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“information skills” module – final session April 17, 2009

Posted by john wright in Uncategorized.
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We had our final session on Wednesday – when the students present their reflective accounts of what they have learnt throughout the course. This is always a special day because everyone brings in food, usually some kind of national dish. This year we had just 3 particpants but the food (from the Phillipines, the Maldives and Luxembourg) was still very exciting. I chipped in as usual with some (Welsh) samosas and Eileen brought some Scottish oatcakes + cheeses.


The presentations were quite varied but everyone demonstrated that they had engaged with the key learning outcomes for the module. Here are (left to right) Solah, Rosita, Lyane, myself and Eileen:


“Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.” Andre Gide


Lilac ’09 April 8, 2009

Posted by john wright in Uncategorized.

I was in Cardiff last week for the 5th annual Lilac Conference, 3 days dedicated to information literacy. I’m not going to summarise every session I attended because I can’t remember what happened in some of them but here are some of my highlights:

Melissa Highton (University of Oxford)
Putting lectures and other content on i-Tunes U.
Who is responsible for permissions/curation/collection? – the library should have a key role, especially in providing rich metadata.
What’s the difference between ‘information literacy’ and ‘digital literacy’ (JW-nothing much, and it sounds better).

Conor Galvin (UCD Dublin)
How do we ‘manage’ the internet? It’s like the elephant in the corner of the room.

How do we engage with the ‘digital natives’/’millenials’/’next gens’? Should it be on their terms or ours? Is there a true ‘them’ and ‘us’? (JW-It’s not constructive to think in those terms). Are we familiar enough with social networking environments and how those environments affect the way people learn? (JW-No.)

Eithne Barry & Laurence Patterson (Napier University)
Virtual reference services in UK academic libraries. A summary of the findings of a UK-wide collaborative project. Conclusion – the best product overall is Meebo (and it’s free). We should have a go at trialling it, maybe just for a couple of hours a day initially?

Andrew Whitworth (University of Manchester)
‘Information Obesity’. We’re all too full of information. We’re eating too much junk information and not exercising enough critical evaluation. What impact does this have on learning? How do we help students filter what they consume?

Niall McSweeney & Margot Conrick (NUI Galway)
A collaborative project which has developed an online information literacy accredited module specifically tailored for the research community. The good thing is anyone can use this, or bits of it, free of charge. I really like this, but Ruth the talking guide might get on your nerves after a while!

Matthew Borg & Erica Stretton (Sheffield Hallam University)
“My students and other animals.” The best approach to Year 1 information literacy I’ve seen. Really inspiring. Students initially map their own information seeking behaviour onto an animal characteristic typology (I was half squirrel, half ostrich). Then they go on to do some simple searches, and discuss the respective merits of Google, Wikipedia etc.

Other things that happened:

-I drank too much free wine.
-I saw a man I used to work with but couldn’t remember his name, but it turned out he couldn’t remember mine either so it was fine!
-I saw ‘Statto’ (anyone remember him?) aka Angus Loughran waiting for a train.

“Searcher, there is no road. We make the road by walking” Antonio Machado