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Digital literacy, digitally literate’ learners

Thanks to Anthony Beal eLearning Adviser at Jisc RSC Northwest (England) for his LIS-INFOLITERACY@JISCMAIL.AC.UK post 13 May which alerted me to his blog postings about digital literacy which is a key topic at the moment.

"We told our teacher we didn’t need you here!  How can we help today’s ‘digitally literate’ learners critically evaluate online sources? -

By means of discussions and group activities learners should discover for themselves the need to evaluate sources found on the Internet. These materials can be used directly with learners or as staff development materials.

The post contains a link to materials that support the workshop, including a session plan and and leaflets."

Other blog posts that are interesting are:

  • A need for improving digital literacy
  • JISC RSC support for digital literacy


Special issue of Library and information research 

The latest issue of Library and Information Research Vol. 37, No 114 (2013) is now available. It is on the theme of ‘Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning’ and is guest edited by Dr John Crawford. It addresses issues predominantly outside the education sector and includes articles on information skills training in public libraries, a report on the third phase of the Welsh Information Literacy Project which includes public library training issues, two reports from further and higher education focusing on information literacy and skills development and the information usage activities of adult returners to higher education. ‘BILI: Building Information Literacy in Ireland’ describes proposals for developing IL polices in Ireland which can be compared with developments in Wales and Scotland. The issue concludes with two workplace studies, an issue which currently receives insufficient attention.

Contents are below. Many thanks to Angharad Roberts, the journal editor and the editorial team for their work in preparing the issue for publication.

Editorial: Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning (1-6)
John Crawford

The learning continuum: economical best practices for implementing and achieving a community’s information literacy goals (7-16)
Shiva Darbandi, Carolyn Waite, Rose Medlock

Welsh Information Literacy Project (17-22)
Andrew Eynon

Dundee College’s Literacy Information Skills Project (23-28)
Abigail Gourlay Mawhirt

IT learning sessions at Leeds Library and Information Service (29-36)
Jason Tutin

Research Articles
BILI: Building Information Literacy in Ireland (37-54)
Amy Connolly, Lorraine Curran, Áine Lynch, Sile O’Shea

Refereed Research Articles
Information literacy in adult returners to Higher Education: student experiences in a university pre-entry course in a UK university (55-73)
Tony Anderson, Bill Johnston, Alexandra McDonald

What information competencies matter in today’s workplace? (74-104)
Alison J. Head, Michele Van Hoeck, Jordan Eschler, Sean Fullerton

iKnow: Information skills in the 21st Century workplace (105-122)
Katharine Reedy, Elizabeth Mallett, Natasha Soma

Book Reviews
BAWDEN, D. and ROBINSON, L. Introduction to Information Sciences. 2012. (123-124)
Biddy Casselden

CHOWDHURY, G.G. & CHOWDHURY, S. Information users and usability in the digital age. 2011. (125)
Jane Mansfield

CULLINGFORD, A. The special collections handbook. 2011. (126-127)
Edward Weech

Library and Information Research


CDG Scotland Job Shadowing

On Wednesday I was working with CDG Scotland's Candidate Support Officer to deliver a workshop on Reflective Writing for Chartership and I heard about a new initiative Job Shadowing initative from CDG Scotland that I thought was a great idea. See below for details. Althoug it is aimed at chartership candidates I think it is something that would be beneficial to everyone. 

CDG Scotland Job Shadowing

Worried about demonstrating a knowledge of the wider
professional context in your portfolio?

Want to find out more about different LIS sectors?

A network of professionals in library and information sectors

across Scotland is available to help.

Shadowing a fellow professional in a different sector to your

own gives you the chance to:

• Discuss another LIS sector in your portfolio to demonstrate

your knowledge of the wider professional context

• Consider options for your future career path

• Meet and network with other professionals

If you're interested in shadowing an LIS professional then

please contact with details of your

location and the sector of interest to you and we can check the

database to find a suitable match for you.

We are always interested in expanding our database of

professionals willing to offer the chance for fellow professionals

to shadow them on the job. If you would be interested in

providing this opportunity to fellow professionals or LIS

students then please contact for

more information.


European Conference on Information Literacy 

Dear all, 

I enclose the list of Invited Speaker for the European Conference on Information Literacy in Istanbul in October.,84,invited_talks. European Conference is a bit of a misnomer as it is a worldwide event. There are two speakers from our CofP, Bill and me. Not a bad level of representation, I thought.



Gin and tonic: making Boolean fun

I have been catching up on my reading and came across this short piece in the March CILIP Update by Emily Houghton. In the piece she describes how she came across an example of how a librarian taught his university students about Boolean operators using the folowing approach

Gin and whiskey bottles were acquired and filled with plain or coloured water. A bottle of tonic water and several glasses were also brought in.

We always start any presentations concerning a tool that requires Boolean searching, explaining and, or and not. We now begin this discussion with explaining how bartenders use Boolean logic every day to fill their customers' mixed drink orders.

Using this inspiration Emily created a poster taking inspiration from this asking for a drink approach

  • Gin AND Tonic
  • Gin OR Tonic
  • Gin NOT Tonic
  • Tonic NOT Gin

This has led Emily to think about other combinations such as using chocolate e.g chocolate AND milk AND nut NOT fruit.

As the article says

You will have much more success when you are teaching students how to improve their internet search results using Boolean operators if you use some tasty, memorable examples from everyday life.

I can see this being used across the sectors not just with university students. I certainly know lots of people who could relate to the  chocolate and the asking for a drinks approach.

A former colleague, a school librarian from a school in Stirling used to use William Wallace as her Boolean examples as the Wallace munument was on their door step.

My thanks to Emily for highlighting this. If you are going to Umbrella look out for Emily.

N.B. They must be using Irish whiskey bottles and not Scotch whisky in the quoted example.