Sunday, December 29, 2019

Recent articles: geography; assessment; misinformation in science

The first is expensive, but looks useful if you work with geography students:
- Waller, R., Miller, G. And Schultz, D. (2019). Information literacy: benefits, challenges and practical strategies. In H.Walkington., J.Hill and S.Dyer. (Eds) Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Geography. Edward Elgar. Go here
"Information literacy encapsulates the varied skills or behaviours required to make effective use of information resources. There is a growing recognition of the need for learners to develop these skills in an information age characterised by a proliferation of information of uncertain quality and reliability. From the perspective of learning and teaching in geography, information literacy skills allow students to work more independently, to engage with the research ‘cutting edge’, to appreciate the plural and contested nature of the subject, and to place their own work within its broader academic context. Whilst recent technological developments have been beneficial, the limited development of information literacy skills within secondary education can pose significant problems for learners making the transition into higher education. This chapter considers the key conceptual frameworks, the challenges faced by students, and the practical strategies than can help students to engage effectively within academic research literature."
- Walters, W. (2020). A multi method information literacy assessment program: foundation and early results. portal: libraries and the academy, 20(1), 101-135.
- Zakharov, W., Li, H., & Fosmire, M. (2019). Undergraduates' News Consumption and Perceptions of Fake News in Science. portal: Libraries and the Academy 19(4), 653-665.
Photo by Sheila Webber: wreaths of South London 2

Friday, December 27, 2019

Courses on systematic review

Searching the Evidence for Mixed Methods Reviews: Day 1, 31st March 2020; Days 2 and 3, 1-2nd April 2020; Leeds, UK. Day 1 delivered by Judy Wright, Natalie King and Naila Dracup, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds. It enables  "A strong understanding of best practice search methods for mixed-methods reviews; Practical skills in search techniques, resource selection and managing reference records". Days 2 and 3 delivered by Dr Katy Sutcliffe, Deputy Director of the Department of Health Reviews Facility, EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education, University of London with guest speakers Dr Joanne Greenhalgh, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds and Dr Helen Elsey, University of York. They enable "The purpose and value of mixed-methods systematic reviews; Methods for synthesising qualitative and quantitative research including explanatory sequential, exploratory sequential, and convergent synthesis methods including an overview of realist synthesis methods"
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Peter Jones, December 2019

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas everyone!

A happy and information literate Christmas to all readers of my blog!
Photo: the Christmas wreath I made this year (I make one out of the lower branches of our Christmas tree)

Monday, December 23, 2019

Recent articles: Information needs of children in hospital; Collaboration in teaching

Two articles, one from outside the library and information science field, one from inside. It is ... interesting ... how the health literacy field has developed into an alternate (health) information behaviour research field that is carrying out good research, with no connection to the information behaviour literature.
- Bray, L, Appleton, V, Sharpe, A. (2019). The information needs of children having clinical procedures in hospital: Will it hurt? Will I feel scared? What can I do to stay calm? Child Care Health Developement, 45, 737– 743.
"Children often have unmet information needs when attending hospital, and this can cause them anxiety and uncertainty. If children are prepared and informed about what will happen during a procedure, they tend to have a better experience ... This study set out to investigate children's perspectives of what information is important and valuable to know before attending hospital for a planned procedure. ... A “write and tell” activity sheet underpinned a semistructured qualitative interview with children attending hospital for a planned procedure. The interview focussed on the information children thought was important to know before a procedure. Data were analysed using content analysis techniques. ... One hundred six children aged between 8 and 12 years old participated in the interviews. The children identified 616 pieces of information they thought would be of value to children attending hospital for procedures. These were inductively coded into three types of information: procedural, sensory, and self‐regulation. Children want to know detailed procedural and sensory information to actively construct a script of a procedure and then build on this with information about specific strategies to help them cope with and self‐regulate the situation."

-Witek, Donna and Dalgin, Rebecca Spirito (2019). Collaborative Information Literacy Practices to Connect Theory to Practice in Rehabilitation Counseling Students. Collaborative Librarianship, 11(3), Article 6.
"The authors offer this case study of collaborating to scaffold information literacy learning into a semester-long research assignment within an undergraduate rehabilitation services course. The goal of the partnership was to teach students to research a rehabilitation theory/intervention in the professional literature and connect the evidence to rehabilitation services available locally for individuals with disabilities. Specific collaborative practices are identified as essential to the success of this pedagogical project, specifically the giving of time, the scaffolding of learning, and the continual return to reflection in the teaching and learning process, which are all enabled by the sharing of expertise between partners. The authors affirm that collaboration between librarians and course faculty in the counseling and human services fields improves outcomes for connecting theory to practice. This is an important component of evidence-based practice to develop in students the essential dispositions of more mindful and ethical future human services professionals."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Christmas decorations in Peter Jones, December 2019

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Librarian gifts: Ascendance of a bookworm

My previous suggestion (Desk Set) was released in 1957 and my final one is just finishing its run now, but I have to admit that Desk Set has a more rounded and contemporary view of librarians than does Ascendance of a Bookworm. However, I thought I should throw in something very new, and it will appeal to fans of cute Japanese anime. Myne (our heroine) has just achieved her ambition of becoming a librarian (because she LOVES BOOKS) when she gets killed by an earthquake (or more specifically, is buried under a load of books during an earthquake). She wakes up, however - to discover she has been reincarnated as a young girl in a vaguely mediaeval alternate world (this anime is an example of the isekai genre of anime). To her distress she discovers that her new family has no books, and indeed that making her own books might be the only way to get a book, since only rich people can afford them.
The episodes so far are about her persistent attempts to make paper (which in turn, she realises, means learning how to make the tools needed to make paper), to learn to read in a new language etc. and to gradually learn the truth about the mysterious fevers that attack her ...
I think you'll know by now whether this is the type of thing you or any librarian friends would be keen on. It is particularly slow moving at the start, but it gives time for character development and - anyway, I'm still watching it 12 episodes in (the final ones are streamed at Christmas).
If you were giving this as a gift what you would you would actually be giving is a subscription to Crunchyroll (which would be a good gift for someone who likes anime anyway, as it streams lots of anime series). Otherwise you can watch it for free, the main disadvantage being that each episode would be interrupted numerous times by adverts (you also have delayed access to each episode). It streams here and below is the trailer ("I'll stop at nothing to become a librarian!).

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate #AFMIL City: older people as creative and critical

The latest issue of the Journal of Information Literacy includes an article by me and Bill Johnston (open access). As well as drawing on our long-standing interest in IL, it also developed out of Bill's engagement with the older people's movement in Scotland, and our interest in Media and Information Literacy for all in society. We are reacting against the negative and patronising way in which older people are often portrayed as users of social media and online information. The abstract is as follows, and the diagram is the one we present in the paper
"This paper proposes a model for developing an Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate (#AFMIL) city. It starts by addressing general issues concerning ageing and ageism. Key features of UNESCO’s framework for a media and information literate city are described. The authors proceed to identify relevant international handbooks, guidelines and initiatives concerning age-friendly environments, cities for human rights, smart cities, creative cities and informational cities. Drawing on these documents, the authors outline a model for developing an #AFMIL city, centred on older people enacting three roles: their role as consumers of media and information; older people as represented in the media; and older people in their role as creators, critics and innovators. They highlight the role of librarians in this development."
Webber, S., & Johnston, B. (2019). The Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate (#AFMIL) City: Combining policies and strategies for ageing populations in media and information rich societies. Journal Of Information Literacy, 13(2), 276-291.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Readings in Job Placement and Diversity

Thanks to Esther Grassian for highlighting an annotated bibliography Readings in Job Placement and Diversity, in the current issue of the Music Library Association Newsletter (no. 106, November/December 2019. Although a couple of them are focused on music (and there is also a North American focus) most of the items address the issue more generally. There are a couple which are specifically relevant to information literacy too. The brief introduction is on p.13 and the bibliography is from pages 14-22. Download the whole issue at (the newsletter home page is here)
Photo by Sheila Webber: taken in Ahiru Village in Second Life

Not so recent articles: Information behaviour; Reflective journals; Embedding digital citizenship

A few articles I missed first time round (all open access):
- Steinerová, J. (2016). Information literacy studies and human information behaviour. Paper presented at NASIV Visegrád-V4 information education workshop in Brno. (a useful review)
- Dunne, S. and Sheridan, V. (2012). Developing First Year Student Information Literacy: Reflections On The Learning Process. AISHE-J, 4(1). "This article evaluates first year student’s engagement with information literacy as they make the transition to third level education. For part of their assessment for a core module, students maintained reflective journals. These journals have provided the data for a qualitative, grounded theory study which has been analysed by the academic and librarian who delivered the module. Results demonstrate that students find transition problematic and spend their first semester in a state of uncertainty but the reflective journals aid them in thinking about their achievements in relation to their developing academic skills, including information literacy, during their first semester.
- Cooney, C., Nugent, K. and Howard, K. (2018). Embedding Digital Citizenship In A Higher Education Institute. AISHE-J, 10(2). "This paper presents an account of the genesis, rationale and implementation of an initiative to promote responsible Digital Citizenship in Higher Education settings. The genesis was concern about the negative impacts of inappropriate online activity within the DkIT community. The norms of virtual interaction appeared to be different to those which shape our face to face, physical interactions. Therefore, our rationale was to create a dialogue within our HE setting that sought to challenge this false division. The initiative's theoretical underpinning synthesised literature from Community Development, Republican Citizenship and the Social Psychology of online communications. We implemented a two strand response: firstly an awareness raising, train-the-trainer model of peer-led workshops, which is now embedded as part of the first year students’ formal induction. Secondly, a proposed mediation process based on Restorative Justice principles to allow those harmed by the Social Media actions of others to be heard and their concerns addressed. The evaluation of our initiative indicates the emergence of cultural change within our institution in relation to online behaviour. Furthermore this knowledge and experience will contribute to and inform discussions about how best to shape the norms of online interaction within and across our HE communities."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wreaths of Kelham Island 2, December 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Teaching Skills for Library Staff

Teaching Skills for Library Staff is a one-day course, to be held on 21 April 2020,  in Leicester, UK, and taught by Chris Powis and Jo Webb. "The course which aims to build on participants’ current experiences of teaching information skills in libraries and learning centres, offers stimulating discussion and an excellent opportunity to share experiences. If you are working with young people, students, small groups of library users or staff this course will help you develop your skills as a teacher and trainer." (though at time of writing the links from that page were not working, so you could instead email
Added 16 Jan 2020: these links do work: Full details at
Booking Form at

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Librarian Gifts: Desk Set - hurrah for Hollywood

My next gift suggestion is, as far as I know, the only Hollywood film about the impact of automation on the workplace library. Desk Set has an all-star cast. Katharine Hepburn is in charge of the reference library at Federal Broadcasting Network, managing a team of savvy librarians, mostly providing their service over the phone. Spencer Tracy is the computing and efficiency expert bought in to see whether EMERAC ("Electromagnetic MEmory and Research Arithmetical Calculator"), a computer the size of a small room, can improve the reference service. The librarians assume that it's going to replace them, merry jinks ensue and there are no prizes for guessing whether Hepburn ends up with Tracey or smooth executive Gig Young. Altogether there are some excellent performances, a glimpse into librarianship of yesteryear and (spoiler alert!) a happy end. As you will see in the trailer, it even has a seasonal Christmas party scene.

Despite the film's age, the DVD seems readily available through the usual outlets.

Against the one-shot; Interdisciplinarity; Digital Library Pedagogy

An assortment of items. Firstly a lengthy and thoughtful blog post about the need to demand collegiality and, as a manager, to push back against the one-shot:
- Seeber, K. (2019, December 16). Colleagues.

Secondly an item that is sadly expensive (on the Springer website), but sounds interesting:
- Leonard A.E. (2019). Information Literacy in Place-Based Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning. In R. Lansiquot & S. MacDonald. (Eds.). Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Virtual Place-Based Learning. Cham: Palgrave Pivot. "This chapter explores the role of information literacy in virtual or hybrid place-based interdisciplinary courses. Whether teaching as a guest lecturer or as a co-instructor, I infuse information literacy competencies into assignments, relying on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Four of the six frames of the Framework map especially well to interdisciplinary teaching and learning: information has value, authority is contested and contextual, research as inquiry, and searching as strategic exploration. Through searching in special collections and archives and integrating digitized primary sources into research projects students engage in a virtual exploration of place, becoming familiar with it through digitized primary sources. At the same time, the interdisciplinary approach helps students gain a critical perspective on information production and preservation."

Finally, there has been a call to volunteer as part of the Digital Library Pedagogy team: which "is a grassroots community of practice ... We empower digital library practitioners to see themselves as teachers and equip teaching librarians to engage learners in how digital library technologies shape our knowledge infrastructure". There is more information on the initiative here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wreaths of Kelham Island 1, December 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Call for proposals: Library Instruction Tennessee Conference

The 2020 Library Instruction Tennessee Conference has the theme of Transformation and takes place on June 12 2020 in Clarksville, Tennessee. "What has been transformative in your practice? What steps have you taken in your transformation? What pedagogies, tools, or practices have you considered (or discarded) on your path? How have you succeeded, or even more transformative, how have you failed? We’d love to see proposals about: Engagement and Outreach; Assessment; Pedagogy; Andragogy; Technology; Critical Information Literacy; Reflective Practice and Self Care; Professional Tips for New Instruction Librarians; Hiring, Onboarding, and Management in Instructional Services" Go to

Monday, December 16, 2019

New book: Informed Societies

A new book from Facet, edited by Stéphane Goldstein: Informed Societies: Why information literacy matters for citizenship, participation and democracy (ISBN 9781783304226, price £74.95, CILIP members price: £59.95) It includes the chapters
- The discourses of power, information and literacy by Andrew Whitworth
- What intellectual empathy can offer information literacy education by Andrea Baer
- Media and information literacy: intersection and evolution, a brief history by Jesús Lau and Alton Grizzle
- Information literacy and national policy making by John Crawford
- Information literacy as a growth pillar for a fledgling democracy by Reggie Raju, Glynnis Johnson and Zanele Majebe
- Libraries and democracy: complementarity in a regime of truth by Hilary Yerbury and Maureen Henninger
- Scottish public libraries welcome Syrian new Scots: a transition from being a refugee to becoming an active part of the community by Konstantina Martzoukou
- Information literacy, lifelong learning and the needs of an ageing population by Bill Johnston
Go to

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Collaborative Information Behaviour; Cognitive bias; Joyful information seeking

The symposium of the ASIS&T Special Interest Group on Information Needs Seeking and Use (SIG USE) at the ASIS&T annual conference in October 2019 focused on "on the impact and engagement of information behavior research" and the symposium page has links to either papers or presentations of the talks. These include the following (the note after the title/author indicates what is on the website, not the format presented at the conference)
- Relationship between cognitive biases and some information behavior concepts by Sara Behimehr and Hamid R. Jamali (a short paper)
- Joyful Information Seeking in Serious Leisure Practice by Yazdan Mansourian (a short paper)
- “This is really interesting. I never even thought about this”: Methodological strategies for studying invisible information work by Pamela J. McKenzie and Nicole K. Dalmer (ppt presentation)
- Information Spheres: Collaborative information behavior within project teams by Franklin Riley and David K. Allen (paper)
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Starting my "Xmas wreaths of South London" series early this year, December 2019

Friday, December 13, 2019

Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL) mini-conference

Southern California Instruction Librarians (SCIL) hosts SCIL Works: Disaster Planning: Bouncing back from Instructional Fails on January 17, 2020 at CSU Long Beach, USA. "This annual mini-conference offers librarians the opportunity to share their best practices, innovative pedagogy, and creative solutions with colleagues. SCIL Works 2020 will focus on the many ways in which instruction librarians have adapted and bounced back from lesson plans that didn't quite work as expected." Registration at (US $30 for CARL Members | $45 for Non-Members | $15 for Students)

Gift ideas for librarians: the Invisible Library series

I continue my short series of librarian gifts. By the way, these are all works of fiction/ fantasy which feature librarians: real librarians' are diverse and so are their tastes, so I'm not straying beyond that boundary.
About a year ago I came across the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman, and I've consumed five of the six books published so far. The heroine, Irene, is a Librarian, in a universe where fae and dragons are constantly on the brink of war, there are alternate worlds galore, and the Library is key in maintaining the order of the universe and preventing human worlds from getting squashed by more powerful beings. This order is maintained by librarians obtaining all variations of all books ever published and depositing them in The Library, thus forming stable connections with the worlds from which the books were purloined.
Since tracking down and obtaining books by whatever means is the key function of a Librarian, the skillset is a bit different from the one outlined in CILIP's Professional Skill and Knowledge Base (and indeed from the curriculum here at the University of Sheffield Information School).
As Cogman says in an interview appended to The masked city "Languages are very important ... General physical health, martial arts skills and great marksmanship are all useful - as is the ability to run fast when needed." After also mentioning diplomacy, spycraft, burglary, art theory and literary criticism, Cogman sums up "The perfect Librarian is calm, cool, collected, intelligent, multilingual, a crack shot, a martial artist, an Olympic-level runner ... a good swimmer, an expert thief and a genius con artist" although "In practice, most Librarians would rather spend their time reading a good book".
I should add that using catalogues and search engines is important to Librarians, and obviously collection development is at the heart of their work. Irene's information literacy is well developed, as she uses all her senses to gather information in any given world/situation and then applies this to everyday life decision-making, in order to avoid death and mass destruction.
I think one of the reasons I took to the series is to do with my time at the British Library, which we referred to internally as The Library, as if it were the only one in the universe. However, Cogman's series may appeal to anyone who likes alternate worlds, fantasy action, and books.
Genevieve Cogman's website is here and it has links to online booksellers, as well as her blog etc.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

New articles: Older people; #AFMIL ; Informed Learning; Teachers; Professional infolit; health sciences; pedagogy - and more!

There is a new issue of the open access Journal of Information Literacy (volume 13, number 2). It includes an article co-authored by me which I will be blogging more about, separately and is a bumper issue with articles addressing research and practice. It contains:
- Connecting with the underland by Dorothy Williams (this is the guest editorial introducing the issue, here underland means "hidden layers and deep networks, created by nature and by humankind, beneath our feet in cities and countryside")
- Older Australians’ information literacy experiences using mobile devices by Gema Linares Soler
- Exploring value as a dimension of professional information literacy by Sara Sharun
- Teachers and information literacy by Christine Shannon, Jacqueline Reilly, Jessica Bates,
- First-generation students’ information literacy in everyday contexts by Darren Ilett
- Should we flip the script? by Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol, Mark Lenker, Emily Cox, Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger
- Social living labs for informed learning by Hilary Hughes, Marcus Foth, Professor, Kerry Mallan, Professor
- Re-visioning library support for undergraduate educational programmes in an academic health sciences library by Denise Smith
- How individual consultations with a librarian can support systematic reviews in the social sciences by Michelle Dalton
- Connecting theory to practice by Kieren Laura-Marie Bailey, Michele Jacobsen
- Personalised video instruction by Emily B Kean, Cayla Robinson
- Developing online instruction according to best practices by Ashley Lierman, Ariana Santiago
- Engaging academic staff with reading lists by Allie Taylor
- Contingent teaching through low-tech audience response systems by M. Sara Lowe, Katharine V. Macy, Sean M. Stone
- WikiLiteracy by Caroline Ball
- Be Media Smart by Philip Russell
and last but obviously not least ;-))
- The Age-Friendly Media and Information Literate (#AFMIL) City by Sheila Webber, Bill Johnston
There are also book reviews
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: rich and healthy variety of vegetables at the Blackheath Farmers Market, December 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Misinformation: the example of the boy in LGI

The last couple of days have brought another example of the power of misinformation, showing how fast it spreads, and the disruption and mistrust it can cause at times of political tension. The Yorkshire Post (a very long established regional newspaper in the UK) published a story and photo of a young boy in in Leeds General Infirmary lying on the floor because of lack of hospital beds (Yorkshire Post Comment, 2019). The UK has a general election tomorrow, and the National Health Service (NHS) has been a big part of the debate. Yesterday the current UK prime minister was asked to comment on the photo, but instead kept talking and pocketed the reporter's phone. Now read on.....
Following on from this, tweets started to appear alleging that the photo had been staged, and that the information that it was staged had come from a friend who was a nurse at the hospital (i.e. trying to convince readers that this was authentic on-the-spot "truth"). This tweet became viral, with retweets from politicians and nasty criticism of the boy's family as well as of the newspaper. It then became evident that these tweets were misinformation: the person who had apparently written the original tweet said her account was hacked.
The Yorkshire Post responded later the same day (Collins, 2019), emphasising that the original story had been carefully researched, including a statement from the hospital with an apology, and talking about the problem of misinformation "Our team of reporters will fact-check and verify information at the highest level before it is published - yet anyone can hide behind the guise of a fake profile and tweet out spurious claims without a single check. We will be accountable - nobody will take accountability from a fake account."
The Yorkshire Post's editor also published (Mitchinson, 2019) the "open letter" sent to a reader who had said that she no longer trusted the Yorkshire Post because they spread fake news. He says how journalists checked the facts and ends on an impassioned note "Whatever you do, do not believe a stranger on social media who disappears into the night."
The overall "fake news" story has been summarised and commented on in several places e.g. The New York Times (Satariano, 2019) and the UK's fact checking agency (Full Fact, 2019).

- Collins, L. (2019, December 10). How the journalists you trust from the YEP defeated fake news and our commitment to fact-checked journalism.
- Full Fact. (2019, December 10). These are the facts that we know about the photo of the boy in Leeds General Infirmary.
- Mitchinson, J. (2019, December 10). 'Do not believe a stranger on social media who disappears into the night' - An open letter from our editor to you.
- Satariano, A. (2019, December 10). A Sick U.K. Boy’s Story Was True. But False Posts Followed.
- Yorkshire Post Comment. (2019, December 8) This shocking picture from a Yorkshire hospital shows why honesty is needed on NHS waiting times:
Photo by Sheila Webber: the Houses of Parliament, seen from gardens outside St Thomas' hospital, April 2013.

New articles: Collaboration with learning designers; CRAAP; ACRL Framework & STEM; Brexit; Diversity

The lastest issue of open access journal College and Research Libraries News (vol 80 issue 11) is available. It includes:
- Instruction librarians and instructional designers: A natural collaboration by Catherine Tingelstad, Heather McCullough
- Rethinking CRAAP: Getting students thinking like fact-checkers in evaluating web sources by Jennifer A. Fielding
- Enhancing departmental engagement: Using a LibGuide to promote an invited speaker seminar series by David Flaxbart ("On balance, the time spent on this task has been worth the effort. It has helped to integrate the library and the librarian more regularly into the intellectual life of the Chemistry Department, and it has likely increased traffic to our other guides by enticing chemists to visit a site many of them may not have been aware of before.")
- The long conversation: Reflections on science librarianship by Robin Ford ("As an early career science librarian, it can be challenging to incorporate the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education into my work. In the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine) students, faculty, and staff are pressed for time and are focused on skills, data, and gaining familiarity with specific resources. In this column, I reflect on the frame Scholarship as Conversation, and draw on it for inspiration and guidance in my practice.")
- “Drops of Diversity”: How a small academic library is working to increase cultural competence by Sue Erickson, Sophie Rondeau, Maggie Sweeney
- A U.K. perspective on Brexit: Consideration of potential issues for academic and research libraries by Judith Broady-Preston (the CILIP President-elect)
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Charlton House, November 2019

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Booking for #LILAC20 open

Registration for the LILAC (UK information literacy) conference is open. It takes place in Manchester. UK, 6-8 April 2020. There are various conference rates, with discounts for CILIP members and early bird (until January 31 2020). You have to register with their system and then do the conference place booking. More information at

Monday, December 09, 2019

Call for proposals #icepops2020

There is a call for proposals for Icepops 2020 (which focuses on copyright literacy),in Cardiff on 7 July 2020. It closes on 24 February 2020. Key topics are:
- Building Copyright Literacy Communities: national and international
- Engaging and creative approaches to copyright education including using games, video, music and performance
- Copyright education as part of digital and information literacy initiatives
- Copyright education in the cultural heritage sector
- Teaching copyright as part of scholarly and open practices
They say "We will be using the popular world café and lightning talk presentation formats again this year, but as ever we are open to accommodating other formats if you have an idea that you think might work. In previous years we had a fair use game show and a plenary discussion on library associations approaches to building copyright literacy."
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: University of Sheffield, December 2019

Gift ideas for librarians: Library Wars

In the run up to Christmas I will blog a few gift ideas for the librarian in your life. The first is the Japanese manga/ anime/ film Library Wars. In the Library Wars world, being a librarian isn't just about answering reference queries (though cataloguing, circulation and reference still play their part). It also involves being a crack shot, abseiling down library buildings and thwarting violent kidnappers. The key idea is that censorship has a stranglehold on society. Any books that are judged unsuitable from a moral, social or political point of view are seized by the army of the "Media Betterment Committee" (MBC) and destroyed.
Libraries have become a bastion of resistance, defended by the Library Task Force, and the brave librarians take their lives in their hands protecting books. The trigger for the whole series is the MBC storming a bookshop where the young heroine is about to buy the new addition to her favourite fantasy series, only to have the book snatched from her hand. Heroically, a member of the Library Task Force defends her right to read it and returns it to her: this leads to her determination to make the Library Forces her career.
To be honest, it is not the best anime/ manga I have encountered, but neither is it the worst, and I can't help smiling at a series where one moment the heroine is being chided for not shelving books accurately enough, and next moment she is sniping at MBC soldiers, to help ensure that a valuable cache of books gets helicoptered to safety.
Unfortunately it looks as though, if based in the West, the manga is the only medium that seems easy to get hold of at the moment, but I am the proud possessor of the anime series (13 episodes) and was also luck to catch the first of the live-action film versions on an international plane journey. I have embedded the trailer of the third live action film, as it includes a glimpse of a library book cart, the line "Deliver that book!! People are waiting!!", plus lots of rather cross librarians (and also a lot of books being destroyed, one way or another).  This is the information on the Anime News Network site (there are reviews for the anime and some volumes of the manga): Manga:; Library Wars live action film; Library War (note the lack of the plural in this version) anime

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Comparison of Google Scholar, Web of Science and Scopus

The article: Martín-Martín, A., Orduna-Malea, E., Thelwall, M., & López-Cózar, E. D. (2018, August 15). Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus: a systematic comparison of citations in 252 subject categories.
was summarised by its authors in the LSE impact blog on December 3rd at
The scholarly article ends by saying "In conclusion, the inclusive paradigm of document indexing popularised by Google Scholar facilitates discovery of not only the most well-known sources, but also of sectors of scholarly communication that were previously hidden from view." but it highlights the tradeoffs, as Google Scolar has issues of its own. Essentially I think the message is what you may well already know i.e. if you want a thourough search, search all 3 of them.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Partisanship influences views on the role and value of scientific experts in policy debates

An interesting report by the Pew Research Center. It compares the opinions of Democrats and Republicans (in the USA) as regards belief in expert scientists.
Funk, C., Hefferon, M., Kennedy, B. & Johnson, C. (2019, August 2). Partisanship influences views on the role and value of scientific experts in policy debates.
Democrats emerge with a more positive view of scientists and scientific results than republicans e.g. "About six-in-ten Democrats (62%) say scientists make judgements based solely on the facts. By comparison, 44% of Republicans say scientists’ judgements are based on facts, while 55% say scientists’ opinions are just as likely to be biased as other people’s." In one interesting result, for Democrats, the higher they identified their own scientific knowledge to be, the more they trusted the scientists, whereas with Republicans it was the reverse.
Participants found information about scientists mostly in news media. Pew asked about factors affecting trust and, for example, "A majority of U.S. adults (57%) say they trust scientific research findings more if the researchers make their data publicly available."
The researchers asked about some specific types of researcher, and some inspire more trust than others, with some different concerns emerging, depending on the specialism: differing levels of trust also emerged depending on whether scientists were researchers or practitioners (e.g. medical researchers/practitioners).
As ususal, Pew give full details of their methodology. The data came from a survey carried out in January 2019, targeted at a stratified random sample of 5,817 panelists (they draw on a panel of respondents), with 77% responding.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pampas grass, Sheffield, December 2019

Instructional Design for Distance Librarians (Recording)

Following on from the last post there is a recording and and breakout session notes from the ACRL DLS IC: Instructional Design for Distance Librarians webinar. The recording is here: and the breakout notes are here
Photo by Sheila Webber, Sheffield, December 2019

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

ACRL Standards for Distance Learning Library Services

This is the new infographic (published with a Creative Commons licence) of the core aspects of the ACRL Standards for Distance Learning Library Services. The link to the Standards and to jpg, pdf and png versions of the infographic are at

Sunday, December 01, 2019

New articles: librarians' teaching; librarians and systematic reviews

New articles from the November issue of open access College and Research Libraries:
Galoozis, E. (2019). Affective Aspects of Instruction Librarians’ Decisions to Adopt New Teaching Practices: Laying the Groundwork for Incremental Change. College & Research Libraries, 80(7), 1036-1050.
"This article addresses the question: How do emotions and emotional labor relate to instruction librarians’ motivations to adopt new teaching practices? Twelve information literacy instruction librarians were interviewed about their motivations to adopt new teaching practices. An initial round of coding was completed using grounded theory, to surface themes of motivations to adopt new teaching practices. In a second round, the themes were retained while further coding was used to identify language reflective of emotion and affective labor, along with five conditions for human motivation identified by Charles J. Walker and Cynthia Symons: competence, autonomy, worthwhile goal-setting, feedback, and affirmation. Using the results of the analysis, suggestions are made for library managers and administrators to lay the groundwork for developing supportive and collegial environments that encourage incremental change and emotional self-reflection."

Kogut, A., Foster, M., Ramirez, D., & Xiao, D. (2019). Critical Appraisal of Mathematics Education Systematic Review Search Methods: Implications for Social Sciences Librarians. College & Research Libraries, 80(7), 973-995.
"Social sciences librarians have an interest in supporting systematic reviews, but the available guidance is focused on health sciences settings. This study contributes guidance specifically for social sciences librarians using the Campbell Collaboration’s standards to evaluate the search methods reported in systematic reviews on K–12 mathematics education. After searching ERIC (EBSCO), Education Source (EBSCO), Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO), and Compendex (Engineering Village) in April 2018, we included 40 systematic reviews. The reviews were evaluated on the transparency of the reporting and the comprehensiveness of the search as required by the standards. The findings revealed deficiencies in search processes and reporting of search methods. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for librarians collaborating with social sciences researchers."