2) of The Journal of Academic Librarianship (priced publication) includes:
- Information Literacy Instruction in an English Capstone Course: A Study of Student Confidence, Perception, and Practice by Susanne F Paterson, Carolyn White Gamtso
- Students' perceptions of their information literacy skills: the confidence gap between male and female international graduate students by Russell Michalak, Monica D.T. Rysavy, Alison Wessel
- The Use of Visual Tools in the Academic Research Process: A Literature Review by Crystal Renfro
- Leveraging Librarian Liaison Expertise in a New Consultancy Role by Mark A. Eddy, Daniela Solomon
- (open access item) Graphic Novels: Collecting, Cataloging and Outreach in an Academic Library by Aimee Slater, Ann Kardos
The contents page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: statue of Elliot with cherry blossom, Weston Park, Sheffield, April 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Howard, Farley and Dix win at #lilac17

On Tuesday the winners of the UK's Information Literacy Group's Information Literacy awards were announced at the LILAC conference. The Information Literacy Award winner was Helen Howard from the University of Leeds, in particular for her work with second year students The winner of the Credo Digital Award was Charlie Farley for 23 Things for Digital Knowledge at the University of Edinburgh. The winner of the Lagadathon (for information literacy games) was Tracy Dix from the University of Warwick for her frogger-inspired Harvard referencing game.
Also, a reminder that all of Pam McKinney's great reports on the LILAC conference can be found at
Photo by Pam McKinney: Swansea beach, April 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#lilac17 day 3: @acarbery gives exciting keynote

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"Alan Carbery's keynote started in dramatic fashion with a 12 party popper salute which was energising! In Champlain College, USA, there is an embedded programme of IL development where librarians work with academics to design and deliver IL teaching over the full span of students' courses. Librarians are given access to students work so they can understand IL development needs. If students are explicitly asked to include peer reviewed journal articles or cite correctly, then students will do that. However there are concerns that these approaches are not transferred to assignments where these instructions are not so explicit, or indeed into real world scenarios.
"Alan challenged us to be critical of our own approaches to IL teaching; is it genuine, meaningful and authentic? Is our teaching too centred on academic information and sources, and how this prepares students for life after college. What would 'real world' information literacy teaching look like?
"Champlain college tries to address some of these issues through their IL teaching e.g. through inviting students to consider the western perspective in information landscapes. Students looked at original historical documents about the 'evils' of Chinese immigration, and frame this with the modern debates about immigration in the US. discussions take place in class about gender inequality in information - thanks to sources like the daily mail 'legsxit' story. So essentially important social issues around gender, race and inequality can be used to frame discussions about information authenticity, quality and power with students.
"Information literate people are able to challenge power and speak truth through sharing information on social media. These sources are just as valid for understanding society as academic sources. Alan played part of a TED presentation on filter bubbles-the way in which google and Facebook use algorithms to present us information they they select for us based on our history and preferences. This is another important point of discussion with students, particularly in the light of the recent events such as the 2016 US presidential election result and the Brexit vote result.
"Alan spoke about the challenge of fake news, and the deliberate rejection of established evidence based journalism by political figures, and the inability of established models of authenticity checking to expose fake news. This in an information literacy problem.
"IL teaching in universities can help students to become curious and questioning, and help them become information literate citizens."
Photo by Pam McKinney: LILAC venue

Information seeking behaviours of advisors to policy makers for homelessness in Ireland #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference: Pam writes
"The second session of the day featured a presentation by Caitriona Honohan on The information seeking behaviours of advisors to policy makers for homelessness in Ireland. There are increasing numbers of homeless people in Ireland who access emergency housing services. Caitriona was concerned with how research into homelessness reached policy-makers. She Interviewed 6 participants who were all advisors to policy makers from various organisations, e.g. civil servants, homeless charities and regional local government.
"The aim of the project was to understand how and where they searched for information and any barriers they faced. An instrumental case study methodology was adopted with purposive sampling. The interviews lasted around 30 minutes and were audio recorded. A grounded theory approach with a constant comparison was taken to the data analysis.
"The findings showed that personal contacts were key to the information seeking behaviours, but participants also used databases, websites of trusted organisations and libraries. Barriers included time constraints, and limited access to academic sources. The participants displayed "satisficing" behaviours due to time constraints.
"Participants suggested using big data analysis of homelessness data as has been done in other countries, and greater sharing of anonymised data between organisations (charities and government departments). More research would be welcomed on homelessness data and better communication between charities and accommodation providers. It was identified that a central information portal for all stakeholders, which included free access to academic information, would be the ideal solution. Informal personal contacts between homelessness service providers and academic researchers were very important, and the formalisation of these contacts would benefit services."
Photo by Pam McKinney: LILAC delegates enjoy the Swansea beach, April 2017

Syrian Scots information literacy way-finding practices: final day of #lilac17

Here's the first of Pam McKinney's reports about the final day of the LILAC conference. Pam writes:
"Dr Konstatina Martzoukou from Robert Gordon University spoke about her Information Literacy Group funded project Syrian Scots information literacy way-finding practices: phase 1 research findings. The presentation focuses on the findings from a research project with Syrian refugees who refer to themselves as "new Scots". The participants who arrived in Scotland have come from refugee camps in Syria and have protected status for 5 years while they gain Scottish citizenship. They are entitled to specialist support and services e.g. housing, welfare, health, education integration etc. It is Important that the service providers understand the (information) needs of the new Scots, and help them become active contributors to society.
"The aim of the project was to examine the information related experiences and information literacy practices of Syrian refugees. 2 Syrian refugees offices, 9 Syrian men, 9 Syrian men and 1 volunteer took part in focus group and interviews.
"All new Scots received ESOL [English as a Second Language] classes and a welcome pack with basic information. In addition there was a 24 hour Arabic helpline and an interpreting service. A variety of support information was created e.g. credit card sized flash cards that could be used with GPS, and a what's app group facilitated by volunteer interpreters. Most participants were heavy users of mobile phones (rather than computers) and found the whatsapp group very useful, and also services such as google translate.
"Drawings were collected from participants, which showed that learning English was one of the main barriers to integration, and the language was linked to self confidence, health, wellbeing and employment opportunities. People were worried about the future, and were concerned about displaced family members.
"Service providers were concerned about the 'right' time to provide information, as when people were new arrivals they were not in the right frame of mind to understand all the new information.
"Scottish public libraries are looking to develop their support for wellbeing, for all members of the community. As part of this they are developing services particularly aimed at Syrian new Scots, e.g. children's books in Arabic. A programme of peer education has been developed where groups of newly arrived refugees meet with facilitators and those who have been there longer to develop their language skills.
"Project blog: "
Photo by Pam McKinney: Swansea, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Twitter and more at #lilac17

I am passing on reports about the LILAC conference from my colleague, Pam McKinney, but of course there is also an active Twitter stream, which you can follow on the last day of the conference, tomorrow (Wednesday 12th April). The Twitter stream is at A few other links:
- There is a brief report on the first day, on the Information Literacy Group page
- Josie Fraser's keynote is at
- Andrew Walsh's poster
- Gore and Smith's Creating a social media mediated learning experience
- Secker's Creative approaches to copyright education
Photo by Pam McKinney of Ian Vine's award winning photo of the Richard Burton archives - displayed at Swansea University, April 2017

Information literacy advocates #lilac17

Here's the next report from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference. Pam writes:
"Ruth Curtis from the University of Nottingham presented on Information literacy advocates; a peer support scheme. This is a ten credit module for the Nottingham Advantage Award. The aim of the module is to develop IL knowledge, skills and confidence through the provision of peer support. UG Students from Medicine and health sciences take part and are assessed through a reflective portfolio. Students are invited to an interactive induction workshop and have a mid module review meeting. The IL Advocates are responsible for promoting their role to their peers e.g. On noticeboards, through social media and through academic staff. They record the number and type of enquiries they field, and the most frequently asked for support was with structuring searches on databases.
"Feedback that the IL Advocates have received indicates that they have had a positive impact on confidence and ability to use library resources. The Advocates have supported library staff in information skills sessions, and offered one-to-one support to students. IL Advocates developed their own IL capabilities and also other transferable skills such as team work."
There has been an article on this work: Curtis, R. (2016). Information Literacy Advocates: developing student skills through a peer support approach. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 33(4), 334–339. (priced article)
Photo by Pam McKinney: Swansea, April 2017

Reaching out with research : promoting academic scholarship and synthesis via research cafes #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam (pictured) at the LILAC conference:
"Katherine Stephen, research support librarian at Liverpool John Moores University presented Reaching out with research : promoting academic scholarship and synthesis via research cafes, focusing on the "present" pillar of the SCONUL model of IL. There aren't many opportunities for people to present their research in an informal and non threatening environment, so these research cafes were designed to provide this safe space and facilitate cross disciplinary engagement.
"Research cafes ran at lunchtimes, in faculty teaching spaces. Eventbrite was used to manage advertising and members of the public were encouraged to come. The problem of leftover food is partially solved by providing brown bag lunches that can be more easily passed on. It can be a good opportunity to promote particular library collections in conjunction with the researchers who use them. A key message was that librarians involving themselves in research events at their institution can really become part of the research culture and make connections with and between researchers."

Waking up webinars: bringing active learning online #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"This afternoon I watched Dorothea Lemke from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, presenting Waking up webinars: bringing active learning online. Webinars can be very dull, or total information overload. Dorothea had a desire to create a focused learning environment for the IL webinars she presented (e.g. On citation practice and using reference management software)
"The webinars last for 2-2.5 hours as they want to cover the same amount of material as they would cover in a face to face class. Webinars always have 2 presenters, one who speaks and one who monitors and responds to the written chat. Webinar participants are always given time to share their perspectives and communicate with each other. Introductions are used to create engagement and break the ice in the chat window. Participants are invited to suggest topics to be covered through a tick box survey and an open text window which makes the webinar more relevant. The webinars always feature some exercises for students to engage with. It helps that students are using their own devices which means that particular problems can be solved at the time of need.
"Group activities can be tricky to implement in the webinar in the same way that they can be easily used in the face to face classes. They actively encourage questioning and information exchange to keep participants engaged. It was interesting that most people prefer to use written chat rather than voice chat which mirrors my experience of teaching on Adobe Connect for the distance learning students at Sheffield [that's on our MA Library and Information Services Management]. Students are supported after the webinar through individual appointments offered also in the webinar software. Dorothy recommended taking time to set up the webinar to make sure that technical problems are solved well in advance of the start time."
Photo by Pam McKinney:Swansea, April 2017

Metaphor me that #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"Elizabeth Brown from Central Washington University, USA, ran a workshop entitled Metaphor me that: using metaphor to aid information literacy understanding.
"Elizabeth used metaphors in her IL teaching to describe the research process e.g. It's a race track. Metaphors are a way for us to understand the world around us and create a conceptual bridge. They allow us to understand theoretical concepts with concrete objects. Scholarship as conversation [from the ACRL IL Framework] is an example of a metaphor in library science.
"We were given 3 scenarios to discuss in groups, and we were invited to think of metaphors that we could use to describe the research process to a student who was experiencing difficulties e.g. A student who was fixated on only one source: this is only hearing one instrument in the orchestra, you need to hear multiple instruments to understand the music.
"Students talk about 'navigating' the library search engine - meaning they see information search as a journey. This was a really enjoyable and active workshop, and I now have lots of great ideas about using metaphors in my own teaching."
By the way, apologies from me (Sheila) that I'm posting this morning's reports from Pam later than she sent them to me: I'm on holiday at the moment and was visiting Crystal Palace Park this morning (see picture)

#lilac17 day 2: Barbara Allan keynote

It's day 2 of the LILAC conference in Swansea and Pam McKinney @ischoolPam is reporting again. Pam writes:
"I attended Barbara Allan's keynote this morning, which was about the ways in which librarians can make an impact beyond the library and embed digital and information literacy in the wider university. Barbara once worked as an IT trainer for a group of gamekeepers, and learnt an important lesson- find out what you students are interested in and use this to frame the learning. As a result the gamekeepers constructed databases of gun manufacturers and bullet types!
"Barbara spoke about decision making in universities, and her realisation that decisions are made through networking, and getting people "on side" before committee meetings. There are many different tribes and territories in universities e.g. faculties, professional services, executive teams, governors and all have different priorities and foci. Researching academics' views of IL is a good way to get IL on their agenda because academics are very respectful of research.
"Finance, quality and reputation are 3 factors that underpin decision-making in universities, and we were invited to discuss which of these 3 factors was the driver of a recent decision made in our institution.
"Barbara discussed the factors that distract senior leaders from IL development: new buildings, change management, finance control and special projects. But equally these could be opportunities for IL. e.g with change management, work with committees to ensure that information and digital literacy appear in job descriptions. It's important to join project boards, volunteer to be chair or take on another vital role, work with a range of stakeholders, publicise both internally and externally. It can be good to get external funding and recognition e.g. National Teaching Fellow (of the UK Higher Education Academy).
"Barbara spoke about how to convince a senior manager to take up your idea, and recommended a book by Charvet (1997) Words that change minds

Monday, April 10, 2017

Using reflection to develop meta cognitive skills for IL #lilac17

The final post today from Pam McKinney at the LILAC conference and many thanks to her for these!
"Shirley Yearwood-Jackman from the University of Liverpool presented on using reflection to develop meta cognitive skills for IL. Shirley asked the question "are student self-assessments of their information literacy ability accurate?" i.e. Do they know what they don't know? Cognitive theories would suggest that students who are not information literate are not competent to judge whether or not they are information literate. Shirley showed part of this video (embedded below) which was an entertaining presentation on meta cognition.
"Students wrote a reflective journal about the IL challenges they faced while on placement, and were given guidance on how to write reflectively. A feedback session was held where the reflective writing was discussed in groups, and Shirley gave tutor feedback on the writing. It was clear from the writing that students felt challenged by being on placement, they identified gaps in their own knowledge."

Information and digital literacy provision at the University of Sheffield #lilac17

Pam McKinney continues from the LILAC conference: Pam writes: "I was very interested to hear Vicky Grant, Rosa Sadler, Kate Grigsby, and Sophie Carlson from the University of Sheffield present on their participatory action research project looking at Information and digital literacy provision at the university. They wanted to codesign and co-deliver information and digital literacy and worked with a team of Student Ambassadors for Learning and Teaching. Vicky stated "Co-design places the offer closer to the students lived experience". Participatory Action Research is a collaborative methodology for change, it is undertaken with not on people. Student ambassadors were paired with librarians to co-develop a programme of workshops,for example a blogging workshop, and a workshop on finding and using images. All the workshops were co-delivered by the student ambassador and the librarian. Students shared their experiences of becoming knowledge creators through writing blogs.
"The masterclass was run as part of the project which featured a selection of short workshops offered in one room to small groups of 6 students, with a mixture of student and librarian facilitators. The event was marketed as "skills to complete your dissertation" and had a very high uptake.
"In reflecting on the project it was noted that it was difficult to arrange meetings face to face between staff and students, and that a discussion needs to take place at the start of the project about the best spaces in which to communicate and work. (See my paper on student group working for the same conclusion).
"The staff and students successfully created an atmosphere of trust which enabled them to work together on an equal basis, with a lack of power differential. Student ambassadors were given both support and responsibilities, a scaffolded approach to partnership.
"Staff felt challenged and rewarded through designing teaching that was outside their comfort zone, and found it valuable to work closely with students. Students have positively disrupted the status quo and have improved the work of librarians. Collaboration is troublesome and rewarding. It is important to listen, be willing to make changes and be flexible in your approach to undertake a participatory action research project"
This is the UoS information and digital literacy resource:
Photo by Pamela McKinney, April 2017, Swansea (the previous photo was also by Pam)

Academic staff's views of Information Literacy #lilac17

Thank to Pam McKinney for another report from the LILAC conference: "Deborah Stebbing and Jane Shelley from Anglia Ruskin university reported on a study they undertook to understand the views academic staff have of IL. They had the support of a newly established pedagogical research unit at the university. Sheila's research on academic conceptions of IL was cited as being particularly useful background for the study.
"They used semi structured interviews to gather data from 22 lecturers, half in the business school and half from the health subject area. Interviewees were given the CILIP definition of IL prior to the interview. Lecturers were concerned with the linking of information to learning, and thought of information literacy as being very contextualised within their discipline, rather than a wider set of abilities across the life course. They were keen that information should be internalised and transformed. Lecturers found it difficult to differentiate skills associated with using information in their discipline, only different sources. In the health area it was identified that students needed to "keep up to date" with health practice as part of IL, whereas in the business subjects, knowledge of news and politics in the wider world was seen to be a key aspect of IL.
"Lecturers were asked what they thought the information literate student was like. They reported that some students are underprepared for university, they were technologically able but lacked skills to evaluate information. Students can be overwhelmed by the volume of information they find."

@josiefraser Open Education #lilac17 #yearofopen

The opening keynote is the next subject for Pam McKinney's @ischoolPam reports from the LILAC conference
"Josie Fraser @josiefraser gave a dynamic keynote on the theme of open education. She made a useful distinction between "free" and "open" - open resources can be changed and adapted for new situations, they can be used and reused for free. There has been a massive growth in the number of creative-commons licensed works. Josie explored the concept of Open Educational Practices which support the production, use and reuse of Open Educational Resources. These practices include opening up content for learners who are not formally enrolled, and teaching in open networks. It's important that OEP supports sustainable resources that are inclusive. Delegates were invited to tweet their examples of open practice using the #lilac17op. Josie concluded by stating "Open practice is the enactment of equitable ethical and sustainable learning experiences and resources"
Photo by Sheila Webber: lilac, April 2017

Information needs and behaviours of PGR students #lilac17

Another report from Pam McKinney @ischoolPam at the LILAC conference: Pam writes:
"Helen Young from Loughborough university library and Laura Montgomery from Taylor and Francis presented on the information needs and behaviours of PGR students. There is a literature review published in the New Review of Academic Librarianship (Spezi, 2016). Taylor and Francis wanted to understand how PGRs were using their resources. This was a small pilot study with the aim of improving support for PGR students. The research team collected data from a short survey, identified 10 core participants who completed research diaries over an 8 month period and took part in a focus group. The participants were sent prompt questions each month to help guide their entries. The delegates had the opportunity to vote using on the top 3 resources used by PGR students - google scholar was the top result which matched the responses from participants.
"However, participants were not using subject specific resources, they were going for a "good enough" search on google scholar. Participants used trusted sources and would keep going back to them. The researchers created process maps based on the diary entries of how students went about their search activities. There was a lack of awareness of services offered by librarians, and while there was no standard research workflow, the common aim was instant full text. Students mostly accessed resources from a desktop or laptop computer, very few used a mobile device.
"There was a variety of practice around managing information, but Mendeley was the reference management software of choice. Delegates thought that twitter would be the tool most used by PGRs to keep up to date, but actually participants reported that journal alerts were the most used source. Facebook was more heavily used than twitter for this purpose. Students reported finding it very difficult to keep up to date with their research area."
Spezi, V. (2016). Is information-seeking behaviour of doctoral students changing? A review of the literature 2010-2015. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 2(1), 78-106. Open access version at
Photo by Sheila Webber: lilac, April 2017 (photoshop filter)

Workshop on reflective practice #lilac17

My colleague Pam McKinney @ischoolPam
is feeding me posts from the annual LILAC conference, being held this week in Swansea, Wales. Her first bulletin is on the Workshop on reflective practice led by Sheila Corrall and Alison Pickard. Pam writes
"Sheila Corrall has a long interest in continuing professional development and reflective practice, while Alison found that reflection is a large aspect of her approach to research, and was heavily involved with CPD through the CILIP career development group. It was identified that Scaffolding is necessary for effective reflection.
"It was fascinating to hear from all the delegates in the room and the diversity of interest in reflection and reflective practice from researchers, librarians and lecturers
"Sheila highlighted the value of reflection for professional development and evidence based librarian practice, as well as an essential competence for research. It also features strongly in models and frameworks for IL. Sheila gave a comprehensive list of tools, tactics and techniques for reflective practice, some of which we have used in our teaching with students on the information literacy module. We had the opportunity to discuss some reflective frameworks. I particularly liked Driscoll 1994 "what", "so what", "now what" reflective cycle which included ideas for sentence completion. We then discussed some barriers to reflection, and the lack of reflection at school level in the UK. Time for reflection for busy librarian teachers is limited, and there could be a limited understanding of how to reflect effectively and how to implement changes within institutional constraints. It's important for people to be able to choose the model of reflection that suits them, as there was some disagreement on our table about the model we liked best."

Friday, April 07, 2017

Call for chapters: Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue #MILID Yearbook 2017

There is a call for abstracts (22-300 words) for chapters for this year's MILID yearbook. The deadline is 22 April 2017. "The Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Yearbook 2017 is currently seeking proposals of articles. The MILID Yearbook is a peer-reviewed academic publication and a joint initiative of the UNESCO-UNAOC University Cooperation Programme on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue. The cooperation programme was launched in 2011 within the framework of the UNESCO University Twinning Programme (UNITWIN)."
The theme is: Media and Information Literacy in Critical Times: Re-imagining Ways of Learning. "The year 2017 comes with lots of challenges and major alterations taking place worldwide in the realms of politics, economy and social life. It has become more challenging than ever before to make sense of the abundance of information charged with agendas, hidden messages, fake news and leading frames. This does not concern only media but all forms of information including research findings on which important policy and decisions are based. Thus, understanding the media and making meaning of the information environments become an essential constituent of the learning process."
"Perceived as a fundamental citizenship competency in the 21st century, MIL contributes to helping people understand how they come to know or learn, transforming information into acquired knowledge based on which decisions can be made. Today, MIL is believed to be transforming, reforming and reinventing the dynamics of learning in many countries and contexts. Intending to delve deeper and explore the main aspects of this change, “Media and Information Literacy in Critical Times: Re-imagining Ways of Learning” has been selected as the main theme for the MILID Yearbook 2017."
Abstracts should be sent to and
More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2017

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Teaching the next generation of Information Literacy educators: pedagogy and learning

I've just put on youtube a video of the presentation I co-authored with my colleague at the iSchool, Pam McKinney, Teaching the next generation of Information Literacy educators: pedagogy and learning. This introduces an action learning project that Pam and I are carrying out, looking at the "learning to teach" element in our Information literacy module (on our distance learning masters-level Library and information Services Management programme). Pam presents the video, and the talk was originally given on 2nd June 2016 at the Creating Knowledge 8 conference, Reykjavík, Iceland. We have had another presentation, updating on the project, accepted for the ECIL conference in St Malo in September.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

New articles: search strategy; embedded librarians; international students

Volume 78 issue 3 of the open access journal College and Research Libraries includes the following:
- Gayle Schaub, Cara Cadena, Patricia Bravender, and Christopher Kierkus: The Language of Information Literacy: Do Students Understand? (283-296)
- Shailoo Bedi and Christine Walde: Transforming Roles: Canadian Academic Librarians Embedded in Faculty Research Projects (314-327)
- Amanda B. Click, Claire Walker Wiley, and Meggan Houlihan: The Internationalization of the Academic Library: A Systematic Review of 25 Years of Literature on International Students (328-358)
- Michael C. Goates, Gregory M. Nelson, and Megan Frost: Search Strategy Development in a Flipped Library Classroom: A Student-Focused Assessment (382-395) The home page for this issue is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: daffodils, April 2017

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The Global Kids Online #research toolkit #globalkidsonline

A useful set of resources for researchers has been developed by the Global Kids Online project: "an international research project that aims to generate and sustain a rigorous cross-national evidence base around children’s use of the internet". Although they are framed as being useful specifically to investigate online risks and opportunities for children, these materials could also be useful to people researching various aspects of the information literacy of children and young people. In particular the method guides (on topics such as "Participatory methods: engaging children’s voices" and on researching children of all ages) are more generally useful. There are four sections:
Qualitative tools "This contains the research instruments to enable you to design and carry out qualitative research on children’s online risks and opportunities. We have included materials needed for conducting and analysing individual interviews and focus groups with children."
Quantitative tools "This contains the research instruments to enable you to design and carry out quantitative survey research on children’s online risks and opportunities. We have included the materials needed for conducting and analysing a modular survey, including core, optional and adaptable questions."
Method guides "The method guides examine key issues related to researching children’s online risks and opportunities. Written by experts in the field, they give practical advice to researchers and include case studies, best practice examples, checklists, and useful links. Taken together, these guides will support you throughout the research process."
Adapting the tools "These resources are intended to assist you in deciding how best to adapt the tools provided for your specific country and research context. We have included some practical examples of how the Global Kids Online toolkit has already been adapted by our research partners and the lessons learned, along with some resources in a range of languages."
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: a wall in the Sheffield Methods Institute, March 2017

Webinar: Improve your instruction with classroom assessment techniques

On April 25 2.00-3.00pm US Eastern Time (which is 7-8pm UK time) there is an online discussion organised by the ACRL IS Teaching Methods committee: Improve your instruction with classroom assessment techniques: a conversation with Melissa Bowles-Terry and Cassandra Kvenild. "Melissa and Cassandra will discuss how they integrate assessment into their instruction and give practical tips on how to adjust and customize assessment for specific situations. Bring your questions! Time for Q and A will follow the presentation." Register at
Photo by Sheila Webber: bees and blossom, March 2017

Monday, April 03, 2017

New articles: Information Literacy; Information Behaviour; Information Practice

Volume 22 issue 1 of the open access journal Information Research is a huge issue, including two supplements with the proceedings of important conferences. There are lots of papers covering information behaviour, information literacy and information practice. Firstly in the regular journal, so to speak, at articles include:
- Jia Tina Du and Jelina Haines: Indigenous Australians’ information behaviour and Internet use in everyday life: an exploratory study
- Vincas Grigas, Simona Juzėnienė and Jonė Veličkaitė: ‘Just Google it’ – the scope of freely available information sources for doctoral thesis writing
-Martin D. Hassell and Mary F. Sukalich: A deeper look into the complex relationship between social media use and academic outcomes and attitudes
- Sufang Wang and Jieli Yu: Everyday information behaviour of the visually impaired in China

Proceedings of CoLIS: 9th International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science - Uppsala University, June 27-29, 2016
Contents page at Articles include:

- Louise Limberg: Synthesizing or diversifying library and information science. Sketching past achievements, current happenings and future prospects, with an interest in including or excluding approaches
- Michael Olsson and Annemaree Lloyd: Being in place: embodied information practices.
- Ola Pilerot, Björn Hammarfelt and Camilla Moring: The many faces of practice theory in library and information studies.
- Sally Irvine-Smith: Information through the lens: information research and the dynamics of practice.
- Cecilia Andersson: The front and backstage: pupils’ information activities in lower secondary school.
- Trine Schreiber: E-learning objects and actor-networks as configuring information literacy teaching.
- Syeda Hina Batool and Sheila Webber: Conceptions of school libraries and the role of school librarians: findings from case studies of primary schools in Lahore.
- Gillian Oliver: The records perspective: a neglected aspect of information literacy.
- Eamon Tewell: Resistant spectatorship and critical information literacy: strategies for oppositional readings.
- Veronica Johansson and Louise Limberg: Seeking critical literacies in information practices: reconceptualising critical literacy as situated and tool- mediated enactments of meaning.
- Jutta Haider: Controlling the urge to search. Studying the informational texture of practices by exploring the missing element.

- Hilary Yerbury and Ahmed Shahid: Social media activism in Maldives: information practices and civil society.
- John Mowbray, Hazel Hall, Robert Raeside and Peter Robertson: The role of networking and social media tools during job search: an information behaviour perspective.
- Bhuva Narayan and Medina Preljevic: An information behaviour approach to conspiracy theories: listening in on voices from within the vaccination debate.
- Fidelia Ibekwe-Sanjuan: The journey of information: how students perceive information in France using the draw and write technique.
- Jenna Hartel: Information behaviour, visual research, and the information horizon interview: three ways.
- Katriina Byström, Ian Ruthven and Jannica Heinström: Work and information: which workplace models still work in modern digital workplaces?
- Anita Nordsteien: Handling inconsistencies between information modalities - workplace learning of newly qualified nurses

Proceedings of ISIC: the information behaviour conference, Zadar, Croatia, 20-23 September, 2016: Part 2.
Contents page at Articles include:

- Camilla Moring: Newcomer information seeking: the role of information seeking in newcomer socialization and learning in the workplace
- Isto Huvila: Distrust, mistrust, untrust and information practices.
- Gunilla Widén, Farhan Ahmad and Isto Huvila: Workplace information sharing: a generational approach
- Farhanis Mohammad and Alistair Norman: Understanding information sharing behaviour of millennials in large multinational organisations: a research in progress
- Ina Fourie and Valerie Nesset: An exploratory review of research on cancer pain and information-related needs: what (little) we know
- Theresa Anderson and Ina Fourie: Falling together – a conceptual paper on the complexities of information interactions and research gaps in empathetic care for the dying
- Heidi Enwald, Maarit Kangas, Niina Keränen, Milla Immonen, Heidi Similä, Timo Jämsä and Raija Korpelainen: Health information behaviour, attitudes towards health - information and motivating factors for physical activity among older people: differences by sex and age
- Trine Schreiber: Information seeking as idea-generating and -stabilizing feature in entrepreneurship courses at university
- Anika Meyer and Ina Fourie: Thematic analysis of the value of Kuhlthau’s work for the investigation of information behaviour in creative workspaces in academic libraries

Photo by Sheila webber: cherry blossom, March 2017

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Conceptions of school libraries and the role of school librarians: findings from case studies of primary schools in Lahore

The latest issue of the open access journal Information Research is a bumper one, including proceedings from two conferences as well as the usual articles. I will blog the full issue on Monday, but first I'll highlight an article by Syeda Batool and me ;-) It presents some results from her PhD work here at the Sheffield iSchool: Syeda (pictured) is a Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Management at the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
Batool, S.H. & Webber, S. (2017). Conceptions of school libraries and the role of school librarians: findings from case studies of primary schools in Lahore. Information Research, 22(1), CoLIS paper 1606. Retrieved from
Introduction. This paper explores the conceptions of library as a place, conceived by primary school children and the role of school libraries in terms of meeting children's information needs. The article is based on a PhD study. This paper presents the selected findings related to the conceptions of libraries and the role of school libraries.
Method. The study used a multiple qualitative case study approach and data was primarily collected from children's focus groups, librarians' interviews, teachers' interviews, documents and observation.
Analysis. The present study used a combination of thematic and situational analysis approaches to analyse the data. The Nvivo 10 software was used to organize the data from coding to the final six broad themes. The themes were used in reporting results.
Results. It was found that primary school children conceive of the library as a place for reading, playing and a room to store books. In Pakistan, primary schools lack school libraries and offer limited services to children.
Conclusion. The majority of the children studying in state schools did not see libraries as physical places, they have different conceptions of the library. School libraries are playing a limited role in developing reading habits and making children independent learners.