Information Literacy Award: thanks

Last week I attended the LILAC Conference and it was a special year, as they were celebrating 10 years of LILAC, plus I had been nominated for the Information Literacy Award. I knew the Committee were planning a celebration on the first night and I had (rashly?) shared my photo archive with them for a presentation that Nigel Morgan was preparing. So the first night I approached with some trepidation, wondering which embarrassing photos might feature. I think I got off lightly and I was proud to be named as a co-founder of the conference with Debbi Boden-Angell. I also found the tour of LILAC history that Nigel took us through really fantastic and the videos he’s collected from previous delegates are worth seeing again – I hope they go on the website soon!

The second night there was no let up for me. I had been asked to judge the Credo Award for the best Information Literacy online resource, so knew I had to make a short speech to announce the winner – Georgina Dimmock, from University of Northampton. However, I was also nominated for the IL award, and unlike in previous years the committee had decided to keep this winner’s name under wraps. Anyway, the upshot was I spent the first half of the meal nervously drinking only water, until I was finally announced as the winner around 9.30pm.

I have to say I was delighted (and a little overwhelmed) to win the IL Award – Nigel was the first ever winner of this title (you can see all the past winners) and my crystal trophy will sit with pride on my mantlepiece at home. I receive £500 for myself and £500 for a charity of my choice. I thought long and hard for something suitably worthy and have settled on Women for Women International which was actually founded by an LSE alumni and helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives, through education, training and resources.

I thanked several people on the night, and I would like to thank them publicly on my blog, all are my dear friends. The first is Gwyneth Price, formerly of the Institute of Education, now retired, but someone who inspired me to present at international conferences, particularly those held on Greek islands! I also clearly recall her talking to me many years ago about the term ‘information literacy’ and how it was what Americans were calling what we termed ‘user education’ or ‘information skills’. The second person I must thank is the founder of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and co-founder of LILAC, Debbi Boden-Angell, now Director of Library Services and IT at York St John. Her passion for information literacy knows no bounds and she worked tirelessly to have this recognised in the profession.

I also thanked Emma Coonan, from University of East Anglia, but my research partner on ANCIL, who is an inspirational librarian / learning developer / teacher and mentor. We worked together so well back in 2011 and our research continues to make an impact in institutions around the UK and further afield. I also thanked Nancy Graham, now at University of Roehampton, who has worked with me on exciting information literacy projects around open education. Our trips to Paris to UNESCO are one of the highlights of recent years for me. And finally I must thank all my colleagues and friends at the LSE who put up with me daily, support me, humour me and inspire me, but particular thanks go to Maria Bell, the Learning Support Services Manager who never tires of my ideas and nominated me for this award. Thank you all I was honoured to receive it!

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