The CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG) have set up a Research Bursaries scheme to help to fill some of those gaps and, to do so, are seeking imaginative proposals that have the potential for high impact beyond HE and librarianship. Below are some of the completed and current projects that have been supported through this scheme. Information on applying for a research bursary can be found on the ILG’s CILIP pages.
Completed projects funded by the Information Literacy Group’s research bursaries
Presentation from CILIP Conference 2015 (PDF) – Becky Cole
Learning Lending Liberty Final Report
Presentation from CILIP Conference 2016 (PDF)
Current projects funded by the Information Literacy Group’s research bursaries
Community Councillors are a vital link between local communities and higher levels of government in Scotland. They are generally ‘ordinary people’ who often find it difficult to understand their powers and responsibilities in their Community Councillor roles. They also face other challenges related to their interactions with information. For example, they struggle to keep on top of important developments that affect their local communities and fellow citizens, such as planning proposals. They also often lack the skills required to disseminate information and communicate news in ways that suit their constituents (e.g. by social media). This is not because they are not interested in using information and communication technologies in their roles. Indeed many Community Councillors wish to be involved with digital engagement, but they simply do not know where to start.
One reason why their knowledge is limited is that the majority of Community Councillors are no longer in formal education. Thus levels of information literacy amongst this group generally depend on lifelong learning, rather than schooling or training. This project will draw on existing research on information literacy and lifelong learning to frame a study that investigates the information skills and practices of Community Councillors, with a view to identifying strategies on how these may be enhanced. The research will also consider the role of public library staff in the training of Community Councillors, as well as broader issues related to public library services’ role as related to the development of communities, social capital, and citizenship. This element of the study acknowledges the long-recognised part that libraries play in supporting citizenship – a role that is becoming more important as the austerity-driven spending environment throws more responsibilities onto local communities.
Information discernment and psychophysiological well-being in response to misinformed stigmatization
This collaborative project brings together experts in information literacy, user experience, applied psychology and psychophysiological stress reactivity. The team believes that, information discernment moderates the relationship between misinformation and cardiovascular reactivity in stressful social situation(s). This research has wide implications for policy makers, educationalists and governments, indicating for the first time that information literacy has a social and physical, as well as educational benefit and that it should be added to preventative measures against misinformation.
Here, psychophysiological well-being is determined using challenge and threat cardiovascular reactivity, where challenge reactivity (driven by Sympathetic AdrenoMedullary activation) indicates an adaptive reaction to stress, and threat (driven by Pituitary Adreno-Cortical activation) indicates a maladaptive reaction to stress
(Blascovich & Mendes, 2000). We will break new research ground and make a substantial contribution to the extant literature by exploring how mis-information about religious extremism may affect young peoples’ cardiovascular reactivity, and subsequent cognitive functioning. For the first time the extent to which information discernment moderates challenge and threat reactivity will also be investigated.
There are two research questions:
1: To what extent does information discernment (an essential component of information literacy) moderate the effects of mis-information (stigmatized vs. nonstigmatized) on psychophysiological reactivity?
2: To what extent does psychophysiological reactivity influence performance and interpersonal interaction in a collaborative pressurized attention task?
This research aims to explore the information services available to ‘New Syrian Scots’* as well as their own information needs and their perceptions of the information services they consider important for their resettlement and adaptation, their habitual and adaptive information practices and the barriers and enablers they encounter within their new socio-cultural setting via their interaction with people, tools and processes. The research will be conducted via focus groups with New Syrian Scots and interviews with key SRC representatives. The outcomes of this research will help towards making recommendations on how to best aid the newcomers in their social inclusion and support their emerging information landscapes for their resettlement and adaptation. *This is a preferred way of referring to the Syrian refugees in Scotland
Crucially, this collaborative work will examine the financial sector, which is of interest to many students; the Financial and Insurance sector being in the top five of most common destination for UCL graduates for the last nine years. It will act as a pilot for wider cross-sectoral work in future. The insights of careers services will be integral to this project, enabling a new opportunity to develop a wider view of information literacy issues, which are currently strongly located within library silos. Research on workplace learning will be used to inform the project design and analysis, encouraging cross-fertilisation of ideas.
A workshop presenting the project and the tool will be targeted towards employers, careers services, candidates, librarians and academics in an attempt to develop and strengthen cross disciplinary links and contribute to the development of strategies enabling transition of information literacies from HE into employment.