It’s all about writing and editing

IMG_2930Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, but don’t think or a minute I’ve not been doing any writing recently. In fact I’ve been doing so much writing (and thinking and reading and debating) that I am going half crazy. It’s all getting very close to the deadline for the second edition of Copyright and E-learning being due with my publisher Facet and so I feel like I’ve done very little but read, write, think and speak about copyright for months now! I’m so grateful for my co-author, Chris Morrison, who is working tirelessly and going slightly crazy with me. And so grateful to our patient families who probably can’t wait until next weekend, when it’s finally sent off for proof reading.

I like writing and I like copyright, but this final stage all gets rather fraught as all of a sudden you remember that crucial thing that’s not in the book. Or you chat with someone and they mention something and you find your mind wandering and thinking, ‘I really ought to have referenced that article’, or find out more about whether this topic is relevant to my book. I can only apologise for my slightly more distracted attitude than usual in meetings, in conversations with people and even while at the gym or socialising! It will end very soon!

On top of this I’m really excited that Chris and I’d first peer reviewed article on our Copyright Literacy research came out in late December in Library and Information Research. We’ve started the next phase of the research which is to carry out some focus groups (it wasn’t like we had much else to do!) and have been preparing to pitch a new game at LILAC as part of the exciting new format of presentations, Legadothon. Yes I know, it sounds like something from Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars, but we have Nigel Morgan to thank for this! On that note I’d like to point out that despite Nigel’s encouragement, I haven’t yet started writing historical fictional set in a library, nor introduced elements of this into Copyright and E-learning (my co-author wouldn’t buy it!)

Finally, the excitement of the ILG involvement in TeenTech continues and we have launched 10 resource sheets for schools, to support pupils and their teachers in how to do research. These guides are really visually attractive as well as hopefully being practical and useful for the teenagers. They are also all licensed under Creative Commons, so if you haven’t seen them, do check them out! There is much more I could write about, but the book is calling me for some final amendments! See you on the other side folks!!

Michaelmas Term conferences, fun and games

It is now the end of term at LSE and we have had a great start to the year with the recruitment of almost 50 undergraduate student ambassadors for the SADL project. I’ve spoken about the programme several times in the last few months, for example at ECIL in October. In October I also gave a webinar for EIFL on digital literacy and a few weeks ago a webinar for staff at NUI Galway as part of their All Aboard HE project. Moira and I also ran another London Digital Student Meet-up in November at the Royal Veterinary College with colleagues from UCL and Jisc and some of the SADL team came along to take part. We were even lucky enough to meet a real horse!

Copyright cakesMeanwhile the copyright literacy roadshow continues after a successful trip to Tallinn, Chris and I were in Leeds on 22nd November for the IL and games event running a two hour copyright card game session. We also ran a workshop together last week for LSE staff, some of whom came along to play the game for a second time. It was nothing to do with the copyright cakes we tempted them with!

This week I was in Newport for the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) conference where I was part of a symposium on digital literacies. Then next week I will be in Sheffield for the Social Media in Learning in HE conference playing more games – this time on copyright and the social media challenges.

I’d like to say after that I rest as I’m off work for two weeks but between Christmas celebrations, working on the updates to my 2010 book Copyright and E-learning. I’m working with Chris to update it and enjoying not only having a second set of eyes on the text, but the discussions over all the changes that have happened since 2010 in both copyright law and technology. Even terms like e-learning which we are retaining in the title, seem to have dated a little. Dare I say we have reached a state of post e-learning, where now we just talk about learning whether online or face to face? I’m not sure; what I do know is that digital literacy, learning and copyright all seem to be featuring as the major elements in my work still.

ECIL 2015: Estonian adventures

Jane in TallinnTwo weeks ago I attended the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL2015); the third I was fortunate enough to attend. Held in Tallinn the capital of Estonia, which is a beautiful medieval city on the Baltic coast.

The theme of the conference was Information Literacy in the Green Society and back last year when this was announced I was a little unsure what it meant. In fact few papers I attended addressed green issues directly, but what I took away was that information literacy is central to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, and IL is all part of building sustainable, democratic societies, where people have access to information and the critical abilities to know what to do with it.

I had a busy schedule, presenting three papers at the conference. The first was about the Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy programme at LSE, now in its third year, so the focus of the paper was on sustainability and the impact of this programme on our undergraduate students, following the extensive evaluation we carried out in the summer of 2015. My slides are available on Slideshare and I co-authored this paper with my colleague from LSE, Maria Bell.

My second paper was inspired by attending a series of papers at last year’s ECIL on European research into the copyright literacy knowledge of library and related professionals. Following this I got involved in the second phase of this multi-national study of copyright literacy, coordinating the UK version of this survey with Chris Morrison, from the University of Kent. We presented our findings from over 600 UK librarians in an interactive, ‘Play your Cards Right’ style session to compare the data with other countries. Again these slides are on SlideShare. You can also find out more from the new website we’ve launched as a home for UK Copyright Literacy activities.

My final paper focused on recent work of the CILIP Information Literacy Group, and I delivered this with fellow ILG Committee member, Geoff Walton, from Northumbria University. UK Information Literacy Advocacy: reaching out beyond the tower, explored the advocacy work ILG have embarked on in the last year to build up links with organisations outside the library sector and to promote information literacy to groups such as Trade Unions, businesses, schools and public libraries. I also spoke about the work we’ve done with TeenTech to launch a Research and Information Literacy award.

Congratulations to Sonja Špiranec and Serap Kurbanoğlu, the founders of ECIL for another fantastic conference and for making me feel part of a global network of information literacy. I returned inspired and energized and would urge others from the UK to try to get to this conference next year, not least because it will be in another beautiful European city, Prague.

The start of the academic year

Copyright the card gameIt’s been a hectic few weeks, with term starting a week earlier at LSE, to take into account of the new academic year structure, and the inclusion of a reading week in Week 6 of term. Start of the term means new academic staff induction events, an Open House in LTI, Welcome Week for our new students, where we promote Learning and Development opportunities from across the school and the launch of the third year of the SADL Programme (it’s not a project anymore!).

I’ve also been busy running more Copyright the Card game sessions, for colleagues in IMT last month and then for around 40 Cambridge librarians last week. I surprised myself that the game could work with so many people and in just under 2 hours. That is what a cup of coffee does for me! It also proved that no one can resist a copyright fortune cookie as a prize!

Today I gave only my second ever webinar, for EIFL, on the topic of digital literacy. I had around 50 people tune in from around the world and the recording should be on their website soon. It was a great experience and an opportunity to share some of the work we’re doing with people around the world. On that note, I’m currently in the process of preparing 3 presentations for the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL 2015) which takes place in just under 2 weeks in Tallinn, Estonia. I will be presenting a paper on the impact of the SADL Project, written jointly with my colleague Maria Bell. I’ll also be presenting on the UK Copyright Literacy Survey data with Chris Morrison from University of Kent and presenting with Geoff Walton from Northumbria University on the advocacy work the Information Literacy group have been doing outside the HE library sector, including work on TeenTech. This is the third ECIL and then third I have attended so I am looking forward to catching up with colleagues from Europe and beyond.

Last week I attended an event at the Digital Catapult on Euston Road, organised by CREATe (the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, based at the University of Glasgow) on the subject of orphan works. It covered the IPO’s Orphan Works Licensing Scheme, the EU Directive and how different institutions are handling orphan works. It was great to meet up with members of CREATe, who are behind the website It was a week of copyright for me, as the UUK-Copyright working group had a meeting at the CLA.

And of course last week, there was some fuss about me being appointed an Honorary Fellow of CILIP. So all in all it’s been a pretty good start to the new academic year.

Information literacy in the UK, in Vienna

I’m presenting tomorrow in the University of Vienna at the Austrian Library conference on the topic of information literacy in the UK. I’ll be speaking about the work that the CILIP Information Literacy group are currently undertaking to get information literacy recognised outside higher education and the library sector. The group are funding 3 research projects that specifically explore IL in other sectors; a digital champions project in Newcastle public library, a study to explore the value of IL in the workplace and a project to explore the role of school libraries in developing young people’s political awareness. I’ll also be talking about the TeenTech Research and Information Literacy award which is being launched this month.

Closer to home, a key way of getting a wider understanding of what information literacy is and why it matters has been through working with students as partners at LSE, on the Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy project. I will say a little about this project and you might ask why we call it digital literacy? Well terminology does matter and while I might understand it as information literacy, I’ve found the term digital literacy has had far more resonance with academic staff and with students. So I will conclude with a brief talk about definitions, frameworks and some further reading. It’s great to be in Vienna this week, the weather is sunny and warm and the cakes are divine!

SADL up! developing digital literacy in LSE undergraduates 

Vienna: Heldenplatz by Duroy.George licensed under Creative Commons

Vienna: Heldenplatz by Duroy.George licensed under Creative Commons

For the past 2 years I have been managing the Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy project working with a relatively small group of LSE undergraduates to develop their digital literacy, for staff to learn from students about their needs and capabilities and to try to develop a peer support network for students. Last week we published the evaluation and impact study from the project. It is a hugely exciting time as we are now gearing up to open the programme across LSE to all undergraduates however we are still envisioning this as a peer support network so places will be limited to 50 students and we will be working much harder to provide them with the means to support their peers, for example by running digital literacy surgeries. We are also teaming up with a project for LSE Economics students to encourage them to use tablets and mobiles for note taking. Senior Ambassadors from SADL will provide support for this cohort. There is still a lot to do before term starts but I hope to be able to open the applications later today. Publicity will start from the week of the 21st September which is Welcome Week at LSE. We have recruited students to be on the Learning and Development Stand in the library foyer to promote SADL to their peers.

In the meantime I am heading to Vienna for the Austrian library conference (Österreichischer Bibliothekartag 2015). I’ll be speaking about information and digital literacy in the UK and highlighting SADL as a successful student partnership project. I definitely feel we are at the start of what I know is going to be an exciting but challenging year. I have so many questions flying around, such as what if too many students apply? What if none do? Have we over promised? How to cope with students from so many different disciplines? But based on the experiences of the last two years SADL is really making a difference and providing LSE students with digital literacies the feel help them in their studies, their future careers and their personal lives, and these are things they wouldn’t have got from elsewhere. It’s been tremendously powerful for the staff involved in SADL who feel more connected with LSE undergraduates and understand more about their research behaviour and use of social media.  So before the horse bolts from the stable, I’m taking a deep breath and off to sample the delights of Vienna.

Copyright Literacy on the 1709 Blog

Spiderman and the skeletonFor those in the copyright and IP field you are probably familiar with the 1709 Blog. 1709 is the year the first copyright act came into force in the UK and the blog has a series of contributors, and a great source of copyright stories. Chris has written a post on our Copyright Literacy work on this blog which went live yesterday, and due to some Twitter error I’ve been unable to tweet a link to the post, so I am adding it to my blog and tweeting the link from there. I will not be foiled by technology!