Monday, April 7, 2014

Next blog-post journal club: 14 April on draft ACRL framework #acrlilrevisions #ilread

Our next Journal Club blog-post discussion will be on 14 April 2014 at 8pm UK time (3pm US Eastern time), on the draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education which will update the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (commonly called the ACRL information literacy standards). The first draft document contains the Introduction and Three Threshold Concepts plus a Glossary and Bibliography. A second draft document contains two additional threshold concepts. There has already been a consultation process, including open webinars, and the drafts are open for comment until April 15. Therefore we thought we would organise a discussion which is (just!) before this deadline in case it prompts anyone to make some comments.
Whilst the primary target for these standards are people in North America, the ACRL standards have been very influential elsewhere. Go to the following page for more information and links to the two documents and information on how to contribute to the consultation. http://acrl.ala.org/ilstandards/?page_id=133
If you want to learn more about "threshold concepts" you might want to read this:
Hofer A, Brunetti K, Townsend L. (2013) A Threshold Concepts Approach to the Standards Revision. Communications in information literacy. 7(2), 108-113. http://edin.ac/1hhaaVi

How does this discussion work? As usual, the idea is that people aim to read something of the item before the discussion . Then just come along at 8pm UK time on the 14th, and join in the discussion, through posting comments to this blog post. Of course lurkers are also welcome, but it will nice if you join in ;-) You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts).

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Next Journal club: 19th February: research agendas for information literacy? #ILread

Our next blog-post discussion will take place on Wednesday 19th February at 8pm UK time (See http://tinyurl.com/qd9vkbu for times elsewhere). The focus is on the agenda(s) for information literacy research. For example:

What do you think of the research agendas that other people have drawn up? (see below)
What do you think are the top priorities for research in Information Literacy?

How does this discussion work? As usual, the idea is that people aim to read something (see below) before the discussion . Then just come along at 8pm on the 19th, and join in the discussion, through posting comments to this blog post. Of course lurkers are also welcome, but it will nice if you join in ;-) You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts).

Most of the time there will be a slight delay between people posting a comment on this blog, and it appearing. However, earlier on the day of the discussion we will turn moderation off, so posts appear immediately.

Reading to start the discussion going.
I've chosen three short documents produced from different perspectives: one paper from two of the top international researchers (Annemaree Lloyd and Christine Bruce), one from a medical librarian perspective, and one is drawn up by the (US) Association of College and Research Libraries. They are all on open access:
The journal club team hope you can join us to discuss this fascinating topic. If you have any questions, but them in the comments below or (if it's urgent) email me at s.webber@sheffield.ac.uk
[Picture taken by me in Second Life, using a quote from an academic in an information literacy research project]

Friday, January 17, 2014

Next blog post Journal Club: 22nd January 8pm UK time: UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy resolution

The next online online blog-comment information literacy Journal Club meeting takes place at 8-9 pm UK time on Wednesday 22 January 2014 (see http://tinyurl.com/kr8qvhb for times elsewhere).

The topic will be the resolution on Media and Information Literacy that was approved by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2013. UNESCO member countries are now encouraged by UNESCO to endorse these at a national level. This provides an opportunity to lobby governments to address information literacy at a strategic level.

Do join us for the real-time discussion of this short document at 8pm UK time on the 22nd, or you can add comments afterwards (or before) if you can't make it at that time. We realise that this is not a convenient time in all time zones, but hope that there will be comments from people from different countries, not just the UK! We will be encouraging discussion of questions such as:

- What can be done (or is already being done) in your country to lobby and challenge your government about these recommendations?
- Who can we work with on getting UNESCO member states to (quoting the resolution) "to take the Media and Information Literacy Recommendations into consideration during the planning of future strategies, policies, and initiatives on education, lifelong learning, literacy, and other areas which will contribute to building a Knowledge Society."
- How can we ensure that there isn't a focus on media literacy to the exclusion of information literacy?
- Should we rebrand all our information literacy efforts as "Media and Information Literacy" (rather than "Information Literacy"? For example, I understand that the Swedish Library Association has gone in this direction. (by the way, my view on this is a definite "no" but it will be interesting to have a debate!)

The full draft resolution is at http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002242/224273e.pdf
A press announcement from IFLA is at http://www.ifla.org/node/8208

The document is short, and I will just reproduce here the bullet points at the end of the recommendations themselves:
"In particular IFLA recommends that governments and organisations to do the following:
• Commission research on the state of Media and Information Literacy and produce reports, using the Media and Information Literacy indicators as a base [I have blogged about this indicators initiative previously, it is still ongoing], so that experts, educators, and practitioners are able to design effective initiatives;
• Support professional development for education, library, information, archive, and health and human services personnel in the principles and practices of Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning;
• Embed Media and Information Literacy education in all Lifelong Learning curricula;
• Recognise Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning as key elements for the development of generic capabilities which must be demonstrated for accreditation of all education and training programmes;
• Include Media and Information Literacy in the core and continuing education of information professionals, educators, economic and government policy - makers and administrators, as well as in the practice of advisors to the business, industry and agriculture sectors;
• Implement Media and Information Literacy programmes to increase the employability and entrepreneurial capacities of women and disadvantaged groups, including migrants, the underemployed and the unemployed; and,
• Support thematic meetings which will facilitate the acquisition of Media and Information and Lifelong Learning strategies within specific regions, sectors, and population groups."

As before, the real-time discussion will take place in comments to this blog post during the hour mentioned above, with me helping the discussion along. People are also very welcome to add comments and questions before and after this real-time event. Note that moderation is usually turned on for comments (because otherwise we get spammed!), but we will turn moderation off on the day of the discussion, so that your comments appear immediately. If you want to see what a blog post discussion looks like, just click on any of the previous discussion posts.
Photo by Sheila Webber

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Open synergies and symbioses - The role of academic libraries and the importance of information literacy in the Open landscape

The next journal club discussion will take place on Wednesday 25th September at 8pm and is on the topic of Open Educational Resources.  Join our discussion by adding your comments and questions to the comments below this post.


First of all a bit of background and before that a disclaimer: I’m not a real librarian, I am a shambrarian (to utilise an occasional twitter meme). I have, however, worked with repositories since 2007 in the context of Open Access to research (OA) and Open Educational Resources (OER) and am primarily interested in sustainable models of OA and potential synergies with OER (and open education more generally), particularly underlying technology and interoperability of systems, including open standards and the potential of Open Source software (OSS).

As a focus for this discussion I would like to point you towards a report by Gema Bueno-de-la-Fuenta and John Robertson - The roles of libraries and information professionals in Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives. From August 2012 and derived from data now nearly 2 years old the report is still highly relevant; academic libraries (and repositories) are arguably still primarily focussed on access to research materials and historically have not been closely involved with the management of teaching materials which, where they are available digitally, are often in virtual learning environments (VLEs) to which the library may not have access and may be poorly integrated into users’ view of library resources. The report itself is lengthy but the executive summary provides a good overview and has informed subsequent conference presentations by both Gema and myself, the slides for which are available here and here respectively.

It is probably accurate to say that both OA and OER have recently moved from fairly niche communities to more mainstream interest, really in the last 12 months or so, due largely to the impact of the Finch report and resulting RCUK policy - at least in the context of OA and perhaps OER by association (see also MOOCs!) My own involvement with OER has primarily been through the JISC/HEA OER programme that ran in three phases from 2009-2012. I also sit on the steering group for Jorum, the national OER repository, which supported the programme throughout and which has just last week released its new interface which looks great and includes new features including item level usage stats* and a sophisticated API that gives access to content, metadata and usage data and can be used to build customised web tools and services (not yet available - formal release in October). Huge congratulations to the team at Mimas who I know have worked extremely hard and are rightly proud of the result. In terms of information literacy, Jorum are planning a bespoke collection to sit alongside their other collections and are currently collecting feedback via this survey (deadline this Friday 20th September 2013). For more information and to access a spreadsheet of suggested metadata fields and terms see http://delilaopen.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/jorums-information-literacy-collection-needs-your-help/).

* In fact stats can also be derived for groups of items, say by institution, licence type or project tag.

In the spirit of Open I have made an infolit OER of my own using the excellent Xerte Online Toolkits, Open Source software from the University of Nottingham which I hope will be suitable for the new collection and which you can find in Jorum here.

The resource is derived from the SCONUL 7 Pillars of Information Literacy and brings together the core model along with several ‘lenses’ highlighting different attributes, and using language recognised by the specific communities which they represent; it includes Michelle Dalton’s healthcare/evidence based practice lens which was the subject of the last post and discussion.

Xerte itself is an excellent tool for Digital Literacy - input is form based, intuitive enough for beginners with the option to use HTML tags or more sophisticated web-based technology. It can also be embedded on any webpage using an iframe (I would have done so here but the page design is too narrow). Moreover, as output is HTML5, unlike proprietary software like Adobe Flash and PDF, content is accessible on any device/browser including mobile. Content can also be more easily reused even without access to the software itself - just by cut and paste / right click -> save as. Like any HTML webpage.

If you would like to reuse this resource you can download three separate versions:

  • This zip file for deployment on your own webserver (just unzip and upload to a webserver as a self-contained directory)
  • The SCORM package for use in a VLE or other software that will play SCORM
  • This archive zip file which you can import back into your own instance of XOT

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Journal Club meeting: 28 August 8-9pm: A Healthcare Lens for the SCONUL Seven Pillars Model

I was extremely flattered when I was asked if I would be interested in discussing my recent paper in JIL, "Developing an evidence-based practice healthcare lens for the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model", http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/7.1.1813 at the next Information Literacy Journal Club session.

By way of background, the idea for the paper essentially came out of my experience working in a hospital library - a very different context to a research or academic library, and one where the focus is on identifying, using and integrating evidence and information with clinical practice. We often think of information literacy in a purely education context, but recent reports such as Project Information Literacy's "Learning Curve: How College Graduates Solve Information Problems Once They Join the Workplace", highlight it as a very real issue for lifelong learning, the workplace, and everyday life.

Whilst I often refer to and use a number of IL models in my instructional practice (particularly ANCIL), the SCONUL Seven Pillars Model struck me as a useful framework for developing an Evidence Based Practice Model for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the 2011 revision increased the emphasis on skills and behaviours compared with the older version, and so I felt the SCONUL model was a bit more 'up to date' than the ACRL Standards for instance, which are currently being revised. But the primary reason was the lens feature, which allows the original generic core model to be adapted for specific user groups and needs, to increase the context and relevance. There is currently a research lens, a digital literacy lens, and an open educational resource lens. This flexibility was a big attraction, as I felt I could tailor the basic model, to incorporate the specific needs and information problems of clinical staff based on their feedback from interviews. The lens format can potentially be adapted for lots of different user groups, and I would love to see additional lenses developed in the future.

I would love to hear any comments people may have regarding the paper, and the use of the lens in practice. One of the biggest limitations with the study is the small sample size, so I think a larger study may produce even richer data. Or perhaps other groups, such as GPs, could be a useful population to study to compare and contrast information behaviours. I'm looking forward to lots of discussion on the 28th!

For those seeking a shorter version of my paper, I also have a slideshare from a recent pecha kucha presentation on the full paper.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Journal Club meeting: 24 July: Barbara Fister's "outrageous claims" for university librarians

Space to thinkThe next online online blog-comment information literacy Journal Club meeting takes place at 8-9 pm UK time on Wednesday 24th July 2013 (see http://tinyurl.com/ow3kfxz for times elsewhere).

The topic will be Barbara Fister's stimulating keynote paper, aimed at academic librarians, presented at the LOEX (USA information literacy) conference in May. The paper is online at:
Fister, B. (2013) Decode academy. Paper presented at LOEX, 3 May 2013. http://homepages.gac.edu/~fister/loex13.pdf

There is information on Barbara here. Barbara starts by asking what libraries, universities and knowledge are for. She says, for example, that "knowledge will set us free. Knowledge liberates us from the ignorance and prejudice and helps us make sense of the world". She then goes on to make some "outrageous claims", namely
- Research papers should not be part of the first year experience
- We should stop teaching students how to find sources
- Very rarely are citations needed
- We should stop policing plagiarism
- We should stop implying "scholarly" means "good"
- Librarians should spend as much time working with faculty as with students
So - do you agree? Barbara's whole paper is not enormously long, but if you have very little time, home in on the claim you find most interesting/ agree with most/ disagree with most.

As before, the real-time discussion will take place in comments to this blog post during the hour mentioned above, with me helping the discussion along. People are also very welcome to add comments and questions before and after this real-time event. Note that moderation is usually turned on for comments (because otherwise we get spammed!), but we will turn moderation off on the day of the discussion, so that your comments appear immediately.

The picture is one of those which Barbara uses in the paper: it is by juggzy_malone (2007) on Flickr.

Friday, May 31, 2013

London Libraries Learning Research Reading Group meets on 5th June

The London Libraries Learning Research Reading Group is next meeting on 5th June - this is a face to face meeting (not virtual ;-) at the LSE in London, UK. They will be discussing Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment. More info at http://lllrrg.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/june-meeting/