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The economic impact of Basic Digital Skills and inclusion in the UK

This report  presents for the first time both the costs, and the significant benefits of equipping everyone in the UK population with Basic Digital Skills. Findings reveal significant benefits for individuals (including both cost and time savings, as well as social and wellbeing benefits), and for the UK as a whole, in terms of productivity and savings.

Response from the Tinder Foundation


Digital skills articles

Over the past couple of months I have been adding links to articles that I thought may be of interest to the community under the Resourses tab. I now realise that doing this does not send out an alert/

I am now adding them as a blog post so I hope that if you haven't already come across these you will find them of interest.


Internet giant Google to open 'digital garage' in Newcastle City Library 


Young workers lack digital skills - April 2016


Digital Skills for the UK economy. Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Jan 2016


Geoff Walton's Information Literacy Blog


Doteveryone article from House Magazine  25th May 2016 Doteveryone seeks to ensure all British adults are using the internet


Fiona Laing

National Library of Scotland



Internet Librarian International. 20th-21st October

Neil Lynch and myself from the Scottish Government Library attended this year’s Internet Librarian International conference.  This is one of my favourite conferences.  Hearing about innovations first-hand from librarians from around the world is always interesting and gives me ideas on how our own library could do things differently.  Every year there’s always new themes which form part of the conference buzz.  This year, for me, that theme was libraries need to provide what users want or they will simply go elsewhere, leaving libraries facing a very uncertain future.  Liz McGettigan and others gave excellent presentations on what this actually means for libraries – principally a radical replacing of traditional service delivery with new technology based services.

That’s my very brief conference ‘takeaway’.  You can read my full conference notes at the Scottish Government Library blog including the presentations and key points from the sessions I attended.  You can also check out the conference programme and this archive of conference Tweets.

Paul Gray

Scottish Government Library

ECIL Conference, Tallinn, 19-22 October 2015

I enclose a short report on the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) which took place in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, from Monday 19th October to Thursday 22nd October. This was the third ECIL conference, the previous two having been held in Istanbul and Dubrovnik. It is an unrivalled opportunity to meet IL leaders from all over the world. For example, I had a long talk with Paul Zurkowski at Istanbul who praised our work in Scotland.  The C of P was represented by Bill Johnston, Lauren Smith and me.

On the Tuesday morning I presented a panel session with Bill and Lauren on the situation in Scotland. I gave an overview of the current situation describing our successful conference in February but also reviewing problems such as resourcing. Bill spoke about his work with the  Scottish Older People’s Association and the information literacy implications. Lauren finished with an interim report on her Information Literacy Group funded project on the role of school libraries in encouraging political participation among young people. Our presentations were followed by a lively discussion which included impartiality in giving advice.  After our presentations I was approached by two people:

  •  Laura Ballestra from the Responsabile servizi al pubblico Biblioteca e Cared who asked if she could do an online interview with me
  • Professor Loriene of the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also a former president of the American Library Association. She runs a Spring Graduate class - approximately January to April - 'Library instruction and information literacy' and is offering to support our work, something to discuss at the next C of P. She knows a lot of people and is a valuable contact.      

On the Wednesday morning I chaired a session on the theme: Information literacy: Government and Society which included two speakers on Scotland,  Bill again with Sheila  Webber talking about IL and the Scottish Referendum and Kristine Stewart, currently based in Dubai, who spoke about the  evaluation of sources in the immigration debate during the independence referendum. Overall the Scottish contribution had a strong theme on the role of IL in political decision making and the civic agenda.

On the Wednesday afternoon I attended a presentation by Jane Secker, chair of ILG and Geoff Walton an ILG committee member, on UK Information literacy Advocacy  which was on the theme of taking IL beyond higher education and addressing IL needs in other sectors. This included working with other profession and groups outside LIS. This is something which we are already developing as our February conference showed. SLIC’s excellent contacts are a big help to us and there seems to be no equivalent in England.  I had a word with Geoff at the conference dinner in the evening and pointed out that we are already doing some of the things he was suggesting and I suggested that the C of P and ILG should work together to develop the non HE agenda. Geoff was supportive of the idea but we need to discuss how to implement it.

There were, I believe, over 160 presentations and I have confined myself to reporting on points from which action points should be derived. Further information can be found at  Overall I feel that Scotland made a good contribution to the conference especially in respect of the civic agenda.

I had some doubts initially about the conference venue especially in the third week of October but the weather was pretty good overall.  Estonia is a fascinating country and it is a sobering thought that the past twenty five years is the longest period of independence this small state has ever known.


John Crawford



Information literacy in Scotland: making it mainstream

The work of the Community of Practice aand specifically the featured in CILIP Update last month (June 2015). The article Information literacy in Scotland: making it mainstream explained how the Community of Practice (CoP) The Right Information: Information skills for the 21st Century Scotland is bringing together information professionals and representatives from other professions to promote information literacy as a national policy issue in Scotland. 

The article by John Crawford, myself (Christine Irving) and Lauren Smith provides some background information on the CoP and it's engagement in the:

How the CoP works closely with the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and CILIPS to advise them and to promote information literacy. More recently working with the Scottish Council for Vountary Organisations (SCVO) on Digital Participation including information literacy in their training agenda. 

The main body of the article reported on the information literacy symposium held in Glasgow on the 13th February 2015. The aim of the symposium was to bring information professionals and representatives from other professions together to promote information literacy as a national policy issue in Scotland.  The event was very successful. 

To read all about the event see Information literacy in Scotland: making it mainstream

Dorothy Williams attended the event and wrote a piece for the Journal of Information Literacy Information literacy in Scotland: challenges and opportunities. In her piece Dorothy identified that the main issues were "digital participation agendas and the need for strategies to overcome digital exclusion". The

clear message coming from all speakers was the need for partnership working and that librarians and libraries needed to be central to those partnerships. Real progress in digital literacy or IL development needed collaboration and communication across sectors, as well as identification of areas of common interest.

She identified a number of issues and dilemmas which emerged during plenary and group discussions. However said that:

Despite these concerns the tone of the day was positive and the event enabled sharing and communication of ideas, establishment of new cross-sector contacts and an opportunity to press forward the joint message to Government of the value and importance of information literacy.

As you would expect it is a good piece from Dorothy. 

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