Friday, November 29, 2013

What does a Digital University look like?

The ASCILITE (Australiasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) conference is taking place 1-2 December in Sydney, Australia , and my colleague Bill Johnston is co-presenting some more of their work on the digital university. There is a session Moving from ‘e’ to ‘d’: what does a Digital University look like? by Keith Smyth (Office of the Vice Principal (Academic), Edinburgh Napier University), Bill Johnson and Sheila MacNeill (Glasgow Caledonian University). Since Bill is involved it goes without saying that a digital university is also information literate. There is an abstract here and it will be developing the ideas in this previous powerpoint, I think:
ASCILITE looks an interesting conference with an element of information literacy e.g. Amy Antonio is talking about Creating engagement and cultivating information literacy skills via
Photo by Sheila Webber: Beef the cat was reluctant to be photographed.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

#txeduchat on digital literacy in education, 1st or 2nd December (depending where you are)

At 8-9pm 1st December US Central time (that's 2am on 2nd December UK time, 1pm 2nd December in Sydney, Australia, see here for times elsewhere) Valerie Hill will be leading a Twitter chat about Digital Literacy in Education. The hashtag is #txeduchat and there is more info at
Also, whilst searching for the #txeduchat home I came across this useful video about how to participate in the chats

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jorum launches OERs in information / digital literacy

Jorum ("the place where you will find free open educational resources produced by the UK Further and Higher Education community") has launched its "collection" of Open Educational Resources [OERs] related to information literacy and digital literacy. Quite a number of them are OERs created at the London School of Economics or the University of Birmingham, during the DELILA project. Some random examples are: a powerpoint on using statistics and newspapers; a powerpoint and reference sheet on blogging for beginners; a package of various materials which provide training on setting up Moodle quizes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Augustana Teaching Faculty Award

The latest recipient of the Augustana Teaching Faculty Award for the Support of Information Literacy has been announced: Dr. Glynnis Hood, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Alberta, Canada. This is an annual award, given to an Augustana Campus teaching faculty member who has contributed consistently and notably to the support and promotion of information literacy at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. This type of award seems an excellent idea to raise the profile of information literacy. As part of the citation, it is noted that Dr Hood worked with Augustana librarians to develop an annual event to promote the concept of information literacy with students: the Great Augustana Library Snowshoe Chase (a scavenger hunt). More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Farmers market, apples, November 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Journal of academic librarianship latest articles

Articles in the lastissues of the (priced) Journal of academic librarianship (Volume 39, Issue 5, 2013) include:
- The Search for Elusive Social Media Data: An Evolving Librarian–Faculty Collaboration; Latisha M. Reynolds, Siobhan E. Smith, Margaret U. D'Silva
- Transitioning to the Embedded Librarian Model and Improving the Senior Capstone Business Strategy Course; Marilyn M. Helms, Melissa Whitesell
- Uncovering Impact: The Influence of Archives on Student Learning by Morgan Daniels, Elizabeth Yakel
and (not really about information literacy, but interesting, I think!)
- Wide Awake at 4 AM: A Study of Late Night User Behavior, Perceptions and Performance at an Academic Library; Edith A. Scarletto, Kenneth J. Burhanna, Elizabeth Richardson
Journal home page at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: preening swan, November 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Google and Beyond: NOT Google

Information consultant Karen Blakeman has posted another excellent powerpoint on Slideshare, focusing on alternatives to Google, including alternatives to Google Scholar

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Information Literate Lives in the 21st Century #ecil2013

This is the presentation that I gave at the European Conference on Information Literacy in Istanbul in October 2013.
Information Literate Lives in the 21st Century from Sheila Webber

This was the abstract
"The aim of this paper is to outline a curriculum for an information literate lifecourse, sensitive to the context of the individual within a changing information culture. Citizens need to be able to self-audit their changing information literacy needs through life, so they can identify strategies for meeting those needs. Developing this kind of information awareness is vital to empower learners. It should also focus the efforts of professional educators and librarians on lifelong IL, and not only on the immediate needs of a specific course or job. This is different from the more usual generic approach which aims to intervene to develop skills for a citizen’s immediate needs at particular life-points, most generally within formal education.
In presenting our argument we draw on our own work (e.g. Johnston et al., 2012; Johnston & Webber, 2006) and that of Schuller & Watson (2009). A key element is our model of the information literate person in the changing information environment, introduced in Webber and Johnston (2000). This locates the Information Literate person at the centre of five powerful social and economic vectors. These are: the nature of the information economy, technology, organisational culture, local/national culture & society, and personal goals. In order to develop as an information literate citizen, each person needs to be able to identify changes relevant to their life path. This process of creating and updating a personal information literacy map would be the central focus for preparing people to cope with, and plan for, information literacy transitions.
The curriculum for an information literate lifecourse is framed, on the one hand, by these vectors. It is also framed by the life stage of the individual, using the four key stages and transitional points proposed by Schuller & Watson (2009). Schuller & Watson (2009) recommend that people at these transition points should be entitled to guidance and learning opportunities, and they note the current lack of support and investment post-formal education.
We will further identify that as well as personal transitions (age and life events), transitional points emerge from the dynamism of cultural, economic and political circumstances, such as revolution and recession. Living examples from today’s world (from knowing how to find the information to escape from a country torn by civil war, to drawing on the resources which can make life with an old-age-related illnesses tolerable) demonstrate that educating citizens to develop their information literacy to changing circumstances is a necessity in the 21st Century world.

Johnston, B., Anderson, T. & McDonald, A. (2012) Improving pre-entry access to university: Towards a model of transformational alignment. Adult Learner: The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education , 82-96.
Johnston, B. & Webber, S. (2006) As we may think: Information Literacy as a discipline for the information age. Research Strategies, 20 (3), 108-121.
Schuller, T. & Watson, D. (2009) Learning through life: Inquiry into the future for lifelong learning (IFLL). Leicester: National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).
Webber, S. & Johnston, B. (2000) Conceptions of information literacy: New perspectives and implications. Journal of Information Science, 26(6), 381-397.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Teachmeet Staffordshire University 20 November 2013

There are still places (for 5-minute presenters and "enthusiastic audience members") at the Library Teachmeet at Staffordshire University. It is on 20th November, 11am-2pm, in Thompson Library, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. The theme is: Creating the difference – how you improved the student experience. "You can have the floor for 5 minutes to present to colleagues some creative and inspiring suggestions. You are invited to present (via powerpoint / prezi / talk / bingo / drawing / anything) for 5 Minutes on the theme. Time is your only limit." It is a free event. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: happy cat, Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul, October 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

New articles; Bibliography for 2012

The latest issue of Reference Services review (volume 41, no 4, 2013) is available (priced publication). It includes their very useful annual annotated bibliography (with over 500 items listed this time), and a couple of other articles on information literacy.
- Assessing a web library program for information literacy learning by Rafael Bravo, Laura Lucia, Maria J. Martin (pp. 623 - 638)
- Assessing information literacy among German psychology students by Nikolas Leichner, Johannes Peter, Anne-Kathrin Mayer, Günter Krampen (pp. 660 - 674)
- Library instruction and information literacy 2012 by Anna Marie Johnson, Claudene Sproles, Robert Detmering (pp. 675 - 784)
Issue home page at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Dog, Istanbul, October 2013

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Call for LOEX posters #loex2014

There is a call for proposals for posters at the 2014 LOEX (Information Literacy) Conference taking place on May 8-10, 2014 in Grand Rapids, USA. Proposals can come from "graduate students currently enrolled in library and information science programs and to library residents or fellows who have been in the field no more than two years." The deadline is January 24 2014. More info about the conference at
Photo by Sheila Webber: dogs, Istanbul, October 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

New Directions in Information Fluency: A Conference

On 4-5 April 2014, at Augustana College, Illinois, USA,  in there is a conference: New Directions in Information Fluency. The keynote speaker is Sandra Jamieson, Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at Drew University and a principal researcher on the Citation Project.
There is a call for proposals for presentations on themes such as: new pedagogical approaches to teaching; research writing; real-world research skills for life beyond the academy; transformative assessments of information, visual, and primary source literacies; collaboration; the place of information fluency among college- and university-wide learning outcomes. Deadline for proposals is February 15 2014. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Istanbul, October, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The 2014 LACUNY Institute: Information Literacy to Empower: Theory and Practice: cfp

The 2014 LACUNY Institute has the theme: Information Literacy to Empower: Theory and Practice. It takes place on April 4 2014 at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA. The keynote speaker is Barbara Fister (Professor and Coordinator of Instruction, Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, Gustavus Adolphus College, blogger and writer). There is a call for papers: "proposals that suggest ways we can further develop the concept of critical information literacy, whether or not one wishes to use that term. We are interested in both proposals that think big about information literacy as well as those that are more concerned with specific practices and experiences. We are particularly interested in work that brings the two together to show how critical information literacy can be successfully achieved in the library classroom, reference interview, or other, non-conventional instruction spaces."
Potential topics include: Critical thinking and the research process; Class and information-seeking; LGBTQ issues in information retrieval; Assessing information literacy beyond the library. Deadline for proposals is 7 January 2013.
There is more information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Istanbul, October 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

Student Guide to Social Media

The Student Guide to Social Media has been produced jointly by the Universities of Leeds, York and Manchester. It can be explored via the type of social media, or the purpose for which you are using it (academic as well as recreational).
Photo by Sheila Webber: kitten, Arasta bazaar, Istanbul, October 2013