Saturday, July 30, 2022

The Art of Being a Leader #WLIC2022

Today the IFLA SET conference started with a talk from IFLA President Barbara Lison on The Art of Being a Leader. She started by stating her belief in the value for learning and professional development. She then presented a professional motto for a library leader "the library is you", and stated that leadership needed personality and skills. Lison reminded us that people form opinions very quickly when they first see you. This led to her saying that we need to think about what impression we make on others, and then an interesting conversation amongst participants about whether or not people cared about what impression they made and issues such as stereotyping. Lison also presented some statistics that, in terms of being perceived of being capable, that it was based: 30% on your work, 30% on presentation of self; 30% of being seen to do a good job, and 10% on what you are saying and doing. Lison went on to talk about personality (which she saw as consisting of assets, values and image), and how you need to be aware of it and reflect whether you want to change it. This led to the idea of personal branding, which you can strengthen through listing (your assets etc.), auditing, choosing an accountability partner, creating a tagline for your brand, designing an action plan, and ask yourself questions. Lison advocated: having a clear focus and goals; developing critical self-awareness; being consistent in your branding; being clear; being ready to fail and show weakness; creating a positive impact (since one creates an impact whether or not you want to); following a successful example; being likeable not liked; having more questions than answers; build relationships. Lison also listed skills for successful leadership such as social competence, belief in oneself, consistency, empathy.After the talk there was a lively discussion on topics such as finding your voice, and presenting your case

Friday, July 29, 2022

Omani libraries & SDGs; Staff digital divide; Impact of having a PhD; Wikimedia in the classroom #WLIC2022

The IFLA SET Conference today ended with some short presentations, and I'll give a few notes from each of them. 

(1) Omani Libraries and Their Role in Supporting the Achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals from Saif Aljabri (presenter) and Waleed AlBadi, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Theycarried out a survey in public and academic libraries in Oman, with about 44 responses, to find out how librarians are dealing with the SDGs. 27% were aware of the goals, 57% said they needed more information, and the others were not aware of he SDGs. 39% believed that libraries are a major contributors to SDGs, 21% had carried out activities connected with the SDGs in their libraries. The obstacles they identified included administrative and financial obstacles, that librarians were not ready to work with SDGs, and that there were legislative obstacles. Ideas for activities from participants included workshops for students, awareness sessions and brochures, educational workshops. The authors had designed an online training course for librarians which included ways of developing the SDGs. 

(2) Bridging the Staff Digital Divide in the Library Workplace with EDIA [Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility] by Joan Weeks, Library of Congress, United States. She highlighted that when staff came back after the lockdown phase of the pandemic, it became evident that there was a digital divide amongst staff in the library themselves. Problems included: slow bandwidth or crashes; lack of support; legacy software; access to devices; steroetyped expectations. Examples of equity in staff development included one on one instruction on how to use Libguides, weekly discussions, and planning exchange of experience. Diversity issues included - instructors needing to review the learning context to ensure that people could see themselves reflected in the material or learning. Inclusion strategies included encouraging people to identify skill gaps and supporting staff in filling them, and allowing people who are inexperienced in using platforms like Zoom to pracice using it in an informal context. The speaker also mentioned universal design and the importance of this for accessibility. 

(3) Impact of LIS Professionals with Doctorates on Library Services from Eva Hornung, CDETB Curriculum Development Unit, Ireland. She reported on some research she did for a Masters in Higher Education. She started with a review of international literature, and found a mixed picture (e.g. in the USA it makes a difference as you can get tenure, but there was no research from some other countries). She used phenomenography as a research approach (to identify variations in experience). She had 10 interviews with librarians, 10 with employers plus focus group with people who worked with librarians with PhDs. The categories that were discovered were: (1) Changing perception of the library (having someone with a PhD changes how people view the library, and it enables researchers to connect better with the librarian); (2) being an expert; (3) growing as a person. The dimensions of variation (which are important in all the categories but whose meaning change in each category) were: motivation; skills; benefits (who benefits); personal attributes. 

(4) New Learning New Skill for Strategized LIS Training: Wikimedia in the Classroom from Ngozi Perpetua Osuchukwu (presenter), Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria, and Ebele Nkiru Anyaoku, Library, University of Abuja FCT, Nigeria. The speaker identified that LIS workers needed media, information and digital literacies, and these are also things that are developed by working with Wikipedia. For example it can be used by - editing articles, adding pictures, adding sources. Osuchukwu identified how many libraries are adopting Wikipedia. The speakers worked with a group of of 22 librarians. 70% of them were not aware beforehand of the role of library and information professionals with wikipedia but then their awareness was raised and afterwards they started getting involved, for example, in the Africa Wikipedia library day. The speaker also identified that there were grants and lots of opportunities to use it in library work.

LIS Research Methodology: Decolonial Perspectives Informing Knowledge of African Communities #WLIC2022

The next talk I will blog from the IFLA SET Training School is LIS Research Methodology: Decolonial Perspectives Informing Knowledge of African Communities, presented by Professor Jaya Raju (University of Cape Town, South Africa). She aligned her perspective on decolonisation with that of Bagele Chilisa, and Raju also mentioned the work of Linda Tuniwai Smith and numerous other authors: this was a rich and scholarly presentation that I'm not able to do justice to. She emphasised that the existing LIS research literature mostly comes from the Global North and reflects Western research methodologies, and so there is a need to engage LIS with research methods informed by decolonial perspectives, so that there can be a more nuanced understanding of communities. Raju gave examples of "Combative decolonial" approaches to research methods e.g. conducting research so that the "worldviews of those who have suffered a long history of oppression and marginalisation are given space to communicate from their frames of reference" - with research data being "engaged with in its own terms". Raju asserted that transformation in research "can only happen when the researched and the researchers are involved from the outset", which means truly participatory research methods. One example Raju gave was that the Lancet rejects articles with data collected in Africa, but with no mention of African collaborators. 

Raju stated that this does not mean discarding Western research methods, but to have the different worldviews, epistemologies etc. coexisting, and privileging the indigenous ways of knowing of the community being researched. Moving specifically to library and information research - there is the starting point that "information" is not neutral. This makes it particularly important for LIS research to be "critically reflexive and decolonial in its approach". Raju presented a diagram that drew on indigenous and western research methodologies, and also a table that compared various Western research paradigams e.g. positivist, constructivist, with a decolonial perspective as regards what ontology, epistemology, axiology, methodology meant in each paradigm.

Digital by Default, Inclusive by Design? #WLIC2022

Today I'm speaking at the IFLA WLIC 2022 Satellite Conference: SET Training School: Towards a Curriculum for Social and Digital Inclusion and Lifelong Learning. I will post my presentation when I've uploaded it to Slideshare, and will also do some liveblogging. 

The first speaker today was Marta Bustillo (University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland) on Digital by Default, Inclusive by Design? Musings on 21st Century Librarianship She started by talking about Maria Moliner, who Bustillo named as her librarian hero. Amongst other things, Moliner was the first woman to teach at the University of Murcia, Spain, in 1924, and she worked in a team setting up a network of rural libraries across Spain. Despite being purged from her post when Franco came to power, she still carried on and her most remembered achievement was compiling a dictionary of Spanish usage, which is still held in high regard. Bustillo emphasised that the connection to her talk was Moliner's belief in the power of libraries, inclusion, vision and tenacity. 

Moving on to the theme of "digital by default", the speaker cited statistics that there is an estimated 7.9 billion population in the world, of which 5 billion have internet access. This raises the question of who is being left behind by making as much as possible digital, and also thinking about whether this race to the digital is giving libraries less control over materials etc. (as more and more is in the control of a handful of companies, in the cloud). Bustillo noted that "Digital is neither accessible not inclusive" and not sustainable if our energy supply is threatened. 

She then gave the example of UCD Library Digital Literacy initiative, and there is information here Digital Literacy was chosen as the focus of the initiative as it is mentioned in documents such as UCD's strategic plan. They have created a framework based on the European Union's one, have designed a digital skills portfolio that students should build up, and aim to embed digital skills in programmes of study. She identified that this work required many skills: course design, teaching, collaboration, technical knowledge, advocacy, and the ability to use research methods and carry out evaluation.

This obviously leads to the question of what is needed in library and information courses. She raised the question of whether the courses should aim for depth or breadth, and just skills and knowledge, or more than that. She has been working with a network aiming to educate librarians about open education, European Network of Open Education Librarians. On the issue of inclusivity - since communities are diverse, there is the question of how that can be reflected in the spectrum of libraries and their activities (e.g. format decisions, library design, staff management, hiring, collection development). Bustillo emphasised that librarianship is a profession about people, and that librarians must work successfully and empathetically with their communities. Therefore she wanted to turn round the title of her talk - that it should be Inclusive by Default and Digital by Design.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Climate Action in Libraries: Creating a More Sustainable Future by Engaging and Inspiring Youth #WLIC2022

The last formal session I attended at WLIC in Dublin was Climate Action in Libraries: Creating a More Sustainable Future by Engaging and Inspiring Youth, organised by the IFLA Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section, Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section. There were six short talks 

 1. The Libraries Inspiring Young People toward Sustainable Futures: A Danish Example from Søren Dahl Mortensen, Odense Central Library, Denmark. The focus of their project was sustainability and also new ways of lending. They decided to make recycling kits for lending out, asking young people about what should be in the kit. The first is a DIY kit has tools and guides useful for when you move away frm home e.g. drill, tool box, instructions so people can do practical things like put up pictures and shelves. The 2nd is a Party Kit with popcorn/candyfloss machine, lights etc. There is also an Outdoor kit, a food/gastronomy kit and a Scrap Sculpture kit. There were discussions abut whether these were things for libraries to do, but the answer is, yes they are! 

2. Coatian Libraries Engaging Youth in Sustainable Practices from Alica Kolaric, University of Zadar, Croatia . The speaker identified that there were lots of library initiatives and she highlighted some of them. (1) "we sow and plant" sowing and monitoring growth of plants (2) Celebration of World Bee Day (3) Children learning about local meadow plants (planting some more bee-friendly plants) and bees (4) Creating a picture book with stories from local folk tales and ecological messages (5) Making a wooden composter (6) Ecologically themed puppet show (7) Stribor Forest project, an instructive trail - the library collaborating with a local hiking group (8) Book shelves aith ecologically themed books (9) Lavender days - children harvesting this local crop and making lavender bags etc. in the library (10) Eco themed storytelling (11) Green library project in Zagreb with exhibitions, walks etc. 

 3. Training for Teachers and Librarians About Sustainability Through Picture Books and Comics. An Example from the Bibliothéque Nationale de France (BnF) from Emilie Bettega, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, France. She provided a full text paper here She highlighted that the new Bibliothéque Nationale building contains in the middle an urban forest with cute animals! There is a reading room for sustainable development and also a section of the website devoted to sustainable development. They collaborate with the EAC on training teachers about how to use picture books and comics in sustainability education. Also they collaborated with Cite des sciences et industrie, and a key part of this was enabling teachers to help pupils create their own comics, learning how to use an app that supports creation of comics. This led in turn to the idea of having training for librarians. 

 4. Youth and Environmental Emotions Project – Public Libraries Supporting Youth to Treat and Express Their Emotions and Views Concerning Environmental Issues from Veera Visuri, Helsinki City Library, Finland. There also is a paper for this This started from the fact that young people are experiencing climate anxiety and thinking about the role of public libraries in countering this anxiety. The project involved libraries in 4 cities: main target groups were people aged 13-20 an also librarians (who can continue the work). They carried out a survey to get the young people's own ideas. There were lots different ideas (see the picture above) in libraries, some also in schools and youth centres. They also used social media e.g. TikEok, Instagram, Youtube etc. on themes such as tips, environmental feelings. They had campaigns which solicited questions and then experts answered them in videos. Providing the information, events etc. where the young people were situated was important (physical and virtual places). They are publishing a practical guide to events and activities, to support people organising these. 

5. Tales, Videos, Games and Environmental Education to Engage Children and Young Adults: Looking for Funny Approaches to get Involved With SDGs from RECIDA (Spain) from Rosario Toril Moreno, National Centre of Environmental Education, National Parks Autonomous Agency, Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Spain (coauthored with her collagues). There is a full text paper here RECIDA is a network of green libraries with working groups for different projects. Their website is and they participate in a lot of social media platforms. They loan collections, suitcases with different materials in them, have mobile libraries and run things like environmental storytelling. They have incorporated SDGs into readings that teachers can use, and create videos e.g. on how to take care of animals and the forest. They have created games e.g. SDG escape room. They encourage young people to carry out investigations and activities e.g. creating gardens, monitoring air quality. 

 6. Green Initiatives Towards a Sustainable Future: Insights From Libraries in Kenya from Arnold Mwanzu, Aga Khan University, Kenya. His paper is here As not much was known what was being done in Kenyan libraries to address these green issues, they did some research. They used interviews, observation and document review and looked at libraries in a variety of sectors. May librarians were not familiar with the concept of green libraries, but in fact they were carrying out green library practices. Examples are rain harvesting, using natural lighting, tree planting inside the library (all had planting either or inside the library, and sometimes students were involved), discouraging printing and generally using less paper, using solar energy. Young people are involved in greening events (e.g. collaborating with a school on tree planting). They propose more involvement of young people, having performance evaluation for the green aspect of libraries and maintaining the green library standards.

Librarians as Evidence Intermediaries during Times of Crisis #Evidenceforall #WLIC2022

At the WLIC conference today I was in a session called Librarians as Evidence Intermediaries during Times of Crisis. I'm having to leave early to stand by my poster in the exhibition, but I will provide some notes from the introductory talks at least. The session was organised by the IFLA Evidence for Global and Disaster Health Special Interest Group. COVID had a good side in revealing the good evidence there was (ad library helped with this process), the bad were the shortcomings in research that emerged, and teh ugly was teh wave of disinformation. Two reports were identified as important: a report from the Cochrane Collaboration and one from the Evidence Commission. Both of them represented a call to action, including identifying librarians' role in providing #Evidencefor all. The SIG has 3 strands of work: advocacy, skills development and collaborative work & partnerships.  

The first speaker was Margaret Zimmerman, Florida State University, United States, who talked about Health information as a human right: developments over the past year. This is looking at issues of equality in getting health information - the right can be drawn from the Declaration of Human rights articles 19, 25 and 27. Thus it is a violation of human rights to thwart efforts to give credible information on health to all. The speaker referred to the session at lat year's IFLA session (which I blogged here and the recording is here). In the past year the Global Health Information Network has become a WHO partner, Cochrane has called on people/agencies who produce information to collaborate in a network to improve access to information globally (IFLA has joined this iniative). Zimmermann also highlighted an article that she has written on the topic of her talk which is going to appear in Library quarterly.

Secondly, Jeremy Grimshaw, co-lead Global Commission on Evidence to Support Societal Challenges, then spoke about Building Global Evidence Support systems. He noted how the pandemic had created an unprecedented interest from stakeholders - though the initial flurry included people doing incomplete, ineffective and soon out-of-date evidence reviews - but also on the other hand some innovative initiatives. COVID-END was formed as a time limited network for international evidence synthesis. There is information about COVID END here The speaker went on to talk about the Evidence Report, available in several languages - this is the English version Grimshaw highlighted that the material in the report - much of it in infographics - can be used freely by others. They made 20 recommendations for agencies and groups at various levels e.g. policy-makers, funders. The speaker saw librarians as key across all the sectors because of the power they have to push forward the agenda. 

After this there were discussion sessions in which the participants shared their experiences and initiatives, using the three themes: equity, strategies/working practices and coordination/collaboration. I think there will be a write up of key points that emerge, so I will look out for that. Before leaving for my poster I eavesdropped on the group discussing "equity", and points being discussed included: how both in Africa and in North America there were parts of the population that had no internet access, and in some cases there is scarcely use of any media (TV, radio etc.) at all; that there was a problem of what represented "authority" for information guidance; that reliable information and messages about avoiding misinformation could be very dry and unengaging (whereas misinformation may be presented in very engaging ways).

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

IFLA Guidelines for professional library and information science (LIS) education programmes #WLIC2022

This afternoon at the World Library and Information Congress I attended a session on IFLA Guidelines for professional library and information science (LIS) education programmes. This has been an initiative developed over a number of years, and the finally approved version of the guidelines are here The aim is for the guidelines to be used to influence national accreditation bodies and policy agency, and for them to be used with individual programmes. We discussed the guidelines on tables (on mine there were people from various types of library, from Armenia, USA, Germany, Ireland, Wales; plus me from an information school in England). There were three topics for discussion, and these are some key ideas that emerged.

(1) Promoting the guidelines
- Employing the guidelines as a professional development tool e.g. for workshops
- Promoting guidelines to encourage mobility berween jobs (notably between countries)
- Discussing the guidelines at local conferences, including socialising them with students
- Using social media to stimulate knowledge and understanding about the guidelines
- That the strategy would depend on the extent to which a national professional structure was developed (e.g. for those in countries with accrediting associations there needed to be discussion with them to make sure the IFLA guidelines were incorporated in their accrediting structures; for those that didn't it might involve approaching individual universities to run smaller courses based on some elements of the guidelines) 

(2) Using the guidelines as a tool for the development of quality in LIS education
- Starting by reviewing existing programmes and see whether they are compatible - addressing the gaps - Use as an international examination
- Using it as a basis for reciprocity, so people could move between countries
- Getting examples so people can see what the guidelines look like in practice
- Need help in thinking about how to use the guidelines in specific areas e.g. if training childen's librarians for specific tasks 

(3) Challenges in implementation of the guidelines
- It would be helpful if there workshops on mapping accreditation standards to the IFLA guidelines (i.e. how to do that)
- Finding ways of helping librarians create development programmes mapped to the guidelines, also advice on getting support from funding agencies to support the programmes
- There are procedures for getting academic programmes approved - so incorporating the guidelines might involve a lot of bureaucratic effort
- Having an impact in different countries - How do you cope with fast-changing skills 

The idea is that this should be a living document and is of genuine use to library and information professionals. Therefore there is an intention to have a group of people stewarding it. People who have already provided leadership are Jaya Raju (University of Cape Town, South Africa), Clara M. Chu (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States) and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States): these three led the session. Other people are mentioned in the guidelines (linked above). See also

Part 2 of - News literacy session #WLIC2022

This is part 2 of my notes from the WLIC session on News Literacy: Fighting Mis/Disinformation at Your Library this morning (part 1 is here).
The next speaker was Ebele Nkiru Anyaoku, University of Abuja, Nigeria and the paper was coauthored by Ngozi P. Osuchukwu, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria. The paper was Librarians use of information literacy strategic tools for teaching students in Nigerian universities to combat fake news and information. The speaker outlined the problem of information disorders and its impact on wellbeing: fake news spreads fear and panic and can be literally fatal if people believe health myths and false health information. Young people are certainly at risk since they access online information through social media through the day, and may not be able to identify fake news. People need a critical mindset, search skills and knowledge about quality information sources and finally the ability to evaluate information. There is an officially approved information literacy course which is used by people in Nigerian universities called GST 121 Use of Library and Study Skills. Therefore they carried out a research study to investigate whether the material being used to teach it were meeting the course's aims. They carried out document analysis and analysed websites. The review showed there was no module on fake news. They did discover media and informatiteracy modules and analysed the content. The percentage (about 11%) of material on evaluation was not sufficient, with more material on search etc. Also the library websites more broadly did not have material countering, and warning against, fake news. They recommend that e.g. fact checking, evaluating, spotting fake news should be included in modules, with revision of the GST121 course, and also the library websites should be upgraded. The paper for this talk is at 

The next talk was Fighting Against Fake News: a Study of Central University Libraries in India presented by Mahender Pratap Singh, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, India. As with other speakers, he emphasised the role of librarians in combatting misinformation. The speaker presented research (a questionnaire survey carried out during the pandemic) into the role of librarians and their strategies in combatting fake news. The participants were from Central Universitiy libraries, and more than half the libraries responded. The respondents identified fake news as harmful. They did identify roles for librarians in identifying fake news and fact checking, and said there were offering information literacy training. A major problem was lack of support from their institution. Suggestions made by the presenter ranged from those aimed at librarians up to those aimed at government. They included institutions taking disciplinary action against those spreading fake news, and also government policies to raise awareness and control fake news. The paper is here 

Finally we had a presentation on Vietnam academic libraries and fake news on social networks: revealing the truth and solving the problem by Lan Nguyen Thi Kim, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University Hanoi, Vietnam. She presented some general statistics about the population and their use of internet and socal media. They had carried out a survey about how university librarians were dealing with fake news. There were 505 valid responses to the survey that they conducted. They found that those with former training and better education were better at discerning the truth and more careful when shring information. The paper is here

News Literacy: Fighting Mis/Disinformation at Your Library #WLIC2022

I'm at the World Library and Information Conference in Dublin and will be blogging some of the sessions. The first is: News Literacy: Fighting Mis/Disinformation at Your Library. This was a session organised by Social Science Libraries Section and News Media Section, of the International Federation of Library and Information Associations (IFLA). The moderators were Abby More, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, United States and Ann Okerson, Center for Research Libraries, United States. The session was attended by over 200 people, and when asked whether fake news was a serious issue in our country, I think everyone put up their hand. I'll blog the session in two parts. The following a just notes, and I have linked to the full text papers that give more information.

The first talk was on Training the trainers: A public library - higher education collaboration for Media Literacy education in Ireland, presented by Crystal Fulton, University College Dublin, Ireland and Claire McGuinness, University College Dublin, Ireland. They described a collaboration between academics at the School of Information and Communication Studies (ICS) at University College Dublin (UCD), and Meath County Council Libraries in Ireland, providing media literacy training for public librarians. They managed to get funding from Meta, in the form of a donation, so they could avoid pressures on what they produced. The researchers examined existing initiatives and also surveyed library staff about their needs and preferences for media literacy training, using a participatory action research approach. They then created online training focusing on the topics: Identifying and sharing good media literacy information; our data footprints; Google is not the internet; cyberbullying / hate speech; conspiracy theories. There were recommendations including having training about how to train library users. Their paper is here 

The second talk was Fighting Fake News and Disinformation: a scholar experience in Latin America presented by Jonathan Hernández Pérez, Library and Information Research Institute, UNAM, Mexico. He explained that there is an initiative called  Seminar in information & society, started in 2002, which from 2016 worked on the issue of disinformation. In 2017 they launched ethical use of information week, then in 2018 they organised workshops for librarians, and webinars about information on COVID19 in 2020. They have published open access books addressing the same issues e.g. Repositorio IIBI UNAM: La posverdad y las noticias falsas : el uso ético de la información. From these Mexican initiatives they have extended to other South American countries. They noted that there seems to be a disconnect between scholarly work and people’s ideas and experience, which librarians need to address. They in particular called for research into internet sub cultures. The paper is here 

The next speaker, Jelena Rajić, Public Library "Radislav Nikčević", Serbia, had been delayed because her flight was cancelled, but had made a virtual presentation on the spot (I think at the airport?) which she had emailed in (since librarians are so resourceful!). Her talk was Genuine librarians as a shield between fake information and library patrons. She started by identifying the role and capabilities of public librarians. To the existing role of providing support to people using the internet, the librarians realised that they needed to help people be aware of what information was fake. They carried out a survey of users and as a result of that decided they needed to organise critical information literacy training. Librarians used exercise, quizzes and so forth, but then the pandemic occurred and this led to new needs. The librarians helped by identifying sites providing false information about COVID19, and other guidance towards reliable COVID19 information. Her paper is here

Photo by Sheila Webber

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Webinar: Infodemic Management community event: The science of storytelling

There is a free webinar on 26 July 2022 at 10am USA Eastern time (which is, e.g., 3pm UK time): The science of storytelling . It is organised by the World Health Organisation in collaboration with The Story Collider. The focus is "Effective storytelling to communicate about infodemics, their impact and how to contribute to infodemic management practice  ...  By understanding how emotive storytelling is successful in reaching audiences and causing narratives to go viral, infodemic managers can reverse engineer the same approach to tell their own stories about working in the trenches, managing the infodemic in the time of COVID-19 and being more effective in their jobs. Infodemics consist of narratives that shape and shift over time. Understanding how stories are constructed and what emotional and cognitive shortcuts they rely on to spread quickly are skills every storyteller knows."
Speakers are: Tina Purnatt, WHO;  Maryam Zaringhalam, The Story Collider; Claire Wardle, Brown University School of Public Health. Register at The webinar will take place in English, French and Spanish. For more information, go to

Photo by Sheila Webber, Taken in Second Life June 2022.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Information Futures Fellowship

This sounds an interesting opportunity - and libraries are specifically included!
"The Information Futures Fellowship is a novel opportunity for practitioners in public health, healthcare, community organizations, media, policy, design and other fields who are actively working on responses to the ongoing information crisis. The six-month fellowship provides these practitioners with the resources, time, research partners, training and peer network to develop new ideas, evaluate existing programs or design and test novel interventions." Th eFellowship is offered by Brown University in the USA, but you don't have to live in the States for the whole 6 months.
"The Information Futures fellowship is designed for practitioners with at least 5-10 years of experience and a proven track record in areas including, but not limited to: policy making, public health, libraries, education, communications, design, fact checking, journalism, healthcare, community leadership, research or government." 

There is a salary (though only if your employer does not pay your wages while you are on the Fellowship) and $5000 expenses for those outside the USA (less for those within the USA). Deadline for applications is August 15 2022. Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherries, July 2022

Friday, July 22, 2022

Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA)

The Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA) is "Africa’s network to share safe, proven facts on health and to counter dangerous health misinformation". Alliance members are World Health Organization AFRO; UNICEF; Africa CDC; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); UNESCO; Verified; and UN Global Pulse. They issue an Infodemic Trends Report (the links to download the most recent ones didn't work when I looked - there is definitely a link for the June 6th one). The newsletters counter misinformation and identify campaigns against misinformation (e.g. this) There are also other news and resources 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

cfp #LIDA2023

There is a call for papers for the LIDA (Libraries & Information Institutions in the Digital Age) biennial international conference to be held in Osijek, Croatia, May 24-27, 2023. The theme of the conference is Information Everywhere. Deadline for proposals is 1 October 2022. There will also be a celebration of the life of Professor Ross Todd, formerly LIDA co-director. You can propose papers, panels, workshops and posters "that address critical and theoretical examinations of the theme; report current research and evidence-based approaches as well as present innovative approaches from the field, and practitioner applications and perspectives." This is currently planned as an in-person event. For more information visit
The organisers also note that earlier the same week (May 22-23, 2023) the conference Digital Transformation and Inclusiveness of the Higher Education Institutions in the Time of Crisis Situations, organized by Erasmus+ project DECriS, takes place in the same city Osijek. The call for paper for this conference ends 1 December 2022. There is a discounted registration rate for attendance at both conferences.
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, July 2022

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Information Literacy and #climatechange

It is extraordinarily hot in England and Wales today, so climate change seems an obvious topic. This article from UNESCO talks about climate change literacy as part of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and this page includes some posters that are about MIL and climate change (scroll down the page to find them: one example is used here)

As some more examples:
- Hauke, P. (2018). From Information Literacy to Green Literacy: Training Librarians as Trainers for Sustainability Literacy. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 116 - Library Theory and Research with Information Literacy. This talks about development of green literacy or sustainability literacy as one of the goals for a sustainable library (practicing, and educating for, sustainability). 

- Dailey, A. & Smith, M. (2017). From Climate Change to Vaccination Safety: Teaching Information Literacy in an Undergraduate Epidemiology Course. All Musselman Library Staff Works. 76. This leads to an abstract and a powerpoint you can download. It describes a collaboration between a faculty member and a librarian on an assessment targetting information literacy, with a scenario on climate change being one topic the students had to investigate. In fact the climate change subject isn't described in detail, but the powerpoint has a good amount of detail about the intervention and the results, so I thought it was still worth mentioning from a "teaching information literacy" point of view. 

- Lovitt, C. & Shuyler, K. (2016). Teaching Climate Change Concepts and the Nature of Science: A Library Activity To Identify Sources of Climate Change Misconceptions. In: Integrating Information Literacy into the Chemistry Curriculum. (pp. 221-246). ACS Symposium Series. A priced publication, but it looks an interesting example "A library activity was developed in which students found information about climate science misconceptions from popular and scientific literatures. As part of the activity, students developed a rubric to evaluate the credibility and type of literature sources they found. The activity prepared students to produce an annotated bibliography of articles, which they then used to create a training document about a climate science misconception for staff at a local science center." 

- Duru, P. & Emetumah, C.F. (2016). Evaluating the Effects of Information Literacy on Climate Change Awareness among Students in Imo State University. Archives of Current Research International, 4(3), 1-10. A questionnaire was administered at a Nigerian university: the questions were mostly to do with knowledge about the impact of climate change, but there were also questions about how the students got information about this topic and whether they felt it was sufficient.

Monday, July 18, 2022

New articles: Countering misinformation

- Veletsianos, G., Houlden, S., Hodson, J. et al. (2022). An Evaluation of a Microlearning Intervention to Limit COVID-19 Online Misinformation. Journal of Formative Design in Learning. "As part of a design-based research project, we designed, developed, and evaluated a web-based microlearning intervention in the form of a comic into the problem of COVID-19 online misinformation. In this paper, we report on our formative evaluation efforts. Specifically, we assessed the degree to which the comic was effective and engaging via responses to a questionnaire (n = 295) in a posttest-only non-experimental design. The intervention focused on two learning objectives, aiming to enable users to recognize (a) that online misinformation is often driven by strong emotions like fear and anger, and (b) that one strategy for disrupting the spread of misinformation can be the act of stopping before reacting to misinformation. Results indicate that the comic was both effective and engaging in achieving these learning objectives."
The comic is more like a poster, i.e. fairly short, and it is reproduced well in the article - worth taking a look at. 

 - Germani, F. & Biller-Andorno, N. (2022). How to counter the anti-vaccine rhetoric: Filling information voids and building resilience. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics
An interesting article in its discussion of how you should aim to get to know what the concerns of the vaccine-hesitant are, so that you can persuade them more effectively (and not just use rational argument, but also use emotional images etc.) However the authors really needed to do some further reading before writing the sentence "The role of education in building information literacy has been widely discussed, but so far, it can be considered marginal" (in fact they then don't actually discuss information literacy, so I'm not sure they are fully up to speed with its meaning).

Photo by Sheila Webber: summaer berries, farmers market, May 2022

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Is Youtube not a reliable health information source?

Spoiler alert - the answer seems to be "no". This is a review of existing research into Youtube's reliability.
Osman, W., Mohamed, F., Elhassan, M. et al. (2022). Is YouTube a reliable source of health-related information? A systematic review. BMC Medical  Education, 22 (382).
Abstract: "YouTube is a valuable source of health-related educational material which can have a profound impact on people’s behaviors and decisions. However, YouTube contains a wide variety of unverified content that may promote unhealthy behaviors and activities. We aim in this systematic review to provide insight into the published literature concerning the quality of health information and educational videos found on YouTube. ...
"Based on eligibility criteria, 202 papers were included in our study. We reviewed every article and extracted relevant data such as the number of videos and assessors, the number and type of quality categories, and the recommendations made by the authors. ... The total number of videos assessed in the selected articles is 22,300 ... The video quality was assessed by scoring, categorization, or based on creators’ bias. Researchers commonly employed scoring systems that are either standardized (e.g., GQS, DISCERN, and JAMA) or based upon the guidelines and recommendations of professional associations.
"Results from the aggregation of scoring or categorization data indicate that health-related content on YouTube is of average to below-average quality. The compiled results from bias-based classification show that only 32% of the videos appear neutral toward the health content. Furthermore, the majority of the studies confirmed either negative or no correlation between the quality and popularity of the assessed videos. ...
"YouTube is not a reliable source of medical and health-related information. YouTube’s popularity-driven metrics such as the number of views and likes should not be considered quality indicators. YouTube should improve its ranking and recommender system to promote higher-quality content. One way is to consider expert reviews of medical and health-related videos and to include their assessment data in the ranking algorithm."Photo by Sheila Webber: farmers market May 2022 - those were early raspberries and it was still asparagus season.

Friday, July 15, 2022

New articles: #COVID19 ; epistemology; health librarian research; virtual refernce; universal design; neoliberalism

The latest complete issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship (a priced publication), Volume 48 issue 4 (July 2022) has a COVID-19 focus and includes, amongst other articles, the following:
- Automated Epistemology: Bots, Computational Propaganda & Information Literacy Instruction by Ian O'Hara
- “First years' information literacy backpacks: What's already packed or not packed?” by Joyce Kasman Valenza et al.
- Health sciences librarian research and instruction services in pandemic information environments by Deborah H. Charbonneau, Emily Vardell
- Reading Format Attitudes in the Time of COVID by Diane Mizrachi, Alicia M. Salaz
- Effectiveness of Virtual Reference Services in Academic Libraries: A Qualitative Study Based on the 5E Learning Model by Angel Lok Yi Tsang, Dickson K.W. Chiu
- Transformation of libraries during Covid-19 pandemic: A systematic review by Murtaza Ashiq, Farhat Jabeen, Khalid Mahmood
- Students with disabilities and library services: Blending accommodation and universal design by Casey Alexander Roberson, Trisha Barefield, Eric Griffith 

Also a refreshing read is COVID-19 doesn't change anything: Neoliberalism, generation-ism, academic library buildings, and lazy rivers by John Buschman
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherries on my tree July 2022

Scholarly Communication Libguide

The University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa has a number of interesting Libguides, including this one on scholarly communication which has section on open publishing, trends, data management etc.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Good Things Foundation: Digital Inclusion

I'll highlight two recent things from the UK's Good Things Foundation (which has a mission concerning digital inclusion). The first is that yesterday (13th July 2022) they published a report on The economic impact of digital inclusion in the UK "The report finds that investment of £1.4 billion could reap economic benefits of £13.7 billion for UK plc. This is £9.48 return for every £1 invested.". One thing that they highlight is that "Lockdowns, social isolation, experiences of poor physical and mental health, care and support needs, disruptions in service provision, and also in training for adult learners, and low income - will have variously contributed to loss of digital skills for some who were previously online, and disengagement from opportunities for others" 

The 2nd item is a blog post from 11th July 2022 in which they list some "holiday reading" around the topic Growing the evidence base for digital inclusion (e.g. Me and My Big Data: Understanding citizens’ data literacies). That is here

Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, June 2022

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Health and medical articles alert

Thomas Krichel maintains curated updates including one on Biomedical librarianship at This weekly list of references+abstracts focuses on the information/search aspect and thus always includes some papers relevant to information literacy, and it is valuable in NOT just covering library and information sources. Evaluations of the quality of health information on websites and Youtube occur regularly. The latest one as of writing (10 July) includes, for example, an article written by HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) researchers, reporting on their qualitative investigation into the barriers in using information experienced by their sample of people with mild to moderate dementia (and how the participants mitigated this) [you can see avideo abstract free - I recommend it]; a number of studies of the quality of websites or websites relating to various conditions; a report about the NHS initiative to share search strategies related to COVID-19
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hydrangea, July 2022

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Closing call for papers: International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) 2022

The deadline for proposals for the International Conference on Information Literacy (ICIL) 2022 (the Africa-based sister conference to ECIL) is 15 July. The conference will take place in Potchefstroom (South Africa) and online, 11-14 October 2022. The theme is Information Literacy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and submissions are welcomed on a wide range of themes.
"The ICIL-SA 2022 conference aims to bring together researchers, library and information services professionals, employers, media specialists, educators, policymakers and all other related parties from around the world to exchange knowledge and experience and to discuss recent developments and current challenges in both theory and practice." Submissions can be: Individual papers orposters; PechaKucha; Doctoral forum; Panel discussions.
Go to for more information

Monday, July 11, 2022

South Carolina Conference on Information Literacy #SCCIL

Registration is open for the free online 2022 South Carolina Conference on Information Literacy (SCCIL), taking place on 5 August 2022, 9:00-16:30 US EST (which is, e.g., 14.00-21.30 UK time), with the theme Communities of Practice "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." Featured speakers are Nicole Cooke, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Lorin Jackson and Amy Blevins. Register at

Thursday, July 07, 2022

New articles: Learning outcomes; Orientation;

The latest issue of the open access College & Research Libraries News (vol 83 issue 7) has been published. It includes:
- Jennifer M. Brady and Susan Kromrie. Creating a self-paced library orientation and information literacy module: Providing access to library resources at the point of need.
- Debbie Sharp, Beth Fuchs, Peter Hesseldenz, and Karyn Hinkle. Merged learning outcomes for information literacy: A David Letterman-style Top Ten List.
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: narcissi, April 2022

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Online courses: Scaffolding Information Literacy; Politically Polarized Times

Two online courses offered by Inquiring Teachers (led by Andrea Baer) are:
- Information Literacy in Politically Polarized Times (September 5 - October 4 2022) Cost US$200
- Scaffolding Information Literacy (October 17 - November 15 2022) Cost US$200
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cosmos, June 2022

Monday, July 04, 2022

Reports on international Media and Information Literacy events

Firstly, there was a webinar held a few days ago by UNESCO, at the Transforming Education pre-Summit 2022. There were speakers from different parts of the world, talking about the importance of Media and Information Literacy, Online/Open Educational Resources and the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. They refer to the UNESCO hub collecting open educational resources for teachers. The report on the event is here: 

Secondly, there was an event in March 2022 in Dubai (rather confusingly called Dubai Expo 2020 - perhaps it was supposed originally to take place in 2020)  which promoted the vale of Media and Information Literacy, and the report on that is here

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Recent articles: ACRL Framework; Nursing students; doctoral journeys

The latest issue of Reference Services Review (priced journal) vol. 50 issue 2 includes
- Is the ACRL Framework a teaching tool? Undergraduates’ interpretations of its language and concepts by Jennifer Jarson, Rachel Hamelers. "In this case study, the authors analyzed 25 undergraduates’ reflections on their information literacy learning guided by recommendations for thematic analysis of qualitative data from Braun and Clarke (2006) and Castleberry and Nolen (2018). ... The authors’ analysis of students’ reflections offers insight into how these students interpreted the Framework’s language and related it to their own experience. By noting language that seemed to resonate in this instance, the authors suggest ways in which educators could effectively use the Framework’s language with undergraduates."
- Information literacy: assessment of undergraduate and graduate nursing students by Rabia S. Allari, Khaldoun Hamdan, Maha Alkaid Albqoor, Abeer Shaheen. "Cross sectional-correlational design was utilized. Data were collected using an electronic self-administered questionnaire from graduate and undergraduate nursing students in Jordan. ... Information competency of nursing students was positively correlated with students' age. Significant differences were found in information competency according to the academic level, addressing scientific research and research in databases in the course of the study, frequency of meeting the supervisor to discuss the research and university sector."
- Graduate student intellectual journeys: a functional method to identify library service gaps by Elizabeth Kline
Go to

Photo by Sheila Webber: Red berries at Farmers Market, June 2022

Friday, July 01, 2022

Online courses: Zines; Digital Learning Objects; Informal Learning.

Some forthcoming courses from Library Juice Academy
- Zines for Critical Reflection and Pedagogy
- July 4 - August 14 2022. Cost US $300.00. Tutors: : Dawn Stahura and Des Alaniz. "During the six-weeks we will learn what zines through the lenses of critical pedagogy and social justice. Students will not only read zines each week but make a finished zine for their final project. We will delve into case studies, ethics and considerations, how to start a zine collection at your institution, and how to incorporate zines into your teaching, whether it is an entire course or a one-shot." More info at
- Creating Digital Learning Objects for Libraries
- August 1 - August 28 2022. Cost US $200.00. Tutor: John Stawarz. "Interactive tutorials helping students locate peer-reviewed journal articles, a short video introducing patrons to interlibrary loan services, podcasts covering copyright basics for faculty—these are all examples of digital learning objects (DLOs) that libraries have created to support members of their communities. Developing asynchronous online resources such as these has become increasingly essential as library services, resources, and patrons shift online. In this four-week course, students will examine DLOs, apply instructional design basics to propose and design a DLO that could be deployed at their library, investigate technologies used to create DLOs, and explore assessment, marketing, and accessibility as related to DLOs." More info at
- Informal Learning in the Academic Library - August 1 - August 28 2022. Cost US $200.00. Tutors: Lauren Hays and Teresa Slobuski. "Attendees of this course will be introduced to the concept of informal learning in the academic library. The instructors will discuss specific examples of how informal learning can be supported including through gameplay, makerspaces, space design, furniture selection, and technology." More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: lettuces, Farmers Market, June 2022