Libraries R 4 Learning Project: Information Literacy Multimedia clips

Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service started filming last week on their Libraries R 4 Learning Project: Multimedia clips. As one of those approached, travelled north last week (2nd and 3rd February 2010) to do some filming. It was an interesting process writing the scripts for the introduction sections on Information Literacy, Information Literacy in schools and Information Literacy in the workplace and then filming them. A new experience for both myself and the film crew (Sue Cromar and one of the network librarians whose name I have forgotten – my apologises to her). I now have a great respect for news readers, it is not as easy as it looks.

During my two day visit I also had a meeting with some of the Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service staff – Primary School Librarian and Early Years / Young People in Schools Librarian plus one of Aberdeenshires Literacy Development Officers (Katherine who is an English teacher on secondment). We had an interesting session where I shared information on the information literacy work I’m involved with specifically the LTS Real and Relevant – Information and Critical Literacy Skills for the 21st Century Learner’ (Early and First Level) CPD Toolkit.

Katherine was amazed to hear that Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service is not just about books, they also have objects / educational tools – religious artefacts, puppets, costumes etc that teachers can use for lessons. As a teachers she is probably not alone in thinking that libraries are just about books. She was also not aware that tours of the service have been organised for probationer teachers and that several teachers have requested visits once they heard of the resources available from the probationer teachers. I made a note to myself to remember to include Library and Information Services as a resource for teachers in the Real and Relevant  CPD Toolkit.

I also had an interesting conversation with the network librarian at Meldrum Accademy about transition initiatives (primary 7 – S1) and also about my experience todate of information literacy in the early years specifically regarding my thoughts that information literacy involves all our senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing) plus our memories not just reading of text from books and or the Internet. I think we forget about the power of visual images and how this helps us learn languages, remember / recall past experiences, knowledge etc.

National surveys of Primary and of Secondary/Middle/Special/ Independent School Libraries

Help is being asked to build up a full UK picture of school libraries by completing a questionnaire.

The work instigated by the School Libraries Group of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) and supported by the School Library Association and CILIP Scotland, with funds provided by the Wendy Drewett Bequest.

The survey is being managed by Information Management Associates. If you have any questions about this survey please contact David Streatfield at  The surveys can be found at:

Campaign to make school libraries statutory unanimously supported by CILIP Council

Last Thursday 24 September 2009, CILIP’s Council unanimously endorsed the proposal to support the campaign to make school libraries statutory.

CILIP has issued a press release announcing their support of the campaign

This is great news – unfortunately I haven’t seen any items in the press.

The petition to make school libraries statutory is available to sign online until 11 December 2009.

School Libraries news

There certainly seems to be a lot of news / activities regarding school libraries.

Back in June there were a couple of articles in CILIP’s Library + Information gazette with the front page showing Into battle for school libraries  and School librarians: a role that deserves shouting about on page 4 & 19.

At this years Umbrela Conference CILIP Council were also talking about school libraries as Isabel Hood’s Council Briefing Notes posted on LIS-LINK @JISCMAIL.AC.UK highlights: 

  • CILIP Policy Forum is shortly to have an electronic debate, initiated by the School Libraries Group,  re the Campaign for the Book  initiative and the  online petition to campaign for statutory school libraries for England & Wales. 

I heard about this from several different quarters and have signed the campaign.

  • At Westminster there’s a new Bill which includes the creation of a new national negotiating body for school support staff, CILIP is working with other bodies to develop role profiles for school library / LRC managers that could be used within this context.

Hadn’t heard about this but would have thought that there was an existing  role profile for school library / LRC managers but maybe not or it may be that the current profile needs updated to emphasise the important role they play in learning and teaching and the curriculum.

  • Latest Scottish developments re school libraries SLIC/CILIPS is bringing out self evaluation tools in the Autumn through HMIE to support school libraries there. 

Don’t see anything on the SLIC / CILIPS website apart from the existing forms / guidance such as How Good is our School which was produced a few years ago now (in fact it was 1999 according to the website). Good to keep these things up to date and also to keep contacts / work with HMIE. HMIE are strong supporters of school libraries and the work they do.

June’s edition of Information Scotland  contained an article by Elspeth Scott speaking about Glow, the Scottish Schools Digital Network – the first national education network of its kind. I have blogged about GLOW before but Elspeth a Dundee school librarian  has been heavily involved in GLOW and the article A glowing report is worth a read whether you are familiar with the network or not. Regardless of the sector you work in.

e-petition calls on the Westminster Government to acknowledge the value of school libraries by putting them on a statutory footing.’

For those of you not on  LIS-INFOLITERACY@JISCMAIL.AC.UK there was an email sent out asking for support in the campaign to make school libraries a statutory right for young people in this country by taking time to sign an e-petition on the 10 Downing Street website and help influence future education policy: 

We, the undersigned, call on Her Majesty’s Government to accept in principle that it will make school libraries, run by properly qualified staff, statutory and to prepare the necessary legislation in consultation with the appropriate professional associations and trade unions.


The email highlights that:

School libraries should be a statutory right because access to a library and a professional librarian

  a.. helps raise reading levels,

  b.. provides a range of cultural experiences

  c.. develops their independent learning skills

  d.. and ultimately helps them to have a better life.


and that

If you feel interested in making your MP do some work on your behalf, there is a message below from the author Alan Gibbons, (with the wording of the Early Day Motion that needs to be supported by them) and the following website will locate your MP’s contact details for you:


This is the Early Day Motion 1939 Manifesto for Education Libraries

That this House notes the contribution made by more than 20,000 UNISON members working in libraries and resource centres in schools, colleges, universities and local authority settings; acknowledges that libraries are at the heart of learning; welcomes the publication of UNISON’s manifesto for education libraries designed to keep libraries at the heart of learning; supports its key objectives to promote and enhance the role of library staff in teaching and learning and to campaign for well resourced libraries with modern facilities; encourages the education sector to prioritise professionally-run libraries; and calls on the Government to acknowledge the value of school libraries by putting them on a statutory footing.’


School librairan and GLOW

Recently came across a blog posting about a school librarian’s thoughts and experiences about GLOW (Scotland’s national intranet for education) entitled Get Glowing which makes interesting reading about the issues she is facing also her experience on an introductory presentation on GLOW to the staff at her school. Jen’s other thoughts and activities also make for interesting reading including the Visible Thinking project she is involved in. Some great work going on here both in an information literacy sense, individually and collaboratively.

A case of watch this space, get the thought process working and share ideas and thoughts.

LILAC 2009 – Information Literacy and Public Libraries


Although the majority of speakers and delegates at LILAC are from higher education, public libraries were present in the form on one of the keynote speakers and one of the parallel sessions both of which were very good and tied in with the work of our project partners in the public sector.

Key note – Lesley Burger, Princeton Public Library – From Information Literacy to Digital Citizenship Keynote speakers

Lesley talked about how libraries must enable people to become digital citizens for the 21st Century and that information fuels our democracy she quoted Thomas Jefferson – Information is the currency of democracy. She talked about how in the public library they see people day in day out on a one to one bases and that they see people into and through life starting as children into and through adult life.

She also talked about public libraries working with schools (in the US school libraries are disappearing – worrying trend there for us all both sides of the pond) and that before the teacher gives their pupils an assignment they are brought into the library to do the assignment themselves. Something that Ian McCracken does as part of his staff induction at Govan High in Glasgow.

 Key messages were:

  • Information Literacy for the people – take advantage of teachable moments – consider ever interaction an opportunity to change someone’s life
  • Monitor trends and respond
  • Market your heart out – in areas of influence
  • Making information seeking fun
  • Solve real life problems – tie information literacy to this
  • Share experiences together
  • Invest in technology
  • Reach out to those who need you most
  • Partnerships
  • Lead the way
  • Go for the unexpected where people don’t expect you
  • Never give in.

 The trends she talked about included:

  • Internet is everywhere
  • Information is becoming a commodity
  • Use of dizzying array of communication devices
  • Librarians still navigators
  • Library still trusted resource – on ramp to digital highway – access for those that can’t afford purchasing computers etc.

 I hadn’t heard Lesley speak before but a lot of what she said resonated with me and the work we are doing in the project not just in the public sector but in all areas of life. Hopefully it will inspire others to do more within the public library sector.

The public library parallel session I attended was Lisa Thomas & Karen John – Portfolios and partnership: a pilot information literacy project for secondary schools.

The pilot project was a joint project between Caerphilly Public Library Service and a secondary school which followed on from a European-funded Gateways to Learning project which ran in libraries in South East Wales (2005 -07) delivering informal information skills sessions to adult learners to help them ‘learn how to learn’ – knowing where to look and getting the best. Caerphilly Public Library Service developed a proposal to extend the information skills sessions with 14 – 16 year olds in local secondary schools (a difficult to reach group). They discussed the proposal with the school librarian and ran two sessions.

1.      In the school library:

·         Internet – Surfing Safely, Beyond Google used websites of interest to the teenagers – What’s on TV, What’s in Argos.

·         Tied in with Welsh Baccalaureate.

·         School Librarian went through the OCN Booklet, booklet used as portfolio and school librarian signed off on it

2.      In the Public Library:

·         Looked at range of sources, books etc

·         Introduced teenagers to public libraries and the services they offer.

 Outcomes – hard work gaining teenagers interest and belief that they didn’t know it all and that the public library staff did know a thing or two also staff intensive but positive experience for all and awareness of public library for non users.

The PowerPoint’s from both sessions should be able from the LILAC 2009 website at some stage if anyone is interested in learning more.

More of my postings later.





Librarians should get out there … and start knocking on doors

Brilliant article about school librarians in TESS includes our very own Ian McCracken, Govan High who is a project partner and on our project advisory group. Article also includes quotes / case studies from other activists in the field: Duncan Wright, convener of the School Library Association (Scotland) and librarian at Stewart Melville’s College; Wendy Pieroni, learning resource co-ordinator at Blairgowrie High in Perth and Kinross; Mary Sherriffs, Pitlochry High’s librarian; and Ayr Academy librarian Heather Stewart.

Douglas Blane reports:
School libraries and the people who run them can play a central role in A Curriculum for Excellence, inspiring new initiatives and pulling various departments together.

I would certainly endorse that and have been saying so for quite some time. Advocacy at its best.

Read the full artilce ‘Librarians should get out there … and start knocking on doors’