Wednesday, April 29, 2020

New articles: Fact checking; #fakenews; trust and government information; civic engagement

The latest issue of proced journal Reference Services Review (vol 48 Issue 1) focuses on Academic Libraries and the 45th President [of the USA i.e. Donald Trump]. The call for proposals solicited so many articles that some will be featured in the next issue of RSR. A lot of the articles are, unsurprisingly, related to information literacy. The issue includes:
- The art of the real: fact checking as information literacy instruction by Jamie M. Addy
- The proof is in the process: Fostering student trust in government information by examining its creation by Amanda B. Albert, Jamie L. Emery, Rebecca C. Hyde
- Researching Bears Ears: reference practice for civic engagement by Amy Brunvand
- Fake or for real? A fake news workshop by Katherine Hanz, Emily Sarah Kingsland
- De-biasing on university campuses in the age of misinformation by Sebastian Krutkowski, Sarah Taylor-Harman, Kat Gupta
- A turbulent time: government sources post-2016 presidential election by Alicia Kubas
- Student trauma experiences, library instruction and existence under the 45th by Michelle Gohr, Vitalina A. Nova
- Conflicting authority: Using the Trump administration’s responses to the EPA climate assessment report to teach information literacy by Katherine Lynch, Shaunna Hunter
Go to
Photo byy Sheila Webber: copper beech, April 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

New articles: Information sharing; systematic searching & open access; design thinking; health information

Cain, J. A., Armstrong, C., & Hou, T. (2020). Somebody Google a Doctor! Urgent Health Information Seeking Habits of Young Adults. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 10(1), e2020xx.

Hirt, J. & Nordhausen, T. (2020). Open access: how to ensure systematic searching? Journal of EAHIL, 16(1). "This brief communication provides an overview of databases with regard to options for searching open access content in a systematic way. " Open access complete issue:

Cruickshank, P. & Hall, H. (2020 in press). Talking to imagined citizens? Information sharing practices and proxies for e-participation in hyperlocal democratic settings. Information Research. It is accessible as a full text pdf file from the Edinburgh Napier repository
Hazel Hall's blog post about it is here

Haglund, L. (2020). Evidence basing the study environment needs at a small specialist university by using design thinking methods. Journal of EAHIL, 16(1). Open access complete issue:

Blanchat, K., & Sider, L. (2020). Reference with a Gimmick: A Pilot Program to Promote Library Services. Marketing Libraries Journal, 4(1), 33-47. Open access at
Photo by Sheila Webber: young beech leaves, April 2020

Monday, April 27, 2020

Information/ COVID-related items

(1) Lin, Y., Liu, C. & Chiu, Y. (2020). Google searches for the keywords of “wash hands” predict the speed of national spread of COVID-19 outbreak among 21 countries. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. (Online early access).

(2) Carlyle, R. (2020, April 8). Now is the time: Information literacy and sharing information about COVID-19.

(3) Paakkari, L & Okan, O. (2020, April 14) COVID-19: health literacy is an underestimated problem. The Lancet (Online). "the COVID-19 infodemic has highlighted that poor health literacy among a population is an underestimated public health problem globally" (spotted in a tweet by Ruth Carlyle)

(4) Information cards in Russian and English. "UNESCO IITE and UNAIDS Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in partnership with Odnoklassniki social media network have released a series of information cards to provide teachers, parents and students with practical tips for living and studying in the time of COVID-19. 64 cards summarize key expert recommendations on nine questions about COVID-19, its influence on our everyday lives – work, studying, relationships with closest ones, physical and mental health – and ways to adapt to this new reality." (One of them illustrates this post - they are freelu usable).

E-learning and Usability Testing

The ACRL Instruction Section, Instructional Technologies Committee has published their latest Tips and Trends pamphlet, which is on E-learning and Usability Testing by Naomi Binnie and Denise Leyton. Concisely written, with useful links, it "explores how librarians can conduct user experience testing with different audiences in order to design digital content that resonates more deeply with learners." The Tips and Trends home page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: the prettiest cherry blossom, April 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020

Webinars: copyright and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic #copyrightliteracy

I only just picked up on a useful series of webinars involving the copyright literacy people (Chris Morrison and Jane Secker) and hosted by the Association of Learning Technology. The theme is Copyright and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they cover a lot of useful information about resources, actions and reactions of key bodies such as the Copyright Licensing Agency, publishers allowing more access etc. - all very useful to librarians and anyone else having to develop more online learning at the moment. Go to: There are recordings of previous webinars, and the next openly accessible one is on 1st May 2020.
Photo by Sheila webber: lilac branches, April 2020

Thursday, April 23, 2020

World Book and Copyright Day #worldbookday

Today, 23rd April is World Book and Copyright Day - 23rd April being the death date of both Shakespeare and Cervantes (and various other literary anniversaries).
Because the UK has its "World Book Day" in March, it badges today as World Book Night : the Reading Agency released results of a survey done in mid April in the UK that showed that people in lockdown were reading more.
You can of course use resources like Project Gutenberg to read lots of books for free
Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in the 3D virtual world, Second Life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Webinar: How library and information professionals are coping during a pandemic

There's a free webinar from SLA Europe, How library and information professionals are coping during a pandemic, on April 29 at 6pm UK time. "Any number of questions have probably occurred to us all over the last few weeks in the wake of Covid-19 – Where are we now? What could happen in the future? What should we be aware of? Join our panel discussion where we will debate the current situation." Panel members are: Seema Rampersad, Senior Business Researcher and Service Manager, the Business & IP Centre at the British Library; Amy Stubbing, Library Manager at University of East London; Simon Burton, Managing Director and Co-Founder of CB Resourcing. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Charlton Park, April 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020

Librarians' day in the life - #LibrariesWFH

For a while there was a "day in the life" project where librarians blogged about their work lives on a particular day - the archive is here
The idea has been revived with an exhortation for librarians to share their working days from today (April 20th) to April 24th using the hashtag #LibrariesWFH on any social media, blogs etc. There is a post about it here
Photo by Sheila Webber: my working from home life actually involves even more observation of nature than usual, on daily exercise; April 2020

Saturday, April 18, 2020

#claps2020 will move online

Another conference going virtual: The Critical Librarianship and Pedagogy Symposium, scheduled March 12-13, 2020 was postponed. It will now be an open, online conference, probably in August or September 2020 (date still to be decided). To follow developments, join their discussion list by sending an email to with “subscribe” in the message subject line. The schedule for the original conference (I assume at least some content will be the same) is here
Photo by Sheila Webber: cheery blossom branches, April 2020

#LILiConf2020 now virtual, extended deadline for proposals

The LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) conference has been moved online and will be free: on July 30, 2020 using Zoom.There is a revised Call For Proposals and the submission deadline has been extended to May 1 2020. The theme is: Full Focus 2020: Engaging Our Library Communities "Attention is a finite resource, and an increasingly limiting factor in our complex information landscapes. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, many of us who have never been involved in distance learning are moving our instruction online at short notice. What strategies have you found for grabbing and holding attention? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? How do we bring our teaching and learning to life?" You can download the full call for proposals here
The application form is at

Friday, April 17, 2020

Keeping Up With Universal Design for Learning

The latest in the useful ACRL, Keeping up with series is Keeping Up With Universal Design for Learning. As usual, it summarises key points in a few pages and includes links and references.
Photo by Sheila Webber: fallen petals, April 2020

Free access to e-books about online teaching til 24 April

Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, have made some of their books related to teaching online free, as online ebooks only (i.e. you can't download them), until 24 April. This includes titles like Best Practices in Engaging Online Learners Through Active and Experiential Learning Strategies, Best Practices for flipping the college classroom, Best Practices in Designing Courses with Open Educational Resources and Teaching online: a practical guide.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Recent articles: teaching incarcerated students; policy literacies; LibGuides; Forestry students; IL in STEM

The latest issue of open access journal College and Research Libraries News (vol 81 issue 4) is available. It includes:
- The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (in prison): Using the frames to teach incarcerated students by Clare Kuntz Balcer
- Big data gets big help: Law and policy literacies for text data mining by Kyle Courtney, Rachael Samberg, Timothy Vollmer
- LibGuides Groups in practice: Building a partnership between an academic library and an information studies school by Courtney Hoffner, Antonia Osuna-Garcia
Go to

Also I don't think I covered the previous issue (vol 81 no 3). That included:
- Instructional design: Resources for online learning by Laura A. Sheets
- Taking root: Librarians help new Forestry students create a learning community by Erica Lopez, Tina Oswald
- Critical appraisal: The key to unlocking information literacy in the STEM disciplines by Kathryn Mercer, Kari D. Weaver, Rachel Figueiredo, Caitlin Carter
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom and daisies, April 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

7 Top tips for working from home!! #workfromhome

I am working from home. I would rather not be. I have never, ever, fantasised about delivering online lessons in althleisurewear from my kitchen table or from under a duvet.

I realise that I’m very lucky to have a job, and home to work from. However, privilege doesn’t prevent people moaning, and I’m no exception. Similarly, the fact that I’m fed up with the flood of advice on how to work from home won’t stop me adding to it.

So here we go!

Tip one. It is perfectly ok to shout and scream at your computer, but do not hit it.
Violence gets you nowhere. In particular, violence gets you nowhere when you no longer have a nice helpful technical expert who can replace the kit when it gets broken.

Tip two. Keep something absorbent near your computer
Crammed into an unsuitable space, at some point your beverage of choice will spill over your keyboard. Accept this as inevitable, and be prepared.

Tip three. Continue drinking your beverage of choice.
All too soon we’ll be reduced to boiled water and dry biscuit, so let’s enjoy little luxuries while we can.

Tip four It is still ok to get distracted by the internet.
If that cute labrador video is what you need to get you through the online meeting on business continuity planning, watch it. Perhaps while the meeting is actually in progress. People will think you are laughing at their jokes rather than the doggies' lovable antics, so it's win-win.

Tip five. You don't have to be more sociable than you were before.
Slack. Facetime. Zoom. Skype. Whatsapp. Whereby. Collaborate. All those Google thingummies. There is no end to the way people can pop their virtual heads round the pixelated door. If your previous idea of a sociable day was a 5 minute chat in the office kitchen when your coffee making happened to coincide with someone else's, just say no to this always-on mania.

Tip six. Nor do you have to take up meditation, mindfulness, yoga, podcasting, or decaffeinated tea.
Unless you want to, obviously.

Tip seven. If you think working from home is ... not ideal, don’t feel obliged to say it’s a dream come true.
You can see I'm taking my own advice on this one.

And so that my wonderful colleagues, and my employer, don't write me off as a total curmudgeon, this is just an adverse reaction to all those irritating "top tips" articles, tweets and blog posts!  And showing I can do one that's just as irritating!

Stay safe - and information literate!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Webinar: Best Practices in Information Literacy: A Look at First-Year Instruction

On 28 April at 2pm US EST time (which is, e.g., 7pm UK time) the ACRL-IS Information Literacy Best Practices Committee and FYE Discussion Group have organised a webinar: Best Practices in Information Literacy: A Look at First-Year Instruction. "Hear from librarians at a variety of institutions who have incorporated the Characteristics of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices Guidelines into their first-year information literacy programs. This document, revised in 2019, articulates elements of exemplary information literacy programs for undergraduate students at two and four-year institutions. The characteristics include seven categories: Mission, Goals, and Objectives; Planning; Administrative and Institutional Support; Program Sequencing; Pedagogy; Communication and Advocacy; and Assessment and Evaluation. Presenters will share concrete and practical examples of how to incorporate the Characteristics guidelines into an existing first-year information literacy program. Participants will become familiar with the Characteristics document and come away with fresh ideas to invigorate information literacy programming at their institutions." To register go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink cherry, April 2020

2 Webinars: intro to screencasting, podcasting, video editing; European educational policy reactions for #TEL

Two more webinars: Firstly from UK's CILIP (London Branch), on 16 April 2020 at 5pm UK time: How to creatively (and remotely) engage users!: intro to screencasting, podcasting, video editing "We will provide a short introduction on how to use technology to diversify your teaching and engagement during this season." Register at
Secondly, on 17 April at 5pm CEST (which is 4pm UK time) European educational policy reactions for technology-enhanced learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, organised by EATEL [European Association of Technology Enhanced Learning] "an online-panel session European educational policy reactions for technology-enhanced learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic". On the panel: Davinia Hernández-Leo (Universitat Pompeu fabra, Spain); Viktoria Pammer-Schindler (Graz University of Technology); Allison Littlejohn (University College London, United Kingdom); Monica Divitini (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway); Lucia Panese (Imaginary srl, Italy). Go to "Subscribe to this event to get informed about event details"
Photo by Sheila Webber: blossom, leaves and branches, April 2020

Monday, April 13, 2020

Interview with Dudley Award winner Veronica Arellano Douglas

There is an interview with the winner of the annual North American award for information literacy educators, the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. This year's winner was Veronica Arellano Douglas, Instruction Coordinator at the University of Houston Libraries, and the interview is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

New articles: Affect and the Library

The latest Library Trends, Volume 68, Number 3, Winter 2020, is an interesting issue with teh theme Strange Circulations: Affect and the Library (edited by Kate Adler and Lisa Sloniowski). The articles are free to access. Particularly relevant to this blog is:
Curiosity is a Luxury of the Financially Secure: The Affective Thresholds of Information Literacy by  Sarah H. Mabee and Sarah E. Fancher. ("In this article, we examine themes that emerged via directed conversations with focus groups of students enrolled at a large, open-enrollment community college located in a high-poverty area of Southwest Missouri.")
The other articles are also interesting and include:
- Affect and Deaccessioning in the Academic Library: Feelings about Books and Place by Deborah Prosser
- Concealing White Supremacy through Fantasies of the Library: Economies of Affect at Work by Michele R. Santamaria
- Bodies, Brains, and Machines: An Exploration of the Relationship between the Material and Affective States of Librarians and Information Systems by Stacy Allison-Cassin
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: curious young chestnut leaves peeping through the fence.

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Webinar: April 16: Research Context and Research Chemistry

ASIS&T has organised a webinar: Research Context and Research Chemistry: Information Literacy, Scholarly Publishing, and Data Management in the Chemistry Curriculum on April 16 at 11am US Eastern time (which is 4pm UK time|). Joshua Borycz (Librarian for STEM Research, Vanderbilt University) will be presenting about a new chemical information course he is running at the university - is content and assessment "The first half [of the course] will focus on information seeking and literacy by covering contentious topics within chemistry (e.g., fracking, nuclear energy, thalidomide, and research related to the supposed vaccine/autism link) and teaching students about the databases and techniques that can help them identify trustworthy information. The second portion will focus on the history, present, and future of scholarly publishing. Students will learn about current practices by hearing from a journal editor and an acquisition librarian that frequently negotiates with publishers." The 3rd part of his new course looks at data management. This one-hour webinar costs nothing for ASIS&T members and US $25 for non members
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry, April 2020

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Now online: Approaches to Teaching Information Literacy in Practice

The training event Approaches to Teaching Information Literacy in Practice, led by Jane Secker and Sarah Pavey, which was due to take place in Sheffield, will now be delivered online (using Zoom) on 1 May 2020. It will consist of 2 one hour sessions with a break in between "The first will run from 10am-11am and the second from 12pm-1pm. There will be optional tasks for delegates in the break." The cost is: CILIP Individual Member - £68.00 + VAT (£81.60) CILIP Employer Partner, Supplier Partner - £85.00 + VAT (£102), Non-member - £105 + VAT (£126). More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: March 2020, daffodils (thalia?) and honesty.

2 webinars on libraries managing the crisis

One on the 13th, one on the 14th April. Firstly, on 13 April at OCLC has organised a 90 minute webinar, starting 3pm US Eastern time (e.g. 8pm UK time) OCLC Virtual Town Hall: Libraries and the COVID-19 Crisis with 4 speakers from different sectors (public, school, special and academic) and OCLC and Webjunction staff. They "will share their experiences with the shifting landscape, including how libraries are moving services, programming, and learning online." Go to
Secondly on 14 April at 3pm US Central time (which is, for example, 9pm UK time) ACRL has organised Beyond “Managing Change”: Leading Through Seismic Shifts "The shocks and aftershocks we’re experiencing present unprecedented challenges and unanswerable questions. What can leaders at every level do to prepare for and address the institutional and individual effects of rapid, unplanned, and momentous events? Drawing from best practices for leadership, change management, and organizational communication, this webcast will offer perspectives and tools for doing the best we can under extraordinary circumstances." I think the focus here is on academic libraries. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2020

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Virtual Poster Session between April 13-17

The ACRL Distance Learning Section Instruction Group has organised a Virtual Poster Session between April 13-17, 2020. "During this week, 35 posters about online teaching and learning practices are available to view, and presenters are available to answer questions" They are organised into 5 topics: "Accessibility and Inclusivity; Assessment; Instructional Collaborations; Project Planning & Management; Student Engagement". Many posters will have features such as embedded video or audio.
You are encouraged to leave feedback, and the poster "presenters" will respond in the April 13-17 period. The posters will be here from the 13th; and you'll be able to leave feedback here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Borage, March 2020

Monday, April 06, 2020

Semaine de la presse et des médias à la Maison/ Week of the press and media at home

This French event, taking place 23 March-15 April, was aimed at children in school, but it has been rebadged to provide resources that parents and children can use at home. All in French, they include various resources for learning online, and some new material. Released today (April 6) is "l'escape game « La chasse aux infox ! » pour aider les élèves à debusquer les fausses informations sur Internet." i.e. a game to help children detect fake news (you need to read the instructions on the 2nd slide ("Comment jouer?")!).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Celandine, April 2020

Friday, April 03, 2020

Talking to children about fake news/ Klicksafe - Zuhause lernen mit Medien

Two resources: one in English and one in German. The first is from the BBC: How to talk to your kids about fake news, including a video
The second is a key German site aimed at fostering competent and critical use of the internet: Klicksafe. As a couple of examples, it has a new section Zuhause lernen mit Medien – Tipps für Eltern und Lehrende [learning at home with media - tips for parents and teachers] and one of their recent pamphlets is Gutes Aufwachsen mit Medien - Kinderrechte im Netz [Growing up safely with media - children's rights on the internet]
Photo by Sheila Webber: mimosa tree, March 2020

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

More online teaching picks!

The Online Learning Consortium has Resources for K-12 Educators Teaching Remotely. These include their own online courses (which are usually priced - but they have been in this field a long time) and also links to other resources:
An upcoming free seminar from them is on Friday April 3rd, 1:00pm - 02:00pm (US Eastern time, so e.g. it starts at 6pm UK time): Addressing the Social-Emotional Needs of Remote Learners "With the rapid switch to providing education in a fully remote format, teachers need to be proactive in making sure that students are getting the social-emotional support they need. This can be challenging. In this webinar, our panel of experts will provide best practices on how you can best meet the needs of your students." go to
JISC, which supports use of technology in UK tertiary education, is running a blog with material aimed to support staff in the current crisis. Recent posts include Assistive Technology For All and Problems with home Wi-Fi? Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry blossom, March 2020