1. Log in

2. Click on the Community Blog page

3. Click on your name on the top right of the screen

4. Click on Subscribe to Page Updates to receive email notifications of new blog posts



Entries in Cross sector (86)


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


Trip to Liverpool

I travelled to Liverpool last week to attend the Members Day and AGM of the Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) on the 1st July and the CILIP conference where I was a speaker on the Friday.  The core of the LIRG event was three presentations:  Jess Elmore speaking about information literacy and home education which she noted had parallels with workplace IL activity; Miggie Pickton, discussing her work in promoting research in the University of Northampton Library which will be the envy of many practitioner researchers and Emily Wheeler who gave an insightful presentation on how academic librarians view their teaching activities, a study which I think could be further developed.  The implication seems to be that departments of information studies should be providing training in teaching methods.

On Friday 3rd July I attended the CILIP conference. There were several keynote presentations but the one I found most interesting was the speaker from Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact checking organisation which, among other things, verifies claims and statements made by political parties. He mentioned an organisation called Information Norway which provides the Norwegian public at elections with information to help them decide on which party to vote for.  There might be lessons for Scotland here. The discussion of the role of information in civic engagement and political decision making was very welcome to me as it echoed some of the points I made in my presentation in the afternoon which was entitled: ‘ An information literacy policy for a small state?’. This described the work of the Community of Practice and its activities including its contributions to the Spreading the benefits of digital participation report and the successful February conference which greatly extended the scope of information literacy. I reviewed possible action points arising from the conference and reported on our meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Culture. This was followed by some discussion about IL in the workplace and the problems of promoting IL in other countries. It was a very hot, sticky afternoon and the audience did well to stay awake, let alone pay attention.  

The organisation of the conference was very good and Jason Russell and his CILIP colleagues did a great job   in making sure things ran smoothly.


John Crawford 


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.