Sunday, August 31, 2014

Paris Declaration on Media and Information Literacy released

The Paris Declaration on Media and Information Literacy has been released. I haven't the time today to read it properly and see whether my suggested amendments were taken into account ;-) so I will most likely produce another post looking at the declaration in more depth.
Photo by Sheila Webber: moorhen (I erroneously said this was a coot earlier!), Lyon, France, August 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Information Literacy Best Practices: Exemplary Programs

The Association of College and Research Libraries has published an Information Literacy Best Practices: Exemplary Programs list. The libraries are listed by Best Practice Category (Mission; Goals and Objectives; Planning; Administrative and Institutional Support; Articulation (program sequence) within the Curriculum; Collaboration; Pedagogy; Staffing; Outreach; Assessment/Evaluation. There is a brief paragraph in each case describing what is considered exemplary. Mostly theexamples are North American, although there is one British example (University of Manchester).
Photo by Sheila Webber: echinaceas (I think), Lyon, August 2014

Apologies for hiatus

It's been just over a week since I last posted, which is unusual for this blog, so apologies for that (life intervening!) I will be catching up on Limerick and IFLA, interleaved with other news.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MOOCs not just in the keynote at #wlic2014

Pierre Dillenbourg was today's keynote at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. Academic director of the EPFL Center for Digital Education at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), he's talked about Ten surprises in our MOOC experience. Since I've now gone through the process of preparing material for a MOOC (the Play MOOC offered by Futurelearn) and have read a good deal about them I didn't find so many surprises, but it was interesting to hear from someone from outside the English-speaking sphere and he is an entertaining speaker. Just to remind you, MOOC stands for Massive Online Open Course. This will find my previous posts about MOOCs
Just to pick out a few things that struck me:
- One of his messages was that MOOCs can enable a smaller university to punch above its weight, reaching a huge audience internationally (e.g. they have many students from the USA, France and the UK).
- Dillenbourg said that "MOOCs save Books" i.e. the MOOC may stimulate book buying particularly if the video is attached to an academic or a course that has produced the book-of-the-course.
- Students may use a MOOC as the "textbook" for the credit-bearing course they are studying at university, and the speaker positioned this as part of a flipped classroom approach.
- Learners may be "watching MOOCs in teams" (the MOOC platforms that his university uses are Cousera and EdX i.e. what are termed xMOOCs, taking a less social/constructivist approach, so "watching", the word he used, may be appropriate)
- amusing soundbite "Good MOOCs are (in general) better than bad MOOCs"
- I was surprised, but not in a good way, by the statement that "MOOCs turned teaching into a high stakes activity" (surely it should be high-stakes anyway - it certainly is high stakes for the learners!), though it may just present the reality that teaching is seen as less important than research even now (in terms of getting promotion etc.)

Also rather surprisingly, considering he'd been invited to a library conference, the speaker evidently hadn't done much googling of "moocs librarians" or "moocs bibliothécaires" as when asked about the role of librarians he did not seem to feel there was one. I did feel compelled to make a comment on that e.g. mentioning the Futurelearn librarians' group.

A quick google turned up other presentations on MOOCs in which this speaker was an author e.g. this one which makes some of the same points.

Last year at IFLA there was this paper:
CALTER, Mariellen (2013) MOOCs and the library: engaging with evolving pedagogy. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2013 — Singapore — "Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities" in Session 98 - Knowledge Management with Academic and Research Libraries.

There was a whole session on MOOCs this year, but unfortunately none of the papers from that session are in the IFLA library yet (and I couldn't go to it as it clashed with the session in which I was givinga paper). I will link to them when they appear. There is a paper in another session that also focuses on the librarian's role in MOOCs:

Eisenberger-Pabst, D. et al. (2014) The academic library – a hidden stakeholder - in the age of MOOCs. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 – Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 210 - Information Technology. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.
Photo by Sheila Webber: cakes at teh reception last night

Information literacy + Service Learning = Social Change #wlic2014

I've just been in the session organised by the IFLA Social Science Libraries with Women, Information and Libraries Special Interest Group at at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France, where Tiffini Travis gave a paper (coauthored with Jennifer Gradis) on Information literacy + Service Learning= Social Change. They work at California State University, United States and this presentation was about the information literacy contribution to a service learning course at their university.
Service Learning is a term that doesn't really get used in the UK, but it seems a part of US higher education. Wikipedia says it means "a method of teaching that combines classroom instruction with meaningful community service" (although that article is flagged as having issues, that seems pretty much what service learning means).
Travis started by saying that she connected information literacy with empowerment and it should lead to action. She identified that research and problem solving can be used for social activism. Travis referenced the new proposed ACRL information literacy framework, and saw this teaching intervention as fitting in the "Research as inquiry" frame. She categorised what she was doing as experiential learning, with a cycle of thinking, doing, experiencing and reflecting. In a video, Travis' coauthor described the service learning assignment - the learners have to select an organisation that addresses a socially significant problem, they have to contact it and undertake some service learning, and produce a portfolio including a presentation about the organisation and their own specific contribution. The information resources that the students discover can contribute to learning about the organisation and its impact, and the library's contribution has meant that the students are finding better and more wide ranging materials that help them understand and complete their assignment. Travis gave an example of finding scholarly articles about the problems of homeless pregnant women.
The speakers emphasised the impact, including attitudinal and emotional impact, of this particular course, since students are learning to work with classmates and people in the outside world. The issues they investigate also can have a big impact on the students which the speakers felt "could lead to a positive social change". One of teh messages from the talk's conclusion was that this intervention "allows the reenvisioning of IL to focus on the application of information rather than just the search for information".
The slides will be available at (added 28 August: this is the specific link:
Photo by Sheila Webber: the reception last night at La Saltiere, Lyon

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Role of information literacy in agricultural productivity #wlic2014

The IFLA Agricultural Libraries Special Interest Group had a session focusing on information literacy at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France: Role of information literacy in agricultural productivity and food security: An international perspective. I didn't go to this session (as it clashed with the IL Section Lunch), but most of the papers are already in the IFLA library, and they include:
- Embedding Information Literacy into the Agriculture Curriculum in Liberia: A Model Approach for Developing Countries Worldwide from Martin Kesselman (Rutgers University, New Jersey, United States)
- Farmers Information Literacy and Awareness towards Agricultural Produce and Food Security: FADAMA III programs in Osun state Nigeria from Abiola Abosede Sokoya (Yaba College of Technology Library, Sabo, Lagos, Nigeria) and colleagues
- Influence of Information Literacy skills in accessing agricultural information: with special reference to paddy farmers of Ampara district, Sri Lanka from Mohamed Majeed Mashroofa (South Eastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil, Sri Lanka) and Wathmanel Senevirathne (Open University of Sri Lanka, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka)
- Attaining Information Literacy: An assessment of Indian Agricultural Universities approach to enhancing Student’s Information and Research skills from Neena Singh (G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Uttrakhand, India)
Photo by Sheila Webber: more trees in the park (Parc de la Tête d'Or), Lyon, August 2014

Information-seeking behaviour of LGBTQ health professionals #wlic2014

Another post from the LGBTQ session at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. Martin Morris (Schulich Library, McGill University, Canada) and K.R. Roberto (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States) talked about Information-seeking behaviour of LGBTQ health professionals: New data to inform inclusive practice

They reported on the results of a research project. This was folowing up on a study by Fikar and Keith (2004). There is evidence that medicine "has been almost silent on the issue of access to healthcare for LGBTQ patients". The researchers carried out a questionnaire survey and got 123 responses. They found that a majority (64.5%) did feel that they had specific information needs.  Comments included a need to have information related to (amongst other things) abuse, reproductive options, LGBTQ mental health, transgender issues. There was a call to be educated by LGBTQ peers. Straight librarians were felt to have a lack knowledge about LGBTQ issues. The researchers asked whether the participants in online chat with a librarian, and about 43% found it more appealing than f2f (in this case having the chat with a LGBTQ librarian didn't make the option more appealing). Lessons drawn from this included that: LGBTQ people continue to have specific needs; librarians can expect more complex questions; better trained librarians are needed; making the physical library more LGBTQ friendly e.g. having gender-neutral toilets inthe library; advertising these things on your library website. There was also the issue of "were respondents wrong about straight librarians"; there did seem to be a need for librarians who were out as LGBTQ and have librarians who engage with LGBTQ networks. A short paper is at

Fikar, C. and Keith, L. (2004). Information needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered health care professionals: results of an Internet survey. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 92(1), 56- 65.

Other talks in this LGBTQ session are available in the IFLA library:
JOSÉ AUGUSTO CHAVES GUIMARÃES et al. Gay Marriage and Homoaffective Union: a terminological analysis of the social values of libraries as a source for an ethical subject representation and dissemination in Brazil
B. Mehra and L. Gray “Don’t Say Gay” in the State of Tennessee: Libraries as Virtual Spaces of Resistance and Protectors of Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) People
N. Somorjai Reducing the Suicide Risk of LGBTQ Library Users
J.A. Winkelstein Public Libraries: Creating Safe Spaces for Homeless LGBTQ Youth She also mentioned
C. Edeholt and M. Lindgren. The Rainbow Library at Umeå City Library and The Swedish Network for LGBTQ Issues at Libraries (the photo is of a slide showing the Rainbow shelf at Umeå City Library.
E. da S. Alentejo Power and community: organizational and cultural LGBT responses against homophobia and promotion of inclusion values

librarians’ attitudes to the provision of LGBT-related fiction to children and young people #wlic2014

Liveblogging at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France, I'm attending a session of the IFLA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Users Special Interest Group. One of my iSchool's PhD students is presenting: Elizabeth Chapman (Information School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom) on “I’ve never really thought about it”: librarians’ attitudes to the provision of LGBT-related fiction to children and young people in English public libraries.
She started by rehearsing reasons on why LGBT fiction should be provided to children and young people. These include helping LGBT young people to form a positive sense of self. Liz is using mixed methods to explore this topic for her PhD and has nearly completed her research. She concentrated on results from her interviews with librarians. From these interviews, librarians' attitudes towards providing LGBT fiction are positive, recognising that it is valuable for both LGBT children and for those who are not LGBT (in helping them understand different people). However there was a rather passive stance, avoiding discrimination, but not necessarily making an active effort to seek out LGBT material for collection or display. There was a lot of lack of awareness: i.e. it was not an issue they had not thought about much. Therefore if no one had asked for the material, the librarians probably had not proactively acquired it. Areas for concern expressed by teh librarians included finding what they thought of as “quality” material (whereas LGBT families might prefer something rather than nothing). Librarians also didn’t necessarily see the need for LGBT picture books, as they felt the issue wasn’t relevant to young children (associated with that was a fear about complaints from conservatively-minded parents). Thus there was the “rhetoric of non-discriminition but it tended to translate into a passive stance”. Liz made some recommendations for librarians. Her full paper is at

Supporting and working effectively with indigenous students #wlic2014

Liveblogging at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France, I attended a session of the IFLA IndigenousMatters special interest group. Camille Callison (Indigenous Services Librarian and Liaison Librarian for Anthropology, Native Studies and Social Work, University of Manitoba, Canada; pictured at the lectern) talked about Supporting and working effectively with indigenous students whilst building and strengthening relationships between indigenous communities and the academic library. She felt that libraries and archives play a vital role in helping preserving and honouring indigenous culture and history. At Manitoba they wanted to be a centre of excellence for indigenous education and research. This includes engaging with the community, and ensuring that indigenous cultures and knowledge are integrated into work and study. Here is the link to their Indigenous Connect website: Callison identified the history of distrust and cultural imperialism, and a "culture of whiteness" in crricula and library holdings, which all provide barriers to achievement.
One way in which these barriers are addressed is through a home and community (Bald Eagle Lodge). They have also attempted to decolonise the library, although this is a slow process (for example classification systems e.g. that indigenous people are "ghettoised" in "History"; the confusion about cvarious LC subject headings to do with indigenous people).

Callison said that the library aims to address the unique needs of the indigenous students. Strategies include: recognising bias; bringing the library to students by having sessions in the Migizii Agamik (sitting by the lift to catch them on their way to coffee!) and having special sesions in the library; dialogue e.g. in the classroom, working with them on assignments; having a special Facebook group; relationship building with the local indigenous community; holding an Aboriginal Archives Day and a storytelling event.

She visits schools and other recruitment events so the prospective students know they will be supported. Collection development is also important, in the general collections and special collections e.g. graphic novels. Collison also talked about the library's role in terms of preserving and giving access to indigenous knowledge.The third photo here shows a statement about indigenising the academy (which I wasn't quick enough to transcribe)
She mentioned a book in which she has a chapter Aboriginal and visible minority librarians book and the International indigenous librarians Forum to be held in 2015.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over #ifla_set40

Liveblogging from the 40th anniversary conference of the IFLA Section on Education and Training which is part of the WLIC (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. I was too nervous to liveblog in the 2nd IGNITE session as I was speaking in it. I'll blog a little about it later.
The last keynote is from Lynn Silipigni Connaway, entitled Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly: developing educational programs for an emerging profession. She started by revolving around the tensions in library and information education - in particular the tension between research and practice. She pointed out that the criticism that LIS research is not of practical use to libraries has been around for a while.
In terms of education she felt that it wsn't the tools (including technology tools), but rather the values, ethics and fundamentals that educators should concentrate on teaching (the tools were no good without these). She mentioned things like organisation of information, understanding of theory, people skills and collaboration as being part of the fundamentals. Understanding and researching people's behaviour (including formal service evaluation and usability studies) was important. Working out how to build relationships was also vital: and in fact a focus on relationship building rather than service excellence (citing Brian Mathews). To do this, students also needed to develop their problem solving and decision making skills and master research methods.
Connaway saw great potential in data specialist or data librarian posts, but with emphasis on people skills, not just technical skills.
Connaway cited various studies or statements that showed that employers did not feel enough library graduates were prepared for the library workplace. At the end she felt that the person had a good approach when she said that a library qualification gave them an understanding of why librarians do what they do, based on a grounding in theory.
Connaway does interesting research at OCLC, which I've blogged about previously, but here's a random link to an article from last year:
Connaway, L.S. et al.  (2013) "I always stick with the first thing that comes up on Google. . ." Where People Go for Information, What They Use, and Why. EDUCAUSE Review, December 6.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the bridal party, Lyon August 2014

Lyon Declaration On Access to Information and Development #wlic2014

The Lyon Declaration On Access to Information and Development was launched today at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. Geared to the likely new UN Millennium Development goals, it starts by saying that
"We, the undersigned, believe that increasing access to information and knowledge across society, assisted by the availability of information and communications technologies (ICTs), supports sustainable development and improves people’s lives.
"We therefore call upon the Member States of the United Nations to make an international commitment to use the post-2015 development agenda to ensure that everyone has access to, and is able to understand, use and share the information that is necessary to promote sustainable development and democratic societies."
Organisations are encouraged to be signatories to the Declaration (there is information on how to do this).
Photo by Sheila Webber: another picture of trees in the park, Lyon, August 2014

IGNITE! group problem solving; international collaboration; social justice #wlic2014 #ifla_set40

I'm liveblogging from the 40th anniversary conference of the IFLA Section on Education and Training which is part of the WLIC (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. The current session is an IGNITE session, in which people are allowed 5 minutes to present, using 20 slides (so rather like a Pecha Kucha, but even shorter) so it will be impossible to capture much about each. This will be an impressionistic blog post and I won't cover all of them.
- Terttu Kortelainen talked about getting groups to work on a research problem using brainstorming and also the group creating a story around the problem, to give the problem better context (e.g. so that later they can ask "would this kind of person have access to this"), and she also emphasised critical discussion within the group to generate criteria for evaluation and to evaluate what has been applied.
- Barbara Moran gave some tips for international exchanges and collaborations e.g. faculty or student exchanges, joint programmes etc. These included the importance of being selctive about picking partners; being clear and realistic about goals and that "nothing substitutes for personal contact".
- LaVerne Gray and Rashauna Brannon talked about The social justice imperative in library and information science education and research and the ongoing development of the ALISE/ALA Social Justice Collaboratorium (I'll add a link to further information if I find one).
Photo by Sheila Webber: lake in the park, Lyon, August 2014

Library and Information education - curriculum - values #wlic2014 #ifla_set40

As part of the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France I'm attending the 40th anniversary conference of the IFLA Section on Education and Training. Since this isn't focusing on Information Literacy I will just cover it briefly. It is a whole day conference and I am doing a very short presentation this afternoon.
The day started with a keynote from Dr Ismail Serageldin (Bibliotheca Alexandrina). He touched on some of the same points as his keynote in Singapore last year, for instance concerning the 7 Pillars of the Knowledge Revolution, but with exploration of the changes affecting librarians and the need to espouse and enact core values. To illustrate the latter point he gave examples of US librarians resisting giving up patron information, and citizens defending the Bibliotheca Alexandrina during the revolutions in Egypt.
This was followed by an international panel representing various associations (e.g. the iSchools consortium, the Council on Library and Information Science Education (CILISE). Panellists talked about challenges such as coping with changes in higher education (and these will vary country to country), achieving changes to the curriculum and simply keeping in touch with each other. It was evident, unsurprisingly, that while some issues were common across countries (e.g. a focus on technology), others were specific to particular countries or regions (e.g. in African context a need for more agreement on standards and competencies; in Japan the low or hidden status of librarianship in comparison with computer science).
Personally I am a bit concerned that with too much emphasis on technology (big data etc.) some of the core of information science, and the human/social perspective, may be lost sight of (so that it becomes difficult to distinguish it usefully from other technology-focused disciplines). However, perhaps it is easy to say this when I am in a comparatively technology-rich country. Some of the participants (for example Dick Kawooya and Filiberto Felipe Martinez Arellano) did talk about the issue of the nature of the core curriculum and the place of technology within it.
Paul Sturges (from the audience) also raised the issue of whether associations might becoming too controlling  and stifle creativity. Responses from the panel indicated that some associations were not at the stage to be controlling, but in some cases there could be a need to have standradisation etc. in order to maintain an identity and professionalism.
Photo by Sheila Webber: lake in the park, Lyon, August 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How AASL Learning Standards Inform ACRL’s Information Literacy Framework #wlic2014

I have a gulity confession from the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. I meant to go to the session which included Lesley Farmer's talk about information literacy, but I'm afraid that instead I ended up spending more time than I meant to, eating lunchtime crepes in the park... However, fortunately Lesley's paper is already in the IFLA library full text. AASL = American Association of School LIbrarians and ACRL = the (US) Association of College and Research Libraries.
Farmer, L. (2014) How AASL Learning Standards Inform ACRL’s Information Literacy Framework. Paper presented at IFLA WLIC 2014: Lyon: Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.
Photo by Sheila Webber: trees in the park (Parc de la Tête d'Or), Lyon, August 2014

First information Literacy section meeting at #wlic2014

I'm now at the World Library and Information Conference (IFLA) 2014 in Lyon, France. It's taking place in the congress centre (pictured) which is beside a very beautiful park (you will get several pictures of that over the next days).
Yesterday the main event from me was the first section committee meeting of the IFLA Information Literacy Section. I am a section committee member. There are members from many diffirent countries around the world and this is the only time I meet up with most of them face to face, although obviously we also communicate via email etc. We were discussing how the Limerick conference had gone (by the way I will do a final wrap-up post from that today or tomorrow) and looking forward to the two sessions in the main programme. Next year the main IFLA WLIC conference is in Cape Town, and colleagues on the committee are coorganising a pre conference satellite (working title "School libraries as a catalyst for developing information literacy skills") with LIASA School Libraries and Youth Services Interest Group. We then broke up into groups to discuss different issues, and I was in the one discussing the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy recommendations: i.e. what actions we need to take to get more national, international and local attention and action.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Active Citizen in a Changing Information Landscape #iflalimerick

I co-presented a round table at the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. This was The Active Citizen in a Changing Information Landscape, Sheila Webber (University of Sheffield, UK i.e. me), Shahd Salha, and Bill Johnston (University of Strathclyde, UK). A few slides of Shahd's presentation have been removed in this version. Here is the presentation. There was also a very interesting discussion with delegates.

Reimagining Digital Literacy Possibilities @ Deakin University #iflalimerick

Liveblogging from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. Reimagining Digital Literacy Possibilities @ Deakin University by Christine Oughtred, Sabina Robertson, and Sue Owen (Deakin University, Australia) was presented by Robertson. She started by giving some facts about Deakin University and talked about the new strategic plan. She noted that the new Course Enhancement Strategy had graduate outcomes which included Digital Literacy (as well as communication, critical thinking, problem solving etc. - but, I note, information literacy). Robertson then focused on digital literacy (DL) and showed this video which explains how the library helps with DL:
If you watch you will see that it includes information literacy elements in DL. Robertson went on to give examples of how librarians had worked with academics to develop students' DL through the curriculum. This included examples where assessment of the DL element was part of the credit for the class, notably where students had to evaluate websites in groups and create presentations. A new initiative consists of credit-bearing communication classes which will be taken by a large number of students (1000+). Robertson noted that professional development for library staff was an important part of the plan. She saw building relationships with academics and collaborating with them to develop authentic learning activities as very important.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Salthill beach, August 2014

River Wide, River Deep: Libraries, Learners, and Transformative Literacy #iflalimerick

Liveblogging from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. River Wide, River Deep: Libraries, Learners, and Transformative Literacy was a presentation from Sean Cordes (Western Illinois University, USA). Here is his Slideshare, where he will be posting his slides: He talked about the spiral of inquiry (ask, investigate, create, discuss, reflect, then it may go back to "ask"). Cordes referred to three studies he had undertaken recently. One of them concerned buiding websites, the second was comparing use of search engines, library catalogue and databases, and the third was to do with a collaborative decision task. In each case he was able to identify a gap in learners skills and knowledge, and strategies to help them fill the gap. He noted that there was now a "broad spectrum of investigation" and that scholarly material might appear in all kinds of formats, so that learners had to be able to distinguish and understand them.
Cordes next talked about the issue, linked to the last one, that "Authority is contextual and constructed". He noted how Project Information Literacy had found that US students had said that "finding context" was laborious but a vital part of the information process. The learners were not necessarily good at connecting pieces of information and they were not always good at collaborating on information tasks.
Cordes talked about education through examining urban myths such as the chupacabra ("goat sucker") an animal that is highly unlikely to exist: when you explore the information world around this animal, you can see that it is tenuous. Following on from this, he advocated giving student the tools and knowledge to triangulate information tehy found to see how credible the information around a topic or person is. Diigo was given as an example of a tool that could be used for thsi purpose. He used a worked example of the various types of information that could be followed and traced to do with a local shooting: citizen journalism was important in establishing what had happened.
There are various articles by him including this one and this one.

Learning everywhere: hyperlinked libraries and life literacies #IFLALimerick

2nd day of liveblogging the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland (picture is from the conference dinner last night) and the keynote today is Michael Stephens (San Jose State University, Information School, USA), talking about Learning everywhere: hyperlinked libraries and life literacies. His blog is here: and his section on his concept of the hyperlinked library is here. I'll give my usual caveat about not capturing everything faithfully in this post.
Stephens started by mentioning that SJSU's library and information courses are all online. He started by running through changes to libraries, technology, ways in which people communicate socially etc. He gave some examples from libraries that he found inspiring e.g. a user manifesto posted in the library, a wall of photos of the library space by users.
Stephens went on to talk about aspects of the hyperlinked library. This library is described as "transparent, participatory, playful, user-centered and human, while still grounded in our foundations and values." Stephens identified the importance of mobile, including mobile learning and experiencing art using mobile technology, citing (for example) Pew Internet reports. He felt that it was important to get material into "the palm of your hand". Therefore he was advocating, for example, digitising and using apps to integrate with the parent organisation.
Stephens mentioned aMOOC in the co ntext of "connected learning", namely a hyperlinked library MOOC which he characterised as being production centred (i.e. outcomes were not just quizzes), openly networked and a shared experience. The MOOC participants felt they had got insights about their own thoughts and practice as well as getting new ideas. He felt that "We can create large-scale, small-scale, or "jusr right" scale opportunities for learning for our constituents" pointing out that with MOOCs satisifaction is not necessarily about completion of the course (something which I know from my work so far with Futurelearn).
Next, Stephens mentioned the forthcoming Horizon report for libraries and pulled out the element to do with the innovative and creative classroom (lots of photos taken by delegates here at this point!). The wiki for this is here and the report is just about to be released (personally I hope it is more impressive than the main Horizon report!). He identified issues such as emotional intelligence as being important in learning and for libraries.
Stephens talked about the 23 Things movement going on to mention (looking at use of mobile in libraries). Web 2.0 learning seen was part of developing a personal learning network (PLN). He emphasised the need for investing in librarians' professional development; "development with teeth". This included giving learner-librarians space to create and play.  Stephens saw this is necessary to fulfill librarian roles of guides, creators, teachers, connectors. He said that the hyperlinked library uses technology "with heart" and puts people (both the librarians and the people who are using library services) at the centre of things.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Authentic and Performative Measures to Assess Student Learning #IFLALimerick

I'm chairing a workshop session (though I don't think it will need much chairing, as the facilitators are very well organised!) from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. This is Coming Face-to-Face with the Future of IL Assessment: Why and How to Use Authentic and Performative Measures to Assess Student Learning, from Brandy Whitlock (Anne Arundel Community College, USA) and Julie Nanavati (Loyola/Notre Dame, USA). There is a full set of workshop materials, so I will just give you the site where they are held:
Photo by Sheila Webber: sky, Galway, August 2014

Literacies as owned spaces in a changing world #IFLALimerick

More liveblogging from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. The second keynote is from Conor Galvin, UCD Dublin College of Human Sciences, talking about Literacies as owned spaces in a changing world. His session touched on several different interesting perspectives on technology, education, and my post may look a bit disjointed as I pick bits out on the fly. In fact there wasn't so much about literacies in the end, but it was certainly a session I enjoyed. He started by asking us to talk to the few people around you about something that you'd discovered during the morning.
He mentioned work on use of technology in schools, and identified the importance of the approach and attitudes of the teacher. Galvin talked briefly about the European project "The free and safe platform for teachers to connect, develop collaborative projects and share ideas in Europe".
He went on to talk about the tech lifeline of people born in about 1995 (i.e. currently in early years at university), with landmarks like palmpilots, Napster, and iPhones. He said that they have a deep relationship with their technology (which was contrasted with "us" having a less deep relationship - which given the people in the room here I would not say is necessarily a contrast). Galvin said that students' views of institutional technology was critical, and that it did not fit in with the young people's habits although (I am glad to say) he did not buy into the idea of digital "natives".
Galvin then asked us to discuss and identify how our own institutions were doing in terms of interacting and supporting students with technology (most people thought their institutions were somewhere in the middle).
Following on from that he gave a trenchant critique of the current European Union take on higher education and how it has stopped being about a good life, or personal development, but rather employability and service of national economy. This is something I agree with (I mean in seeing it as impoverished, and not actually what education should be mostly about). He identified some virtually invisible leaders who are plugged into the political networks, who may be key people in commercial companies, European bureaucrats, heads of associations and so forth. He put up a nice quote (which I wasn't quick enough to capture) about how if you had universities run on marketing principles you get education that does not enable people to transcend their time (as opposed to cope with it). Galvin saw the increased politicisation, deregulation and managerialism of unversities as very worrying and quoted Habermas who talked about "refeudalisation" of society as people lost their voices and control over things: this is bound to lead to discontent and disorder as well.
He finished by talking about a more fulfilling vision for education, and this is where he came back to spaces and libraries, giving some examples of libraries that are "owned" public spaces where people can learn. In his slide on "Literacies/ Capabilities" he included words like "enjoy" and "values" as well as more concrete terms. Galvin urged librarians to get involved in strategy to help these kinds of changes come about, not as "deliverers" of a service, but rather as advocates, co-researchers, teachers and mentors.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Nora Barnacle's house, Galway, August 2014

Critical Information Literacy for the Development of Political Agency #IFLALimerick

Finally from this first parallel session at the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland, Critical Information Literacy for the Development of Political Agency, was presented by Lauren Smith (The University of Strathclyde Glasgow, Scotland, UK). Again, I have blogged something about this research-in-progress before. The starting point was the apparent disengagement of young people from the political process (however it is evident that young people are caring and taking action, but not necessarily through traditional channels). Thus a focus on critical theory and critical pedagogy and exploring how information literacy, and libraries, could foster and engage critical awareness and activism. Smith is using phenomenography to uncover the different ways in which young people experience politics and their relationship with information in that context.
Data collection methods included repertory grid interviews, focus groups, and observation of classes. Just as a few insights, the participants had widely varying attitudes to politics and they used a variety of sources, with people sources very important. The participants did not all appear to understand the political background of different media, although some of them did show awareness of media bias. Discourse around media might focus more on how the participant felt about it (e.g. was it depressing).
At the end Smith presented about some emerging themes and how this connected with critical theory and its application in teaching and learning. Therefore her research could help in more effective teaching to encourage political awareness and agency. Smith's blog is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: on a boat tour, Galway, August 2014

InFlow (Information Flow) #iflalimerick

The talk I'm listening to at the moment at the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland is by Sarah McNicol about InFlow (Information Flow), an integrated model of applied information literacy. This is an output from a European project, iTec (which focused on making the best of technologies and resources by teachers in 21 countries). I've blogged about this before, so I will just post a couple of links i.e. the one above plus this site which has a lot of material about the model.

IL in early childhood; IL evaluation #iflalimerick

My 3rd post from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland will cover 2 talks in this track. The picture was taken at the coffee break.Firstly,  Information Literacy in Early Childhood was authored by Sonja Gust von Loh and Maria Henkel (presenter) (Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany). They started with the question of the information literacy in kindergarten children (3-6 years old), but it has broadened from that. The speaker noted that sometimes people talk about "Media Literacy" at that stage, but in fact it is generally "information literacy" as we understand it; however the authors preferred the compound Media and Information Literacy (MIL). The speaker showed Stock's (2012) Levels of competences in the knowledge society (sorry, I haven't immediately found a link for that) and identified some aspects of that framework which could still be related to very young children. Obviously at this stage children are not doing academic search, so the focus is on the things that the children want and do. This does include how they use the library, as well as how they search, how they judge true and false, and how they use information (which might be e.g. retelling stories). In terms of organising information, the researchers will use things like memory cards to see, for example, how children might sort things. In terms of creating information it can be things like children tagging a poster. The aspect of "responsible use of information" was seen as the province of the parents rather than children at that age.
Data collection techniques include use of puppets to create contact, and observation (although the speaker noted that the children might want you to join in games!) On the other hand it was a good idea to let the children get to know you so they were not shy or suspicious. The first stage is of this research is an online survey for parents with questions such as the devices being used by the children and whether and how the parents feel use of media is connected to use of information. The research is in progress, so watch for further results.
The Future of Information Literacy in Higher Education: Evaluation Models and Indicators was by Miguel Ángel Marzal García-Quismondo (presenter) and Saknicté Pisté Beltrán (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain). This included results from her ongoing PhD thesis, and was detailed, so I may not be capturing the points correctly. The context is the the "managerial" university which has student employability as a key target (with competency based curricula), and in that context digital and information competences can be seen a important. The speaker's focus was "web knowledge" - and identifying ways of evaluating this. It was felt that academic authorities needed "objective" information about impact in order to be convinced to include it staregically. The existing literature was reviewed. As part of this 3 key types of indicators were identified, concerned with skills, abilities and competencies.The next work is developing the evaluation framework.

The Information Cycle as a Metacognitive Cultural Tool #iflalimerick

My 2nd post from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. The first talk in the track I'm attending now is Crossing the Threshold: The Information Cycle as a Metacognitive Cultural Tool, Amanda Clossen (Pennsylvania State University, USA). She talked about Vygotsky's concept of the zone of proximal development, and the idea of using cultural tools in the classroom (which, for example "present in generalised form the essential features of a given phenomena").
Clossen then presented a version of the Information Cycle - with the process of information being captured to start with in social media and finally (some time later) ending up in books and thus through to someone's own knowledge and research. She talked about how she had used this cycle in a classroom, targetting different stages in different weeks of the class. She felt that this connected them to sources that they were already using and to new resources as the class progressed and that they were critically evaluating what they found. The speaker noted that nevertheless this was challenging to fit into the limited time that (as a librarian) she was allowed.

Studying students to advance information literacy #IFLALimerick

I'm blogging from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland 14-15 August 2014. It is hosted by Limerick Institute of Technology but takes place at the Absolute Hotel.
The first keynote speaker was Nancy Fried Foster (Senior Anthropologist at Ithaka S+R: the latter is "a research and consulting service that helps academic, cultural, and publishing communities in making the transition to the digital environment.") Her talk was Studying students to advance information literacy.
She started by mentioning the ACRL standards (the existing ones, not the proposed revision). She idetified that it was straightforward and understandable, but very oriented to behaviours. She identified that there was growing feeling that such a framework should take account of attitudes, students as creator etc. and she mentioned the proposed revised version (since I've blogged about these numerous times I won't say any more about them). Dr Foster said she thought that this document definitely represented progress and felt that it assumed more of an understanding of research. Whereas the standards seemed to represent a "student who does well", whereas the the revised version seems more to match with a real, good researcher.
She argued that if someone is doing good scholarship or research, then de facto they are information literate, and then gave some examples of her research.
The first example was research into how people were using Extensible Catalog, with the research undertaken across four US universities. Dr Foster and her colleagues aimed to get insights into people's research processes through observation, interviews and so forth. They discovered that people's most useful information leads were discovered through personal networks and, for example, their own readings and collections. The participants' offices were often "messy" but things only had to be findable by the person, so the messiness was working for them (I'm reminded of a Sheffield iSchool PhD for which I was recently internal examiner for (the viva of now-Dr Mashael Al-Omar), which looked at how researchers organised their research material - "files and piles" featured strongly!). Dr Foster said that the researchers also mentioned the value of serendipity, and she quoted an undergraduate who talked about the need for him/her to get plugged into conversations which would help his/her research (e.g. conferences, meetings).
Dr Foster highlighted that this behaviour (by people who had demonstrably do good research) did not particularly fit with the old ACRL standards (e.g. they might not be using information "efficiently"). "So if THEY are not up to standard, then the standard has to change". She felt that their behaviour did match better with the proposed new ACRL standards.

Dr Foster then talked about a study of study of faculty members and use of institutional repositories. The article about this is here
After this the speaker showed this Google map of libraries doing ethnographic research and she then talks about a few specific research tequniques
- The first was using map diaries, so participants put where they went e.g. on a campus map.
- The second was using photo elicitation interviews, where you get participants to take photos relating to whatever you are interested in, and then the photos form the focus of interviews
- The third was retrospective interviews, which are a bit like critical incident, but using a comic strip as a focus for unfolding the story
- The fourth was running a design workshop

After this, the speaker moved on to talk about a project based at the University of Chicago, studying 3rd year medical students at 6 medical schools in the USA. They got the students to log/diary their day, noting whenever they had a need for information. This is an ongoing study, so there are just emerging results. Because their days are so packed they make a lot of quick decisions about the cost (time)/benefit of using different sources of information: they are strategic and practical. Again Dr Foster felt that this behaviour fitted more comfortably with the revision to ACRL rather than the old standards.

The final example was "Ripped from the headlines". She referenced a Buzzfeed story (about George Bush socks) that got copied, and the plagiarised reporter then filed an article complaining about the plagiarism. However, the Buzzfeed reporter himself was then taken to task for plagiarising material. Dr Foster asked one of the people about how he/she had managed to investigate this. This had been done by searching for phrases, including in earlier versions of wikipedia. The dialogue about this took place via channels such as Twitter (as it was seen as the best way of getting to many people, particularly media people, all at once), but also got news coverage. Foster asked why the (anonymous) commentators why they did this, and it was because they cared what went on in the world, hold conversations about important things and wanted to encourage good journalism. Foster identified this as example of information literacy. She finished by repeating her message of researching people to discover about their information literacy and what it meant in their context.
Photo by me, taken in the Butlers Chocolate Cafe in Galway, Ireland; a Butlers hot chocolate is chocolate nirvanah.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Critical information literacy in practice: an interpretive synthesis

"The purpose of this study was to review and synthesize the literature of critical information literacy through a critical interpretive practitioner lens in order to uncover pedagogy and instructional content to inform my own teaching practice and that of other individual teaching librarians who wish to take a critical approach to information literacy with undergraduate students."
McDonough, B. A. (2014) Critical information literacy in practice: an interpretive synthesis. EdD dissertation. Graduate School of Western Carolina University.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

#MILID week 22-28 September 2014

Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue Week (MILID Week) will be celebrated 22-28 September 2014. Watch this blog for announcement of events! "The objective of MILID Week is to shine the spotlight on the importance of media and information literate citizenries to foster inter-cultural dialogue, and mutual understanding. It underscores how interwoven media and information competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) and intercultural competencies are."
The official event is hpsted by Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 27-28 September.
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, Hailsham, July 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Use of Wikipedia by legal scholars: implications for information literacy

An interesting Masters dissertation: "This study examines the use of Wikipedia across a broad range of judicial and administrative bodies within New Zealand. The primary focus of the study is the use of Wikipedia in courts (and other legally influential bodies) and how this affects the way that information literacy is taught in legal studies, particularly with regards to Wikipedia and other similar internet-based resources."
Maher, D. (2014) Use of Wikipedia by Legal Scholars: Implications for Information Literacy. Masters Dissertation, Victoria University of Wellington.
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, Hailsham, July 2014

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Writing research proposals and publications

One day event in London, UK on 12 September 2014: Writing research proposals and publications. This is free for members of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information professional's (CILIP) Information Literacy Group or the CILIP Library and Information Research Group (LIRG). It will be followed by LIRG’s AGM. Booking for members at Non-members should email Catherine McManamon to be added to the workshop waiting list:
Photo by Sheila Webber: hydrangea, Hailsham, July 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

#wikimania2014 eventified

The Wikimania conference has an eventifier page, which aggregates tweets, photos (loads of both of those), videos and blogs tagged for the event (and also it would aggregate slides and audio, but there weren't any of those for this event when I looked).
I usually find the most useful conference tweets are the information/link ones (I suppose since I look out for food for this blog!). For example I learned about GLAM, which stands for galleries, libraries, archives and museums, and the projects to share/publicise more of their content via Wikipedia
Photo by Sheila Webber: organic tomatoes at the Farmer's Market, August 2014

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Students as partners in learning and teaching

New research report/ review: the title is fairly self-explanatory.
Healey, M., Flint, A., and Harrington, K. (2014) Engagement through partnership: students as partners in learning and teaching in higher education. York: Higher Education Academy.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Courgettes, August 2014

5 ways Wikipedia’s health information is improving

Following up on yesterday's post, a short article by "a Canadian emergency room physician and advocate for the improvement of Wikipedia's health-related content."
Heilman, J. (2014) 5 ways Wikipedia’s health information is improving. CILIP website, 5 August.
Heilman's Wikipedia editor page is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: It was fennel (from Blackheath Farmers' market), August 2014

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


The annual Wikimania conference (focusing on Wikipedia) is just starting, being held in London. The latest news was that a sponsor dropped out so it wasn't going to livestream, but there is of course a Twitterstream (people seem to be variously using #wikimania, #wikimania2014 and #wikimanialondon) and the website (a wiki, naturally) is at
Following up from one of the abstracts, I was reminded about the monthly Wikipedia research newsletter at (which has annotations about articles, conferences etc. about Wikipedia) and from that I came across an open-access version of a useful recent article:
Okoli, C. et al. (2014) Wikipedia in the eyes of its beholders: A systematic review of scholarly research on Wikipedia readers and readership. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. [at time of writing the official version is "early publication" on the JASIST site, with no further details] Open access version
Photo by Sheila Webber: guess the vegetable, 2 (it's the same one as yesterday)

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Anything but Google: Top Tips

Karen Blakeman reports on the top searching tips from her latest search workshop: other search engines and useful search strategies are recommended. Well worth a look. This is in the latest edition of the open access newsletter, eLucidate.
Blakeman, K. (2014) Anything but Google: Top Tips. eLucidate, 11 (1-2). At time of writing it's at and the whole issue in pdf is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Guess the vegetable, picture 1

Monday, August 04, 2014

Communications in Information Literacy: latest issue

The latest issue of open-access journal Communications in Information Literacy (volume 8 number 1 2014) contains the following:
Peering Into the Writing Center: Information Literacy as Collaborative Conversation by Janelle M. Zauha
The Flipped Classroom Teaching Model and Its Use for Information Literacy Instruction by Sara Arnold-Garza
Potential Ramifications of Common Core State Standards Adoption on Information Literacy by Jacob Paul Eubanks
Same Song, Different Verse: Developing Research Skills with Low Stakes Assignments by Amy E. Stewart-Mailhiot
Education Training for Instruction Librarians: A Shared Perspective by Dani Brecher, Kevin Michael Klipfel
Content Analysis of Papers Submitted to Communications in Information Literacy, 2007-2013 by Christopher V. Hollister
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Tools for Online Database Instruction by Yvonne Mery, Erica DeFrain, Elizabeth Kline, Leslie Sult
Building a Library Subculture to Sustain Information Literacy Practice with Second Order Change by Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson, Courtney Bruch
Analyzing Archival Intelligence: A Collaboration Between Library Instruction and Archives by Merinda Kaye Hensley, Benjamin Murphy, Ellen D. Swain
Integrating an Information Literacy Quiz into the Learning Management System by M. Sara Lowe, Char Booth, Natalie Tagge, Sean Stone
Developing an Information Literacy Assessment Rubric: A Case Study of Collaboration, Process, and Outcomes by Christina Hoffman Gola, Irene Ke, Kerry M. Creelman, Shawn P. Vaillancourt
Wikipedia and the Wisdom of Crowds: A Student Project by Greg Barnhisel, Marcia Rapchak
Go to:
Photo by Sheila Webber: my office windowsill

Friday, August 01, 2014

#uklibchat on teaching in libraries

Teaching in libraries is the topic for the Twitter #uklibchat on 5 August 6.30-8.30pm UK time (which is, for example, 1.30-3.30pm US Eastern time). You join in by tweeting using the #uklibchat hashtag during that time. You can add questions for discussion on this document:
There is also an article on the #uklibchat website by academic librarian Samantha Halford about Teaching as an academic librarian and FHEA [Fellow of the Higher Education Academy] status.,
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cuckoo pint, Hailsham, July 2014