Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blended information behaviour and information literacy for 21st Century life

I was invited by KISK, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, to give a workshop to Masters students and a presentation as part of their Expert series. This is the presentation I gave on 27 November 2014. I will post my presentation for the Masters students on Monday. My abstract for my Expert talk was that I "argue that there is no need to invent a new literacy, just because people are making increasing use of digital media. Sheila outlines her perspective of a holistic information literacy that takes account of the blended information behaviour of today's citizens, sourcing information digitally, in print and through people and the environment. She draws on research in information literacy and information behaviour, including her own work."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Library and Information Research : new articles

The latest issue of open access journal Library and Information Research (Vol 38, No 118, 2014) includes:

Reading lists – time for a reality check? An investigation into the use of reading lists as a pedagogical tool to support the development of information skills amongst Foundation Degree students by Gillian Siddall, Hannah Rose. "This article presents the results of an action research project exploring the use and value of reading lists for Foundation Degree students. ... It was found that reading lists were being used by students to identify and find resources for their academic studies. Qualitative data from students and staff illustrate how reading lists are being used and the gaps between student and staff expectations of them. The article provides recommendations on how reading lists can be utilised to help students to develop their information skills."

The Researcher Librarian Partnership: building a culture of research by Helen Partridge, Insa Haidn, Terry Weech, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Michael Seadle. "This paper reports on the Researcher-Librarian Partnership, a research-mentoring programme that was initiated by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Six new LIS practitioners within their first seven years of professional practice took part in the programme. Each was partnered with an experienced LIS researcher who provided mentoring and support."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Masaryk University, Brno, Library Faculty of Arts, November 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Older Americans unversed in the Internet 'know less about health'

A newsy article reports that: "... among elderly Americans, those with low health literacy were the least likely to use the Internet. And when they did use the Internet, it was not usually to search for health information."
Paddock, C. (2014, 14 November) Older Americans unversed in the Internet 'know less about health'. Medical News Today.
This was based on an article in Journal of General Internal Medicine currently in the "online" first category (i.e. not allocated to an issue):
Levey, H. et al. (2014). Health Literacy and the Digital Divide Among Older Americans. Journal of General Internal Medicine.
I found this through Trove a free service for setting current awareness from internet sources.
Photo by Sheila Webber: St Georges church and trees reflected in a puddle, Sheffield, November 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2013 published #icils2013

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement published (last Thursday) the IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2013, which reports on results of an assessment that was carried out in 21 countries, surveying almost 60000 students and almost 35000 teachers. The research questions were concerned with "Variations in CIL within and across countries; Aspects of schools, education systems, and teaching associated with student achievement in CIL; The extent to which students’ access to, familiarity with, and self-reported proficiency in using computers is associated with student achievement in CIL; Aspects of students’ personal and social backgrounds associated with CIL."

Schoolchildren had to do things like respond to an email, cut and paste a URL, register someone at a website and create a poster with specified elements. I would therefore say it was more "computer literacy" than "information literacy" (and the emphasis is on the need for people to be able to use computers to do things). However, it it is an interesting report that I have only skimmed. As well as administering the assessment, questions about home and school use of computers were asked, and information on age, socio-economic class and gender was collected. There were variations between countries, but e.g. "Among the socioeconomic
indicators, parental occupational status and home literacy resources in particular were positively associated with CIL across the participating countries." Girls performed better than boys, particularly in some countries e.g. the Sydney Herald pointed out that Australian girls ahead of boys in computer literacy
Additionally, teachers were asked questions about availability, use of, experience with, and attitudes to use of computers. One set of question asked them the extent to which they used ICT with students "The capability most widely emphasized in their teaching was “accessing information efficiently.” Overall across countries, 63 percent (the ICILS 2013 average) of teachers said they emphasized this skill in their teaching. The highest national percentage was recorded in Australia (76%) and the lowest in Lithuania (40%)." (p.215).
International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2013: Preparing for Life in a Digital Age:
Additionally a press release gives these links:
The European Commission report on findings for the European countries participating in ICILS 2013, Main findings and implications for education policies in Europe
A package of press materials, including the press release and infographic on the study highlights
"View a video demonstration of an example student test module from ICILS 2013, After-school Exercise"
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

#OER Evidence Report 2013-2014

A summary report of research on the impact of Open Educational Resources (OER) has been published (on open access, naturally). It is produced by the OER Research Hub.
Full details of the methods aren't given, but surveys were undertaken by project partners, and, aggregated, there were (in terms of number of respondents) "By role: informal learners (50.3%, n= 3212); formal learners (24.7%, n= 1578); educators (21.6%, n=1382); and librarians (3.4%, n=218)". They were aiming to test 11 hypotheses, namely: Use of OER leads to improvement in student performance and satisfaction; The Open Aspect of OER creates different usage and adoption patterns than other online resources; Open Education models lead to more equitable access to education, serving a broader base of learners than traditional education; etention: Use of OER is an effective method for improving retention for at-risk students; Reflection: Use of OER leads to critical reflection by educators, with evidence of improvement in their practice; Finance: OER adoption at an institutional level leads to financial benefits for students and/or institutions; Informal learners use a variety of indicators when selecting OER; Informal learners adopt a variety of techniques to compensate for the lack of formal support, which can be supported in open courses; Open education acts as a bridge to formal education, and is complementary, not competitive, with it; Participation in OER pilots and programs leads to policy change at an institutional level; Informal means of assessment are motivators to learning with OER.
A short section is devoted to presenting evidence relevant to each hypothesis.
de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Perryman, L.-A., Pitt, R. & Weller, M. (2014). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014: building understanding in open education.
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Great internet age divide is a myth

News article highlighting the fact that younger people aren't necessarily good at searching. This was following a talk by Google's Dan Rusell given at Glasgow University. I assume the content was similar to what he said at an earlier talk.
Denholm, A. (2014, 23 October) Great internet age divide is a myth. Herald.
Photo by Sheila Webber: leaf on the step, November 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gaiman on libraries

Lots of people have been mentioning Toby Litt's interview with Neil Gaiman, The keys to the Kingdom, in the new (UK) Arts Council online magazine, Create. Gaiman has very positive things to say about the continuing role of libraries (despite I would say, Litt's appearing to want him to say that libraries are outdated, aren't they, really, but perhaps I am over-interpreting the questions).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Health Literacy Place

The Health Literacy Place is a Scottish site that includes the Health Literacy Action Plan for Scotland, other resources relating to health literacy in Scotland, and numerous links and embedded resources (e.g. videos). The site is produced by NHS Education for Scotland Knowledge Services Group.
Photo by Sheila Webber: leaves, photoshopped, November 2014


When the internet was new, Gary Price was posting daily news about information and library things, and many years later he is still doing it - with multiple postings daily on Infodocket Not specifically about information literacy, but always useful snippets e.g. I just learnt that Twitter has made its archive searchable for everyone, and there's a link to information on "advanced" search features
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Library Innovation: new articles

The latest issue of the open-access journal Library Innovation (volume 5 no. 2) includes the following:
- Learning Through Play, the Old School Way: Teaching Information Ethics to Millennials by Lucinda A Rush ("The author describes the process of creating an innovative game based on Candy Land to teach undergraduates about information ethics and makes recommendations for creating non-digital games for instructional purposes based on this experience."
- Using Blogs in the Library to Reach Diverse and Non-Traditional Student Groups by Amy Nelson Decker, Monya D. Tomlinson
- Channeling Passions: Developing a Successful Social Media Strategy by Elizabeth Ramsey, Amy Vecchione
Also one of the book reviews is of: Buchanan, H. and McDonough, B. (2014). The One-Shot Library Instruction Survival Guide. Chicago: ALA Editions. ISBN: 978-0-8389-1215-7.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Gorgeous autumn beech leaves, November 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

E-Learning and Digital Media: new articles

The new issue of E-Learning and Digital Media (subscription journal) (volume 11 no 6) includes articles:
- Owen Barden. Winking at Facebook: capturing digitally mediated classroom learning
- Catherine Beavis et al. Teachers’ Beliefs about the Possibilities and Limitations of Digital Games in Classrooms
- Anne Cloonan, Kirsten Hutchison & Louise Paatsch. Innovating from the Inside: teacher influence and the ‘promisingness’ of digital learning environments
- Ksenia A. Korobkova & Rebecca W. Black. Contrasting Visions: identity, literacy, and boundary work in a fan community
- Abel Usoro, Razep Echeng & Grzegorz Majewski. A Model of Acceptance of Web 2.0 in Learning in Higher Education: a case study of two cultures
- Steven J. Zuiker. Visual Communication in Transition: designing for new media literacies and visual culture art education
Abstracts at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Weston Park, early November 2014

cfp CAPAL Conference 2015: Academic Librarianship and Critical Practice

There is a call for papers for the annual conference of the the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL), to be held May 31-June 2, 2015in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Deadline for proposals is December 8, 2014. Sub-themes are:
● Critical approaches to core practices: information literacy, collections, description, archives, scholarly communication, UX, copyright, metrics, technology, etc.
● Critical reflections on core values: intellectual freedom, (open) access, privacy, preservation, professionalism, etc.
● Critical reflections on professional issues: LIS education, deprofessionalization, governance, advocacy, etc.
● Intersections of librarianship with social and global justice, equity, decolonization
● Librarianship and higher education in relation to neoliberalism, austerity, and other socioeconomic phenomena
● Critical library research practice and/or methodologies
● Critical approaches to librarianship and culture
● Critical reflections on working in and across different disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and beyond
● Critical theory and philosophy in librarianship
More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: late autumn flower, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Library A-Z launches #libraryatoz

Library A-Z launches today. The aim was " to produce a series of illustrations reflecting the wide range of positive services and experiences provided by libraries. These illustrations then formed the basis of advocacy and promotional materials including a book, greetings cards and posters." There is an illustration for each letter of the alphabet, with words and phrases starting with that letter, each relating to an aspect of library service. "Information Literacy" is included under "I". The illustrations and other materials are free to use under a Creative Commons licence.
Illustrations on Flickr

"I" from An illustration created for the Library A to Z project by Josh Filhol. Images released under a CC by 4.0 licence.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Feedback on latest draft of ACRL Information Literacy framework wanted #acrlrevisions

ACRL is asking for feedback on the third draft of their proposed Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The deadline for comments is December 12th, 5pm Central time (which is 11pm UK time). You are asked in particular to consider the questions:

- How satisfied are you with the new definition of information literacy?
- How satisfied are you with each of the six frames?
- How satisfied are you with the opportunities to provide feedback to the task force on drafts of the Framework?
- How satisfied are you that the task force has been responsive to feedback provided on previous drafts of the Framework?
- OVERALL, how satisfied are you with the third draft of the proposed Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education?
- What one thing do you most want the Task Force members to know about the draft Framework?

You should comment via the online form at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: brilliant autumn leaf, November 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

cfp CILIP Conference 2015

There is a call for papers for the The CILIP Conference 2015 taking place 2-3 July 2015 in Liverpool, UK. The theme is Connect, debate, innovate. The four themes are: Information Management: building success; Information literacy and digital inclusion; Demonstrating value: what’s your impact?; Digital Futures and Technology.
Of the one most obviously relating to infolit it says "'People need the right skills, access, motivation and trust to get online and enjoy the benefits of digital inclusion. As more of our lives take place online those who are on the wrong side of the digital divide will be increasingly disadvantaged.’ (CILIP Statement on Digital Inclusion, September 2014). We are looking for papers that show how these challenges are bring overcome and innovative practice in all sectors that address the digital divide. Issues about learning and online learning (MOOCs and other matters) should be part of this strand."
Deadline for proposals is 5 January 2015.
Photo by Sheila Webber: giant remembrance poppy at Kings Cross Station on Sunday.

Journal Club in Second Life: Information-seeking behaviour of prospective geography teachers

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Marshall Dozier (Edinburgh University, Pancha Enzyme in Second Life) leads a discussion on:
Bitso, C. & Fourie, I. (2014). Information-seeking behaviour of prospective geography teachers at the National University of Lesotho. Information Research, 19(3), paper 637. Available from

When: Today! 12 November 2014 at 12 noon SL time, that's 8pm UK time.

Where: Infolit iSchool, in the virtual world Second Life. You need a SL avatar and the Second Life browser installed on your computer. Go to

Everyone is welcome to join the one-hour discussion.

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event.

Seminar: critical literacy for school librarians

Sarah McNicol is running a free half day workshop in Manchester, UK, on 25 November 2014, on critical literacy for school librarians. "Critical literacy has been described as a 'new basic'. It is a set of skills, dispositions and strategies intended to enable students “to challenge text and life as we know it” (McLaughlin & DeVoogd). This half day session will outline the ideas underpinning critical literacy, focusing on what it means for school librarians and they ways in which they support students in the evaluation of texts. It will also give you an opportunity to try out different ways of teaching critical literacy through the analysis of a variety of texts."
Places are limited, and can be booked at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Poppy wreath, war memorial, Sheffield, November 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Perspectives on Student Research Skills in K-12 and Academic Communities

Easybib have released further results from their questionnaire survey of 1,182 school and academic librarians: Perspectives on Student Research Skills in K-12 and Academic Communities. A copy of the questionnaire isn't given, but the main results reported relate to librarians perceptions of learners' skills in evaluating websites (they mostly rate them as rudimentary or average) and the type of IL education given (i.e. is it: Combination (in class, in library), One-shot Only, In Development or non-existent). There were more "one shot" answers from academic librarians and more "none" answers from school librarians (e.g. 26% of "high school" librarians gave the response "no instruction"). The page where you can download the report is at (you have to give them your name and email address before you can download). They quote statistics of a survey of students too, but I can't see any results from that in this report. However, there are some results in the report released earlier in the year here e.g. comparing students' perceptions of whether they are good at evaluating websites with librarians' perceptions (though obviously the students don't necessarily some from the same institutions as the librarians, so there have to be caveats about the comparison).
Photo by Sheila Webber: Today is Remembrance Day in the UK. New wreaths and crosses were placed on the Sheffield Weston Park war memorial in the ceremony on Sunday.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

New articles: Researchers, Assessment; LibGuides; Copyright

The latest issue of the The Journal of Academic Librarianship (priced publication) includes the following:

- Exner, N. (2014). Research Information Literacy: Addressing Original Researchers' Needs. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 460-466.

- Turcios, M. et al (2014). How Much of Library and Information Science Literature Qualifies as Research? The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 473-479.

- Drabinski, E. (2014). Toward a Kairos of Library Instruction. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 480-485.

- Rodriguez, J. et al (2014). Copyright and You: Copyright Instruction for College Students in the Digital Age. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 486-491.

- Al-Shboul, M. and Abrizah, A. (2014). Information Needs: Developing Personas of Humanities Scholars. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 500-509.

- Oakleaf, M. (2014) A Roadmap for Assessing Student Learning Using the New Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 510-514.

- Dalton, M. and Pan, R. (2014). Snakes or Ladders? Evaluating a LibGuides Pilot at UCD Library. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 515-520.

- Brown, R. (2014). A Literature Review of How Videogames Are Assessed in Library and Information Science and Beyond. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40 (5), 447-451.
The journal home page is here:
Photo by Sheila Webber: beech leaves, November 2014

Friday, November 07, 2014

Science & Technology Section's Information Literacy chat, November 17th

The next Science & Technology Section's Information Literacy chat will be on November 17, 3pm-4pm US Eastern time, which is 8-9pm UK time. It will be held on Adobe Connect, and the chat room link is Laksamee Putnam (Towson University) will be leading a chat on iPads: Enhancing library instruction or merely a computer substitute? "Interactive technology has found a place in the classroom. But is it making any difference in the way you teach? Come chat with STS, hear about a few ways other libraries are using iPads in information literacy instruction, and decide whether or not you view this technology as merely a computer substitute or an educational enhancement. Librarians with or without iPads are welcome to share their thoughts and ideas." The recommended reading is:
Cavanaugh, C., Hargis, J., Kamali, T., & Soto, M. (2013). Substitution to augmentation: faculty adoption of iPad mobile learning in higher education. Interactive Technology & Smart Education, 10(4), 270.
The organisers gave some useful tips for using AdobeConnect:
"If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before: Test your connection: and get a quick overview:
"Here are a few tips for using AdobeConnect:
- Adobe Connect has recently updated their software. When you log-in, you may notice a screen asking you to install the add-in. If you click “yes,” the update will install in about 20-30 seconds. You may need to complete the audio setup wizard after installing the add-in.
- Use Firefox, if possible -- Internet Explorer and Chrome seem to have some issues.
- Make certain you have an updated version of Flash.
- Only use PDF or PPT files.
- You will need a headset for VoIP. If you are using a machine with a built-in microphone, you will need to disable the built-in microphone and enable the microphone on your headset (a USB headset is best).
- Once you enter Adobe Connect (you will sign in as a guest -- so no log-in is needed), you will need to click on the speaker and microphone icons to activate -- both need to be GREEN.
- Please allow a few minutes to get in and test your audio, etc. before the start time.
- To test audio, click on ‘Meeting’ in upper left corner. Choose the audio set-up wizard. Click through every step, making sure the dropdown is set to your USB headset, and click through to the very last screen. IMPORTANT: You must click all the way through the audio wizard in order to save your selections."
Photo by Sheila Webber: last year's poppy wreaths on the Sheffield war memorial in Weston Park, November 2014.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014

A new Ofcom (the UK communications watchdog organisation) report was published in October, with a much statistical data about children's use of devices, the internet etc. Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014. As usual, they are drawing on a relatively robust data set, including 1,660 interviews carried out with parents in May/June 2014. Just snatching some headlines from the executive summary "There has been a significant increase in access to, ownership of and use of tablet computers by children of all ages. In contrast, the incidence of TVs and games consoles in the bedroom is declining, while smartphone ownership remains steady. ... 12-15s are twice as likely to say they would miss their mobile phone than the TV, say they spend more time going online than watching television in a typical week, and say they prefer to socialise online rather than watch TV. In contrast, younger children still prefer TV to any other device, and spend more time in a typical week watching TV than doing any other media activity. ... Gender differences are evident from an early age. Differences include a preference for gaming among boys and for communicating online among girls. Parents also treat boys and girls differently, monitoring some aspects of girls’ online activity more closely than boys’" and particularly interesting for this blog "Older children are making judgements about the truthfulness of online content, including search engine results and how accurately people present themselves online." Extracting a paragraph from the section that goes into this in more detail "The number of 12-15s who believe that all of the information they see on websites used for school work or homework is true almost halved between 2013 and 2014: from 30% to 16%. Similarly, there was a two-fold increase in the number of children aged 12-15 who say that only some of the information is true (29% in 2014 vs. 12% in 2013). These findings indicate an increase in critical awareness for this age group." (p90)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn park, November 2014

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Google hangout on Second Life, today

Later today I will be doing a Google hangout connected with Sheffield University's MOOC on Play. The hangout is here I'm an educator in the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) and this week it focuses on Play in virtual worlds, specifically Second Life. The hangout is about helping people find their feet in Second Life.The time is 7pm UK time (which is 11am Second Life time, same as Pacific time in the USA, see for times elsewhere).

Sunday, November 02, 2014

PRIMO site of the month: Research Tracker

The latest PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online) Site of the Month is Research Tracker produced by Jacalyn Kremer and Wit Messangnil (Fairfield University, USA). This site "gives students a framework by which to navigate the complex stages of research and writing and avoid last-minute research panic. This flexible tool can be used in conjunction with face-to-face instruction, in the online learning environment, or independently. Key features include: the calculation of steps with assigned due dates that can be migrated to a student's calendar; the ability to store documents and research in one place; customized content suggestions based on assignments; Creative Commons Licensing." The research tracker is at and an interview with the producers at
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves against the sky (photoshop effect: paint daubs)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

IASL conference - CFP

There is a call for proposals for the 44th Annual International Conference and 17th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship (IASL conference), which will be held June 28- July 2, 2015, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The title of the conference is: The school library rocks: living it, learning it, loving it. The main themes are:
- The school library as a space and place: meeting, sharing, discussing. Collaborative learning and growing.
- The school library as learning environment: 24/7 access to materials, resources, teachers, electronic learning environment and more.
- The school library as laboratory: experience and discovery in science, arts and media‐education.
- The school library as a window to the world: reading, writing and communication.
More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: remnants of Halloween at Sheffield University today (I hope....)