Parallel sessions – Friday 25thApril

The Student Guide to Social Media: a case study in collaboration

Michelle Schneider, University of Leeds, m.r.schneider@leeds.ac.uk

This paper tells the story of how we embarked on an exciting collaboration with library colleagues at York and Manchester; the result of which was a resource encouraging students to engage with social media to enhance their studies and ultimately boost their employability. The collaboration drew upon the skills, knowledge and resources of colleagues at the three institutions, and the end product was intended to be useful not only to students at Leeds, York and Manchester, but at any university.

This session will be relevant to anyone who has ever wished they could create something for their users but didn’t feel they had the skills or resources or expertise to do it. We will explore how a collaboration became the answer to that problem for us and how you could do it too. You will also have a chance to see the resource in action so, if your interest lies in developing social media guidance for students, there will be something in it for you too!

I will share the story of how the collaboration came about; how we managed to navigate three sets of institutional red tape; how we kept on track with our different priorities; how we communicated and collaborated across the Pennines; how we ensured work was delegated evenly; and how we created content that would be useful for students at all three universities and beyond.

By the end of this session, I hope that you will have some ideas about how you can start your own rewarding collaboration story…

Myths or facts: what do serodiscordant couples in Malawi know about HIV ad AIDS?

Kondwani Wella, Information School, The University of Sheffield, lip12kdw@sheffield.ac.uk

This paper is drawn from an on-going PhD project aimed at investigating how serodiscordant couples experience HIV and AIDS information. According to the National AIDS Commission (Malawi) 80% of new HIV infections occur among serodiscordant couples (Malawi Government 2012). Serodiscordant couples are where only one partner is HIV positive. Owing to the complexity of health decisions serodiscordant couples are expected to make, health literacy is their major survival tool. These couples need to obtain accurate HIV and AIDS information, process, and understand it in order to make critical decisions in a country where access to such information is itself a big problem.

In the study, phenomenological interviews were used to invite serodiscordant couples to describe how they experience HIV and AIDS information. Specifically, the study seeks to investigate the types of HIV and AIDS information serodiscordant couples need, the sources the information is obtained from, and how the couples make sense of the HIV and AIDS information. The analysis of the interview data, currently in progress, is using Van Manen’s approach to analysis of phenomenological data to come up with descriptions and interpretations of the experiences. Phenomenology is a research approach that seeks to understand how people experience phenomena.

One major theme emerging from the data analysis is the theme of myths. Serodiscordant couples in Malawi believe and hold on to some mythical HIV and AIDS information. Some myths are perpetuated my official HIV and AIDS information when it is ‘inaccurately’ translated into the local language. Other myths come from social norms of the societies where the couples live.

This paper discusses how these myths contaminate the health literacy of serodiscordant couples in Malawi. In addition, the paper discusses how myths influence couples not to act on HIV and AIDS information coming from official sources. The paper concludes by reflecting on the challenges serodiscordant couples face when accessing HIV and AIDS information.


Malawi Government. (2012). 2012 Global AIDS Response Progress Report: Malawi Country Report for 2010 and 2011. Lilongwe, Malawi: Malawi Government

PhD on track – working with generic skills in context

Jessica Lönn-Stensrud, University of Oslo library , jessica.lonn-stensrud@ub.uio.no
Eystein Gullbekk, University of Oslo library , eystein.gullbekk@ub.uio.no

PhD on track (www.phdontrack.net) is a free on-line resource, jointly developed by five Scandinavian university and research libraries (1) occur when implementing a generic tool for PhD students learning in a specific disciplinary course setting. Our main question is: How can students working with subject specific competencies gain generic skills, and how can this be facilitated by libraries?

PhD on track contains texts, examples, cases and introductory films covering topics related to literature searching and scholarly publishing. In an ongoing collaboration between the editors of PhD on Track, The University Library and the Faculty of Dentistry, both at the University of Oslo, a series of courses and seminars related to the material on the PhD on track site will be developed, implemented and evaluated. The courses will run monthly from January to May 2014 and include topics such as: strategies for getting published in peer-reviewed journals, systematic literature searching, copyright, co-authorship and researcher ethics within dentistry and medicine. The courses will be offered as part of the Faculty of Dentistry’s Research School and taught by subject specialists and liaison librarians from the University Library. The material used for tasks, discussions and reflection during face-to-face group sessions, will be evaluated by structured questionnaires by the end of each course. We will also conduct a focus group interview with eight of the PhD students at the end of the course period.

Main questions guiding our inquiry are: How does material originating from a generic context work in discipline specific contexts of PhD learning? Do they trigger relevant work-processes and/or discussions? In our paper we outline the courses and discuss preliminary findings from the questionnaires following each course.


1. The libraries at the Bergen University College, the Norwegian School of Economics, and at the Universities of Bergen, Oslo and Aalborg. Partly funded by The Norwegian National Library.

Sixth formers at university – easing transition and promoting student recruitment

Tina Hohmann, University Library of Technische Universität München, tina.hohmann@tum.de
Caroline Leiss, University Library of Technische Universität München, cleiss@mytum.de

This paper introduces the IL programme for sixth form students at University Library of Technische Universität München (TUM) with a focus on motivation and teaching methods. During the last years TUM increased their efforts to encourage outstanding students to join TUM for their studies and introduce them into a life at university. A department (ExploreTUM) was established as a contact point to streamline the university’s varied services for schools. The university library contributes with a range of workshops for students and teachers. In Germany schools usually don’t have professionally led libraries, and especially since research skills have been introduced as a subject in Bavaria’s secondary schools, a lot of teachers refer to academic libraries for support.

Our 1,5h standard workshop for sixth formers is based on the “Learning Library” concept by Susanne Rockenbach, which will be explained in the paper. The librarian’s role is rather a facilitator while students work on different exercises in small groups. Students explore information resources on the Internet, the library catalogue, journals and databases all by themselves. The tasks given are related to the subject the students are currently working on at school. At the end each group presents their results in front of their co-students.

We see our programme for schools as an opportunity to pique pupils’ curiosity regarding university and studying, to pre-teach future students and communicate a positive image of the library. More than 20% of the participants use the library actively later on. Currently we have about 80 workshops for school groups per year, and the number of participants account for about 30% of all participants at IL-related events.

Our workshop for students turned out to be one of the most popular activities offered via ExploreTUM for promoting student recruitment, and helps to strengthen the library’s profile within the university.

Networking for information literacy – collaborations of German university libraries

Fabian Franke, University Library Bamberg, fabian.franke@uni-bamberg.de

The progress of the German university libraries towards teaching libraries becomes apparent by two major developments in the last decade: First, teaching information literacy has become a core issue of the university libraries. Second, libraries have succeeded in building networks in order to support the local activities, to define standards, to coordinate Best Practice and to promote the importance of information literacy in science, society and politics. The commission “Internet and Digital Society” of the German Bundestag states significant shortfalls concerning the information competency of students and scientists. The German rector’s conference has recommended integrating information literacy courses into the curricula and enhancing the role of the libraries in order to create new information structures.

This contribution gives an overview over the collaborative information literacy activities of the German university libraries. It presents the actual recommendations concerning information literacy in Germany, analyzes the results of the national information literacy statistics and discusses the standards of information literacy for university and high school students in Germany. The German library statistics 2012 shows 50.000 library lessons with more than 500.000 participants where lectures are mostly complemented by exercises and e-learning modules. Topics include search strategies and databases, but also reference management, e-publishing and Open Access as well as legal and ethical implications. About 20% of the courses are aimed for high school students that have become an important target group.

A special focus lies on the cooperative initiatives based on the regional information literacy working groups and the national Commission for information literacy of the German library association. It is shown how these networks support the local libraries by publishing recommendations and organizing peer group supervision and workshops. The central communication and exchange platform is the national website www.informationskompetenz.de which contains guidelines, statistical data, concepts, presentations and exercises for librarians and students.

Mapping resources to competences

Charles Inskip, University College London, c.inskip@ucl.ac.uk

In order to assess and benchmark the effectiveness of its own digital presence, its members’ digital literacies and to propose changes to professional development where appropriate, SCONUL was a participating professional association in the JISC Developing Digital Literacies (DDL) programme, which ran from July 2011 to December 2013. During this process SCONUL drew upon the considerable expertise within its community, and worked in close collaboration with peer organisations and specific outputs to explore new approaches to embedding digital literacy in working practices.

This presentation considers the key findings of a baseline survey, mapping them to relevant outputs from the DDL programme. The threads that tie these outputs together are based on taking a strategic perspective to institutional change based on ‘inter-departmental multi-stakeholder conversations’. These conversations involve not only librarians but other services, as well as faculty and students, in a unified process which acknowledges that digital literacies are not the sole ‘property’ of one department but the responsibility of the wider academic community.

Resources around policy and strategic change management recognise the importance of collaborative conversations within and across institutions. Developing networks and collaborations through conversations can enable a cooperative stance. An informed approach is more likely to amplify the voice of the library in these negotiations. This will help maintain the library’s relevance in the changing information landscape. Following and citing good practice examples will contribute towards making good practice common practice, and adopting and adapting formal CPD frameworks will contribute towards strategically meeting these aims. Using up-to-date tools for staff and student development will keep libraries on the cutting edge of development and delivery of digital literacies, and the more widespread use and continuing development of the Seven Pillars, and the new Digital Literacy Lens, will help to unify the sector and provide stakeholders with a consistent message.

An ID&AL Loop

David Parkes, Staffordshire University, d.j.parkes@staffs.ac.uk
Alison Pope, Staffordshire University, a.j.pope@staffs.ac.uk

Feedback is traditionally seen as a predominantly student/teacher dialogue but librarians at Staffordshire University are increasingly using feedback comments from formative and summative assessments to provide an intervention strategy of support, based upon our model of Information, Digital and Academic Literacies (ID&AL) thus completing a ‘feedback loop’.

Few activities in Universities are as important and as problematic as assessment and feedback. Feedback is widely recognised as one of the most important influences on learning and success. If Universities continue to assess as they currently do, then feedback should be at the core of their activity and focus furthermore it remains a key issue in student satisfaction surveys. Institutions wrestle with incremental improvement and implementing effective practice, focusing great energy, labour and effort on how to improve our feedback to students. In institutions, associations and at a national level feedback continues to occupy and confound us.

At Staffordshire University the “feedback loop” has been identified as a process involving tutors, students, librarians, study skills staff and others. It is discursive, dialogic, diagnostic, instructive, interactive and reflective for all involved. For tutors it provides assurances that students can incorporate feedback advice into subsequent submissions and knowledge that scaffolded support for students is available, for students it provides guidance on how to use feedback and addresses concerns where feedback may be considered unclear or demoralising. For librarians and study skills staff it provides a critical role in a core function of the University and an opportunity to facilitate information, digital and academic literacies at pivotal points in the students’ learning experience.

The project has identified pilot studies in a number of Faculties and with student cohorts and champions collaboratively we will deploy innovative technologies such as mobile applications and open badges to facilitate delivery.

Information literacy when there is no information: the case of rare and orphan diseases

Hannah Spring, York St John University, h.spring@yorksj.ac.uk

Information plays an important role in helping individuals cope with illness. Having the right information is an empowering experience for those with health problems. Health information is accessed by individuals to learn about their symptoms, to better understand a condition they might have, and particularly in the case of the internet, to self-diagnose or self-treat health problems without the need for face-to-face contact with a health professional. Information provides people with the ability to understand, treat, cope with and effectively manage their condition, thereby giving them control of their health. But what happens when there is no information? For people with rare diseases, this is often a reality. The European Commission for Public Health defines rare diseases as ‘life-threatening or chronically debilitating diseases affecting fewer than 5 people in 10,000’. The term ‘orphan disease’ is a term which is frequently used interchangeably with the term ‘rare diseases’. Rare and orphan diseases are frequently not prioritised for research funding and therefore the evidence-base is often sparsely populated. Where symptoms are similar to common conditions, rare diseases can also take a long time, often years, to be correctly diagnosed. Lack of diagnosis means that not only do those with rare diseases struggle to find the information they need about their condition, professional healthcare provision can also be impaired. Lack of information can be stressful, particularly when quality of life is reduced by the effects of a health condition. This paper will present a real life case study to explore the issues of information access and information literacy in the context of rare and orphan diseases. In particular, the paper considers the information experience and information behaviour of a person in the early stages of a rare condition, both pre and post diagnosis. The aim of this paper is to raise awareness amongst information professionals of the information related challenges which can face those coping with a rare or orphan disease, and present some possible solutions in order to aid the improvement of information support provided in such circumstances.

Steps to employability: the collaborative development and design of an information literacy programme

Zoe Clarke, Edge Hill University, zoe.clarke@edgehill.ac.uk

Employability is an increasingly prominent part of the student expectation of their university experience. Digital and information literacy skills are an essential part of the student employability portfolio. At Edge Hill University the Learning Services team have developed the Steps to Employability programme to enable students to enhance their digital and information literacy skills.

The proposed LILAC session will focus on the development and design of the programme and the rationale for the five individual sessions. It will consider the benefits of the collaborative approach to planning and delivery. It will explain how the programme was promoted to the university community.

The programme sessions were developed in collaboration by librarians, learning technologists and the ICT staff development co-ordinator, who all brought different skills, knowledge and perspectives to the planning process. This has resulted in a balanced spread of topics, covering different aspects of digital and information literacy for employability.

The programme was designed to include sessions of relevance to students at different stages of their university career. Sessions include managing your digital footprint, how to present yourself online and create an online profile, how to carry out research and present information in the workplace, and how to develop an action plan to improve your digital and information literacy skills at work. The sessions also include information on employer expectations of new graduates.

The Steps to Employability programme is publicised to students through web pages, plasma screens and social media. The programme has also been promoted to academic staff and can be reshaped into bespoke sessions embedded in their teaching schedules. It is envisaged that students attending sessions will increase their awareness of the digital and information literacies required to prepare for employment and succeed in the workplace.

IL and the Google generation: teaching research skills to sixth formers

Ian Hunter, Shearman & Sterling LLP , ian.hunter@shearman.com

In the library and information community there is a perceived lack of information literacy among young people which has led to labels such as the ‘Google Generation’ and the development of various standards of information literacy. In the first part of this paper the author will describe research skills sessions run for local sixth formers in February 2013, which tested the students’ information literacy to see if the Google Generation stereotype was true for this group. The students were tested in the following areas:

  1. authority/reliability of websites
  2. ‘the hidden web’ – Googling sources first rather than expecting to find an answer immediately
  3. Boolean searching and narrowing down a search
  4. identifying key concepts and search terms rather than relying on natural language
  5. citing sources.

The author will list the individual questions used and the students’ responses to each question.

In the second part of this paper the author will refer to the key standards of information literacy such as the SCONUL 7 Pillars, the BIALL Legal Information Literacy Statement and the ACRL standards and consider their suitability for young people. Possible alternative measures of information literacy will be considered such as those suggested by Miller and Bartlett, Gilster and Witec and Grettano, all of which focus on critical evaluation of information retrieved rather than the mechanics of Boolean searching.

The paper will conclude from the author’s experience of these sessions that there is a lack of information literacy among young people, but by considering new methods of teaching research skills which focus on ‘critical thinking’ rather the mechanics of searching the library and information profession can ensure information literate generations of graduates in the future.

A version of this paper appeared in the June 2013 issue of Legal Information Management (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8936744). The sessions will be run again in February 2014 and the results compared.


C Miller and J Bartlett, ‘”Digital fluency”: towards young people’s critical use of the internet Journal of Information Literacy, 6(2), 35

Paul Gilster, Digital Literacy (John Wiley, 1997)

Donna Witek and Teresa Grettano, ‘Information literacy on Facebook: an analysis’ Reference Services Review (2012) 40(2), 242

Partnerships with education sector to uplift information literacy in Singapore schools

Sara Pek, National Library Board, Sara_PEK@nlb.gov.sg

With greater access to Internet, social media and mobile devices, people are drowning in an ocean of information and misinformation. The National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore has launched a nationwide campaign in 2013 to promote awareness of information literacy (IL) skills through easy steps using simple acronym, “S.U.R.E.” which stands for Source, Understand, Research and Evaluate. To help students navigate the increasingly complex information landscape, NLB has leveraged on partnerships with the education sector to empower students’ independent learning through understanding and applying IL skills in their school works and extracurricular activities. Information and communication skill is identified as one of the 21st century competencies by the Ministry of Education (MOE). This paper will share and discuss the concerted efforts to uplift information literacy in schools such as:

  1. Collaboration with Ministry of Education to integrate IL into an inquiry based learning component within the lower secondary history and geography curriculums;
  2. Incorporation of IL concepts into primary school social studies textbooks;
  3. Training of teachers, trainee teachers and allied educators on essential IL skills to impart to their students;
  4. Conducting advanced IL workshops for selected junior college students on MOE talent development programme;
  5. Development of an enrichment programme for secondary school students called S.U.R.E. club to learn IL in fun and interesting activities including national competition and learning incentives;
  6. Collaboration with local publisher for product placement in children’s detective adventure series and book series about three teenagers;
  7. Creating user-friendly online resources for teachers and students such as cheatsheets, infographics, e-learning courseware and educational videos and
  8. Commissioning of a series of IL-related articles in a monthly students’ newspapers.

Feedback received from MOE, teachers and students have been very positive and encouraging. Learning points for this concerted effort will be shared.

Specialising in information literacy or field knowledge?

Lina Lindstein, Stockholm University Library, lina.lindstein@sub.su.se

Specialising in information literacy or field knowledge?

Should we as teaching librarians primarily specialise in information literacy or in field knowledge? In certain libraries there are contact librarians or embedded librarians who strive to be field experts within a certain domain [Hjørland, 2003]. This makes it important to be a part of the institution or department and adapt to their needs and culture [Jacobs 2010, Clyde & Lee 2011]. Another way of solving the issue is for the librarian to specialise; becoming an expert on information literacy, information retrieval, electronic information resources and librarian teaching methods [Oakleaf, Millet & Kraus 2011].

At Stockholm University Library we work as generalists in a team of eight librarians. With over 70 000 students/employees from 70 different departments it is a challenge to acquire deeper field knowledge for all departments. In theory, we work from the model that everybody in the teaching librarian team should be able to teach information literacy and information retrieval irrespective of subject and level.

Should we strive towards domain analysis and field expertise as embedded librarians or should we focus on becoming information specialists and pedagogues? It is possible that the latter procedure gives librarians an increased possibility of harmonising and ensuring quality in their own information literacy teaching. This could also give them the possibility of focusing on their own teaching methods. The disadvantage with this approach could be that the subject is “forgotten” or that the differences between the subjects are not acknowledged enough. Another possible disadvantage is the conflicts between the teachers and librarians teaching content.

I would like to use the presentation to jointly discuss the relationship between the two paths mentioned previously.


Clyde, Jerremie, Lee, Jennifer. 2011 Embedded Reference to Embedded Librarianship: 6 Years at the university of Calgary. Journal of Library Administration 51:389-402

Hjørland, Birger. 2003. Fundamentals of knowledge organization. Knowledge organization 30: 87-111

Jacobs, Warren N. 2010 Embedded Librarianship is a winning Proposition. Education Libraries 33:2

Oakleaf, Megan, Millet, Michelle S, Kraus, Leah 2011. All together now: Getting Faculty, Administrators, and Staff Engaged in Information Literacy Assessment. Libraries and the Academy, 11:3 831-852

Methods and tools for information literacy assessment – a collaborative project between university and upper secondary school libraries in Sweden

Karin Pettersson, Gothenburg University Library, karin.pettersson@ub.gu.se
Lena Landgren, Lund University Library, lena.landgren@ub.lu.se
Karolina Hanberger, Hulebäck Upper Secondary School, karolina.hanberger@harryda.se

During 2013, the project Methods and tools for assessing information literacy instruction was run by the University Libraries at the University of Gothenburg and Lund University together with an Upper secondary school library in Mölnlycke. This project is a rare instance of collaboration between libraries from different educational levels in Sweden. The project is financed by the National Library of Sweden and aims at building a toolbox with methods and tools for assessing information literacy instruction. A final report will be presented in February 2014.

Information literacy instruction makes up a growing part of University and Upper secondary school libraries’ undertakings. From a European perspective, the Bologna process highlighted information literacy as an important skill. Regarding Sweden, a new system for quality evaluation of university education was launched by the Swedish Higher Education Authority in 2011. It focuses on assessment of students’ degree projects, which has put information literacy skills on the agenda. Furthermore, the Swedish National Agency for Education launched a new Education Curriculum for Upper secondary schools in 2011, in which information literacy is stated among the knowledge requirements. Thus, apart from a general demand for quality assessment in education of today, the increased information literacy instruction at our libraries makes it necessary and desirable to assess what we are doing. In addition, no similar study has yet been made from Swedish experiences.

Based on a study of international review articles on information literacy assessment (for example Schilling & Applegate 2012; Walsh 2009), a smorgasbord of assessment methods (8 all in all) and tools (26) relevant for a Swedish context has been put together. The tools range from those used for assessing single information literacy sessions, such as CATs, to tools designed to assess deeper learning or student performance, such as annotated bibliographies. A sample of the tools was tested at information literacy sessions at the participating libraries. These tests were carried out to establish how the various tools work according to a number of factors such as aim, time for preparation and analysis, and usability. Results from the study will be analyzed and disseminated to both University and Upper secondary school libraries.

Since the project is presently up and running, the results are yet to be described. However, from a preview of some of the documentation, it is indicated that the tools in general have worked satisfyingly, but there are also valuable insights into possible obstacles. In addition, the project as such will contribute to experiences regarding benefits of collaboration between libraries on different educational levels but with similar aims; i.e. to support the information literacy development among our students.


Schilling, K., & Applegate, R. (2012). Best methods for evaluating educational impact: A comparison of the efficacy of commonly used measures of library instruction. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 100(4), 258-269.

Walsh, A. (2009). Information Literacy Assessment: Where Do We Start? Journal of Librarianship and
Information Science, 41(1), 19-28.

Supporting young people’s heath information needs

Barbara Sen, University of Sheffield, b.a.sen@sheffield.ac.uk
Hannah Spring, York St John University, h.spring@yorksj.ac.uk

This paper considers the information support needed for young people coping with long term illness and seeks to understand the relationship between health information literacy and their ability to cope with illness. It is based on the findings of a qualitative study of the narratives of thirty young people (aged between 16-29 years at the time of interview). The stories were originally collected by a charity DIPEx for the Youthealthtalk project(http://www.youthhealthtalk.org/). Permission was gained to analyse the data with an information lens. The analysis used Situational Analysis, an approach developed at the Chicago School of Symbolic Interactionism that uses ‘mapping’ techniques to aid data analysis (Clarke, 2005). This method has been used previously in health sciences, and to some extent in information science. One outcome of this analysis was the development of an information-coping trajectory model that maps the relationship between information and the young people’s ability to cope as they learn to manage their health conditions. The information coping trajectory model identifies five positions on the ‘map’:

  1. Young people particularly on diagnosis are coping with the shock of the new situation and experiencing a lack of information or ‘information deficiency’.
  2. In the early stages of illness the young people are trying to understand their information needs and learning to cope, many of them feeling ‘ill informed’.
  3. The young people are learning to cope, absorbing information, building their knowledge, finding they need an ‘information injection’.
  4. The young people have information, and knowledge about their illness and their ability to cope and now have ‘information health’.
  5. Becoming an ‘information donor’ – the young people grow in confidence and share the information and the knowledge with other young people in similar situations.

At each stage the relationship between the young person and information changes requiring the information support to change, and requiring sensitivity and understanding from information providers. This paper builds on the findings of the original study by taking the model and considering the information literacy needs and information support in relation to the stages of the model, and different stakeholders that the young people interact with in different social worlds identified in the situational analysis. ‘Social worlds’ exist where groups of people have shared commitments to activities. The young people occupy a ‘social world’; health professionals occupy another social world. These worlds overlap when people interact and it is at that stage that information is communicated and differences between the social worlds can become apparent. The recommendation is for a network of information literacy support spanning the social worlds supporting the development of the information needs of the young people as they progress along the information-coping trajectory.


Clarke, A. (2005) Situational Analysis. Sage: Thousand-Oaks.

Sen, B.A. and Spring, H.(2013) Mapping the information-coping trajectory of young people with long term illness. Journal of Documentation.69 (5), 638-666.

Youthhealthtalk URL: http://www.youthhealthtalk.org/ Accessed 1st November 2013.

Empowering students to critical thinking

Solveig Kavli, Bergen University Library, Arts Library, solveig.kavli@ub.uib.no
Eli Heldaas Seland, Norwegian School of Economics Library, eli.seland@nhh.no

The goal of the new version of the online tutorial Søk & Skriv (Search & Write) www.sokogskriv.no/en is to contribute to the education of information literate students. When redesigning Søk & Skriv in 2012 we particularly emphasised critical reading of sources. In this paper we would like to draw attention to why (theory) and how (practice) we have done so.

We have based our work on the understanding that information seeking is an act triggered by uncertainty (Kuhlthau 2004). Doubt, confusion and curiosity are driving forces in any research process (Bean 1996). The tutorial also leans on Brenda Dervin’s concept of sense-making (Dervin 1999). A source alone does not have absolute authority, but depends on the reader (in our case the student) defining the value of the text.

An example of how this is put into practice in the tutorial is the use of Stephen Toulmin’s model on argumentation (Toulmin in Rienecker 2012). Students are encouraged, through practical exercises, to use the model as a tool for analysing the arguments of a text, and also, in the track Writing, to practice crafting and revising their own arguments.

Many aspects of source evaluation tend to be tacit knowledge, and therefore not always sufficiently accessible to students. We articulate these aspects, provide a set of questions to consider, and stress the necessity of evaluating each single source carefully, with regard to both relevance and quality – neither of which can be guaranteed by factors such as peer review or impact factor alone.

A central concern has been to develop a product that is perceived as relevant by our primary target group, students of the so-called Generation N (that is, according to Feiertag and Berge 2008, students born in or after 1980). Young students, who are more likely to be what Ransdell et al. call digital natives, may use online resources only if they consider them to be necessary (2011, p. 937). Therefore, students were involved in evaluations of the site before and during the revision process. User tests provided us with valuable information and input.

In the new version of Søk & Skriv we have set out to equip students with adequate tools for evaluating their sources critically and independently. By practicing the use of these tools students will gain the necessary confidence to question the authority of their sources. Confident students – who know how to use their sources critically, ethically and creatively – write good assignments.

Søk & Skriv is an ongoing collaborative project run by the libraries at Bergen University College, Norwegian School of Economics, University of Oslo and University of Bergen and the academic writing unit at University of Bergen.


Andrews, R. (2010) Argumentation in Higher Education: Improving Practice through Theory and Research. New York: Routledge.

Dervin, B. (1999) On studying information seeking methodologically: the implications of connecting metatheory to method. Information Processing and Management 35, pp.727-750.

Feiertag, J., and Berge, Z. L. (2008) Training Generation N: how educators should approach the Net Generation, Education + Training, Vol. 50 Iss: 6, pp.457 – 464. Available from: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1740424 [Accessed November 8 2013].

Hyldegård, J, Lund, H., Moring, C., Pors, N.P., og Schreiber, T. (2011)Studerende, læring og webtutorials : En analyse af 3 norske læringssystemer. København : Det informationsvidenskabelige akademi. Available from: http://pure.iva.dk/files/31062163/Studerende_l_ring_og_webtutorials.pdf [Accessed November 1 2013].

Ransdell, S., Kent, B., Gaillard-Kenney, S. and Long, J. (2011), Digital immigrants fare better than digital natives due to social reliance. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42, pp. 931–938. Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2010.01137.x/full [Accessed October 21 2013].

Rienecker, L., & Stray Jørgensen, P. (2012). Den gode oppgave – håndbog i opgaveskrivning på videregående uddannelser. 4. utg. Frederiksberg : Samfundslitteratur.

Between the sheets: the affordances and limitations of social reading tools and their potential role in developing critical and information literacy skills

Alison Sharman, University of Huddersfield, a.sharman@hud.ac.uk

This paper reports the highlights of a social reading project that took place at the University of Huddersfield with second year undergraduate English literature students. The aim of the project was to develop students’ critical thinking skills, as well as facilitate reflection. In previous years engagement with the three course core texts was shallow. Class time is limited and so students were encouraged to use social reading tools which enable them to annotate a text collaboratively using laptops, iPads, Kindles or smart phones and engage in virtual dialogue with their fellow students and tutors. Tools used included ReadMill, an eBook reader for iPad and iPhone and eMargin, an online collaborative text annotation resource, developed as part of a JISC project by Birmingham City University. These technologies allowed students to highlight relevant sections of text, insert comments on the actual script, and participate in threaded discussions around the chosen passages to help them consider how they are going to apply theories such as feminism, gender and race to their readings. Tutors then have the option of responding direct to the annotations and offer immediate feedback. Librarians can also suggest further secondary readings and key terms that students might use to retrieve related articles. The nature of the discussion using these social reading tools is significantly different from using traditional discussion forums because the electronic reading tools enable the text itself to be annotated rather than separating discussion away from the source of the text.

This paper will report on the findings of action research carried out into the effectiveness of social reading with this particular cohort. The research methods used were unstructured interviews, observations and a questionnaire. As well discussing the affordances and limitations of the technology chosen for the project, it will outline the benefits of discussions that were able to take place within the text compared to those posted on VLEs for tutors, students and librarians. Did the use of the technology engender greater student engagement with scholarly sources? Did using the collaborative social reading tools help develop students’ analytical and critical literacy skills? Did the use of these digital technologies in combination with tutor and librarian feedback help in their personal development of the attributes identified within the seven pillars of information literacy?

Finally, it will assess whether there is a place for using such tools with other groups of students in the future and highlight potential barriers that first need to be overcome before the use of such tools will become more mainstream in higher education practices.

Launching high school teaching support at the University of Oslo Science Library

Anders Mattias Lundmark, Science Library, Oslo University, a.m.lundmark@ub.uio.no
Jessica Lönn-Stensrud, Science Library, Oslo University, jessica.lonn-stensrud@ub.uio.no

In this paper we look at how the Science Library at the University of Oslo, Norway, can contribute to information and science literacy at the high school level by a “teach the teacher” approach. The outcomes of a pilot study and the road forward are discussed.

With a strengthened mandate for outreach in the strategic plans for the University Library, the Science Library wishes to support high school science teachers in their work to help their students develop two key skills of information literacy: finding and evaluating information. This involves increasing the student’s general understanding of the nature of scientific work, as well as how and where scientific results are found and how science is recognized.

In collaboration with the Department of Teacher Education and School Research at Oslo University and the University high school network in the Oslo region we are proposing to give high school teachers access to chosen e-resources intended to help them keep up to date and for use in student projects, and to offer training for high school science teachers and student teachers.

We are currently conducting a pilot study with our collaborators to increase our understanding of how teachers and student teachers view the needs for information literacy training at the high school level in Norway, what forms they would prefer this training to take, and what support they would need in order to train their students efficiently. For comparison we have also asked high school students to assess their own capabilities in finding and evaluating information.

A joint IL-recommendation for Finnish universities

Leena Järveläinen, Turku University Library, leena.jarvelainen@utu.fi
Riita-Liisa Karjalainen, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, riitta-liisa.karjalainen@kamk.fi

This short paper presents a joint information literacy recommendation for Finnish universities, published in 2013 and compiled by Finnish university libraries and the university of applied sciences libraries. The recommendation is aimed at the universities, including their teaching staff and specifically decision and policy makers.

The paper also describes how the recommendation was produced as a joint effort by two Finnish higher education sector libraries – both the university and the university of applied sciences libraries.

In different Finnish higher education institutions, the information literacy teaching is being implemented in very different ways. In some, IL teaching is a fixed part of the teaching syllabus, while in others it has been given less consideration. The aim of the joint recommendation is to emphasize the importance of uniformity in IL teaching across all levels of higher education.

Today, a shared view between both sectors is also necessary because students often move on from one university sector to another accomplishing a Bachelor’s degree at a university of applied sciences and then continuing with a Master’s degree at a university. In addition, the IL teaching continuum should be included in all levels of post-graduate education.

The recommendation reminds us that information literacy skills belong among the most significant university acquired skills in all sectors of working life. The recommendation also seeks to highlight the importance of cooperation between the library and the other parts of the university; e.g. between teaching and library staff.

This is the first recommendation of its type produced in cooperation by Finnish university libraries. It is an important step towards cooperation in developing university students’ information literacy skills. The recommendation has been translated into Swedish and English. The recommendation is based on the recommendations made by the EMPATIC project, Information Literacy in the Higher Education Learning Sector – recommendations to policy makers.

Evaluating the impact of information skills training on health professionals: looking beyond satisfaction

Michael Raynor, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), michael.raynor@nice.org.uk
Jenny Craven, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Jennifer.Craven@nice.org.uk

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Information Services team offer a range of information skills training courses to all staff at NICE. The courses are popular (approximately one in five NICE staff attend) and post-course evaluations consistently demonstrate that the courses increase attendees’ confidence in their knowledge of the topics covered and their searching skills.

Because of the popularity of these courses and the resource invested in their planning and delivery, Information Services wished to go beyond self-administered post-course evaluations as a measure of their success and explore more objective measures.

This paper describes a research project conducted by staff from Information Services to try to objectively measure levels of skills and knowledge acquisition by attendees and its impact on their professional practice. The project began in early summer 2013 and is due to complete and report in February 2014.

The project specifics are:

Aim: Establish if any learning takes place and how it is used in attendees’ day-to-day work

Methods:Pre- and post-course semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of attendees of the two most popular courses: Introduction to literature searching and Searching for pharmaceutical information. The interview protocol comprises three technical questions about searching skills and one open question about application of skills.

Results: Responses to technical questions will be quantified using an adaptation of a validated scoring rubric. The open question will be thematically analysed using a grounded theory method

Conclusions: Full results and conclusions will be reported as part of the paper

It is hoped that this paper will be of interest to delegates who wish to objectively measure user learning as a result of information literacy training as well as its impact on users’ information seeking behaviour.

Designing one information literacy website formany types of information seeking behavior

Melissa Man, Nanyang Technological University, melissaman@ntu.edu.sg

At Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Libraries there was a need to create one site for the library’s information literacy messaging and instruction. As an optional source of information for users, separate from the library’s own website, the design for the information literacy site had to address the information seeking behaviour of today’s users in order to be relevant. The site had to be flexible enough to support instructional programmes, but also provide information literacy instruction that could be shared through the library’s existing social media platforms.

Using Word Press MU, NTU Libraries’ Instructional Services Division is building a dedicated site for its information literacy programme. The design and content is guided by research on information seeking behaviour. For example Kim’s (2009) observation that factual, interpretive, and exploratory tasks give rise to different types of information seeking behaviour; our site has to facilitate the diverse information seeking behaviours that accompany our users’ anticipated tasks. Bates’ (1993) more established theory of non-traditional information retrieval provides models for facilitating browsing within non-linear behaviour that relies somewhat on serendipity. The design and content is also guided by research on technology-assisted learning (Su & Kuo, 2010), as our site should maximize the learning outcomes that can be achieved with existing technology.

NTU Libraries, like many other academic libraries, has been promoting its instructional programmes online for many years. We explored new channels for promotion and began embedding links and objects to foster information literacy. Our current project approaches information literacy more holistically to encompass existing information literacy instruction,guides, and more. This paper will review the literature on information seeking behaviour and explore NTU Library’s application of these models to its information literacy site. It will serve as a case study of user-oriented design and the novel experience of presenting information literacy concepts to users through both new and more traditional media.


Bates, M. J. (1993). The design of browsing and berrypicking techniques for the online search interface. Online Information Review, 13(5), 407-424. doi: 10.1108/eb024320

Kim, J. (2009). Describing and predicting information-seeking behavior on the Web. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(4), 679-693. doi: 10.1002/asi.21035

Su, S.-F., & Kuo, J. (2010). Design and Development of Web-based Information Literacy Tutorials. The Journal of
Academic Librarianship, 36(4), 320-328. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2010.05.006

Playing with information literacy

Andrew Walsh, University of Huddersfield, a.p.walsh@hud.ac.uk

Those of us who teach information skills in academic libraries often talk about the need to develop higher level, transferable skills, those skills we think will be retained and re-used, helping to develop information literate people. In practice, this is hard to do, with these desires tempered by limited contact time, one-shot instruction, and the need for students to ‘just get a few references’ for their next assignment.

This short paper proposes that even with limited teaching time, bringing play and games into libraries and the teaching of information skills in Higher Education is practical and would benefit students directly, both while at university, and equipping them with the skills they need for lifelong learning.

Play brings a freedom to explore and innovate, creating ‘safe’ ways of developing skills such as those required to navigate in the complex, demanding, modern information landscape. It can therefore effectively support the development of those higher level, transferable, information literacy skills. Examples of games used in libraries can be found in the literature, though these often emphasise engagement rather than quality of learning, which can be problematic. Using play, as opposed to the special case of game, activities have largely been limited to the ‘creative’ subject areas, such as art and design.

This paper shows the benefits of using play in libraries to improve information literacy, illustrating it with examples of play, games and gamification within libraries and academic skills settings. Attendees will be provided with examples and resources that will help them create their own playful libraries as a major step towards developing higher level information skills.