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Research, writing, working in teams and the joys of spring

tulipsI’ve been really lapse in blogging, mainly due to a lack of time and trying to juggle multiple projects at the moment and realised it’s been over a month since my last post.  I’ve got a few deadlines looming which have been keeping me busy including:

  • my final issue of the Journal of Information Literacy (JIL) before I hand over to the new editor, Emma Coonan;
  • the SADL project evaluation, which needs to be completed before the end of the term and a final event for LSE, UCL and other students involved in digital literacy projects, we are calling the London Digital Student Meet-up;
  • the launch of the online course ‘Teaching in the Digital Age’ I have been working on with the University of London International Programmes team at LSE and is scheduled to start on the 1st June;
  • analysing the copyright literacy survey data collected at the end of last year (and now accepted for two conference presentations);

I’ve also got to start judging around 14 TeenTech projects, which are eligible for the new Research and Information Literacy Award and I chair my first Information Literacy group meeting in a few weeks time.

One of the biggest motivations for me is working with other people – I find it easier to stay focused, to stick to deadlines, you can divide up work, play to your strengths and it’s much more fun.

Pretty much all of my projects involve working with other people, and being part of a team is really important with the Journal editorial work and the Information Literacy Group. It’s great to  have a group of inspiring colleagues around the country to call on to help out with projects – I think of them as my virtual team. In addition to this, recently Emma Coonan and I have been working together again a fair bit, not just on JIL, but preparing for two workshops – one this coming Friday at Cambridge librarians, on ‘librarians as researchers’. And another next Monday at University College Cork, where we are advising on the development of a new undergraduate course in research skills, digital literacy and academic writing. I’ve been working on analysing the data from the Copyright Literacy Survey, with Chris Morrison, and while I’ve enjoyed getting stuck into the qualitative data, Chris is a whiz with Excel. Meanwhile, Maria Bell and I continue to work on the SADL project together and we are collecting data from students on the programme this year, and about to start interviewing some of the academics and library staff who’ve been involved. And the event at UCL, I am working on with Moira Wright, who is UCL’s Digital Literacy Officer and I’m hoping our event is as much fun as the planning we’ve done so far!

When asked recently what aspect of my job I really disliked, I had to spend quite some time thinking about it – every day is different and having multiple projects and so many great people to work with is what inspires me. I also think May is my favourite month, when spring is in full bloom, summer just round the corner and there seems to be endless possibilities both in my garden and professionally!

CILIP Copyright Briefing 2015: a short report

Large copyright sign made of jigsaw puzzle pieces

Photo by Horia licensed under Creative commons

Today I attended the CILIP Copyright Executive Briefing and it is difficult to believe a year has passed since last year’s copyright briefing. A lot has happened in the last year, it’s never a quiet year in terms of copyright as Dr Ros Lyn, the Director of Copyright Enforcement from the IPO told us.

The event was chaired by Naomi Korn who is Chair of LACA, and it was a great opportunity to launch LACA and CILIP’s London Manifesto. The first speaker was Ros Lynch, Director, Copyright Enforcement, at the IPO. She spoke about how Hargreaves had been an attempt to re-balance the copyright regime and how the new exceptions brought in last year were useful for libraries and archives, in areas such as preservation, in widening the research exception to cover all categories of works. The IPO have also implemented the EU orphan works directive and introduced the Orphan Works Licensing Scheme. She was disappointed it was not being used in the sector as widely as expected and wondered if there was a difficulty in understanding what due diligence means. Ros spoke about about areas where the IPO could not deliver change for example not being able to make the 2039 legislative change. Overall the message was to the sector to engage with the IPO. She welcomed the London Manifesto as a step in the right direction and the IPO want to support balance and cross border exchange in the copyright regime.

Charles Oppenheim was the next speaker who examined some of last year’s changes to the law and the impact of library and information professionals. Charles discussed  5 changes to the law in terms of library exceptions and what they mean in practice. These included:

  1. Making of copies available on dedicated terminals – should we be replicating one patron getting access to one item? Or can two people get access at the same time. We discussed if we could be more permissive and whether  dedicated terminals  have to be in the library (Charles thought not) but can it be two people on different terminals having access? Could it be an ipad?
  2. He looked at changes to supplying copies to another library
  3. Copying of items for preserving the collection
  4. Making of single copies by librarians – where you no longer need a signature and charges are not compulsory. How many libraries are making copies for their patrons still? In some sectors this does still occurs.
  5. Making a single copy of an unpublished work can be made for a library of archive user. Applies to all media types


Working with TeenTech

IMG_7598-001Tomorrow I become the Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and I am honoured to be chairing a CILIP special interest group which was formed from a sub-group I helped to set up over 10 years ago. I’ll be handing over the editing of the Journal of Information Literacy to Emma Coonan over the coming few months, and I am relishing the opportunity to lead such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of library and information professionals. One of the first incredibly exciting things we are going to be working on is a new Research and Information Literacy Award, for TeenTech. You can read about my meeting with Maggie Philbin, (yes she of Tomorrow’s World fame) and how the award came about on the IL website. I’ll be opening the LILAC conference next week as well as introducing one of our keynotes. My first day as Chair will actually be spent at CILIP as I am attending an speaking at the CILIP Copyright Briefing. It’s exciting times, and I sense that much of the hard work of the last 10 years is finally starting to pay off. Have a lovely Easter break everyone!

Singapore bound!

wpid-DSC_0531.JPGSome of you may recall that since October 2014 I have been seconded two days a week to the University of London International Programmes (UoLIP) office based at LSE. They coordinate degree courses in economics, finance, maths and social sciences that are taken by students all over the world. Quite a large percent of these students are based in Singapore and many are enrolled in local colleges who teach the students, while the assessment is provided from London.

Next week I will be visiting Singapore with the LSE UoLIP team, including the Head of Teaching and Learning, Lynne Roberts, their educational developer, Chris and their Learning Technologist, Craig. We have an exciting (but hectic!) schedule of meetings, workshops, training, observations and opportunities to meet students enrolled on the courses. I am really excited about the trip and my role for the past few months has been to help develop some new workshops around the theme of Teaching in the Digital Age. The workshops are based on several that we run at LSE and a new workshop that I am hoping to run for the first time later in the year for LSE academics, on embedding digital literacies into the curriculum. It is very much based on the ANCIL workshops that Emma Coonan and I have run at several institutions, where teachers review their curriculum according to an information literacy curriculum, to identify good practice and opportunities to integrate digital and information literacy into their course.

In order to be sustainable, I have also put together a proposal for an online course that would allow us to support the teachers once we return to the UK. For those in the library world, you may have heard of the 23 Things model, and I have been very much inspired by this approach. As a teacher you need to be reflective, and also to share ideas with your community. The 23 Things model seems to offer a way of doing this. Plus each of the ‘things’ are relatively small but should help the teachers and the students develop their digital literacies as they try them out and reflect on them. I’ve received excellent advice from Liz McCarthy at the Bodelian who ran the Oxford 23 Things for Research.

I’ve also got two visits lined up to see Yun-Ke Chang at Nangyang University, who I met at ECIL 2014 and is doing some fascinating research with colleagues on information literacy in Singapore Schools. I will also be visiting Ron Starker and colleges at Singapore American School, who are being influenced by ANCIL to enhance their middle school curriculum and have invited me to a fascinating conference for teachers next Friday afternoon, called iCreate.

So roll on my trip! I’m looking forward to escaping the gloomy weather, enjoying some 27 degree heat, fabulous food, meeting teachers and librarians and talking about digital and information literacy and student learning.

Seasons Greetings to you all


This is my last day working in 2014, so I wanted to share this festive table decoration I made with you all and wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

I hope 2015 brings you everything you wish for. I’m ending the year with mainly happy news but a touch of sadness. Last week the CILIP Information Literacy group elected me to be the new Chair of their group, and I will be taking over in April 2015, as I prepare to hand over the Journal of Information Literacy to a new editor. I will be announcing further details of the new editor very soon after the new year. I’m also delighted to see over 550 people have completed the Copyright Literacy Survey, I sent out on the 1st December. Chris and I hope to start analysing the data in January and sharing our findings widely. The survey is still open until the end of the month, so if you haven’t completed it, then please do take the time! And the December issue of JIL came out on time, which means we hopefully should be indexed by Web of Science from 2015. Well done to the Editorial Board and copy editors for all their hard work.

It was with much sadness that those of us who work in higher education in the field of copyright and digitisation, learned of the death last week of the Heron Technical Manager, George Pitcher. I’ve known George well over 10 years back when I chaired the Heron User group, and when he first created a database that later became Packtracker, because I asked for his help. Helen Bartlett has been overseeing things at Heron since George was taken ill, and let us know of the news. I understand his funeral was today. So here’s to George, who will be much missed, but never forgotten. Christmas is a time of happiness to spend with family and friends, but also a time to remember the people we have lost.

Copyright literacy UK: have your say!

My two interests, information literacy and copyright collided in October at ECIL 2014 when I found out about the copyright literacy survey that had been carried out in several European countries.

Chris Morrison (University of Kent) and I decided to carry out research into levels of copyright literacy amongst professionals in UK information, cultural and heritage institutions. This research is part of an international project originating in the National Library of Bulgaria and analyses have already taken place in Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey (July – October 2013) and in France (January-March 2014). Further research is currently taking place in Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Romania and USA.

We are calling on all librarians, information professionals or those working in educational, cultural and scientific institutions within the UK to complete this survey before 31 December 2014.

The survey comprises 27 multiple choice questions and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. If you wish to preview the questions in this survey, then you can access the survey questions as  PDF.  Please visit the following link to complete the survey

The research outputs are intended to assist institutions and policy makers in identifying strengths and weaknesses in the comprehension of and engagement with copyright issues in the UK. This of particular importance during the current period of copyright reform.

We very much hope you will be able to complete this survey and ask colleagues to do so that we can get a  rich set of data. If you have any questions about the research or the survey please leave a comment on the blog or contact Many thanks for your time.

Crazy busy week as the ANCIL roadshow continues!

I’ve had a really busy week, but it was great to be out on the road again on Tuesday with Emma talking about ANCIL, this time at DeMontfort University. We ran a workshop for librarians, learning technologists and learning developers about embedding digital and information literacy in the curriculum. Emma started off the day with an overview of what ANCIL is, and how we created it 3 years ago, back in 2011. I then talked about ANCIL in practice, and how we used it to map the support at LSE for undergraduates, some of the work since that date, such as the LSE Digital and Information Literacy framework and then subsequent launch of the SADL project last year. The second part of the day was to really focus on what the issues are at DeMontfort, what IL currently looks like, where they want to be and what might be getting in the way. We then got the group to work on mapping the digital and information literacy according to 10 strands of ANCIL, to see if they could identify good practice, any gaps, and opportunities. It was a great day, so thanks to Jo Webb, Director of Library and Learning Services, for inviting us.

The week remained busy with planning for next week’s SADL workshops (and reviewing last week’s), promoting our next NetworkED seminar with Marieke Guy talking about Open Data, and planning some work to carry out a copyright literacy survey of library and information professionals in the UK, based on an existing European project. I found out about this project at ECIL 2014 and plan to run this survey in the UK with Chris Morrison from University of Kent.

Jane and Emma

Jane and Emma at DeMontfort

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