Monday, December 31, 2018

New Book: Transforming Information Literacy Instruction

A recent publication from Libraries Unlimited is Transforming Information Literacy Instruction: Threshold Concepts in Theory and Practice by Amy R. Hofer, Silvia Lin Hanick, and Lori Townsend. ISBN 978-1-4408-4166-8 (pbk) and 978-1-4408-4167-5 (ebook) and price US $65.00. It is drawing on their own research into academics librarians' conceptions of threshold concepts for teaching information literacy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: wreaths of South East London, December 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

(Mis)informed podcast #misinformation

Two more podcasts have been published by the Poynter Institute in their series (Mis)informed "a podcast about fake news, fact-checking".
The 2nd episode, published on 19th December was Debunking vs. amplification "It's our job to fact check the news. But what is the line between correcting misinformation and amplifying it? In this episode, we'll talk to Ben Collins about how he reports on online extremism for NBC News. Then, we'll speak with Whitney Phillips of Syracuse University about her guidelines for journalists covering misinformation."
The 3rd episode is Is fact-checking the antidote to misinformation? "It's way easier to post fake news on social media and get a ton of clicks than it is to publish a fact check. So is fact-checking always the best way to fight misinformation? In this episode, we'll talk to Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia at the University of South Florida about how hoaxes and fact checks spread online. Then, we'll learn how Maldito Bulo founder Clara Jiménez Cruz is copying the format of misinformation to get more reach." They are at and the 3rd one is embedded below.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Autoethnography in the IL classroom; IL assessment

A couple of items I spotted recently|:
- Smith, K.L.M. (2018). Counter-story as Curriculum: Autoethnography, Critical Race Theory, and Informed Assets in the Information Literacy Classroom. PhD Thesis, Queensland University of Technology. "Through a collaborative, co-constructed curriculum, drawn from the researcher's and students' lived and shared experiences, this auto-ethnographic work introduces an asset-based information literacy pedagogy. This research was conducted in a community college with primarily first generation students of color. The work intersects critical race theory, decolonizing theory and methods, and informed learning, with a Hip-Hop aesthetic of counter-stories to displace the pervasive deficit narrative with a cultural asset frame."
- Buell, J and Kvinnesland, L. (2018). Exploring information literacy assessment: Content analysis of student prefocus essays. College and Research Libraries News, 79(11). "This article chronicles our initial foray into content analysis, a fairly labor-intensive methodology, but one which allowed us to examine student approaches to the research process as narrated in their own words in the form of a prefocus essay. Our goal was to gather data that would help to inform our university library’s information literacy curriculum. What follows documents our process, methodology, results, and lessons learned in order to aid those at other institutions in their assessment planning."
Photo by Sheila Webber: winter branches, December 2018

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas to all!

A merry and information literate Christmas to all followers of the Information Literacy Weblog!
Photo by Sheila Webber: The wreath I made this year (as usual, from branches cut off our Christmas tree).

Monday, December 24, 2018

cfp Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design #library2019 #libraryid

There is a call for proposals for the free virtual Library 2.019 mini-conference: Shaping the Future of Libraries with Instructional Design which will be held on March 13 2019 from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Time (which is 8pm-11pm UK time). "This is a conference for librarians, instructional designers and educators to share their work and challenges, as well as for those who believe in the value of integrating instructional design into their practice to help them innovate and evolve library services for the future." You have 25 minutes for a talk plus questions, using Blackboard Collaborate. In order to propose a session, you have to register with the Library 2.0 Ning community and post your proposal to a discussion board. The Library 2.... series is an initiative of San Jose State University. Further information on the call is here: and registration for the event is here
Photo by Sheila Webber: Winter berries, December 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

Call for posters and lightning talks for #LOEX2019

There is a call for posters and lightning sessions for the US information literacy conference, LOEX, which takes place May 9-11, 2019 in Minneapolis, USA.
Posters can only be submitted by "1) graduate students in library and information science programs and 2) library fellows and residents". The deadline is January 28, 2019. There is more information at
Anyone can propose Lightning talks. The talks will be 7 minutes long, and the deadline for proposals is January 18, 2019. More information at

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

11th congress of French teacher librarians / 11e Congrès des Professeur.e.s Documentalistes de l'Education Nationale

The 11th congress of French teacher librarians (professeurs documentalistes) of secondary schools will be held 22 - 24 March 2019 in Grenoble, France (obviously, in the French language) in partnership with the Grenoble Spring book fair. The theme is online publication (subtitle Un objet pédagogique et didactique pour les professeur.e.s documentalistes.) and it considers both students and professionals. For example, sessions include "La publication : une pratique professionnelle des professeur.e.s documentalistes?" and "La participation des élèves à Wikipédia : à la recherche de conditions favorisant les apprentissages informationnels." For registration go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: dead leaves, November 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New articles: health literacy; workplace information literacy; international students; information users

The new issue of open-access journal Information Research (vol. 23, issue 4) has been published. It includes:
- Margaret S. Zimmerman: Information horizons mapping to assess the health literacy of refugee and immigrant women in the USA
- Hanseul Stephanie Lee: A comparative study on the health information needs, seeking and source preferences among mothers of young healthy children: American mothers compared to recent immigrant Korean mothers
- Sarah Bukhari, Suraya Hamid, Sri Devi Ravana and Mohamad Taha Ijab Modelling the information-seeking behaviour of international students in their use of social media in Malaysia
Go to:
There is also a Special supplement: Proceedings of ISIC: the information behaviour conference, Krakow, Poland, 9-11 October, 2018: Part 1
- Farhan Ahmad and Gunilla Widén, Information literacy at workplace: the organizational leadership perspective
- Tim Gorichanaz, Perspective in information behaviour research
- Heidi Julien, Lynne McKechnie, Sarah Polkinghorne and Roger Chabot, The "user turn" in practice: information behaviour researchers’ constructions of information users
- Waseem Afzal, Weaving an affective framework for information behaviour research: a consideration of ‘trilogy of mind’ and ‘flow’
- Jela Steinerova, Perceptions of the information environment by researchers: a qualitative study
- Hue Thi Pham and Kirsty Williamson, A two-way street: collaboration and information sharing in academia. A theoretically-based, comparative Australian/Vietnamese study
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Indside the Diamond Building, University of Sheffield.

Monday, December 17, 2018

A practical vision for a health literate world #healthliteracy

The IUHPE Position statement on health literacy. A practical vision for a health literate world has been published. It was written by the The International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) Global Working Group on Health Literacy and will be officially presented in early 2019. The pdf is at and the page that announced it is here.
IUHPE also highlight a special issue of the journal Global Health Promotion (Volume 25 Issue 4, December 2018) focusing on health literacy. At first I was confused, since the editors for this special issue are exactly the same as for a special issue of another journal, that I blogged earlier this month. However, this does appear to be a different set of articles. It includes
- Cultural health literacy: the experiences of Māori in palliative care by Jacquie Kidd, Stella Black, Rawiri Blundell, Tamati Peni
- Development and testing of a framework for analysing health literacy in public policy documents by Anita Trezona, Sarity Dodson, Paulina Mech, Richard H. Osborne
- Health literacy practices in social virtual worlds and the influence on health behaviour by Evelyn McElhinney, Lisa Kidd, Francine M. Cheater
- Challenges and opportunities in building critical health literacy by Susie Sykes, Jane Wills
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: pampas grass, December 2018

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Impact of government and corporate surveillance on writers

An interesting new report produced for Scottish PEN, Scottish chilling: impact of government and corporate surveillance on writers. It is authored by Nik Williams, David McMenemy and Lauren Smith. The findings are based on 118 responses from an online survey and 8 interviews in 2016/7. They found that there is widespread concern among writers about government surveillance, about tech companies working with government. Writers reported changes in behaviour including self-censrship when they were writing or speaking. They also might avoid using search engines, email and other online communication in case they were monitored. The report ends with recommendations for the UK government.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Heartfelt Library Moments @HL_Moments

Deborah, Emily, Rhiannon and Elle (who are also studying here in my department, the Information School at the University of Sheffield) are looking for contributors to their new blog, Heartfelt Library Moments, which takes a  positive narrative approach. "We hope to create a space where we can share and collect experiences from a library/information setting that have made you feel proud, happy, confident, hopeful – when you have seen something wonderful or felt you have made a difference."
Of course this won’t be a 100% accurate representation of all the work librarians and other information professionals do. They encounter many difficult times and challenges. Instead, this will be one corner of the internet where we can share, celebrate and take pride in the powerful and beautiful things that libraries make happen."
The blog is at and you can submit your story here or tweet to @HL_Moments
Photo by Sheila Webber: apples at the farmer's market, December 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Who is fact checking for?

The Poynter Institute in the USA has a short series of podcasts about misinformation and fact-checking. The first full podcast Who is fact checking for? (18 minutes) was released yesterday. "Amy Sippitt talks about who reads stories from Full Fact, a fact-checking project in the United Kingdom (Spoiler: It's mostly men!) Then, Brendan Nyhan from the University of Michigan gives us the lowdown on which audience needs fact-checking the most." (They found out that "it was really people who were the most politically engaged, the most politically interested and knowledgeable, people that had the highest sense of political efficacy, people who tended to be more educated" that use fact-checking most.)
I found the podcast it on (embedded below) but it is also available through other channels. The transcript of the podcast is at Poynter is aggregating all the posts about these podcasts at

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Call for papers: News, Media and Disinformation

There is a call for papers for the 18th Annual Information Literacy Summit, with the theme News, Media and Disinformation: Making Sense in Today’s Information Landscape, to be held on April 5, 2019, organised by DePaul University Library and Moraine Valley Community College Library, and held at Moraine Valley Community College campus. The keynote speaker is Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, Associate Professor and MS/LIS Program Director, School of Information Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Deadline to submit proposals for breakout sessions and panels is January 11, 2019. There is more information here:
There is also a pull down menu on the site to see information on previous summits, and some of the presentations are available e.g. at
Photo by Sheila Webber: another shot of a Sheffield mosaic water feature (Howard Street Rill by Emma Biggs).

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Information Problem Solving model

Frerejean, J., Velthorst, G., van Strien, J., Kirschner, P. & Brand-Gruwel, S. (2019). Embedded instruction to learn information problem solving: Effects of a whole task approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 117-130.
It is always interesting, irritating and concerning when one discovers yet another group of academics outside the library and information field who are reinventing the infolit and information seeking wheel. In this case education researchers have developed through a number of articles a skill based model for "information problem solving", without reference to the existing literature. Their model is: Define the problem, search information, select information, process information, present information. I am blogging since it is obviously relevant to information literacy, and also they give a detailed account of their methods in setting up their pre- and post-test experiment, including a careful discussion of their data analysis. Key findings were (having set up an experimental situation of students trained using their model of information problem solving and students untrained) "Trained students improved their approach to searching and selecting information" but "Improvements were no longer visible on a test five weeks after training stopped."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield University campus, November 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Human Rights Day #standup4humanrights #libraries4humanrights

Today is Human Rights Day, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The official United Nations website is at  You can send in videos of you reading out one of the articles in your own language, and they already have many examples on the website.

IFLA has a briefing about the day for librarians here and also has a poster Libraries for Human Rights which can be downloaded here There are blog posts at focusing on library policy and advocacy for human rights.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Inclusive pedagogy framework

Not new, but you may be interested in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning's (CIRTL) Inclusive pedagogy framework. CIRTL is focused on teaching science and technology subjects in higher education, but I think it is applicable in other disciplinary areas. Go to
They say that "The construction of the inclusive pedagogy framework began by amalgamating the findings from two resources: a) a peer-reviewed synthesis article on inclusive practices in higher education (Salazar et al., 2010) and b) a practical checklist from the Universal Design of Instruction (UID checklist) based on the work of Chickering and Gamson (Does Your Curriculum Provide an Inclusive Environment? Is it IUD Friendly). After reviewing many papers on inclusive pedagogy, we found the Salazar et al. (2010) article to be the most comprehensive account of existing literature on inclusive teaching in higher education to date. The Inclusive Pedagogy Framework includes several practices that promote inclusive teaching. This framework focuses on 3 main aspects of Inclusive Pedagogy: Inclusive Communication, Inclusive Instructional Practices, and Designing Inclusive Curriculum."
I found this via an online article
Keyek-Franssen, D. (2018, November 14). 5 Tips for Supporting Inclusive and Open Pedagogies.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pampas grass, December 2018

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Podcast of the launch of the LSE Fighting Misinformation report

I blogged about the report from the LSE, Fighting Misinformation, and there is a podcast of the launch event held on 20 November in London. It includes contributions from Polly Curtis, Professor Sonia Livingstone, Dr Damian Tambini. Go to

Also from an LSE research: a blog post from earlier this week
Polizzi, G. (2018, December 3). Misinformation and critical digital literacy: To trust or not to trust?
Photo by Sheila webber: shadows on campus, December 2018

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

New articles: Comics; Funds of knowledge; Conceptions of Information Literacy; Videos; Dietetics; Informed Learning @JInfoLit

The latest issue of the open access Journal of Information Literacy has been published (volume 12, issue 2, 2018). It includes:
- The seven voices of information literacy (IL) by Veronica Cunningham, Dorothy Williams, Professor (4-23)
- Source evaluation behaviours of first-year university students by Elise Silva, Jessica Green, Cole Walker 24-43
- Drawing on students’ funds of knowledge by Amanda L. Folk 44-59
- Comics, questions, action! by Stephanie Margolin, Mason Brown, Sarah Ward 60-75
- Information literacy as a measurable construct by Helena Hollis 76-88
Project reports
- Supporting open information literacy via hybridised design experiments by Kristen Radsliff Rebmann 89-97 ("a project that forms connections between design experiment and informed learning approaches to designing learning activities supportive of open information literacy and scholarly communication among library and information science graduate students. "
- Beyond databases: Information literacy instruction for undergraduate students of dietetics by Dana Ingalls 98-112
- Putting levity into literacy: Professionally produced library instruction videos by Bogdana A. Marchis 113-120
- When the library steps in: Introducing media and information literacy as a programme for library professionals by Joseph Marmol Yap, April Ramos Manabat 131-141
- Examining student perceptions of their knowledge, roles, and power in the information cycle by Lucinda Rush 121-130
There are also conference updates and book reviews. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2018

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Health Literacy special issue

There is a special issue on Health Literacy in Context—Settings, Media, and Populations in the current volume of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) (volume 15 issue 12), with an eminent group of issue editors (including Don Nutbeam). There are 17 open-access articles including "Beyond Reading and Understanding: Health Literacy as the Capacity to Act"; "Progress in Implementing National Policies and Strategies for Health Literacy—What Have We Learned so Far?"; "Mental Health Literacy in Young Adults: Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire"; "Effective Partnership in Community-Based Health Promotion: Lessons from the Health Literacy Partnership." Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Seven Dials, London, November 2018

#FakeNews, Real Concerns: Developing Information Literate Students Workshop (repeat webinar on 5 December)

On December 5, 2018, at 2.30pm US Eastern time (which is 7.30pm UK tim) there's a repeat of the 90 minute workshop held in April: Fake News, Real Concerns: Developing Information Literate Students Workshop, run by Donald Barclay. Costs are US $60.00, ALA Member $ 54.00. "Recently, the phenomenon of fake news has exploded, leaving librarians and educators asking themselves how they can increase information literacy in a world that has been labeled “post truth” and where the phrase “alternative facts” has become common currency. But is fake news new? In this workshop, information literacy expert Donald Barclay uses a historical context to argue that while some of what we are seeing is new and unique to the Digital Age, much of it has been around for centuries. This workshop focuses on the challenges of developing information-literate students in an era marked by massive amounts of information, fake news, propaganda, and mistrust of authority. The workshop explores the factors contributing to today’s seeming distrust of authority in general and science in particular as well as discusses the problems with scholarly communication that contribute to that distrust. Barclay provides you with practical tools and techniques that you can use in the classroom to foster learning and develop students who are proactive, vet information for accuracy, and use technology as a resource to increase their information literacy skills. You’ll walk away with strategies and tactics to reach students in spite of all the noise and uncertainty of the current information landscape."
Photo by Sheila webber: autumn beech, November 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

Online courses: ACRL Framework: Backward Design

Both run by Andrea Baer
The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy: Reframing Teaching Practices. January 7 – February 17 2019. Price: US $250. "The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Association for College & Research Libraries) invites librarians to think in new and creative ways about how we support teaching and learning within and beyond the classroom. This interactive workshop is an opportunity to explore and to develop pedagogical approaches that draw from the Framework in order to help students develop critical, practical, and transferable information skills. Participants will also reflect on their roles as teaching partners and consider ways of approaching information literacy as a shared responsibility of all educators."
Backward Design for Information Literacy Education. February 18 – March 31 2019. Price: US $250. "Backward instructional design is iterative process that begins with considering learning goals, then determining acceptable evidence of learning, and addressing those outcomes through sequenced activities. Learn about and apply four essential pieces of backward design to your teaching practice: “big ideas” (i.e., conceptual understandings), learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing."
Photo by Sheila Webber: golden leaves, November 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

Online discussion: Financial literacy; December 10

On December 10 at 3pm-4pm USA Eastern time (which is 8-9pm UK time) the RUSA Financial Literacy Interest Group is hosting an online discussion "to talk about the financial literacy programs that get us and our patrons through to the end of the year and ready to start a new one. Join us to hear about and share your ideas for library programs on saving money for the holidays, homemade gifts on a budget, de-stressing in the face of financial distress, preparing finances for the new year, philanthropy, and more." The meeting is in Zoom. When it comes to the time, go to : There is also phone access points, and these are listed at  Meeting ID: 795 101 751
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn colour, November 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tackling the Information Crisis: A Policy Framework for Media Systems Resilience

Released last week was the report, Tackling the Information Crisis: A Policy Framework for Media Systems Resilience, published by the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology (T3) Commission. This is essentially a project driven by the LSE's Media and Communications Department, and including high-profile external advisors.

A headline argument is that "the information crisis is manifested in ‘five giant evils’ among the UK public – confusion, cynicism, fragmentation,irresponsibility and apathy." They propose setting up an "Independent Platform Agency", "Its purpose, initially, will be not direct regulation, but rather an ‘observatory and policy advice’ function, and a permanent institutional presence to encourage the various initiatives attempting to address problems of information" (p36). It would mainly focus on the way that platforms (e.g. Facebook) engage with content, but also include a proposed role to "Mobilise and coordinate all relevant actors to ensure an inclusive and sustained programme in media literacy for both children and adults, and conduct evaluations of initiatives. It should work with Ofcom to ensure sufficient evidence on the public’s critical news and information literacy."(p37, my emphasis). I think that this proposal is putting forward at a national level something like what EU expert group on misinformation was recommending at a pan-national level.

They urge that the "Department for Education should lead an inclusive educational framework to build digital literacy and the IPA would coordinate work with the BBC and public service broadcasters, libraries, the National Literacy Trust and the platforms" (p38, under "Government should mobilise and coordinate an integrated new programme in media literacy" - my emphasis)

They stress the value of Media Literacy, but the references to Information Literacy are confused. They identify media literacy as "A necessary condition for democracy in a digital age" (pp.25-27), but the only direct mention of information literacy is rather dismissive "In a crowded curriculum, neither Media Studies nor Citizenship education have been prioritised, with the former studied by only a minority and the latter barely finding space in the curriculum. ... Information literacy is in the Citizenship curriculum and that is compulsory, but there is little time for critical digital literacy."

Apart from this, there is the aforementioned prominent inclusion of "critical news and information literacy", but there is no explanation of what this means. This might seem like semantics, but this does tend to influence who is invited into initiatives and conversations - I think that in this context it would have been more helpful to talk about "Media and Information Literacy" throughout. No-one from the library or information side appears to have been centrally involved so far (though this seems to be an institutional initiative, rather than anything official, so obviously they can frame it how they wish).

The report can be downloaded from here:

The LSE Truth, Trust and Technology (T3) Commission aims to "work with experts, practitioners and the public to identify structural causes of media misinformation and set out a new framework for strategic policy. It is funded by the LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018 taken during the Global MIL conference.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Twitter chat #inclusiveinfolit on 7 December

The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) Instruction committee is hosting a Twitter Chat on "cultivating learning environments for students with diverse identities" using the hashtag #inclusiveinfolit on December 7 2018, at 12 noon USA Central time, which is 6pm UK time. As usual for a tweet chat, use the #inclusiveinfolit hashtag to follow the discussion and participate in it. There is a little more information on the CARLI website at
Photo taken by Sheila Webber, of the audience at the International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference in the 3D virtual world, Second Life, October 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

cfp theory and practice in information literacy

IFLA Journal and IFLA’s Library Theory and Research (LTR)and Information Literacy (IL) Sections have announced a call for papers for a special issue of IFLA Journal focused on theory and practice in information literacy. Guest Editors are Dr. Gaby Haddow and Dr. Min Chou. "Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: building new theory in information literacy; the challenges of applying theory in practice; the technology dimension in theoretical frameworks; how learning theories can inform practice; and cultural perspectives associated with learning."
Deadline for submission of articles for review is 30 June 2019.
IFLA Journal is hosted on ScholarOne™ Manuscripts, a web based online submission and peer review system. Read the Manuscript Submission guidelines, and then go to the IFLA Journal Manuscript submission webpage to login and submit your article online. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

Recent articles: information warfare; learning analytics; IL skills; people searching for others

A few articles on different topics that have caught my eye recently (open access apart from Parrigan (2017):
- Lynch, C. (2018). Managing the Cultural Record in the Information Warfare Era. Educause Review, 53(6) 94-95. (Interesting perspective from this long-time industry expert)
- Oakleaf, M. (2018). Library Integration in Institutional Learning Analytics (LIILA). (just published)
- Hebert, A. (2018). Information Literacy Skills of First-Year Library and Information Science Graduate Students: An Exploratory Study. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 13(3), 32-52.
- Selwyn, N., Johnson, N., Nemorin, S. & Knight, E. (2016). Going online on behalf of others: an investigation of ‘proxy’ internet consumers. Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Sydney, Australia. "using online services and applications on behalf of other adults who otherwise make limited use of the internet ... despite proxy internet users commonly involving themselves in important and/or ‘risky’ online activities – e.g. banking, personal finances and purchasing goods, few have considered the possible implications of their help to both themselves, or the person they are assisting."
- Parrigin, J. (2017). From request to assess: using cloud-based tools for the library instruction lifecycle. Library Hi Tech News, 34(6), 14-20. (priced)
Photo by Sheila Webber: roses in the kitchen, November 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Singapore: Media and Information Literacy initiatives, and Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods

From a news report (see below) I learnt that Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information haannounced plans to launch a national framework for information and media literacy in 2019, bringing together initiatives of various agencies, including the National Library Board:
- Chia, L. (2018, November 2). National framework to build information and media literacy to be launched in 2019: S Iswaran.
Following up on this, I found the complete text of the Minister's speech. It includes more detail about the initiatives and why they are considered important. He says that both legislation and education are needed, and that "An information literate population is our first line of defence".
- Ministry of Communications and Information. (2018, November 2). Remarks by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Media Literacy Council's Launch of the Fake News Campaign, 2 November 2018.
I also identified the web page for Singapore's Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods which presented its report in September 2018. This is interesting in providing a non-Western perspective and regional examples (although it also summarises examples from Europe and North America).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Singapore, 2013

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Recent articles: transliteracy; spatial; literacy; diversity literacy; media literacy; multimodal literacy

The latest issue of priced publication Reference Services Review is Volume 46 Issue 1. This is a special issue focusing on Emergent Literacies in Academic Libraries.
- Supporting multimodal literacy in library instruction by M. Delores Carlito (pp. 164 - 177)
- Toward a socio-contextual understanding of transliteracy by Amanda Hovious (pp. 178 - 188)
- Nurturing critical consumers and producers of narrative media by Jennie Goforth, Winifred Fordham Metz, Kelsey Hammer (pp. 189 - 204)
- Media literacy and newspapers of record by Scottie Kapel , Krista D. Schmidt (pp. 205 - 216)
- Of primary importance: applying the new literacy guidelines by Janet Hauck, Marc Robinson (pp. 217 - 241)
- Functional diversity literacy by JJ Pionke (pp. 242 - 250)
- Identifying information need through storytelling by Maria R. Barefoot (pp. 251 - 263)
- Thinking outside the box: a critical literacy collaborative by Vivian Bynoe ,Anne Katz (pp. 264 - 271)
- Library roles in advancing graduate peer-tutor agency and integrated academic literacies by Sarah McDaniel (pp. 272 - 293)
- An interlocking and interdependent ecology: The intersection of scientific and information literacies by Rebecca Zuege Kuglitsch (pp. 294 - 302)
- Applying spatial literacy to transform library space: a selected literature review by Juliet Kerico Gray, Melissa Burel, Marlee Graser, Karen Gallacci (pp. 303 - 316)
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn 2005

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Libraries for privacy: a digital security and privacy toolkit

A publication from Scottish PEN is: Libraries for privacy: a digital security and privacy toolkit: protecting library staff and users in the age of big data. It was published earlier in the year. It aims to give "clear and practical guidance, as well as facilitating broad, open and inclusive debate on the vital issues facing the realisation and understanding of our fundamental freedoms in digital spaces, within the context of Scottish libraries." It is available at
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2018

Monday, November 19, 2018

Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe

There is a call for papers on the new International Conference on Learning Information Literacy across the Globe, taking place on 10 May 2019 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Conference is a final stage of the Erasmus+ project Information Literacy Online. The deadline for abstracts is 15 December 2018.
They have been developing an Information Literacy MOOC "covering six language and cultural areas" "designed to improve students' abilities to cope with the claims of present-day information society." which will be launched in May 2019.
"The Conference will be a forum for the exchange of research and experience associated with Information Literacy (IL) Learning. Besides three keynotes and a panel, several tracks of paper sessions are planned. Submissions to the following topics of interest are invited: IL as a learning process, including assessment; Digital learning resources for IL (e.g. MOOCs, Learning-scenarios, OERs); Comparative studies of courses and curricula with an IL lens; Cultural diversity of IL; IL in connection with other literacy concepts". There are 3 options: Long-papers, Short-papers, and Posters. "The Long-paper track provides the opportunity to present state of the art research. The Short-paper and Poster tracks call for original ideas, application areas and schemes. The inclusion of results is encouraged but not required. Submitted abstracts should not exceed 400 (Long-papers) or 200 (Short-papers and posters) words.". The conference proceedings will be published online. If you submit an abstract you are expected to produce a full text paper: 10 pages for long papers, 2 pages for short papers; due 29 January 2019.
Go to for more information and a link to the online submission portal.
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn branches, November 2018

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Word clouds and questions: Slido, Tagxedo and Worditout

Today I'm mentioning two applications that I just came across and am using in teaching sessions, and one that I like but which is getting harder to use. I'll start by saying that the two things I wanted to do were: (1) Create a word cloud from a padlet on which students had posted their initial ideas about information literacy, at the start of the semester and (2) enable students in class to type in ideas for information literacy research, and then vote for the ones they thought were most important.
First of all, apps for creating word clouds using a desktop PC. My favourite for creating word clouds from web pages etc. has been Tagxedo and the illustration to this post is a Tagxedo wordcloud of this blog's home page. I like it because you can easily exclude words, change the colour scheme and fonts, and you can have the word cloud in cute shapes like this cat. However, it requires Silverlight, and even if you install Silverlight, it still won't function with a lot of common browsers: I had to use Internet Explorer to get it to work. Nevertheless, it has that good functionality, and it allows you to save the image in various formats and sizes, without trying to sell you stuff, so I will still use it when I can.
However, I thought I should track down something that worked without having to install anything. As Wordle say on their website "the Wordle web toy no longer works for most people", although you can download a desktop app. Thus I ended up with Worditout which doesn't have as much functionality, you can't download a version without saving it as a webpage, and they are keen to get you to plaster the resulting wordcloud on a tshirt/mug. However, you can change the wordcloud colours, remove words from the cloud, and also correct the words in the cloud (which was actually useful in my case, as I you can't read text from a padlet page, I had to create a pdf and copy/paste from that, and for some reason there were a couple of textual glitches).
For my second task, I remembered having been in meetings where you were asked to submit questions online, and vote for ones you most wanted answered. I think there are numerous apps that do this, but the one I came across first (thanks to this article: 19 must-have apps for better business meetings) was Slido. You can use it for free in a limited form (3 polls and 1 brainstorming session per event, and a number of features not enabled), but that was enough for my purposes. You set up an event, you get an event code, and you can (1) get people to type in free text questions (in my case, research questions or aims!) and then they can click on ones they want to upvote and (2) create polls. All you have to do is give people the Slido web address and the event code and they can go ahead and use the functions.
If you have any favourites in the above categories, do add comments to the post.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Recent articles: Pedagogy; First Year experience; Transition; Cognitive dissonance: Credit course

Recent articles from the priced journal Journal of Academic Librarianship: Firstly from the latest complete issue, Volume 44, Issue 5 (September 2018)
- The Actor-oriented Transfer Perspective in Information Literacy Instruction by Karen Sobel (Pages 627-632)
- We May Be Teaching Information Literacy, but Are the Design First Year Students Actually Getting It? by Debby R. Wegener (Pages 633-641)
- Ecological Study of Graduation Rates and GPA in a Library Credit Course by Christina Heady, Megan M. Morrison, Joshua Vossler (Pages 642-649)
Go to:

There is one article at time of writing in the "in progress" Volume 45, Issue 1 (January 2019)
- Architects, Renovators, Builders, and Fragmenters: A Model for First Year Students' Self-perceptions and Perceptions of Information Literacy by Maoria J. Kirker, Ilana Stonebraker. (Pages 1-8). "This year long qualitative study uses cognitive dissonance theory to examine first-year students' changing perceptions of their information literacy competencies throughout their freshman year."
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: tree wrapped in Remembrance Day poppies, Blackheath, November 2018

Survey on use of ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards

Dana Statton Thompson (Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business) is doing a research study on academic librarians’ perceptions and use of the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education ( in their instruction and/or research. She's "interested in hearing from both librarians who have used the ACRL Visual Literacy Standards and those who have not."The survey is at

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Recent articles: Apps for IL teaching; #ACRLframework use; Reflection; Collaboration

Recent articles from the open access journal College & Research Libraries News:
- Basile, A. & Matis, S. (2018). Is there an app for that? A review of mobile apps for information literacy classes. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10). They discuss the pros and cons of Padlet (which sadly now only allows a few padlets for new users, but I find it a very useful tool in teaching); Socrative; Mindomo; and AnswerGarden.
- Green, E. (2018) Meet them in the proximal zone: Introducing framework concepts to “novice learners” using reference sources. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10).
- Pullman, E. (2018). Applying the Framework as a reflective tool: A teacher learner perspective.College & Research Libraries News, 79(8).
- Chen, Y-H. (2018) Faculty/librarian collaborations enhance doctoral student success: Strategies for retention and graduation. College & Research Libraries News, 79(10).
- Vine, R. (2018) Realigning liaison with university priorities: Observations from ARL Liaison Institutes 2015–18. College & Research Libraries News, 79(8). Their 3 concluding recommendations are: "Foster more frequent and deeper communication between librarians and faculty to understand their research and teaching challenges","Find ways to help librarians use internal teaming and collaborations to solve university challenges","Increase liaison activity with non-departmentalized units on campus, which are often drivers of institutional initiatives and university priorities."

Photo by Sheila Webber: little library in Kaunas, Lithiania (it just had one rather damp paperback in it), October 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Courses: Crash Course in Assessing Library Instruction; Addressing Misinformation and Fake News; SoTL

Some Library Juice Academy online short courses coming up in the new year are:
- Crash Course in Assessing Library Instruction (Instructor: Candice Benjes-Small); Runs January 7th to February 1st 2019. Price: US $175
- Addressing Misinformation and Fake News: Resources and Strategies (Instructor: Sarah Morris) Runs January 7th to February 1st 2019. Price: US $175
- An Introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Instructor: Lauren Hays) Runs February 4th to March 1st 2019. Price: US $175
Photo by Sheila webber: remebrance day knitted poppies, Blackheath, November 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Collective #LibCol19

The Collective, March 6-8 2019,in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA is an unconference style conference, with many interesting sessions proposed, including some on information literacy. Registration costs US $86.50 and includes: "a light continental breakfast, snacks, and coffee Thursday and Friday, the opening night dinner and reception on Thursday, and a lovely swag bag." Registration at and full info on the conference programme etc. at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Shadows, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Featured Teaching Librarian: Jenny Stout

There is an interview with ACRL's latest "featured teaching librarian", Jenny Stout, Teaching and Learning Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. It is at

Friday, November 09, 2018

Information Literacy Teaching for New(er) Professionals in the South West

On March 4 "019 there will be a one-day event run by the Information Literacy Group (ILG) of CILIP in Bristol, UK: Information Literacy Teaching for New(er) Professionals in the South West. This is "particularly suited to new professionals or those new to teaching Information Literacy and associated skills.This day will introduce some key Information Literacy frameworks and give an overview of key ideas associated with teaching information skills." The trainers are Abi Ward, Jane Secker, and Andrew Walsh. Costs are: students / unemployed £50; CILIP members £90; others £120. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: scattered leaves, October 2018

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Webinar: Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Developing Programs for Undergraduate Researchers

There is a priced webinar from ACRL on November 13 2018, at 1pm-2.30pm US Central time (which is a 7pm start for those in the UK). The topic is: Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Developing Programs for Undergraduate Researchers. Costs are: ACRL member: US $50; ALA member: $75; Nonmember: $90; Student: $40; Group*: $295. "Undergraduate research is one of several high-impact educational practices identified by George Kuh and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and is increasingly seen as a vital part of the undergraduate experience. Research helps students connect the dots between their interests, general education courses, writing requirements, and major coursework, and increases learning, retention, enrollment in graduate education, and engagement in future work. During this interactive webcast, presenters will discuss the process, issues, and ultimate practice recommendations from three of the case studies covered in their recent ACRL book, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices: developing archival literacy and conducting original research in the archives at Purdue; subject specialized data management at Carleton College; and first year undergraduate research experiences at the University of Oklahoma."
Presenters: Tracy B. Grimm, Associate Head of Archives and Special Collection and Barron Hilton Archivist for Flight and Space Exploration, Purdue University Libraries’ Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center; Norm Medeiros, Associate Librarian, Haverford College; Tim O’Neil, Assistant Director of Special Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, University of Colorado Boulder; Matt Upson, Director of Library Undergraduate Instruction and Outreach Services, Oklahoma State University. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, Sheffield, October 2018

IL spaces and wonder; Game on!; Staff education

Three interesting blog posts from other blogs!
- The mature student encounters the wonders of library services by Rose O’Connor (Project Coordinator and Junior Researcher, Massey University, NZ) (this is from the blog on the website of the IL spaces project in New Zealand which "aims to improve students’ information literacy competencies and learning across the senior secondary and tertiary sectors.")
- Game On: Enhancing engagement, interaction and reflection in library workshops by Adam Edwards and Vanessa Hill (The Sheppard Library, Middlesex University, UK)
- Thinking holistically about information and digital literacy: musings from a heady June day by Steve McIndoe (Faculty Librarian for Arts and Humanities at the University of Sheffield, UK)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Outside a wool shop, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Monday, November 05, 2018

UCISA 2018 Report on their Technology Enhanced Learning survey

UCISA (the "member-led professional body for digital practitioners within education" in the UK) have produced their survey-based annual review of Technology Enhanced Learning in UK higher education. Although I think there is a caveat (see below) it is a useful document which presents a perspective on TEL development.
Conclusions include that the top five services are " the virtual learning environment (VLE), text matching tools, provision for the electronic management of assignments (EMA), reading list software and lecture capture provision", with over half of the respondents having their VLE externally hosted. "Despite the investment in TEL services, we are not seeing major changes in the way that technology is being used to support learning, teaching and assessment activities. Blended learning delivery focusing on the provision of lecture notes and supplementary resources to students still represents the most commonly supported activity, with active learning, open learning and fully online course delivery modes showing little change from 2016." There has been "slow progress" on fully online delivery but "institutions are exploring ways of expanding their fully online provision through the creation of dedicated distance learning units and collaboration arrangements with external/ commercial partners."
My reservations about the report are that the respondents are those in charge of, or engaged with TEL provision, and therefore this is not a fully rounded perspective on what might be happening in institutions, especially as both educators and students are increasingly using technology not provided by the institution. It says at the end of the executive summary that "Lack of academic staff knowledge re-emerges as one of the top three barriers to TEL development in this year’s Survey, in combination with lack of time and a supportive departmental/school culture." However, I think it should be emphasised that this is the opinion of people in charge of TEL, who are not necessarily unbiased in their perceptions of barriers. As was emphasised at a meeting I was at recently, academic staff (like me) may perceive the barriers rather differently: e.g. as a lack of institutional support for academic staff, and technical, policy, infrastructure and physical space constraints on what academic staff can do ;-)  The report is at
Photo by Sheila webber: Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018

Friday, November 02, 2018

#AFMIL The Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate City: Combining policies and strategies for ageing populations in media and information rich societies #GlobalMILweek

This is the presentation that Bill Johnston and I gave at the Global Media and Information Literacy week conference in Kaunas, Lithuania last week. The presentation was only allowed to be 10 minutes, so I also include here the extended abstract, which was written when we though we were going to have more time than that! We are launching the concept of #AFMIL: Age-Friendly media and Information Literate cities.

Abstract: This paper examines the intersection between the Media and Information Literate (MIL) city and the Age-friendly city and considers the alignments between the two concepts. We contend that a MIL city develops and enables the MIL of its citizens and (through its policies, procedures and representatives) itself engages with its citizens in a media and information literate manner. A MIL city should collect, communicate and manage the information needed by its citizens, at all stages of their lifecourse, applying ethical and transparent information policies. However, earlier research by the authors identified that government’s information illiteracy is a problem (Webber and Johnston, 2002). Recent research has shown, e.g., that information needs of older people and their carers are not met by local government even when legislation seems to require it (Baxter et al; 2017; Think Local Act Personal, 2017).
Demographic ageing is a key challenge for societies and numerous issues arise: risk of intergenerational inequality; negative portrayal of older people in the media; need for urban renewal for anticipated population changes; specific adjustments in health, care and housing to accommodate older people; need for opposition to ageist behaviour (Johnston, 2016). Age-friendly Cities are one of the international responses to these issues. The World Health Organization (2017 p.3) identifies that “Age-friendly cities and communities foster healthy and active ageing and thus enable well-being throughout life. They help people to remain independent for as long as possible, and provide care and protection when they are needed, respecting older people’s autonomy and dignity.”
“Communication and information” is one of eight policy domains identified in the WHO (2017) Handbook for age-friendly environments. Some recommendations intersect with objectives familiar from “smart city” initiatives (e.g. digital connectivity for good access to assistive technologies in the home; smartphone apps tailored to needs of older people; closing the digital divide). However, the Handbook also identifies that age-friendly communication and information involves using word-of-mouth, traditional media, public meetings and neighbourhood centres. It means improving the accessibility of all forms of communication (from websites to signage).
An Age-friendly MIL (AFMIL) city values its older citizens. It pays attention to older people’s MIL development through specific policies and service programmes and enables them to contribute their own experience and stories using their MIL skills, recognising that “Every citizen is a creator of information/knowledge and has a message” (UNESCO, 2016). An AFMIL city identifies and satisfies citizens’ differing preferences for media and information channels. This includes recognising that older citizens are not one homogenous group and should not be stereotyped as deficient in their capacity to engage with MIL. Some older citizens may be adept users of virtual worlds, social media and the internet of things, demanding optimum broadband connectivity. Others may prefer to get their information from trusted human sources. AFMIL cities also need to be understood in terms of the varied contexts of power and authority in different national settings.
In this paper the authors draw together elements from frameworks for age-friendly, “smart” and MIL environments, and from research into information needs of older people, (such as those cited above) to present an encompassing analysis to generate new practices. They will also give some examples of cities pursuing age friendly developments, which could act as sites for MIL initiatives.
In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “As we get older, our rights do not change. As we get older, we are no less human and should not become invisible” (HelpAge International, 2016, p.3).
Baxter, K. et al (2017). Older self-funders and their information needs. Social Policy Research Unit, University of York.
HelpAge International. (2016). Global Age Watch Index 2015 Insight report.
Johnston, B. (2016). Ageing and information: The Scottish older people’s movement. Library and Information Research, 40(123), 4-13.
Think Local Act Personal. (2017) Survey Results Exploring the impact of the Care Act on the lives of people with care and support needs.
UNESCO. (2016). Five laws of MIL.
Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2002). Information literacy: the social action agenda. In: D. Booker. (Ed.) Information Literacy: The Social Action Agenda: Proceedings of the 5th National Information Literacy Conference. Adelaide: UNISA Library. 68-80.
World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. (2017). Age-friendly environments in Europe: A handbook of domains for policy action. Copenhagen: WHO.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

News on News

SLA Europe has organised an event on 21 November 2018, 18.00-21.30 in London, UK: News on News. It is free to SLA members, £15 to others. It is "an evening with three subject matter experts. Hear from our speakers on the applications of artificial intelligence, solving fake news and the impact of social media on traditional news media.After hearing from our expert speakers, continue the discussions afterwards and network with colleagues and contacts over food and drinks." The three talks are:
- Present and future applications of artificial intelligence for current awareness. Dr Andrew Duchon, Director of Data Science, Manzama Inc
- How social media changed everything and nothing in the newsroom. Martin Buchan, The Guardian
- Fifty shades of fake, 12 months on. Jo Tinning-Clowes
Get your ticket at
Photo by Sheila Webber: taken at the Global MIL Conference last week.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Free webinar: Impressions of #globalMILweek and UNESCO's MIL initiatives from me and IFLA's Stephen Wyber

At 2pm-2.30 pm (which is 10-10.30am US EST, see for start times elsewhere in the world) Wednesday 31st Oct, I (Sheila Webber, Information School, University of Sheffield) and Stephen Wyber (IFLA Manager, Policy and Advocacy, pictured right) will give our Impressions of the Global MIL Week feature conference. Join the webinar at I presented at the conference, and I will also include a brief talk about #AFMIL - Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate cities

Today! 30 Oct: Twitter Webinar: Tackling disinformation with Media and Information Literacy #GlobalMILweek @Livingstone_S @jesuslau @100yrsofsol

UNESCO has organised an international Twitter event today. experts will post tweets and you can engage with her/him using the hashtag #GlobalMILweek
Sonia Livingstone @Livingstone_S (Professor, London School of Economics) will be engaging 3pm-4pm UK time (see for times elsewhere in the world), Jesus Lau @jesuslau (Professor, Universidad Veracruzana) will be engaging 11am-12.30pm Mexico City time (starting 5pm UK time, see for times elsewhere in the world) and Maha Bashri @100yrsofsol (Associate Professor, United Arab Emirates University) will be engaging 5pm-6.30pm Abu Dhabi time (1pm start UK time, see your local time here