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Entries by Christine Irving (108)


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. 


Using health information comics with patients and families

Following the i3 Conference I have been thinking quite a bit about information in a visual form. What some call visual literacy. It is with that in mind that I was interested in the subject matter of a workshop taking place in Manchester.

The details are below for anyone interested in this area or concept.


Please see below for details of a half day workshop (1-4pm) I'm planning in Manchester on 17th September. It may be of interest to IL people who are interested in visual literacy and/or health literacy.

You can book a place at:'s no charge).

Using health information comics with patients and families

This half day workshop is based around findings from a recent Wellcome Trust funded research project that explored the potential impact of educational comics on patients and relatives of people with a range of health conditions.

Through interviews with patients and relatives, the research explored how, and to what extent, educational comics can provide support in dealing with feelings and attitudes associated with health conditions, for example, fears and anxieties, social interactions and relationships. You can find out more about the project here:

In this workshop, we will discuss the findings of the research and the implications for practice, as well as exploring ways to work with health information comics in libraries and healthcare settings.

The workshop is open to health librarians; librarians in other sectors with an interest in health information; and others supporting health information provision.

 If you have any questions, please contact


Information: interactions and impact (i3) conferences - more reflections

Edin Napier CSI PhD Students at i3 Conference 2015This year I attended i3 with my fellow Edinburgh Napier University Centre for Social Informatics PhD Students. The papers we delivered included topics on: the role of the census in public policy makers; information literacy; grass roots campaigns on public library closures in the UK; could social networking help NEET young people gain employment; knowledge management; how personal reputations are determined and managed online. We did a great job presenting and networking. Thanks go to Professor Hazel Hall for supporting us all.

One of the key themes to come out of the conference for me was different information landscapes and the information needs of those with the landscapes. I didn't manage to hear Chikezie Emele present but I have had discussions with him regarding his PhD research 'Improving chances of prostrate cancer survival in black African men: a study of the information needs of this high-risk group in the UK and s.E. Nigeria'. it's a fascinating study and highlights the cultural differences. Cultural differences were also highlighted in Alison Hicks PhD study 'it takes a community to build a framework: information literacy within intercultural settings'. Alison is just at the early stages of her research so I'm sure we will hear more about this study. 

I was interested in Drew Whitworth's presentation 'Mapping the information landscape: studying information management by communities of practice'. The project included concept mapping sessions using the tool Ketso, it looked interesting and worth considering. Returning to the theme of information landscape I was particularly struck with the following description taken from the paper's abstract. 

'Information landscapes are comprised of texts, systems, online resources, tacit knowledge (thus, colleagues) and more; like real landscapes, though comprised of similar ingredients, each landscape is unique, and evolves over time, depending on the activities of the communities working in that landscape.' 

It was interesting to see that he like me had included images of maps in his presentation. Like me he is a keen hill walker and knows the valuable source of information maps contain. 



Reflections from Information: Interactions and Impact (i3) Conference


Christine Irving presenting at i3 2015 

i3 is a great event to attend and speak at.  My thanks to everyone who attended my presentation How can information literacy be modelled from a lifelong learning perspective? 

Now that the Conference is over, it is time to start writing the full paper for the special issue of the Journal of Information Science (JIS).

Before I do I want to share some information literacy highlights with you:  

  • Dorothy Williams keynote - An information conundrum. Dorothy talked about information being so much a part of us we can't see it. That it is an everyday word, common place, part of our world. She posed the question 'The world already knows information is so important ... don't they?  
  • Prof Agusta Palsdotti - Informal caregivers of people with dementia: the first stages in the information behaviour process. The ongoing study investigates how the relatives of people with dementia act as informal caregivers and support them with information. Whilst this study is situated in Iceland, Iceland is not alone in the growing proportion of elderly people. As Agusta states 'How people are able to receive support with information [is] vital for their health and welfare [it] is of great significance. Today's information environment consists of a variety of information sources that can be accessed in various ways and by different means. However, not all members of the society are able to benefit from it and people with dementia are in urgent need for support from their informal caregivers.' This study raises a number of issues including the need to support carers. As a carer myself I know how difficult it can be to locate and navigate health resources including health professionals for loved ones. It requires all your information literacy skills and capabilities plus a knowledge of the health and social landscape in your area and country. 
  •  Dr. Annemaree Lloyd - Knowing and learning in everyday spaces (KaLieds): The role of Information literacy and literacies of information in supporting refugee youth learning outside school. it is always interesting to hear about the work Annemaree is involved in. The project Knowing and Learning in Everday Spaces (KaLiEDS) investigated the role that everyday spaces play in in the information literacies and learning of refugee youth. I was interested in the photo voice technique. Refugees were given digital cameras and tasked with taking photographs of the information resources that were important to them and the places where that information was located. It reminded me of an induction intitiatve that used this technique. It also reminded me of the resources that we as residents, tourists and visitors use to find our way about new cities and towns for example shopping centre catalogues/guides looking for best buys or places to go. Annemaree talks about information landscapes. A concept that I like. As she says '... information landscapes of participants are intricate and complex (e.g. faith-based groups; sporting teams; family and digital spaces). I think it is important for everyone to recognise information landscapes, their own and others who they interact with. I'm also taken with 'literacies for information'. Something to think about ... 

I have more thoughts to share but that will need to be another day. In the meantime have a look at Sheila Webber's she was live blogging from the conference. The conference twitter feed was #i3RGU

Once the presentations are available online then I'll provide links to them.


Information: Interactions and Impact (i3) Conference 

I'm in Aberdeen this week. Monday I'm attending iDocQ 2015 at RGU (Robert Grodon University). iDocQ is a doctoral event for LIS doctoral students in Scotland. Useful presentations and breakout sessions that you can attend. I'm taking part in the one minute madness presentations. Just need to refine my 60 second speach about my PhD

i3 is on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to catching up with the IL community. The paper I'm presenting is How can information literacy be modelled from a lifelong learning perspective? and derives in part from my PhD by Published Works. 

I've busy working on my presentation so I haven't had much of a chance to look at the programme. It has lots of interesting speakers and I need to decide which sessions to attend.  Prof. Olof Sundin's keynote Challenging Information Literacies for a Democratic Society sounds interesting so looking forward to that. 

I'll be tweeting from both events when possible.