Friday, June 11, 2021

Recording: Open Access, Infodemics and Libraries - Exploring the Global Equity of Science #EmergingInternationalVoices

There is a recording of the IFLA #EmergingInternationalVoices webinar that took place on 26 May 2021: Open Access, Infodemics and Libraries - Exploring the Global Equity of Science. Tina Purnat (WHO), Victor Ejechi (StatiSense, Nigeria), Dr Feda Kulenovic (University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina), Professor Yasar Tonta (Haceteppe University, Turkey) and Dr Dasapta Erwin Irawan (Universiti Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia) discussed issues such as open access, going beyond fact checking, the role of libraries as regards disinformation, and the need for people to pay attention to their "information hygiene". The recording is at and there is a good blog post summarising key points at
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink hawthorn tree, May 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

LIS Pedagogy Chat: Teaching Advocacy Skills

The next LIS (Library & Information Science) Pedagogy Chat is on 18 June 2pm US EST (which is, e.g., 7pm UK time), and the topic is Teaching Advocacy Skills, introduced by Sonya Durney (University of New England, USA), followed by an open discussion. Register at:

Photo by Sheila Webber: aquilegia, May 2021

Vote for the FestivIL award #FestivIL @InfoSchoolSheff

The UK's Information Literacy Group has put up a list of nominations for the Leading Light FestivIL 2021 Award, and you can vote for your favourite candidate! Go to to see the list of nominees and read about what they have done for information literacy (which is interesting in itself). Then follow the link to vote (anyone can vote) - deadline 30 June 2021. This award is sponsored by my Department - the Information School at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

New articles: Workplace information literacy; Using wikipedia; IL teaching & Web 2.0

The new issue of open access journal Journal of Information Literacy (vol. 15 No. 2, 2021) contains the following (plus book reviews) at

- Information literacy of Polish state administration officials in the context of the concept of "good governance" by Zbigniew Osiński.
- Workplace information literacy by Gunilla Widén, Farhan Ahmad, Shahrokh Nikou, Bruce Ryan, Peter Cruickshank. ("This paper brings forward three separate studies, conducted by the authors, highlighting different workplace contexts: small and medium enterprises; universities; and community councils.")
- Exploring effective information use in an insurance workplace by Charles Inskip, Sophia Donaldson.
- Knowing and doing by Ellen Nierenberg, Torstein Låg, Tove Irene Dahl ("3 quantitative measures were developed and tested with several samples of university students to assess knowledge and skills for core facets of IL. ... the tools indicated low to moderate correlations between what students know about IL, and what they actually do when evaluating and using sources in authentic, graded assignments.")
- Web 2.0 tools and information literacy instruction in UK university libraries by William Shire, Pam McKinney.
- Enhancing students’ professional information literacy by Angela Joy Feekery, Katherine Chisholm, Carla Jeffrey, Fiona Diesch (reports on development of an online module).
- Getting to work by Alexandra Hamlett ("The article highlights how collaboration between a librarian and an instructor of a career centered course influenced instructional design for IL instruction in their courses.")
- Using Wikipedia to teach scholarly peer review by Paul Anthony Thomas, Matthew F Jones, Spencer G Mattingly.
Photo by Sheila Webber: wild June rose

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Media literacy as food consumption

EAVI (the European Association for Viewers Interests) has created a site which revolves around the idea of media as food, and talks about the benefits of different "diets". For example Couch-potato balls "Low quality sponsored videos designed to keep you passive for hours."; Social media profit-eroles "This dessert tastes good, but while you are consuming it, your personal data is being collected and re-sold."; Media literacy salad "Honest and easy-to-digest news with a cream of contextual information. Fact-packed fries on the side, to be taken with a pinch of salt." In connecting "bad" information practices with "bad" food practices, there is the possibility of negative food/fat shaming, so this may not be the campaign for you, but it is done very professionally with good graphic design, so you may find it useful.

There is also a quiz to identify what diet you are on at the moment (though if you have had anything to do with information or media literacy you will quickly spot what the "correct" answers are!). You can request a package of the graphics if you want to use the campaign.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Impact of Information Literacy in the Digital Workplace

Last week I attended a presentation by Gunilla Widen on the Impact of Information Literacy in the Digital Workplace project, a project funded by the Academy of Finland 2016-2020. The researchers started by reflecting on how to define information literacy and reviewing the literature to identify common themes and issues identified in the literature. The researchers decided there was "a need for a holistic perspective, understanding IL both as a socio-cultural practice and as an individual competence", and used various data collection and analysis methods, with a particular effort to use quantitative methods (since previous studies had been mainly qualitative), to develop "a quantitative Workplace Information Literacy (WIL) measure", and they also reused qualitative data from a previous project.

Through their research, they identified 6 dimensions to WIL: Information acquisition; Information evaluation; Information environment awareness; Information use; learning from Information experince; Information ethics. More information in: Ahmad, F., Widen, G., & Huvila, I. (2020). The impact of workplace information literacy on organizational innovation: An empirical study. International Journal of Information Management, 51, 102041. 

The main lesson was that WIL can be used using a quantitative measure, adding an additional way of investigating WIL, although focusing on a specific aspect of WIL would be beneficial. They identified a link between WIL and organisational performance, e.g. leadership, innovation, social capital, and technology. Widen asked the question as to whether there was "enough repect for Il skills in today's workplace". The team included people from different disciplines, and Widen identified the value of publishing outside library & information science, and having an interdiscilinary team helped with this. Future directions were: Information leadership; IL management; new workplace settings (working from home); IL and wellbeing; and the WIL concept itself. They are publishing a book with Facet Publishing on the project, and also an article in the next issue of the Journal of Information Literacy (see here for previous publications). 

To quote from the website: "The overall aim of the project is to develop workplace information literacy standard and find suitable methods and measures to study the impact of information literacy skills in the workplace on different levels." The addressed the research questions: "How can different levels of information literacy (individual and organizational) be identified and defined? What are the differences between digital and traditional information literacy skills in the workplace? Which kinds of literacies are highlighted in workplace context? What are the differences in information literacy skills between generations? How do they affect collaborative work? What connections can be found between literacy skills, well-being, and productivity? How is the development of workplace information literacy supported by organizations and how it contributes to the achievement of organizational goals? What is the role of workplace information literacy in virtual and global workplaces?"
Photo by Sheila Webber: May rose, 2021

Friday, June 04, 2021

Serendipity, decolonisation, gender, policy and information literacy at #cais2021

On 7-10 June 2021 is the Canadian Association for Information Science/ l’Association canadienne des sciences de l’information (CAIS/ACSI) conference, which is completely free, open and online - no registration required. You can find the zoom link on the page that contains the programme. Note that times on the programme are in Mountain Daylight Time (which is, for example, 7 hours behind the UK, so 12 noon mountain time is 7pm in the UK).

The theme is Northern Relations: Connecting the Unexpected and Overlooked to Information Science, and it is hosted by the University of Alberta. I think there is a very interesting, varied, programme, and it includes a session devoted to information literacy, as well as information behaviour (featuring serendipity!), race, gender, information policy etc. Go to
The information literacy session (starting 1.30 Mountain Time on 10 June) has the following talks:
- Information literacy in Nova Scotia: Systematic mapping of high school learning outcomes; Cora-Lynn Munroe-Lynds
- Information literacy from high school to university: Report of the Ontario School Library Impact Project (OSLIP); Mary Cavanagh, Dianne Oberg, Heather Buchansky, Marc d’Avernas: Kate Johnson-McGregor, Sarah Roberts
- Instruction from the margins: Giving voice to community college librarians; Heidi Julien, Melissa Gross, Don Latham
- Educating and Empowering teen activists in public libraries: A case study of the impact of reading on young adult social justice actions; Jennifer McDevitt

Creating Knowledge #CK2021

Frustratingly, I completely missed announcements about the 2021 Creating Knowledge conference, which took place yesterday and also continues today. It is too late to sign up, but you can see the abstracts on the conference website and the twitter feed is at

Thursday, June 03, 2021

Postdigital humans - and - Lies, Bullshit and Fake News

On Tuesday I attended a webinar (from the Society for Research in Higher Education)launching the book Postdigital Humans: Transitions, Transformations and Transcendence, part of the Postdigital Science and Education book series. The book is as expensive as most scholarly texts, unfortunately, but there is a useful introduction by the editor, Maggi Savin-Baden here

This led to me rediscovering the Postdigital Science and Education journal, and in particular an issue from over a year ago that is relevant to this blog, volume 2 issue 1, which focuses on Lies, Bullshit and Fake News. A good number of the articles in this issue are open access, including:
- Lies, Bullshit and Fake News: Some Epistemological Concerns by Alison MacKenzie & Ibrar Bhatt
- Infrastructure and the Post-Truth Era: is Trump Twitter’s Fault? by Martin Oliver
- Citizen Engagement in the Contemporary Era of Fake News: Hegemonic Distraction or Control of the Social Media Context? by Paul R. Carr, Sandra Liliana Cuervo Sanchez, Michelli Aparecida Daros
- Parody: Fake News, Regeneration and Education by Christine Sinclair
- To Believe or Not to Believe: an Epistemic Exploration of Fake News, Truth, and the Limits of Knowing by Jennifer Rose
- Opposing the Power of Lies, Bullshit and Fake News: the Value of Truth by Alison MacKenzie & Ibrar Bhatt

Photo by Sheila Webber: by the hospital, May 2021

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Student-led Media and Information Literacy workshops in India #MILCLICKS

I just received this report from Dr. Anubhuti Yadav via the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Alliance, describing student-led MIL workshops organised by the Advertising and Public Relations Department of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and Media and Information Literacy India Network (MILIN). Both the students leading the workshops and the participants identified the benefits of the initiative.

"At the time of the pandemic when people were struggling with Misinformation and disinformation around COVID 19, students of ADPR conducted workshops on MIL with the emphasis on Fact checking and verification and helped them in developing skills to verify the content they consume. Students were limited to their homes at the time of lockdown and all their learning were happening through online classes. These workshops were planned and designed to make their classes more engaging and meaningful. These workshops also instilled sense of purpose amongst these students by contributing constructively to the community at the time of crisis.
"Seventy workshops were conducted from December 2020 to March 2021 by the students in both online and offline mode in Delhi and NCR region, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bhubneshwar, Prayagraj, Haridwar, Lucknow, Mathura, Ranchi, Dhanbad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhopal, Betul, Jamshedpur and Ganganagar. More than 800 people were trained in Media and Information Literacy in these workshops. The demography of the workshop participants was diverse. It comprised of college students (45.2%) followed by family members of the students at 9.5 %. This was closely followed by professionals at 7.1%.
"To ensure participation in the MIL Workshop students mostly spoke to the individuals personally and asked them to participate (59.5%). This was followed by collaborating with the colleges at 9.5%, connecting through social media at 7.1% or speaking to the principal or head of the college or school directly, collaborating with an NGO and visiting a café and speaking to the people there. The key points which were discussed during the workshop were how to access information from reliable sources and how to analyze information whether it is true or fake. Some students also discussed how to create content responsibly for the social media."
More news about MILIN is available at and
Photo by Sheila Webber: white rose, May 2021

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

WHO global conference on communicating science during health emergencies

There is a free online public session for this conference on 7 June 2021 at 13.00-16.00 Geneva time (12 noon-3pm UK time) with speakers who will address "the challenges of communicating science during the pandemic and how to make science accessible to all". It is organised by the World Health Organization Information Network for Epidemics (WHO EPI-WIN) and the speakers are: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization; Sylvie Briand, Director, Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness Department, World Health Organization; Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO; Kasisomayajula Viswanath, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA; Siouxsie Wiles, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland - Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand; Alexandra Freeman, Executive Director, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Atila Lamarino, Social Media Science Communicator and Biologist, Brazil. Register at
Photo by Sheila Webber: peace rose, June 2021