Monday, 7 December 2009

From Twitter 12-06-2009

National Library of Wales' development of a strategic approach to meeting user needs in a post-Web 2.0 world:

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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

From Twitter 12-01-2009

RT @hazelh: Info pros need to get heads round RDF - conclusion from keynote speakers on stage at #online09.
RT @ingridk: My tuppence on the latest libraries hand-wringing exercise (links to the latest DCMS consultation)
@neillyneil You need to follow more librarians :-) We usually know where all the best conferences are!
RT @neillyneil: @lelil librarians know everything! [tis true. We even know the stuff wot Mr Google doesn't :-)]
Answered door to double glazing salesman...asked if my mum or dad were in :-) It is pretty dark.
Not been in the office today so don't know if my paper for #lilac2010 has been accepted. Will just have to be patient!

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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

From Twitter 11-30-2009

RT @lynncorrigan: RT: @bibliobot: Good to see Google recognises St Andrews Day. Wish my employers would! [pleased mine does :-)]
@standrewsday Thanks! Don't do Twibbons, but I've got my Saltire pants on today :-)
@ingridk It's a right of passage! :-)
RT @snap2grid: My day off coincides with downstairs installing double glazing. Bang bang bang. I will shortly retire to the library.
RT @happenchance: Nine Inch Nails are flogging all their musical Instruments items on eBay:
RT @snap2grid: Just spent time in library researching Mills Observatory and finding a ton of info from the helpful librarians.
RT @snap2grid: Finding this info would have been literally impossible with Google. Physical libraries rock! [I've not paid him to say this!]

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Sunday, 29 November 2009

From Twitter 11-28-2009

Anyone know if Scotrail is on Twitter?
RT @nwinton: Timely advice!
RT @nwinton: RT @nwinton: Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! [my sentiments exactly :-(]
@MistressMunky Me too! Not the celeb version though...that's just too awful :-)
@MistressMunky The omnibus is my essential Sunday night viewing (has replaced CSI in my schedule!)

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Thursday, 26 November 2009

From Twitter 11-25-2009

I have some Google Wave invites left if there's anyone out there who still hasn't got one. (And is willing to admit it!)
@AlistairReid I associate She Sells Sanctuary with the smell of wee.. For entirely different reasons...which I don't wish to go into...
@CILIPInfo Certainly. Just DM me your email address and it shall be yours.
RT @sharon370: The Public Index, discuss the proposed Google Book Search settlement [US site, but may be of interest]
RT @Scotland4me: Tired of waiting for the bus? - There's an Ap for that. [I have it and it's great!]
MediaNews Group Inc to block Google News ? Blimey, they're all it!
New David Sedaris audio book to be issued on vinyl!

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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

From Twitter 11-24-2009

RT @Scotland4me: Bookstart bash: Ten years of a national reading programme marked [happy birthday Bookstart!]
Off to Raploch, Stirling to facilitate at a Scottish Government conference for community activists and volunteers. #regen
Very good event today at the Raploch. Met lots of ordinary folk doing extraordinary things in their communities. I love my job! :-)
@BenPlouviez It is indeed. The URC, the community and the council have worked together to turn the place around in a relatively short time.
@chibbie It is! As much as I am a fan of social media, nothing beats getting out and about speaking to folk!
RT @Scotland4me: N7: Storytelling at Edinburgh care homes � Tales of One City:
Miserable out there. Tempted to stay on the train and go round the Fife Circle again.
@BenPlouviez About time you were certified! :-) What were you studying at Cranfield?
@BenPlouviez I did not laugh. Much. :-)

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Monday, 28 September 2009

Screen debut

So a couple of weeks ago, I headed off to the big smoke. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the journey (the fact that my ears were popping on the Glasgow Airport bus before I'd even got near a plane was not a good sign). But things all went to plan and I was actually getting quite excited by the time the plane approached London City Airport. I'm very impressed with this airport btw. The views of London coming in to land are great - I could even make out my old tower block in Kennington (helps that it's near the Oval, so I could look out for that first!) And it took no more than about 5 minutes to get out of the airport and onto the DLR. Not sure it's much quicker getting into Central London than from Heathrow though.

After a night in the second smallest hotel room in London (I know it's the second smallest, cos I stayed in the smallest 18 months ago!), I visited ex-colleagues in the Web Team at UK Trade & Investment, who have been dabbling with social media for about 18 months now. My ex-line manager, Cass has just written a 'Social Media Marketing Strategy' which she very kindly gave me a copy of. Cass and I also had a chat with Alistair Reid who gave us a round up of what BIS are doing with social media. I was a bit disappointed not to meet Neil Williams, but I don't think I let it show and Alistair was a fine stand in. After that meeting I headed to DFID for a chat to Julia Chandler who is also doing interesting things with social media. I came away with lots of useful information which will be great help to me in writing my strategy. I'll be more specific in a future post.

Friday was the IDeA Community of Practice facilitators event at the Local Government Association in Smith Square. In my usual over eager stylee, I'd offered to do a 10 minute slot about my experiences as a facilitator. Thirty minutes and I'd have been fine, but I really struggled to come up with something useful I could tell people in 10 minutes. Luckily inspiration came by way of 2 articles in the BA in-flight magazine (Business Life). The first article is about the continuing importance of face to face meetings in business. The second article was about something called social proof. Social Scientist Robert Cialdini wanted to see if he could increase the percentage of people re-using their towels in hotels. By changing the wording on the little cards that usually say something like 'please reuse your towel, the planet will thank you' to 'the majority of guests who stay in our hotel reuse their towels’, the number of people reusing their towels increased by 26%. The theory goes that when people are told what others like them are doing there is a tendency to follow the crowd and do it too. If you have ever joined a queue and not really been sure if it’s the right one, or joined the crowd around the street performer, you are experiencing the persuasive power of social proof. So I need to find some way of applying this to our CoPs (perhaps by offering people free towels when they contribute!). So my presentation was really a plea to fellow facilitators to remember that CoPs are about people and relationships and not technology and that improving interaction is about changing behaviour not tinkering with the software.

I probably didn't really pay enough attention to the first speaker Chris Collison, who talked about communities as knowledge market places, as I was next up and was still working out what I was going to say. His new book (No More Consultants) sounds really interesting though and as I didn't win a copy (10 were given away at the event), I'll be chumming my library buddies for a loan copy. Chris did suggest that in some professions a lack of interaction in communities can be a bit of machismo thing. I hadn't really thought about this before - are some of our members afraid to ask questions in case they appear stupid?

After my 10 minutes, Charmaine Kwame and Andrew Cheetham talked about communities they've set up in the NHS. Their experiences resonated with everyone - we're by no means alone in not getting much interaction in our CoPs. But they are making progress. Don't think their presentation is available yet, but I'm sure it'll be on the wiki shortly.

Next up was a session run by Ingrid Koehler and Dan McCartney on 'CoPferences' which was very useful, as was a later session on Social Reporting (Tim Milner and Tawheed Alam). Not sure the communities that I'm involved with would be ready for an entirely online conference yet, but I think there's potential for us to try some new ways of capturing the learning at our events. I tried a wee bit of social reporting myself on the day - with a couple of tweets - but conditions weren't ideal as the wifi in the venue was a bit intermittent and I wasn't getting much of a signal on my mobile.

After lunch we got down to some 'placemaking'. This exercise, called 'the village' and facilitated by Erica Hurley, involved the whole group building a village using a large table, lots of paper, felt pens and little wooden pieces. We began by volunteering for various roles (mayor, banker, pub owner, etc), with anyone who didn't have a specific role getting a place on the town council reporting to the mayor. We were then asked to build the village in a way that reflected the Facilitators Community (eg, should the village have a strong central core, with some breakaway communities or be a bit all over the place). Erica has had a lot of success using this technique with a range of difference communities. I was a bit upset when someone bagged the farmer role before me but it was an interesting exercise and might be worth trying out with some of our communities. I wonder what our planners would make of it!

Stephen Dale and Michael Norton's anecdote circle had us exchanging stories were about how CoPs have changed our working lives. We then heard from Tim Ellis, who talked about the programme and project management communities he facilitates. Tim was very enthusiastic about the CoP platform, as was his colleague Matthew Wallbridge, who talked about how useful he'd found Tim's communities when he was learning the job.

Stephen Dale closed the day by talking about the Knowledge Hub - which sounds great, but I'm not sure if we'll be able to use that north of the border.

The chaps are doing a great job of putting all the presentations, video, audio, etc on the event wiki - which is in itself a good example of how you can capture the learning from an event. And it means I've made my debut on the YouTube....

*NB. you'll need to be a member to access the content on the CoPs

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Help to create an information literate Scotland'd seemed to go really well at the Scottish Information Literacy Project Open Meeting last Wednesday where we launched our new community. Had the usual techy problems, with projectors not working and what not, but my 'jokes' seemed to go down well and most folk seemed genuinely enthused about the online CoP.

I'm expecting a flood of membership requests...if not, I know where they all live :-)

I had to nip off at lunchtime to catch a flight to London, so missed the afternoon sessions, but the presentations are all available on the CoP, so I'll check them out there when I get a minute.

If you've got an interest in information literacy - or even if you're not sure what it is and want to know more - please join us. The community is called 'Creating an information literate Scotland'. And the registration process is very straightforward. Or drop me an email/leave your details here and I'll send you an invite.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

CoP a hoop!

Oh dear, it's been some time since my last post. I could blame the fact that I've been really busy writing my strategy, and that I had 3 weeks leave in August. But, I think it's actually more to do with the fact that I've got about 5 or 6 post ideas floating about in my head, but none has yet to become fully formed.

Anyway, those will get written eventually. In the meantime, here's something completely different...

It's all about communities of practice (CoPs) this week. On Friday I've got a slot at an event for IDEA Community of Practice facilitators in the big smoke when I'll be talking (briefly, fortunately for everyone involved) about the communities I facilitate on this platform. If you're interested, follow the #ideacops hashtag on Twitter.

And tomorrow, at the Scottish Information Literacy Project Open Meeting at Glasgow Caledonian University, I'll be launching our new 'Creating an Information Literate Scotland' community. I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Day in the life 4

Mostly creating webpages. And updating links, lots and lots of links. That's about it really for Friday. There was some other stuff going, but not stuff I can talk about it on a public website! ;-)

I'm not kidding myself that anyone (other than the usual suspect or two!) is actually reading this, but if anyone contemplating a career in librarianship/information science/related areas has stumbled across my ramblings, I'd like to point out that (mostly) my weeks are not as dull as this one has been! I'm up against a deadline for getting some old content transferred over to our new(ish) website, so that's why I'm doing so much content management stuff at the moment. Usually my days are a whirl of fun Knowledge Management-y stuff!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Day in the life 3

Spent most of the morning in a team meeting. Thrashing out our business plan for the next 18 months. I'm going to be very busy :-)

And most of the afternoon was taken up creating web pages.

And I followed* a few people on the way home.

* on Twitter...obviously

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Day in the life 2.0

Spent a big chunk of the day wrestling with our email bulletin system. Eventually gave up on the text editor and just hacked about with the HTML myself. Sent the finished article off to our Comms manager who will check it over before it gets issued to our 4500-ish subscribers on Friday. I hope!

Also arranged some meetings, created some draft web pages in our Content Management System, answered emails and added a few resources to our Sharepoint site.

Photo: another pic from yesterday's training course. This is my graphical representation of what I learned during the day!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

What's a librarian's day like?

A Day In The Life post...

(You can read the post that inspired librarydayinthelife on Bobbi Newman's site Librarian by Day.)

Signed up a day late, but the wiki site is actually blocked by the surf control at work and for various reasons I couldn't do anything at home yesterday.

Anyway, this particular librarian attended a training course on facilitation techniques today - specifically Appreciative Enquiry, World Cafe and Open Space. I'll write about those in detail at some point.

I'd call myself a fairly experienced trainer, but I've not done much facilitation and I'd not used any of these particular techniques before. It was a great course, very participative with a great trainer, a good group, lots of fuzzy felt, post-its and scented marker pens! My hands were covered in felt tip pen marks when I got home...always a sign of having been on a good training course!

I caught up with Tweets, RSS feeds, etc on the way home on the train and wrote this post after catching a couple of episodes of CSI!

Not a typical's downhill from here for the rest of the week!

Photo: output from collaborative exercise at today's training event - turned out a bit like Zebedee, non?

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Eek...I have a real job now!

I've been in my new role for a whole two months now. I've been to lots of events, met lots of knowledgeable people, read lots of interesting reports, attended lots of meetings, browsed lots of websites. So, I've settled in, I know what I'm doing and I'm raring to go, right?

Well, yes and no. I now have a good understanding of what we're all about and of where my role fits into that. However, I am still wrestling with regeneration as a definable subject area. There are lots of different definitions and it's a term that can mean different things to different people. A definition I like is from Newham Council's website:

"Regeneration is about transformation and revitalisation - both visual and psychological. This transformation can be physical, social and economic, achieved through building new homes or commercial buildings, raising aspirations, improving skills and improving the environment whilst introducing new people and dynamism to an area. Regeneration also seeks to provide the right kind of community facilities at the right time."

So that's pretty much everything then?!!

For the purposes of actually getting on and delivering regeneration, the definition isn't really that important. It's only really a problem for my librarian brain that wants to classify and categorise everything!

Anyway, I'm on firmer ground with the Knowledge Management stuff. And there's plenty of that to be getting on with! We currently have 3 main online channels of interaction/communication with our users. We have a (currently fairly static) website, we have 3 communities set up on the IDEA Communities of Practice plaform, and we have a electronic bulletin. At the moment we don't have a coherent strategy for the way we use each of these channels and there's minimal integration between them. We have a vague notion that the website is about tools and resources; the online CoPs about discussion/conversation; and the ebulletin about (one-way) communication. So I have to draft a strategy which will articulate the how, why, when and what of these 3 channels and how we integrate them.

If anyone has produced something similar they'd like to share, I'd be ever so interested. :-)

Monday, 29 June 2009

Very much NOT at Glastonbury

...although I did listen to a lot of the coverage on 6 Music.

First weekend at home in a wee while so spent some time sorting out paperwork and tidying up in the study. The clutter had built up to the stage that I was finding it difficult to work in there. Once it was all ship shape and Bristol fashion I settled down to my Web 2.0 to do list.

Big news is that I signed up for a Twitter account - @lelil (lelly and lellywelly had already gone :-( ). Not sure what my tipping point was...but I'm sure there will be no looking back now! I've already got Phil Bradley and Karen Blakeman following me! Did have to unfollow (not picked up the technical term for that yet) someone pretty quickly as well - sorry, but I just didn't find Stephen Fry's tweets very interesting.

I have to stay up to date with what's happening in Regeneration - particularly what our various partner organisations are up to. I get enough stuff coming into my inbox without it being cluttered up with email bulletins, newsletters, etc and my Google Reader account has all my library/KM/IM/IL stuff. So I thought Netvibes might be a good way to bring together all the regeneration related news stuff I could ever want. This is the result: Still a work in progress - have additional RSS services to add and will probably organise the content into individual pages. Might also prove to be a useful resource for my colleagues as well as being a means for keeping myself up to date.

Found this Article from UTNE Reader which bigs up information literacy...yay! Did some digging regarding UNTE Reader, 'cos I hadn't come across it before. It's an American publication which purports to be a 'digest of independent ideas and alternative culture'! Turns out that this article was written by the magazine's librarian...which may account for the pro-librarian slant! Not that that's a bad thing of course!

And finally, the very talented, and currently very prolific, t'other af has just released Episode 3 of his Epistemology series. Think he's hoping to squeeze at least another couple of episodes out of the franchise. As usual, it's very good.

Chartership activities: none*

* moving my evidence box 50 centimetres to the right doesn't really count, does it?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Captain's (B)log

Oh dear, I fear it's been some time since my last confession. I've made a big deal here about posting regularly and how Friday is a good day for drafting posts...blah blah blah. In my defence, I've been on holiday, there's a lot going on at work, I'm still finding my feet in this new post...more blah blah blah.

Anyway, the guilt and shame was about to reach critical mass when I stumbled across this post: Captain’s (B)Log: Starfleet Knowledge Management this morning from CA Heidelberger. Well, when I say 'stumbled across', I mean it came via my Google 'Knowledge Management' alert. Anyway, it reminded me of the value of blogs for both personal and organisational knowledge management and that I need to allocate time to post, rather than try to fit it in around all the other stuff I do.

And t'other half should approve of the analogy...maybe ;-)

On the subject of t'other half, he's published a thrilling sequel to his Wikipedia post. There's also a second sequel in post production and I'm commissioning a post from him on search engines. I'm hoping that eventually I'll not actually have to do any work myself - I can just link to his posts!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

It's not what you know, it's who you know

My feelings towards Wikipedia veer from frustration to awe to downright indignation - often within the same minute. There's been a blog post forming in my mind for some time but the t'other half has gone and beaten me to it:

Epistemology Pt 1: How I co-founded DMA Design

And dammit...he's much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Thank blogness it's Friday!

Well it would appear that - with no conscious planning on my part - Friday is to be blogging day. Yes, I know it's Monday, but I actually drafted this post on Friday. (see previous post about my attachment to pen and paper!). It makes sense really - the Friday afternoon train journey home feels like a natural time to be reflective.

Anyhoo...this week I have mostly been agreeing my high level work objectives and then breaking those down into discrete tasks. I've got as far as putting together a fairly comprehensive work plan for the next 12 months. It will never be a finished document - there will always be things that'll crop up unexpectedly that will have to be slotted in - but it gives me something to work to. And the process of putting the plan together has enabled me to think about priorities, dependencies, etc.

As for chartership...well I'm ashamed to say I've done nothing since my week of study leave. Maybe I should apply my planning skills to that particular project as well!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

New Job - Week 1

I drafted this and the previous post on the train on the way back from Glasgow at the end of my first week as a 'Knowledge Management Officer'.

This week has been in turn exciting, confusing, challenging and exhausting as I've tried to get my head around what the job actually entails and also get to grips with a subject area that's pretty knew to me, ie Regeneration.

Regeneration is such a cross-cutting topic that it's going to be particularly difficult to determine what's out and what's in. But I'd have a cheek to call myself a librarian if I can't develop a strategy for that!

On the chartering front, I had intended to make some progress this week, but I don't think that's going to happen now.

The pen is mightier than the keyboard

It's a funny thing...well, it amuses me anyway...that geeky as I am, I still struggle with typing directly into the blog post box. I actually drafted this post in my notebook using one of those old fashioned writing sticks - with all the inherent inefficienies that implies. My thoughts seem to flow better on paper than if I'm trying to get words onto a computer screen. And it's way more aesthetically pleasing!

In fact, I'd probably do all of my writing longhand if I had the luxury of time!

Oh well, apparently Neal Stephenson's drafted Cryptonomicon using a fountain pen, so I'm in good company.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Chartering Week Round Up

So...last week didn't go entirely to plan. Accomplished a lot, but not as much as I'd hoped. As I'm starting a new job tomorrow it would have been nice to have had the thing done and dusted by this point.

I can't take any more study leave this year, but I am going to try to keep the momentum up and get the portfolio completed by the end of May. So, bye bye social life :-) Again.

CILIP has taken a lot of stick recently - if you're not aware of the Phil Bradley/Bob McKee spat*, where have you been??!!!! - but I still think chartership is worth pursuing.

* Seek enlightenment here:
Blog post from Bob McKee that kicked it all off
Phil Bradley's reposte
and the resultant CILIP 2.0 Open Session

Friday, 1 May 2009

Chartering - Day 5

Going to tackle the evaluative statement today.

The evaluative statement is the executive summary for the portfolio - and it needs to "show evidence of analysis, evaluation and review of your knowledge and experience" (Watson, 2008, p59). Easy peasy :-)

Watson, Margaret. 2008. Building Your Portfolio. The CILIP Guide. London: Facet Publishing.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Chartering - Day 4 - Update

OK, the good news is that I'm getting somewhere. The bad news is that my final destination is not going to be reached by the end of tomorrow.

The PPDP, training log and CV are all 95-ish% done. Copious bits of paper have been whittled down to about 25 pieces of grade A evidence. I have a title page, a bibliography and even a glossary (for all those baffling civil service initialisms!). But I have barely started the evaluative statement - and that is pretty crucial!

It's not down to lack of focus. I got distracted for a wee bit this morning when my new toy arrived. That very generous Amazon voucher referred to in an earlier post has sacrified itself to bring me a rather lovely DeLonghi expresso/cappuccino maker. Thank you (ex)colleagues! But other than that and breaks for meals and other necessary functions, I have worked like a trojan this week!

I thought I could get this done in 5 days, but I may have been a tad optimistic. One day to go, but at this point in time I could be doing with another 2 at least...

Chartering - Day 4

Hmmmm...only achieved about 50% of what I'd planned to do yesterday.

So, need to up the ante somewhat today. The CV and the training log are more or less done, so today I'm going to concentrate on the PPDP and the evaluate statement.

Oh well, at least the weather's rubbish. Less chance of me being tempted to go outside!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

I'm on the Internet!

Just been 'Googling' myself - for valid CPD-related reasons! :-)

64 results for "lesley thomson" AND "information literacy"

Including the presentation Jenny and I put together for the CILIPS 'Skills for Scotland' Conference held in Glasgow on 19 March ('Information Literacy in the Scottish Government') on Slideshare! 87 views so far.

Chartering - Day 3

Plan for today:

  1. get CV, training log and Personal and Professional Development (PPDP) plan up to date
  2. write at least 250 words for evaluative statement

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Chartering - Day 2 and a quarter

So...I've been through the aforementioned towers of paper and now have a folder of 'evidence'. Each item selected meets one of or more of the 4 assessment criteria:

  1. An ability to reflect critically on personal performance and to evaluate service performance
  2. Active commitment to continuing professional development
  3. An ability to analyse personal and professional development and progression with reference to experiential and developmental activities
  4. Breadth of professional knowledge and understanding of the wider professional context [CILIP, 2004.]

This will need some further refinement as I've probably got a bit too much. As I'm doing that I'll also attempt to get it into some kind of logical order.

A minor complication is that some of this evidence is in a 'virtual' state at the moment - ie on my memory stick rather than on the floor! For these particular items I have just inserted a temporary place holder into the folder. CILIP requires a hard copy portfolio (although I think one of the 3 copies required can be electronic), so I will have to print these out at some point.

I'm also going to have another look at some examples of successful portfolios this afternoon. Just as a check that I'm on the right lines.

And I may just get round to spending the very generous Amazon voucher which my lovely colleagues presented me with last Thursday! :-)

CILIP. 2004. Chartered Membership Handbook. London: CILIP.

Chartering - Day 2

I am sitting on the floor of the study (formerly known as the 3rd bedroom) literally surrounded by piles of paper that collectively tell the tale of the first 4 years of my career as a fully fledged librarian.

The objective for today is to sift through these towers of paper and create a new tower made up of the stuff that best demonstrates the four assessment criteria (more on those later).

First things first, think I'll go and make a cup of tea...

Monday, 27 April 2009

Chartering - Day 1

Today I'm in the office collecting together pieces of paper and transferring electronic documents from corporate systems onto my memory stick.

The aim of this exercise is to have absolutely all the potential evidence I may need for my portfolio available to me at home - so that I don't need to come into the office again this week.

Sunday, 26 April 2009


I'm on study leave this week - in order to put together my application for chartered membership of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

The application primarily consists of a portfolio which demonstrates that I am a 'reflective practioner'. As this blog is essentially all about reflection, I'm going to aim for a daily post this week!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Information Literacy is everywhere!

Attended a couple of Science Festival events on Friday night including 'Doing Astronomy from Scotland: The Scottish Royal Astronomers and Lord Crawford's Treasure Trove of Astronomical Books' with Professor Owen Gingerich (Harvard University) and Professor John Brown (the Astronomer Royal for Scotland)

Billed as 'an entertaining history of astronomy in Scotland from the Crawford Collection, among the five best astronomical libraries in the world, through the story of the post of Astronomer Royal for Scotland and to a summary of the latest work being done in Scotland by the astronomer royal and others', the lecture nicely combined one of my loves (old books) with one of the other half's (astronomy).

It seems that I can't ever get away from information literacy. Asked what he thought would be the key body of knowledge from today that presenters at the Science Festival in, say 100 years time, will be talking about, Professor Brown replied that Wikipedia would be a contender! Professor Brown uses Wikipedia a lot apparently - although he was quick to point out that he always double checks with other sources.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Well, a wee bit more...

Although, having said that, I should at least post about the paper that Jenny and I presented...

[Photo: Morag, Jenny and I outside the Holiday Inn in Cardiff City Centre, 31 March 2009]

No more LILAC

Contrary to my post below, I've decided that I'm not going to post a full LILAC report. Partly because others have already posted more articulately than I could about many of the sessions (see Sheila Webber's Information Literacy Weblog and the Scottish Information Literacy Project Blog) and also because I don't really have anything more to say about the conference!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Round up

I do intend to write a proper conference report at some point, but in the meantime, just want to jot down what I thought were the main messages:
Information literacy is not just for librarians.
University's are not equipping students for the information environment of the workplace.
Information literacy instruction needs to be timely, integrated and contextual.
Ethics are a key component of information literacy (and don't appear in any definitions of media or digital literacy)

So, as I've already said, no surprises.

Third day lucky

I possibly spoke too soon (see also 'sense of timing' referred to below) re getting anything out of the conference. I attended 4 sessions this morning - of which, 2 were my favourite sessions of the whole conference (apart from ours of course!).

Nathan Rush's session about the wiki he developed for research students at De Montfort University was useful because Nathan was prepared to admit that it was not a success. For those of us who who feel that librarians are often guilty of trying to force Web 2.0 solutions onto problems that may require more traditional responses (or not even exist at all) this was a welcome approach.

And Sally Patalong's talk about Coventry University's 'employability modules' was interesting because it showed academic librarians actually thinking about information literacy needs in the workplace (albeit with a very limited 'business information resources' focus).


That's me just leaving Cardiff now - this is a fairly short leg of the journey (I have to change at Bristol) so I'll do a longer post later.

I'm quite sorry to go. I walked past the Millenium Stadium ticket booth on my way to the station and there appear to be plenty of tickets left for tonight's game - at very reasonable prices! I was tempted...

I have been to Cardiff before (this was my fourth time) and I'm sure I'll be back. It's brilliant city.

You don't get a chance to see much of your surroundings on these things, but we've been walking back from the venue through a bit of Cardiff I hadn't seen before and the conference networking evening on Monday night was at Caerphily Castle.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Conference report

I had actually intended posting daily updates - with a summary of the sessions that I'd attended on each day. However, I haven't really got enough out of any of the sessions to make it worthwhile, so I think I'll just do an overall summing up post of the main issues following the close of the conference tomorrow.

I am actually quite disappointed with LILAC2009 so far. The presentations have been good, I've had lots of interesting chats and it's clear that there are great things being done by librarians. But, I'm not hearing anything I didn't hear last year.

And the focus is still very much on HE. One of today's keynote speakers was Leslie Burger who is Director of Princeton Public Library and there has been a sprinkling of non-HE parallel sessions. However, the vast majority (about 90% as a very rough estimate) of the participants are from universities. There are many reasons why this is the case, but it's something the LILAC committee (all from HE) need to address. One of the themes of the conference is 'information literacy for life' but I fear it's an issue that's only going to get a very superficial treatment.

This is live you know...

Currently in a session about using an ARG for student inductions...

Monday, 30 March 2009

My favourite gadget

One personal objective I have for this 3 day conference is to explore my iPhone. I've had it for almost 5 months now and I love it. I'm not using it to it's full potential yet though, so this trip is providing a good opportunity to find out just how much it can do for me. So far, it's provided the musical soundtrack for my train trip, allowed me to keep my other half updated as to my precise location* (via email and text), provided a variety of reading material to keep me amused (via RSS feeds and ebooks), enabled me to check train times, post to this blog and find the telephone number for my hotel (via it's Internet browser), and it helped me get from the hotel to the conference location this morning (via it's GPS functionality).

Oh, and I have used it's functionality as a mobile telephone as well!

* this is of great importance to him.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


On my way to Cardiff for LILAC2009. LILAC is the Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference and is THE information literacy event of the year (in the UK anyway). It's a lovely sunny day and some of the journey is along the East Coast Mainline (one of the most scenic lines in the country). I've got 900-odd songs on my iPhone and American Gods to read. This is how all train journeys should be.

(I've been on a voyage of discovery with this blogging lark for a while (I have a restricted access blog within IDEA's Communities of Practice platform) but have yet to embrace it wholeheartedly. And with my usual impeccable sense of timing - now that Twitter is the thing - I'm ready to jump in with both feet!)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Beginnings...'s like that first stroke of the paintbrush on a blank canvas or pencil on a fresh sheet of paper, or even that first tentative step into newly fallen snow...