There is a free LiLi Show and Tell session on 13 December 2023 at 10.00 US Pacific time (which is, e.g. 18.00 UK time) From In-Person to Online & Back Again: Converting Information Literacy Instruction Between Formats, presented by Monica Maher (Online Learning & Education Librarian, University of Nebraska Omaha, USA).
"Continuous assessment and editing of information literacy instruction is essential to assure our students are meeting their learning outcomes. Over the last three years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of our lives and jobs have been altered. It comes as no surprise then, that our lesson plans must change as well! This session will focus on one librarian’s reflections about converting information literacy instruction for undergraduate and graduate students from in-person, to online, and then back to in-person again. How to gain meaningful faculty collaboration, tips and tricks for identifying the best format for your instruction, sustainability best practices, and lessons learned will be discussed."
Register at https://northampton-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYkc-GtrjwpHtdhLnVPeshBXbJ8BuUxAsHe
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Webinar: From In-Person to Online & Back Again: Converting Information Literacy Instruction Between Formats
There is a free LiLi Show and Tell session on 13 December 2023 at 10.00 US Pacific time (which is, e.g. 18.00 UK time) From In-Person to Online & Back Again: Converting Information Literacy Instruction Between Formats, presented by Monica Maher (Online Learning & Education Librarian, University of Nebraska Omaha, USA).
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
The Institute for Information Literacy at Purdue University, USA, is offering five $4,000 two-year Research Grants. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2023. The Institute will fund research projects that examine complex information challenges within select contexts and aim to develop or enhance information literacy models that enable people to successfully navigate and contribute to today’s information environment. The Institute supports and shares innovative, community- or context-specific information literacy research (i.e. healthcare, social media, publishing).
"As information literacy is interdisciplinary by nature, projects that demonstrate a substantive collaboration between research from different fields (such as psychology or political science and information studies) will be prioritized for funding. ... priority will be given to projects that focus on effective information practices applied in a range of contexts and communities. This is offered with support from the Esther Ellis Norton Endowment. ... Projects should aim to inform the development or enhancement of an information literacy model or technique that supports individuals, communities, or organizations in using information wisely."
Applicants need to submit a 2-3 page proposal including project title, team members (including their expertise in subjects relevant to the proposed project), budget information, a statement of benefits for stakeholders, alignment with Institute research award priorities, expected budget and justification, and references cited.
There should also be a 2-page CV for each project team member. "Successful proposals will clearly define the need to examine the particular information challenge in the proposed context and how they aim to carry out the research using an award from the Institute.They should email InstituteIL@purdue.edu with the subject line “IILP Research Grant Proposal”.
Full information at https://docs.google.com/document/d/14Jff2sv-H-ujgRzTb65TIcFcl5S3fe03/edit#heading=h.vkpzmyo9bys0
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn falling, November 2023
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
The Universal Information Literacies Association has announced the inaugural Information Literacy Paul G. Zurkowski Esquire Global Individual Award which "recognizes the outstanding contributions of global leaders in advancing information literacy and critical thinking in public service on a global scale." The award winner is José Luis Agraz (Information Officer and Biologist, Secretaría del Tratado Antártico.
"Mr. Agraz is tasked with serving as documentation officer for the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and coordinating development, maintenance and accuracy of the Secretariat’s information systems. In addition, he is responsible for balancing access of scientific and operational information to comply with requirements in the scope of the Antarctic Treaty with his evaluation of the relevant impact of human activities on terrestrial environments. Having managed this vast array of data and responsibilities using the core concepts of Information Literacy and critical thinking for peaceful purposes to help the people of the world, the UiLA bestows the inaugural Information Literacy Paul G. Zurkowski Esquire Global Individual Award on José Luis Agraz."
Saturday, November 25, 2023
Firstly, The Importance of Higher-Level Reading: A Manifesto, launched at the Frankfurst Book Fair - you can sign this manifesto if you agreed with your argument that higher-level reading (sustained reading etc.) is "our most powerful tool for analytic and strategic thinking". Go to https://readingmanifesto.org/#. Also they link to an article:
Schüller-Zwierlein, A., Mangen, A., Kovač, M. & van der Weel, A. (2022). Why higher-level reading is important. First Monday, 27(9). https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/download/12770/10709 "While digital technologies offer much potential for new forms of reading, recent empirical research shows that the digital environment is having a negative impact on reading, in particular on long-form reading and reading comprehension. It also remains unclear whether the transition to digital media actually lives up to its promise of improving learning outcomes. Recent studies of various kinds indicate a decline of crucial higher-level reading competencies and practices, such as critical and conscious reading, slow reading, non-strategic reading and long-form reading. Current educational policy, meanwhile, relies heavily on monocultural standardized testing of basic reading capabilities and on growing use of digital technologies. Reading education, assessment, research and policy-making should focus more on higher-level reading practices in both adults and children in order to understand the development of reading skills and practices in an age increasingly dependent on a ubiquitous digital infrastructure."
Photo by Sheila Webber: in the gardens of the Musée de Montmartre, November 2023
Thursday, November 23, 2023
You can apply for one of two RUSA/ETS Best Emerging Technology Application (BETA) Awards if you have "used technology in an innovative way to enhance your library or patron services." "The awards offer $3,000 each to an individual or group in recognition of a technology project that directly benefits library users." Submission deadline is 23 February 2024. There are 2 categories:
(1) "Develops an original technology or significantly modifies an existing technology for an entirely novel use that benefits the library and its patrons."
(2) "Utilizes an existing technology and applies it in a novel way that benefits the library and its patrons. " The award is open to any library employee or group of library employees, and you don't have to be based in North America. The initiative has to have taken place no more than 2 years prior to the date of the application deadline. For more info including the evaluation criteria go to http://bit.ly/RUSABETA.
Photo by Sheila Webber: tomb of Napoleon, Les Invalides, November 2023
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
"This thematic issue brings together scholars who study fact-checking organizations, practices, and institutions around the world. Fact-checkers work in a wide variety of media and political systems. Even where practices converge, they understand their own mission—and the wider problem of misinformation—in very different ways. These vital differences remain underexplored and can offer a revealing lens for journalism studies and political communication researchers to investigate changing media systems around the world.
"To address this gap, this thematic issue highlights research with a regional or comparative focus, as well as studies of the wider global movement. We invite work across methods and theoretical traditions, from ethnographic case studies to large-scale content analysis, with a particular focus on studies that help to deepen our understanding of the specificities or differences in this work in particular kinds of organizations and specific media and political environments."
Full info at https://www.cogitatiopress.com/mediaandcommunication/pages/view/nextissues#FactCheckers
Photo by Sheila Webber: Krakow, October 2023
Monday, November 20, 2023
The Scottish Government Library has produced "quick guides" for Scottish Government staff, but they are mostly accessible and free to use by others. They are tutorials etc. on collaborative tools (e.g. Trello, LinkedIn), digital skills etc. Go to https://sglibraryservices.wordpress.com/quick-guides/
Photo by Sheila Webber: Maria church, Krakow, October 2023
Friday, November 17, 2023
The latest in the ACRL keeping up with series is Keeping up with ... peer tutoring which,as usual, has a brief outline of what this means and some useful references and links. Peer tutoring is basically students teaching or supporting other students, including in tasks like searching for, and evaluating, information. The keeping up sheet is here https://www.ala.org/acrl/publications/keeping_up_with/peer_tutoring and an example of peer tutoring they link to is at Penn State University, USA.
Image by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI - interesting that all the pictures for peer tutoring, students, search and evaluating information had students looking at print materials
Thursday, November 16, 2023
"Social work programs in higher education prioritize the use of empirically sound research to inform practice decisions. As university students, prospective social workers have a wealth of research available to them, as well as librarians to help them find, evaluate, and use it. However, access to most of this research ends once the student graduates - at a time when this information is needed to inform their practice. This presentation will describe an effort to address this challenge at Cal Poly Humboldt, where a librarian and social work faculty member conducted surveys and co-taught a series of workshops with students in their final semester of the Bachelor of Social Work program.
"Students learned how to find and evaluate non-paywalled information sources, understand and challenge information privilege and traditional scholarly publishing models, and expand their understanding of authority. Additionally, students applied what they learned to locate both scholarly, open access research and non-scholarly information sources related to their practicum experience. An open pedagogy approach was then used to support the student-led creation of an online repository of these resources, the Humboldt Social Work Knowledge Commons, which includes annotations evaluating their usefulness to the communities they serve."
Register at https://lili.libguides.com/showandtell/home
Photo by Sheila Webber autumn leaves November 2023
Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Articles in the latest issue of open access journal College and Research Libraries (Vol 84, No 6, 2023) include
- Teaching Expert Information Literacy Behaviors through Decision-Based Learning by David Pixton " This paper details the results of a multisemester study involving groups of engineering and technology students taught using this method. Students tended to engage with a pre-class learning module based on the new method more fully than the comparable groups of students used pre-class instructional videos. "
- How Well Does ChatGPT Handle Reference Inquiries? An Analysis Based on Question Types and Question Complexities by Katie Lai "Overall ChatGPT’s performance was fair, but it did poorly in information accuracy."
Go to https://crl.acrl.org/index.php/crl/issue/view/1646/showToc
Photo by Sheila Webber: beanbags in a study corner, Jagellonian University, Poland, October 2023
Monday, November 13, 2023
The next LIS Pedagogy Chat is on 17 November 2023 at 14.00 US Eastern time (which is, e.g., 7pm UK time).
This topic is Exploring AI Applications for Teaching and Learning. Joyce Valenza (Rutgers University, USA) will give an introduction and then there will be discussion. Register at https://www.lispedagogychat.org/schedule-registration (you need to scroll down the page to find the specific event)"LIS Pedagogy Chat is a community of practice for faculty and professionals who teach in LIS" There is an archive of slides and discussion notes at https://www.lispedagogychat.org/archive
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2023
Friday, November 10, 2023
There is a Power Hour with Phil Bradley at 12noon-13.00 (UK time) 1 December 2023 (cost £35) on AI Tools for information professionals. "See AI in action and learn how you can use it to develop, change and improve your daily work, and indeed your own career" https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ai-tools-for-information-professionals-a-power-hour-with-phil-bradley-tickets-688792174937.
On 17 November 2023 (12.00-13.00) (cost £35) there is a Power Hour with Ned Potter on An introduction to using UX in libraries "User Experience (UX) in this
context is used as an umbrella term to cover various ethnographic and
design techniques, designed to help us truly understand our users."
Thursday, November 09, 2023
Today! EDI 2.0: Individual Responsibility for Creating Belonging and Connection in the Library Profession
The next in the series of Library 2.0 free online conferences (organised by School of Information at San José State University, USA) is EDI 2.0: Individual Responsibility for Creating Belonging and Connection in the Library Profession being held today, 9 November 2023, starting at 12 noon US Pacific time (which is 8pm UK time) and finishing at 3pm US Pacific time (which is 11pm UK time). More details here: https://www.library20.com/edi20. You can access past talks from the Library 2.0 conferences at https://www.youtube.com/user/library20conference
Wednesday, November 08, 2023
"The LIRT Librarian Recognition Award honors a practicing librarian for their contributions to information literacy and instruction. The LIRT Innovation in Instruction Award honors a library for their innovative approach to information literacy and instruction. "
Full details at http://www.ala.org/rt/lirt/awards
Tuesday, November 07, 2023
There are bursaries avilable for the LILAC (Information Literacy) Conference which takes place 25-27 March 2024 in Leeds, UK. "To apply for a bursary you must be a librarian, volunteer, or information professional working in the UK." The closing date for applications is 17 November 2023 (17.00 GMT). This year winners will be randomly selected using a lottery system and will be notified early December.
LILAC Bursaries Five free places for people in the following under-represented groups in the
UK: Ethnic minority backgrounds; School libraries; Further Education; Public libraries; Health libraries (e.g. NHS – please note; librarians working in Higher Education who support health subjects are not eligible to apply). The bursary includes the conference plus up to £250 in expenses for travel and
Local to LILAC Bursaries "These bursaries are day delegate places, and we are offering two places for each day of the three-day conference. ... We have created these six day delegate places, intended for people who live or work near to the LILAC venue, to have the chance to attend a day at LILAC and experience what the conference offers. Each of the six bursaries will involve a free day place to one day of the conference and £50 for travel expenses."
More info at https://www.lilacconference.com/lilac-2024/bursaries-1
Monday, November 06, 2023
The IFLA Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) blog has a post on Generative Artificial Intelligence Tools for Primary and Secondary School Educators by Ray Pun, go to https://blogs.ifla.org/cpdwl/2023/10/29/generative-artificial-intelligence-tools-for-primary-and-secondary-school-educators-by-ray-pun-cpdwl-advisor/
Image by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI
Sunday, November 05, 2023
"This session takes the form of an online workshop in which Leo Appleton (University of Sheffield, Information School) will talk about writing for publication. The session includes practical elements and focuses on how to turn your Library and Information workplace research, evaluation activities and projects into scholarly and academic publications. He will be joined by several Library practitioners who all have recent experience of writing for publication and will share this with the participants in the second part of the workshop. Guest speakers: Marilyn Clarke - Institute of Advanced Legal Studies; Brooke Combie - University College London; Natasha Howard - NELFT NHS Foundation Trust; Tracey Pratchett - Citizens' Advice Bureau; Tim Wales - Cranfield University.
Register at https://www.cilip.org.uk/event/LIRG2023-libraryandinformationworkplace (scroll down the page to find the session)
Image created by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI using the prompt writing for publication in the style of Gwen John
Thursday, November 02, 2023
A LILi webinar on 15 November 2023 at 10am US Pacific time (which is 6pm UK time) is Warming Up Your Brain: the most important 5 minutes of your instruction session, presented by Amy C Odwarka (First Year Experience/Student Success Librarian, Eastern Illinois University, USA)
"How do you help students get into an “academic mindset” when they enter your library instruction session? How can you be intentional in creating a space for students to focus in the present? Getting students into the right mindset for learning allows for more active participation and information intake on their part. Join First Year Experience/ Student Success librarian and 25+ year teaching veteran Amy Odwarka (she/her) to learn how the warmup can be the most important 5 minutes of your instruction session. We will frame our discussion around these culturally relevant teaching strategies and practice several styles of warm-ups that you can use the next day or next week."
Register at: https://northampton-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMpdO-oqDkjGdZcHWqX1LjxPvhOOONCz3m_ and all sessions are listed at https://lili.libguides.com/showandtell
A warmup exercise with mathematician statues in Krakow, October 2023
Wednesday, November 01, 2023
There is a new edition of the classic information behaviour work (the go-to starting point for overviews of past research in different areas of information behaviour research):
Given, L., Case, D. & Willson, R. (2023). Looking for information: Examining research on how people engage with information. (5th Ed.) London: Emerald. https://books.emeraldinsight.com/page/detail/looking-for-information/?k=9781803824246
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Alison Hicks (University College London, UK) began by identifying some ways in which theory can be used. The presenters had noted that theoretical work often happens without understanding of foundations, and there was a need to reflect on theory and its relationship with application and practice. Hicks explained that it had been a 2 year project with 13 people from different parts of the world, involving 2 online workshops and an iterative processes of writing. They started by doing some conceptual mapping of the work done in information literacy, undertaking a deep literature review to identify different theoretical approaches. These approaches included critical theory, practice theory, sociotechnical and sociopolitical (and some others), and they extracted 50 papers. These were coded and they identified 5 themes: tensions between agency and enactment; legitimacy of information (what counts as information); moral imperative of information literacy (they noted that there is little challenge of the benefits of being informed); socially situated shape of information literacy; marginalisation (e.g. issues of power and privilege).Following on from this each presenter talked about a theoretical stance that they espoused/used.
Veronica Johansson (University of Boras, Sweden) talked about the theoretical approach of Critical Design, identifying with critical literacy rather than information literacy. The originators of Critical Design had said that all design can be affirmative (problem solving) or critical (problem finding - designing in a way that highlights biases etc.). This can be applied in for example looking at the way search results are presented, or the way in which books are classified and arranged, or in looking at indigenous ways of mapping rather than conventional western mapping.
Jutta Haider (University of Boras, Sweden) talked about sociomateriality as an approach, which may use metaphors and conceptual devices; exploring the actors, the material aspects of information literacy, to explore the meaning and practices (including information literacy practices) arising from interaction and co-constitution.
Ola Pilerot (University of Boras, Sweden) talked about the theoretical stance of institutional ethnography. This sees information literacy as an institution (a phenomenon that has become an institution: with a common literature, values, practices, actors, sites and contexts). This approach saw the local connected to the "extra local" with "ruling relations" (with the example of the ACRL framework having a local and international impact). Texts and material objects are important in shaping practices (e.g. syllibi, texts). The researcher's job is to identify and elucidate the ruling relations, zooming into local practice and then zooming out.
Noora Hirvonen (University of Oulu, Finland) talked about mediated discourse theory, seeing information literacy in a nexus of practice. Dscourse is viewed as multimodal (manifested in objects, actions etc not just words). Action is seen as mediated by the social and cultural. The attention is focused on a nexus of action - examining a "network of linked practices" where things come together the create action.
Following this, the panel discussed whether there are tensions in how the theories fit with, or challenge, each other (and whether it matters). They noted that there was a wider range in the book, and the panellists who had been able to attend were comparatively closer. However, overall, although there might be some tensions, it was productive and important to use these different approaches. The main issue raised was that of the relationship between critical literacy or information literacy (though that could also be productive).
The 2nd part of the session involved each panelist talking about the opportunities and challenges of each of the theoretical approaches they had talked about.
Hirvonen identified that discourse theory directs attention to "the dialogical relationship between the material world and discursive constructs", with social action at its centre. This "may help acknowledge the multimodaility of information and IL practices" including looking at the relationship between understandings of IL experienced by individuals and seeing it in a social context noticing "how IL can both enable and constrain actions".
Haider identified that an issue was - deciding what to investigate when meaning only emerged through interaction - and this involved "embracing definitional ambiguity". Part of it involved investigating "moments of stability". Also it can be used as a sensitising concept in approaching research. Haider mentioned being responsive to the messiness of the world, also with a having a social justice approach. As part of this she talked about resisting fetishisation of technology, not being intimidated by corporate information infrastructure [I think including search engines etc.], also considering the way in which these structures and infrastructures make it difficult to refuse them - so you could adopt a punk (authority resisting) approach.
Johansson reiterated that she relates critical design to critical literacy. Critical design involves reflecting on something desgned, in our daily lives, stimulating thoughts on underlying power imbalances that are produced and reproduced in designed objects (which can include designed objects such as search engines). Johansson sees this as a postsrutucturalist approach, where materiality is important, and it explores what we mean by reality (and what realities are constructed through the power structures and values that result in the designed objects/systems). Johansson saw the rich repetoire of methods as being one of the key benefits of using this approach. For example, one may critique, speculate and present critical alternatives.
Pilerot identified institutional ethnography as providing a "dual analytical perspective where the local is seen as connected to the extra-local" which shows information literacy in its local context and also how it is connected to things outside the local. This was seen as a "bottom up" approach examining local practice and interelatedness/interaction then tracing the ruling relations. He gave an example of using Web of Science and how you could trace the ruling relations (of how material is selected for inclusion, the underlying publication power structures etc.). Pilerot also noted that it is related to other approaches such as prctice theory and sociocultural theory.
Hicks then pulled some strands together, noting that there are many ways to theorise (different frameworks used; where attention is focused; approaches to theory - pedagogical, situational or ideological), and also that there are new themes emerging (e.g. to do with discourse & power; the decentring of language; revisitingand critiquing premises)
The presentation part finished by the panelists addressing the questions of why theorisation of information literacy matter and how the theoretical work might translate into action. Some points that arose from this concerned how you dealt with normative aspects, and how some research arose from action, so could not be divided from it. Also there was the question of what kind of phenomenon it was. This was followed by a discussion amongst the audience.
Monday, October 30, 2023
I'm liveblogging Global AI Initiatives: From Theory to Practice a session at the from the ASIS&T conference that I'm currently attending. These are my immediate impressions of the session.
Andrew Cox (University of Sheffield, UK) presented on AI in Libraries, starting by identifying that there are a lot of strategy documents concerning AI, so AI has to be acknowledged as a strategic priority in libraries. There are recurrent themes such as regulation, ethical application and developing human capital. He referenced a paper that identified typical strategic themes, e.g. in some countries focusing on control, in some focusing more on what the market decides, or development by the state. At the moment AI is not mentioned much in library or institutional strategies (Cox referred to a recent study of the UK and China).
However there are many applications of AI in libraries: examples are using AI to create metadata for large collections; in writing documents; and in promoting AI literacy. This raises the question of whether libraries have AI capability? You need material, human and intangible resources (the latter being things like willingness to take risk and ability to change).
National and research libraries tend to have these capabilities/resources, whereas it is more doubtful with other types of libraries. Three ways that libraries can contribute are as follows. National library projects can be beacons of responsible AI (if they undertake required steps such as deciding priorities, respecting the rights of those represented in the collections, sharing the code and training materials they produce etc.) The second way that librarians can contribute is by contributing to institutional capability (using knowledge and skills to do with organising, finding etc. data). The third area of contribution is in developing AI literacy: some frameworks are being developed, but AI literacy can be hard to define and achieve (because it can be hidden, is changing etc.)i (My thought at this is that information literacy frameworks should be a starting point!)
Jesse Dinneen (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany) talked about Global AI initiatives: from theory to practice: European practice. He noted that GLAMR [Galleries, Museums, Libraries etc.] Institutions have been quick to leverage AI (digitisation, data analysis etc.) and European universities have also been quick to respond (developing guidelines for use in academia, incorporating into courses etc.). This leads to twin challenges: issues of ethics, and issues of regulation. There has not been so much GLAMR-specific research on AI risks. Wheras there are numerous guidelines etc. emerging, they mostly haven't been tested, so it isn't clear which principles, guidelines etc. are effective or feasible. Bringing together stakeholders/experts is a good start, but still hasn't addressed what works in practice.
Dinneen identified that since AI issues are about tech, information and people, LIS and GLAMR should be well positioned to help. In terms of AI regulation, there are different initiatives in different countries. There is an EU AI Act in process, derived from 7 European Commission-made ethical principles. They, for example, distinguish between different risk levels of applications. He spoke about some problems, in that those in teh industry have problems such as assuming people's literacy (e.g. to engage with user manuals and instructions), throwing AI into many products. In the EU there should be opportunities for research with the documentation that emerges from the EU Act. This could be used as a guide for those outside the EU.
Dania Bilal (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA) talked about iSchool leaders' vision of Information Science curricula in the age of AI. She was talking about members of the iSchools Association. She looked at the 54 North American iSchools covering AI and related content, searching for the occurance of mentions of AI (or related topics such as machine learning). 39% did not offer courses (i.e. a module or class) related to AI. 9 iSchools had AI certificates and concentration programmes. As a next step iSchool leaders will be asked about why AI was not integrated larger scale, what vision they had for the topic, and how well they are preparing future professionals.
George Hope Chidziwisano (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA) talked about AI initiatives in Africa. He highlighted the biases in AI systems, such as difficulty in understanding bilingual speakers. Human-centred approaches have been proposed, stressing that diverse populations must be involved in AI development. An example of bias was that ChatGPT only included Egypt as a representative of African information. Chidziwisano used an example of asking ChatGPT about Nsanje in Malawi, and pointed out the major inaccuracies in the "information" provided. He pointed out that there were means to collect data using the resources and infrastructures that were actually used in the countries (instead of only using the tools and infrastructures that are used in Western countries). Chidziwisano used an example of using audio data from chickens in Malawi to predict poultry disease in other countries, noting that it was important to collect data from different countries to develop a more generalisable model.
Finally Vandana Singh (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, USA) talked about AI in the technology industry. She started with a Deloitte survey about companies engaging with AI and almost 100% were doing something. 33% of tech, media and communications companies had "active AI solutions". (I think she was referring to this report) Challenges include employees understanding of AI, and AI ethics. Singh then talked about what ethics meant in the AI industry (at a basic level this means - not doing harm to people), with challenges such as opacity of AI systems, bias, manipulation of behaviour, privacy.
These challenges are not easy to fix, for example there are differing definitions of fairness and bias. Singh talked about developments such as the group DAIR and the issues they are concerned with. She noted there are numerous companies engaging with these issues, giving some examples, and that these are evolving very rapidly, and it was important to engage with them in discussion. She also mentioned specific initiatives such as StereoSet and this article. Singh also talked about transparency of AI - and identified a role for iSchool educators in teaching about transparent AI.
Following this there were interesting discussions in groups about various aspects of AI and information science/libraries.
Image by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI. It took me a while to stop it showing me very spooky wired female heads in response the the prompt Artificial Intelligence, Information Science. In . the end I specified "in the style of Gwen John" so it lost a bit of the spookiness.
The second presentation was From Research to Strategic Planning to Collective Action: A Logic Model Using Theory of Change to Further Civic Engagement for Racial Justice in Public Libraries (Bharat Mehra, Kimberly Black, and Baheya S. Jaber): This project is using Theory of Change, in a project funded by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (2022 - 2025). The proposal for the project is here: https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/project-proposals/LG-252354-OLS-22-Full-Proposal.pdf
The third presentation was Building a Smart City Portal for a Sustainable Future Through a Collective Impact Approach (by Kendra S. Albright, Bill Edgar, Christina Turner; presented by Chu): The overall goal of this project is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Cleveland. After finding barriers were not just gaps in device ownership, internet connection and digital/literacy, but also accessing specialist knowledge, they are developing a portal connecting people to subject matter experts. It should include e.g. a directory, applications (like Zoom) that residents can use. Methods include stakeholder interviews and user experience research.
Following the presentations we broke into groups to discuss issues around collective impact, including engagement and collaboration with stakeholders who might have different foci from each other, and the difficulties of matching desired goals for a project with funding agencies' priorities.
Sunday, October 29, 2023
My second liveblog from the ASIS&T conference is on the panel Global Perspectives on Inclusive Curricula: Places, Practices, and Pedagogy – hosted by the European and South Asia Chapters of ASIS&T with Syeda Hina Batool Shahid (University of the Punjab, Pakistan), Julia Bullard (University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada), Jennifer Campbell-Meier (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Ina Fourie (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Andrea Jimenez and as chair Sophie Rutter (both from my institution, University of Sheffield, UK). I will make the usual caveat that this is my immediate and imperfect impression of what was said.
Bullard started by introducing the Canadian context, and began by acknowledging the traditional holders of the land at her home university. She talked about issues that make inclusive pedagogy critical and challenging, including: the image that Canada projects vs. the reality; the minoritized students' relationships to libraries and archives (they may have felt that the library was a place that made them safe and seen, so being made aware of the problems e.g. with classification schemes can be challenging); the third was relationship between tech courses and diversity & inclusion (realising that tech is not neutral etc.). UBC has had initiatives including: survey of inclusive strategies; creation of internal resources; workshops to support people in changing the curriculum.
Batool talked about the Pakistan context. Firstly she talked about how multicultural the South Asian environment is (e.g. more than 1000 languages). Batool mentioned the work of internationa agencies like the World Bank, USAID and UNESCO though "they were there til the findings were there" i.e. there was a lack of long term impact. She highlighted the ENGAGE project which worked with children in schools. Batool identified that in Pakistan there were well-written policy documents - but these were not translated into actual actions. She also felt that at the basic level there was a lack of sensitivity, for example if you examine textbooks. In rural areas, as another example, there is lack of attention to education for girls (there is no minimum school leaving age). A major problem is lack of infrastructure and inclusive services. From that point of view, there is a need to attend these bigger issues before focusing on an inclusive curriculum.
Campbell-Meier talked about the Aotearoa New Zealand context. She talked about how she needed to place herself within the context, with a Maori introduction of herself, and she started with that for this talk. She talked the policy context in New Zealand and how at the institutional context their whole approach to learning and teaching (and the university atructure) was affected by Maori philosophies and values. In particular this affected ethics, with much more thoughtful consideration of how people will feel protected, safe and with agency in the research process. In terms of assessment, students can hand in oral assessments, and the teachers have to consider how some students will have a focus on orality rather than textual knowledge. Campbell-Meier talked about how all the educators were on a journey, and things can change all the time, so the journey continues.
Fourie talked about the South African context. She identified that different institutions have different approaches, and she focused on the University of Pretoria. The history of Apartheid cannot be ignored. South Africa also has 11 official languages, and many students from other African countries do not speak South African venacuar languages, and may also not want to engage in English. There are also many South Asian students. Thus there are many cultural, language and traditional differences, as well as different religions, backgrounds and physical disabilities as well as learning problems. Additionally many terms are used around this issue. At the University of Pretoria they have a Curriculum Transformation Committee, and have events and inititiatives, but there are still a lot of problems. She gave the example of entering a room where people were speaking in Afrikaans - you might feel excluded if they continued speaking in that language, but also if they switched to English for your benefit. She said they had a module on Indigenous Knowledge, and also that there were attempts to create discussion spaces (third spaces) for students and academics. She mentioned this publication https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-02327-9.
Jimenez talked about the UK context, mentioning one strand around inclusivity of people with disabilities, and the second strand around decolonisation of the curriculum and the role of universities. Although some commentators saw the latter as involving more than inclusion, these issues are often included in Diversity Equality & Inclusion initiatives in UK universities. Jimenez referred to the policies and practice as regards Inclusion at the University of Sheffield. Sheffield positions itself as celebrating inclusion, but if the you look at the statistics for the UK as a whole, it does not look good e.g. in terms of the percentage of black female professors. One further problem is that some of the action plans for different aspects of inclusion can be in conflict when you put them together. Jimenez talked about a project in the Information School, which started with an annotated bibliography, then there were interviews with staff and students, then they held a coproduction workshop with staff and students. Jimenez also highlighted that students are a diverse group, so they are aiming not to stereotype. They are still working on outcomes from the project.
Questions at the end of the session included - what are the desired outcomes of inclusivity? how can you tell when you are successfully inclusive? There were more comments about language and the difficulty when not everyone speaks the national official language, or when students from outside the home country feel exluded if a local language is spoken. A question of whether the issue was dominated by Western agendas was also raised. Altogether there were a lot of rich and important issues raised.
When I can find somewhere to plug in my laptop, I will be doing a little liveblogging from the ASIS&T Annual meeting. Today I'm attending a panel on Multispecies Information Science with Niloofar Solhjoo (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Steve Fuller (University of Warwick, UK), Jenna Hartel (University of Toronto, Canada), Christopher Lueg (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Dirk van der Linden (Northumbria University, UK). This is just my immediate impression of what these scholars said.
Firstly Niloofar Solhjoo identified how people and animals are living in a "more than human world" (so should be focused more holistically, rather thanon humans' needs). She urged "Let's stop viewing the information worlds as one that sees humans as separate from (or better than) other life forms". She identified Marcia Bates as innovative in starting to include animals and non-sentient objects in her categorisation of information. She also talked about scholars who have talked about an evolutionary approach, embodiment and post-humanism, faculitating an animal turn in information research.
Solhjoo talked about how her own passion and enthusiasm for her companion animals had led to her research focus. In any situation, there is the human and the animal, and also the environment in which they live and move, and there are many aspects to investigate.
How can you you do multispecies information research? This can be through objective approaches (e.g. sensors, tracking devices) and subjective approaches (visual methods, sensory methods, art-based methods). Solhjoo mapped her own research path, which included observation of the animals and humans (through walking and day-in-the-life interviews), digital photo-diary, interviews with photo elicitation, photo exhibition and phenomenological writing. Solhjoo talked of the "red thread of information" which connected the experience of the animals and their humans. She identified Love, Living in co-existence and Learning as the key themes. Here research is published e.g. here, here and here. She say this as part of a wider movement to be kinder and more inclusive in our focus on different communities and species.
Following this Christopher Lueg talked about embodiment. He referenced is paper which is here. He noted "what a specific view of the world we humans have" - both individually and as a species. He asserted that "we can learn a lot about human perception from nonhuman animals", helping us to consider aspects of the world that we normally ignore or do not perceive. Lueg talked about the movement to de-centre human-centred design, and build in experience of selected animal views in our design process.
Then Dirk van der Linden talked about his journey from a software engineer, whose first experience of design for non human species was in designing a drone for dog walking. At that point he realised the difficulty of designing for animals (the dog kept trying to jump and catch the drone, they hedn't thought about dog behaviour). He realised that a tech solution to animal-human relations was not really the best thing since it focused on "solutions" that didn't actually solve underlying problems (but rather producing "cute tech"). Also he realised there was a need to think more carefully about what animal welfare meant (resulting in questioning things like domestication of animals).
Steve Fuller raised some further issues such as - what comprises "consent" in animals. He stressed too the need to think about domesticated animals (which may only exist because of humans) and undomesticated animals. It's important to consider - where does the data from animals come from - are you representing the animal properly? For information scientists this should include issues of documentation - how can you document an animal's consent to research, including experimentation. Unless you know how the species thinks, you don't know if they consent. Thus, Fuller thought that if we want to engage more with animals and research their information world, we have to consider these issues much more deeply, otherwise we are likely to be misrepresenting them.
Finally Jenna Hartel talked about her information videos and how they embrace a multispecies approach, including animal and insect guides within her videos, featuring the animals used as metaphors by scholars, and as a key way of telling stories e.g. in her plagiarism video (Hartel's videos are here).
There were also following question session there were questions about how this related to inclusion of the different human communities' voices, issues of what information & information use mean, and prejudice against specific animal species.
Photo by Sheila Webber, Tassie (my virtual Siamese Kittycat) observes me from under the tea trolley in Second Life.
Thursday, October 26, 2023
There is a call for proposals for the 2024 Workshop for Instruction in Library Use (WILU), to be held in Richmond (Metro Vancouver), BC, Canada, 15-17 May 2024. Proposal deadline is 4 December 2023. The Conference Theme is Embracing Change
"We invite proposals that consider what it means to embrace change in an evolving and ever-shifting landscape. How can we actively build the future, enrich the present, and embrace change to build upon the tried and true or experiment with new approaches within library instruction? We welcome proposals from a wide range of topics, which may include: Artificial Intelligence; academic integrity; indigenous knowledge; indigenous academic integrity; universal design in instruction (UDI); equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility; teaching outside the box; collaborations; library ambassadors; compassionate community, and any other areas that may be of interest to you and your peers!"
You can propose presentations, workshops and panel discussions.
More information at https://wordpress.kpu.ca/wilu2024/proposals/
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
I recently rediscovered the Scholarly Communication Toolkit produced by ACRL.
"The toolkit is an educational resource primarily directed to librarians to assist them with: integrating a scholarly communication perspective into library operations and programs and preparing presentations on scholarly communication issues for administrators, faculty, staff, students, or other librarians."
The last big update was in 2016, but they continue to update this resource.
It's at https://acrl.libguides.com/scholcomm/toolkit/home
Image by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI, with prompt scholarly communication, academics, journals, in the style of David Hockney, colourful, --ar 16:9
It is colourful
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
- A study on the knowledge and perception of artificial intelligence by A Subaveerapandiyan, C Sunanthini and Mohammad Amees
- Copyright literacy of library and information science professionals in Pakistan by Ghalib Khan and Muhammad Basir
- South African academic libraries as contributors to social justice and ubuntu through community engagement by Siviwe Bangani and Luyanda Dube
- The University of the Free State Neville Alexander Library book club and information-seeking behaviour by Dina Mokgadi Mashiyane, Tebogo Agnes Makhurpetsi and Thuto Kgosiemang
- Framework for communicating library training at a South African university by Mahlaga J Molepo and Sihle Blose (this includes information literacy training)
The whole issue (pdf) is available open access at https://repository.ifla.org/handle/123456789/2979
Photo by Sheila Webber: Maria church in Krakow, October 2023
Friday, October 20, 2023
These are some of the papers presented at the 2023 IFLA conference (open access full text)
- Gardijan, Nikica. (2023) Let’s think together: Finding the best way to incorporate ChatGPT in the information literacy courses curricula. Paper presented at 88th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), 2023 Rotterdam.
"Due to the fact that ChatGPT tool had an immediate impact on all spheres of life, there is a need to discuss its advantages and disadvantages for information literacy (IL) education point of view. This study aims to examine viewpoints of Croatian academic librarians, research assistants and university professors on ChatGPT and its possible utilization in teaching IL. In order to achieve stated aim, authors have conducted a qualitative study using an In-Depth interview method. Respondents were selected form a purposive sample of academic librarians, teaching assistants and university professors form the University of Zadar, University of Zagreb and University of Osijek and responses were analyzed by conducting qualitative content analysis. Results have shown that the majority of the respondents is, for time being, inclined to incorporate ChatGPT into IL courses curricula. Findings of this study can be practically applied by librarians when creating new, enhanced IL courses curricula. Also, these findings should be presented to the university administrations and interpreted as an indicator of the necessary change that is needed regarding the position of librarians in the teaching process and acknowledgment of their work. " https://repository.ifla.org/handle/123456789/2789
- Wang, Chao and Tong, Xinyu. (2023). Study on the Scenario-based Application of ChatGPT and Its Risk Avoidance Strategies from the Perspective of Information Literacy. Paper presented at 88th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), 2023 Rotterdam.
"With the continuous development and popularization of artificial intelligence technology, ChatGPT has become a highly regarded large language model since its launch. In the ChatGPT boom, information literacy is crucial to how to correctly understand and use ChatGPT. This article first introduces the language generation logic and defects of ChatGPT, and designs a scenario application example of ChatGPT in combination with the three scenarios of information literacy: life, study, and work. Through screening and analyzing the responses of ChatGPT output, it discusses the potential risks in its application process, and finally puts forward the main strategies to avoid and resolve the risks of ChatGPT from the perspective of information literacy, in order to help users better cope with the opportunities and challenges under the impact of AI technology. "
https://repository.ifla.org/handle/123456789/2802 (paper and presentation)
- Scott-Branch, Jamillah, Laws, Robert and Terzi, Paschalia(2023) The Intersection of AI, Information and Digital Literacy: Harnessing ChatGPT and Other Generative Tools to Enhance Teaching and Learning. Paper presented at 88th IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), 2023 Rotterdam.
"This paper highlights the importance of AI literacy in higher education and the role of librarians in fostering research skills development with AI literacy as part of information literacy. Faculty and students must understand the benefits and drawbacks of AI tools to use them responsibly and effectively. Librarians, as digital and information literacy experts, can significantly contribute to this evolving field. The authors provide recommendations for integrating AI literacy into existing curriculums, emphasizing the need to create lesson plans that encourage the critical and ethical use of AI tools, enabling students to produce new knowledge while developing their digital skills. "
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
There is a call for proposals for the California Conference on Library Instruction, taking place on 31 May 2023 in San Francisco, USA. Deadline for proposals is 20 November 2023. The theme is Play & Playfulness in Library Instruction.
"In the environment of academic libraries, where there is pressure to be more standardized and efficient, we look for ways to engage and center students while being inclusive and equitable. How can we prepare students to think critically with information literacy instruction? Embracing play and playfulness in instruction is one strategy for building capacity in order to grapple with weighty topics. The act of play can make it possible to gain distance from reality in order to think past the constraints of life, and instead adapt to a task with curiosity and fresh perspective. Incorporating play simply for the sake of engagement is also worthwhile. CCLI seeks proposals about how librarians have utilized play in their instruction to solve information literacy challenges. Examples of the incorporation of play and playfulness into instruction could include games or gamification, creative prompts or scenarios, improv or theater, art or rapid drawing, storyboarding, zines, storytelling, and other multimodal approaches to motivate and create learning with students."
More information at https://www.cclibinstruction.org/proposals-2024/
Image by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI, prompt: library instruction, playfulness, adults, libraries, light colours
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
"Adopting a critical literacy approach to information skills can be challenging. Whilst many information literacy frameworks emphasise the need for students to evaluate the quality, relevance, accuracy, currency, credibility etc. of information sources, critical literacy is about much more than this. This introductory session will explain the basics of critical literacy and suggest some ways that librarians (and other staff) in schools, colleges and universities might go about teaching critical literacy skills to students."
- Critical Literacy & Academic Texts: 15 November 2023; 15.30-16.30 UK time, Cost £15
"This session will focus on ways to use critical literacy approaches specifically to interrogate academic resources, such as peer reviewed articles. It will suggest ways that librarians (and other staff) in colleges, universities and 6th forms might go about teaching critical literacy skills to students. The session will include discussion of issues such as the relationship between critical literacy and various research paradigms; publishing practices; author positionality; author motivations; and funder considerations. (Note: This session will assume participants already have a basic understanding of critical literacy)."
Book at https://library-training-events.square.site/s/shop
Photo by Sheila Webber: possibly not critically literate soft toys, Krakow, October 2023
Saturday, October 14, 2023
White, A. (2023, October 11). Let 'no' be 'no': when librarians say 'no' to instruction opportunities. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. https://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2023/let-no-be-no/
Abstract: "There has been more literature about academic librarians saying ‘no’ in the last decade than in previous time periods. However, much of the existing work discusses how academic librarians might say ‘no’ to optional activities, such as serving on an extra committee or taking on an additional research project. As budgets and staffing levels decrease but expectations and responsibilities increase, academic librarians may find themselves in the position of needing to say ‘no’ even to regular duties: this paper presents a review of the literature on when, why, and how librarians say ‘no’, drawing from work on vocational awe, service orientation and deference behavior, and criticism of the one-shot model. Additionally, the article will present findings from a survey describing the experiences of approximately 285 American and Canadian academic librarians with instruction responsibilities who have had to, imagine needing to, or never plan to say ‘no’ to instruction opportunities. The results examine whether personal and professional demographics, burnout, pedagogical concerns, and other factors impact if an instruction librarian is likely to ‘just say no.’"
Image created by Sheila Webber using Midjourney AI: prompt is: a librarian saying "no", 1940s style, librarian holding a lead pipe
Friday, October 13, 2023
Pam McKinney live blogging from the ECIL conference. This is a panel session led by Emily Zeken Brown and Susan Souza-Mort, with the directive energy of Laura Hogan who could not be here today. They started off by asking the audience about the flavour of their information literacy training, and how it is delivered e.g. as a one shot session, or a multi-session format, or as a credit bearing course. There is a lack of time for librarians to deliver comprehensive information literacy education for community college students. The presenters work at Bristol Community College in Massachusetts in the US. Students are often 1st generation, non-traditional and working full time, and 68% graduate without debt. A recent law has made it possible for any 1 year resident without a degree can go to community college for free, which has massively improved access to education in the state. Many learners need a lot of support with digital and information literacy, the college is open for everyone, including students who really struggle with formal learning. This affects the library IL offer, as it has to be tailored for a large range of abilities.
There is a first year seminar course in study skills a college success seminar, and this seemed like an ideal place to develop information literacy. The class can be attached to any research heavy course, and the library team offered to tailor it to different subject contexts. The focus was on scaffolding the research process, and also promoting academic writing support. Research help, writing help and academic support is provided in the library. Many students think these services have to be paid for, but in fact they are free. The ACRL framework was used as a guiding principle for the course. There was a lengthy administrative process to go through to create this as a credit bearing course in the college, which involved getting feedback from a variety of teachers and administrators in the institution. The way that courses are designed at community colleges in the US seems quite different from the way that courses are designed at British universities!
There was a remuneration issue in that if librarians are going to lead a credit bearing course they should be paid as adjunct teaching staff, and these librarians requested this increase in pay for this course. In order to be a librarian in the US, you are required to have a masters qualification in library and information science. This course was positioned as not needing students to buy text books, so all the resources were open educational resources. The course will hopefully run for the first time in spring 2024, but there seem to be some issues with the placing of the course, and proposed changes to how it is positioned in the context of other courses at the college. The abstract of the panel is here.
Pam McKinney blogging from day 3 of the ECIL conference. Tuija Korhonen spoke about data literacy in higher education, which is very important as students do independent research, so need to understand data management and citation practices. These are also skills for the workplace. Helsinki university is large, with 11 faculties across 4 campuses. There is a research data support network featuring specialists from the library, IT, research affairs and legal affairs.
Various tools and services are offered, e.g. a data management planning tool and workshops. The library data management team teach research data management for doctoral students and researchers, but following the implementation of GDPR in 2018 they needed to provide this training for students at all levels. This presented an issue of scalability, who was going to teach data management to all these students?
The solutions were to provide self study material, and a personal data test, a teaching pilot with faculty. Self study material was created using lib guides in 3 languages - Finnish, Swedish and English and covered topics such as where data should be stored. The teaching pilot with faculty took place in the context of a masters course, and focused on open science principles and practices. There has been very positive feedback from students and staff regarding the teaching pilot. And other universities have asked to adopt the personal data test quiz.
The abstract for this talk is on this page (scroll down)
Pam McKinney live blogging from the first afternoon session of the 3rd day of the ECIL conference in Krakow, Poland. Jennifer Jacobs from Texas Tech university is an information literacy teaching librarian, and one of her courses looks at social media and information literacy.
People make split second decisions about information they find on social media and decide whether and how they are going to use it. Social media has fundamentally changed how we interact with information, and it’s important to reflect on how we share information we find on social media, as much Mis and dis information is found on social media.
The mid-term assignment for students is to go on their social media and find a video that has information in it. They have to decide if that information is truthful, and what value it has for them. The focus is to capture how students interact with social media, before trying to teach them about evaluation skills.
Some students showed good evaluation skills and had videos that were truthful. Some posters had expertise in the subjects they were sharing videos about, and students recognised this. Several students chose very emotional videos e.g. about the use of animal testing in cosmetics, because this video was shared by PETA, an animal rights pressure group, it was probably biased.
Students usually accepted information on social media without checking the source. Truth can be blurred by high emotion videos. Without fore-knowledge, students struggled to articulate how they judged the truthfulness of information. Students had to present their videos to the class and talk about the,, which students liked as an activity. The activity could be adapted to many contexts, and can inform the development of learning materials about information evaluation.
The abstract for this talk is on this page
Photo by Pam McKinney
#ECIL2023 New clicks: developing user led digital literacies in older adults in Scottish public libraries
Pam McKinney blogging from the second presentation in the doctoral forum at ECIL. Andrew Feeney from Edinburgh Napier university presented a summary of the beginning stages of his PhD research. He intends to use participatory methods with a peer supported approach to understand his topic.
There is a huge range of literature on participatory methods, older adults and public libraries. Older adults are disproportionately and tangibly affected by gaps in digital literacy development. Digital by default negatively affects older adults e.g. public policy often focuses on developments for younger people in schools or the workplace. There are no equivalent policies for older adults. Public Libraries are ideally placed as sites for development as trusted locations.
Participatory methods are useful for meeting older learners on their own terms, and peer supported approaches are under explored in this context. There is a need to address intersectional approaches to information literacy development, and sustainable change needs direct engagement, and the public library is a good place for this to happen. Andrew’s research questions focus on how older adults determine their own digital literacy needs, and how they might address these without formal intervention. How could participatory and peer supported methods address these needs? Andrew is hoping to work with a group of around 40 adults that he already engages with in his professional practice.
He hopes to examine the CILIP definition of information literacy through the research, which prioritises empowerment and engagement. One of the impact areas outlines by CILIP is information literacy in everyday life, and this is key to the research. Participatory research involves the research hers giving up power, and become a participant themselves. Recent studies have shown that targeted engagement work best with older adults. These methods can reach out to older adults that may not have engaged with traditional learning.
Ageing is a non uniform process, and this means that methods should have a range of outputs. The ladder of participation presents a range of ways that participatory research can be conceived, and Andrew is aiming for the top of the ladder which gives more power to participants. An initial establish cohort of participants will help Andrew design the research, and a pilot series of workshops with this cohort will trial and develop new approaches.
Some early conclusions are that current policies do not address the varied and compound digital literacy development needs of older adults. User-led methods proposed can address this, and can develop scalable solutions. Public libraries are already active in this space, but lack a holistic vision that is supported by government policy.
The abstract for this talk is on this page