Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

What a year this has been! I've seen this site take off, met some great people while doing all the talks and workshops I've undertaken from Slough to Singapore, broken a finger, survived my 60th birthday celebrations, and conducted most of a Haydn symphony! In addition I gather from the publishers that the book is selling well. Then there has been the credit crunch and fears of what 2009 will bring.

Thanks for reading this stuff and this is me saying "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"


This new site is really worth knowing about!
Richard Price of Oxford University and a team of people from Stanford University and Cambridge University have produced a social networking site for academic researchers.

It shows researchers around the world in a 'tree' format, organized
according to which institution/department they are affiliated with.
- It enables academics to keep track of the latest news in their field -
the latest people, papers and talks.
We are hoping that will eventually list every academic in the
world -- Faculty members, Post-Docs, and Graduate Students. People can add
their departments, and themselves, to the tree by clicking on the arrows.
The site is getting some traction. Over 9,000 academics have joined in the last two months.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

My paper at Bridging Worlds Conference

I promised to post a little more about the Bridging Worlds Conference in Singapore which I attended in October. Photo shows a fastfood stall which amused me, headed "Pig Organs and Kway Chap"!

The Conference focused on "how the information, knowledge and cultural institutions are responding to the social and information future while continuing to connect with their diverse communities in appropriate spaces, engaging with them to build the culture, information and knowledge dividend."

It was great to hear Dr N Varaprasad, the National Librarian there say that "Library 2.0 is firmly embedded in the Library landscape". For me it has been great to see the take-up by librarians since I first got involved with Web 2.0 back in 2006.

My presentation has been on Slideshare as part of the Bridging Worlds collection.

For convenience here is another link to the presentation "Information Literacy and Web 2.0 : is it all hype?"and a link to the paper.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Online Conference, Olympia, Dec. 2008

I've been quiet lately because I was at the Online Conference in Olympia. The Key Note speaker on Day 1 was Clay Shirky (author of "Here comes everybody") and it was inspiring. When asked about librarians he recalled the quote of us as "happiness engines". So, we are about increasing the happiness of our patrons, helping them to find the next thing to read or watch. This can be done by joining up groups of people who should be talking to one another. Later on he talked about the social origin of good ideas and putting experts and amateurs together which improves both groups. This reminded me of the potential power of a Library OPAC which could combine taxonomies and user tagging. I must read the book! If you want a full version of the talk see Jenny Levine's report in The Shifted Librarian.

Jenny also gave an excellent presentation "New Channels New Media and New Approaches for Libraries." I remember her emphasis on the importance of users as "collaborators" with user generated content becoming more important. Librarians need to become more nimble in approaches to their users : Yale University for example invite users to text a science librarian, and use Twitter and Facebook. She believes we are ahead in the use of Bloglines and iGoogle and therefore should be pushing these to our users. She made some of the same points in her presentation at Bridging Worlds 2008 and I can highly recommend this.

Marydee Ojala gave an interesting paper "See it, hear it" highlighting the inadequacy of the subscription services in keeping up with multimedia content. There is no single source. However, I picked up several sites to follow up including
Voxalead, (lets you search through multimedia content like audio and video podcasts).
Podscope,(lets you search the spoken word for audio and video that interests you)
Blinx (World's largest video search engine).

Anne Morris (Dept. Information Science, Loughborough University) presented aboput a survey undertaken about student perceptions and use of Library 2.o applicatioons. Main message to me and IL practitioners is the warning that publicity and awareness of the services by the user is crucial.

Guillermo Lutzky speaking about the ORT Argentina Virtual Campus project (which I chaired) showed how powerful Web 2.0 can be in schools to increase collaboration and community> The use of blogs there had produced over 250 active blogs since June 2007. ORT Argentina currently holds two educational complexes, two technical high schools and two post-secondary junior colleges with over 7000 students.

Fiona Lennox (Ofcom, UK) gave an interesting presentation about recent Ofcom reports
Media Literacy Audit: Media literacy of UK adults from ethnic minority groups

Monday, 1 December 2008

The Networked Student

With thanks to LoneWolfLibrarian and to Michael Stephens, I must draw attention to The Networked Student. This useful little video by which uses the commoncraft style of presentation. It is a wake-up call to teachers and librarians! Telling how students will gather their information and share it, at one point it asks "will they need a teacher?" The justification for one gives a whole list of roles which sound amazingly like those of a Web 2.0 librarian! Take a look!

The Networked Student was inspired by CCK08, a Connectivism course offered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes during fall 2008. It depicts an actual project completed by Wendy Drexler’s high school students.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Is YouTube the next Google?

Alex Iskold came up with an interesting post on ReadWriteWeb recently. He uses some evidence from recent Conferences and eventually says "because video was not possible before, the web was dominated by text. Now that video cameras and broadband are cheap, information that is better served by video is getting converted. As a result, YouTube is now the second largest search engine, and traffic is through the roof." So video is on the increase on the Web and many kids are video natives.
I would add that YouTube is a phenomenal teaching resource whic we librarians could all use much more. The challenge is to keep up with what is out there.

Online Conference and Exhibition, London Olympia

I shall be away at this Conference during the week and chairing a session on Wednesday featuring offsetting Media and Information Literacy.
Media Literacy matters. (Fiona Lennox, Policy Executive, OfCom, UK) "In this presentation, Fiona will discuss the findings of recent Ofcom research which sheds light on how people in the UK population access, understand and create digital communications. She'll examine the skills gaps highlighted by the research and discuss how media literacy initiatives can help to address these."
Ort Argentina virtual campus project: a case study about information and media literacy in K12/compulsory education. (Guillermo Lutzky, Professor, Virtual Campus CEO, ORT Argentina ORT.)
I'll be blogging about it in due course.

Also on Wednesday I shall be giving a free Information Seminar in the Exhibition area called
Supporting Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs Today, which will about our innovative curriculum for Business students at University of Bedfordshire where I work.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Information Literacy and Web 2.0 for scientists

There is an important collection of articles in a special issue of "Issues in Science and Technology Libraarianship" Fall 2008, which you can access freely!

An Undergraduate Science Information Literacy Tutorial in a Web 2.0 World
by Jeanine Marie Scaramozzino, California Polytechnic State University
"In order to engage students in a Web 2.0 world, the tutorial has evolved to incorporate interactivity, graphics, and self-assessment. " Very interesting article, showing how active techniques, including YouTube videos were employed.
Chat Widgets for Science Libraries
by John J. Meier, The Pennsylvania State University
Making Research Guides More Useful and More Well Used
by Michal Strutin, Santa Clara University
Podcasting the Sciences: A Practical Overview
by Eugene Barsky and Kevin Lindstrom, University of British Columbia
Web 2.0 as catalyst : Virtually reaching out to users and connecting them to Library resources and services, by Norah Xiao, University of Southern California.
Demonstrates use of Web 2.0 tools to improve outreach to chemistry.students.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Why did we write this book?

Long time ago Jo Parker and I recorded a little audio file about the genesis of this book and intended to do a series of podcasts featuring all the contributors! Here., at last, are our dulcet tones...

As this series develops I shall collect them all on the left of the front page of the blog.

Head Hunting?

This is my take on getting our heads together.

Glasgow ,Kelvingrove Museum...

Monday, 17 November 2008

Digital Consumer - Our Customers of the Future

This was the title of the CILIP ISG one day event at CILIP HQ in London on 13th November,where I was invited to speak. Ian Rowlands spoke first about the "Information Behaviour of the Researchers of the Future". Having quoted his work so many times it was great to hear him speak for over an hour about the findings of the research at University College London.I loved the analogies he made with eating radishes : are they really hot now, or have our perception of how hot they are changed? Was Len Hutton a better batsman than Geoff Boycott? How can we be objective when viewing different generations? I am sure that I have tended to overestimate the differences between generations, and the CIBER report has indeed pushed aside many myths about the "Google generation". So there is much more continuation with past generations and difference is more about individuals. There is a group in the Google generation age group who are digital dissidents. It was interesting to hear him say that libraries do not give clear enough maps of their e services, compared to a supermarket. He challenged me really to choose between redesigning the systems or redesigning the users.
I then presented "Using Web 2.0 to help the Millennials" which is on SlideShare.
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: information literacy)

In the afternoon Clive Izard and Roderic Parker from British Library updated us on initiatives taken there. I was particularly stunned by the quality and adaptability of the Online Gallery Turning the Pages versions of famous books.

Juanita Foster-Jones then told us about "Beyond Google" the new Information Literacy course TU120 at Open University. One of the lecturers there who took the course said " I refer to it constantly and have done all sorts with my students online and at day schools. That course changed my life! :-) and this is no exaggeration...All my students are delicious'ing away now".
I felt it was a very informative day and thanks should go to ISG for arranging it.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Penguins and pixels: virtual world users

I am still hosting discussions regularly on Infolit iSchool in Second Life (SL), the virtual world. The users of the main grid of Second Life have to be over 18, and quite a lot of them are a good deal older than that. That has led to discussions about whether, since SL does not seen to be drawing in lots of young people, librarians in the education sector should be ignoring it.

I think a different perspective on this was provided by Jackie Marsh (Jackie Darkstone in RL) a Professor in the School of Education here at Sheffield University. 10 days ago she gave a talk on Out of school play in online virtual worlds and the implications for literacy learning (6th November 2008). She has done research looking at how young children are using virtual worlds, particularly Club Penguin (which is a world specifically for young children, where they are penguins and have igloos). About half of the children she surveyed were using a virtual world, with Club Penguin and Barbie World most popular. As with social networking sites like Facebook, people were mostly communicating with people they knew already. When the time came to leave they were moving on to teen worlds like Habbo Hotel. In about 6 years these club penguiners will be hitting university ...
Jackie observed that the children did seem able to find the information they wanted for their virtual lives (her focus is literacy, rather than information literacy). She was speaking in chat, and the chatlog is here: She also has a blog, Digital Beginnings, at

Last week, another speaker, Robin Ashford (a librarian from the USA, Robin Mochi in SL) led a discussion about the Academic librarian in Second Life. She was speaking, and other people were using text chat: there is a transcript of the chat here : Robin recently did a presentation at a conference in SL and her powerpoint is here:

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tips about Learning Styles

The Art of Learning Better: 101 Tips to Find and Fit Your Learning Style, by Heather Johnson is an excellent list for all of us who teach.
"Here are a few tips to help you start improving your learning experience by helping make it work a little better with your needs, whether you’re a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner."

Teacher Training Videos

Sheila Webber has already posted about this series, but I cannot resist mentioning them too! Looks a very useful resource for us to become more acquainted with the tools.
Russell Stannard was awarded the Times Higher award for "Oustanding Initiative in ICT" sponsored by Jisc.
Teacher Training Videos were created for teachers to help them to incorporate technology into their teaching. Just click and a video will open and take you through how to use that technology.
Includes easy podcasting ; using Audacity ; presenting with flickr ; how to use Blogger ; Simple mind mapping tool ; Second Life ; On-line surveys ; RSS feeds ; All about YouTube ; How to use BlackBoard ; How to use delicious ; how to use and make wikis ; how to use iTunes to get podcasts.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

For flickr fans

60+ tools to enhance your flickr experience, from
" Flickr is more than a normal image management website. It’s a source of creativity, a pilgrimage of natural beauty, a fun and interesting place for inspiration too (at least for us).
If you’re a Flickr regular user like us, we believe you can explore Flickr in a better way with below quality tools which based on Flickr API. Here’s 60+ tools to enhance your Flickr experience."
Includes downloaders and uploaders, search engines, slide show and gallery makers, and many miscellaneous tools.
Orchids in Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Screencasting for libraries

There was a very useful post by iLibrarian recently featuring many resources which will help you get started making instructional videos for your library. Includes articles, presentations, podcasts, blogs, wikis, software, workshop handouts, and link s to examples. Fantastic.

How to master screencasts in seven steps by Torley, may also interest those who are more techie.

Gaming and learning

"Gaming and learning :winning information literacy collaboration" by Marsha Spiegelman and Richard Glass. C&RL News, October 2008Vol. 69, No. 9. Interesting and inventive collaboration between faculty and librarian using innovation Web 2.0 tools for a maths class.

"Academic librarians have embraced Web 2.0 technology as the engine of change. We post and poke, friend and follow to maintain relevancy in the new millennium. These applications help us organize our materials, engage our users, and enhance internal functions. Information literacy (IL), once the driving force in academic libraries, has been moved to a side rail in the process. At the same time, gaming has begun to gain mainstream acceptance in academia because today’s students are team players who thrive on the interactive nature of social networking and use games as “social/socializing activity.”1 In this collaboration Marsha Spiegelman, instruction librarian, and Richard Glass, math/computer science classroom professor, sought to get IL back on track by integrating games and Web 2.0 tools into IL instruction. "

Does Library instruction matter to students?

Lauren Pressley in Lauren's Library Blog put her finger on a central point that I have often thought about.

Are your classes showing :

"Information literacy as how to do library research, information literacy as how to navigate the larger information environment, or information literacy as both?"

She then did a little survey : here are the results from those who replied :

13% Information literacy as doing library research
27% Information literacy as navigating the larger information environment
60% Information literacy as a combination of both

Wonder what you think?

It would be great to get some feedback? Is anyone alive out there? Who's still telling them about the library? Who's trying to make them into librarians?

Search Cube search engine

Judy O'Connell drew this new search engine to my attention.
Search-cube is a visual search engine that presents web search results in a unique, three-dimensional cube interface. It shows previews of up to ninety-six websites, videos and images at once.
I agree it's quite fun, and can be used to draw attention to different facets of a topic visually.

List of Information Literacy diagnostic questions

Mark Hepworth has compiled a useful list of questions here which could be used to diagnose how information literate your students are.

Here are some samples :

I type in the whole title of an article or book to find it.
I can narrow my search by searching for phrases using “ “
If a book is on the reading list and seems relevant I read it from cover to cover.
I constantly adapt, change and refine my search strategy while searching.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Using Google My Maps

Mikael Jacobsen writes in the Library Journal (16/10/08) "Librarians use online mapping services such as Google Maps, MapQuest, Yahoo Maps and others to check traffic conditions, find local businesses, and provide directions. However, few libraries are using one of Google Maps most outstanding applications, My Maps, for the creation of enhanced and interactive multimedia maps. My Maps is a simple and free means of adding valuable content to any library web site." Article tells about innovative uses of My Maps at Franklin County Public Library.

Thre is also an interesting screencast tutorial.

Web 2.0 in US schools

A post in the AASL (American Association of School Libraries)blog suggests Web 2.0 tools are gaining in popularity in schools.
"These findings are exciting because they signal the timely, if not prescient, nature of the Standards for the 21st Century Learner. Even a year ago, Web 2.0 tools in schools were less widespread, and so was the need for standards that spoke directly to the role of the school library not only in fostering information literacy and knowledge management. The Standards support a library in which students take responsibility for discovering lifelong curiosity and powerful communication in addition to locating, using, and making sense of information."

Use of the tools is still in the early stages and shows four levels of influence that produce digital divides derived from access, skill, policy and motivation. Very interesting diagram emphasises this. Worth investigation.

ECAR study 2008 on Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

This important longitudinal study (yearly from 2004 to 2008) has appeared again. It is US- based and draws on massive quantitative data and also has a special section on student participation in social networking sites.
This year they asked 3 questions on Information Literacy, derived from the ACRL standards. Surprise surprise 79.5% gave themselves glowing reports on their ability to "use the internet effectively and efficiently to search for information" , with half saying they were "very skilled and another third saying they were "experts. About half also said they were "very skilled" or "expert" at 2evaluating the reliability and credibility of online sources of information" or "understanding the ethical and legal issues surrounding the access and use of digital information."
As the report continues the "potential gap between actual and perceived skills and literacy is important to understand and factor into strategies for teaching and learning at the institution".

On social networking : 85.2% now use SNSs.. Half of these users now integrate SNSs into their academic life for communicating with classmates about course-related matters, but only 5.5% use them for communication to tutors about academic matters.No consensus on whether SNSs should be exclusive realm of students. Guess this gives some support for libraries to link into SLSs, with caution!

Blogs: strategy and deviance

Came across a post in NewTechnologiesInterestGroup's weblog referring to Georgina Payne's chapter in our book on use of blogs at University of Northampton. Food for tought, as he says...

Fantastic guide to finding and using images safely!

I cannot overpraise the new image search tutorial "Internet for Image Searching"from intute and TASI. At last we have an easy place to go to find out about how to find images for our own use, to recommend to academics and for use by project students. The pros and cons of using search engine collections are explored along with specialist sites and the implications of Creative Commons licences. I shall be looking at this site in detail myself, for good advice and to keep abreast of the many subject collections available for use. Perhaps I should start a favourite site of the month : this would be it!

Using Wikipedia for IL

There's a great post on Burning Windows by a young librarian in the Tennessee Valley, who was enthused by Anne-Marie Deitering's article about use of Wikipedia.(see chapter 7 of our book).In particular the author enthuses about browsing, collaboration and discovery and likes to get away from the "wretched demo comes to mind here in which the instructor stands like a statue at the front of the classroom while students sleep or talk to their friends". Bravo!

Plagiarism : a shocker and some good advice

This little video on YouTube has been highlighted many times : just in case you haven't seen it : features a new younger plagiariser who seems so unaware of how exposed she is by posting this video.

Sheila Webber blogged about some resources called Acknowledgement from Monash University for helping teachers combat plagiarism, particularly by students from different nataionalities. May be of interest to some librarians who are working on this angle to promote Information Literacy.

Bridging Worlds Conference, Singapore, 16-17 October

It was a great experience to be invited to speak at the recent "Bridging Worlds Conference" organised by the National Library of Singapore. Unfortunately it was at a really busy time and I have been recovering ever since! Still catching up with e-mails and mounds of Information Literacy teaching back at base in University of Bedfordshire (12 hours last week and 18 hours the week before...)So that's the excuse for not posting for so long!
Memories of the Conference ? the great people I met, the food and the hospitality. But the climate was so hot and clammy - not the place for me to live. It was good to meet Kathryn Greenhill from Fremantle, Australia, (who I'd met electronically) and she has blogged about the Conference here.
My presentation "Information Literacy and Web 2.0 : is it just hype?" is on Slideshare here.

Shall post more about the conference soon.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

History - coming to a phone near you!

Michael Arrington writes about a new interface for delivering history information through World History. I am going to enjoy the reaction of history teachers to this product! if only because they will have to fast-track their 21st century understanding of how students 'source' their history information :-)

Even if it is drawing content from Wikipedia, as Michael suggests, the fact that the company is also developing an iPhone application highlights the fact that change it taking place under our very noses in a pretty significant way! The critical point is the way that information literacy needs to be tackled is becoming more and more urgent with the immersiveness of digital sources of information.

It seams the product is still in private beta, but the idea is that you will use the map to find a location you are interested in and see historical events that occurred there visually. Even set a date range and see just the events during those years. For more information, check out the demo videos here.

Friday, 24 October 2008


Those of you who contributed to the book will know that whilst Peter and I were writing and editing, I was working on another major project, namely "Baby 2.0"!

Sam arrived in June, and he, along with his big sister, have been keeping me very busy ever since. I can see that I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on.

What I have been musing on of late is the potential of information literacy on the move e.g. via mobile devices. Being particularly time poor, and having to snatch a moment online, wherever and whenever - usually on an iPhone, usually for no more than 6 minutes at a time - is a pretty regular pattern for me at the moment. I'm sure many others must be in a similar position. There was a conference last year at The Open University on mobile libraries (library services via mobile technology, rather than libraries on wheels...) at which Peter and I ran a workshop on information literacy via mobiles - details of the conference proceedings here.

Attached is a picture of baby 2.0, who shows no signs as yet of being information literate, but it's early days!

Monday, 20 October 2008

WILU 2009 Conference | Montreal, Canada | Call for Papers

Several months ago, Peter was gracious to post a first call for papers for the WILU 2009 conference to be held May 25-27, 2009 at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. I'd like to post a second call for papers for this conference.

The conference theme of "Reflections" may resonate with many of you who are using social media to deepen the reflective work of your pedagogical practice.

WILU 2009
38th Annual Workshop on Instruction in Library Use
38e Atelier annuel sur la formation documentaire

Université Concordia University
Montréal, Québec, Canada
May 25-27, 2009 / 25-27 mai 2009

Submission deadline: Monday, December 8, 2008
Date limite pour soumettre une proposition : le lundi 8 décembre 2008

Conference theme: Reflections

We welcome papers that present variations on reflections, a word that signifies different aspects of our information literacy work and experience.

More at:

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Information Literacy in Second Life

As well as continuing the discussion series in Second Life, the virtual world, I have had two sessions (last week and the week before) starting to develop a 3D build of information literacy, using the SCONUL 7 Pillars framework.

People came up with some good ideas, and there is something there already. It is a very busy time at the moment, so there probably won't be much change over the next couple of weeks. There is information on the ideas behind it, and some thoughts so far, at

If you visit Second Life, then do drop by Infolit iSchool (our island) and take a look.
Judy O'Connell dropped in and blogged about it here too.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Tapping into media at Denver Public Library

This article features experiences of public librarians At Denver PL taking their online presence to the next level with audio and video. I have to blog about this because of all the public libraries I have ever seen, this was the most memorable.It's not just the fabulous building and the go-ahead services : it's the heavenly (to me) special collection of Western Americana.
Back to Web 2.0 : they are adding cutting edge and popular video and audio to their physical collections. THe article draws attention to the fact that on the web the lines of media are merging. Journals, newspapers are using audio and video on their web sites. Boulder PL has podcasts created by teenagers. Denver plan a YouTube channel for all their video content.

Podcasting in New Zealand

Angela Jowitt has written an informative article about use and devlopment of podcasts for instruction in academic libraries in New Zealand. (Jowitt, J.(2008) Perceptions and usage of library instructional podcasts by staff and students at New Zealnd's Universal College of Learning(UCOL). Reference Services Review 36(3) 312-336 Available via Emerald. Concludes podcasts do provide benefits for library instruction. This is reached via a rigourous survey at UCOL featuring 6 podcasts including accessing the Library catalogue; searching the library catalogue; My Account on library catalogue; and orientation tours.

Just trying out my new blogger status, so I 'll try to look sensible....for a bit.
Was trying to enclose a River Thames shot..

this could be it.. this is Wallingford.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Guides to Screencasting

For those who haven't seen it already, Elyssa Kroski has come up with a great set of links to introduce screencasting. This is likely to be the future : technology which we can employ to show a process to our users. As it gets easier, we shall use it more, and by its visual character, it should better engage our users.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Web Search Strategies in Plain English

This latest video from Common Craft "Web Search Strategies in Plain English" is just great! Librarians may even think it will do them out of a job!! It gives tips on ways to conduct effective search engine queries including phrase searching, keyword searching, and implied Boolean operators. I shall certainly use it. Maybe won't work so well if you don't like it and see what I mean!

Is Hakia the answer?

The search engine Hakia has been around a few years but only now has it become developed enough for serious consideration. It claims to be the Semantic search engine dedicated to quality.
"Today's search engines bring popular results via statistical ranking methods. Popular results are not always quality results, and the searchers suffer in many ways ranging from wasted search time to using misleading information."
Results on Hakia are based on sentence analysis rather than keywords (e.g. Google). You can enter a question, phrase or keywords.
On Sept.22, 2008 – Hakia put out "an open call to librarians and information professionals to participate in a new program to unlock credible and free Web resources to Web searchers.
Librarians and information professionals can suggest URLs leading to the most credible Websites on a given topic. Hakia will process the sites with its proprietary QDEX (Query Detection and Extraction) technology and make them available to Web searchers in credibility-stamped search results. Each month hakia will give away thank-you prizes, ranging from a book donation to two conference grants, to participants. "

Haven't had time to try it out much, but initial impression is that it's an interesting alternative to Google, especially as accoona has just folded. Could it be used with students on topics getting them to search Google and hakia and comparing their results? Maybe I'll try that.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Information Literacy and Schools

Take a look at "Educational practices and information literacy : where's the synergy?" in the latest Library & Information Update (Oct.2008). Are teaching practices which filter out flawed material on the web overprotecting children and preventing them from developing the skills they need to develop if they are to become information literate? What can be done about the low profile of IL in teacher training?
Remember the CIBER report said that HE students got into bad searching habits in schools and, by implication, this ought to be addressed.

Monday, 29 September 2008

David Warlick and the 21st Century Information Landscape

Came across this excellent YouTube in which David Warlick summarises his November 2007 Alaska School Boards Association presentation in November 2007, about the 21st century literacy landscape: it rings a lot of Information Literacy bells. In only 9 minutes he manages to get across the core of his presentation.Terrific.

David Warlick is the president of the Landmark Project, a consulting firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. His website receives more than ten million visits a month from educators accessing some of the most popular teacher tools available on the Internet. He is author of three books on instructional technology and 21st century literacy.

Monday, 22 September 2008

50 ways & Pew reports

A post from Chris Brogan on 50 ways to improve your blog (a personal or business-related blog is implied, but a lot would apply to library blogs). There's also a couple of new Pew Internet reports out: on US teens' use of computer games ( and of use of cloud computing (creating/storing content out there on the web) "Some 69% of online Americans use webmail services, store data online, or use software programs such as word processing applications whose functionality is located on the web" (

Monday, 15 September 2008

Web 2.0 potential and issues

I did a presentation, at last Friday's Caught in the Web seminar organised by ARLIS, which is embedded below. I also updated the Netvibes page that I had created in July. The Netvibes page has links etc. about social networking particularly and also about Web 2.0 in general:

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Some great Library videos with Music!

Jonny Dailey has created some great short introductory videos. They use Vimey, which I haven't come across before. Reminded me slightly of FAME type students (the New York performing arts TV show not that database). Also reminded me of the wonderful breakfast we once had in a diner in Broadway, New York where the waiters sang to us. Finally it also reminded me that when I got bored of delivering the Library stuff at large inductions I sometimes used to sing the words from the last slide. It always got a clap.
But these kids are really good. I enjoyed it and might even use it with some of my groups.

Jonny says of the first one :

My friends and I were asked to create 3 videos for my college library. Here is #1.This is a music video with simplicity in mind. When we show it around campus, and to other schools, many people find it catchy. The remaining videos will be posted as they are created.We wrote and produced the song on a Sunday afternoon using a very cheap microphone and some good 'ol imagination. The video was shot in one day on campus."

And of the 3rd one :

"This is the last in 3 music videos that tie into educational resources found at my college library".

Time to Listen

Time to Listen is a powerful little film about Web generation students (particularly schools)

"Our students live in a global, digital world that many of us could never have imagined. A world that has been transformed and will continue to be, in part, due to technology. Of course, societies have always been in a constant state of transformation due to human ingenuity, but I bet we can all agree that the pace and scope of transformation is accelerating due to the technologies surrounding us. Many of today’s students are most comfortable using laptops, instant messaging, chat rooms, and cell phones to connect to friends, family, and persons with knowledge or content they desire in local communities and around the globe. Given the speed at which change is occurring, we must listen to our students and act to meet them where they want to learn. By The Way, they do want us to listen. Watch and see…."

Be sure and watch all the way to the end!

Experiences of using Web 2.0 in Information Literacy

Before I set up this blog I considered using a wiki for collecting information on how Web 2.0 was being used in our Information Literacy interventions. I doubted whether anyone would add their stuff to a wiki, so I went for a blog. I am sure that out there many of us are trying out the various tools and it would be great to hear about this. Why not put a comment after this post or e-mail me

Here are two recent blog posts which draw on the experiences in our book :

Kim Ranger (Reflections of a Quaker Librarian) writes here of experiences using a wiki and flickr inspired by Cameron Hoffman's session at WILU in May 2007.

An academic librarian (Burning Windows) in the Tennessee Valley writes of first experiences using flickr in helping understanding of keywords.

100 awesome classroom videos

Alisa Miller has compiled a useful collection of 100 videos under headings like arts. PE, education and technology, special needs, creative techniques, videos made by students : most applicable to school librarians.

Go delizzy with delicious

Delizzy may be useful to you as an index for all your content in delicious. Phil Bradley drew attention to this recently. Personally I find the search facility on delicious satisfactory, but if you don't try delizzy!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Web 2.0 & the faculty

Alison McNab noted this item in College & Research Libraries news: Taking Web 2.0 to the faculty by Sarah Faye Cohen.

Information Literate in Second Life

Information Literate in Second Life was the title of a presentation I did at the Creating Knowledge conference in Finland last month: this is the link to the poerpoint on Slideshare (and that's me in SL on the title slide):

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Virtual things

Virtualenquiry is "the website for the UK Virtual Enquiry project. We're looking at how instant messaging software is being used in today's University and College Libraries as a support and communication tool" They are funded by SLIC (Scottish Libraries and Information Council) and partnered by Carnegie College and Napier University. The site is newish and at the moment they have a survey about virtual enquiries that they'd like people to complete.

Continuing the virtual theme, the Second Life (SL) Educators conference is taking place in Tampa this week. I'm giving a paper Using first and second life to develop inquiry skills in the freshman year at a UK university: a happy blend? - but in the virtual parallel conference being held in Second Life itself. At the main conference there are a couple of papers about librarians experiences/role in SL. The conference wiki is at and there are likely to be full papers up in due course.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Collaborative Information Literacy Assessments

Chapter proposals are being sought for a book entitled "Collaborative Information Literacy Assessments", to be published in 2009 by Neal-Schuman Publishers. This book will include chapters co-authored by librarian and faculty teams about successful information literacy assessment initiatives in a variety of disciplines. Chapters need to be co-authored by a librarian and a faculty member.
This book will be co-edited by Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D., Associate Dean at the Center for Distance Learning at Empire State College, SUNY and Trudi E. Jacobson, M.L.S., Head of User Education Programs, University Libraries at the University at Albany, SUNY.
Please send proposals of 1-2 pages to Tom Mackey at no later than October 17, 2008. Chapter selections will be made and authors notified by November 10, 2008. First drafts of the completed chapters (25-30 pages) will be due on January 30, 2009. Final drafts will be due by April 20, 2009. If you have any questions about proposal ideas or about the book please contact Tom Mackey via email.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Testing, Swimming and Searching in Scandinavia

Have found out about three online Information Literacy packages on the web from Scandinavia. You may get some good ideas from them and also be able to use parts of them, as they have English versions available.

Library Test is from Syddansk University, Denmark. It claims to be able to tell you in 10 minutes how good you are at finding information, and help you to improve. I didn't get all the answers right in the modules I tried (maybe I shouldn't have been listening to Bach at the time..) but multi-choice questions and answers are often ambiguous, but with the right group it could lead to a good discussion. May try it out next term.

SWIM (Streaming Web-based information modules) from Aarlborg University is very impressive. I only had time so far to watch a video clip where 3 students were discussing how to start their research and I was like a fourth member, wondering how to contribute. Very powerful. Must look at again.

Search and Write from University of Bergen : aims to help students who writing a thesis or assignment and need good tips on how to find relevant literature.

Using screencasts in Information Literacy

Andrew Eynon's Library blog (for FE) contained a useful post this week about how video can be used for supporting Information Literacy. While I would disagree that YouTube doesn't contain much material for this already, his descripton of what he is doing at Colleg Llandrillo Cymru using Moviemaker is very interesting. It has inspired me this week to create a vodcast for some of our overseas MBA students, utilising Audacity for the soundtrack and Moviemaker for the slides, and will be housed in the course Blackboard site. If I create more general ones (and they are OK!) I will put them on YouTube as Andrew suggests.

Flickr Storm

Take a look at this! It makes using images from flickr in your presentations so much quicker and easier! And you can limit to Creative Commons images.
With this post I have now passed the 100 mark on this blog! I hope there have been items which have helped you. I hope some have amused you too!

Beyond Google : developing training

Martin De Saulles (University of Brighton) and Jackie Chelin (University of the West of England) have produced a HEA-ICS funded project 10 minute video titled: “Beyond Google: Developing Training Skills for Library and Information Students in Their Work With the Google Generation”. It outlines, through interviews with academics, librarians and students, some of the issues surrounding how students use the Internet as a research tool. It offers suggestions for developing and delivering training sessions for end users to help them look beyond mainstream Internet search engines and to explore subscription-based databases.

There are some good quotes in the student and academic staff interviews, e.g.a savvy student saying she looked for the links at the end of Wikipedia articles. Much of the advice would have applied to teaching students "before Google" (e.g.plan ahead, align to an assignment) and I would have liked more about ways of employing wikis, blogs, video material from YouTube, podcasts etc.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Sofia 2008

There is a panel on information literacy and Web 2.0 (with four speakers) at the Sofia 2008 conference being held in Bulgaria in November 2008: there are some other presentations on information literacy too. For more information (including informative abstracts) go to

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

WILU Conference, Montreal, May 2009

Cameron Hoffman (one of our contributors)has asked me to post this first call for papers :

WILU 2009
38th Annual Workshop on Instruction in Library Use 38e Atelier annuel sur la formation documentaire
Université Concordia University
Montréal, Québec, Canada

May 25-27, 2009 / 25-27 mai 2009

Submission deadline: Monday, December 8, 2008 Date limite pour soumettre une proposition : le lundi 8 décembre 2008

Conference theme: Reflections
We welcome papers that present variations on reflections, a word that signifies different aspects of our information literacy work and experience.

Podcast : Beyond the Google Generation - next steps

This interesting 14 minute podcast follows up the Rowlands report.The "Google Generation" made a major impact when it was published in January of this year. In this podcast interview one of its authors Ian Rowlands of University College London talks to Philip Pothen from JISC about some of the implications of the report, while Rachel Bruce, JISC programme director, gives her views on the report and possible next steps.
In the podcast Ian suggests that academics should retreat from the old standard declamatory teaching methods, relax and make it more fun. Librarians can assist. Totally agree with this and Web 2.0 tools can help. He believes we do not know enough about user behaviour : they are not homogenous, and we should seek segmented data so we understand better the contexts in which they use Google. In one sense, future user behaviour is predictable : they expect one click solutions and we must make our library systems simpler.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Information Literacy gets a logo!

I've just heard from Sheila Webber that the winner of the information literacy logo contest was announced yesterday, at the UNESCO session of the IFLA World Library and Information conference. The winner was from young Cuban designer Edgar Luy Perez, based in Havana. Here is more information about the logo and the designer.
The logo could become regognised internationally, as more people use it. It can be downloaded in various formats.
The contest was supported by UNESCO and IFLA (International Federation of
Library Associations and Institutions) and masterminded by Jesus Lau. There
were 198 different logos submitted by 139 participants from 36 countries, with
11 judges representing different regions of the world.
Let's hope that this helps to get the message across that IL is really important in the 21st century!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Do you trust Wikipedia?

Some researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz have created WikiTrust for evaluating every word on Wikipedia. It highlights text added by authors according to their past editing reputation. It works with a cached copy of Wikipedia so is not totally up to date. "Suspect" text gets deeper and deeper orange highlighting. It is an interesting idea, and may well be developed further and applied to other wikis. Could be useful in teaching students about Wikipedia and exposing more questionable parts and how entries are built up.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Evaluation, evaluation, evaluation

Remember what Tony Blair said ("education, education, education")! I have been saying for several years that evaluation is the key part of Information Literacy in the 21st century. Michael Lorenzen and Stephanie Mathson have an article in the new issue of College and Undergraduate Libraries 15 (1/2) (2008) on critical thinking, entitled "We Won't Be Fooled Again: Teaching Critical Thinking via Evaluation of Hoax and Historical Revisionist Websites in a Library Credit Course." It's not electronic so I look forward to reading it via print.
In addition Kathryn Greenhill posted "Discovery skills versus evaluation skills" recently and eloquently made the case for evaluation. She writes :
"What I have a hard time imagining is *how* to design a series of information literacy classes to bridge the gap between uncritically using Google and a thorough intellectual assessment of scholarly resources. How do we break it into small, engaging components that build on each other to give those critical thinking skills? It is much easier to teach students the mechanics of searching, of discovery.
Is it encroaching on what academics should be doing as part of their course? Should schools have already taught them this by the time they set foot in our libraries? It’s definitely beyond our traditional brief, but given that we no longer have a monopoly on the best discovery tools, is it time we sold the library as a place that has value because there are smart people who can give you personalised help to evaluate your information needs and the resources you find?"

Let's use Web 2.0 tools to help us crack this.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Why not try TeacherTube?

TeacherTube collects the more educational short videos which you might be able to use in your teaching.
2 thrive in the 21st century is very short but might kust be useful for provoking discussion.

Be Cybersmart ! Researching the internet wisely. Joyce Valenza, the well-known schools champion for Information Literacy, gives a very good introduction to why it is so important in schools.

Did you know - information literacy for nurses. Although American may be useful to show why so important in era of evidence-based practice.

21st century library : a vision of what should be. What the school liubrary could aspire toward.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Delicious gets a face lift

After hearing rumours over past weeks about delicious (the leading social bookmarking service) being revamped, today it has appeared!
Looks much cleaner and may be easier for new users to manage. In particular your main display page of most recent bookmarks is much clearer and the tag list on the right focuses on your Top 10 tags, followed by an alphabetical list, with options to display by tag cloud etc. Read/Write Web, have given it a seal of approval after an initial test run. If you were thinking of using something else or changing, stick with delicious. Incidentally the URL is going to become delicious from now on...

100 unbelievably useful reference sites you've never heard of

Thanks to Laura Milligan (Teaching we have a list of 101 reference sites to share. Headings include dictionaries; teacher references ; Librarian references ; Fun references ; health care ; student references ; niche sites ; search engines ; consumer rearch and news sites.

Ten social networking tips for librarians

LibrarianinBlack has posted a superb list of tips to which I must draw attention . She says :
"Part of Library 2.0 is social software, and as more and more libraries put themselves out there on social networks it becomes increasingly important that we do so in a way that works well for ourselves and for our users. How can we best take advantage of thsee community building tools?"
See here for the 10 tips

New pics on flickr

Following the success of Library of Congress images on the flickr The Commons project, there have been some more additions from The Smithsonian Institution, Brooklyn Museum, George Eastman House, and other historical collections.

How the Google generation thinks differently

"Digital-age kids process information differently from parents. Catherine O'Brien (Times Online July 9, 2008) admits misjudging how her son was learning".Ultimately she does not decry the way her son seems to learn. She says "as a digital immigrant, my mind has baseline skills in concentration, contemplation and knowledge construction. My fear - and the reason why I wrested my son's laptop away from him - is that the acquisition of those skills is being lost in the twitch-speed of our new Web 2.0 world".She then quotes a response from Brian Kelly. Overall it's quite an interesting little article and emphasises the need for parents and teachers to realise they need to help the Web generation to reflect and evaluate. I would add that librarians should play a key role here too.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Teaching Boolean search with peanut butter

While getting together a list of YouTube videos to help with my teaching I came across a gem called "What the heck is Boolean searching?" from Hunter Library, West Carolina University. Fancy seeing Boolean explained using peanut butter, strawberry or fig jelly sandwiches, delivered with a superb Southern drawl? And when she comes to searches using brackets (or parentheses) bananas come into the "equation" too... It's quite a cute idea (messy too). However, it IS memorable and Tony Buzan ("Use your head") in his memory techniques always recommended use of very strong images, tastes, or associations. This is particuarly strong for me as peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches are one of the most awful tastes I have ever had!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Walk with Google Maps

Recently I had a week in Dorset walking : hot, beautiful, but 6 miles in Dorset feel like 14 miles anywhere else, because it's up and down and twisty. Now I shall be able to take advantage of Google Maps latest beta : walking directions. I've had a quick look for my own town and it works pretty well. This could be nifty for getting students round our convoluted campuses one day : especially when they manage to make this available on the new iPhone. It'll come...

Knol, Google's answer to Wikipedia?

Google have announced Knol, a collection of authoritative articles, written by a community of experts. After having a quick look at it, and reading comments from other bloggers, it is a site to watch in future, but not of immediate interest. The content is naturally very limited and much of this is medical. Despite the naming of authors, sometimes with credentials, it is hard to see the articles having sufficient authority to be recommendable. Maybe a student class could be given an assignment to compare an article between Knol, Wikipedia and Britannica in due course.

For more comment see ReadWrite Web.

Saviing Student Brian : Induction Orientation at UK

Filmed partially in Second Life, this library orientation video on YouTube shows how UK Libraries helped Brian. Makes a change form those tours dragging unwilling freshers around the building..matbe its a bit long though. Worth a look though for ideas.

Kids' Reading skills

There's a debate (see New York Times : "Literacy debate R U really reading?" in the United States at present about whether kids read as their parents used to, and whether the Web is having a beneficial or pernicious effect. As Will Ricahardson says in Weblogg-ed
"As teenagers’ scores on standardized reading tests have declined or stagnated, some argue that the hours spent prowling the Internet are the enemy of reading — diminishing literacy, wrecking attention spans and destroying a precious common culture that exists only through the reading of books.
But others say the Internet has created a new kind of reading, one that schools and society should not discount. The Web inspires a teenager like Nadia, who might otherwise spend most of her leisure time watching television, to read and write."
Should kids be taught to read online? Will Richardson thinks we do need to help them to navigate online reading sources and get a balance between print and digital. School librarians have a role here I would suggest. Surely there is huge richness in the content of the Web, fantastic opportunity for making connections, but at the same time the need to be able to read and comprehend a complex argument or follow a long narrative are skills which will need to be retained and fostered.

Pew Report on Writing by Teens

"Even though teens are heavily embedded in a tech-rich world, they do not believe that communication over the internet or text messaging is writing."
April 2008 PewReport on Writing, Technology and Teens.

Here are the Summary Findings at a Glance:

-Even though teens are heavily embedded in a tech-rich world, they do not believe that communication over the internet or text messaging is writing.
-The impact of technology on writing is hardly a frivolous issue because most believe that good writing is important to teens’ future success.
-Teens are motivated to write by relevant topics, high expectations, an interested audience and opportunities to write creatively.
-Writing for school is a nearly every-day activity for teens, but most assignments are short.
-Teens believe that the writing instruction they receive in school could be improved.
-Non-school writing, while less common than school writing, is still widespread among teens.
-Multi-channel teens and gadget owners do not write any more -- or less -- than their counterparts, but bloggers are more prolific.
-Teens more often write by hand for both out-of-school writing and school work.
-As tech-savvy as they are, teens do not believe that writing with computers makes a big difference in the quality of their writing.
-Parents are generally more positive than their teen children about the effect of computers and textbased communication tools on their child’s writing.
-Teens enjoy non-school writing, and to a lesser extent, the writing they do for school.

Source: Lenhart, Amanda; Arafeh, Sousan; Smith, Aaron and Rankin Macgill, Alexandra. Writing, Technology and Teens, Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, April 24, 2008.

LOEX 2009 and gems of the past

The 39th National Conference "Blazing Trails to Information Literacy" is being launched for Alberqerque, New Mexico, 30 April-2 May 2009 (with cowboy poster, which I like...)
Perhaps of more use to us now is the really useful collection to links to presentations from previous Conferences.
Here are some examples from 2008 :

Wiki-ing Your Way into Collaborative Learning (Molly Beestrum, Systems Librarian, Dominican University,Kenneth Orenic, Instruction/Reference Librarian, Dominican University),
iTour: How We Stuffed 6 Floors of Milner Library Into the Palm of You Hand (Sean Walton, Instructional Asst. Professor, Milner Library - Illinois State University),
Library Instruction and Student Engagement in the Age of Google (William H. Weare, Jr., Access Services Librarian, Valparaiso University, Michelle Kowalsky, Adjunct Professor and Reference Librarian, William Paterson University)
“Why Does Google Scholar Sometimes Ask for Money?” Leveraging the Economics of Information and Scholarly Communication Processes to Enrich Instruction
Scott Warren, Associate Director, Textiles Library and Engineering Services, North Carolina State University Libraries , Kim Duckett, Principal Librarian for Digital Technologies and Learning, North Carolina State University Libraries) This last presentation is a gem.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Information Literacy and Social Networking resources

In the past week I have created a couple of resources. The first is a Pageflakes page on Information Literacy with relevant feeds from blogs and some other resources (e.g. a couple of journals and discussion lists). This is at I am aiming to keep this resource up-to-date.
The second is a set of pages on Netvibes on social networking tools that I created for workshops I ran yesterday for the ARLIS conference in Liverpool. Again there are mostly links to resources and feeds, but also some little explanatory notes and a few embedded items. This resource is at (n.b. no slash at the end). There is a general page, plus a page each on microblogging, Facebook etc, and virtual worlds.
Comparing the two applications: Netvibes seems to have more scope in allowing you to embed a wider range of items e.g. HTML, so that for example I could embed a Google Lively room in a Netvibes page. In Netvibes you have Private and Public pages - something I didn't notice to start with, which resulted in a moment of blind panic when I realised I had created this resource "privately" and might have to recreate it publically.
However you can actually publish pages from private to public with one click, making it a useful feature: you can work on a page and just reveal it when ready. An oddity (I think) is that some features are only available in one view or another - boomarks only in private and HTML strings only in public. I think that Netvibes will offer memore scope in the future for use in teaching and learning (compared with Pageflakes), although I might end up with a confusingly large number of tabbed pages if I use it a lot.


Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

I tried it with the content of this blog. Go into Wordle and then follow the instructions. Lots of alternative coloured layouts will be offered. Pick the one you want, save it and then paste the code into where you require it. Could be useful for web sites, presentations.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Web 2.0 papers from the World Library and Information Conference

I was trawling through the programme of the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) for information literacy papers for my infolit blog (see my blog post at
for those links) and came across some Web 2.0 items of interest. WLIC presenters provide full text papers which are mounted on the IFLA website, often in more than one language. This has built up to a valuable resource, as this is the most international of library conferences. The 2008 papers are all linked from one very long "Programme" page and although the conference is next month many papers are already there, including these ones.

Using web 2.0 in the Australian parliaments: the dream and reality, by Roxanne Missingham, Parliamentary Librarian, Australian Parliamentary Library

One of a number of papers about using virtual worlds for reference services is:
Gimmick or groundbreaking? Canadian academic libraries using chat reference in multi-user virtual environments by Amy Buckland and Krista Godfrey (McMaster University Library, Hamilton, Canada)

Also there are a number of papers in the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning session "Emerging technologies in libraries – continuing professional development and workplace learning implications and applications" , namely:

Using web 2.0 technologies to develop a sense of community for emerging LIS Professoinals by Bob Glass (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Platforms for real-time collaborative learning for practising librarians: using blogs, wikis and e-mailing by Wun Han Chow (National Library of Singapore, Singapore)

Developing new skills and expertise to support digital scholarship and scholarly communication by Brian Rosenblum (University Kansas, Lawrence, USA)

Friday, 11 July 2008

Online presence in 2008

Michelle McLean posted about this recently. " There’s been a lot of discussion about what social software people are using, people stopping blogging and some restarting and more. In the light of this, I thought it was about time I sorted out all the myriad of thoughts and ideas that are going around my head and totally confuse you about it too."
She continues "I have been exploring lots of social software online in the past 3 years or so and I think I am finally settling into a few selected ones that I am enjoying. "

I thought I would share my experiences : they are similar in many ways to Michelle.
I tried Library 2.0 on Ning too but dont really use it.
I found Linkedin inappropriate and Facebook is the place I use for social networking.
I could not exist without delicious : its where I store my book marks everyday and is invaluable offcampus.
I ought to do more with my LibraryThing account (like Michelle) and thought of adding all the books I read (for pleasure you understand too). I used to do this kind of thing as a teenager on paper but my enthusiasm was never shared so that is the great change enabled by these tools.
I use flickr and YouTube as a source for teaching and presentations. Wikipedia is amazing and I enjoy teaching with it, and one day contributing to it..
I dont Twitter, but have it on my list to try along with FriedFeed. Trouble with these things could be that you dont have time to actually do anything because you are all the time online ..... yes its the sharing side that justifies it, I know.
This blog takes a good while - choosing content - and developing the bells and whistles. Like Michelle I havent read Clay Shirky's "Here comes everybody". It has been on the shelf a while. Job for the summer vac.
Remember the Milk has been a great help sorting out my time and I wish I'd used it as a manager - much better than those illegible paper lists that had to be re-written again and again.
Pageflakes (thanks to PhilBradley's enthusiam) suits me very well as a home page. I ought to use Slideshare more, and have usually relied on the Conference and workshop organisers to put my presentations on their site, which is much more hidden.
There are more sites I have signed up for, maybe ought to use, but for some reason have not. The exciting thing is that I can still change my mind, or just choose the new tools that come along.

Disruptive Scholarship ; an idea whose time has come

Gerry McKiernan's presentation last month at the International Plagiarism Conference in Newcastle (UK) can be viewed. As he says "In this presentation, we will review the Read/Write Traditions of the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences; analyze key Past / Present / Future Participatory Technologies; and explore the potential of Web 2.0 for creating/fostering Disruptive Learning / Scholarship / Teaching in the 21st century." The 152 slides contain some interesting connections between the way material has and may be re-used in the future across a variety of disciplines. Just as the stones of Hadrian's Wall have been re-used (just like our Roman buildings in the tower St Albans Abbey!) so will words and ideas be re-used. The slides about wikis and wikipedia are to me the most useful, and wikis could become "highly appropriate for sholarly communication if scholars trust one another and are collaborating onthe text...,and security and rollback mechanisms are in place."(David Mattison).There are examples of Wikipedia school and University projects. Finally there are lots of mock tag clouds at the end of the presentation to reinforce the message.

Mind the skills gap : Information-handling for Researchers : the RIN report

This report by Research Information Network looks at how researchers in HE acquire the appropriate skills to discover and handle information resources and services, the training opportunities offered for them and the take-up. Unsurprisingly they uncovered patchy, uncoordinated provision with insufficient evidence of potential audience size or take-up. Library involvement was significant but often uncoordinated with other University training. There was a mismatch between the terms and content librarians and researchers thought appropriate. Librarians were often unclear of the paramenters of their role, and there were few examples of strategic application to researchers' training at institutional or faculty level. Attempts to bring researchers up to date with Web 2.0 services had met with "at best mixed success." More worrying, library input tended to focus on information seeking, citation of sources and library services, with much less emphasis on evaluation, organising, managing, transforming or communicating information , or copyright and open access. The latter are key areas in 2008 - the Web 2.0 world : librarians have a duty and opportunity here.
RIN will be consulting with Research Council UK , Vitae, RLUK , SCONUL and other relevant bodies. I hope that librarians will make a forceful contribution by widening their commitment, and increasing the scope of their contribution to ensure researchers have the information skills appropriate in the 21st century.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Snapshot of Second Life in UK HE and FE

John Kirriemuir (one of our authors) has continued his investigations into take-up of SL in the UK. His May 2008 Eduserv report is now available.
To the question : Has your institution’s library taken an interest/role in developing in SL? most survey respondents either gave no reply to this question, or a negative one. About half of those who gave a non-negative reply indicated that their institutions library was interested, but not actively developing.

There was a phrase he picked up somewhere : "It was that librarians going on Second Life is like the geography teacher at the school disco!" Librarians trying to be where th students are. The criteria for him must be derived from some construction of what higher education is about; "so, in brief, how does Second Life contribute to the acquisition of metacognitive skills? And, if it does, does it also simultaneously undermine that process, through a combination of reduction of attention span and rational constructive capacity, and a disregard for truth in an environment in which the imagination, pretence, and wishful thinking tend to become the predominant norms?"

Solutions for doing your subject guides

Free and open source options for creating database-driven subject guides, by Edward M.Corrado and Kathryn A. Frederick is a detailed article on options libraries have for updating subject pages. These can be a major prop for IL support so this article may save you some time if you are loioking into this.

ticTOCS take the pain out of RSS

An article in the recent SCONUL Newsletter drew my attention to the JISC ticTOCs project. This uses a single entry point where academics can apply for RSS feeds to their chosen journal TOCS (table of contents)from a variety of publishers, negating the need to make applications to individual publishers. Inspired by an idea from Roddy MacLeod of Heriot-Watt University, it is really useful for serious researchers, and a great use of Web 2.0 technology. Prototype site now available for use.

Using your byte...IL skills for dental health students

Using your byte: a collaborative approach to evaluating improvement in information literacy skills using Web 2.0 technologies for dental and oral health students: a pilot study by Nicola Foxlee, and Pauline Ford at University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. The Liaison Librarian and first year Course Coordinators investigated ways to evaluate the information literacy skills of first year dental and oral health students.Instruction tailored to a specific assignment task was supported by an electronic assignment guide. Course tools on Blackboard, a virtual learning environment were trialled to reinforce the face-to-face instruction, deliver the e-guide, and to enable small group collaborative activity and evaluation of skills improvement.

Awful pun, pity there isnt more detail to get my teeth into, but an interesting project, which would be interesting to follow up and might have been a candidate for the book.

Open University as Web 2.0 trend-setter

Brian Kelly posted on his UKWebFocus about OU's portfolio of Web 2.0 services and drew attention to their early presence on YouTube, iTunes, Twitter and OpenLearn.

"Why would you use words on the screen when they do just fine in your mouth?"

David Jakes and Dean Shareski wish more Powerpoint presenters would remember these wise words by Seth Godin. Edublogs contains a superb short summary of this presentation indicating how teachers should get their students to do Powerpoints. Get rid of those bullet points! Really insightful article which might make you think how you do your next presentation.

Google goes into Second Life

Google have announced their Google Lively vitual world, available through a browser plugin via Firefox and Internet Explorer. Unlike Second Life it is not a single world but splits off different worlds into separate rooms. Using a Google account you can create avatars and interact with others as in Second Life. You can YouTube clips on virtual creens and share photos. Opinions vary as to its quality and where it is leading. See article in ReadWriteWeb, where one of the comments suggests they are aiming at the educational market. As John Major used to say "It's too early to say : we shall have to wait and see".

Librarian loses it about Dewey!!

I enjoyed this one too (Librarian lays down the law) - I think we've all been there sometime and maybe I could use this as a trigger to talk about how books are shelved.

Librarian Song

Thanks to Library Videos, the best of blog, I enjoyed this one. As Joe Uveges sings "you showed it to me, did it with me, smiled so happily when I could do it myself!". Now that's Information Literacy!

100 Awesome Youtube Vids for Librarians

Laura Milligan has done a great job collecting together this super list of 100 videos. It's split into categories like Using databases ; Academic librarians ; Librarians and technology ; Outreach and special program ideas ; Skits and cartoons ; Library etiquette ; Spreading the good news ; Digging through archives and public records ; Reading campaigns ; Library tools ; Just for laughs ; Showing some librarians and libraries some love. You've guessed it - I've been looking at the fun ones -"Angry Librarian" is a good training tool for showing an annoying patron and help desk librarian. Mr. Bean in the Library makes me wince.

A really useful list which we can use for inspiration for next year's IL classes...