Saturday, 24 May 2008

Expanding Information Literacy Using Tools in Second Life

The next discussion in the virtual world Second Life on Infolit iSchool is on Thurs 29th May. You need a Second Life avatar to participate.

12 noon SL time (which is *8pm UK time*), **Thurs 29th May** "Expanding Information Literacy Using In-World Tools" [inworld = in Second Life], venue is: Infolit iSchool (45, 202,22), SLURL (web address to jump straight to the venue, only works if you have the Second Life viewer installed)

Robin Mochi (a librarian from the USA) leads this discussion. "Free in-world tools, such as Sloog and the Salamander HUD, can be used to take information literacy to the next level. Librarians often supply links to quality websites, with these tools we can share the best in-world resources. We will discuss other possibilities for expanding information literacy in-world, and a tool will be available for all to add to your inventory."

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Our BSc Information Management first year students presented their project posters yesterday, the results of small-scale studies. A couple of the groups were looking at Facebook. One group asked other information management students about their use of Facebook. Interestingly, 40% were not concerned about who could access their profile, and a similar number were not concerned about employers accessing their profiles (looking at comments from respondents it seems like a few people were thinking about the issues more after doing the questionnaire!). However it seemed some were restricting access to profiles or putting in minimal information.

Another group was investigating whether sports groups at Sheffield University used Facebook. Basically the small one (tennis) didn't, and of the larger groups (rugby and football) one didn't think Facebook was useful and had created its own website and the other did use a Facebook group: it would be interesting to investigate "why" a bit more closely. I have put up the posters on the sky platform on our Second Life island (Infolit iSchool) so you can look at them inworld if you have an avatar - that's what's in the picture. There are also posters about e.g. students' use of library resources.

Library 2.0 You?

This is an event from CILIP UC&R SouthWest: Library 2.0 You? Experiences of Web 2.0 in the library environment, taking place in Bristol, University of the West of England, UK, on 26th June 2008. Speakers: Kara Jones (University of Bath) - blogs, wikis and podcasts; Ian Tilsed (University of Exeter) - Facebook and the library catalogue; a speaker from the University of Plymouth - Second Life and virtual environments; Wendy Haynes (University of Wolverhampton) - Instant messaging
For more info contact

Monday, 19 May 2008

Google generation, Web 2.0, social networking and University students

There is a good current article by Philip Kent "Enticing the Google generation : Web 2.0, social networking and University students"based on a presentation at the recent IATUL (International Association of Technological University Libraries) Conference in Auckland, NZ. He draws on recent Pew surveys and the CIBER report to attempt a balanced view on how University libraries might respond. In his own library (Victoria University, Australia) this includes the Encore interface for the Innovative LMS. He is strong on the problems of privacy control and the role of universities. More worrying for IL, he repeats the CIBER concern (and repeated elsewhere) that it may be too late to affect student behaviour in HE and that it is a job for the school sector. In the UK this is surely
impactical and it would be better to emphasise that the need for HE librarians to find fresh active ways to reach their students, through active learning and use of Web 2.0 tools where helpful.

Marketing to teens

There was an article in School Library Journal (1/5/08) by Anastasia Goodstien "What would Madison Avenue do : marketing to teens". Discussion includes : teens are multitaskers ; teens prefer byte-sized entertainment ; teens expect content on demand ; teens want to participate ; don't try too hard to be cool ; know your audience. It's a quick summary of how Generation Y use social media, like blogs, social networking sites, virtual worlds, and podcasts, written by the founder of a blog about youth culture for media and marketing pros.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Networked Learning Conference

I would like to draw your attention to this recent Conference, held in Greece this year, at which a number of interesting papers were given relating to Web 2.0 and student learning.
Jane Secker (who wrote one of our chapters) blogs enthusiastically about it here. Issues include Web 2.0 and copyright, Facebook and privacy, and ICT skills needed for Second Life. Jane and Gwynneth have put their presentation "Vitual Libraries as virtual learning spaces" on Slideshare here.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Having fun doing a Webinar!

Recently I was invited by RSC London to do a presentation called "Information Literacy : making it happen". To my surprise I discovered it was going to be a Webinar delivered live on the Web using Wimba Classroom! A"Classroom" was booked by RSC London on the Wimba site for the specific timeslot and invitations went out to interested parties to point their browser at the site at the relevant time. Headphones were obligatory, and microphone optional. I presented the Powerpoint at 2.15 and at intervals invited spoken or written chat responses. It is certainly a different experience speaking online and it is only when the chat appears on the screen or the participants speak that it really comes to life. It became quite lively and was an enjoyable experience and I look forward to experimenting with it here at University of Bedfordshsire as it can integrate with Blackboard.

LOEX 2008

This was held May 1-3 at Oak Brook, Illinois. As usual there look to have been some really interesting presentations, which supplement our book very well!
The official site is gathering in the Powerpoints. Here are a few which I noticed :

When the World Grows Smaller: Renewing Your Instruction Methods for International Students Using the Cephalonian Method : Merinda Kaye Hensley, Instructional Services Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Wiki-ing Your Way into Collaborative Learning Molly Beestrum, Systems Librarian, Dominican University, Kenneth Orenic, Instruction/Reference Librarian, Dominican University.

cn u hlp? Collaborative Chat Reference and Instruction Kenneth Furuta, Reference/Information Technology Librarian, Rivera Library, University of California, Riverside
Gayatri Singh, Reference and Information Services Coordinator, Social Sciences & Humanities Library, University of California, San Diego.

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.

Research 2.0: Research Blogs as Windows of Opportunity Olivia Reinauer, Social Sciences Librarian, University of Richmond, Terry Dolson, Faculty Development Specialist, University of Richmond.

“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.

There's really interesting material here. For a good summary of some of the presentations see the post on Please Be Quiet blog.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Web 2.0 and library education

Hi, this is my debut posting on this blog. I wrote the chapter on developing library and information professionals for web 2.0, in the Information literacy meets library 2.0 book, and so I will be posting comments/ news particularly relevant to that theme. My main blog is the Information Literacy weblog and my Second Life avatar also has a blog (which is pretty sad, I know).

I thought it was worth noting that Dr Helen Partridge has won a prestigious Carrick Associate Fellowship. Helen works with library and information management programmes at Queensland University of Technology (QUT)management students up-to-date with the latest web technologies. 'The library and information world has been greatly impacted by Web 2.0 technology,' Dr Partridge said 'You can't turn around anywhere without hearing someone talk about their blog or Myspace page. My goal is to produce students who are not only leaders but innovators in Web 2.0.' "

Obviously that's a goal with my students too, so I shall follow this with interest. I am planning to visit Australia for 2 conferences this summer, and I hope to meet up with Helen, so I will report back on any discussions in this. That's a bit of QUT you can see behind the trees in the photo: rather more exotic than the average UK campus.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Free poster designs to share

Library 2.0 is about sharing. Thanks to LibrarianInBlack blog I came across this series of posters produced by Iowa State Library. They are pdf and designed to be usable by just about any library, with strong colour images and good quotes, so no need to customise. Might just be useful for public librasries or training rooms.

Information Literacy meets Library 2.0 Workshop

There are still a few places available on the workshop which Jane Secker and I are organising at LSE on 3 July 2008.

SCONUL Working Group for Information Literacy in conjunction with CILIP CSG Information Literacy group and LSE Centre for Learning Technology
Thursday 3rd July, Room H102 (and S169), London School of Economics, Connaught House
10.00 - 4.15 pm
10am onwards: Registration & Coffee (in H102)
10.25 Introductions
10:30 Information literacy and Library 2.0 (PG and JS) (H102)
An overview covering recent practice using blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts and social networking.
Followed by time for discussion
11.05 Room transfer to S169 / Distribute computer logins
11.15 RSS and reading blogs (KR and JS) (S169)
Workshop session to explore how RSS connects you to blogs and can revolutionise your communication.
12:00 Creating a blog and best practice (ML) (S169)
Workshop session helping you to get started and tips for using them in your Information Literacy interventions.
12:45 Buffet Lunch (H102)
13:45 Wikipedia and information literacy (PG) (H102)
Creative ways of using Wikipedia in your teaching.
14:30 You tube / Flickr and Slideshare (PG +JS ) (S169)
Workshop session on good practice in the use of these visual Web 2.0 tools in your teaching and CPD.
15:15 Social bookmarking (PG +JS) (S169)
Workshop session on using for your own bookmarks and your teaching.
16:00 Feedback
16.15 Session closes
To book a place contact Peter Godwin ( for the Booking form. The event costs £30 including lunch and refreshments. Bookings are on a first come, first served basis.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Virtual Reference survey using instant messaging

One of the book's contributors Anne-Marie Deitering is conducting a brief survey on virtual reference services. Below is the description and link.
Do you provide reference assistance using instant messaging and/or integrated virtual reference software? If so, please consider completing our survey gathering information for a study on librarians' attitudes towards instruction during virtual reference transactions. This survey is anonymous and should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Results will be used to improve virtual reference services and will be distributed via conference presentations and publication. We will collect responses for 2 weeks, from April 21 through May 5. The survey website can be found at:


This wiki called WebTools4u2use was created for school library media specialists by Dr. Donna Baumbach and Dr. Judy Lee, University of Central Florida. The purpose was to provide information about some of the new web-based tools (Web 2.0) and how they could be used and were being used by school library media specialists and their students and teachers. This is neat use of a wiki and may be really useful for the links and experience that has been collect6ed so far.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Where I've been going wrong all these years??

I know it's not much to do with Information Literacy, but I know this post has travelled around the blogs a good deal and I want to share it with you : I tried it with my colleagues here and no-one has spoken to me since, so I hope it doesn't have a similar effect on you...
17 Unbeatable Ways to Create a Peaceful, Relaxed Workday may be the way to take the stress out of your day! Don't like the idea of an early morning run or bath though (playing the piano suits me better - maybe not my wife...), single-tasking (ha!), taking breaks and stretching (good idea) and mini-meditations...

Boolean for students??

Boolify is a project site aimed at helping school pupils understand and use Boolean searching. The visual interface builds like a jigsaw. It's worth taking a look. Could help students to understand number of search results retrieved, due to the terms they've used and connected together. Results come via the Google "Safe Search STRICT" technology. Thanks to Judy O'Connell for drawing it to my attention.

Not just Google

Here are some other search engines which I have come across in recent days :
Sputtr - gather all your favourite serach engines on one page. Easy to customise and simple design.
Search Crystal - lets you search and compare multiple engines in one place.It is a search visualization tool that enables you to compare, remix and share results from the best web, image, video, blog, tagging, news engines, flickr images or RSS feeds.
You can embed searchCrystal as a widget on your site or blog to share personalized crystals, or use it to find out what is popular on Wikipedia or use the search analytics toolbox in your browser as a powerful competitive intelligence tool. A searchCrystal application is also available in Facebook.
Intelways - used to be called CrossEngine and is a one-stop online search service, a convenient and fast way to search for (almost) anything on the web, through its comprehensive set of search channels organized into different categories.