Friday, September 29, 2017

Oops - yesterday was #accesstoinfoday

Yesterday (28 September) was International Day for Universal Access to Information 2017 and I missed it! Sorry about that. This ties in with the UN Strategic Development Goals: Access to information is identified as part of one of the goals, and in particular IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) has been doing a lot to show how access to information (and libraries) are vital for some of the other goals. The Twitter stream for the Day is
IFLA hosts a site, in association with the University of Washington iSchool and with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, on Development and Access to Information, which has a report identifying how information and libraries are important to the SDGs.
UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) also hosted a day of talks (from "global public leaders, prominent journalists, young intellectuals and community leaders") focused on Powering Sustainable Development with Access to Information. Go to

Thursday, September 28, 2017

European Regional meeting of ASIS&T in berlin/online

The Association of Information Science and Technology European Chapter has organised a one day meeting on 4 October 2017 (10-16.00 German time) at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, which can also be attended online. It is free to students and ASIST members and costs US$25 to others.
The day includes a short session on Digital Literacy in the Era of Fake News: Key Roles for Information Professionals from Lynn Silipigni Connaway, President of ASIS&T and Senior Researcher & Director of User Research, OCLC and Michael Seadle, Professor and Director HEADT Centre, Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin & Executive Director, iSchools. There are also talks about LIS in Europe: The History of Library and Information Science in Europe and European Library & Information Science Map
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: found squash, Sheffield Botanic Gardens, August 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Food logging and information literacy @iSchoolPam - Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

I'm going to be doing some round-up and catch-up blog posts from the European Conference on Information Literacy. My colleague at the iSchool and fellow liveblogger, Pamela McKinney presented on Food Logging: a Practice-Based Exploration of an Information Literacy Landscape (coauthored with Andrew Cox and Paula Goodale) last week. The slides are embedded below.
She was reporting on a small scale research project. They recruited participants from the the University of Sheffield, with the study advertised to both students and staff. Participants were given the choice of being interviewed (5 participants) or attending a focus group (7 participants). Pam and her researcher colleagues found that there was a variety of practice in food logging: for example
There were different motivations: participants might be interested in their bodies, or were interested in gadgets. Some combined food logging and activity logging, but tracking food was often seen as a private matter that they might not want to share. The act of recording the information Was important, as a way of gaining control.
The data was analysed using Lloyd's three modalities of the information literacy landscape: epistemic, social and corporeal. In terms of these modalities: firstly, looking at the epistemically modality, the food logger is an active creator of information, and they have to interpret the information provided by apps. The information was mainly qualitative.
In terms of the corporeal modality, loggers distrusted visible representations e.g. their image in a mirror. Logging de-depleasured food, and was a way of controlling food and the body.
In terms of the social modality, there was a reluctance in this sample to share information. Participants were worried about being boring, they did not want to de-pleaasure food for others or encourage others into food disorders. In terms of infolit more generally, the choice of app was influenced by personal recommendations and specific features, but not that much research into apps was done. Data accuracy (the correct quantification of different types of food) was important. They are critical and aware around this issue and frustrated by things that prevented them judging accurately (e.g. Vague, unfamiliar or inaccurate measures). Participants learnt about the calorific count of food, and other information about how to manage their food intake.
Photo above by Sheila Webber: the "plateau de matelot" at a local brasserie (the starter!) not sure how much this lot would log in at, but it tasted good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Call for proposals for the ACRL IS Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum

There is a call for proposals for people to lead the ACRL IS (Instruction Section) Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum at the time of the American Library Association "Midwinter" conference, on January 24 2018, at 2 PM US Eastern time, which is 7pm UK time. "The IS Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum is an excellent opportunity for instruction librarians to explore and discuss current topics related to library instruction and information literacy. The steering committee welcomes proposals from individuals who are interested in convening this discussion online in advance of the 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting. If you would like to share your knowledge, help your peers learn from one another, and spark a lively conversation, submit a proposal to lead the IS Current Issues Virtual Discussion Forum today." Deadline for proposals is 3 November 2017. The proposal form is at Examples of past discussions are at
Photo by Sheila Webber: on Saint Malo beach, September 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

New articles: information experience of socioeconomically disadvantaged; avoiding information; information sharing; health information seeking

The latest issue of open access journal Information Research has been published (volume 22 no. 3, September, 2017). It includes:
- Kathleen Smeaton, Christine S. Bruce, Hilary Hughes and Kate Davis: The online life of individuals experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage: how do they experience information?
- Annemaree Lloyd, Ola Pilerot and Frances Hultgren: The remaking of fractured landscapes: supporting refugees in transition (SpiRiT)
- Chun Wei Choo: Seeking and avoiding information in a risky world
- Nora Odoi: The information behaviour of Ugandan banana farmers in the context of participatory development communication
- JungWon Yoon, Hong Huang and Soojung Kim: Trends in health information-seeking behaviour in the U.S. foreign-born population based on the Health Information National Trends Survey, 2005 - 2014
- Shengli Deng, Yanqing Lin, Yong Liu, Xiaoyu Chen and Hongxiu Li: How do personality traits shape information-sharing behaviour in social media? Exploring the mediating effect of generalised trust
- Sangwon Lee: Implications of counter-attitudinal information exposure in further information-seeking and attitude change
- Reijo Savolainen: Information sharing and knowledge sharing as communicative activities
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Saint Malo, fort, September 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Digital Literacy in the Workplace

The UKeiG has organised a one-day event in London, UK, on 15 November 2017: Digital Literacy in the Workplace. Cost (including lunch and refreshments) is UKeiG members £50 + VAT; others £75 + VAT. Speakers include:Lis Parcell, (Subject Specialist: Libraries and Digital Resources) from Jisc; Ian Hunter, (Research and Information Manager) from the law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP; Charles Inskip, programme director of the MA Library and Information Studies at UCL; Wendy Foster, (Business Librarian) from City Business Library in London. Topics of the day are: The role digital literacy has in the workplace; Digital literacy experiences - what we know and what we think we know; Cross-sectoral case studies; The impact of digital literacy on staff development; Building good practice and developing digital literacy strategies
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: beach, Saint-Malo, France

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Information Literacy Vis-a-Vis Epidemic of Distrust: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

I haven't blogged much today because I was part of a panel this morning at the ECIL conference: Pam blogged something about that, and I will blog the slides later. However I just attended an interesting session (that Pam may blog too!) Information Literacy Vis-a-Vis Epidemic of Distrust from Helena Lipková (presenter), Hana Landova, and Adela Jarolimkova
In the Czech Republic, the issue of fake news is recognised at the government level (with this country and other perceiving a barrage of misinformation coming from another country). They decided to do an analysis of the literature, searching for items published 2007-2017 in library and information databases. 555 unique items realting to trust and reliability of information sources were discovered. They used a three level coding structure, based on examining abstracts (mostly) or full text, with the aid of Atlas/TI text analysis software.
One coding categories related to "Trust in relation to an object, a person or an institution". They found no articles about trust of librarians or libraries (but there were some about trust of other professions, such as a doctor). There is a lot of research about trust in online shopping, often discussed in relation to customer satisfaction or technology adoption.
A further major category was "Trust construction". Again there were many article related to online shopping, marketing, and also construction trust in social media. In terms of the category "Trust in information sources" there was a dominance of articles about trust in online sources, but little on trust in traditional media. Another dominent theme in this category was trust in health information.
In conclusion: they identified research gaps as regards: trust in librarians, trustworthiness of libraries, trust in traditional media (the speaker noted that there could be national/ cultural differences), violation of trust (there is little on reconciliation after trust has been impaired).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Brasserie du Sellon, Saint Malo

Medical students information literacy self efficacy: Pam liveblogs from #ECIL2017

Ann de Meulemeester from Ghent University presented some of the research about information literacy for self efficacy, which highlighted the role that IL has in the academic curriculum and for lifelong learning. Their research has shown that new students' confidence level of their searching abilities is much higher than the reality. Self efficacy is developed gradually through experience, it involves participation, and affects how persistent a person will be. Students with lower self efficacy avoid active learning and are less inclined to develop IL. Doctors must contiually engage in evidence based practice, and so need skills for lifelong learning, including IL. They identified a need for a longitudinal large scale, domain specific study. This study took place in the faculty of medecine and health sciences which has a 6 year medical curriculum. This was a mixed methods study using a 28 item ILSE questionnaire and pre-and post- testing, the study has been runnng since 2011. Data is collected in the first 2 weeks of the academic year. The qualitative data is collected through focus groups with students from all levels of study. Data analysis is still ongoing, however some initial quantitative results were presented, showing the gap in IL abilities between new and experienced students.

#ECIL2017 - panel session on theorising information literacy: Pam live blogs

This is the last day of the ECIL2017 conference and this morning I'm live blogging a panel session on "theorising information literacy" hosted by Bill Johnston, Honorary research fellow at University of Strathclyde,  and featuring contributions from Information Literacy Weblog owner Sheila Webber and Olivier Le Deuff, assistant professor in information science and communication studies at University of Bordeaux Montaigne.

All panel members have long experience of information literacy, and have a strong nterest in pedagogy and education. Sheila spoke about Information Literacy as a discipline, and the benefits this has as a field of study for PhD researchers, as this provides common touchpoints, language, understandings etc. If we are to consolidate research and move forwards as a discipline people need to be able to identify each other and work together. The evidence for identifying information literacy as a discipline is compelling, for example the existence of dedicated journals, associations and conferences, graduate research and an international community. Sheila cited Trowler 2014 who has written a definition of what is a discipline in the 21st century. Perhaps what IL lacks is a specific university department, however in looking at this conference, we could say that it is an organisational form.

Olivier then looked at discipline from a Foucaultian perspective, and likened IL to telling people to "eat your spinach" (because it is good for you) but we need to explore more how to cook the spinach, or how it is grown. Information literacy is spoken about as being school-based in France, delivered by school librarians, and there have been efforts to develop IL as a new discipline in schools. Frisch 2003. Research is taking place into pedagogy for IL and cultures of information. It is more complex than simply identifying a set of skills and teaching those. IL is closely linked to library and information science, and is seen to be a scientific concept. Others related disciplines are education studies, media studies, communication studies, "documentology" the science of documents.

In the second half of the session the panel addressed the question of theory within the discipline of information literacy. Pupils can access information easily but struggle with evaluating and understanding, and there is limited time for teaching these complex abilities. Over the last 10 years Olivier feels they have been successful in developing a scientific curriculum for IL, but there is still work to do in convincing politicians to devote time in the school timetable for IL.

Sheila spoke about different models and theories of IL and the need to use and discuss these with learners. Sheila introduced Theories in Information Behaviour" published in 2005, however there is still debate about the existence of theory in information science. Sheila then asserted that there is theory development in information literacy, before going on to introduce phenomenography research method as a way to work towards the generation of  theory. Sheila is beginning a meta analysis of phenomenographic of studies of adults' conceptions of IL, and introduced a range of conceptions of IL drawn from 6 phenomenographic studies, and suggested that these conceptions would be present in any adult population. Is is possible to move to a discussion of why these conceptions are present?

It was a stimulating panel, and provided much food for thought- many thanks to Sheila, Bill and Olivier!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

Finally before the conference dinner at the European Conference on Information Literacy this afternoon, Angela Repanovici (presenter) and Ivona Olariu had a paper Information Literacy Dimensions in a Consortium-Type Structure: Train the Trainer in National Projects from Romanian Academic Environment. This was reporting on a project with multiple funders including the European Union. It is concerned with access to literature in the consortium of universities, specifically electronic resources - the website is at One of the goals is to increase the number of Romanian published scientific articles and books in international publications/presses. Another is to develop a national repository. A key part of the project is developing a training the trainer programme, which has to be suitable for use in 60 different universities. in July/August this year they did a survey to identify satisfaction with the services so far, and attitudes about education for using resources (the latter was deemed important by respondents, whilst improvements in the project website were seen as desirable, more mobile access was needed, and more specific training material for specific resources was wanted). A final conclusion was that the train the trainer programme did need to be improved: the survey used expectation/perception service quality measures on the survey, and the responses indicated that the programme met the minimum level but not the desired level of service. Nevertheless, a good deal had been achieved by the overall project and they intend to use the results of the study to raise the importance of information literacy.

Session on IL in different contexts : Pam liveblogs from #ECIL2017

Fabian Franke from Bamberg university library in Germany spoke about government information literacy at German universities and the role of the library in this. Information literacy has to fit into the digital strategy of the university. Librarians need new skills in order to be part of this digital strategy, and that this should be part of the curricula at library school.

Next Monique Schoutsen from Radboud University presented on privacy and an online IL course. Organisations in the EU will face large fines, up to 10million Euros for leaking personal data. Universities have to be concerned about this, as they hold lots of personal data, and also research data. They are designing an online course to teach students how to communicate privately, and how to encrypt data held on personal storage devices. The computer support department has the following slogan:  A password is like a toothbrush: choose a good one, don't share it with anyone, change it occasionally

Lieselot Verryck and Stephen Laporte from Vrije university in Brussels spoke about setting up a MOOC for information literacy. This had to be accomplished with limited time and limited resources, and with unfamiliar software. Collaboration was really important, and the team made best use of expertise from across the university. They did extensive research on existing IL Online tutorials worldwide, and luckily there was considerable buy-in across the university for this new resource.

Rajendra Munoo from Singapore Management University spoke about continuing professional development and the contribution this makes to workplace information literacy.

And finally Dr Leslie Farmer, the coordinator of a teaching librarian programme at  CSULB in the US Spoke about fake news and becoming an informed citizen. Fake news is deliberate, published misinformation, and news information must be evaluated by the individual to avoid being taken in by fake news. It is vital that students have media and information literacy teaching as part of their Higher Education experience. Some example activities are for students to write their own fake news story, involving users in fact checking a fake news story, and asking learners to identify fake news trends.

International Graduate Students in the United States: Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

Last session I'm liveblogging before lunch at the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France. Information Practices and Library Perceptions of International Graduate Students in the United States was presented by Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe. She noted that the library at her university (Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA) has been undertaking surveys (e.g. LibQual) for many years. The university has a large number of graduate and professional students, so this was a focus for the 2016 survey, and additionally international students (who form 44% of the graduate student population) at STEM (Science/medicine) subjects. The university partnered with ITHAKA S&R to develop a customised survey. One module of the survey was just for international students.
They had 18% response rate and 492 international students responded (which I think was 10% of the total international students. The data was not anonymised so they could cross reference it with other data sets (with info on programme, gender, library use etc.)
There were slight differences between home and domestic students in terms of valueing various services provided by the librarians (thinking they were more important). Domestic students said it was more important that (1) the library pays for materials they need and (2) the library organises etc. material (though this wasn't a huge, everyone valued this). The international students placed higher value on collaborating with anyone (faculty, students etc). Overall fewer than half of all students had been referred to a subject librarian by faculty, with a lower number of the international students saying they had been referred. In terms of skills, international students place more importance on acquiring and being being supported in developing research/library skills (though again, all the responses rated these highly). International students are also more interested in their publications being seen by different audiences.
Thus, whilst librarians report observing differences between international and domestic students, these differences did not emerge as very large in this study. Hinchliffe hypothesised that the library experience has become more homogenised internationally, as more material is experienced online using the same or similar interfaces.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Saint Malo at sunset, September 2017

health information literacy session: Pam liveblogs from #ECIL2017

I am now live blogging a session based on Health information literacy ,Maija-Leena Huotari stated the aim of the sssion to provide an overview of current international research in the field of health information literacy which draws on two different research traditions: health literacy and information literacy.

Veronika Kuhberg Larson  from Leibniz institute for  Psychology spoke about demographic characteristics and personality variables as predictors of health information literacy. In young adults health information literacy skills are linked to positive health behaviour, informed health decisions and treatment compliance. It is the point where people develop independence from their parents and take on health responsibilities for others, and learn how to deal with information overload. Demographic characteristics such as education, gender and vocation affect health information literacy in young adults. Personality traits have been shown to affect information behaviour, but this has not been investigated for health information literacy. the research found that extroversion is negatively correlated with HIL. The lower the level of education, the lower the level of HIL. Extroverted people use a variety of sources rather than performing deep searches, and trust social sources, and this could affect their use of academic and official health sources. There is a need for health services to provide a range of sources, some of which focus on social information exchange.

Heidi Enwald from Abo Akademi  and University of Oulu, Finland spoke about attitudes to mobile devices for health in older adults. In Finland the older population is relatively tech-savvy. She introduced the idea of EHIL: everyday health information literacy. People have to engage in technology and different devices to engage with health services and monitor ones own health. The study aimed to investigate how EHIL relates to both traditional and more advanced information technology, and is part of a larger multidisciplinary study. A 17 page questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of older adults in the Oulu region. The response rate was 61.2 %, or 918 responses. 67% agreed that they used a variety of sources, but only 28% found it easy to find reliable health information on the internet. Elderly peopl who were confident on their abilities to evaluate health information were more likely to use both traditional and more modern IT, and were more likely to have positive opinions of mobile information technology. It is important to consider different levels of confidence and engagement with mobile technologies when designing health services.

Next up was Teija Maritta Keranen and Noora Hirvonen presenting about the use of an EHIL screening tool to investigate energy information literacy ( the ability to recognise an energy related information need etc). The EHIL screening tool was designed to identify people who recognise that they have issues in finding, evaluating, understanding information, and this study aimed to understand the value of this screening tool in the energy context. A link to an online survey with EHIL statements adjusted for the energy context was sent to all students at Oulu university, and 1400 students responded. The majority were full time students who lived in rental apartments. The screening tool's factorial structure was found to match that of the EHIL questionnaire. The finding indicate that this short tool could be applicable to other contexts and can be used to identify individuals or groups who lack confidence in finding and using information.

Anna-Maija Huhta then presented a systematic review of health literacy in online health information environments. Early descriptions of HL focused on comprehension, numeracy etc, but the concept has widened in recent years. Lawless et al. was one of the influential sources cited. 71 eligible articles were included in the review. Definitions by Ratzen & Parker and Norman & Skinner were most used in the LIS literature. Information is seen as a tool used by people to make better health decisions. Critical evaluation of information was only present in 4 out of the 9 retrieved definitions of HIL.  There is a need to conceptualise the skills and competencies needed to act in online environments.

 Augusta Palsdottir from Iceland presented the doctoral study of  Sigridur Einarsdottir which aims to understand the information literacy of parents  of children with long term health conditions. It is qualitative research based on grounded theory with interviews of 27 parents. The children have a variety of health conditions, and are a range of ages. There was a focus on unique and chronic illnesses. Data gathering is still ongoing, but initial results are presented. Daily information is needed that is concerned with how to live, e.g. How to give medecine, what food to give and generally comes from the health professional. Secondly there is "information that can add" to support daily life. Next is "deeper information" that is purposively sought by parents and tends to be complicated but not vital to the child's life. Finally there is information about rights, which is the hardest to get, e.g. About money and support and should be the easiest to get but in reality is the hardest to find. Often it's misleading or wrong. Sources that give and receive information are varied e.g. health care professionals, school or nursery staff, people in on or offline contexts and friends or family. Various factors influence parents information behaviour e.g. severity of the illness, and the social capital of parents. Parents who are alone and without support spend all their time taking care of the child and have no time or energy for information seeking. Parents who are scared for the child's life cast a wide net in their information searching.

Evaluating Information Literacy Activity at a National Level: Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

John Crawford's talk on Evaluating Information Literacy Activity at a National Level: an Introductory Study is the next one I'll liveblog from the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo. Crawford's context was Scotland. He started by drawing attention to initiatives in Scotland, such as the Scottish Information Literacy Community of Practice. The last slide shows some of the initiatives, and he namechecked the CILIP Information Literacy group as funding some small scale research projects.
He identified that literature which provides guidance on evaluating IL at a national level is sparse. Some points were drawn from the document that Lau and Catts drew up (see second slide), sponsored by UNESCO ( He also drew some points from two papers in Library Trends, one by Woody Horton and one by Andrew Whitworth (see below). The first slide shows what the Community of Practice had done in line with Horton's "commandments". There has been mixed success e.g. they achieved a visit with a government minister, but the minister proved to be much more interested in digital literacy than information literacy (see first slide).

Horton, W. (2011) Information Literacy Advocacy—Woody's Ten Commandments. Library Trends, 60(2), 262-276.
Whitworth, A. (2011) Empowerment or Instrumental Progressivism?: Analyzing Information Literacy Policies. Library Trends, 60(2), 312-337.

Vitenamese immigrants; international workshops; Street lighting industry; Open access book on infolit in Portuguese: Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

This morning I presented on behalf of Dr Batool, a former PhD student, in a pecha kucha session at the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France. I will blog this separately, but are some notes on other presentations in the session (the slide is from the first talk):

Dominant Traits of the Information Behavior of Vietnamese Immigrants in the Czech Republic: Influences on Building Their Information Landscapes – Preliminary Paper from Petra Cernohlavkova (presenter) and Helena Lipková
Vietnamese have migrated for various reasons to many countries, and in the Czech republic they are concentrated particularly in cities. The extent of integration (contact) depends on the age of both Vietnamese and Czechs (e.g. older people mostly encounter in shops as seller/customer). Because incoming Vietnamese may have low literacy and Czech language skills, and need to earn money, they are liable to exploitation. Collective coping strategies are important to them. Vietnamese will use personal networks rather than social media etc. which they have not used in Vietnam (see slide), and they don't use libraries, and distrust services provided for free (as they might have had poor experiences with NGOs). She recommended a closer cooperation between libraries and NGOs to help introduce the Vietnamese to the new information landscape.

Information Literacy for Scientific Organizations: Progress by International Co-operation from Paul Nieuwenhuysen
"Scientific organisations" included, here, universities: the main focus is on international cooperation (between the host country here, Belgium, and other countries). They aim to bring together experts from different (mainly developing) countries. They aim to confront the experts witheach others' views to surface problems, challenges, hopes and expectations. There have been training programmes of a few months, hosted at Belgian universities, with the target group young information professionals mainly from Africa, Asia and Latin America. There are also workshops so far in India and the Philippines. There is some material from the author e.g. here and here

Information Literacy in Portuguese University Context: a Necessary Intervention by Carlos Lopes, Tatiana Sanches (presenter), Maria da Luz Antunes, Isabel Andrade, Julio Alonso Arevalo
They had noted that not everyone had access to the new forms of creation and publishing (so had difficulty building digital identities); also the large flow of information; and the need to adapt to new ways of interacting, knowing and thinking. Library professionals in Portugal had posed themselves the question of how to address these issues. They identified two goals: reaffirming the importance of IL/transversal competencies amongst university colleagues, and the second developing librarian skills. They have responded by developing a book: chapters include an infolit self-evaluation framework, a smmary of existing models, best practice examples, material relatting to intergration of IL in the curriculum, and current and future trends/issues. This is the first open access book on information literacy in Portuguese. The book is at

Information Literacy in Street Lighting Industry: Content curation with by Gilbert Charles Faure
This was characterised as a niche industry with a major global impact. There are tech innovations, but also e.g. environmental concerns. Knowledge management and infolit is rather poor in these companies. Informal communications, product and industry publications etc. are important. is being used here as a curation tool for knowledge management. Content hubs have been created related to the Lighting industry and curated for four years. There can be a watch on technical aspects (e.g. LEDs, solar power) and societal aspects (e.g. light pollution, effect on ecology). The speaker also highlighted the topic of lighting in art - that lighting may be installed as an art work (so serving a dual purpose). He noted that he collaborated with others to share resources, both companies and agencies.

Keynote from Andrew Whitworth- Lessons from the Borg Cube: information literacy and the knowledge of difference. Pam liveblogs from #ECIL2017

Andrew began his talk with a brief discussion of the misinformation laden Brexit election, and commented on the neoliberal agenda that is closing libraries and increasing state surveillance. There is collusion between the establishment and the media to control information, as evidenced during the Hillsborough stadium disaster where a narrative blaming the Liverpool fans rather than the police persisted for 27 years. Andrew cited a book by Marge Piercey called "body of glass" where the heroine is an information professional. In this dystopian future controlled by multinational organisations, independent communities must protect their information by building complex information architecture. Andrew then used the Star Trek villains "the Borg" to comment on information practices, and the need to be creative.The work of David Harvey was used to comment on the relationship between space, place and capital.   Each landscape is unique, they can constrain information flows and flows of capital. The space of this lecture theatre is designed to allow information to flow from the stage to the audience. The work of Annemaree Lloyd on information landscape was used to raise the idea of mapping of the (information) landscape. An example was given of a local authority whose new office building radically altered both information and working practice, but not everyone found it a comfortable or easy place to work. Redesign of the physical space in an academic library can affect information practices. A concept mapping too was used to facilitate group mapping of practices in the landscape and to raise and discuss differences in practice. This allowed a bottom up reconfiguration rather than it coming from the top.

This was a wide ranging and complex keynote, so that I'm not sure I've been able to capture the breadth and the depth of the talk, however other perspectives are available!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Information literacy for Masters dissertation students: Pam live blogs from #ECIL2017

Next Kristine Stewart spoke about a project at Kings College to develop IL for masters dissertation students. These students are form a diverse range of international backgrounds, and may lack IL, it is difficult to know what level of IL students have. Continuous reflective activities are seen as one way to develop IL. Students are encouraged to relate their dissertation topic to the prior areas of study in the department. An initial dissertation proposal allows supervisors to be assigned and gives them an idea of the students level of topic knowledge, and their information seeking ability. Further support is then offered for search strategies, and sources and writing strategies are also discussed. Masters students, as researchers have a role as information creators when doing their dissertation. Dissertation advisors engage in reflective teaching practice in advice sessions, and this empowers students to engage in research.

threshold concepts in IL professional education: Pam liveblogs from #ECIL2017

Virginia Tucker from San Jose State University presented first after the coffee break on her research into threshold concepts in IL professional education. Information literacy professionals undertake a variety of roles such as teaching, mentoring, facilitating the information experience of others. Virginia cited the Information experience book, and introduced the idea of "threshold concepts" for learning. She stated that it's pretty hard for a concept to qualify as "threshold", it must be transformative counterintuitive, troublesome, integrative, irreversible and bounded. Threshold concepts can be used in curriculum design, but one must consider the sequencing of the content, the learning processes, and how learners and educators recognise that a threshold concept has been internalised (I.e. through assessment). Curriculums need to shift from being skillls based to being concepts based. The department that Virginia teaches in is wholly online, where the role of the instructor is to "participate and provoke in creative and playful ways". Students work frequently in groups, and students from different time zones can struggle with scheduling. Online discussions are reflective, and evalauative. Discussions are problem solving, and involve peer testing of databases that students have created.  It was really interesting to hear how Virginia manages and facilitates group work for distance learning students.

Health literacy education of women in an urban slum: Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

Allison Frances Wren presented a paper (coauthored with Priyanka Idicula, Amy Davies, Rob Davies) on The Impact of Health Literacy Education on Womens’ Perceptions and Understanding of Maternal Health in a Kochi Urban Slum at European Conference on Information Literacy. The speaker was presenting results of the initial phase of a project (funded by Hardie Wren), and the first pahse was finding out about the women and their lives. Data was collected about various beliefs, behaviours and things such as income. For example, as regards menstruation, many of them said that mothers would not talk to their daughters about this, and in many ways it was seen as unclean. 80% said that they had heard of contraception, but did not use it (this could be connected with a former forced contraception programme).The slide shown above means that there were good signs/practice in terms of diet, avoiding smoking and alcohol, education and breastfeeding (but not so much with the things listed on the right).
The next phases involves health clinics and monthly classes: this is underway. Barriers to participation include "slum wars" (not attending events in other districts). It was emphasised how understanding the context was vital.

Information safety and citizen science: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

Another presentation at the European Conference on Information Literacy is Integrating Citizen Science Elements into the Information Safety Lessons from Kristýna Kalmárová. She started by identifying the need for information safety education, and then talked about different ways to define and categorise citizen science. A lesson plan was drawn up so learner-citizens could understand basic concepts of information safety and apply them in their own lives, and their final goal was to gain some basic methodological literacy competences. The plan is four 4 hours, in a space that has computers and it is designed for small groups of citizens, to be implemented in public libraries.
The 1st lesson includes a pretest and introduction to research theory. The second has analysis of questionnaires (that have been completed by other library users, about information safety) and recording results. The third lesson is analysis and interpretation of results. Finally, there is a post test and discussion about their own choices and behaviour.
So, for example, the goal of lesson 3 is to understand the processes behind drawing conclusions from data, and assess their own ideas from a researcher perspective. By this means, the speaker hopes to engage higher cognitive processes - understanding and critiquing, not just rote learning and remembering. This class is about to be prototyped.
This reminds me of an exercise I used to do in an undergraduate research methods class, where students proposed questions about students' information behaviour, filled in a questionnaire compiled from the questions (before the class) and then analysed the questionnaire in groups the following week. This also could lead to discussion about their own information behaviour. I think it is a nice idea to use this in a wider citizenship context.
Photo by Sheila Webber, Saint-Malo, Sept 2017

First session after lunch at #ECIL2017: Pam liveblogs

Charlie Inskip from the department of information studies at UCL was the first speaker after lunch and presented his research project "on the move", funded by the CILIP information literacy group. The agenda in U.K. HE is increasingly concerned with employability and digital literacy. Information literacy is well understood in the HE context, but is less well understood in the workplace. The context of this research is the financial sector, as this is the number one destination for UCL graduates.   They conducted 18 interviews at an insurance firm in the city of London, and 2 focus groups. Five interviews and one focus group were also conducted with students. Marc Forster's themes of expanding awareness were used to analyse the data. The results showed that students and insurance workers had different language to talk about information literacy. More specific technical terminology was used by insurance workers. Statements were created that were mapped against each of Marc Forsters 7 themes, and an online resource was created.

Joyce Kinyanjui from the University of Zululand spoke about financial literacy of female entrepreneurs in Kenya. 81 million USD were lost on pyramid schemes in Kenya, primarily by women, raising concerns about the level of financial literacy in the population. Female economic empowerment is linked to functional, financial and information literacy. 25% of working age women are illiterate. The study used a mixed methods approach, with a sample of women's entrepreneur groups. The results showed that information seeking behaviour before taking out a loan was not good, they didn't shop around for loans.  Only 20% felt in control of their financial status, and only 30% had a written record of their expenses. There was a link between checking statements and level of comfort with their debt, and regularly checking these is an important indicator of financial literacy. Being in control of the family finances empowers women economically.

Angela Repanovici from Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania spoke about an international project to modernise academic library services in Moldova. They identified different needs for IL at different levels of study, but also in terms of life after university in the workplace. Masters graduates were invited to take part in an information literacy survey about their IL skills and the support available for entrepreneurship. 119 responses were received from graduates who were either working for an organisation or who had set up their own business. The results showed that respondents were heavy users of professional information for their field, and the majority of respondents thought that the library had contributed to the development of critical analysis of information. About half respondents though that their university had made information about financial sources for entrepreneurs available. Most respondents thought that the development of professional competence was up to the individual. The results can be a starting point for the development of joint employer-university courses to buil IL.

In the final presentation in this session, Gunilla Widen and Muhaimin Karin from Abo AkademiUniversity in Finland  presented on the role of information culture in workplace information literacy. There is growing awareness that IL in the workplace is not just a set of skills, it is highly contextual and dependent on the information culture of the organisation. A literature review was conducted to examine information literacy and information culture in the workplace. 23 journal papers were extracted, and 18 were reviewed as containing a focus of IL and information culture. The review found that Information culture is heavily influenced by leadership style, institutional regulation and information politics. Factors such as mission, employee behaviour also affect it. Information culture affects the adoption of new ICT systems, it is not just about the capabilities of the technology itself. Information usage in the workplace is often about social interaction, and it is important to have a transparent, open and positive environment towards information and knowledge.

Senior Citizens Science Literacy and Health Self-Efficacy : Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

I'm in a session on science literacy at the European Conference on Information Literacy, and Ágústa Pálsdóttir is talking on Senior Citizens Science Literacy and Health Self-Efficacy.
She noted that with the growth in the proportion of older people, it was important for them to be engaged in health promotion interventions. Understanding scientific communications about health is an intrinsic part of this.
The speaker proposed the concept of Media and Health Information Literacy (to include health literacy) and science literacy. The aim of the study she was talking about was to examine the self-efficacy of people aged 60 plus (divided into 60-67 and 68 plus). The study asked how seniors perceive their health self-efficacy, how this self-efficacy rating related to age, gender and education. Out of a larger random sample, 176 were 60 and older. The Perceived health self-confidence scale was used (possibly the one described in The results showed that the seniors had good confidence in the health self-efficacy. There was some difference by education (people with lower educational levels having less confidence) particularly in the younger group. This has implications for health education.

Using a brain booth to promote metacognition: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

At the end of the session in which Pam and we're presenting at the I were presenting at the European Conference on Information Literacy , Katia Karadjova (coauthor Marissa Mourer) presented on Dare to share the silence: tools and practices of contemplative pedagogy in a library brain booth. She was reporting on a project at Humboldt State University. The idea of the library brain booth was to introduce mindfulness, and promote metacognition. Students are encouraged to think about the impact of taking a brain break on their academic performance and life: emotional self-regulation and singular thoughtful focus are the other aspects of mindfulness that were mentioned.
The first tool was guided meditation (in a booth with a cd), a second used a biofeedback machine (with the idea of aiming to become calm, as registered on the machine), then there was sound-relaxation, colour relaxation (that is, doing colouring) and light-relaxation (to counter lack of sunlight) . There was also virtual reality immersion, with 2 headsets for iPhones and android. Another tool was a sheet on which people could express gratitude to someone in their lives. Fitdesks were available. Finally, there was also a collection of books etc. related to this topic.
The investigation was esssentially into whether there was interest in such tools and activities. Two different rooms/setups were used, to see which was more effective. A lib guide was produced, which gained over 1000 views. 240 different people came to the brain booth, some several times, in 10 weeks. Following this initial semester, the brain booth was treated as a pop up initiative, for example around exam time. People were able to fill in comment cards, and all these were positive. There were also observations by the authors of the presentation, which identified that some tools were more effective than others e.g. people seemed to get distracted when doing colouring. Therefore they are identifying the best combinations of technology and tools.

The speakers “showed an existing gap between engagement with digital tools centred on contemplative pedagogy and in person faculty participation”. They felt there was scope for using these techniques more in library/ academic work. In answer to a question, the speaker said that they are talking to faculty about embedding the brain booth into subject classes.

Pre-lunch session @ #ECIL2017 Pam liveblogs

Pavla Kovarova spoke about information behaviour and e-safety of primary school children in the Czech Republic. Previous research has shown that children download illegal and inappropriate content. They struggle to evaluate quality of material. There are issues to do with the sharing of personal information with many children having public profile information and getting involved in sexting activities. They engage in more risky online behaviours than the EU average. There is not much time given in the primary school curriculum to discuss issues of e-safety and information literacy. Pavla developed a series of lessons for primary school children based learning n constructivist theories, so student-centred,problem based and involvingactive and cooperative learning. The classes are 90 minutes long but don't actually involve use of computers, the focus is more on safety. The research methods were observation (59 classes, 1398 children), children's evaluations, 360 degree feedback, focus groups with teachers and pre- and post- tests for children. 5 schools and 2 libraries took part in the study.

 children in lower grades were happier with the sessions. Less traditional and more active teaching styles got better feedback from both children and teachers. There was a wide range of expertise and experience of using the internet in the children.

Anna Mierzecka spoke about school librarians attitudes to teaching information literacy. This reseRch project was undertaken in collaboration between Warsaw university and researchers in Lithuania. The literature says that school librarians take on a number of roles in their institutions, but there is lack of awareness of the school librarian as an IL educator. Several studies highlighted how emotions and lack of self esteem affect librarians' teaching.  A web survey was developed aimed at librarians from the 250 best secondary schools in Lithuania and Poland (500 school in total). Response rate was 45%,  143 responses from Lithunania and 87 from Poland. The majority of respondents were experienced librarians. There were big differences in how librarians from the 2 countries taught IL. The big six model was used to ask librarians what aspects of IL they taught. The study examined librarians emotional motivation for their teaching role, and generally respondents were really positive about their roles, and were also positive about their development in the future. People considered their role important, and that they made a difference in the world.

First set of parallel sessions Tuesday @ #ECIL2017: Pam liveblogs

Monica Krakowska gave a presentation about the use of information grounds theory used to understand the information literacy of new undergraduate information management students. Information grounds theory makes it possible to understand information activities and to investigate their emotional response to information use and sharing. 95 first year undergraduate information management students at Jagiellonan University took part in the research in 2016-2017. Student writing created during face to face sessions were used as the data for the research, and were examined for evidence of information grounds. The data revealed that students identified places as information grounds where people make ad hoc information exchanges. The writing was quite impersonal, probably because it was created quickly for a class assignment. It was noticed that students create information grounds at the university. A problem with the res arch was that students often wrote about the examples they were given in the lecture, rather than thinking of their own examples.

Next, Vajeran Buselic spoke about graduate employability using and information literacy quest at Croatian Universities. In Croatia graduate unemployment is very high. Employers recognise the value of IL and critical thinking but lack awareness of the terminology. A web of science search for "information literacy" and "employability" found only 15 results. There seems to be a disconnect between information literacy researchers and authors, and employability researchers and authors. Citespace was used to visually map citations for information literacy and employability.

Stephane Goldstein: information literacy and the future of work : Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Stephane is the director of Informall which is concerned with promoting Information literacy in the workplace and in other contexts. Past science fiction authors have imagined a dystopian and hyper industrial future world of work, but this hasn't and probably wont come to pass. Stephane introduced some long term workplace trends, for example a trend for less hierarchical organisational structures, that work is becoming less routine and there is an increase in project work, meaning more collaborative and team work. Stephane introduced some emerging characteristics of work, including less security, more entrepreneurial, fragmented in terms of task and space, more working from home and automated or at risk of automation.

 A more optimistic vision of the future is that the workforce will be "ageless", "mindful", "intuitive" and "collaborative". Another vision of the future is that it is a "lattice" rather than a "ladder" model of career progression, meaning that workplaces are more inclusive and collaborative. Going hand in hand with this vision is the idea that the workplace is characterised  by widespread knowledge and information sharing. However these rather rosy view of the modern workplace ignore the fact that there are workers such as cleaners, catering staff, security personnel etc who are on the margins of the organisation - what can information literacy do for them? There is a risk of digital and information exclusions for this type of worker. Stephane reflected on the rise of the gig economy, and how this is positive in flexibility, but negative in terms of job security and exploitation. There is a rise in the availability of the "human cloud", platforms and services that allow individuals to bid for work internationally. This could encourage entrepreneurship, but also it could encourage the emergence of a new "precariat", a class of people with no job security, job stability or career progression. Stephane asks "what can information literacy do for this kind of worker?"

Information literacy could apply to the defence of employment rights for gig economy workers, e.g. recent legal challenges posed by workers at Deliveroo. more and more data is being gathered about work behaviour, and new technologies enable employers to monitor their employees, and this raises concerns about intrusiveness, control, autonomy and data protection. This actually reminded me of a keynote presentation at the lilac conference in 2015 by Julia Jones on trade unions and information literacy  It is important to look at information literacy in the light of ethics relating to the uses of big data.

Information literacy has a place in retraining the evolving workforce, and in thinking about how IL related to lifelong learning, and in helping individuals navigate more complex career pathways. IL can help people adapt to the rapidly changing workplace.

Information Literacy and the Future of Work: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

Stéphane Goldstein started the second day of the European Conference on Information Literacy with his invited talk on Information Literacy and the Future of Work. He said that he would concentrate in looking at the future of work and the implications for information literacy. He started by talking about speculative fiction, such as 1984, which tended to project dystopian views of the future. Goldstein contrastred this with the "current future of work" with Uber, Taskrabbit and so forth.
He identified some long time trends such as flatter organisational structures, less "routine" types of work, and increase in project work (apparently increased "40 fold over 20 years"). Goldstein drew on a framework of digital literacy (from Helen Beetham) to pose some future characteristics of work e.g. less secure, more fragmented, automated, "dislocated from traditional workplaces". This was complemented by a quotation from a UK skills report which emphasised workforce resilience, teamworking, self-management etc. It also fitted in with what Goldstein characterised as a "rosy" view" of the workforce as ageless (meaning, you can work as long as you like without discrimination), mindful, collaborative and intuitive. There was also the idea of the workplace as a "lattice" rather than a "ladder", which implies information sharing, awareness of information, information resilience to find your zigzag way in progressing your career.
However, this did seem to leave the people with service roles, like cleaners, security employees, catering staff, who might not be able to progress through the lattice. Goldstein asked whether they would also be part of an organisation's information culture, and who attended to their information needs and information literacy.He felt that looking at exclusion in workplace settings was a task for information literacy research.
There was also the issue of "flexibility" in working (part-time, temporary, ad-hoc jobs), which may be presented as offering choice, but can also provide pressures, loss of benefits and exclusion. Goldstein noted the "rise of the human cloud" with online platforms that enable people wanting services to be matched with those providing them. This could be seen as global entrepreneurial freedom, or a way of mass exploitation those with less power. From this: what are the information needs of these people, and how can the idea of collaborative information use and sharing be squared with this more precarious and isolated way of working.
Goldstein noted the actions brought be workers and trade unions against operators of these kinds of services (e.g. Deliveroo, Uber). How might information literacy contribute to industrial relations and workers rights in this context? On the same theme, since a growing number of people work from home, or as part of this casualised economy, the "workplace" is no longer necessarily the old stable workplace.
This workplace was also becoming increasingly one where employees are monitored (e.g. through quantified self, for example) and not just output, but also behaviour and attitude are monitored and measured. This raised a whole raft of ethical concerns, which could or should become the focus of information literacy.
Touching on the rise of automation, for example, there could was now automatic extraction of material from a larger text which provided acceptable summaries aimed at different audiences (I remembered that Sheila McNeil blogged about one of these apps here). One then had to ask what activities and tasks were left for human beings (this could be creativity, personal interaction, networking...)
Goldstein finally asked how infolit could address both the threats and the opportunities of the future of work. He stressed that it was important to look at both, and not just the opportunities. There was a research agenda for information literacy, and also implications for information literacy practice.
Some interesting points were raised afterwards, including: the issue of modern slavery (people fruit picking, cleaning etc.) and information literacy.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Children's Literacy is Important, but what about Adult Reading Literacy? Vlasta Zabukovec, Polona Vilar: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

This research project aimed to understand the relationship between reading literacy and information literacy. An online survey was distributed via snowball sampling. There was a high correlation between past and present experiences of reading. Respondents were most likely to read alone rather than with a parent. Many people visited the library often or regularly and 96% agreed that family literacy is important. One fifth of parents bought enormous amounts of books. Librarians and teachers promoted reading in primary school. Most respondents thought that reading literacy is the ability to read, to receive information, express as thoughts and ability write. Structured activities were recommended for children to develop reading literacy. 3 central factors were indicated as influencing reading literacy: personal motivation, social support and technical aspects e.g. Use of a computer and internet searching. People were asked what texts they preferred to read, and surprisingly they preferred internet texts over printed texts. The conclusions of the project include that family reading should be supported, and that technical support is needed.

Required Skills for Teachers: Information Literacy at the Top Tatiana Sanches: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

With changes in teaching practice and new learning technologies, there are changing competencies required by teachers, and hence there have to be changes in teacher education. Students have to be prepared to be lifelong learners, have to be able to work collaboratively have to be able to learn Ina technology rich landscape. Information literacy is essential to this process. Several countries already include IL in pre-service education for teachers. This study took place at the university of Lisbon in Portugal. The ALA and UNESCO provided guiding documents for teacher training in information literacy. Training sessions carried out in 2016-17 were evaluated. There was a high degree of satisfaction with the workshops, which were highly personalised.

Social Media and Information Literacy: Investigating the Perceptions of Undergraduate Students: Pam blogs from # ECIL2017

This session reported on a small study that took place in the sultanate of Oman at Sultan Qaboos university, where approximately 16,000 students are enrolled. The study aimed to investigate the extent to which UG students have the ability to deal with information flows through social media. The researchers were interested in the extent to which students used social media for academic purposes. 2000 students were surveyed with a print questionnaire and 1142 valid responses were collected.

The majority of respondents described their IT skills as "intermediate" and smart phones were the most popular devices. About half had attended a library information literacy session

Students reported that they did seek to evaluate information sourced from social media before they used it. They felt they could distinguish between fact and rumour. Student had reported a strong understanding of information ethics, and understood the need to cite sources. There was some understanding of copyright and other legal issues. There was a good understanding of the risks in sharing personal images on social media. Further qualitative research is planned. Authors: Ali Al-Aufi, Hamed Al-Azri, Nehad Al-Hadi

Understanding the Academic Library as an Information Literacy Workplace Danuta Nitecki: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Danuta is dean of libraries and professor at the college of computing and informatics at Drexel University, USA. She proposed 3 ideas: the library as the learners' workplace; the relationship between space and learning is an emerging area of study; libraries are prime examples of this phenomenon. A purposeful space should take account of the desired change in the user, the type of activities they do and the space features.g. Technology, furnishings that are required. Library spaces are not driven by pedagogy in the way that formal teaching spaces are. Instead they take account of how the learner behaves. Many disciplines are interested in space and learning, but there is no overall theoretical model. Danuta's research into informal learning spaces involved students identifying learning environments, they inspected many campus spaces and provided descriptions of how they could use a space. They identified a common set of features that could characterise learning space e.g. Space, natural light. Danuta then reported selected findings from Nitecki and Simpson (2016) investigating the library as learning environment. The study used descriptions of 25 library spaces as data and extracted quotes about design features or student learning. They identified that vocabulary used to describe formal spaces are mirrored in informal learning spaces. Collaboration was a key feature of library space. A 3rd study peer engagement Used mobile phones to record learning activities in informal learning spaces. The data did not show how people moved through the space, but showed both collaboration, and people working individually. There is a need for a research agenda for understanding the relationship between informal learning environments and learning.

After lunch at ECIL : Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

There was a packed program in the first session after lunch so I'm going to briefly summarise a few papers in this post

Implementing Library Strategies and Values as a Part of the Workplace Information Literacy

Marja Anneli Hjelt and Jarmo Kyösti Saarti
The presentation was based on Marja's PhD research looking at the adoption of e-books in public libraries. The research aimed to understand the role of the librarian as innovator. Marja conducted interviews with librarians in 6 libraries. Ebooks were considered to be complementary and supplementary to the library's other services. Librarians thought that non fiction ebooks were more heavily used than fiction ebooks, however the usage statistics contradicted this view. Ultimately librarian knowledge about ebooks is based on public external information rather than library strategies or data therefore this disconnect between perception and reality is an issue to do with IL in the workplace. 

Enhancing the Quality of the Library Processes – Benchmarking Workplace Information Literacy, Numeracy and Communication Practices in Two European University Libraries
Jarmo Saarti and Nora Balagué
This research study looks at the use of communication and management tools to support information literacy and numeracy in academic librarians in 2 universities, in Finland and in Spain. The researchers used the PDCA (plan, do, check, act) to investigate the situation. They found that library staff make a lot of use of internal data, but are not great users of generic management resources to improve management.

Information Literacy of Croatian Subject Indexers
Kristina Feldvari, Kornelija Petr Balog
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Osijek, Croatia
This presentation reported on PhD research using a cognitive work analysis framework to understand workplace information literacy of subject indexers. Subject indexing is unpredictable, changeable and interpretive, it is also highly contextual. The study aimed to understand the process and procedures of these subject indexers. 10 highly experienced subject indexers from 5 large libraries formed the purposive sample for the study. A comparative qualitative case study methodology was adopted using semi structured interviews as the data collection method. Each interview featured a subject indexing task and used a think aloud method to record the process. The interviews were then compared with the actual practice displayed by the indexers. Indexers preferred to use existing subject headings rather than create new ones. Searching for new appropriate headings was a barrier, particularly as there is no national subject indexing manual. 

Subject indexers were not familiar with the search capabilities of internal databases, OPACs and the internet, their search capabilities were poor. Suggestions derived from the project were to have information literacy training sessions for the subject indexers.

Test of an Iterative Process Cecile Touitou, Anita Beldiman Moore: Pam blogsfrom #ECIL2017

Sciences Po is a small social science based university. The presenters spoke about their experiences of teaching information literacy. The development is an iterative process based on student feedback. They tried to use new tools (tablets) to teach IL but this wasn't effective due to wifi problems. The IL workshops were moved to earlier in the academic year, and the use of quizzes really helped with positive feedback. They cited an ISO white paper on measuring the value of library and used this to develop their evaluation instrument. They looked at the differences between English and French speakers and English speakers rated their own skills more highly. They developed an "escape game" teaching session where students search for books on the shelves and in the catalogue, and initial feedback indicates that this should be a longer session.

Research on academic reading format - print wins! Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

Another liveblog from the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France. Next for me, Diane Mizrachi chaired a panel on the Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS). This project actually started at ECIL, as Mizrachi presented the results of her study into students' preferences between print and online, in 2014, and now the study has been replicated in over 30 countries (unfunded!!). I have reported on findings presented at previous ECIL conferences, and the impressive finding is that the findings from the small scale studies in all these countries demonstrate that students prefer print over online, although they see the advantages of online for some things. The website is here
The panel talked about various aspects about this international collaboration: both issues concerning with doing the survey in different countries, and discussion of the findings. Firstly Serap Kurbanoglu (Turkey) talked about adapting the instrument for different countries. For exaample, the original survey asked about Grade Point Average, and this question has to be removed for cross-study comparison (e.g. we don't use GPA in the UK). Also undergraduate study lasts a different amount of time in different countries, departments are called all sorts of different things in different countries: even classifying disciplines (to social sciences, humanities etc.) is not straightforward. The open ended questions were also an issue, since they were difficult to analyse to cross-compare. Altogether a lot of checking and coding was required. Incomplete answers, and identifying and removing them, was another issue.
Translating the survey instrument was a delicate task, to make sure that the meaning of the original was correctly interpreted. As an example, initially it looked as though (different from all the other studies) students preferred online to print, but this turned out to be because the question had been asked the other way round (so in fact the results DID agree). Getting a sample might need different approaches in each country, but in all countries is challenging, getting participation from students. In terms of communication between the researchers, this was also not straightforward since e.g. Chinese colleagues could not use Google groups.
Secondly Elena Collina (University of Bologna, Italy) talked about the challenges of doing the study in a huge university with many campuses, where the administration (Executive Board) did not approve the study. Collina had to restrict the study to one campus, where the rector was supportive. Once it was completed, the study's findings were welcomed by colleagues locally, but the Executive Board was still cold about it! Collina identified a message that shifting everything to the digital does NOT answer all the students' needs. She saw this message as important for improving the situation for students.
Thirdly, Nicole Johnson had carried out the study in Qatar and then in Perth, Australia. She emphasised that a lot of conversations and permissions had to be obtained before the survey was sent out to the total population at Perth (27,000 students: there was a response of just over 500): in Qatar she only got permission to distribute to a sample of students. Johnson had talked to the librarian at the University of Perth, where there was "interest in the results and then the reality of what they do with results". In other words, although the students expressed preference for print, there was not a budget for both print and online, and also there was pressure from the university to go digital. Pragmatically it may then be a matter of trying to get the students more familiar with online texts, and getting the texts easier to use. In terms of challenges, just getting the survey out was a challenge, and one university wanted extra questions answered.
Fourthly, Alicia Salaz mentioned that what was common across the studies was that you tried to distribute as widely as you could, and the aim was to recruit similar samples from every country. She was the joint researcher in Qatar. She was interested in whether culture, socio-economic or technological development etc. would affect results. Qatar was a richer country which was technologically advanced - but still, in fact, students preferred print, consistent with the global sample. The interesting the things was the response: what do you do about the results? There were varying responses, with people seeing what they want (e.g. if they like books - let's go back to books; if they are committed to online - how can we make the online experience better).
Finally Angela Repanovici (Romania) reported that in her country language (Romanian vs, say, English) influences preference. There had been an issue in getting ethical permission (this was not required in her university, but was required for open access publication, though this was resolved in due course).
There were interesting questions after and during the session. For example: what is the research about learning and understanding from print vs. online (the clear results from this study were that students THOUGHT they learned more from print). Also research on notetaking (on paper vs electronically was discussed: people may be bypassing the processing stage if they take notes electronically). There was also a point about connecting this with epistemological development and metacognition. There was also the issue of students working collaboratively (where again they wanted to use physical methods of reading/writing, not just online). Collina also mentioned sharing of print books being seen as an ecological choice. I suggested it would be useful to create some attractive media (e.g. videos of students) to communicate results to university managers (who may be brainwashed by pro-digital hype) and also mentioned research into students using print and online together as they worked. Another audience member raised the issue of students having digital devices, but not necessarily ones which made it convenient to read online, or they might not have data plans to download etc.
Mizrachi touched on a few more issues in the final minutes e.g. a "print divide" (students who can't afford textbooks); whether emotional attachment to print comes for reading books with your parent/caregiver; the issue of "screen time" for the very young.
The second photo is a slightly rough sea at Saint-Malo yesterday