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 Diabetes.co.uk 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 Diabetes.co.uk 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. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-12-2016-0208
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). https://doi.org/10.2196/13652

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