Friday, July 30, 2021

Metaliteracy presentations

There are recordings of two presentations at SUNY’s Virtual Conference on Instruction & Technology (CIT) 2021
Trudi Jacobson
presented on Scaffolding Student Learning The Role of Metaliteracy in Open Pedagogy
Sheila Aird and Tom Mackey
presented on Collaborating to Teach Global Digital Storytelling Online The links to the slides for the presentations are here.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Library Services to Displaced Populations

The ILFA Section Library Services to People with Special Needs has produced draft Guidelines for Library Services to Displaced Populations (covering library service to refugees, immigrants, migrants, and asylum seekers) at It is an interesting document with lots of recommendations and examples for engagement. It was open to comments until July 20th, which date obviously is past (sorry for not spotting this earlier) - although if something strikes you immediately it may be possible to email Despina Gerasimidou at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, July 2021

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Dismantling the Evaluation Framework @libraryleadpipe

A new article in the open access journal In the Library with the Lead Pipe critiques approaches to teaching information evaluation through formulaic models such as CRAAP (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose), and proposes alternatives ways of approaching information literacy sessions, involving a more conversational approach. 

Bull, A.C., McMillan, M. & Head, A. (2021, 21 July). Dismantling the Evaluation Framework. In the Library with the Lead Pipe

Photo by Sheila Webber: pink floribunda roses, July 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Gallery of Information Behaviour Gratitude

A nice idea - a class of students at the University of Toronto (Canada) Information School created thank-you cards for the authors of information behaviour (IB) research and scholarship, presented online as a Gallery of Information Behaviour Gratitude You see the handwritten thank-yous (plus an audio recording of the student reading it), a link to the IB paper, and some information about the chosen author. This is an interesting way to learn about information behaviour and its scholars. I am happy to see that some of my colleagues in the Information School at Sheffield University being thanked (Andrew Cox on his own, and a paper co-authored by Cox, Pam McKinney and Paula Goodale).

Monday, July 26, 2021

Webinar: Considering Data Literacy Using Kuhlthau's Information Search Process

A free online webinar on 16 August 2021 at 1pm US Central time (which is, for example, 7pm UK time) is Considering Data Literacy Using Kuhlthau's Information Search Process: Implications for Librarians and Data Providers, presented by Charissa Jefferson, Kristin Fontichiaro, Katrina Stierholz, and Lynette Hoelter and sponsored by the ACRL ULS Professional Development Committee.
"This panel discusses uses of Kuhlthau's Information Search Process (ISP) to illustrate ways that librarians can assist students and collaborate with data providers to improve the data search process. Librarians and data providers share similar data literacy goals, and this panel pools the expertise of both groups to focus on strategies and interventions that support novice researchers. We explore our combined experiences and jointly step through students' research phases to examine how each group can contribute to improving that experience.
Moreover, we explore ways to review students' data literacy needs throughout the research process through the lens of Kuhlthau's six-stage, iterative ISP. Kuhlthau's framework, rooted in empathy, maps to existing knowledge about what students do, think, and feel at various stages of the search process. We encourage participants to identify "zones of intervention" that are both consistent with Kuhlthau's research and are novel to data-rich research projects."
Register at "If you can't make this session but wish to view a recording later, please register so that you'll receive an email that includes a link to the video of the presentation. Please direct questions and concerns to Laura Gariepy ( or Sam Harlow ("

You can find Professor Carol Kuhlthau's own explanation of the Information Serach Process at - it is one of the few research-based information behaviour models that gets used in IL teaching so I will be very interested in this webinar!
Photo by Sheila Webber: roses, July 2021

Friday, July 23, 2021

Belonging Online

An interesting video recording of the session by David White (at the Edmedia conference held in July 2021) on Belonging Online: What We Lost When We Went Digital and How to Design It Back In which explores ways of making learners feel present, belonging, safe, and talks about the different ways this works in digital and physical spaces. It's at
The abstract was: "Ask any student what they have been missing in their education during the pandemic and their answer will have a social, or ‘belonging’, dimension to it. This is because we successfully used digital platforms to ‘deliver the curriculum’ but struggled to create the sense of togetherness which occurs in physical rooms. In this talk I will use the Digital Visitors and Residents idea to explore modes-of-presence and connection which are often missing in online education. I will argue that this ‘lack’ is more to do with our narrow conceptions of what-teaching-is than with what-the-technology-allows. I will go on to describe creative forms of teaching in digital contexts which facilitate the presence and belonging needed for understanding and confidence to flourish." Information on the visitor/residents model is here: I also liked his point that we should think of "modes of presence" and designing-in different modes of presence into your teaching and learning.
Photo by
Sheila Webber: looking up from the bear pit, Sheffield, July 2021

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Vibrant Information Barometer

The IREX organisation has Vibrant Information Barometer (VIBE) reports on 13 countries (listed below) - it is a "an annual study that tracks how information is produced, spread, consumed, and used". The reports appear to be informative reports on a discussion of panellists (plus reference to some relevant external surveys etc.) and the panellists score each country on 4 principles, which between them have 20 indicators:
Principle 1: Information Quality (e.g. Indicator 1: There is quality information on a variety of topics available; Indicator 2: The norm for information is that it is based on facts.);
Principle 2: Multiple Channels: How Information Flows (e.g. Indicator 6: People have rights to create, share, and consume information, Indicator 9: There are diverse channels for information flow);
Principle 3: Information Consumption and Engagement (e.g. Indicator 11: People can safely use the internet due to privacy protections and security tools, Indicator 12: People have the necessary skills and tools to be media literate.);
Principle 4: Transformative Action (e.g. Indicator 16: Information producers and distribution channels enable or encourage information sharing across ideological lines, Indicator 19: Government uses quality information to make public policy decisions.

There is a dashboard where the "vibrancy" scores can be explored in detail, and the methodology is explained there too. The countries are: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine. IREX was started by agencies in the USA, to support and promote a Western democratic approach, and has broadened in its scope; it is now also supported internationally by numerous other agencies and foundations in its development work, see here.

Photo by Sheila Webber: St Basil's cathedral, Moscow, Russia, December 2009.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Collaboration: curriculum design; faculty-librarian

Two items relating to librarian collaboration in teaching:
(1) Materials by Cara B. Stone, Erin Thomas and Kris Stacy-Bates for the Illinois Information Literacy Summit 2021: Playing the Long Game: Collaborating in IL Curriculum Design. It includes links to their slides and to resources and tools they recommend, plus bulet points from the session discussion. - also their Information Literacy open textbook is here
(2) A newly published article, in the latest IFLA journal (open access):
Nguyen, T.L. & Tuamsuk, K. (2021). Faculty–librarian administrative structure and collaborative activities supporting teaching and research at Vietnamese universities: A qualitative study. IFLA journal, 47(2), 236-249. "This article reports on the administrative structure and collaborative activities of faculty and librarians within Vietnamese universities to evaluate their impact on teaching and research, as well as their collaborative benefits, advantages and disadvantages. The authors ... conducted 29 in-depth interviews with key participants at Vietnamese universities. The findings indicated that such collaboration was often based on the collaborators’ personal circumstances and that librarian liaison partnerships primarily related to the faculty’s profession, personality and attitudes at different units. Further, universities focused on collaborative activities to support teaching and research – designing syllabi, research support activities and collection development."
Link to whole issue:  This issue also includes: Channels used to deliver agricultural information and knowledge to smallholder farmers by Kelefa Mwantimwa & Faraja Ndumbaro.

Photo by Sheila Webber: pink roses, July 2021

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Paper Trails: The Social Life of Archives and Collections @UCLpress

Here's another interesting open access book just published by UCL Press, and this one can also be contributed to. It isn't really related to information literacy, but I couldn't resist blogging it. The book is Paper Trails: The Social Life of Archives and Collections the editorial team includes librarians and archivists, as well as academics and writers. It has 4 types of content, and I've given some examples with librarian authors (do look at how to contribute, if you think you might have  a story to tell!):
(1) Research Stories "Full-length research articles which encourage a focus on research stories to invite a reflective methodology, offering an inclusive and engaged commentary on the work involved in researching, ordering and preserving the past"
(2) Co-production "Outputs from projects in which non-academic, undergraduate and taught postgraduate audiences collaborate with others (collection professions, academics, members of the public, etc.) to create new work that is based on research collections."
(3) Collection Profiles "Shorter, descriptive or even narrative pieces that highlight items or collections of interest." Example: Historic Children’s Literature Collection by Catherine Dack
(4) Engagement "Reflective pieces that focus on a broad range of engagement activities, from the professional’s perspective. These can be case studies, or ‘think pieces’ on particular skills or techniques" Example: 'Giving Peace a Chance': Archives Engagement at LSE Library, by Debbie Challis & Daniel Payne
The book is part of the Academic Book of the Future: BOOC (Books as Open Online Content) project
Photo by Sheila Webber: non-virtual books and programmes, 2021

Winner of the The Leading Light FestivIL 2021 Award #FestivIL @InfoSchoolSheff

The winner of the Leading Light FestivIL 2021 Award for "Creating innovative information literacy teaching or services" (which award was sponsored by my department, the Information School, University of Sheffield) was Hazel Glasse. The nomination said
"Hazel Glasse has been the driving force behind one of the most impactful IL projects Derby has undertaken in recent years — the ‘hungry robot’ virtual induction activity. It started life as a physical zombie-themed escape-room, introducing students to the library and using/finding online resources. Just in time for the pandemic, Hazel began working to convert the escape room into a virtual tool. This involved a huge amount of design and script work, liaison, testing and planning on Hazel’s part. This virtual induction has been accessed thousands of times, and is now one of the primary induction tools, proving a fantastic way to introduce students to both the resources and library, at a time when they could not be onsite themselves. Hazel frequently diminishes her own achievements but this is definitely something that should be celebrated, as it was all entirely her creation, and the finished product is incredible."
You can find the Hungry Robot here and there is a presentation by Glasse, given at LILAC 2019 Escaping the library induction: a game based learning approach to developing students’ library skills  You can find information about the other award nominees here.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Liber quarterly recent articles: open journals as teaching tools

Open access journal Liber Quarterly has moved to Recent articles include:
- Koskinen, K., Roinila, M., & Syvälahti, K. (2021). Open Journal Systems as a Pedagogical Tool to Teach and Learn Scholarly Publishing: The Helsinki University Library Experience. LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries, 31(1), 1-17. "Editori is an open journal service at the University of Helsinki designed with an educational focus, providing simultaneously a contribution to the rising trend of university-based and library-based publishing. We show how this service, based on Open Journal Systems (OJS), can be applied as a pedagogical tool for teaching scholarly publishing skills to university students."
- Ball, J., Stone, G., & Thompson, S. (2021). Opening up the Library: Transforming our Policies, Practices and Structures. LIBER Quarterly: The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries, 31(1), 1-16.
Photo by Sheila Webber: late spring tree, June 2021

Friday, July 16, 2021

Registration open: Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference 20-21 July + recent articles on TPS

Registration is open for the free, virtual Annual Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference, 20-21 July 2021, 1pm-5pm each day US Eastern time (so, e.g., 6pm-11pm UK time). You register for the full event at and should then get an email to register for specific sessions. This is the Code of Conduct and this is the conference website They are also looking for facilitators and Zoom helpers: you can volunteer via this spreadsheet

There is an updated bibliography on the Teaching with Primary Sources website, and these are a few of the latest entries (look here for more):
- Tanaka, C. (2021). Teaching with Primary Sources: Looking at the Support Needs of Instructors. Ithaka S+R.
- Davis, D. (2021). Using Visual Resources to Teach Primary Source Literacy. Journal of Western Archives, 12(1).
- Burgard, K. et al. (2021). Using Photographs to Create Culturally Relevant Classrooms: People of San Antonio, Texas, in the 1930s. Social Studies and the Young Learner, 33(3), 3–7.
Photo by Sheila Webber: more astrantia in someone's garden, June 2021

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Registration open for South Carolina Conference on Information Literacy #SCCIL21

Registration is now open for the free online 2021 South Carolina Conference on Information Literacy taking place 4-6 August 2021. At time of writing there is no schedule, but the hosts look like they are in the Eastern time zone of the USA (which is, for example, 5 hours behind the UK), so bear that in mind when planning. The conference theme is Reshaping the Future of Instruction.
"The South Carolina Conference on Information Literacy is a new conference focused on providing instruction librarians a space for professional development and networking opportunities. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, we welcome any and all librarians who are interested in learning about new classroom strategies, instruction ideas, or anything else involved in teaching students information literacy skills. ... The SCCIL Conference seeks to bring together a group of librarians, educators and practitioners for presentations, discussions and networking. We encourage participation from all types of libraries such as academic, community, museums, libraries (K-12, higher education, public, special), institutions, and organizations."
The SCCIL website is here and you can register here

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

New open access book: Indigenous Information Literacy

Rachel Chong (Indigenous Engagement and Subject Liaison Librarian at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (BC, Canada) has published an open access book: Indigenous Information Literacy It looks very interesting and I've already put it on the reading list for my Information Literacy modules!
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, July 2021

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Webinar: Implementing OER in Education & Behavioral Sciences

The Education and Behavioral Science Section of ACRL is hosting an online panel about implementing open educational resource (OER) programmes at 1pm-2pm US CT (which is, e.g. 7pm-8pm UK time) on 30 July 2021. "Librarians Dorinne Banks, Open Education Librarian at George Washington University, Heather Blicher, Coordinator of Libraries Services at Reynolds Community College, and Lindsay Inge Carpenter, Pedagogy Librarian at University of Maryland, will share their experiences working with faculty and instructors to promote and engage with OER. Additional discussion topics will include opportunities and resources for librarians to learn about OER; intersections of OER and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; how to build community locally, regionally, and nationally; and models that have been helpful for implementing OER." Register at and submit questions for panelists at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, July 2021

Masked by trust: bias in library discovery

A book mentioned in a conference session I attended recently was: Reidsma, M. (2019). Masked by trust: bias in library discovery. ISBN 978-1-63400-083-3

You can buy the print copy from Library Juice Press and there is also a free pdf version from the suthor's website "Library discovery systems struggle with accuracy, relevance, and human biases, and these shortcomings have the potential to shape the academic research and worldviews of the students and faculty who rely on them. While human bias, commercial interests, and problematic metadata have long affected researchers’ access to information, algorithims in library discovery systems increase the scale of the negative effects on users, while libraries continue to promote their “objective” and “neutral” search tools."

Photo by Sheila Webber: hollyhock, July 2021

Friday, July 09, 2021

Information Literacy in the QAnon Era #FestivIL @bfister

On the final day of FestivIL (yesterday), the keynote was from Barbara Fister. Her prerecorded lecture took up the theme of her Project Information Literacy Provocations essay - Information Literacy in the QAnon Era. When it is made public I will embed the video here. One thing that struck me particularly was the point that QAnon (the North American movement that rejects scientific evidence, conventional news sources etc.) gives the same type of advice as librarians: that you should be sceptical of sources, do your own searching etc., which is rather scary.

In terms of the live session on the 8th July, the usual caveat is that - this is my impression, and I'm not covering all that was discussed. In this live session, Fister started talking about her own work with information literacy as librarian in a North American university, and how it had to keep changing because of developments in media, scholarship and publication. She also referred to her involvement in Project Information Literacy over the past few years. Fister went on to talk about the intersections between her perspective on information literacy, and the perspective that emerged in Drabinski’s video/session. One of the messages at the end of Fister's introduction was the need to “dial down” on telling people not to trust anything, putting more emphasis on discussing why you need certain information practices and why, and how, you can trust some information more than others. 

One of the questions from a delegate, in the live session, was how community outreach could help in information literacy education. Fister reflected on how she could have done more on this (for example, partnering with the public library), given that Project Information Literacy (PIL) showed that students learnt from each other and were interested in the concerns of communities outside academia. She also mentioned an intervention in which students were engaging with older people, with some older people wanting to take the information literacy materials and share them with their own community groups. There seemed a lot of scope for connecting with different kinds of community groups, as outreach work. 

Another question was - Is empowering students a key to motivating them for IL? Fister again pointed out that people in QAnon may spend a very long time searching for information, and so there were certainly examples of people being motivated! Fister thought that empowerment was valuable, but not really enough - some other guidance was useful (in making decisions about what was valuable/trustworthy etc.). She also referred to the moment when a student starts to really care about the subject or investigation they are doing; that owning the subject was a big help in motivating them to care about IL. PIL had shown that PIL had shown that students didn’t feel that what they learnt at university had helped them much with IL at work. Fister reflected that it would be valuable to do more to understand and trigger that curiosity and ownership at university and helping students to carry that attitude through to the workplace. 

There was a question about students’ relationship to news, and amongst other things Fister talked about how the students PIL researched felt they were in a special position (because they hadn't had access to social media when very young, and now were steeped in it more than some in older age groups). They felt that made them critical of social media; they were flooded with news, and felt they needed to manage it and navigate it, because they were engaged with issues of the wider world such as climate change. This created stress, making a sort of conflict between what they engaged with in class, and this engagement with news and outside issues. There was an opportunity to connect these two areas of students' lives in information literacy education (and other parts of their learning). 

There was more discussion and also a lot going on in the text chat, including: role/training of journalists; challenges of information literacy education in schools (e.g. in getting support from teachers and administration for more information literacy); issues around engaging learners with open access materials; and how you can stimulate intrinsic motivation. 

Some of the links mentioned in the chat were: The FOSIL group, Ofcom's report on news consumption, the Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies' report on Digital Technology and the Resurrection of Trust and a book: Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Livestreaming virtual LILi Conference

This Friday, July 9 from 10 am PDT to 3:30 pm PDT (6pm to 11.30pm UK time) is the free virtual LILi (lifelong information literacy) conference and although all the delegate tickets are gone, you can follow the livestream at The LILi Conference website has the schedule for the conference schedule and you can already view the poster presentations whichinclude posters on the inclusive IL classroom and IL as a social practice.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Black Lives Matter, Brexit and Covid-19 discussed Information literacy in a post-2020 world #FestivIL

In the keynote session today at FestivIL, Alison Hicks, Maud Cooper, Sae Matsuno, Eva Pickersgill, David Smith, Grace Troth (all University College London) led a session on  Black Lives Matter, Brexit and Covid-19 discussed Information literacy in a post-2020 world. I'll start with the video that was prerecorded, and give my own summary of that (and add the link when it's made public).It started with the speakers proposing a theme or word. Cooper's word was Chaos, referring to the problems of the pandemic and how she had "discovered as a professional the importance of when to stop searching for more". Matsuno's theme was Learning about silence, drawing on experience of doing oral history interviews: silence is significant in interviews, and Matsuno felt silence can also have different forms and meanings in different information landscapes (for example indicating things which are hidden or missing, or more positively, being part of relaxation or tranquility).
Pickersgill's theme was the Digital Divide , which has highlighted by the pandemic: in particular she talked about digital divide in the workplace. Smith choose Looking for meaning by coping with illness, specifically mental illness, and he referred to pscho education practice which could provide principles that could be embedded in information literacy education. He also mentioned bibliotherapy, and talked more about this in the live session, including the added value of having a facilitator (information literacy/librarian) working through the bibliography. A key goal is to support people to see themselves as coping, rather than suffering. In the live session he also mentioned the challenge of getting people to take pre-emptive action - how could one encourage and support people to do that.
Finally Troth's theme was Open doors, closed windows of opportunities, thinking about the way in which libraries were opening more as unstaffed spaces (more hours open, but in some cases fewer hours staffed), so there were fewer opportunities for being supported by library staff. 
The video then went on to a discussion of information literacy post 2020/pandemic. Themes included: new awareness of shared problems (e.g. isolation) with potential for a more joined-up approach & IL helping us to address conflicting discourses; the pandemic having accelerated the shift online (rather than triggering it) and the question of whether information literacy teaching might have to move online more permanently; similarly the pandemic had exposed inequalities that already existed, which should prompt people to reflect more critically and empathetically, and consider actions they could take. Information Literacy could have the potential to help foster this process of reflection and action.
In the live session today, there was a focus on question and discussion. I have been distracted by the fact that I'm chairing the panel session that's on next, so my attention was not as good as it should have been! Discussion included debating what the place of information literacy was in the future; and whether the information literacy researchers and practitioners were in a position to meet the current challenges (COVID, climate change etc.) (Hicks thought that the answer was yes - but it meant critically reflecting on your own practice and taking action). There was also discussion about conspiracy theory and how we respond to them; the fact that a low amount of literature focuses on IL in public libraries (and why this might be); the problem of people just being expected to "pick up" digital/information literacy; the importance of understanding and presenting data, and reflecting on ethical issues related to data; people's growing awareness of the impact on others of what they put online.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Secondment; Food & activity tracking #FestivIL

In one of the lightning sessions today at FestivIL. Sara Hafeez gave a talk Firstly Wait a Secondment! Some reflections on information literacy, inclusivity, and invisible barriers in which she introduced a project (quoting from the abstract) "of a secondment in Library Services at University of Westminster. This project was started in 2019, where the use of secondment opportunities was embraced by Library Services at Westminster. Deepa Rathod, full-time in frontline facing Customer Services team, won the 0.5 secondment to Academic Liaison & Learning Development team."

So this was aiming to get over the problem of working in silos, and learning more from people in different teams. Hafeez found herself thinking - what is it about information literacy - what are the invisible barriers that stop people from being information literacy specialists - and what does inclusivity really mean? (when it sometimes gets used in a rather empty, routine way). The discussion after this talked about various aspects of siloing (barriers to getting different types of job, for example), the place of job descriptions (and keeping them up to date), expectations of what librarians are willing to do, the usefulness (or not) of library qualifications, how valueable it is to make (for example) interview material and processes more accessible to everyone - and a number of other things!

My colleague Pam McKinney talked about The Information literacy of food and activity tracking in 3 communities: parkrunners, people with type 2 diabetes and people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The abstract was very informative, so I will include that! "There is increasing interest in the use of mobile apps and devices to track aspects of diet and health and wellbeing activity, and research has shown that use of apps can motivate people to adopt healthy behaviours, including a healthy diet, increased physical activity and weight loss. Information literacy is crucial to the safe and effective use of tracked information in this landscape. In this research study, an online questionnaire was distributed to members of 3 distinct communities: members of the parkrun organisation, members of the IBS Network charity and members of the online community. The aim of the research was to discover the tracking practices of people in these communities and to understand nature of information literacy in this landscape (McKinney et al. 2019). The survey was distributed in early 2018, and 143 responses were received from parkrunners; 140 from and 45 from the IBS Network. The data showed that there were clear differences in the tracking practices of the members of the three communities, and differences in motivations for tracking. Developing information literacy in this landscape is centred around four interrelated areas (Cox et al. 2017): 1) Understanding the importance of quality in data inputs; 2) Ability to interpret tracking information outputs in the context of the limitations of the technology; 3) Awareness of data privacy and ownership; 4) Appropriate management of information sharing. These four areas are explored for each of the participant communities, and the distinctive nature of food and activity tracking for each community, and the commonalities across the participant groups are identified. Implications for the support of information literacy development in everyday life are presented."
Cox AM, McKinney PA & Goodale P (2017) Food logging: an information literacy perspective. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 69(2), 184-200.
McKinney P, Cox AM & Sbaffi L (2019) Information literacy in food and activity tracking among three communities: parkrunners, people with type 2 diabetes and people with IBS. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(8).

Teaching the Radical Catalog #FestivIL

I'm attending the virtual conference FestivIL (three half days, today until Thursday) and I will do a little liveblogging over the next 3 days. The format for a number of sessions was to have a prerecorded video, that people are supposed to view in advance, to have more time for discussion on teh day. The keynotes are all in this format, and the first is from Emily Drabinski on Teaching the Radical Catalog
In her video, Drabinski talked a bit about her own history & position, and then gave us illustrations of the problems with cataloguing, classification and indexing systems - using examples relating to gender, sexuality, and the family. However, she also identified the practical problem that learners needed support, and just rejecting these tools was not going to help them learn, thus "This is the task of the critical information literacy instructor: I want to teach you both how this system is reflective of power, and these are the tools that you need in order to get what you need" This can mean "teaching students about the catalogue as a text", so that they both get information (e.g. how to find a book) and learn to critique the tool they are using. For example, the way in which the book is indexed may obscure its revolutionary, radical subject, and thus make it irretrievable if you are searching in these terms. By surfacing and discussing these issues the information literacy librarian can raise learners' understanding of systems and power strucures, and how they impact people's lives.  

In the session itself, the focus was on addressing questions posed by participants, in advance or on the day. The following is just my own interpretation of what was said, so please don't treat it as authoritative, also I'll just mention a few questions. The first question was - is it possible to develop cataloguing & classification systems in this day and age, and can you get rid of what is there already? How viable are cataloguing and classification as skillsets? Drabinski recognised the difficulty of creating the system in the first place (dismantling it is not a simple thing), and also that there is value in creating metadata that really does describe items so you can get hold of them (even when so many are googling). This led to a discussion about the problematic corporate nature of Google; and ideal classification schemes (and the problem of creating one that is truly inclusive and meeting everyone's needs). Later on, issues around actual physical organisation of the collection were mentioned - and how it was more difficut than, say, changing subject headings.

Another question was "How do we have this conversation with people who are more traditional?" which it was agreed was a really useful question, but challenging to address! One idea was that because the catalogue was not "personal" it could be a less emotional way of getting talking about the issues of difference and exclusion.

The session chair (Jess Haigh) highlighted a key idea of Drabinski's talk - wringing what you can out of the system. There is also the issue of what you do after you've come up against the limit of your system - and have to "figure out how you change the picture". 

Another question was about balancing the perspectives of author, patron (and some other group, sorry I didn't catch it) - and Drabinski said that there was a need to think about the way in which someone might want to find or might describe an item, and not just represent the document by the way the author chooses to identify it (this seemed to reinforce the idea that you need to be open in seeing an item from different perspectives). 

Altogether a stimulating session and I'll add the link to Drabinki's video when that's made public after the conference.

Health Information Week #HIW2021 #MILCLICKS

This is Health Information Week in the UK (5-11 July) "a national, multi-sector campaign promoting high-quality information for patients and the public". They are promoting the PIF TICK website, on which the Patient Information Forum (PIF) explains the criteria for their UK-wide quality mark for health information, and provides links to the quality-marked organisations, as well as other advice on how to tell whether information is reliable.
HIW is on Twitter at
Graphic free to use from the Health Information Week website:

Monday, July 05, 2021

Recent articles: IL support of nurses; Health crisis information needs; Intergenerational sharing; Information practices of immigrants, of lawyers, in leisure, of LGBTQIA+ leaders; IL in MOOC learning

Articles from the latest 2 issues of Journal of Documentation (priced journal) include:
In Volume 77 issue 3
- Validation of information-seeking behaviour of nursing students confirms most profiles but also indicates desirable changes for information literacy support by Peter Stokes, Robert Priharjo, Christine Urquhart
- Facilitation of information literacy through a multilingual MOOC considering cultural aspects by Stefan Dreisiebner et al. (Open access)
- Cultural information needs of long-settled immigrants, their descendants and family members: use of collective and personal information sources about the home country by Maja Krtalic
- A systematic integrative review of cognitive biases in consumer health information seeking: emerging perspective of behavioral information research by Tsangyao Chen
- Intergenerational workplace knowledge sharing: challenges and new directions by Jiayang Tang, Jorge Tiago Martins
- Discursive power and resistance in the information world maps of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual community leaders by Vanessa Kitzie, Travis Wagner, A. Nick Vera
- Documenting social justice in library and information science research: a literature review by Joseph Winberry, Bradley Wade Bishop 

In Volume 77 issue 4
- Toward a conceptual framework of health crisis information needs: an analysis of COVID-19 questions in a Chinese social Q&A website by Qing Ke, Jia Tina Du, Lu Ji
- Information activities in serious leisure as a catalyst for self-actualisation and social engagement by Yazdan Mansourian
- A dual lens approach to exploring informal communication's influence on learning in a political party by Susannah Micaela Hanlon
- Exploring the information practices of lawyers by Jenny Bronstein, Yosef Solomon

Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, July 2021

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Recent articles: Social Justice; Metaliteracy; Virtual focus groups; Digital badges; IL and leadership

Articles from the latest issues of the open access College & Research Libraries News: From volume 82 number 6 (June 2021)
- Focus groups as an assessment strategy: Lessons learned by Megan Reichelt, Kayla Gourlay, Valerie Linsinbigler, Ashley Blinstrub, Maoria J. Kirker
- Focus groups from home: Conducting virtual focus groups during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond by Brendan Johnson, Katie Odhner
- Information literacy leadership: The traits we didn’t know we had by Andrea W. Brooks, Lynn Warner, Jane Hammons
From Volume 82 number 5 (May 2021)
- Feasible and flexible: Launching an information and digital literacy badge and certificate program in collaboration with a teaching and learning center by Samantha Peter, Kristina Clement, Shannon Sheridan, Hilary Baribeau
- Embracing metaliteracy: Metamodern libraries and virtual learning communities by Valerie J. Hill, Thomas P. Mackey
- Overdue: Incorporating social justice into the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education by Christopher Sweet  

Photo by Sheila Webber: pink roses, July 2021

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Digital society: challenges & opportunities

A news item from yesterday (July 2) reports on Patrick Penninckx (Head of the Information Society Department of the Council of Europe) talking to people at the European Seniors Union Summer Academy in Vienna on Digital society: challenges & opportunities, and including a mention of Media and Information Literacy. The news story (with typos is here: here The recording of the whole event (Penninckx' talk starts at 4hrs 40 mins) is on this page: - the reference to MIL is at the end, and unfortunately whilst it does mention MIL on the slide, the heading is "Media Literacy" - but at least it is in there! The European Seniors Union is "largest political seniors’ organisation in Europe"
Photo by Sheila Webber: you can just see the bee's leg in this rose, as it was buried in the centre collecting pollen, July 2021