Scottish Information Literacy Project finishes at Glasgow Caledonian University

The Scottish Information Literacy Project comes to a close at Glasgow Caledonian University after five very successful years, having worked in partnership with cross sector partners in secondary and tertiary education, the world of work and the wider community, relevant non governmental agencies such as Learning and Teaching Scotland,  the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, Scottish Qualifications Authority, Skills Development Scotland, Ofcom Scotland and professional bodies.

During this time the project successfully gained funding to work on research and development projects including the creation and development of a National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland). The project was asked to speak on many occasions at conferences, meetings and seminars plus successfully organised and ran three open meetings for the project partners and interested parties bring together cross sector organisations.

Discussions are taking place to keep the project blog and website at the university as they are a record of the projects work plus a valuable resource and move the National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland) to a new home so that the framework can continue to develop.

We would like to thank the project partners, interested parties and colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University who generously gave their time, expertise and support to the project in their efforts to gain funding and then deliver the objectives.

Whilst the project at Glasgow Caledonian University has come to an end our involvement in information literacy has not.   We are currently co-writing a book chapter on information literacy in the workplace and plan to co-author a book based on the project work and experience. There are also articles to write about the project work and we will continue to contribute to the Scottish Government Community of Practice Creating an information literate Scotland. For anyone interested in joining the CoP email or

A project email account has been set up at  if anyone wishes to contact us.


Christine Irving & John Crawford

April 2010

LILAC 2010

I see the LILAC 2010 draft programme for the parallel sessions are now posted on the LILAC 2010 website and that my presentation is first up in the parallel sessions for the conference.

Monday 29th March 2010

3pm – 3.45pm Begin at the beginning – Information Literacy in primary schools  – Christine Irving

4.25pm – 5.10pm  Employability and information literacy: a review of a training programme – John Crawford

Tuesday 30th March 2010

12.10 – 12.40 Developing an information literacy community of practice in Scotland – Lesley Thomson (the program has Thomson with an p)

12.45 – Scottish Government information literacy in the work place – measuring impact –Morag Higgison and Jenny Foreman

Will need to have a look and see who else is presenting plus presentations of interest.

The importance of paying close attention to your “market,” adjusting your service model, and remaining relevant to your customers

Another gem from the Information Literacy Community of Practice. This time a posting from CCHS Library Learning Commons re the importance of paying close attention to your “market,” adjusting your service model, and remaining relevant to your customers.  

In the world of school libraries the rats leaving the ship is analogous to finding your job on the cut list. By the time your program is on that list it is too late.

She does however offer some suggestions

How do you avoid this fate? Be curious, be bold, find out what the smartest school librarians and educational tech visionaries from around the world are doing and saying, and see how it can be implemented to the benefit of your students and faculty.  Embrace the unknown …

Vist the original posting and read the rest for your self.

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:

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

Partly with a view to promoting the value of information skills as an essential national resource but also with the wider concerns of the information profession very much in mind, I am standing for election to CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Council. All information professionals, irrespective of those who they wish to vote for, should have have an interest in the election and its outcomes at a difficult time for public service professionals. Information about the candidates and the electronic hustings may be found below:

There are 6 candidates standing for the 4 available CILIP Council places.

.John Crawford

.Isabel Hood

.Emma McDonald

.Nick Poole

.Neil Simmons

.Steve Thornton


You can read the candidates’ manifestos (and nominating statements) on the

CILIP website at



…and learn more about them CILIP by asking questions and engaging them in

conversation at the eHustings at:


Note that these Hustings are NOT restricted to current CILIP members: if you

are a non-member, you might ask candidates what they would do to encourage

you to join (or you might tell them what it would take!)


Timescale for the elections themselves:

. 16 October – ballot papers despatched

. 5pm GMT, 23 November – deadline for return of ballot papers

. 24 November – count 

. 24 November – election results announced

 Best wishes



Ofcom Update: Ofcom launches campaign to help keep children safe online this summer

I received this update from Ofcom and thought I would share it with you. Although it mentions Public Libraries it only does so in relation to finding out where to find computer / Internet courses however this could lead Public Libraries promoting their courses to parents. In relation to schools it talks about finding out what they teach children about staying safe online.

Ofcom has launched a campaign to help keep children safe online during the summer holidays.

The Internet offers a range of opportunities for fun, learning and development at the click of a mouse, but it’s important that parents, carers and children have the right skills and information to help keep them safe online.

  • Two-thirds of 5-7 year olds now use the internet at home, rising to over three-quarters of 8-11 year olds and over four-fifths of 12-15s.
  • Of these, one fifth of 5-7 year olds use the internet without an adult present, as do almost half of 8-11 year olds and two-thirds of 12-15s.
  • 12-15 year olds say they spend an average of nearly 14 hours a week online.
  • Over a third of 12-15 year olds say they mostly access the internet in their bedroom.  During this time they could encounter inappropriate or even potentially harmful content.

Find out what you can do to help children enjoy the internet safely this summer by watching or reading Ofcom’s guide to show parents and carers how to use parental controls and filters to manage their children’s access to digital TV and internet content. The guide also encourages parents and carers to talk to their children about what they do on the internet and how to use it safely.

The video and guide can be found at

Govan High School Future Skills Symposium

On Friday 24th April we attended a Future Skills Symposium at Govan High School.  The school is one of our most active Project partners through the work of Ian McCracken the Learning Resources Manager there. The Framework (Future Skills) of 71 core transferable skills is the work of Philip Graham, the Depute Head and Ian with the full support of the ‘Heidie’, Ian White, and has been in operation since the 2007-8 school year began.

It arose out of the fact that pupils were unable to identify their own skills and confidently use them in a wide range of situations. This led to an unsuccessful search for a comprehensive pre-existing framework of skills with the result that Philip and Ian set out to compile their own with the full involvement of staff and pupils.  An initial list of ‘hundreds of skills’ was pared down to a definitive list of 71 future skills which are prominently displayed around the school and are used in every subject.  This has not meant an abandonment of the curriculum or the teaching skills as a separate subject because an examination of the Curriculum for Excellence showed that the skills were already there. They had not been noticed before.  A matching exercise on skills demanded by a range of employers was successfully carried out. The skills are divided into seven groups – the communicator, the contributor, the doer, the sorter, the originator, the connector and the decider. The communicator, for example, has skills which include creative writing, e-literacy, presentation skills and objective reporting while the contributor has team skills, participation skills and is environmentally friendly. Skills booklets were devised so pupils could self assess the skills they learned in lessons and extra-curricular activities. There are also skill cards for teachers who can nominate pupils who make progress in a particular skill. The details of the skills booklets are fed into a growing computer database which offers interesting analytical possibilities to support further development and to inform key areas.  Information literacy is, of course, one of the skills and occurs regularly in all the booklets. Ian is now analysing the database to identify the frequency of the appearance of IL skills and how they relate to others. The results should be interesting.

The event was attended not only by teachers but also people from other education sectors and those concerned with learning and skills development. The Future Skills Framework is likely to be influential well beyond the school sector.  Some further detail can be found in a Times Educational Supplement Scotland article. See URL You can also watch two PPTs which describe the developmental processes and outcomes in detail. govan-1-journey-so-far1 govan-2-nuts-and-bolts


LILAC 2009 – IL for Social Workers

Clarissa Hunt (Open University)
Investigating the perceived value of information literacy skills for social workers 


Clarrisa’s presentation was about the OU’s Social Work degree and the IL strand within it which targeted 3 strands of practice learning. Of the students that took the stands (compulsory in Wales but not in England or Scotland) 60% of the 1st level students felt it was a benefit to their course and 62% felt it added value to their practice. Once they were in 3rd year the benefit to the course rose to 63% and 78% felt it added to their practice. 90% said they would use IL in their work and 92 % said they would use it in further study. It was a small sample and they are now following up on these students who graduated in 2008.

This was the only workplace related presentation I attended although project partners Jenny and Lesley (Scottish Government Library and Information Services) did a parallel session on Government Information Literacy in the ‘century of information’  I had heard their presentation before so I was excused.

Information Literacy and Web 2.0

One of the books on my reading pile was Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0 by Peter Godwin and Jo Parker (2008). I found the book written by different authors for different chapters very useful to update my knowledge about Web 2.0 tools and to see how they are being used in different sectors / situations and countries. Although most of the writers are from HE and are writing about HE I think the information could be useful to other sectors too. I was particularly interested in the chapter by Sheila Webber on Educating Web 2.0 LIS students for information literacy which also has some relevance for educating teachers. Among the many things she said here are the ones that I thought were most relevant the project and what we are doing.

I agree with her that there is no need for a new definition for IL in a Web 2.0 world. “.. key issue is how you understand the concept of ‘information’.” “Commentators on IL make the assumption that ‘information’ in IL definitions refers to textual information, but that is not necessarily the case. The notes on IL skills which accompany the CILIP definition make it clear that ‘information may be available on paper (books, reference works, journals, magazines, newspapers, etc), digitally (on CD-ROMS, over the internet or the world wide web, on DVDs, on your own computer or network etc), through other media such as broadcast or film or from a colleague or friend’ (Armstrong et al., 2005). p40.

“Web 2.0 has made publication and information combination easier. This means that ethical and legal use of information come to the foreground, as well as issues of data protection and privacy. It also means that there are exciting possibilities fro encouraging people to develop their understanding of IL through creating a variety of information products.”
“… working with others in an information-literate way. Developing more effective habits in sharing information, and in managing information for use within a group, are skills which are essential in many workplaces. Freely available Web 2.0 tools for sharing and aggregating information can be used to develop such skills.” p42-43

“When it comes to librarians’ skills in teaching IL, the European working party identified four main areas for learning:
1 Curriculum design and planning (one of the elements listed here is understanding appropriate use of technology in designing learning environments).
2 Understanding learners and learning theory (which includes understanding e-learning models and the needs of e-learners).
3 Understanding basic concepts, theories and practice of teaching.
4 Understanding the context for teaching and learning (e.g. issues concerned with the teaching and learner-support role of the librarian).

Learning to teach using Web 2.0 tools fits within these four areas: there is increasing consensus that ‘good strategies for e-learning’ are part of ‘good strategies for learning’, so that teaching with technology should not be seen as a strange and separate activity. It is always valuable to learn more about specific tools, to put theory into practice. However, technology changes so fast that it is more crucial to learn some of the underlying concepts. Thus you can develop an approach to teaching that enables you to evaluate new tools and see how they can been used effectively in learning and teaching.

One problem for LIS educators is fitting everything that needs to be taught into the curriculum.” p45

Other chapterrs which were of interest was John Kirriemuir – Teaching information literacy through digital games which is an interesting idea in it’s early stages and Judy O’Connell – School Library 2.0: new skills, new knowledge, new future.

I had hoped for more in the chapter on Public Libraries but then it is still early days and the idea of using blogs for learners in Public Libraries to record their thoughts, experiences etc came from reading this chapter and the chapter on Engage or enrage: the blog as an assessment tool – Georgina Payne.

As always the Open University seems to be ahead of the game but then I always find the work Jo Webb and the OU team do is amazing and an inspiration to us all. It’s not surprising that she is one of the co editors on this book. The chapters by Peter Godwin are good at setting the scene and the conclusions which the following are exerts from.

“In the world of information scarcity, publishers mediated the content which was published and added to the world’s knowledge. At first the web simply continued this process. Although at that time individual expression was possible on the web it was technical and difficult. Web 2.0 changed all this and in the age of the amateur, we are beginning to see the development of new forms of authority. “ p176

“The importance of the information-literate person being able to interpret the context of what is found, based on healthy scepticism of everything they see on the web of the future is crucial. In other words, we help students to construct meaning from what they find (Jastram, 2006). What has changed is that they will be doing this more often in a collabotative, active way because of the use of Web 2.0 tools. IL, the most important of the patchwork of capabilities which will help them make sense of their world, has undoubtly been greatly enriched by the availability of these new participatory tools.” p178.

Jastram, I. (2006) Information Literacy 2.0, Pegasus Librarian (blog),

See the Information Literacy meets Library 2.00 blog for updates.