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Entries in education (2)



A really interesting and positive blog post from Amanda Joykin about her project, developing an IL Toolkit. Read more about it below:

It’s been four months since I started work on developing the Information Literacy Toolkit and a good time to provide an update on what’s taken place so far. Putting my Info Lit hat on (which is almost never off, so it was more of an adjustment of said hat) I identified my information need for the project.

I needed to find out how the toolkit could support teaching IL skills to children and young people in schools. I wanted to meet school librarians that were already delivering IL sessions and it was important to find out about the barriers faced with regards to IL delivery in their schools. Meeting and gathering insights from experienced educators and those new to the profession would be very valuable in informing the direction of the toolkit.

Information Gathering

The first step was to send out a survey to schools in Scotland - Primary, Secondary and Additional Support Needs. The aim of the survey was to get a better idea about the state of IL provision. Follow-up visits and phone calls were arranged to find out more about how schools delivered sessions, what challenges they faced, examples of good practice and how the toolkit could support them.

It was a real pleasure visiting school librarians, finding out about the various settings in which they worked and how they promoted reading for pleasure and information literacy skills. There is great work being done and yet there are significant challenges faced by library staff in schools. 

I would like to thank everyone for their insights and for helping the toolkit take shape. The toolkit just wouldn’t be possible without your input – it is being made for you, with you.

Findings & Challenges

Key findings from the survey and visits were focused around themes of resources and communication. School library settings are very varied, and this has had an impact on the way school libraries are run. However, factors like time, budget and training were all mentioned as areas which are having an impact on IL provision.

The relationship with the School Management Team is also key. Could we forge stronger relationships with them if we thought more about the terminology we use? Should we be promoting information literacy skills but with more emphasis on links with the Experiences and Outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence?

For IL skills to really take root relevance is crucial. It needs to be made clear that it is a lifelong learning skill and not just for research. Research from the 5Rights Foundation has shown that the age of children using mobile devices to access information is getting younger. Should we be looking at starting formal IL instruction at a younger age?

Identified Gaps

IL delivery at the start of young people’s formal learning journey appears to be inconsistent, so it has been difficult to gauge its true extent. Respondents from primary schools indicated that there was either no IL delivery, that they were unaware of whether it was being delivered or that they thought that some teachers were delivering IL. Some responses also indicated that there was a lack of understanding of the term “information literacy” or that it was already taught in schools but not under that specific term. Experiences and Outcomes from the Curriculum of Excellence do align with IL principles which would imply that IL instruction is taking place in an embedded way. All respondents to the survey stated that they thought it was important for there to be IL provision in schools.

Best practice and support are always improved when there is good communication and SLIC has already set-up a School Libraries group on Basecamp to start conversations going. It’s hoped this will lead to further sharing of ideas.

IL as Lifelong Learning Skill

Based on the information gathered about IL sessions in schools, a lot of programmes are focused on library skills and research skills. Sessions are being taught on online safety and privacy, fake news, disinformation, copyright and it would be good practice to use CILIP’s (2018) IL contexts and ensure that a holistic approach is taken when delivering this to young people. For example, including critical thinking, health literacy and digital citizenship, to ensure that students understand the relevance and significance of these lessons to their personal lives.

Aims of the Toolkit

Based on the information gathered a draft Toolkit structure has been created and resources are currently being compiled. These resources will include guidance/tips for staff, examples of good practice, activities, lesson plans, research articles, IL frameworks, videos and ideas for taking different approaches to IL delivery in schools. However, there is still work and research to be done; IL teaching in ASN school settings, IL skills that employers value and bridging the gap between ‘what students are taught in school to real-world issues, problems, and applications; learning experiences should mirror the complexities and ambiguities of real life.’ (ACEL, 2016).

Posted by Jenny Foreman, Scottish Information Library


Invitation to the Information Literacy Symposium

Information Literacy in Scotland: Challenges & Opportunities

Friday 13th February 2015, Scottish Government, 5 Atlantic Quay, 150 Broomielaw, Glasgow G2 8LU 

The Right Information, the Scottish Information Literacy Community of Practice and Scottish Library and Information Council, invite you to attend a symposium at the Scottish Government Offices on 13th February 2015 to examine the relevance of the term in relation to health, education, housing, employability and welfare reform.  

We would be delighted if you could join us to hear these stimulating speakers and network with colleagues across various disciplines and sectors who are working towards closing the information poverty gap.

The Symposium is free to attend, however places are limited. If you wish to book a place, please complete the short booking form at

Booking will close on Friday the 30th January 


09.30     Registration & refreshments 

10.00     Welcome and Introduction - Colin Cook, Head of Digital Strategy and Programmes, Scottish Government & Amina Shah, CEO, SLIC

10.15     Information Literacy - John Crawford, Co-Founder, The Right Information Community of Practice

10.45     Information Literacy & the SQA - Hilary Weir, Digital Literacy and Enhancement Manager, SQA

11.15     Information Literacy & Young People - Kirsten Urquhart, Information Services Manager & Hilary Kidd, Digital Academy Manager, Young Scot

11.45     Discussion – Information Literacy & Young People 

12.15     Lunch

13.00     Information Literacy in the Voluntary Sector - Sally Dyson, Head of Digital Participation, SCVO

13.30     Information Literacy in the Health Sector - Blythe Robertson, Policy Manager, person-centred Self-Management, The Scottish Government & Christine Hoy, Primary Care Development Manager, Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland

14.00     Tea/coffee Break

14.15     Information Literacy & Welfare Reform - Gregory Colgan, Head of Corporate Debt and Welfare Reform, Corporate Services Department, Dundee City Council

14.45     Information Literacy & the Housing Sector - Evelyn McDowall, Business Solutions Leader, The Wheatley Housing Group 

15.15     Discussion –Information Literacy for an inclusive society

15.45     Closing remarks 

 I've booked my place and really looking forward to what should be a great event.