Friday, 31 July 2009
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
- 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.
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.
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
She notes :
- internal communication (University of Connecticut Libraries)
- staff resources or training (Antioch University of New England Library Staff Training and Support Wiki)
- conference information (CLA Calgary 2005, ALA Chicago 2005)
- planning conferences, programs, and projects (Durham County Library Strategic Plan)
- institutional collaboration (University of Calgary)
- professional collaboration (Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, LIS Wiki, LIS Publications Wiki)
- social networking and sharing for librarians (Library Day In The Life Wiki)
- community information (Davis Wiki, California, Loudounpedia, Virginia)
- research guides (Ohio University Library Biz Wiki, Norwich University)
- reader's advisory guides (iRead)
- hosting a website (Bull Run Library)
- supplementing a website (Grand Rapids Public Library Wiki)
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
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
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
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!!
Below is the exec. summary (the italics are mine)
• 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)
• 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)
• 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
He recommends mind-mapping what you do , define your audience, use a password manager and lots of other possible time-savers.
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.
"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
Friday, 10 July 2009
"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!
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
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.
Has anyone else any experience of using H20 Playlist rather than delicious?
Monday, 6 July 2009
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.
Friday, 3 July 2009
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.
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.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
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
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.