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!


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