Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Using a brain booth to promote metacognition: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

At the end of the session in which Pam and we're presenting at the I were presenting at the European Conference on Information Literacy , Katia Karadjova (coauthor Marissa Mourer) presented on Dare to share the silence: tools and practices of contemplative pedagogy in a library brain booth. She was reporting on a project at Humboldt State University. The idea of the library brain booth was to introduce mindfulness, and promote metacognition. Students are encouraged to think about the impact of taking a brain break on their academic performance and life: emotional self-regulation and singular thoughtful focus are the other aspects of mindfulness that were mentioned.
The first tool was guided meditation (in a booth with a cd), a second used a biofeedback machine (with the idea of aiming to become calm, as registered on the machine), then there was sound-relaxation, colour relaxation (that is, doing colouring) and light-relaxation (to counter lack of sunlight) . There was also virtual reality immersion, with 2 headsets for iPhones and android. Another tool was a sheet on which people could express gratitude to someone in their lives. Fitdesks were available. Finally, there was also a collection of books etc. related to this topic.
The investigation was esssentially into whether there was interest in such tools and activities. Two different rooms/setups were used, to see which was more effective. A lib guide was produced, which gained over 1000 views. 240 different people came to the brain booth, some several times, in 10 weeks. Following this initial semester, the brain booth was treated as a pop up initiative, for example around exam time. People were able to fill in comment cards, and all these were positive. There were also observations by the authors of the presentation, which identified that some tools were more effective than others e.g. people seemed to get distracted when doing colouring. Therefore they are identifying the best combinations of technology and tools.

The speakers “showed an existing gap between engagement with digital tools centred on contemplative pedagogy and in person faculty participation”. They felt there was scope for using these techniques more in library/ academic work. In answer to a question, the speaker said that they are talking to faculty about embedding the brain booth into subject classes.

Pre-lunch session @ #ECIL2017 Pam liveblogs

Pavla Kovarova spoke about information behaviour and e-safety of primary school children in the Czech Republic. Previous research has shown that children download illegal and inappropriate content. They struggle to evaluate quality of material. There are issues to do with the sharing of personal information with many children having public profile information and getting involved in sexting activities. They engage in more risky online behaviours than the EU average. There is not much time given in the primary school curriculum to discuss issues of e-safety and information literacy. Pavla developed a series of lessons for primary school children based learning n constructivist theories, so student-centred,problem based and involvingactive and cooperative learning. The classes are 90 minutes long but don't actually involve use of computers, the focus is more on safety. The research methods were observation (59 classes, 1398 children), children's evaluations, 360 degree feedback, focus groups with teachers and pre- and post- tests for children. 5 schools and 2 libraries took part in the study.

 children in lower grades were happier with the sessions. Less traditional and more active teaching styles got better feedback from both children and teachers. There was a wide range of expertise and experience of using the internet in the children.

Anna Mierzecka spoke about school librarians attitudes to teaching information literacy. This reseRch project was undertaken in collaboration between Warsaw university and researchers in Lithuania. The literature says that school librarians take on a number of roles in their institutions, but there is lack of awareness of the school librarian as an IL educator. Several studies highlighted how emotions and lack of self esteem affect librarians' teaching.  A web survey was developed aimed at librarians from the 250 best secondary schools in Lithuania and Poland (500 school in total). Response rate was 45%,  143 responses from Lithunania and 87 from Poland. The majority of respondents were experienced librarians. There were big differences in how librarians from the 2 countries taught IL. The big six model was used to ask librarians what aspects of IL they taught. The study examined librarians emotional motivation for their teaching role, and generally respondents were really positive about their roles, and were also positive about their development in the future. People considered their role important, and that they made a difference in the world.

First set of parallel sessions Tuesday @ #ECIL2017: Pam liveblogs


Monica Krakowska gave a presentation about the use of information grounds theory used to understand the information literacy of new undergraduate information management students. Information grounds theory makes it possible to understand information activities and to investigate their emotional response to information use and sharing. 95 first year undergraduate information management students at Jagiellonan University took part in the research in 2016-2017. Student writing created during face to face sessions were used as the data for the research, and were examined for evidence of information grounds. The data revealed that students identified places as information grounds where people make ad hoc information exchanges. The writing was quite impersonal, probably because it was created quickly for a class assignment. It was noticed that students create information grounds at the university. A problem with the res arch was that students often wrote about the examples they were given in the lecture, rather than thinking of their own examples.

Next, Vajeran Buselic spoke about graduate employability using and information literacy quest at Croatian Universities. In Croatia graduate unemployment is very high. Employers recognise the value of IL and critical thinking but lack awareness of the terminology. A web of science search for "information literacy" and "employability" found only 15 results. There seems to be a disconnect between information literacy researchers and authors, and employability researchers and authors. Citespace was used to visually map citations for information literacy and employability.




Stephane Goldstein: information literacy and the future of work : Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Stephane is the director of Informall which is concerned with promoting Information literacy in the workplace and in other contexts. Past science fiction authors have imagined a dystopian and hyper industrial future world of work, but this hasn't and probably wont come to pass. Stephane introduced some long term workplace trends, for example a trend for less hierarchical organisational structures, that work is becoming less routine and there is an increase in project work, meaning more collaborative and team work. Stephane introduced some emerging characteristics of work, including less security, more entrepreneurial, fragmented in terms of task and space, more working from home and automated or at risk of automation.

 A more optimistic vision of the future is that the workforce will be "ageless", "mindful", "intuitive" and "collaborative". Another vision of the future is that it is a "lattice" rather than a "ladder" model of career progression, meaning that workplaces are more inclusive and collaborative. Going hand in hand with this vision is the idea that the workplace is characterised  by widespread knowledge and information sharing. However these rather rosy view of the modern workplace ignore the fact that there are workers such as cleaners, catering staff, security personnel etc who are on the margins of the organisation - what can information literacy do for them? There is a risk of digital and information exclusions for this type of worker. Stephane reflected on the rise of the gig economy, and how this is positive in flexibility, but negative in terms of job security and exploitation. There is a rise in the availability of the "human cloud", platforms and services that allow individuals to bid for work internationally. This could encourage entrepreneurship, but also it could encourage the emergence of a new "precariat", a class of people with no job security, job stability or career progression. Stephane asks "what can information literacy do for this kind of worker?"

Information literacy could apply to the defence of employment rights for gig economy workers, e.g. recent legal challenges posed by workers at Deliveroo. more and more data is being gathered about work behaviour, and new technologies enable employers to monitor their employees, and this raises concerns about intrusiveness, control, autonomy and data protection. This actually reminded me of a keynote presentation at the lilac conference in 2015 by Julia Jones on trade unions and information literacy  It is important to look at information literacy in the light of ethics relating to the uses of big data.

Information literacy has a place in retraining the evolving workforce, and in thinking about how IL related to lifelong learning, and in helping individuals navigate more complex career pathways. IL can help people adapt to the rapidly changing workplace.

Information Literacy and the Future of Work: Sheila liveblogs from #ecil2017

Stéphane Goldstein started the second day of the European Conference on Information Literacy with his invited talk on Information Literacy and the Future of Work. He said that he would concentrate in looking at the future of work and the implications for information literacy. He started by talking about speculative fiction, such as 1984, which tended to project dystopian views of the future. Goldstein contrastred this with the "current future of work" with Uber, Taskrabbit and so forth.
He identified some long time trends such as flatter organisational structures, less "routine" types of work, and increase in project work (apparently increased "40 fold over 20 years"). Goldstein drew on a framework of digital literacy (from Helen Beetham) to pose some future characteristics of work e.g. less secure, more fragmented, automated, "dislocated from traditional workplaces". This was complemented by a quotation from a UK skills report which emphasised workforce resilience, teamworking, self-management etc. It also fitted in with what Goldstein characterised as a "rosy" view" of the workforce as ageless (meaning, you can work as long as you like without discrimination), mindful, collaborative and intuitive. There was also the idea of the workplace as a "lattice" rather than a "ladder", which implies information sharing, awareness of information, information resilience to find your zigzag way in progressing your career.
However, this did seem to leave the people with service roles, like cleaners, security employees, catering staff, who might not be able to progress through the lattice. Goldstein asked whether they would also be part of an organisation's information culture, and who attended to their information needs and information literacy.He felt that looking at exclusion in workplace settings was a task for information literacy research.
There was also the issue of "flexibility" in working (part-time, temporary, ad-hoc jobs), which may be presented as offering choice, but can also provide pressures, loss of benefits and exclusion. Goldstein noted the "rise of the human cloud" with online platforms that enable people wanting services to be matched with those providing them. This could be seen as global entrepreneurial freedom, or a way of mass exploitation those with less power. From this: what are the information needs of these people, and how can the idea of collaborative information use and sharing be squared with this more precarious and isolated way of working.
Goldstein noted the actions brought be workers and trade unions against operators of these kinds of services (e.g. Deliveroo, Uber). How might information literacy contribute to industrial relations and workers rights in this context? On the same theme, since a growing number of people work from home, or as part of this casualised economy, the "workplace" is no longer necessarily the old stable workplace.
This workplace was also becoming increasingly one where employees are monitored (e.g. through quantified self, for example) and not just output, but also behaviour and attitude are monitored and measured. This raised a whole raft of ethical concerns, which could or should become the focus of information literacy.
Touching on the rise of automation, for example, there could was now automatic extraction of material from a larger text which provided acceptable summaries aimed at different audiences (I remembered that Sheila McNeil blogged about one of these apps here). One then had to ask what activities and tasks were left for human beings (this could be creativity, personal interaction, networking...)
Goldstein finally asked how infolit could address both the threats and the opportunities of the future of work. He stressed that it was important to look at both, and not just the opportunities. There was a research agenda for information literacy, and also implications for information literacy practice.
Some interesting points were raised afterwards, including: the issue of modern slavery (people fruit picking, cleaning etc.) and information literacy.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Children's Literacy is Important, but what about Adult Reading Literacy? Vlasta Zabukovec, Polona Vilar: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

This research project aimed to understand the relationship between reading literacy and information literacy. An online survey was distributed via snowball sampling. There was a high correlation between past and present experiences of reading. Respondents were most likely to read alone rather than with a parent. Many people visited the library often or regularly and 96% agreed that family literacy is important. One fifth of parents bought enormous amounts of books. Librarians and teachers promoted reading in primary school. Most respondents thought that reading literacy is the ability to read, to receive information, express as thoughts and ability write. Structured activities were recommended for children to develop reading literacy. 3 central factors were indicated as influencing reading literacy: personal motivation, social support and technical aspects e.g. Use of a computer and internet searching. People were asked what texts they preferred to read, and surprisingly they preferred internet texts over printed texts. The conclusions of the project include that family reading should be supported, and that technical support is needed.

Required Skills for Teachers: Information Literacy at the Top Tatiana Sanches: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

With changes in teaching practice and new learning technologies, there are changing competencies required by teachers, and hence there have to be changes in teacher education. Students have to be prepared to be lifelong learners, have to be able to work collaboratively have to be able to learn Ina technology rich landscape. Information literacy is essential to this process. Several countries already include IL in pre-service education for teachers. This study took place at the university of Lisbon in Portugal. The ALA and UNESCO provided guiding documents for teacher training in information literacy. Training sessions carried out in 2016-17 were evaluated. There was a high degree of satisfaction with the workshops, which were highly personalised.

Social Media and Information Literacy: Investigating the Perceptions of Undergraduate Students: Pam blogs from # ECIL2017

This session reported on a small study that took place in the sultanate of Oman at Sultan Qaboos university, where approximately 16,000 students are enrolled. The study aimed to investigate the extent to which UG students have the ability to deal with information flows through social media. The researchers were interested in the extent to which students used social media for academic purposes. 2000 students were surveyed with a print questionnaire and 1142 valid responses were collected.

The majority of respondents described their IT skills as "intermediate" and smart phones were the most popular devices. About half had attended a library information literacy session


Students reported that they did seek to evaluate information sourced from social media before they used it. They felt they could distinguish between fact and rumour. Student had reported a strong understanding of information ethics, and understood the need to cite sources. There was some understanding of copyright and other legal issues. There was a good understanding of the risks in sharing personal images on social media. Further qualitative research is planned. Authors: Ali Al-Aufi, Hamed Al-Azri, Nehad Al-Hadi

Understanding the Academic Library as an Information Literacy Workplace Danuta Nitecki: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017


Danuta is dean of libraries and professor at the college of computing and informatics at Drexel University, USA. She proposed 3 ideas: the library as the learners' workplace; the relationship between space and learning is an emerging area of study; libraries are prime examples of this phenomenon. A purposeful space should take account of the desired change in the user, the type of activities they do and the space features.g. Technology, furnishings that are required. Library spaces are not driven by pedagogy in the way that formal teaching spaces are. Instead they take account of how the learner behaves. Many disciplines are interested in space and learning, but there is no overall theoretical model. Danuta's research into informal learning spaces involved students identifying learning environments, they inspected many campus spaces and provided descriptions of how they could use a space. They identified a common set of features that could characterise learning space e.g. Space, natural light. Danuta then reported selected findings from Nitecki and Simpson (2016) investigating the library as learning environment. The study used descriptions of 25 library spaces as data and extracted quotes about design features or student learning. They identified that vocabulary used to describe formal spaces are mirrored in informal learning spaces. Collaboration was a key feature of library space. http://libjournal.uncg.edu/jls/article/view/1318 A 3rd study peer engagement Used mobile phones to record learning activities in informal learning spaces. The data did not show how people moved through the space, but showed both collaboration, and people working individually. There is a need for a research agenda for understanding the relationship between informal learning environments and learning.

After lunch at ECIL : Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

There was a packed program in the first session after lunch so I'm going to briefly summarise a few papers in this post

Implementing Library Strategies and Values as a Part of the Workplace Information Literacy

Marja Anneli Hjelt and Jarmo Kyösti Saarti
The presentation was based on Marja's PhD research looking at the adoption of e-books in public libraries. The research aimed to understand the role of the librarian as innovator. Marja conducted interviews with librarians in 6 libraries. Ebooks were considered to be complementary and supplementary to the library's other services. Librarians thought that non fiction ebooks were more heavily used than fiction ebooks, however the usage statistics contradicted this view. Ultimately librarian knowledge about ebooks is based on public external information rather than library strategies or data therefore this disconnect between perception and reality is an issue to do with IL in the workplace. 


Enhancing the Quality of the Library Processes – Benchmarking Workplace Information Literacy, Numeracy and Communication Practices in Two European University Libraries
Jarmo Saarti and Nora Balagué
This research study looks at the use of communication and management tools to support information literacy and numeracy in academic librarians in 2 universities, in Finland and in Spain. The researchers used the PDCA (plan, do, check, act) to investigate the situation. They found that library staff make a lot of use of internal data, but are not great users of generic management resources to improve management.

Information Literacy of Croatian Subject Indexers
Kristina Feldvari, Kornelija Petr Balog
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Osijek, Croatia
This presentation reported on PhD research using a cognitive work analysis framework to understand workplace information literacy of subject indexers. Subject indexing is unpredictable, changeable and interpretive, it is also highly contextual. The study aimed to understand the process and procedures of these subject indexers. 10 highly experienced subject indexers from 5 large libraries formed the purposive sample for the study. A comparative qualitative case study methodology was adopted using semi structured interviews as the data collection method. Each interview featured a subject indexing task and used a think aloud method to record the process. The interviews were then compared with the actual practice displayed by the indexers. Indexers preferred to use existing subject headings rather than create new ones. Searching for new appropriate headings was a barrier, particularly as there is no national subject indexing manual. 

Subject indexers were not familiar with the search capabilities of internal databases, OPACs and the internet, their search capabilities were poor. Suggestions derived from the project were to have information literacy training sessions for the subject indexers.

Test of an Iterative Process Cecile Touitou, Anita Beldiman Moore: Pam blogsfrom #ECIL2017


Sciences Po is a small social science based university. The presenters spoke about their experiences of teaching information literacy. The development is an iterative process based on student feedback. They tried to use new tools (tablets) to teach IL but this wasn't effective due to wifi problems. The IL workshops were moved to earlier in the academic year, and the use of quizzes really helped with positive feedback. They cited an ISO white paper on measuring the value of library and used this to develop their evaluation instrument. They looked at the differences between English and French speakers and English speakers rated their own skills more highly. They developed an "escape game" teaching session where students search for books on the shelves and in the catalogue, and initial feedback indicates that this should be a longer session.

Research on academic reading format - print wins! Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

Another liveblog from the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France. Next for me, Diane Mizrachi chaired a panel on the Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS). This project actually started at ECIL, as Mizrachi presented the results of her study into students' preferences between print and online, in 2014, and now the study has been replicated in over 30 countries (unfunded!!). I have reported on findings presented at previous ECIL conferences, and the impressive finding is that the findings from the small scale studies in all these countries demonstrate that students prefer print over online, although they see the advantages of online for some things. The website is here http://arfis.co/
The panel talked about various aspects about this international collaboration: both issues concerning with doing the survey in different countries, and discussion of the findings. Firstly Serap Kurbanoglu (Turkey) talked about adapting the instrument for different countries. For exaample, the original survey asked about Grade Point Average, and this question has to be removed for cross-study comparison (e.g. we don't use GPA in the UK). Also undergraduate study lasts a different amount of time in different countries, departments are called all sorts of different things in different countries: even classifying disciplines (to social sciences, humanities etc.) is not straightforward. The open ended questions were also an issue, since they were difficult to analyse to cross-compare. Altogether a lot of checking and coding was required. Incomplete answers, and identifying and removing them, was another issue.
Translating the survey instrument was a delicate task, to make sure that the meaning of the original was correctly interpreted. As an example, initially it looked as though (different from all the other studies) students preferred online to print, but this turned out to be because the question had been asked the other way round (so in fact the results DID agree). Getting a sample might need different approaches in each country, but in all countries is challenging, getting participation from students. In terms of communication between the researchers, this was also not straightforward since e.g. Chinese colleagues could not use Google groups.
Secondly Elena Collina (University of Bologna, Italy) talked about the challenges of doing the study in a huge university with many campuses, where the administration (Executive Board) did not approve the study. Collina had to restrict the study to one campus, where the rector was supportive. Once it was completed, the study's findings were welcomed by colleagues locally, but the Executive Board was still cold about it! Collina identified a message that shifting everything to the digital does NOT answer all the students' needs. She saw this message as important for improving the situation for students.
Thirdly, Nicole Johnson had carried out the study in Qatar and then in Perth, Australia. She emphasised that a lot of conversations and permissions had to be obtained before the survey was sent out to the total population at Perth (27,000 students: there was a response of just over 500): in Qatar she only got permission to distribute to a sample of students. Johnson had talked to the librarian at the University of Perth, where there was "interest in the results and then the reality of what they do with results". In other words, although the students expressed preference for print, there was not a budget for both print and online, and also there was pressure from the university to go digital. Pragmatically it may then be a matter of trying to get the students more familiar with online texts, and getting the texts easier to use. In terms of challenges, just getting the survey out was a challenge, and one university wanted extra questions answered.
Fourthly, Alicia Salaz mentioned that what was common across the studies was that you tried to distribute as widely as you could, and the aim was to recruit similar samples from every country. She was the joint researcher in Qatar. She was interested in whether culture, socio-economic or technological development etc. would affect results. Qatar was a richer country which was technologically advanced - but still, in fact, students preferred print, consistent with the global sample. The interesting the things was the response: what do you do about the results? There were varying responses, with people seeing what they want (e.g. if they like books - let's go back to books; if they are committed to online - how can we make the online experience better).
Finally Angela Repanovici (Romania) reported that in her country language (Romanian vs, say, English) influences preference. There had been an issue in getting ethical permission (this was not required in her university, but was required for open access publication, though this was resolved in due course).
There were interesting questions after and during the session. For example: what is the research about learning and understanding from print vs. online (the clear results from this study were that students THOUGHT they learned more from print). Also research on notetaking (on paper vs electronically was discussed: people may be bypassing the processing stage if they take notes electronically). There was also a point about connecting this with epistemological development and metacognition. There was also the issue of students working collaboratively (where again they wanted to use physical methods of reading/writing, not just online). Collina also mentioned sharing of print books being seen as an ecological choice. I suggested it would be useful to create some attractive media (e.g. videos of students) to communicate results to university managers (who may be brainwashed by pro-digital hype) and also mentioned research into students using print and online together as they worked. Another audience member raised the issue of students having digital devices, but not necessarily ones which made it convenient to read online, or they might not have data plans to download etc.
Mizrachi touched on a few more issues in the final minutes e.g. a "print divide" (students who can't afford textbooks); whether emotional attachment to print comes for reading books with your parent/caregiver; the issue of "screen time" for the very young.
The second photo is a slightly rough sea at Saint-Malo yesterday

Leading Together: Harnessing the Community College Atmosphere to Impact Student Learning Emily Brown, Susan Souza-Mort Bristol Community College, USA: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Community colleges were created to make learning affordable, so students can transfer their credits to a 4 year institution. College Librarians are now working closely with university librarians to teach information literacy. There has been a big growth in the number of IL sessions given to students. They identified the need to market IL to both faculty and students. They were able to analyse student assessments using the  LEAP value rubric which indicated that students hadn't really grasped the concepts they were supposed to. It led to faculty asking for more librarian time and teaching, based on this evidence. Demand was high initially from a wide range of classes, but ultimately they have focused attention on classes which have a high research component.  A paper on this research is available 

The tortoise or the hare: undergraduates, information literacy, and the slow movement Marietta Frank, Kimberley Bailey and Catherine Baldwin from University of Pittsburgh: Pam blogs from ECIL2017

There is a challenge for librarians to move on from the discourse of "quick and easy" approaches to information searching to a more "slow and steady" approach which ultimately may be more successful for learners. This idea has developed from the slow movement e.g.  Slow eating. Draw on theories of Poirier and Robinson (2014) who define principles of slow information searching, and these were linked to the ACRL framework of information literacy.

Undergraduates today live a "fast" life and this has effects on the brain.  This manifests in stress, frustration, unreasonable expectations, and sensory overload. The resulting pedagogical approaches lead to surface learning, and a lack of deep reading of texts. Mindful practices and reflection can counter these problems, and help students focus on tasks, choose quality over quantity, and enjoy learning more. 

These librarians aim to incorporate a slow "critical" approach in their own teaching, so aim to be critical, problem posing, creative, intellectual, process-based. Slow principles contribute to students' lifelong learning. 


Teaching strategies include focusing on open ended questions, time for reflection, using debate, and interviewing each other about research topics. Students asked to evaluate news stories, engage in problem based learning.

Evaluating and assessing"against the grain" applying mixed methods in support of critical library pedagogy Carol Leibiger and Alan Aldrich: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Alan and his colleague Carol are based at the university of South Dakota in the USA. They teach information literacy at their institution and have been heavily influenced by a critical literacy perspective, however these methods of involving students are labour and time intensive, particularly if one has to do large scale instruction and also justify the worth of Information Literacy instruction to the management at the university.

Came up with a simple quantitative evaluation instrument using 4 questions inviting a likert scale response, combined with 2 open ended questions "how could the librarian have taught this session better?" And "what recommendations would you make for the librarian"

Likert scale responses were very positive and could be used to justify time and effort of librarians. Qualitative responses indicated a high level of satisfaction with the librarian's teaching. However responses to the 2nd question indicated that students wanted librarians to use appropriate pacing, and not give too much attention to one or two students.

Stratified the quantitative data to look at the lowest and highest quintiles, and tested the relationships between this quantitative data with the qualitative data. Students wanted tutors to show enthusiasm for their role and to demonstrate their positivity. 


It was important to combine the qualitative and quantitative data to reveal the true responses of the students, and to identify points for development.

Opening keynote: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Bonnie Cheuk: Global head of digital knowledge and collaboration at Euroclear
 This is my summary of the opening keynote from #ECIL 2017 "Who care about IL in the workplace?"
Bonnie said that she aims to bring business perspective to the conference Bonnie confessed that she does not use the term "information literacy" at work, but has responsibility for many activities that come under the IL umbrella. The language used in the boardroom is very different, but executives realise that business is information driven.  Information literacy is often not listed as an essential competence in job advertisement, even though most jobs require essential competencies with information. Information is seen as an enabler to the delivery of the company's strategy, and this reminded me of Marchand's (2000) model "Competing with Information: A Manager's Guide to Creating Business Value with Information", which although quite elderly at 17 years old, is still a useful model that I use in my business intelligence module. It is important to look through the eyes of workplace when seeking to promote and develop IL in the workplace. The way people use information is just "part of the job" so IL is hidden. IL in the workplace is highly contextual. Information literacy can become a strategic planning framework, to ask what information is critical to achieving strategic goals? Information literacy can be a change management framework, to improve information flows within an organisation. For example how does the organisation encourage people-centric networking through communities of practice. It is important for information professionals to work closely with other stakeholders in order to develop these information practices. Bonnie gave an example of a customer strategic aim of improving customer satisfaction and how information and IL could be used to meet this strategic aim. Interesting that reflection was identified as an essential aspect of culture change. IL in the workplace becomes strategic, meaningful, practical, agile, tool agnostic, contextual and hidden. The challenges for IL practitioners include helping workers understand the logic and constraints of the information systems they work with, and understand their roles as information creators. IL researchers are encouraged to take a practice- and experiential based approach to their research, and to look beyond fixed notions of IL.








Bonnie Cheuk talks on workplace information literacy: Sheila blogs from #ecil2017

I am liveblogging the opening keynote from the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France. This is my live capture of what I think Cheuk said (rather than my own views on the topic), so as usual it may not be perfect (aldso I'll note that a few of the talks will be blogged by both Pam and me for different perspectives).
We have just had the opening welcome from Joumana Boustany (Conference Chair), conference founders Serap Kurbanoglu and Sonja Spiranec, and IFLA representative Lisa Hinchliffe (the second photo shows them with a background photo of Saint Malo).
Today's keynote is from Bonnie Cheuk (Digital, Knowledge and Collaboration, Euroclear): Who care about information literacy in the workplace? She started by talking about her personal journey: she started by undertaking a PhD on infolit in a work context, supervised by Christine Bruce. She went on to work for Arthur Andersen, and then other companies: the theme has been a focus on knowledge management and using information within a business context.

Cheuk said that "language matters", and that in the workplace the focus was on outcomes and her experience was that if she mentioned "information literacy" the businesspeople did not recognise the term. She admitted that this was strange, since the same people recognise that information is important to the business. She did a search in the Harvard Business Review and noted that whilst terms like data literacy and network literacy cropped up, information literacy didn't. From this she concluded that the label "information literacy" was not important in the workplace. However the thing itself could be!
Cheul said that businesspeople were interested in information when it was seen as an enabler of strategy and tactics (e.g. deciding how to innovate, how to avoid accidents). Those in the information literacy community were interested perhaps in other things like students' transition to work, and also perceived gaps that needed filling (for example, in students' ability to translate their info skills in the workplace).
Thus she recommended finding the "magical moments" where the information professional and businessperson could have a dialogue to relate infolit to a specific business need or problem. There was a need to be better at this kind of dialogue, to get to the point quickly so the businessperson actually comprehend infolit's value. Cheuk encouraged us to see the bigger picture: that infolit was just part of an employee's job, that infolit was contextual (she was using a model by Moore, identifying the crisis, efficiency, innovation and effectiveness zones of a job: so indicating that in different circumstances you might be satisficing, needing indepth accurate information etc.) Also there was the issue of the overall information flow, and the information management culture within the organisation. Information has to be seen as a strategic enabler within the company.
To achieve this, Cheuk felt that it could need a refocusing of information literacy, to focus on assking "what information needs to flow to achieve business outcomes" and "what kind of environment can enable information flow". Thus IL in the workplace becomes a strategic planning framework, and a change management framework. The latter requires identifyng the building blocks to empower and enable information flow. Cheuk identified a variety of "building blocks" including personnel, information ethics, values and culture, enabling systems (and training to use them). She said that she turned these blocks into reflective questions: for each block you asked the businesspeople questions relevant to their specific need/situation. For example if the cmpany wants to improve customer satisfaction, then you ask questions about the information flow in connection with the customer, you ask questions about the systems, about what the staff do etc.
She concluded by saying that IL in the workplace becomes strategic, meaningful, practical, agile, tools-agnostoc, contextual and hidden. She felt that enlarged the leadership role of information professional.
This is a (priced) article that Cheuk wrote, that I often use with students:
Cheuk, B. (2008). Delivering Business Value through Information Literacy in the Workplace, Libri, 58 (30) https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/libr.2008.58.issue-3/libr.2008.015/libr.2008.015.xml
She blogs at http://bonniecheuk.blogspot.com and blogged on this topic at http://bonniecheuk.blogspot.fr/2017/09/information-literacy-in-workplace-who.html

Bienvenue a St. Malo: Pam blogs from #ECIL2017

Hello, I'm in beautiful St Malo with Sheila for the #ECIL2017 conference and I will be contributing to this Information Literacy Weblog from the conference sessions. I'm very excited to be here and I'm very much looking forward to sharing my experiences on this blog. There will be 253 sessions from 57 countries at the conference so there is plenty of IL knowledge to share!

Sheila and Pam blog from #ecil2017

Both I and my colleague Pamela McKinney (we are both faculty members in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, UK) will be blogging from the European Conference on Information Literacy in Saint-Malo, France, on this blog. The picture is of the beach at Saint-Malo yesterday evening - today we will be shut up in the conference venue all day, but it does have a VIEW of the beach from some rooms...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Recent articles: IL instruction overload; perceptions of teaching IL; impact of training

Badia, G.  (2017). Forty ways to survive IL instruction overload; or, how to avoid teacher burnout, College and Undergraduate Libraries. (early online publication) (priced) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10691316.2017.1364077 (Forty short pieces of advice organised under headings like "Reward yourself" "Prepare the stage" "Make yourself heard")

Dawes, L. (2017). Faculty perceptions of teaching information literacy to first-year students: A phenomenographic study. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science. (early online publication). (priced) https://doi.org/10.1177/0961000617726129

Talim, M. et al. (2016). The Impact of Online Searching Training on Information Behavior. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 5(4). http://www.qqml-journal.net/index.php/qqml/article/view/2 (Open access).
Photo by Sheila Webber: assorted tomatoes, Blackheath Farmers Market, September 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Other people's reports on #wlic2017

I managed, after all, to do some blogging from the 2017 World Library and Information Conference held in August in Wroclaw, Poland (you can find all the posts relating to the conference at http://information-literacy.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/wlic2017). I still haven't reported on most of the posters, but I've noticed that these seem to be going into the IFLA Library, so I will post about some of them over the next month or so, as the pdfs of the actual posters become available. I will do a bit of a wrap up, now, by linking to some other blog posts etc. about the conference.
- Jane Cowell blogged about the key themes for her: here and here
- Jane Secker: two reflective posts about the Copyright and Information Literacy offsite event: here and here. Also the slides from the first session (the part I missed at the sebvent) are here: https://www.slideshare.net/seckerj/copyright-literacy-and-the-role-of-librarians-as-educators-and-advocates-an-international-symposium
- Several reports in American Libraries magazine: https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/tag/wlic2017/
- Short reports on the IFLA Public Libraries Section blog, here, here and here
- There are a few videos on the IFLA HQ Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/iflahq/videos
- Storifies: https://storify.com/RobertLeckie/wlic2016 and https://storify.com/IFLA/wlicwow (an official IFLA Storify; they'd asked people to submit their social media "wow" moments, this is a selection) and (not actually a Storify, but Storify-like) http://www.bibliobsession.net/2017/09/06/retiens-de-lifla-2017-wroclaw-pologne/

Finally, here's a professionally-done 4 minute video of the conference:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Celebrating #videogamesday - information behaviour in computer gaming

Apparently today is Video Games day, so I will celebrate with some links to a few research articles and dissertations about information behaviour and information literacy in videogames, which is one of my research interests. By that, I mean looking at what information behaviour and information literacy people deploy when they are playing videogames, I don't mean developing games about information literacy.
- Bebbington, S. and Vellino, A. (2015). Can playing Minecraft improve teenagers’ information literacy? Journal of Information Literacy, 9(2), 6-26. https://doi.org/10.11645/9.2.2029 (open access)
- Gumulak, S. and Webber, S. (2011). Playing video games: learning and information literacy. Aslib Proceedings, 63(2/3), 241-255. https://doi.org/10.1108/00012531111135682 (apologies - as I'm coauthor I should have made sure there is an open access version, but I'm afraid there isn't a legal one at the moment).
- Hollister, J. M. (2016). In- and Out-of-Character: The Digital Literacy Practices and Emergent Information Worlds of Active Role-Players in a New Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. PhD dissertation. Florida State University. http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_2016SP_Hollister_fsu_0071E_13100 (open access). Although this foregrounds "digital literacy" in fact it is also concerned with information behaviour and information literacy. "Qualitative data was collected from in-game chatlogs, screenshots, audiovisual recordings, and a sampling of community artifacts, such as forums and other community-mediated websites. Additionally, 17 sets of semi-structured interviews were conducted both in- and out-of-character to better understand the intersections between the informants' real and virtual lives. The findings both confirm and expand upon previous work on the social aspects of digital literacy practices of MMORPG players. Role-playing, as a social and creative activity, is highly dependent on the effective exchange of information."
- Martin, C. (2012). Video Games, Identity, and the Constellation of Information. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 32(5), 384-392. https://doi.org/10.1177/0270467612463797 (priced)
- Martin, C. and Steinkuehler, C. (2010). Collective Information Literacy in Massively Multiplayer Online Games. E–Learning and Digital Media, 7(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/elea.2010.7.4.355 (priced)
- Song, J. (2015). Cultural influences on information behavior in gaming. MSc dissertation. University of Sheffield Information School. http://dagda.shef.ac.uk/dispub/dissertations/2015-16/External/Jian_Song.pdf (open access). I have supervised over a dozen Masters dissertations on the topic og gaming and information, and this is one of them.
The illustration is a photo of me playing a hammer game inside the virtual 3D world, Second Life.

Monday, September 11, 2017

New open access items: Curiosity & science literacy; developing a for-credit course; infolit in practice

Two open access articles and a podcast!
- Yu, S.H. (2017). Just Curious: How Can Academic Libraries Incite Curiosity to Promote Science Literacy? Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v12i1.3954 "Abstract: Based on a Bright Young Minds webinar given on February 7, 2017, this paper shows the importance of nurturing curiosity in students as an integral part of information literacy (IL) and science literacy. There are obvious parallels between "Research as Inquiry," as described in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016) and scientific inquiry. In both cases, curiosity is the fuel that drives information gathering and the pursuit of new knowledge. This paper discusses three pedagogical strategies to help information literacy librarians incite curiosity in students and promote scientific literacy. Bright Young Minds is a webinar series hosted by the Ontario Library Association’s Education Institute. It provides a platform for MLIS students and recent graduates to share their research and to foster connections between academic schools and information professionals. The webinar and this subsequent article grew out of an MLIS project exploring the concept of curiosity and its application in promoting scientific literacy in academic libraries. I draw on my dual experiences as both a Chemistry graduate student and participant in IL sessions, and as a recent MLIS graduate and IL instructor."
- Raven, M. and Rodrigues, D. (2017). A Course of Our Own: Taking an Information Literacy Credit Course from Inception to Reality. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.21083/partnership.v12i1.3907 "Abstract: Since 2009 librarians at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia have been teaching a fully weighted (half-unit/three credit) course in information literacy (IL), LIBR2100: Introduction to Research in the Information Age. Course sections are capped at 30 students with classes offered on campus in a traditional classroom/lab environment, and via distance using multimode technology. Now firmly established in the University’s curriculum, required in three programs and an elective in all others, the course is in demand with growing wait-lists requiring that multiple sections be offered each term. While the literature supports the positive outcomes of IL credit courses for both the students enrolled and the librarians teaching, few universities or colleges currently offer such an opportunity. Based on our positive experience at the Mount, accomplished with a professional librarian compliment of only five, we strongly recommend other universities and colleges consider seriously their ability to offer their own IL course. This article reflects on the steps taken by librarians at Mount Saint Vincent University to get a credit course in IL on the books, how we managed course implementation, and negotiated the inevitable workload demands. While we also briefly discuss course objectives and curriculum, and their evolution over time, these are not our primary focus. Because the literature is largely silent on the mechanics of getting an IL course mainstreamed in a university or college curriculum, this article focuses on outlining the phases of credit course development and traces an IL course from conception to reality."
- The final item is a podcast: Information Literacy for the Win, an interview with Karen Viars and Seth Porter, Librarians in the Campus Engagement and Scholarly Outreach department in the Georgia Tech Library. This is part of the Lost in the Stacks podcast (episode 355, 25 August 2017: the interview portion starts at about 23 minutes) and the interviewees talk about their views on information literacy and what they do.
Photo by Sheila Webber: red rose of autumn, September 2017

Friday, September 08, 2017

Short online talks on internet archive, refugees/information

The Information School of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs are presenting some free online talks: the format is 15 minutes presentation + 15 minutes discussion. Forthcoming are:
- September 12 5:30-6 pm USA Illinois time (11.30-midnight UK time), in English. Don Krummel, Professor Emeritus, iSchool, speaking on The Anatomy of Bibliography
- September 21 8-8:30 am Illinois time (2pm-2.30pm UK time), in Spanish, topic/speaker to be announced.
- September 26 5:30-6 pm USA Illinois time (11.30-midnight UK time), Karen Fisher, University of Washington, on information and technology services to refugees based on her work in Syria
For more information and the updated schedule, https://publish.illinois.edu/minitalks/
To attend, visit http://go.illinois.edu/minitalks-room - you need flash player
Past talks are archived e.g.
- August 29 in English. Elizabeth MacLeod, Manager of Satellite Digitization Services, Internet Archive, Wilmington, NC: The Community Webs project at the Internet Archive Talk archived at http://media.ischool.illinois.edu/dl/events/lllfa17/aug29_17.mp4


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Livestreaming from #altc

Today is the last day of the 24th Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT-C), which has been taking place over the last few days (5 – 7 September 2017) at the University of Liverpool, UK. They have been livestreaming and recording a selection of sessions every day.
You can find today's (7 September) programme and links to the livestream here: https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2017/programme/#/day3
The previous 2 days are at https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2017/programme/#/day1 and https://altc.alt.ac.uk/2017/programme/#/day2
All sorts of issues to do withm Techonology Enhanced Learning are being discussed. Yesterday's keynote was from Siân Bayne on The death of a network: data and anonymity on campus and today's (at 9.30am UK time, which is 4.30am US Eastern time) is from Peter Goodyear on Shaping (learning) Spaces
The hashtag is #altc
Photo by Sheila Webber: Wolf's tail: street art in Broomhill, Sheffield, September 2017.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

More open access articles: Disabled in library one-shots; Cross collaborative supervision in nursing; Graduate research methods

- Sheidlower, S. (2017). Accommodating the disabled in library one-shots at York College/CUNY. codex, 4(3). http://journal.acrlla.org/index.php/codex/article/view/136 (Abstract: The library is an academic department at York College of the City University of New York and offers one-shot classes in information literacy at the for all other academic departments at the college. Since these library classes are taught by library faculty rather than by the subject professors, it is quite possible that they would not be aware of, and therefore not accommodate, the disabled students who attend these specific information literacy classes. This article recommends best practices for teaching librarians who may need to make accommodations for the disabled while teaching these library classes, currently used at York’s library. The policy background that caused the library to do this is not only based in law but, as discussed here, it is also based in professional library policies put forward by the American Library Association. This article also reviews the history of services for the disabled in libraries.")
- Tonning, A.S.V. et al. (2017). Collaboration (Editorial). Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education (NORIL), 9(1). http://noril.uib.no/article/view/266/64
- Kolstad, A.K. (2017) Students’ learning outcomes from cross-collaborative supervision in information seeking processes during work placements. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education (NORIL), 9(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/noril.v9i1.231 (Abstract starts: "This article presents student experiences and learning outcomes in information literacy (IL) and evidence-based practice (EBP) following interdisciplinary supervision of their assignments by nurse educators, nurse supervisors and librarians in real clinical settings. The article is based on qualitative and quantitative text analysis of 102 individual student logs, qualitative text analysis of 36 student group assignments, feedback from an evaluation form and 285 blog and wiki comments from students, nurse educators, nurse supervisors and librarians. It is analysed according to the first five steps of the EBP model of and feedback from an evaluation form.")
- Reilly, P. (2017). Creative Approaches to Teaching Graduate Research Methods Workshops. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education (NORIL), 9(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/noril.v9i1.232
Photo by Sheila Webber: street art in Broomhill, Sheffield, September 2017. I'm afraid I haven't traced the artist yet

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Online learning articles: research guides; blended learning; frameworks

Online Learning (OLJ) is the open-access official journal of the Online Learning Consortium. The latest issue (volume 21 issue 3, 2017 https://olj.onlinelearningconsortium.org/index.php/olj/issue/view/54) includes:
- Improving Digital Library Experiences and Support with Online Research Guides by Laura Brewer, Holly Rick, Karen A. Grondin
(Start of abstract: "With a goal of improving the development and delivery of effective online information literacy resources, the purpose of this study was to look at how program level and the timing of the introduction of a Literature Review library guide influenced online business student perceived value of the resource. A population of undergraduate business students (N=355) and online MBA students (N=319) were introduced to a Literature Review library guide during specific points in their programs. Students were asked to complete an online survey that included 17 closed-ended items designed to measure perceived usefulness, satisfaction and likeliness to use the guide again...."
Other articles in this issue include:
- Theories and Frameworks for Online Education: Seeking an Integrated Model by Anthony G Picciano
- Student Perceptions of the Use of Multimedia for Online Course Communication by Jaclyn Krause, Laura Portolese, Julie Bonner
- Understanding Faculty Use of the Learning Management System by Jason Rhode, Stephanie Richter, Peter Gowen, Tracy Miller, Cameron Wills
- Blended Learning From Design to Evaluation: International Case Studies of Evidence-Based Practice by Prof. Norman D. Vaughan, Aline Reali, Stefan Stenbom, Marieta Jansen Van Vuuren, David MacDonald
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanic Gardens, August 2017

Friday, September 01, 2017

cfp Policy and Internet Special Issue on Reframing ‘Fake News’: Architectures, Influence, and Automation

There is a Call for Papers from the journal Policy and Internet for a special issue on “fake news” to be published in September 2018. The full paper submission deadline is 31 October 2017. "Research is invited from across the social, cultural, and information science disciplines, as well as from the digital humanities and any other relevant disciplines. Given the focus of this journal, all submissions should have clear policy relevance, and would ideally make clear the policy implications of the research presented."
https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/news/releases/call-for-papers-policy-and-internet-special-issue-on-reframing-fake-news-architectures-influence-and-automation/
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield Botanic Gardens, August 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Webinar: Using Technology to Go Beyond the One-Shot @librarianmer

There is a free webinar hosted by Sirsi Dynix, on September 6 2017, at 1pm US Eastern time, which is 6pm UK time. The title is: Using Technology to Go Beyond the One-Shot: Using technology to improve and increase literacy instruction. "The one-shot instruction session is your crucial opportunity to help students develop information literacy skills, but it’s not your only opportunity. Librarian, author, and blogger Meredith Farkas [faculty librarian at Portland Community College and a lecturer at San Jose State University’s iSchool], shares advice about how to use technology to extend and provide instruction beyond the one-shot. Join Meredith as she teaches how to utilize technology to: Adopt a “train the trainer” approach; Design interactive tutorials; “Flip” the classroom with flipped instruction; Serve up bite-sized chunks of instruction at student’s points of need." Go to http://go.sirsidynix.com/Using-Technology-to-Go-Beyond-the-One-Shot-SD-Webinar.html
Photo by Sheila Webber, flowers at the infolit/copyright event in Wroclaw, Poland, August 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Library diversity and inclusion

Two items: Firstly, the North American Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) has made a statement on diversity. It "reaffirms its commitment to, and promotion of, diversity, equality, and inclusion in the library and information science (LIS) education and professional community, and condemns racism, hate, bigotry, and violence." Additionally "To help LIS instructors teach and promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in their curriculum, we have compiled a list of recent works". The resources can be found at http://www.alise.org/alise-board-statement-on-diversity--equality--and-inclusion
Secondly, published today is: Schonfeld, R. and Sweeney, L. (2017). Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity: Members of the Association of Research Libraries Employee Demographics and Director Perspectives. Carnegie Mellon Foundation and Ithaka S+R. DOI: https://doi.org/10.18665/sr.304524 "In this project, we focus on libraries at four-year colleges and universities within the United States. We asked deans and directors to complete a survey that captured both the demographics of library employees and the directors’ assessment of the diversity climate within their libraries and in the greater library sector."
"This report has shown the difference in various levels of seniority in the library ["homogeneity increases with seniority"], and included nonprofessional staff in the analysis, showing that directors may need look no further than professional development initiatives and growth pathways for MLS-holders to begin diversifying librarianship."
Photo by Sheila Webber: fountains by the conference centre, WLIC, August 2017