Sunday, 25 April 2010

Library students' posters in Second Life

There is a poster display from library students at the University of Hawaii, in Second Life, until 29th April. "The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Student Chapter of the Special Libraries Association and American Society of Information Science & Technology and the Second Life LIS Student Union group invite you to the LIS Students in Second Life Poster Conference, Spring 2010." There is a pdf about the event at and you can go directly to the poster display (if you have a SL avatar and the SL browser) at

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Mobile Literacy at Computers in Libraries

Another Prezi presentation ! Mobile Literacy : competencies for mobile tech, by Joe Murphy, Yale Science Libraries. I heard him speak in an online Mobile conference last year. These are his latest thoughts on how mobiles are affecting our services.

Virtual Libraries month in Second Life

April 15 to May 15 is Virtual Libraries Month in the virtual world, Second Life. There are two key sites in SL
1)Information on Community Virtual Library activities (a Second Life international "ask a librarian" service and more e.g. they mount exhibitions and events)

2)A sampling of other libraries in Second Life (this is an Italianate garden with posters with links to a sample of Second Life libraries)
To go to these locations you need a Second Life avatar and the SL browser on your computer.

Reading and Writing the Wotrld : School Libraries as sponsors of Transliteracy

Here is another presentation from Computers inLibraries 2010. This time by Buffy Hamilton, whose work I have come across and applauded before. She says :

In this brief talk at Computers in Libraries (CIL) 2010 on Monday, April 12 2010 she discusses how librarians can use the frameworks of participatory librarianship and sponsors of literacy to conceptualize the ways we can integrate transliteracy seamlessly into our library programs.

I must admit being sceptical of another attempt at solving the tangle of literacies and would the idea of transliteracy be helpful? The first few slides included the idea of sponsors of literacy are the delivery systems for the economies of literacies. (?) But it's a really good slide show with some great images and begins with the work of Deborah Brandt defining literacy as a "valuable - and volatile property"which can potentially help individuals gain "power or pleasure,[accrue] information, civil rights, education, spirituality, status (and) money." Schools and libraries have a key role "inviting critical and active uses of media that strenthen democratic potential." Goes on to define transliteracy as "the ability to read 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". As sponsors of transliteracy libraries can close the participation gap. Hey I wish I had been at that presentation. This begins to make sense. This is certainly the most interesting take on literacies I've yet seen and all school librarians should take a look - this may be a real way forward but I still worry about labels like "transliteracy". Does it sound tendentious?

More about Prezi and LibGuides

By pure chance just after doing the last post I have just received a Googlemail Alert about LibGuides : Web tools to enhance Information Fluency. This was a presentation using Prezi just given 12 April at Computers in Libraries 2010 by Diane L. Schrecker of Ashland University Library! Wish my Library used LibGuides.

Google Search Tricks and more

I'm always on the look out for ways of helping students to get the best out of Google. I came across this rather whizzy tool by Tony Vincent using software called Prezi. I like it.

Is Wikipedia a valid source?

University of Wolverhampton held a poll about this question. See here

With 1108 votes cast, the results were:

  • Yes: 45%
  • No: 55%
Interesting! And there's a good post from Chris Lambert, Helen Curtis, and Tom Hicks the Academic Liaison Team, from Learning and Information Services.

Monday, 12 April 2010

LILAC Conference 2010 : discussion in Second Life

Jo Parker, my co-editor has just passed this through to me :

I went to Sheila Webber's InfoLit School SecondLife session yesterday
where a few of us gathered to talk about the recent LILAC conference,
the main UK conference on IL, held in Ireland last month. Sheila
(Sheila Yoshikawa in SL) introduced our speakers, 'Pancha Enzyme' and
'Ishbel Hartmann', and with a mix of text chat and voice they
presented some of the highlights from the conference, including an
overview of the pecha kucha technique (20 powerpoint slides of 20
seconds duration each ‑ no mean feat; we agreed that it would be
useful for getting a powerful message across though less good for
audience participation); Geoff Walton's work 'demolishing' the Sconul
7 pillars model of IL; and a research project (Stephanie Rosenblatt)
looking at the impact of IL interventions on the quality of student
bibliographies. The work being undertaken in Newcastle's public
libraries was also mentioned (I remember the tweets about this at the
time, people were very excited), along with Edinburgh's support for
students in SL (via the 'IS cream van'), and the use of QR codes on
mobiles phones to support IL.

The session lasted about an hour and I took away lots of new and
useful stuff to follow up. Sheila provided SL 'notecards' with the
links, and also a very fetching LILAC t shirt for our avatars to wear!
When we did a quick check, there were participants from the US,
Australia and the UK ‑ so if you get the timing right, you probably
get as good a spread of people as you would at a f2f conference.
Sheila usually makes a transcript of the events available, so look out
for that.

The next session is in a couple of weeks, when John Kirriemuir, who
wrote the gaming chapter in the book, will be talking about SL in
I am not a regular visitor to SL (I haven't entirely mastered sitting
down, and 'flying' successfully is completely beyond me!) but there is
something strangely compelling about the environment. I'm 'Isla
Darwinian', by the way, in SL, so do introduce yourself if we bump
into each other!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Information Literacy - where next?

Came across a paper by Dr. Stephen Thornton, from the School of European Studies at University of Cardiff. It is good to read a supportive article about IL by an academic! It draws upon some of the recent research (CIBER report; Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World (2009), by the Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience chaired by Sir David Melville; Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age (2009) by Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg of the Information School at the University of Washington and Andrew Whitworth Information Obesity. Chandos).

He concludes :
"So, where next for information literacy, at least in the world of higher education? All
the work highlighted in this paper does suggest that there is a growing problem about
the superabundance of information in society and that we, in HEIs and beyond, are
struggling to come to terms with it. Some, like Andrew Whitworth, see the danger as
one that threatens the very health of society: like Morgan Spurlock’s liver in the film
Supersize Me, over-consumption is threatening to turn our critical faculties into pâté.
Information literacy is generally perceived as offering some salvation, but there are
major problems with this concept that are getting in the way of its saving of the world.
As was evident in the Melville report, there seems to be uncertainty about the very
nature of the concept: whether it is a simple competence-based frame, or something
grander. An increasing sense of ‘conceptual stretching’ is being generated, and there
does appear to be a disconnect between what experts, such as Whitworth, mean by the
term, and how it is perceived by the wider world. Here it is more likely to be identified as a few lessons taken by a librarian as part of a – probably rather dull – research skills module, rather than as a vehicle of empowerment and political liberation. Tackling this identity crisis is the necessary next step for supporters of information literacy."

So let's go out and tackle this identity crisis, but how??

Social media best practices for libraries

This is a bit beyond the scope of this blog, but for those of us who use Web 2.o for promotion - this list by Kasia Grabowska which was reposted by Michael Stephens on Tame the Web is useful to check out. So if you're monitoring your brand take a look here.