All posts by Roisin Cassidy

Information Literacy Group’s Research Day


The CILIP Information Literacy Group is pleased to share details of their upcoming Research Day. It will be held on 5th June at CILIP Headquarters, London.

The Information Literacy Group offers funds totalling £20,000 for high quality research through an annual bursary scheme. There are two rounds of funding given out in July and December and the Group are seeking imaginative proposals that have the potential for high impact beyond HE and librarianship. This event will be led by Dr Emma Coonan (Editor, Journal of Information Literacy) and Dr Geoff Walton (Chair of the Information Literacy Group’s Research Bursaries Panel) and will offer accessible and practical advice on putting together a research bid, with time for you to work on developing your own research proposal and bid.

Emma will be talking about what makes up a research project, how to plan one and what to watch out for in your design. She will offer a practical and non-jargony overview of how the various phases of a research project fit together; research methods and how they frame your findings; how to deal with bias; and what to do with results you weren’t expecting.

GeCILIP Information Literacy Groupoff will talk about the ILG Research Bursary scheme, how its review process works, what the Panel are looking for and how to create a successful bid. He will also talk about bidding for funding more widely and give some general tips on writing a good research proposal. Geoff will show examples of successful bids and explain why they were funded.

Please bring along your research ideas – however sketchy – and any bid outlines or even fully drafted proposals for discussion and development in the final session of the day. Even if you only have the germ of an idea, we can help you make it blossom!

Event Schedule:

11.00-11.30:  Registration

11:30: Emma Coonan: How to design a research project

12:45: Lunch

13:30: Geoff Walton: How to write a successful research proposal

14:45:  Coffee and networking

15:15:  Writing session with support from presenters

16:15:  Promenade feedback – lasts as long as required up to …

17:00: Event finishes (more networking!)

This event will target the Research Skills, Literacies and Learning, Information Literacy and Digital Literacy areas of the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills base.

Book your ticket(s):

Tickets are available from the Eventbrite page, free of charge to ILG Members and  at a fee of £40 to non-ILG Members.


Love copyright? Don’t miss these events!

UUK / Guild HE Copyright Summer Event

The Information Literacy Group is sponsoring a one day workshop aimed at university copyright officers or specialists, hosted by Universities UK and GuildHE Copyright Working Group. The day will consider the relationship between licences offered to the HE sector and copyright exceptions. Chaired by Professor Ronan Deazley, from the School of Law at Queens University Belfast, it promises to be an engaging and exciting event.

Where: Woburn House Conference Centre, Tavistock Square, London

When: Tue 20 June 2017, 10:00 – 16:15 BST

Registration details: Tickets are available for £45 from the Eventbrite page.

Models for Copyright Education in Information Literacy Programs

Jane and Chris at the CILIP Copyright Conference 2017
Jane and Chris at the CILIP Copyright Conference 2017

This day-long event is jointly organised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Copyright and Legal Matters Advisory Group and the IFLA Information Literacy Section. It will be held at the 83rd IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Wroclaw. Attendees will discuss models for education on copyright, licensing, and other legal matters within the scope of information literacy programs. The session will be devoted to methodologies for providing a comprehensive knowledge of the legal landscape for copyright, licensing, and related legal and policy matters in libraries and universities.

The program agenda is now on the site, listing panels and presenters. Attendance will be strictly limited to 100 people, including presenters, and due to room capacity, they will not be able to make exceptions, so register soon! Jane Secker (Copyright and Digital Literacy Officer, and Chair of CILIP Information Literacy Group) and Chris Morrison (Copyright and Licensing Compliance Officer, University of Kent) will be joining the panel to discuss copyright education and information literacy from a UK perspective.

Where: Wednesday, 23 August 2017 8:30am – 3:30pm

When: University of Lower Silesia, Wroclaw, Poland

Registration: The registration form is available from the conference website.

LILAC Awards deadline extended to March 9th

The deadline for receipt of entries for this year's Information Literacy awards, the UK’s most prestigious awards in the field, has been extended to 5pm GMT on Thursday March 9th.

LILAC logoThe Information Literacy Award (sponsored by CILIP Information Literacy Group and the National Library of Wales) recognises an outstanding individual contribution to information literacy made by a practitioner or researcher.  Self-nominations are welcomed.

The Credo Digital Information Literacy Award recognises an individual or group who developed the best new digital educational resource for promoting Information Literacy during 2016. Self-nominations are welcomed.

Check out this video to get further information and some tips on applying!

The awards will be presented at the LILAC conference dinner on April 11th in the magnificent setting of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall.

Full details and application are available on the Awards section of the LILAC conference website.

Good luck all!

#uklibchat – Information literacy: state of the art, challenges and opportunities

Flickr / Jurgen Appelo

Tuesday 7th February will see #uklibchat‘s enthusiastic community of library and information professionals discuss all things ‘information literacy’. #uklibchat is a monthly discussion group that takes place on Twitter from 6.30 to 8.30pm (UK time), using the Twitter account @uklibchat and the hashtag. For the interested but apprehensive first-timer, lurkers are also welcome to #uklibchat!

To promote the upcoming chat, Laura Woods (Secretary of the IL Group Committee and Subject Librarian for Computing and Engineering at the University of Huddersfield) contributed this great feature article on behalf of the CILIP Information Literacy Group (cross-posted here with permission from #uklibchat).

Find more general information on #uklibchat on their FAQs page.

For details of next Tuesday’s chat topics, see the chat agenda

Feature post #41: Information Literacy – Why should you care?

– by the CILIP Information Literacy Group (Twitter: @infolitgroup)

Since 2004, information literacy (IL) has been defined by CILIP as “Knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.” While this definition is admirably succinct, it is of limited use in advocating for the role of information professionals in supporting an informed, engaged and information literate citizenry.

The Information Literacy Group (ILG), a special interest group of CILIP, is currently redrafting CILIP’s definition of information literacy. IL is a key strand of CILIP’s 2020 strategy and as such it is imperative that the definition is fit for purpose and enables advocacy, especially with those outside the Library and Information Services (LIS) sector.

Our aim is to agree a definition that is flexible enough to advocate for IL in various sectors: one that can not only underpin IL work across the diverse LIS field but also be recognised and understood outside the LIS echo chamber.

As well as CILIP’s formulation, other definitions and models abound, including SCONUL’s 7 Pillars model, and ACRL’s recently developed Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This proliferation of models and definitions suggests that there is a real need among information professionals for a practical grounding in this fundamental principle of our profession.

Why is information literacy important?

IL is vital to navigating the complex, crowded information landscape of the 21st century. In our daily lives we are now confronted with more information than ever before, much of it confusing, conflicting, misleading, or simply inaccurate. Critical appraisal of information is a vital skill, but one that is often seen to be lacking.

This issue resonates across all fields of information work. In practice, IL as a concept tends to be most recognised within the education sectors of LIS: schools, further and higher education. This is to be expected, as there is an obvious opportunity to embed information literacy within the learning process. In these sectors, librarians aim to foster a culture where information literacy is seen as an integral part of learning, rather than a separate process belonging to the library: however, different librarians and institutions have varying success with this!

Although other LIS sectors may not make such explicit reference to IL, it is a mistake to dismiss it as “something academic libraries do” (as once overheard from a colleague in the corporate sector!). The critical appraisal of information is, and should be seen as, the underpinning of information work in all sectors. Some examples of the importance of IL in various sectors are outlined below.

Information literacy in the health sector
Information Literacy scrabble
Flickr / Ewa Rozkosz

Accurate information is critical to health professionals. Inaccurate or misleading information in the context of people’s health can lead to serious harm, and can even be life threatening. It is therefore crucial that those working in the health sector are able to accurately assess information needs, seek and locate, and interpret and act upon information in the course of their work.

IL is particularly important in the context of evidence-based practice, which requires healthcare professionals to integrate “research evidence, clinical expertise and the interpretation of patients’ needs and perspectives in making decisions.” (Craig and Stevens 2012, p.3).

Information literacy in special libraries

Librarians and information professionals are employed in a wide variety of organisations, including commercial firms, government and charities, in what are usually known as ‘special’ or workplace libraries. Although many have no physical library, these information professionals are nevertheless engaged in helping their colleagues and clients find and use accurate information to support policies, campaigns, and business decisions.

The term “information literacy” may not be often used within this sector, but it is still key to the work special librarians do. For example, a librarian in a law firm may need to ensure the lawyers they work with understand the hierarchy of the courts when determining the relevance of case law. A librarian in a charity or government library may need to source and interpret the latest evidence to support a campaign or policy position. Again, a librarian in a business may need to sift fact from rumour when analysing competitive intelligence.

Information literacy in public libraries

Public libraries and librarians have a vital role to play in supporting an information literate population. Activities such as lifelong learning, internet safety and privacy awareness, reader support, and civic engagement – such as hosting MP surgeries or acting as a focal point for local campaign groups – are all avenues that could be used to develop IL in the general public.

Of course, the ability of public libraries to fulfil this role relies on having a well-funded, professionally staffed public library service, which unfortunately is no longer the case in the UK. Campaigns such as CILIP’s My Library By Right aim to hold the government and local authorities to their legal duty to provide a quality library service. In the campaign materials, information literacy is highlighted as an activity provided by, and a benefit of, a professional, well-funded public library.

What can we do?

As librarians and information professionals, we have an understanding of the complexities of information and the importance of an information literate population. We all have a role to play, whether in our professional or our personal lives.

Information Literacy is particularly newsworthy at the moment, with the focus on so-called “post-truth”, filter bubbles, and fake news, following the results of the Brexit vote and US presidential election. Several information professionals have already written on how information literacy can tackle this problem, including Claire McGuinness on LibFocus, and several members of the Information Literacy Group committee.

As frightening and upsetting as the “post-truth” world can be, the attention on this issue presents an opportunity for librarians and information professionals. We have always had the expertise to tackle this problem, but can sometimes struggle to convince others of its relevance. Now more than ever, we need to ensure information literacy is embedded across all professional sectors and in all spheres of life.


Craig, J.V. and Stevens, K.R. (2012) EBP in nursing. In: Smyth, R.L. and Craig, J.V. The EBP manual for nurses. 3rd ed. Edinburgh : Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, p.3-26.

Join the Information Literacy #uklibchat on Tuesday 7th February, 6.30-8.30pm (UK time).


Call for papers – Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity Conference (i2c2) – 13th-15th November, 2017

i2c2 conference bannerThis a reminder that the call for papers for the Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity Conference (i2c2) 2017 is open!

The next i2c2, to be held in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in November 2017, will be a three-day conference of inspiring each other to innovate and be more creative in our libraries. The conference promises talks, workshops, fun and games galore.

The overall theme of the conference is Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity, with a sub-theme of “making, playing, co-creating”. This covers library and information work in any sector and anywhere in the world, along with associated professions. The organisers are calling on people who can bring their experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to encouraging delegates to learn from one another’s successes and challenges and improve our libraries.

Calls are open for posters (possibly with a prize for best poster!), lightning talks (5 minutes), a small number of short presentations (20 minutes) and interactive workshops (1 hour). The conference organisers are also open to creative suggestions or alternatives. Most conference slots are expected to be workshop based with a high degree of attendee involvement – long PowerPoint slideshows are to be avoided!

Call closes May 2017 for full workshops, short presentations and “alternative” slots. Call closes early October 2017 for posters and lightning talks.

You can see some of the results of the last i2c2 in the conference book, ‘Inspiring, Innovative and Creative Library Interventions: An i2c2 Compendium’. The organisers are also appealing for conference sponsorship. More information is available from the i2c2 Eventbrite page.

This conference is all about making, playing and co-creating on the gorgeous North Yorkshire coast, so bring your knotty hankies and expect lots of creative ideas, inspiration, and ice cream!