Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Goggle vision : using electronic resources

Goggle Vision - using electronic resources from University of Liverpool is a really useful little video for introducing the concept of going beyond Google! Here's the accompanyiong blurb :
Are search engines giving you a headache? The University of Liverpool has a great collection of e-resources. This film from 1925 was eerily accurate in its description of life in the future. Visuals by Clare Dooley, Peter Robinson and Jeff Woods. Music by Nick Botfield

Demonstrates that there is material out there can be shared and used! That's one of the things that this blog is about!

Next Gen Libraries

Next Gen Libraries is a brilliant presentation which Elyssa Kroski gave at Online Conference in London 2 December. Unfortunately I was only able to attend the first and last days and had to be back at base for a QAA visitation panel, but have been able to see and hear the presentation as below. It only takes about 18 minutes and I thoroughly recommend it for an overview of what makes a Library next-gen.Here are the divisions of the presentation :
• Innovative
• Forward‐thinking
• Embracing new technology
• Engaging patrons “where they live”
• Librarians are agents of change
• Part of a global community

Friday, 11 December 2009

Bad news for Librarians?

How College students seek information in the Digital Age ; the latest progress report from Project Informatin Literacy by Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg has been released.
It contains the findings from a survey of 2318 students across 6 campuses in the USA in spring 2009. It's well worth skimming through as they have found a deal of consistency across campuses in their findings. I am just pulling out a few findings :

"Librarians were tremendously underutilized by students" 80% reported rarely or ever turning to librarians for help with assignments. I believe that previous research has shown similar lack of contact with librarians. Do we overvalue our importance? I still believe that we should be pushing our service as personal. This is where Web 2.0 can help us to communicate and brand more easily. There is no mention of Web 2.0 in this report : perhaps this will figure in later sections.
Later on in the recommendations attention is drawn to the narrow view students showed of librarian services and "for the most part, librarians were left out of the student workflow, despite librarins' vast trainingt and expertise in finding information". Again depressing but I expect we have all read similar before!

They used a Library guide to conducting course-related research from Cornell, which is widely used elsewhere as a framework for how students may research. They found that there was wide divergence between this approach and that used by students. The propensity of using Google early on as opposed to later for example. I was surprised that they did not refer to this disconnect in their recommendations and suggest that it is better for librarians to be more laid back and inclusive about Google ; encourage efficient searching (as far as possible!), Google Scholar ; use search techniques learnt and the need to search the hidden web that Google doesnt cover ; then perhaps even appreciate the extra search capabilities of some databases.

They recommend librarians ask how and why services and resources are used rather than how often. Then we might find out why they are not being used. Reminds me of when I asked 200 plus students in a lecture theatre whether they had used Business Source Premier yet and if not why not! The answers were not comforting.

Picture is of me helping students in our Business PODs in University of Bedfordshire.

Implications of Web 2.0 for academic libraries

Brian McManus from Washington State University has written about the implications of Web 2.0 for academic libraries in the Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Libraries.
Here is the abstract :

"New technologies are impacting the daily work of academic libraries and librarians more and more, with Web 2.0 services at the forefront. Many academic libraries in the United States are beginning to leverage the power of these services to provide better and more relevant services to their patrons. They are doing so by integrating Web 2.0 services into their web presence, library instruction programs, and reference services. The implementation of these services have huge implications for how libraries now and in the future will stay relevant to their communities and how they will face the next generation of new information technology."

Contains details of initiatives at Wake Forest University Z. Smith Reynolds Library in use of Web 2.0 for IL instruction.

Monday, 7 December 2009

From Library 2.0 to Library 3D – Participatory Libraries of Today

Event in the virtual world, Second Life.
When: Monday 14 December 2009, 8am-9am SL time (for times elsewhere see http://tinyurl.com/yff6e96 )
Where: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/127/244/21/
You need a SL avatar and the SL browser to participate

Kim Zwiers (Kim Holmberg in RL) "Researcher, lecturer, entrepreneur" from Abo Akademi, Finland will give a presentation (in voice) and lead a discussion (in text chat).
See http://kimholmberg.fi/tag/library-2-0/
and: Holmberg, K. (2009) "What is Library 2.0?" Journal of Documentation, 65 (4),

The picture is from the event held on December 7th Information services for learners in Second Life (featuring the IS Cream van): see the chatlog of this 7 Dec event at http://sleeds.org/chatlog/?c=2119

Friday, 13 November 2009

Researchers of Tomorrow (who use Google)

Here is the summary report about the interim findings of the first year of the Researchers of Tomorrow (British Library/JISC) study. A survey went out earlier this year and over 6500 doctoral students replied. Here is are some findings:
  • Time pressures are a significant constraint for most respondents, both full-time and part‐time.
  • More Generation Y than older scholars are likely to be working from officespace, laboratory or studio in their own institution, rather than working from their own home.
  • • About half of the respondents have been usefully trained in, for instance, finding and using subject‐based bibliographical and journal resources, andfinding research resources beyond their own institution.
  • Far fewer respondents, however, have received any training in using more advanced technology‐based research resources and tools such as research methods, finding and using online datasets or working in virtualresearch environments.
  • Only a small proportion of respondents in any age group say they use ‘emergent technology’ (e.g. Web 2.0 applications) in their research, although those that do generally find it valuable.
  • In a snapshot of information‐seeking and research activity, the majority of doctoral students were looking for text‐based and secondary, published research resources, rather than primary research resources (e.g. data to analyse or original manuscript sources).
  • Google and Google Scholar are dominant as the main source used by doctoral students of all ages to find the information they require.
It's an important report and well worth following up. I was disappointed to see the low use of Web 2.0. Here is an opening for librarians to assist - showing that Web 2.0 can assist with result retrieval and saving time.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Information Overload is the Devil

If you haven't seen this great presentation from Librarian in Black then here it is! She believes that we do struggle to keep up and control the amount of stuff that we try to read. As I sit here at home in the evening doing this post I am quite sure that she is so right! Why am I not playing the piano, watching tv or a host of other more healthy things? It's because it's so hard to find the time (no, schedule the time) and be disciplined. Do take a look at this - I will take note myself too!

Google Wave

I'm not one of the lucky ones who have been invited to try this out, so I have an open mind as to its importance.Here is an Educause 7 Things You Should Know About Google Wave.
The abstract says :
"Google Wave is a web-based application that represents a rethinking of electronic communication. Users create online spaces called “waves,” which include multiple discrete messages and components that constitute a running, conversational document. Users access waves through the web, resulting in a model of communication in which rather than sending separate copies of multiple messages to different people, the content resides in a single space. Wave offers a compelling platform for personal learning environments because it provides a single location for collecting information from diverse sources while accommodating a variety of formats, and it makes interactive coursework a possibility for nontechnical students. Wave challenges us to reevaluate how communication is done, stored, and shared between two or more people."

Wikipedia YouTube and Information Literacy

Been meaning to blog about this presentation on Slideshare by Esther Grassian for some time. It's from Sept. 2008 and I even notice that the Powerpoint background and some of the images are some of the same that I have used! So we have a lot in common. The message that Wikipedia YouTube and Google are not enough is of course a common one for us all to be giving out.There are some ideas on how to leverage Wikipedia so that students realise how it is created and the effort involved in doing this. There are examples of other Tubes and titles for use.
I look forward to "speaking" with Esther if all goes according to plan in the Second Life event on Friday that Sheila Webber blooged about earlier this week.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Catalogue of our dreams?

Chronicle of Higher Education contained an article "After Losing Users in Catalogs, Libraries Find Better Search Software" showing that some US libraries are spending large sums investing in new catalogues using web scale index searching which could combat Google. Not a field that I have looked into yet, but seems to be a step up from federated searching. Will this help our IL interventions?

Susan L. Gibbons, vice provost and dean of the River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester, summed up the discussion in an e-mail to The Chronicle:

"The commentary shows the all-too-common divide within libraries about information literacy. Some pine for the good old days when students had no choice but to come to the physical library and be forced to learn the idiosyncrasies of mastering a research tool, such as journal indices and the power of Library of Congress subject headings. Personally, I think libraries have gone from being in a monopolistic to a competitive marketplace for information; and that marketplace shift requires different thinking about services. I am of the opinion that libraries should do everything they can to lower the barrier of entry. Nothing should stand in the way of a student entering some search terms and discovering good resources. Once the student has entered into the (virtually or physically) library, then the rich complexities can be revealed."

ECAR Study 2009

The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and IT 2009 has been released.This longitudinal study is an important gauge of how student opinion and practice in the US.Based on responses from 115 instututions and 30,616 responses this year it has some credibility! There was an emphasis on handheld devices this year too.
They note that some sets of student beliefs and adoption patterns re. technology remain the same, even as technology races forward. They adopt technology at varying speeds, which means that the technology leaders "can provide a glimpse into what higher education can expect".
Use of Social networking sites (SNS)and texting has surged and instant messaging has declined.
Use of SNS 2006-2009 has trebled for the 30-39s and quadrupled for 40+
Use of Web 2.0 technologies, as in previous years, is not necessarily for academic reasons.
80% rate themselves very confident in their abaility to search the internet effectively and efficiently.Lower figures for evaluating reliability and credibility and ethical and legal issues, but still high. Technology innovators and early adopters rank their IL skills higher than other students.
51.2% had an internet capable handheld device, but 35.4% of these said they never use the feature.
Only 11.3% said they used mobiles for course-related work.
There is evidence of a revolution in progress as a quarter of respondents this year say they are using mobiles weekly or more to access the internet. As access costs come down this could increased dramatically . EDUCAUSE article The revolution no one noticed : mobile phones and multimobile services in HE by Alan Livingstone is well worth reading.
Despite all this there is a clear demand for personal interaction "real books and people" and this supports the agument that librarians should concentrate on personal branding and personal service.

100 ways you should be using Facebook in your classroom

Online College have come up with a great list of 100 ways to use Facebook. They say "Teachers can utilize Facebook for class projects, for enhancing communication, and for engaging students in a manner that might not be entirely possible in traditional classroom settings. Read on to learn how you can be using Facebook in your classroom, no matter if you are a professor, student, working online, or showing up in person for class."

Sunday, 8 November 2009

9-15 Nov: Information Literacy Week in Second Life

This week is Information Literacy Week in Second Life. You will be able to participate if you have a SL avatar and have the SL browser installed on your computer. The website for the event is at http://infolit-week-in-SL.ning.com/ and that is where the full schedule is. There are contributions from the USA, Colombia and the UK. Since it is exactly on the subject of this blog, I will pick out just one event:

Information Literacy Panel: "Web 2.0 Approaches to IL"
Noon SLT (8pm in UK, for other times see
Information Literacy Panel produced by MLIS students at the University of Hawaii. Moderator: (Alexandria Knight) Esther Grassian, UCLA
Panelists: (Sheila Yoshikawa) Sheila Webber, U. Sheffield, Marsha Schnirring (Buk Binder); Robin Ashford, George Fox University (Robin Mochi)
Location: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ALA%20Island/56/191/28

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Use of Wikipedia : and how students procrastinate

Just reading Sheila Webber's latest post about new short videos made by the Project Information Literacy I cannot resist drawing attention to them too. The debate about use of Wikipedia is a non-debate to me, (they will use it anyway and why not - its often a good starting place, but NOT the end place)and the video does make a number of good points which could be useful to show to groups of your students.
The procrastination video could be a good warning to groups of students - information overload, time management, waiting for guidance from academics etc.
Here is the link to these videos.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Information Literacy week in Second Life

As Peter Blogged IL awareness month in the USA, I will add that, following on from this, there is an Information Literacy Week in the virtual world of Second Life, 9-15th November 2009. There is a ning website for the week: http://infolit-week-in-sl.ning.com/ and events already lined up by a Columbian information literate (in Spanish), and by the Association of College and Research Libraries. My own students will be exhibiting their solutions to swine flu information problems on 3D models of the SCONUL 7 Pillars of information literacy.

Information Literacy Month in the USA

How about this? President Obama has signed off a Proclamation that October 2009 is National Information Literacy Awareness Month! Can we imagine Gordon Brown (or David Cameron) doing this? If not whynot !! We still have a long way to go to raise awareness and lobby about IL.
One way we could start is by using the agreed interbational logo for IL wherever we can.
Have we used it in our teaching? Our presentations?

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Integrating Social Media as Authoritative Information into Research Pathfinders

Don't be put off by the title : this is an extremely good post from Unquiet Librarian drawing attention to the value of the social Web 2.0 media as valuable sources of information.
Just take a look at the Netvibes page created for the Iran election.
In fact it's following up one of the strands in our book.
POdcasts, blogs, twitter, video, and Google Map.
"By using both traditional and emerging sources of authoritative information, we can provide our students a broader menu of information sources for exploration and to ignite learning through research."

Twitter in the classroom

Blog post from blog.classroomteacher.ca telling the story of classroom use of twitter in school in Ontario demonstrating how the world communicates now, and how it can be used in the classroom as a collaboration tool. Concludes with plus, minor and interesting points.

Here's an excerpt

"Twitter is a neat “little” collaboration tool. You could create individual or group Twitter accounts for your students. A class account follows all of the students so we get a live feed of ideas which you can then project using a data projector.

It’s kind of like using classroom clickers (i.e. SMART student response system), but instead of being limited to multiple-choice answers or numerical responses, you’re texting in short messages. In the computer lab, you could ask a question in response to a text (printed or media) and have students respond on Twitter."

Information Literacy flickr group

Sheila Webber has started a flickr group for Information Literacy.
It will be interesting to see what kind of photos get deposited! I can remember doing Google searches for images for information literacy over the years and getting very little except conference pictures and occasionaly enthusiastic librarians.We do need good images to promote information literacy. I used to use the Beloit College image with the cut away head .

What we need are some imaginative images which we could use to illustrate information literacy e.g.the maze at Hampton Court?
Some time ago there was a discussion on lis-infoliteracy from Mark Hepworth about images around which teaching IL could be based : mapping the information landscape ; cooking metaphor - what ingredients do you need? ; sporty readers where they have to describe their research habits in terms of a sport e.g/a fly fisher dips in ; information as part of the environment - can be polluted or degraded etc.
I know that a number of presenters use large pictures to illustrate concepts in their Powerpoints, this could be the place to put the images. Perhaps we should have an annual prize....
Please dont look at me to populate the site over the next few weeks though!

Worried about your privacy on Facebook?

Take a look at 10 solid Tips To Safeguard Your Facebook Privacy, from makeuseofit.com.
1. Organize Friends to lists
2.Customise profile privacy
3.Set Facebook privacy level of Photo albums
4.Restrict search visibility
5.Control automatic wallposts and news feed updates
6.Set Facebook wall privacy
7.Avoid appearing in adverts
8.Protect yourself against Friends' applications
9.Privacy from your applications
10.When quitting Facebook for good

Transliteracy : take a walk on the wild side

I can thoroughly recommend Susie Andretta's recent paper at IFLA "Transliteracy : take a walk on the wild side".
"In this paper we explore the concept of ‘transliteracy’ which according to Professor Thomas offers “a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the 21st Century [including] the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks”. Currently transliteracy is primarily the domain of Communication and Cultural Studies and this paper aims to position transliteracy in the professional domain of ‘practising’ librarians and within the remit of the library world. ..... Examples of transliteracy practice by information professionals will provide evidence that libraries are already meeting the challenges of transliteracy by crossing the divide between printed, digital and virtual worlds to address the constantly changing needs of the learners they support."
She concludes with interesting interviews with leading practitioners Michael Stephens,Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois (Tame the Web blog) ; Bernardette Daly SwansonReference, Instruction and Outreach Librarian, UC Davis Medical Center ; Sue Jennings, Outreach Librarian for the Lancashire Care NHS (National Health Service) Foundation Trust Library and Information Service ; Marja Kingma - Collection Manager, Collection Manager for Science, Technology and Medicine at the British Library.

Web 2.0 : what comes next

Web 2.o : what comes next, is a post on Make-it-known blog created for a graduate level class at University of Alberta EDESA 501 Web 2.0 for libraries. It is a good summary post drawing on some standard articles. Useful links and references : might help save someone some time.

Blogs v twitter

Looking at the list of number of posts I havent been posting so much lately. I know it's been the summer sillly season as I call it, but that is not the whole story. I follow over 30 blogs and the posts are getting less.
Surely twitter has a lot to do with this. It so easy to do a quick post on twitter with a URL. THis is especially true now that delicious has made it easy to add a twitter post. I reckon it might take me a couple of minutes to do a twitter post as opposed to at least 10 to do a blog post. Of course the latter gives me the chance to give more detail, quote, or comment so I shall continue to use both and choose my blog posts from the more meaty items I come across.

Guide to using clickers or PRS

Knowing that the use of clickers (Personal Response Systems) is a hot topic I thought this list of resources from Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at University of British Columbia is worth highlighting. Includes a downloadable Clicker resource guide.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What is Library 2.0?

Almost exactly a year ago I posted a blog saying that Helen Partridge, at Queensland University of Technology, had been awarded funding to look at Library 2.0 in library and information Education. For a while there has been a blog associated with this project: the LIS Education 2.0 project http://liseducation.wordpress.com/
It has postings every week or so, and is an interesting one to follow, I think.

Amongst other things, it alerted me to an article that came out a couple of months ago:
Holmberg, K. et al. (2009) "What is Library 2.0?" Journal of Documentation, 65 (4), 668-681.
They come up with a definition from the study that they did, namely:
"Library 2.0 is a change in interaction between users and libraries in a new culture of
participation catalysed by social web technologies." (p677)
This puts the focus on the interaction rather than the library, the technology or the users.

Monday, 28 September 2009

A new review of our book!

Monica Blake provides a review of our book, Information Literacy meets Library 2.0, in the latest edition of Library and Information Research (Volume 33 Number 104, 2009)
You can find it at http://www.lirg.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/view/118/202

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Delicious links to Twitter

You can now opt to send a bookmark on delicious to twitter. This could be a powerful way of sharing quickly. When filling in the details on the delicious proforma an option to do this is offered. My first experience of this mirrored many of my other experiences of using a new (to me) service : kick it and swear a few times and eventually it works for you.
Perhaps I was unlucky but I shall keep trying this as it is potentially a time-saver.
Anybody else any experience of this?

Monday, 21 September 2009

You Tube - a new tool for Information Literacy

After a long holiday break in Bavaria I am back! Takes a few days to read all those hundreds of e-mails, blog posts and catch up! Ugh!

Just came across a really useful and inspiring presentation from Dana Dukic in Hong Kong about the use of YouTube. After a background summary of YOuTube it highlights how YouTube is being used in some Libraries. In particular it cites University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Z Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University;Cornell University ; UCLA ; Bob Baker's Info Literacy Channel, Pima Community College, Tucson ; Paul Robeson Library Channel at Rutgers University ; University of South Florida ; Georgia Tech. "YouTube - a goldmine for library instruction videos". Really glad to see someone else saying that! When and if I get time, one day I will write an article along these lines.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Al and Pete's Search Tips

Finally got round to putting three videos I made here with my friend and colleague Alan Bullimore here at University of Bedfordshire on YouTube, with the help of our Learning Technology department.

They are all short and are intended to get students to contrast journals with magazines ; Google with databases ; and newspaper tabloids with broadsheets. Very happy for anyone to use if they feel the urge!
Maybe we should make some more one day but right now I'm going on vacation very soon!

The Silly Season

This has been a quiet month for this blog. In a review of our book the reviewer noted that there was also a blog which seemed "fairly active" so I had better come back to life again!
The summer in theUK when Parliament is down, and the PM is on holiday, is traditionally known as "the silly season" and it has been a relief to me to see that the many blogs that I follow also have had a bit of a rest.
There is also no doubt now that twitter (aka microblogging)is the place to keep really up to date and to do this I love TweetDeck - in fact until I used that twitter always seemed rather dull and out of control. Having TweetDeck around on my PC at work and laptop at home and via my iPhone is really great.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Beware the telephone!

"New technology : the threat to our corporate information" is a clever cartoon presentation on Slideshare which made me laugh. Yet it has some punch. If you haven't seen it, take a quick look.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Handheld Librarian Online Conference

This is my day off but last night I attended my first remote Conference and it was truly memorable. This is a holding post as I hope to post in more detail some time next week. I beleieve this was a historic conference not only because of the content but the means by which it was conducted.

With 477 attendees and so many twittering it featured as a trend on twitter!! The recent ALA Conference with thousands of attendees never managed that!! There were technical problems. I and some others couldn,t get a connection at the start of Gerry McKiernan's keynote. Half an hour of frustration! I sent a tweet about it and through this got the new URL and got in! All power to twitter again! As for following the Conference the discussion via twitter was awesome (not a word I usually employ!) and Tweetdeck was wonderful to follow it with. If you want to get samples of the discussion it is #hhlib on twitter.

It's hard to know where to start as there were so many interesting ideas and possible pointers to the future. When I post again I must remember that my focus is with IL and that may keep my enthusiasm under control!

I come away with a sense that mobiles are going to be essential for libraries to become involved with. Public libraries have a huge opportunity with e-books abd connecting with their users, but academia cannot ignore texting services.

Informal communication via mobiles has fuelled their mass adoption - question is how do libraries muscle in on this?

Tom Peters' main thrust was that we may be about to rethink our concept of place. We won't need to move around so much anymore (or "lug our guts around" as he calls it!)-which is just as well in the economic gloom. Ironically as we become less nomadic and cosmopolitan in our physical movements our local information and experience will be still global through the power of mobile devices.

I need some time out to think all this through and to catch up on the other presentations which I missed - that was another lesson - 6.5 hours of presentations with only tiny gaps in between is not good for anyone - staring at a screen, tweeting etc. - what about food and drink??

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Pivots for change in School Libraries

Pivots for change and Libraries (Unquiet Librarian) carries a powerful post about change. She is very aware of the need for school libraries to rebrand and therefore applies some 'pivots for change' derived from the work of Seth Godin :
  • Keep the machines in your factory, but change what they make.
  • Keep your customers, but change what you sell to them.
  • Keep your providers, but change the profit structure.
  • Keep your industry but change where the money comes from.
  • Keep your staff, but change what you do.
  • Keep your mission, but change your scale.
  • Keep your products, but change the way you market them.
  • Keep your customers, but change how much you sell each one.
  • Keep your technology, but use it to do something else.
  • Keep your reputation, but apply it to a different industry or problem.
and applies these to school libraries...

Among the results are :
  • Keep teaching evaluation of online resources, but teach students (and teachers) to apply those same principles of information to traditional sources of information—they are not immune from bias or inaccurate information, either.
  • Keep teaching information literacy skills, but focus on the bigger picture of helping students devise personal learning networks that they can apply to any learning situation instead of a topic specific research task.
  • Keep teaching students Internet safety principles, but also shift your focus on the concept of digital footprints and teaching students how to create and maintain a positive online identity.
  • Keep school rules in mind, but explore ways to tap into the power of devices like cell phones and iPods for student learning and present a plan for using these tools to your administrator so that you can provide service where your students are.
  • Keep positing literacy as a primary focal point of your library program, but expand that definition of literacy to include new media literacy and information literacy as mainstream literacies equal in importance to traditional literacy.
  • Keep adding Web 2.0 tools for information delivery and access, but market your library in places where your parents may be more so than students (such as Twitter or Facebook) to share news about your library program and to network with your parent community.
For the full list go here

How is Web 2.0 being used?

The JISC SIS Landscape Study is collecting case studies of users of Web 2.0. They are done as transcripts of short interviews.At present there are nine -4 from academic staff, 2 from librarians, 1 from a Learning Developer, 1 researcher and 1 Web advisor. Very useful for getting ideas and finding out how practitioners are using Web 2.o.

Here's an excerpt from one with the Web advisor (Brian Kelly) :

"How do you judge what’s good and what’s not in the Web 2.0 world?

Trying things out. Seeing what others have to say. Deciding if it works for me and evaluating the risks of what I’d lose if the service wasn’t sustainable. And then making judgements based on that risk assessment."

Here's an excerpt from one with a librarian (Lyn Parker - Sheffield University)

"What about self-help materials and FAQs?

We have produced a number of screencasts, not strictly video but play like video, for tours of the libraries, freqently asked questions, walk-throughs of how to find journals, etc. These were created with Captivate and made available through our Web pages.

We are also investigating how we might use Delicious bookmarks with our subject guides. Digg has been recommended as having more features than Delicious, particularly for student notes, highlighting text, etc. We’ll need to evaluate both before moving forward.

I have an account on Slideshare and post most of my presentations there. We are working on embedding them into our Information Skills Showcase and into our library liaison team pages."

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Wikis : knowledge is only a click away

Following on from the last post I came across this interesting post from make it known blog (a Canadian MLIOS student from Alberta) giving some pungent observations about her experiences using wikis.
She notes :
Wikis can be used by libraries as content and knowledge management tools for:
She concludes "I think wikis are a wonderful and infinitely useful web 2.0 technology. They are relatively easy to create (once you learn the mark up language!) and can greatly benefit a user population. I would not hesitate to contribute to or establish a wiki for my library."

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

To wiki or to blog?

To wiki or to blog is the title of this interesting article by Natasha Hrutzuk on Virtual Libraries blog.
She considers why we should use wikis in schools, in a classroom or the library; potential limitations and her own experiences.
Well worth reading if you are a school librarian wondering which way to go.

View of our LRC -wish it was sunny today like that!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Induction from the plinth in Trafalgar Square

One of the latest tourist attractions in Trafalgar Square is the plinth designed by Antony Gormley where people are signing up for an hour to perform or whatever they want to do for an hour. Some are finding that an hour is a very long time.
I happened to pass this on Friday and was struck by the poor guy up there who was completely making no communication at all. He was reading from notes, no microphone and no presence. Somehow it reminded me of how library induction s used to be (I hope!!) with a librarian burbling away - no-one listening - no eye contact- no hope!And as you see it was a dark dark day - jusy like some say it is for libraries these days. Let's hope the new Web 2.0 tools make all the difference!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Thriving in the 21st century JISC LLiDA project

This is an important study (click here)and the summary (click here)is well worth reading (I haven't had time to read the whole report in detail yet!) It set out to :
-review the evidence of change in the contexts of learning, including the nature of work, knowledge, social life and citizenship, communications media and other technologies
-review current responses to these challenges from the further and higher education sectors, in terms of the kinds of capabilities valued, taught for and assessed (especially as revealed through competence frameworks); the ways in which capabilities are supported ('provision')the value placed on staff and student 'literacies of the digital'
-collect original data concerning current practice in literacies provision in UK FE and HE, including 15 institutional audits and over 40 examples of forward thinking practice
-offer conclusions and recommendations, in terms of the same issues reviewed in 2

This is a mine of information about current UK HE practice in supporting literacies - the literacy frameworks, recent reports on digital learning, the innovative part played by librarians with digital technologies and the need for this to spread much wider to other staff. The complacency of students about their IL skills is noted : my own University of Bedfordshire is quoted here "it was a little depressing to discover that many students even at level 2 are still relying on Google for their information and that many of them do not see the relevance of information literacy to their studies".
Another point : "Many literacies are so deeply and tacitly embedded in subject teaching that academic staff do not identify their practice as literacy-based at all. " (Librarians could work with them to ensure that the necessary literacies are covered).

The report confirmed and expanded upon the challenges identified in the literature review:
- institutional silos, so learners often have several places to seek help with their learning, and cultural differences can make cross-service/dept collaboration difficult
-(often) poor embedding of literacies into the curriculum, particularly at the level of feedback and assessment
- (often) poor integration of information/digital literacies with academic/learning literacies
- curriculum provision tends to be one-off and cohort-based, rather than based on an ethos of personal development: central provision is more personal and developmental but rarely reaches learners when they are actually engaged in authentic tasks
-Academic staff perceive students as being more digitally capable than is really the case
- poor self-evaluation by learners, particularly in relation to their information skills, so voluntary services are not reaching those in most need, and skills modules are not perceived as relevant or important
Student expectations, student diversity and employability were the main agendas driving change in provision for learning and digital literacy.

They believe that information literacy should be widened to include or be supplemented by communication and media literacies. In their work they found that digital literacy was often applied to Web 2.0 tools while information literacy was almost always referring to digital content literacies.

They say :
"The agenda needs to be clearly formulated around informed and critical use of technology for learning. SCONUL's fifth pillar, 'the ability to compare and evaluate information obtained from different sources' seems in Moira Bent's recent review to overlap considerably with what we have called critical or media literacy: 'knowledge about the way the media operate, and certain processes which are particularly important in the academic context, such as peer review of scholarly articles'. Different disciplines demand proficiency in different (combinations of) media, and create/share meaning in different ways: learners need to both inhabit and critique these modes. Current information literacy models also tend to assume that academic ideas will be expressed (predominantly) in text. All the background research points to the need for learners to become proficient at creative self expression, and critical argumentation, in a range of media. This presents many challenges, not least in relation to assessment. In relation to digital technology itself, the point is not to encourage more technology use but to encourage more insightful, more reflective and more critical choices about technology and its role in learning. "

This is the key paragraph to me because it is the SCONUL pillar 5 which is most critical rigfht now. Libraries should not think only in text (and of course many do not : I used to be a video librarian once) and we need to start recognising that our role is to assist in the creation of and learning from material of all kinds.

Please let's have some comments!!

Students' use of research content in Teaching and Learning

When I saw in the executive summary of this JISC report from University of Central Lancashire (made from surveys and focus groups at 4 institutions Jan-April 2009 -UCL plus one Russell group, one large post-92 metropolitan and one small former university-college)I had to post about it.

Below is the exec. summary (the italics are mine)

Identifying Research
• Students are aware of the qualitative distinction between published research and general internet sites (I was quite surpised by this)
• Students are not generally sophisticated in their understanding of things like peer-review or currency, there is a common view that if something is published it must be reliable (what a shock)
• There is a growing diversity in the kinds of content identified as research but journal articles and books still dominate students’ perceptions of what research is
• Students are very reliant on library catalogues, databases and staff advice
• Research content is seen primarily as a source for assignments and students’ perception of research is very much led by the context of their assignments (suggests that the assignment is all important and where our IL interventions should be)
• Students are reluctant to approach their tutor directly in the first instance for advice on what research content to access
Very few students identify undergraduate or postgraduate dissertations as research content
(very much what this report wanted to know about)

Accessing Research
• The vast majority of students use either a home computer or a university computer to access research
Most students will go to their library catalogue first, then Google (amazing...)
Although Google, Google Books and Google Scholar are heavily used, the library catalogue is still the preferred first choice for most students (still amazing)
• A lot of students use Google but are bewildered by the amount of responses and will rarely look beyond the first couple of pages of search terms (backed up by previous research)
An increasing number of students are using the limited preview facility in Google Books to either read books not in their library or to save themselves the trouble of actually going to the library (Interesting)
• Although the trend is towards electronic access for students of all age groups, there is still a significant proportion of students who will use library visits in conjunction with or instead of the internet (so we still have place...)
• The internet is used but also distrusted, many students are aware that sites such as Wikipedia are not respected by their tutors (the debate is still on about Wikipedia?)
• Some students will use a discipline-specific database to access research. These students have had a better experience of accessing research and some use these databases almost exclusively. However, this means they are dependent on the holdings of the database
Students at all universities expressed dissatisfaction with their library holdings and level of service (this would be confirmed by LibQual findings - no group is satisfied with the library however big the holdings because their expectations alter acc. the library)
There is limited evidence of students using social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies to identify and access research (this is important, but not too surprising as these tools have likely not been promoted or accepted yet as information sources)

Using Research
• Most students use research to support their assignments, so use of research is primarily ‘assessment led’
• Some students demonstrate a sophisticated engagement with research which they use to develop arguments rather than simply support a point
• A significant and encouraging minority also use research to gain a wider knowledge of their field
• Students tend to be very selective, using research content which is immediately relevant to their needs. For example, they are happy to use the limited preview pages in Google Books without seeing the wider context of the material in the rest of their books (Interesting)
• Many quote or paraphrase research content in their assignments
• Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) identify themselves with academics rather than students and demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the research environment

This was a report I had to read, and amazingly they had also cited my first article from 2006 on Web 2.0 and IL. That was before anyone was making the connection and Web 2.0 wasnt mainstream and I suppose I was "an early enthusiast for the potential of social networking"!!

There is a useful literature review chapter which draws together trends like the way that students research is largely shapped by conventions within the discipline, and the importance of their being able to understand the framework of their discipline first. The importance of being able to access at home because many are "homebirds" (a new label I've not seen before). I liked
"According to the research that we’ve surveyed, students tend to encounter research content in a much more fragmentary way than in the past, developing chains of meaning from a variety of sources rather than investigating one source in-depth." There was concern about varying abilities among academics with new technologies (Web 2.0)
"This does not mean that students are necessarily more information literate or better able to use ICT, but it does mean that more and more students are bypassing traditional university systems when searching for and accessing research content".

Perhaps the most important point, which I would echo, is that " students’ critical thinking skills are not being adequately supported and that the ‘fast surfing, broad scanning and deep
diving’ habits of internet users, young and old, is detrimental to their critical use of research."

There are some interesting case studies of individual students in chapter 4.
In the section on social networking
"Our survey found very little evidence of students actually using social networking.
Moreover, the survey found no evidence of a trend amongst younger students. On the contrary, the few students who do use social networking to find research content tend to be 22-50 years old. Typical means of social networking include Facebook (which is dominant), discussion boards, wikis and Twitter. We did not speak to any students who used Second Life or podcasts, and in the survey no student mentioned Second Life and less than2% used podcasts. This is a revealing absence given the amount of research, investment and discussion that there has been in HEIs over the last two years in these products. "
In the focus groups they found "Left to their own devices, students are very wary of using social networking and wikis because they think that their tutors will disapprove."
There is other evidence that their lack of use of Web 2.0 is connected to academic lack of engagement or disapproval.
However I regret that in their conclusion the authors cite this lack of use as a reason for JISC to review any planned investments in this area and re-evaluate the risk and likely benefit. Rather we should all be working toward making our education more social and partipatory, fit for the 21st century.

Monday, 20 July 2009

7 Things you should know about Microblogging

Educause have produced another one of their 7 things guides, This time it's about microblogging and is an excellent summary which could be used with staff 0r some student groups to justify why this channel is so important for education - and the library.

20 tips to arrange and manage your social networks

"The more I started using social networking sites, the more I began feeling disoriented. After a while, I lost count of how many ‘Web 2.0’ services I had signed up with." This rang a bell with me so take a look at this post by Mahendra Palsule 20 tips to arrange and manage your social networks.
He recommends mind-mapping what you do , define your audience, use a password manager and lots of other possible time-savers.

A Layar for the Future

Layar is claims to be the first augmented reality browser for mobiles. This seems to be a glimpse of the future, and a tecdhnology to watch out for.

Layar is a free application on your mobile phone which shows what is around you by displaying real time digital information on top of reality through the camera of your mobile phone.
Layar is available for the T-Mobile G1, HTC Magic and other Android phones in Android Market for the Netherlands. Other countries will be added later. Planned roll-out dates for other countries are not known yet.
How do you use Layar? By holding the phone in front of you like a camera, information is displayed on top of the camera display view.
For all points of interest which are displayed on the screen, information is shown at the bottom of the screen.
What do you see in the screen?On top of the camera image (displaying reality) Layar adds content layers. Layers are the equivalent of webpages in normal browsers. Just like there are thousands of websites there will be thousands of layers. One can easily switch between layers by selecting another via the menu button, pressing the logobar or by swiping your finger across the screen.

Experimenting with Web 2.0 at University of Leicester

The latest Journal of Information Literacy contains "Experimenting with Web 2.0 to cultivate information literacy within a medical ethics, law and human rights course" by Sarah Whittaker and Joanne Dunham. Interesting to read how they have tried out various Web 2.0 technologies.
"The resources developed were popular with the students and the course tutor reported an improvement in the range of their reading. However, there was no perceptible change in the way the students worked nor did they use the Web 2.0 communication tools provided to enhance their learning. For the Library’s information skills training to be effective and to go beyond just providing search tools, information literacy and the Web 2.0 technologies need to be written into the course itself rather than as an adjunct. "

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Twitter collaboration stories

Are you in schools and yet to be convinced by Twitter? Take a look at the Twitter collaboration stories wiki for some ideas and good examples of how it can be used. Examples include asa real-time database ; suggestions for answering a problem ; serendipitous discovery.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Communicating the value of libraries and librarians

Denise Pan (Auroria Library, University of Colorado, Denver) has written a gem of an article in the Library Connect Newsletter. Its only short but I love her enthusiasm :
"Librarians need to take a leadership role in the academic enterprise, to collaborate with faculty and administrators in learning partnerships, and to develop comprehensive information literacy programs that permeate the curriculum and produce measurable outcomes".
To me the article is a great little summary of what we are about!

10 ways library schools should be teaching social media

I came across this post -10 ways library schools should be teaching social media from Socialibrarian via iLibrarian blog.
It starts :
"A few days ago I came across a wonderful article on Mashable entitled “10 Ways Journalism Schools are teaching social media.” The thought struck me about 30 seconds in: all these concepts should apply to library school, but why aren’t they being pushed and taught in the same way?"
Includes topics : promoting content ; interviewing; news gathering and research ; crowdsourcing ; publishing wit social tools ; blog and website integration ; building community and rich content ; personal brand ; ethics.

So this is a really thoughtful post and then I realised that the writer was Daniel Hooker
whom I had met only a few weeks ago in Vancouver when I met Dean Giustini, who has an interview on his Search Principle blog with Dan! It is a small world!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

M-Libraries : information use on the move project

Keren Mills (Open University) has produced a report, M-Libraries, information use on the move, funded by the Arcadia Fund, which looks at the information needs of information users on the move. Staff and students at Open University and Cambridge University were surveyed, using a short online survey asking about current use of mobile information services like text alerts, SMS reference, and the mobile internet. In both libraries mobile services are very new.The data collected was used to suggest trends which indicate likely takeup if services were offered in other libraries.
27% said they had used an SMS Reference service and 26% more said they might if they had known about it.
Staff at ULC had noticed students taking piuctures of OPAC result screens rather than noting classmarks on paper and 50% at both libraries said they take photos of signs, books etc. to save for later reference. Also 55% were in favour of being able to access the OPAC by mobile phone.
The use of mobiles for reading an e-book, journal article was very low. The report notes that the iPhone is having an influence on use of the mobile web, but I suspect that the survey was done before this was having much impact. "Given the low percentage of iPhone owners in the UK and the proprietory, device-specific nature of iPhone applications, there seems to be little value currently in providing library applications.It would be more cost effective to either provide the same functionality throug a website, or develop applications in Java, which will run on most other mobile handsets."
Stephen Abram on Stephen's Lighthouse was very disappointed by the conclusion of the report concerning the "results suggest it is not worth libraries putting development resource into delivering content such as e-books and e-journals to mobile devices at present".
In fact I find the report rather negative, It shows how difficult it is to do an up to date survey in such a volatile area.Neither OU or ULC could be described as typical HE libraries. Other libraries who are wondering what to do about mobiles should look at this with interest, but form their own conclusions based on their own user population.

Information literacy and Web 2.0 at Liverpool University

A case study with Business students at University of Liverpool where H20 Playlists were used to record bibliographic details of readings for their first assignment and their reflections on these sources is worth looking at. It is by E.J.Thompson, S. Snowden and N.Bunyan "Promoting academic reading with Web 2.0 : using social bookmarking to facilitate literature searching and critical analysis".
Has anyone else any experience of using H20 Playlist rather than delicious?

Monday, 6 July 2009

M-Libraries Conference, Vancouver, 23-24 June 2009

Many congratulations to the organisers of this second m-Libraries Conference. It was in many ways the best Conference I have ever attended. Over 120 delegates from all over the world in a stunning venue at University of British Columbia were treated to fine keynotes, a large array of parallel sessions, and excellent social events.
The opening keynote session (Lorcan Dempsey) and following plenaries on the first morning were held in the First Nation Hall with long tables - good for laptops, munching cookies and socialising. I am not going to give a long summary of these but only draw attention to points which interested me and I trust may interest you!

Lorcan Dempsey Vice-President and OCLC Research andChief Strategist, USA"Concentration, Connection, Diffusion:Mobilizing Library Services"

There will be greater investment in the economy in consumer space than in education which will mean users will be used to sophisticated services there and this will challenge us.
There will be a tension between personal learning environments and University VLEs.
Formerly we could expect student work to be around the library, because of our physical materials ; with an abundance of material online how do our sources fit into their learning and communication?
He thinks mobile communbication is more about communicxation than about mobility.
Mentioned the Nokia strapline "Our promise is to help people feel close to what is important to them".
Mobiles can be a good fit for Web generation ways of communication. They provide a sfaety net, and allow incremental social contact (e.g.husband ringing from supermarket for instructions...)
The idea of the institutional web site being prime model of delivery and browser as primary consumption environment is increasingly partial.
Content is being atomised - able to be cut up, tailored and consumed. (eg BBC has invested much into this with RSS feeds to parts of its output.)
Atomisation also means use of snippets, ringtones, tags, ratings, feeds and abstracts.
To get the attention of groups a site needs to rate, relate, recommend. He thinks people are action-oriented and want to vote and give opinions.
Importance of time-shifting - in a survey at University of Bristol great support for ability to timeshift lectures so could use later.
On the use of space he mentioned a recent Economist article that said there was a "rise in demand for semi-public spaces that can be informally appropriated to ad hoc work spaces" (Take note libraries)
Challenge to libraries is to make themselves invisible, by delivering services into user workflows in a networked environment. Yet we need to be more visible. FBk and Twitter show importance of people to follow.
Libraries and persons working there need to have a signed network presence and not hide people. Libraries dont advertise their expertise enough! Our network presence is too anonymous. Put pics on Twitter, have Top Recommendations as part of a site.

Ken Banks Founder of kiwanja.net, UK, "Where Books Are Few: The Role of Mobile Phones in the Developing World"

An inspirational speaker who drew attention to the potential role of mobiles in the 3rd World. Users here need short bursts of actionable information, rather than the Web to browse.

Carie Page Programme Coordinator forthe EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, USA "Anytime, Anywhere: Reaching the Always-On Generation through Mobility"

This was a high energy presentation which I struggled to keep up with. E-mail is for old people apparently(!!) She believed students want to create their own information environments - do we help them or let them get on with it?
Great supporter of Twitter - idea of using timed tweets - same time each week.
Rent out Kindles.
Use vokis on your site - this was a new one for me - which I must follow up.
It is good to help convergence of tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube if we want to keep the attention of our users.
She mentioned some myths
"If you ban our technology, we'll simply stop using it" (they'll get round it)
"If we build it, we will come" (need to bring them in)
"We're a bunch of techno-geeks" (much more mixed)
"We want to be your friend on Facebook" (try and see)

Paul Nelson NHS Choices, Department ofHealth, UK - "Partnerships for Community Health Improvement Through MobileDevices"

NHS Choices has the ability to inform, signpost and empower individually.Most who use it come via Google rather than the front door of the site. It is a strong and trusted brand. Mobile usage is desirable because mobiles are ubiquitous. They want to change behaviour, improve knowledge and self perception.
NHS Choices drnk less is an example of an iPhone app.

Joan Lippincott Associate Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, USA - "Why m-Libraries? Making the Case for Innovation"

To make the case in our libraries we have to make mobiles a higher priority. We have to :

1.Respond to our user community's work style. See mobiles as information devices ; many Univs now on iTunesU ; researchers use mobiles for data collection ; Nielsen shows 52% increase in mobile subscribers using video on a mobile 2008-9 ; ECAR 66% of students have internet capable phones, but most dont use it yet for this.THis will change and depends on the pay structure.

2. Extend what we've always done into new areas for mobiles :
Google Bk Search, OCLC Cat search
Duke University image collection
IL podcasts ; QR codes for IL tutorials ; West Illinois University University Text me services on YouTube.

3. Get a seat at the table re. policy in the University.
In decisions like which platform, who decides, who does technical support, who selects licences.

The m-Libraries Conference site will soon have all the presentations for these and the parallel sessions.

Mobiles are everywhere

While going round the remarkable Banksy exhibition which is on at the Bristol Museum this weekend I came upon this wonderful spoof! I shall have to use it in presentations. For those who haven't come across the work of this anonymous iconoclastic grafitti artist : he may come from Bristol, has travelled all over the world and produced street art and much else. The exhibition at Bristol, which is free contains paintings, drawings, sculpture (some of which are mobile!)
Posted by Picasa

More student views on searching

There is another video from the Head and Eisenberg (University of Washington) study on US student searching habits. My original post about this is here.
Called the PIL InfoLit Dialog no 3. : Frustrations - the new video covers a number of common problems students have with searching for the right information in the digital age.

The first two videos from the series can be seen here.

Twitter Search in Plain English

Here is the latest little video in the admirable Commoncraft series, giving advice on how to search on Twitter. Lasts only just over 3 minutes.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Information Literacy sans frontieres at JISC

I presented at the JISC Digital Content Conference at Cotswold Water Park Hotel this week. It was an interesting short conference which attracted a large range of experts and enthusiasts discussing the digital future. It seemed to me to be both a celebration of JISC's work and clarion call to further action, despite the storm clouds of recession. Catherine Grout, Programme Director e Content gave aan excellent overview of JISC's work which was recorded here.
Later we heard a mind-blowing account of the work of the Internet Archive by Robert Miller from California. Can you imagine a snapshot of the Web being stored in a huge cupboard, years of tv off-air recording including BBC and Al Jazeera? His short talk is here.

I presented in a session concerning Libraries of the Future , under the title "Information
Literacy sans frontieres", which is on Slideshare here. I wanted to draw attention to the importance of Information Literacy in 2009, how it sits at the centre of all the literacies, and the part that librarians can play working academics embedding their contributions. No-one had seen the uNESCO Information Literacy logo!! As it was about the hottest day of the year I was so lucky that the room was air-conditioned and the discussion afterwards did not get too heated!! The abstract for my talk is here, and the whole conference is here.

Back from Vancouver

June has been a lean month on his blog as I have been gadding around more than usual. Highlight and lifetime ambition was a visit to Vancouver for the Second International M-Libraries Conference. What a place with 2.3m living in Greater Vancouver in a stunning setting.I shall be posting fully about this Conference shortly. I gave a session on "Information Literacy gets mobile" and the slides are on Slideshare here.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Twitter versus Second Life

After reading Sheila Webber's post about What Librarians think about Second Life, I can't resist mentioning a rather mischievous post I was reading this morning about Twitter and Second Life by Chris Abraham "Twitter Is What Second Life Wasn't: Light, Cheap and Open And That's Why It'll Outlive the Hype Cycle". (I hope she will forgive me!)

He starts with admitting there's a lot of hype about Twitter at the moment and this may be reminiscent how it was with Second Life. But it's different
"Twitter is light, cheap, open and permanent, whereas Second Life is heavy, expensive, closed and ephemeral. Twitter does things right where Second Life failed."
There's some discussion at the end and I guess it's not a fair comparison, but it's a good read.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

What Information Specialists say about Second Life

What Information Specialists say about Second Life: is a presentation to be given in the virtual world, Second Life, on Thursday 2 July at 12 noon SL time (8pm UK time; time elsewhere http://tinyurl.com/m8j8ba )
Marshall Dozier and Fiona Brown of Edinburgh University, Scotland, (Pancha Enzyme and Zeno Silvercloud in SL) will report back on findings from their survey and focus group discussions* on SL for for networking, collaboration and CPD. This will be based on their conference presentation at the EAHIL conference in June 2009 and includes time for discussion
Location is Infolit iSchool http://slurl.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/235/34/28/
You need a SL avatar and the SL browser installed on your computer to participate.
This is part of the University of Sheffield Center for Information Literacy Research discussion series.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Web 2.0 for Schools

There is a new book from colleagues in the School of Education here at Sheffield University: Davies, J. and Merchant, G. (2009) Web 2.0 for Schools: Learning and Social Participation. New York: Peter Lang. They are researchers in digital literacy.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Problem-based learning meets Web 2.0

This presentation by Frances May (University of North Texas) at LOEX 2009 Albuquerque caught my eye. As part of a Basic Communication Studies course, groups of 25 students were brought to the library, shown a 3 minute YouTube video which illustrated a problem. e.g. BBC News about China's grime belt air pollution extreme)They had then to list the facts contained in it, develop a problem statement, determine the information they needed, construct a search and then run it against the OPAC and Academic Search Complete.
Student comments "The video was helpful ...from the problem statement students are able to search relevant topics that support their research" and "helped me to realize how to really research".
Guess the point is that the video grabbed them in a way that just suggesting a topic (or getting them to) would not, and then they get engaged in deciding what they wabt to find out, formulate keywords and start the process of searching. Must try this.

Your School Library : Information Literacy with Web 2.0

I am presenting within the Your School Library II : Information Literacy with Web 2.0

"The first Your School Library online conference – Transforming School Libraries with Web 2.0 – was held over February and attracted in excess of 200 delegates. According to participant feedback, it was highly successful in stimulating debate and discussion about the school library in the Web 2.0 world. Delegates identified the topic that they wanted to next investigate Information Literacy in a Web 2.0 world, which would look at the emerging digital tools but with a sharper focus."
The second conference is bigger and in June with some special presentations coming online in July. The majority of presentations are in English.n July). The main conference started on June 13 and discussion will conclude July 5.
Once again, the conference is “held” on the collaboration website Sosius.com. Delegates use this as a base camp to explore the Web 2.0 world.
Contributors list is impressive :
Mike Eisenberg US
Karen Visser Australia
Lesley Farmer US
S C Kong HK
Barbara Combes Australia
David Kennedy HK
Daniel Churchill HK
Kate Reid Australia
Dana Dukic HK
James Henri Australia
Sharon Markless UK
Lourense Das Netherlands
Patricia Montiel Overall US
Lourdes David Philippines
Mihaela Banek Croatia
Lee FitzGerald Australia
Pat Parungao Canada
Sheila Webber UK
Helen Chan HK
Albert Boekhorst Netherlands
Roeland Smeets Netherlands
Donna DesRoches Canada
Peter Godwin UK
Carlene Walter Canada
My contribution "Information Literacy meets Web 2.0 in schools" will be released to the course in about 10 days. It was an interesting experience recording the 23 minute audio track in one take against the slides! Maybe I'd do it in sections next time...
I shall post again about this course, giving my impressions.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Why students like the Library as a place

Thanks to Michael Stephens' Tame the Web I came across a liitle video of student opinions of their library at Western Washington University. It's very 2.0 and important to find out what our users think. Also for making a video about our library - much better to hear them than a librarian! I was amused by some of the comments though : "I like the Harry Potter room" and weirdest of all "I really like the microfilm room". I thought those things went out with the ark! I spent 19 years of my life as a manager trying to get those things put on the scrap heap - tapes and machines. I won too! Anyway it is a good 1 minute 45 sec. promotional video for their library!

New public library in Newcastle upon Tyne

I'm posting about this because this new public library opens today to the public. I was privileged to have a sneak preview when I visited my son last month. It is a glimpse of what the future holds for public libraries. I have seen external views of this exciting building before but it is only when viewing the interior that is is possible to appreciate its sheer size.

There is a large flexible area for meetings and presentations ; attractive media collection area ; and excellent IT access. I was very interested to hear about the new style help which will not be provided from librarians behind desks but by staff sitting with patrons around open style kiosks.

Many thanks to Kerry Morris of the Library staff for showing me round, and I look forward to hearing about the Web 2.0 tools which they will undoubtedly be employing soon.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Information Literacy in Dublin

Fresh back from my first trip ever to Ireland, I want to thank the Advisory Committee on Information Literacy of CONUL for inviting me to speak at their annual Information Literacy Seminar in Dublin.
We heard from Margot Conrick (UCC), Isolde Harpur (TCD) and Niall McSweeney (NUIG) about the Graduate Information Skills package being prepared cooperatively which will form a credited unit and part of Key Skills module for PhD, research masters and post doctoral students throughout Eire. It is still under development and should be completed by spring 2010 or earlier.
Kevin O'Rourke (DIT) gave an entertaining view of how VLEs had developed from the days when content was king. In Dublin usage in He is 50% Blackboard and 50% Moodle. He (like me) wants to promote more active learning via VLEs and encourage lecturers from just using them as an archive.
The final session was an excellent debate on "Is there a place for online social networking in teaching and learning?" Cathal McCauley (NUIM) and Ronan Kennedy (NUIG) were for and Tony Eklof (UCD) and Kathleen James-Chakraborty (UCD) were against. Showed to me what a good idea a debate can be to get across so much information and keep people alert after the post-lunch dip.Issues raised included : Daily Mail report about Facebook raising the risk of cancer ; Facebook users doing less academic work ; Japanaese students who drop out of life in a phenomenon called hikikomori ; Real climate as an example of an influentail academic blog which is in effect peer-reviewed ; and H20 playlist, an experimental site from Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, giving shared list of readings and other content about topics of intellectual interest. The motion was carried 52% for 38% con and 10% abstaining.

My presentation "Shots in the dark : Information Literacy in the 21st Century" is on Slideshare at http://www.slideshare.net/godwinp/shots-in-the-dark-information-literacy-in-the-21st-century

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Social networking literacy competencies for Librarians

This is a summary of an interesting paper called "Social networking for librarians : exploring considerations and engaging participation" given at ACRL Conference "Pushing the edge : explore, engage, extend in March 2009.

Based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for HE, Joe Murphy (Science Librarian, Yale) and Heather Moulaison (Doctoral student, Rutgers) have come up with some competencies for the social networking librarian. These were informed by doing training for fellow librarians and LIS students in the use and creation of library services with social networks.

The social networking literate librarian is capable of articulating the nature and roles of
online social networking sites and their importance in scholarly research and communication,
and the information cycle.

The social networking literate librarian is capable of creating, contributing, and revising
content in various formats including images, text, audio, video, links, and more within and
beyond the presence of their library in a variety of social networking sites with various tools.

The social networking literate librarian is capable of critically evaluatinbg information encountered in social networking sites on the basis of authority, currency, bias etc. " and of passing this on to library users.

The social networking literate librarian applies ionformation in social networking sites ethically and legally.

The social networking literate librarian knows how to effectively search and browse
various online social networks for known and unknown contacts, and for information and
resources in a variety of formats.

The social networking literate librarian is familiar with the diverse methods of
communicating with social networking sites and is aware of and able to apply the unique cultural
norms and expectations of each communication method.

The social networking literate librarian is capable of teaching these skills to library
patrons and peers.

The social networking literate librarian utilizes a variety of online social networking sites
to provide quality library services. They evaluate social network sites and choose which are most
appropriate to establish a library presence in.

They note
"The most important, and possibly hardest to develop, skill is the ability to look ahead,
visualize, create, and manage robust library services in full consideration of and within social
networking sites. This takes vision, creativity, and a constant thumb on the pulse of the social
web, its users, and their behaviors.

This is an important and useful article and amplifies much of what Sheila Webber said in her chapter in our book and takes us all a stage further implementing Web 2.0 to ourselves and our patrons.