Archive for April, 2013

A few weeks ago somebody said they wished I worked in their University. They had their chance, as this post shows, but it’s good to know when they finally met me they thought I was worth a job. As it turns out, I would have missed out on a lot if I had got the job originally.

Thoughts from the Window

Many years ago Sugar Puffs ran a competition. The first prize was a pony, and the consolation prizes were cocker spaniel puppies as I remember. Setting aside the dubious ethics of giving living animals as prizes in a competition, which I was too young to recognise, it was an amazingly successful marketing move. Thousands of children who would never normally be able to aspire to owning a pony must have entered. I know I did. The difference was I was going to win that pony. Whatever pep talks I was given about probability, cynical marketing by global corporations and the unsuitability of our council house as a long term home for a pony, let alone the cost of upkeep I was going to win. My pony and I would instantly build a rapport that would overcome all obstacles, including my inability to ride, and gallop off into the sunset. We…

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LILAC Conference 2013

The Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference was held in Manchester this year and I was able to attend as my paper with Dr. Jane Secker LSE (ANCIL: integrating information literacy into the curriculum through research, reflection and collaboration) was accepted. I was also lucky enough to be asked to introduce the final keynote but more of that later.

The full programme can be found at http://www.lilacconference.com/WP/programme/ and the parallel sessions are outlined at http://www.lilacconference.com/WP/programme/parallel-sessions/ . There are also links to abstracts etc. on the website. Once clearance is received all the presentations will also be loaded onto the LILAC archive. This report will therefore only cover the events which I attended from Monday afternoon until the end of the conference.

Parallel sessions attended:

Embedding digital literacy at Leeds Metropolitan University

Erin Nephin and Wendy Luker

They “used Discover as a base and to improve access for students and academics. Led to massive increase in use and satisfaction” It was interesting to hear a different view of not only how to embed digital literacy but also how Discover had been received by students and academics. Digital literacy is a recognised Graduate Attribute at the University, recognising its importance to students as they transition into employment, and to employers who need their employees to be able to function efficiently in a digital environment. I have created a Storify of tweets from the session to give a flavour at http://storify.com/SmilyLibrarian/lilac-13-embedding-digital-literacy-at-lmu#publicize I particularly liked the Road Show idea which I think might be a good way to engage students who don’t usually attend sessions with us, or ask for help.

Integrated instruction framework for information literacy

Pamela Kessinger

This session covered the six cognitive domains and how to use real assignments to support information literacy teaching in an American community college. Whilst interesting to see how similar issues arise with first year undergraduates I found this session to be less directly transferable to our institution. The framework can be found at http://www.pcc.edu/library/sites/default/files/research_support_framework.pdf .

Library Language: words and their definitions: supporting international students in information literacy

Kirsty Carver and Sophie North

This is the project that inspired Jane Munks to create a glossary for York St. John. There were a great many ideas I would like to implement in our own service, in particular the survey of new overseas students to discover how libraries are viewed and used in students’ countries of origin. Such a survey at Bradford discovered one overseas student was used to a sleep room in the library so that students did not need to travel and “waste” valuable study time. It was also surprising to hear that students’ didn’t understand the meaning of words such as fines, book, record, desk and (less surprisingly) citation or catalogue. The glossary has been created in paper format, adapted to be an app and is now also available on their web site. It became apparent that it wasn’t just overseas students who needed it but also home students who may be less willing to ask for clarification as they feel they should know definitions and meanings. The resources are now available to all students. There were many ideas which we will be able to develop, and hopefully Jane will be able to expand on her glossary in a similar way to Bradford. http://www.bradford.ac.uk/library/help/library-language/


The informed researcher at Huddersfield

Andrew Walsh and Nicola Howorth

All the information has been collated by Andy and Nicola at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/14663/ Found it interesting that the workshops were all already being delivered, but not in an ordered, holistic way. Once this was done more researchers attended and more reported they found them useful.

As an aside, and to show the way people who couldn’t attend the conference followed via Twitter etc. my favourite tweet exchange during this session was:

Jane Secker ‏@jsecker26 Mar

Listening to library superhero @andywalsh999 talking about the informed researcher #lilac13

Dave Pattern ‏@daveyp26 Mar

@jsecker Now, in my head, @andywalsh999 is wearing a cape and has his underpants on the outside 😀

Unfortunately this was not the case.


Games and gamification for information literacy

Andrew Walsh, Vanessa Hill and Adam Edwards

These were two separate submissions on the same topics, so the organisers had put them together. Fascinating to see the different approaches at Middlesex and Huddersfield. The most insightful comment was from Andy who pointed out that if we force students to participate in games they ar no longer games but instruction, lose the play element and become ineffective. We then played several examples of the games in our groups and got told off by the parallel session next door for being too noisy (and enjoying ourselves too much). The attitudes of the people in my group were very interesting with some absolutely refusing to accept play has a place in the library whilst others discussed how to adapt the resources for their own institutions.

Can information literacy support social enterprise?

Geoff Walton

This was another discussion session, we were split into groups and asked to come up with 5 ways academic or public libraries could support information literacy for social enterprises. The knotty issue of licences and time were discussed in great detail and not many solutions were found. Geoff Walton is going to incorporate the results in his research when it is published (allegedly).

Arming the teacher librarian: using experiential learning and reflective practice to guide pedagogy

Alan Carbery

I loved this session, and my colleague Clare was a shining example of reflection. I can do no better than to link to the presentation. http://www.slideshare.net/acarbery/arming-the-teacher-librarian

These were the only parallel sessions I attended as I had various meetings with colleagues from other universities to share experience, and also I spent time with J P Rangaswami to discuss how he wanted to conduct his keynote.



Steve Wheeler

Summary from my tweets:

Apparently this is a man that knows technology

Knowledge – knowing that, Wisdom – Knowing how, Transformation -Knowing why

Only 1 paper based article published a minute nowadays

Book “first ever mobile device” (assume that includes scrolls, tablets etc.)

Liking the Architecture of Participation

If you were to stop the internet for one minute, what would you miss? (hint: a lot)

Bearpit pedagogy – sounds interesting but challenging for students – according to @timbuckteeth once he introduced it 50% got 1sts

In the act of writing, you are written.

We are family became Wii are family and the handheld device is what will be the game changer in education

Do we allow users to bring their own devices, and if so do we restrict them, and why?

Transliteracy is ever more important says @timbuckteeth Prefers to say literacies as more than a skill, lets you go deeper

Dr Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg


Keynote from Dr Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg (UNESCO) on the Global context of Information Literacy.

We are all information consumers, producers and evaluators.

Working to ensure information literacy/access to information is recognised as a human right.

Information Literacy is a survival skill in Indonesia – you need to know about when a tsunami is coming.

Technology has made so many changes have to go beyond HE with nformation literacy, it must be for everybody throughout life information literacy provision is not one size fits all, it should go to secondary and primary levels.

Media & IL competences can foster exchange of inter cultural knowledge & constructive dialogue as well as mutual understanding.

Marginalised and disadvantaged groups included as stakeholders along with educators, policy makers, employers etc.

There is no convention or treaty directly linked to Media and Information Literacy.

Read http://www.unesco.org/new/fileadmin/MULTIMEDIA/HQ/CI/CI/pdf/news/overview_info_lit_resources.pdf .

J. P. Rangaswami

I only took a few notes here as I introduced JP. I also found out I was being livestreamed just before I did so and my nerves kicked in. Then I was time keeping for him so concentrating on clock too. In brief:

A paperless office is as likely as a paperless loo.

“If you thought of information the way you thought about food what would you do differently”.

“Take me into a room full of books I am filled with wonder”.

Collective intelligence comes through the ability to share.

Sharing happens by design.

We haven’t lost privacy. We knew the village gossips in our communities but we don’t know the trackers in our online communities.

Labels around information affect the ability to understand and comprehend. That is why classification matters.

Printed book not the asset it is it’s ability to pass on knowledge and understanding.


And then it was all over …. as always a huge amount to think about, a lot of inspiration and some confirmation that we are headed in the right direction. Thanks to all the organisers for a great conference, special thanks to the outgoing and good luck to the incoming Committee members.


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