Parallel sessions – Wednesday 23rd April

Watch, listen & learn: ethnographic methods for information literacy assessment

Michael Courtney, Indiana University, micourtn@indiana.edu
Carrie Donovan, Indiana University, cdonovan@indiana.edu
Catherine Minter, Indiana University, cjminter@indiana.edu

In order to design library instruction that is relevant to individuals and institutions,librarians must fully understand our communities of learners, including their level of educational attainment, prior knowledge, and capacity for achievement. Some educators look to characteristics and skills across generations of learners in order to comprehend the preferences, patterns, and performance of students, while others depend upon educational standards to guide their integration of specific learning outcomes into existing curricula. These broad approaches can be helpful in establishing a framework from which to start, but should not be the sole means for developing and sustaining learner-focused instructional initiatives over time. While we had a general idea of our students’ research awareness and information-seeking savvy, we did not have a full understanding of the ways they conceptualise and engage with information systems in order to achieve their academic goals.

By applying ethnography, the qualitative method of observing and recording the everyday practises of a cultural group in order to better understand their lives, librarians have the opportunity to understand research behaviours from the point of view of the student. Conducting an ethnographic study focused on undergraduate researchers allowed librarians at our institutions to better understand the ways students access, use, and evaluate information in their coursework so that librarians could effect changes in the curriculum based on this evidence.

With so many questions plaguing academic libraries, including “How are library collections and spaces used?” “How do faculty engage in research?” “What sort of support and services do graduate students require for their research?” a study of this kind could easily begin to seem like a panacea to the issues that we face. However, an authentic ethnographic approach demands that our research questions, data collection, and resulting actions maintain the interests and practises of our users as the central focus. For this reason, we chose to centre our ethnographic investigation on the ways course assignments influence student research behaviour. By illuminating student research behaviours, we hoped to discover good practises for assignment design that balance faculty expectations with students’ sense of ownership, responsibility, and self-efficacy in the research

process. The lessons learned through this study have informed our instructional techniques, especially as they relate to our consultations with faculty on the design and timing of research-based assignments across a variety of disciplines. In addition, we have learned that ethnographic principles not only provide a new way of understanding our students, but also an awareness of ourselves and our instructional identities. This workshop will provide attendees with an awareness of the process of enquiry underlying ethnography and how it can shape instructional experiences for both teacher and learner.

Based on their experience using ethnographic methods to illuminate student beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes, the workshop facilitators will engage delegates in the effective application of example methods to library instruction. Delegates will practise using visual and interactive methods such as event mapping and research process interviewing in order to understand questions that can be addressed through ethnography and how such approaches can be built into their instructional repertoire. Whether or not they plan to conduct a formal study, delegates will learn how to integrate ethnographic practises into information literacy instruction in order to align teaching with the student experience.

Workshop Outline:

  1. Welcome & Introductions
  2. Ethnography: Background & Application to Academic Libraries
  3. Developing an Enquiry Question
  4. Instrument Design & Data Collection
  5. Challenges & Opportunities
  6. Data Analysis & Instructional Implications
  7. Ethnographic Methods in the Library Classroom
  8. Challenges & Opportunities
  9. Wrap-up & Next Steps

Great expectations: a team approach to creating interactive online skills resources

Jade Kelsall, University of Manchester Library, jade.kelsall@manchester.ac.uk

The task: develop a completely new programme of innovative e-learning resources

The team: one learning technologist, four librarians and a learning developer

The time: six months

In early 2013, the University of Manchester library was coming out of a restructure; we no longer had subject librarians, so the newly formed teaching and learning team were tasked with developing new ways of delivering library skills teaching without subject responsibilities.

The shift in focus from subject specific remits to a more generalist support structure meant that the resources needed to shift as well; it marked a move from the assumption that everything must be specific, to the acknowledgement that the skills we support are universal and necessary for all of our users.

Core information skills which were traditionally taught in a face-to-face setting with varying degrees of success would now be provided by a suite of interactive online learning resources; these would be supported by relevant and timely elements of face-to-face teaching.

After identifying twelve key content areas, the team was left with the question of how to achieve the design and development of all these resources in such a short time frame. The newly appointed e-learning technologist was adept as developing resources, but lacked the time and expertise to write content for twelve of them. The librarians had the knowledge, but no experience of e-learning development.

The Library launched the new My Learning Essentials skills programme in September 2013. The programme includes a brand new suite of interactive online learning resources; the majority of the work had taken place over just six months.

The team is now embarking on phase two of the project, expanding the existing suite of resources, and ensuring that they are updated, enhanced and quality assured in a meaningful and structured fashion.

In this session, you will:

There will be lots of opportunity for asking questions and discussion throughout the session.

Supporting information literacy educators: reflective pedagogic planning improving information literacy practice

Pamela McKinney, University of Sheffield, p.mckinney@sheffield.ac.uk
Barbara Sen, University of Sheffield, b.a.sen@sheffield.ac.uk

This workshop draws on research carried out at the University of Sheffield in reflective practice for information literacy teaching and pedagogic planning for inquiry-based learning. We aim to combine these two aspects of teaching practice in order to provide participants with a framework for reflection and teaching development to support the improvement of their information literacy teaching.

The ability to reflect on past performance and use this to improve future practice is an important activity for professionals and learners; information literacy educators are no exception. Reflection is the starting point for many research approaches into teaching, for example action research, and it is hoped that the development of reflective practice will support participants in becoming research active with regards to their teaching. The reflective activities in the workshop will be based on Schon’s (1983) conception of reflection as an active, dynamic, and practical process. Participants will be given guidance on how to reflect effectively drawing on support strategies developed by Moon (2001), and our experience of designing reflective workshops for staff and students at the University.

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) covers a range of teaching and learning strategies that are constructivist in nature and are characterized by placing the student inquiry at the heart of the learning experience. There has been considerable interest in IBL from the IL community evidenced by its inclusion as a theme at previous LILAC conferences. Many IL practitioners either using inquiry-based techniques or support academics who are doing so. Research and practice in the Centre for Inquiry based learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) led to the development of a pedagogic planner for inquiry based learning, (Levy et al. 2010) designed to be a starting point for discussing and designing IBL. The pedagogic planner gives us a framework for considering different aspects of our teaching and helps us think about our teaching in a structured way.

Workshop participants will reflect on their teaching practice and seek to develop it using the CILASS pedagogic planner through reflective discussion and peer feedback. Participants will leave with a better understanding of their past teaching, a practical plan for the future and will have two frameworks that they can apply to continuously improve their teaching practice.

Session timetable:


Levy, P. Little, S, McKinney, P. Nibbs, A Wood, J. (2010) The Sheffield companion to Inquiry-based Learning http://www.shef.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.122757!/file/Sheffield_IBL_Companion.pdf

Moon, J. (2001) PDP working paper 4. Reflection in Higher Education learning. Learning and Teaching Support Network. [Online] http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/hr/training/gtu/students/resources/pgwt/reflectivepractice.pdf

Schön, D. (1983) The reflective practitioner. New York: Basic Books.

CILIP and the policy work of the Information Literacy Steering Group

Jacqueline May, CILIP, jacqueline.may@cilip.org.uk

CILIP made information literacy a policy priority area in 2010 and the Information Literacy Steering Group was set up to take forward the work programme outlined in the information literacy strategy for CILIP formulated by an earlier Task & Finish group.

When the steering group first sat down together the main challenge was where to start. What could the project realistically achieve given its resources? How could we hope to cover all sectors and issues set out by the task & finish group as being important?

In the end two policy areas were chosen; Digital inclusion and IL in the learning sector and four main objectives were identified for the project:

A successful IL summit for the digital inclusion policy strand at the end of last year, with over half of the people attending from the non library world, marked the culmination of our stakeholder work.

Other key outcomes of the project include the drafting of a policy statement on digital inclusion and participation; Digital by Desire which awaits endorsement by CILIP Council and making Information Literacy a discrete element within the new PKSB (Professional Knowledge and Skills Base). Information literacy is also now formally recognised within our Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct.

The session will finish by touching upon the way in which policy statements get to be formulated, the process from draft to fully endorsed policies, and how such policies can be used and advocated by the IL practitioner.

Creating and implementing an information literacy curriculum map: integrating information literacy into the curriculum

Leslin Charles, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, leslin.charles@rutgers.edu

Most academic institutions today have a heightened sense of the need for information literacy instruction. The value of integrating information literacy into the university curriculum is now present in the consciousness of both faculty and administration. Some accrediting bodies have identified these competencies as integral to the curricula of all academic disciplines of a university; charging libraries and faculty to account for said competencies in periodic institutional self-studies. In the United States, employers have identified information literacy skills among the learning priorities necessary for college students to succeed in today’s economy.(1)

Librarians have responded to this need by embedding ourselves in courses, creating and teaching credit bearing courses, creating learning objects, conducting workshops, and doing in-class instruction along with other library duties. However, with limited library staff, a burgeoning student population, and constantly evolving curriculum, how can we ensure that students are receiving a systematic/hierarchical set of information literacy competencies? How can we be accountable to our students, ourselves, and our institution? Creating and implementing an Information Literacy Curriculum Map can provide a cohesive delivery of information literacy skill building opportunities across the curriculum. A map aligns information literacy competencies with core courses, courses in a discipline, and assessment points.

An Information Literacy Curriculum Map is both a tool and process toward addressing scalability issues in an information literacy program. At larger institutions, how can we document which cohorts of students are learning particular information literacy skill sets? The Information Literacy Curriculum Map can be used also as a process toward assessment of information literacy skills within a particular discipline, program, or institution. As a tool it is an instrument to communicate the information literacy strategies to targeted constituents and to implement the information literacy instruction program.

As each library liaison busily responds to the requests of teaching faculty, we effectively increase the number of instruction sessions that we do and the number of students that we teach. However, we run the risk of teaching the same skills to the same groups of students if we do not scaffold the learning opportunities. Students could also become apathetic as they see too much repetition of content. An Information Literacy Curriculum Map will address this potential problem.

This workshop will demonstrate the creation, structure, and implementation of an Information Literacy Curriculum Map as a means of formally integrating information literacy into the university curriculum. This includes the creation of learning outcomes that adhere to ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and that compliment assignments and learning opportunities across the curriculum.

Workshop attendees will come away with a clear understanding of the structure of an IL Curriculum Map and how to create and implement the map. Further, they will identify possible opportunities and challenges in their particular circumstances. Finally, they will come away with a unique framework/template to create a curriculum map at their own institution.

Segments include:


(1) Hart Research Associates. (2013, April 10). It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success: An Online Survey Among Employers Conducted on Behalf of The Association of American Colleges and Universities. Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/leap/documents/2013_EmployerSurvey.pdf

Clarity in collaboration: making partnerships work in across campus student skills support

Jennie Blake, University of Manchester, jennie.blake@manchester.ac.uk
Karen Butterworth, University of Manchester, karen.r.butterworth@manchester.ac.uk

“As a result of our strong partnership, we have been able to reach and work with students previously unaware of the service we offer.”

Collaboration and outreach sit at the centre of the University of Manchester’s new My Learning Essentials open training programme. From its inception, the programme sought out best practice across the university and used the library’s place as a key resource for all students to increase the impact of support offered by resources from across the university.

This structure has two essential components: a clear commitment to students’ ability to “take away” skills from all workshops and a guided process which insures that the sessions delivered are innovative and compelling without duplicating resource already available, while still making connections between the students and the resources offered across campus.

Because our remit and structure are so clear, we are able to invite others to participate with a compelling vision of what joined-up student skills support can look like. This allows the library to continue to be the central resource for students while finding resource and expertise outside of the teaching and learning team to work to meet student need. The result is a broad and varied suite of resources that see us working with our careers service, counselling service, university language centre and others who offer student support and touch on all aspects of student life, from academic and employability skills to personal development and wellbeing, all under the aegis of the My Learning Essential programme.

One of our strongest collaborations is with the award winning Manchester Careers Service. We work diligently to make the open training a place for both partners to suggest innovations. One new strand of the partnership this year is very successful drop in skills sessions that invite students to proactively seek out the support they need for applications, CVs, or other employability questions. The success of this partnership is allowing us to develop a model that will reach out to others at the university and beyond.

This workshop will take participants through the creation of the partnership strand of the MLE open training programme and feature discussion from a key partner of the programme. Participants will be invited to work to sketch out their own possible links and structure that would allow their services to act as signposts for resource across their user base. We will discuss how to use the guidance structure to encourage others to develop resource that supports the student skills agenda and best practice in forming a cohesive and committed student support programme.

The group will brainstorm innovative ways to link up services and multiple branches for collaboration between libraries and the wider student support available. We will also discuss the next steps that the programme is taking at Manchester and how the guided discussions and structure are being used to take the open training programme into other areas of support and influencing procedures across the University.

Workshop Plan:

Welcome to new and international delegates

Are you an international delegate or new to the LILAC conference?

If so, come along to our Welcome event which is an ideal opportunity for you to meet some of the LILAC organising committee and other delegates before the start of the conference. During this unofficial kick-off to the conference we will be serving light refreshments (tea, coffee, or juice if you prefer) and a selection of cakes. This event will help you to make the most of your delegate opportunities by gaining new insights and meeting new people.

The event is aimed at new and international delegates, but others are welcome so long as they are willing to share their experience on how to make the most of LILAC! The Welcome event is kindly sponsored by ArtStor.

What does digital literacy mean for information literacy practitioners? Business as usual or a disruptive force?

Jonathan White, University of Derby, J.P.White@derby.ac.uk

This workshop will explore the term ‘digital literacy’ and its relationship with information literacy. Emerging theory and influential definitions and models, such as those offered by JISC (2013) and the British Computer Society (BCS, 2013) will be cited, as will the UK Government’s planning for a new National Curriculum on Computing. Practical examples from research and practice from around the UK will also be cited.

These examples will be used as the basis for discussions and activities on how Librarians and Information Literacy practitioners can use their knowledge, skills and experiences to contribute to developments in the rapidly evolving field of digital literacy. The session will pose and seek to generate answers to the following questions:

Through the use of small group activities and whole group discussion, the workshop will facilitate discussion and idea generation on all of the above questions and will provide participants with a forum through which to gain new understanding, share examples and identify ideas to take forward. The activities will be framed around how librarians and information literacy practitioners can be involved in the teaching, research and management of digital literacy.

Activities will include: A group activity on identifying information and digital literacy skills, identifying similarities and differences, and identifying responsibilities; A main group activity to discuss and generate ideas in answer to the ‘big questions’ around digital and information literacy and present this back to the group; a whole group discussion on what the future may hold in this area.

Publication without tears: tips for aspiring authors

Jane Secker, London School of Economics, j.secker@lse.ac.uk
Cathie Jackson, Journal of Information Literacy, cjackson@dinkycrew.com

Are you keen to get your LILAC paper published in the Journal of Information Literacy? Come along to this workshop led by members of the editorial team to pick up some top tips for getting published and common problems that the team encountered when papers are submitted. This will be a practical workshop with a chance to see the reviewers criteria for evaluating papers and discuss your ideas for publication with the team.

Team based learning in information literacy instruction

Anne Costigan, University of Bradford, a.t.costigan@bradford.ac.uk
Maria Introwicz, University of Bradford, m.introwicz@bradford.ac.uk

Team Based Learning is a ‘flipped classroom’ teaching method in which students are asked to study material (pre-reading) before their teaching sessions. In the sessions they are tested on the pre-reading both individually and in groups and they are also asked to apply the knowledge they have acquired in a variety of group exercises.

Why is Team Based Learning exciting? It is a carefully structured form of group work that provides instant feedback to students on their learning but also promotes engagement at a deep level. It requires no advanced technology but has been shown to achieve significant improvements in learning outcomes. However it has not yet been widely adopted in information literacy teaching, particularly in the UK.

Team based Learning was introduced by Larry Michaelsen in the United States in the 1970s and is now in use in many countries. Initially popular in health education, it is now being adopted in all disciplines. At the University of Bradford the Pharmacy department have redesigned the MPharm course around it so that every module is taught via this technique. It can be used successfully with small or large groups – at Bradford the Pharmacy cohorts have over 200 students and feedback has been very positive.

Since 2012, the Library has been involved in supporting the course with resources and information literacy teaching and has adopted TBL for referencing and plagiarism sessions.

In this workshop session Team Based Learning will be used to allow participants to examine the challenges and opportunities this method presents for information literacy instruction and to explore how they might use it in their own practice.

In this session you will learn about Team Based Learning in Information Literacy through the medium of Team Based Learning!

At the beginning of the session you will be tested, both individually and in groups, on your pre-reading. This will be followed by a short lecture to contextualise Team Based Learning and how it has been used at the University of Bradford.

Then you will take part in two group application exercises which will allow you to explore how TBL can be used in Information Literacy and how you might use it in your own practice.



Wikipedia: it’s not the evil elephant in the library reading room

Andrew Gray, British Antarctic Survey, andrew@generalist.org.uk
Nancy Graham, University of Roehampton, Nancy.Graham@roehampton.ac.uk

The extraordinary initiative behind Wikipedia has made it possible for almost anyone with an internet connection to access openly available, timely information on almost every topic imaginable. However, support and use of Wikipedia amongst educators and librarians has been a source of controversy (Bayliss, G. 2013), partly due to the ever changing content and apparent lack of editorial control.

But could Wikipedia and IL actually be a perfect fit? Rather than encouraging non-use should we instead be teaching all library users to engage with Wikipedia to learn the full range of IL skills? There has been research in recent years showing how librarians and educators utilise the site to teach information literacy as part of academic skills (Sormunen,E. & Lehtio, L, 2011).

This short paper will challenge librarians to question their prejudices and embrace Wikipedia to teach IL. The speakers, a librarian and a former Wikipedian in Residence will cover the following:

The presentation will be followed by a Q&A and practical guides will also be available.


Bayliss, G. (2013) ‘Exploring the cautionary attitude toward Wikipedia in Higher Education: Implications for Higher Education Institutions’ New Review of Librarianship, vol.19, no.1, pp.36-57.

Sormunen, E. & Lehtio, L (2011) ‘Authoring Wikipedia articles as an information literacy assignment-copy-pasting or expressing new understanding in one’s own words?’ Information Research, vol. 16, no. 4, paper 503

Contextualising your literature search using the Contextagon

Susan Halfpenny, University of York, susan.halfpenny@york.ac.uk

The Contextagon is a tool which has been designed with the aim of helping social science students to: contextualise a research question within the broader subject area; identify gaps in their existing knowledge; and select the right search tools to identify different sources of information.

Social science students generally need to make use of a wide array of resources to support their dissertation. With reading lists predominantly focusing on books and journal articles it can be difficult to get students to explore sources outside these categories when they reach their third year. Often students have got into the habit of relying on just one or two search tools, like Google Scholar and the Library Catalogue.

The Contextagon has been developed as a tool to facilitate discussions about the different types of information available and how they will develop knowledge and understanding of a topic. It is made up of six broad categories, which cover the main areas that social science students need to consider when they are researching a new topic to contextualise their research. The categories include;

Students need to think about their topic in relation to the different categories and make a list of key facts on each of the areas based on their existing knowledge. By working through the categories students can identify what they already know and what they need to find out. Once student have identified gaps in their knowledge they need to select which search tools will be most effective for locating the different information sources.

The process of working through the Contexagon provides student with a context for their literature search.

Off to a Flying Start

Helen Howard, University of Leeds, h.e.howard@leeds.ac.uk

Flying Start is an online resource helping students make the transition from school or college to University. Now in its third year, it aims to raise student awareness of the importance of building a foundation of academic skills to enhance their studies and improve their grades.

The resource is made available to students once they have received their ‘A’ level results and know they are coming to the University of Leeds a few weeks later. Using video, interactive activities and text, students are introduced to a range of academic skills topics, such as independent learning, referencing and research, to encourage them to see the relevance and importance of these skills in Higher Education. Each section is built around a set of core generic information, introduced by student videos, and complemented with School or Department-specific information related to the student’s particular subject and thus creating a personal connection with them before their arrival at Leeds. For an example see: http://flyingstart.leeds.ac.uk/history/

This paper will outline Flying Start briefly but will then focus on feedback and evaluation received from students over the last 3 years. Flying Start is a large project, involving collaboration between over 40 Schools or Departments at the University, and student feedback received helps to illustrate the challenge, and sometimes the anxiety, relating to the transition from school to University. Initially, when developing the resource, we surveyed a large number of school/college students, as well as first year undergraduates to see what themes and topics they would like to see included.

Each year since its pilot launch in 2011, we have then collected data on student usage and satisfaction with the resource, building a picture of the perceived and actual differences between school or college and university and the key academic skills needed to succeed.

Plagiarism school 101

Vanessa Earp, Kent State University, vearp@kent.edu

This paper will focus on the outreach and collaborative efforts by the RIS (reference and instructional services) and regional campus units of Kent State University Libraries in plagiarism education. From 2007-2010, a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate worked to rewrite the University Policy on Student Cheating and Plagiarism. This new policy provided an opportunity for University Libraries to work closely with the Office of Student Conduct and the University Writing Commons to offer programmatic plagiarism education to all levels of students.

Part of the new University Policy on Student Cheating and Plagiarism is Plagiarism School, which is administered by the Instructional Services unit of University Libraries. Plagiarism School is designed to help “first time offenders” reflect on the plagiarised assignment, identify ways to address the concerns expressed by the faculty member when directing the student to Plagiarism School, and introduce them to helpful resources that can be utilised in the future. Since the inception of the program in fall 2012 more than 90 students have successfully completed the program.

In addition to Plagiarism School, University Libraries and the University Writing Commons also offer a variety of workshops on avoiding plagiarism and citation styles. The Head of Instructional Services, along with the Director of the Office of Student Conduct, and the Student Ombudsman also give presentations to the faculty and administrators on campus about Plagiarism School.

Delegates will:

Is library induction “Pointless”? A quiz based approach to motivate students and make induction memorable

Julie Moody, Plymouth University, julie.moody@plymouth.ac.uk

The challenges of delivering library inductions to students are well documented. Ensuring that students remain engaged and are not overloaded with information is the key to success. These sessions are often delivered in lecture theatres to large numbers of students where it is difficult to include interactivity.

The Academic Support, Technology and Innovation (ASTI) team at Plymouth University decided to take up this challenge last year to further develop our “industrial model” of Library and IT induction. To engage and motivate the students, we decided to develop a quiz show format for the face-to-face part of our induction, delivered in lecture theatres by the Information Specialists. Having surveyed the first year undergraduates about what they needed to know within the first three weeks of their course to get them “up to speed and course ready”, we realised that previous inductions had had such a low impact that many students had forgotten them. Our primary aims were to make the students remember the induction and view their information specialist as approachable and fun. Any detail about using the Library or IT systems was provided in a follow-up online tutorial, created using Adobe Captivate. With these aims in mind, we developed a “Pointless” style quiz, based on the show broadcast on BBC1. Teams competed to answer library and IT questions with the aim being to find that all important Pointless answer that none of the 100 people questioned beforehand knew.

Delegates attending will learn about:

As a result, delegates will be able to see the benefits/pitfalls of this approach to inform their own practice.

Getting to grips with Wikipedia: a practical session

Brian Kelly, Cetis, University of Bolton, ukwebfocus@gmail.com
Nancy Graham, University of Roehampton, Nancy.Graham@roehampton.ac.uk

Wikipedia provides an ideal tool for making information more readily accessible to a wide community, ranging from school children, the general public, students, researchers, as well as senior managers and policy makers.

Concerns over the accuracy of Wikipedia articles have been well-documented. However the crowd-sourced creation and reviewing of articles appears to be effective in ensuring that articles are accurate and relevant. In addition Wikipedia’s fundamental principles for content creation, including neutrality of contributors and objective descriptions being provided from a neutral point of view, is also helping to ensure that Wikipedia content meets the quality requirements which would be expected of such a popular service.

Sceptics may point out that research is suggested that the numbers of Wikipedia contributors are declining. However a response to this should be to encourage librarians to have a greater involvement with the Wikipedia community, which might include editing existing articles, creating new articles and training their users in how to create or edit articles.

This hands-on session will provide an opportunity for those who may be new to Wikipedia to create a Wikipedia profile and even update existing Wikipedia articles. To gain the most benefit from the workshop participants should bring a laptop, tablet or smartphone to use during the session. However for those who do not have such devices, we will ensure that participants without devices are paired with those who do.

The workshop resources will be made available under a Creative Commons licence for those who wish to use them for their own training.

By the end of the session participants will have:

It should be noted that this session is self-contained. It may also be of relevance for those who wish to participate in the Wikipedia edit-a-thon session, especially for those who have no prior Wikipedia editing experience.

There are two small things to do in advance to make the session run smoothly. One is to register an account – it should only take a minute or so. Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&returnto=Main+Page&type=signup

Secondly, read this (short) paper – it’s intended for biologists, but the advice it gives is useful for anyone interested in Wikipedia: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941

Strategic proposal for an embedded information literacy curriculum

Clare Scott, The University of Sheffield, c.scott@sheffield.ac.uk
Amy Collins, The University of Sheffield, a.collins@sheffield.ac.uk

Information literacy (IL) training is most effective when embedded in the academic curriculum (Beetham et al, 2009) at more than one point in a degree course. This paper describes how the Library Faculty Team for the Arts and Humanities at The University of Sheffield achieved strategic buy-in for an undergraduate IL curriculum. Working collaboratively with Directors of Learning and Teaching enabled us to target our IL offer to specific student assignments that were presented as an inherent part of core modules. The aims of the proposal included ensuring effective transition for students, to improve the quality of students’ work and to meet the IL attribute of The Sheffield Graduate. As educators we wanted to teach IL within a subject context where it is most effective. We tailored our lesson plans in line with this and in consultation with experts in the disciplines. A further aim was to ensure that students understand IL as a transferrable employability skill, this idea was used to effect with The School of English. The learning outcomes laid out in the curriculum were based on the ANCIL model of IL (Secker & Coonan, 2011). Our proposal was presented and accepted at a Faculty level committee which ensured support from teaching staff at all levels. We feel that the best way to provide consistent IL education for our students is through a strategic policy. The paper will explain how we achieved this, our progress to date, and future plans.


Beetham, H., McGill, L. & Littlejohn, A. (2009). Thriving in the 21st century: Learning Literacies for the Digital Age (LLiDA project). http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/projects/llidareportjune2009.pdf

Secker, J., & Coonan, E. (2011). A New Curriculum for Information Literacy: Executive Summary. http://ccfil.pbworks.com/f/Executive_summary.pdf

Rationalising referencing: changing policy and practice to smooth transition and improve the student experience

Dan Pullinger, University of Leeds, d.j.pullinger@leeds.ac.uk

The need to reference academic sources is arguably a threshold concept for students making the transition to Higher Education; many arrive at university with little understanding of its importance, nor the ongoing role it will play in their academic and professional lives (Warner, 2011).

At Leeds, the challenge of grasping this new concept was exacerbated by students being given inconsistent advice. Schools were using differing versions of referencing styles and the supporting information provided to students varied considerably. Referencing expectations often differed from tutor to tutor. This lack of consistency was confusing for students, as well as being inefficient, and risked assignments being marked on an inequitable basis. With marks at stake, students were understandably focusing on the “how” instead of the “why” when it came to engaging with referencing.

This session will explain how the Library tackled this problem at an institutional level, pushing for changes in policy as well as practice that resulted in the adoption of a campus-wide Rationalising Referencing Policy in 2012/13. Schools had to select a single referencing style for use by all taught students. All schools that adopted Harvard or Numeric are now expected to use a standardised Leeds version. Any school that chose another style (where appropriate, e.g. Law using OSCOLA) is now required to direct its students to a single, official guide for that style. All marking of referencing should adhere to the guidance provided through the Library’s centralised support.

In addition, this paper will explore how the results of a large-scale survey confirmed the extent of Leeds students’ frustration and confusion, challenged assumptions made by tutors, and validated the Library’s work to rationalise the referencing styles used across campus. The survey outcomes led to recommendations for further work by the Library and individual departments to improve referencing support; we will discuss how this work is progressing and our plans for the future.


Warner, R. 2011. Referencing: a threshold concept. AUC TESOL Journal. [Online]. Special issue, pp.141-146. [Accessed 12 November 2013]. Available from: http://www.aucegypt.edu/academics/eli/TESOL/issues/Pages/default.aspx

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much: embedding information literacy into an assignment planning toolkit through team collaboration

Rebecca Blunk, University Campus Suffolk, b.blunk@ucs.ac.uk

This paper discusses how, in collaboration, librarians, learning developers and learning technologists at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) created a publically-accessible, web-based assignment planning toolkit, embedded with effective information literacy (IL) characteristics, in order to support users in developing scholarly, cognitive practices necessary for academic, personal and professional progression.  This self-directed toolkit, containing step-by-step guidance for completing an array of assignments was created to enable users to develop and achieve at their own pace and allow them to take responsibility for their own learning (i.e. autonomous learning), a crucial characteristic in attaining IL skills at university.

In order to produce a tool representative of current practice and specialised expertise across the Academic Development department at UCS in a consistent manner, a united effort was essential and presented minor challenges.  The subject librarians and learning developers created content for the toolkit that reflected attributes of both the SCONUL Seven Pillars and ANCIL framework, whilst the learning technologists considered a suitable content management system, facilitated in interface design and evaluated impact of the toolkit on students with regard to enhancing learning.

Developing the toolkit allowed each team to present their conceptualisation of IL and associated characteristics, necessary skills and implications relative to professional experience and philosophy, resulting in an eclectic instrument.  In addition, the collaborative effort reinforced the advantageous necessity of solidarity amongst teams for the purpose of enriching the student academic experience.  With regard to offering a progressive scheme at UCS, the development of the toolkit bolstered motivation for embedding IL into the curriculum by demonstrating how the university’s IL policy could be manifested into practical application, available to students and the public.

Finally, after reviewing the toolkit components, this paper explores recommendations for addressing the challenges associated with creating a device aimed at a public audience, but primarily serving student learning.

Evidence-based instruction: assessing student work using rubrics and citation analysis to inform instructional design

Alan Carbery, Champlain College, acarbery@champlain.edu
Sean Leahy, Champlain College, sleahy@champlain.edu

Like most practitioners, Champlain College Library is interested in discovering the impact of our instruction on our students’ learning and on their information choices. Student learning outcomes help us figure out how to adjust and improve our information literacy programme. This paper describes a two-pronged assessment project used to assess information literacy performance, as well as to understand the information behaviours of students in Champlain College to guide future instructional design.

Basing our assessment on actual student coursework rather than librarian-designed worksheets or standardised tests was key. Relying on student work embedded in their classroom allows for more authentic, real-world assessment (Oakleaf, 2011; Whitlock & Navati, 2013).

In this project, librarians assessed a stratified representative sample of course work for evidence of performance against our information literacy college competency. Using rubrics designed by the library, student work is assessed for evidence of information literacy. In addition to applying a rubric, librarians conducted a deep analysis on the bibliography citations for evidence of library collection usage. Using a specially designed citation analysis checklist, librarians discovered a large variation in approach to using the library’s collections. Consistent with findings reported by Project Information Literacy (2010), students are heavily drawn towards online resources, and made limited use of primary information sources. Students instead rely on a narrow pool of sources from which to choose from.

Using the findings of the assessment project, librarians adjusted and redesigned instruction to address difficulties students face in selecting appropriate sources. This paper illustrates the benefits of assessing information literacy directly within authentic student coursework. This paper also provides a model for interrogating student work for evidence of information usage. Practitioners wishing to design instruction based on student performance will find this paper useful.


Head, A.J. & Eisenberg, M.B. (2010) ‘Truth be told: how college students evaluate and use information in the digital age. Project Information Literacy Progress Report, University of Washington’s Information School.

Oakleaf, M. (2011) ‘Are they learning? Are we? Learning outcomes and the academic library’, The Library Quarterly, 81 (1), pp.61-82.

Whitlock, B. & Nanavati, J. (2013) ‘A systematic approach to performative and authentic assessment’, Reference Services Review, 41 (1), pp. 32-48.

Improving the Information Literacy entry on Wikipedia: LILAC’s first edit-a-thon!

Nancy Graham, University of Roehampton, Nancy.Graham@roehampton.ac.uk
Brian Kelly, Cetis, University of Bolton, ukwebfocus@gmail.com
Claire Packham, British Library, claire.packham@bl.uk
Andrew Walsh, University of Huddersfield, a.p.walsh@hud.ac.uk
Andrew Gray, British Antarctic Survey, andrew@generalist.org.uk

This extended workshop will be a Wikipedia edit-a-thon to improve the Information Literacy entry. The Information Literacy page on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_literacy) is in the top three on the list of Google results for information literacy and attracts around 10,000 pages views per month (http://stats.grok.se/en/latest/Information_literacy). It is therefore one of the key resources for anyone interested in information literacy and needs to be accurate, up to date and reflect a global viewpoint.

No single information literacy group has taken responsibility for updates to the page and it has been edited on an ad hoc basis over the years. In June 2010 Wikipedia highlighted the need for more formal editing of the page and to increase the global viewpoint. At present the page is heavily biased towards the United States. As Wikipedia is edited on a purely voluntary basis, there has so far not been any agreement on how to update the page.

Editing Wikipedia pages can be a very daunting prospect for non-users and enthusiastic amateurs alike. The Wikimedia Foundation provides support and guidance on creating and editing Wikipedia pages (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Welcome_to_Wikipedia_brochure_EN.pdf) and will also advise on running edit-a-thons. The workshop will provide an opportunity for LILAC delegates to learn about Wikipedia editing and to contribute to the improvements to the Information Literacy pages with guidance from current Wikipedia editors.

The process of editing a Wikipedia page is a long term commitment which can involve asynchronous online discussions with other Wikipedia editors and information literacy stakeholders. Participants to the workshop will learn about the importance of engagement with the Wikipedia editorial community and the importance of an inclusive approach to improving the Information Literacy page.

The aim of the workshop is threefold:

Deciding on which changes need to be made to the Information Literacy page will be crucial in order to focus editing activity and online discussions. Workshop leaders will provide the participants with the current basic structure and ask them to work in small groups to feedback about omissions and inaccuracies. Participants will also be asked to consider appropriate images to include in the page.

The workshop leaders will then provide basic training on editing Wikipedia and participants will set up a Wikipedia account and undertake some small edits to improve their confidence. The group will also be shown how to contribute to the Talk page and begin online discussions with other editors.

Finally participants will then be set into small groups and with guidance from the workshop leaders will begin editing small sections of the Information Literacy page, making improvements to the current structure and content.

Intended outcomes:

There are three small things to do in advance to make the session run smoothly. One is to register an account – it should only take a minute or so. Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:UserLogin&returnto=Main+Page&type=signup

Secondly, read this (short) paper – it’s intended for biologists, but the advice it gives is useful for anyone interested in Wikipedia: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941

Finally, take a look at the draft of a new section IL in the UK to get a feel for what will be covered: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Libraries/LILAC/IL-UK

An investigation into student use of LibGuides: do they want fries with that?

Joanne Keleher, CQUniversity Australia, j.keleher309@gmail.com

LibGuides, developed by Springshare (2013) specifically for libraries and educational institutions, are “The most widely used system for creating research guides and sharing knowledge,” allowing users to “reuse guide templates, share content, and help patrons focus their library research” (Springshare 2013). Currently, there are 384,588+ guides worldwide and CQUniversity currently has 197 published LibGuides designed to assist staff and students (CQU LibGuides, 2013). This paper outlines results of an online survey investigating undergraduate CQUniversity students’ use of LibGuides. The research study, was undertaken during the author’s Masters Research Final Project (MInfoStud (AppRes), CSU, 2012), and used a predominately quantitative online questionnaire made available to UG students during March and April 2012. The study was prompted by four main factors; that is, more tertiary students choosing to study by distance (off-campus), more university programs offered totally online (CQUniversity Statistics, 2011), an increase in senior librarian/academic collaboration with online IL activity, and inadequate statistical evidence of the value of LibGuides to students (Black & Blankenship, 2010).

The main objective of the study was to determine how this particular student group used LibGuides and to help CQUniversity Senior Librarians understand: 1. information-seeking behaviour of undergraduate students, 2. whether specifically designed LibGuide content actually developed information literacy skills, 3. if overall, students felt LibGuide content contributed to successful learning outcomes, and, 4. what information/web 2.0 formats, students preferred LibGuides to contain (Adebonojo 2010, Baruzzi & Calcagno, 2010). One fundamental point learnt from the study is not the ‘high usage page hits’, but instead the ‘low usage page hits’ and based on comments from students who took the survey, it is essential that Senior Librarians review, remove, or enhance specific low usage LibGuide pages as quickly as possible, as content on these pages would appear to be not contributing to students’ IL development or helping to enhance their learning outcomes.

Finally, based on the results from this study, it seems fair to say, some students definitely want fries with their LibGuides, but also barbeque sauce and maybe chicken salt too.


Adebonojo, LG. (2010). LibGuides: Customizing Subject Guides for Individual Courses. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 17 (4), 398-412.

Baruzzi, A. & Calcagno, T. (2010). Using Electronic Resource Guides to Enhance Information Literacy Skills. Paper presented at ASEE American Society for Engineering Education conference: Session 2: Tools, techniques, and best practices of engineering education for the digital generation. Retrieved 10 May, 2011, from http://www.asee.org/documents/zones/zone1/2010/professional/Using-Electronic-Resource-Guides-to-Enhance-Information-Literacy-Skills.pdf

Black, E., & Blankenship, B. (2010). Linking Students to Library Resources through the Learning Management System. Journal of Library Administration, 50, 458–467.DOI: 10.1080/01930826.2010.488587

Springshare. (2012). LibGuides Community. Retrieved 09 April 2012, from http://www.springshare.com/libguides/academic/community.html

Welcome to CQUniversity Library, CQUniversity Australia, Retrieved 09 January 2013, from http://www.cqu.edu.au/library

Master of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. Retrieved 09 January 2013, from http://www.csu.edu.au/courses/postgraduate/information_studies_master/course-overview2

LibGuides: Assignment Help. (2012). CQUniversity Library LibGuide Index Webpage. Retrieved 09 October 2013, from http://libguides.Library.cqu.edu.au/index.php

Information literacy course module from Credo

Ian Hames, Credo, ian.hames@credoreference.com
Beth Ardner, Credo, beth.ardner@credoreference.com

The Information Literacy Course Module is Credo’s answer to the growing need for libraries to conduct formalized, standards-driven Information Literacy instruction both in-person and online.

We will share examples of course materials, the process by which the course was developed and how course materials are aligned with SCONUL standards.

A quadruple collaboration: students, librarians, academics and industry developing a peer to peer support initiative

Jenny Coombs, University of Nottingham, Jenny.Coombs@nottingham.ac.uk
Carol Hollier, University of Nottingham, carol.hollier@nottingham.ac.uk

For the past two years, the University of Nottingham has run a scheme in which science and engineering students have been acting as student ambassadors (Learning Resource Leaders) to engage their peers on library issues. The project was based upon the premise that science and engineering students make less use of their library resources than other disciplines, and began with an HE STEM funded project run jointly with Loughborough University, to find a sustainable (non-pay) model for motivating science and engineering students to act as change agents in the library. The project included library staff from both institutions as well as an academic member of staff from an appropriate discipline. The model also identified a corporate sponsor to provide three tiers of incentives for the LRLs to achieve and both institutions “hired” two Learning Resource Leaders (LRLs) for the academic year 2011/12.

For 2012/13 academic year, Nottingham ran the scheme on its own and four students were recruited and asked to concentrate on promoting the library. They designed a survey and each LRL identified a service or facility to promote, which was showcased on a t-shirt of their own design. They also held various stands where they asked students to fill out a survey, developed to provide a dual role of obtaining student feedback on library services, but also promoting library facilities that were felt to be used less often or not fully understood. The industry incentive scheme was continued, but students were also enrolled in the university’s employability award, which required the students to undertake a range of training opportunities and to produce reflective work on their experiences.


The project enabled a four-way collaboration with the key successes including:


The scheme was not without its challenges, notably the time requirement for library staff involved in running the scheme, and the difficulties of timetabling meetings, events and training with the student ambassadors.

The amazing library race: using problem-based learning and assessment in library orientations

Katelyn Angell, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, katelyn.angell@liu.edu
Katherine Boss, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, katherine.boss@liu.edu
Eamon Tewell, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, eamon.tewell@liu.edu

The First Year Programs department at Long Island University maintains a strong focus on active, student-centered learning. As library instruction sessions became embedded in this department’s 1-credit Orientation Seminar course, a need emerged for a pedagogically similar library session. In response, the authors created a pilot library orientation based upon Katherine O’Clair’s “Amazing Library Race” (ALR). The authors’ version builds on O’Clair’s format and combines guided, problem-based learning concepts with key elements of gamification, including competition and reward motivation.

The Amazing Library Race directs first-year students to race around the library completing research challenges about services and resources in four different categories: internet research, the circulation department, the media center, and reference. After dividing the students into teams of 3-5 people, each group is given an envelope containing the challenges of the first leg of the race. Each leg contains 1-3 tasks, which need to be correctly completed before advancing. The engaging tasks require students to do such things as write a haiku about specific library services, look up trivia in reference books, and use props to recreate a DVD cover from the media center, and then document this recreation with their mobile devices.

A total of more than 200 students in 15 classes participated in the 50-minute orientations in Fall 2013, a successful expansion of the 2012-2013 pilot. Pedagogically, the inquiry-based learning of the ALR proved well suited to the goals of the First Year Programs department, and to the learning outcomes developed by the authors. The Amazing Library Race presents a replicable model for other institutions interested in creating library orientation sessions intended to meet similar learning outcomes.

As a relatively new and untested method of instruction, the ALR necessitates assessment in order to justify its classroom implementation and continuation. Towards this end, a rubric-based assessment tool was developed during the year-long ALR pilot project. The rubric uses five different indicators of success: student to student engagement, student to library faculty engagement, workshop duration, student learning comprehension, and student engagement with library social networks. Systematic data gathering using this assessment tool is currently underway and the results will be shared during the session.

Beyond discussing the development and assessment of the ALR, this presentation will address the larger pedagogical questions of achieving student engagement, implementing measures of assessment, and generating change in personal and institutional approaches to instruction. Session attendees will learn how to create an active, team-based library orientation for first-year students, become familiar with pedagogies related to discovery learning, and be introduced to strategies for incorporating mobile devices and social media into orientation sessions.