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Entries in IL symposium 2015 (2)


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. 


Young Scot - Information Literacy & Young People

This is my second posting about the presentations from the IL symposium at Atlantic Quay, Glasgow in February. 

Young Scot presentation

Young Scot have come a long way since they first started out all those years ago with the introduction of a Young Scot card. Not surprisingly there were a few in the audience who had a Young Scot card. Today the organisations is involved in an array of activities all focused on providing Scottish Youth Information for 11-26 year olds. 

Kirsteen Urquart, Information servcies Manager and Hilary Kidd, Digital Academy Manager, Young Scot gave an information packed presentation. I jotted down as many of the issues and activities they covered:

  • TMI - too much information out there - not just factual information but opinion, comment etc
  • Young Scot have a Digital Information Strategy, it is agile and evolving [see their presentation for details url at the bottom of this post]
  • being aware of news stories that young people will be interested in and having information about it available for them
  • when disseminating information they need to make sure that all devices can handle / display the information - multi platform content
  • the length of words that young people use in a search is astonishing [this doesn't come as a surprise to a lot of us but it is disappointing that we are sill hearing about this]
  • data driven content - they use a variety of resources to help them understand how young people are using the Young Scot service
  • data and monitoring tools - Young Scot use Hootsuite for trend monitoring and Google Trends for trending search topics 
  • young people are using Google and Wikipedia for information
  • there is not much research about young people under 16 not online [research project there for someone]
  • Young Scot provides lots of information about being safe online for Internet Safety Day
  • key areas of work: digital technology and literacy should be a consistent, integral part of learning.

One of their slides was about digital literacy

Digital Literacy: 

  • Young Scot is digital by design 
  • "We cannot leave any young person behind - we have a responsibility to support them (particularly the most vunerable) to be digitally literate."
  • "Research - what do we all need to do to help kick start their participation? What are the barriers? is it about hardware? Is it about capability? 

From my experience about the barriers is that skills and competencies need to be reinforced throughout lifelong learning. It is not simply about hardware.

My final note from their presentation was 

What are the key opportunities for further improving levels of information literacy for young people? 

a good question to end on.

After hearing their presentation I hope people were inspired to seek out opportunities and work with Young Scot on a range of issues. I know from experience that they are a great organisation / people to work with. 

Thanks to Kirsteen and Hilary for a whistle stop tour of some of their activities and the issues they face.  Their presentation is available on Slideshare at