It’s been a busy old couple of months but I think I’ve finally managed to piece my brain back together. The big news is that this year I was lucky enough to attend the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC), hosted by the British Library and LSE. I thought I’d do the usual and bombard the Internet with every single detail but I think I might actually becoming less interested in using my blog and Twitter in this way. I still Tweeted a lot, don’t get me wrong, but transcribing every PowerPoint bullet isn’t as useful as I once thought it was and quite frankly it’s started to irritate me when other people do it… syntheise people! Syntheise!
Anyway, moving on. Just before LILAC I attended an event at the University of Bradford called ‘Embedding information literacy: from strategy to practice‘. Right on queue it got me thinking more about Information Literacy Strategies and how these can be used to describe the level of support we, as librarians, can offer learners/researchers.
During the morning session we heard from three speakers – Fiona Middleton (Leeds Metropolitan University), Peter Gledhill (Sheffield Hallam University) and Michelle Schneider (University of Leeds). They introduced their institutional information literacy strategies and discussed the practicalities of developing strategies and the issues they encountered.
The common theme to arise from all three presentations was the importance of creating partnerships between subject librarians and academics to deliver IL sessions with specific learning objects. It was widely agreed that by embedding IL within the curriculum students would be better equipped to recognise information needs and develop better understandings about the transferability of IL training – into employment for example.
It was particularly interesting to hear about the merging of the Faculty Team Librarians and the Academic Skills Team at Leeds University, broadening IL training to include academic skills support such as revision and essay writing. Although some resistance occurred others embraced the changes and accepted them as a broadening of their support role.
Following lunch we moved on to hear a further four speakers – Erin Nephin and Belinda Cooke (Leeds Metropolitan University), Dan Pullinger (University of Leeds) and Sarah George (University of Bradford) – outline case studies of successful collaborations between academics and librarians.
One key point to note was the usefulness of ‘library champions’ i.e. academics who positively engage with library developments and share information with their departments. It was suggested that the way to get academics involved is to map student assessment issues that appear time and time again – incorrect referencing, minimal range of resources and a lack of understanding in academic writing – and produce materials that they can take ownership of during their teaching e.g. online tutorials.
All of these themes were picked up again at LILAC but rather than go over these in detail I’ve uploaded the EPIC conference report I wrote for work. I think by taking an iPad along to the event I got carried away with note-taking but for your reading pleasure it’s divided into sections, which you can jump straight to. The Twitter archive is also available on Twapper Keeper.