#LILAC12 Redux

I’ve left it far too long to write about this year’s LILAC conference, held in Glasgow during April. I will say that I came back from the conference energised, enthused, and ready to put into practice some of the great ideas and thoughts that I picked up throughout the three days. That’s probably the hardest part though, right?

This was my second time at LILAC, and I think the event goes from strength to strength. It has, quite rightly, built up a reputation as one of THE events in information literacy not just in the UK, Ireland or Europe, but worldwide. I met lots of great people at this year’s conference, each with really great ideas and thoughts on information literacy.

Some of the highlights for me? Tara Brabazon and her highly energising final keynote. We’re living with information obesity, she says. We need to do better with less of what we already have. Less is more. Students aren’t even information literate before they hit google! I kind of wish you could bring her around with you everywhere to spread the word. She is someone that faculty needs to hear (and listen to).

Sarah Faye Cohen’s talk on building a teaching identity was one of my favourite parallel sessions. Sarah (rightly, in my opinion) says we need to understand ourselves as teachers, and find methods that allow us to do this. We have a lack of voice and faith in ourselves as teachers. Sarah continues these discussions on her blog: http://thesheckspot.blogspot.com/. I also enjoyed the talk Sarah did with Janet Cottrell on real deal information literacy. Why do we do IL? Do we want our students to know more about libraries, or more about information?

Other fun bits? I loved Hannah Rose and Gillian Sidall’s study that highlights some of the big issues with reading lists in higher education. According to Hannah and Gillian, only 42% of information on reading lists is correct! And with students using reading lists as best practice guidelines, is it any wonder students have difficulties with citing and referencing?

Megan Oakleaf’s keynote gave me a lot to think about. She’s right, we do need to show our impact and our worth. Megan warns us that the usual methods of collecting data aren’t really working for us. We need to rethink how we find data on our impact, and once we get the information, learn from it, and document! I’m still trying to figure the ways as to how I can do this on a personal professional level (as well as at Institute-level). It was great to hear Megan speak; I’ve read her work on assessment of IL while studying. One point which I know others have picked on; Megan says that if we’re leaving our classrooms exhausted, we’re doing something wrong. I made the point at my own talk that I kinda leave my classroom exhausted (delivering a POGIL session is busy!) but I still think I’m doing something right!

All the presentations from the LILAC conference are now available (that was quick). I’m still catching up on the sessions I didn’t get to see.


The Teaching Librarian

It looks like there were some great sessions at the LAI/CILIP joint annual conference last week. My eye was immediately drawn to Claire McGuinness’ (@cmcguinness) session on The Teaching Librarian.

Disclaimer: I first got the crazy notion that I could be a teacher librarian from Claire, when I was a student in University College Dublin taking her module on Information Literacy Instruction.

We’re part of the education process people. Right in the middle of it all. We are teachers.

Claire’s slides are available from here: The Teaching Librarian: strategies for skills development

#LILAC12 slides for my Long Paper

I delivered a long paper at this year’s #LILAC12 conference in Glasgow. I’ll write more on some of the sessions I attended. In the meantime, you can catch my slides below for my paper.

I was really delighted with the comments and feedback that my paper generated. This sums up what I’ve been working on over the past 12-24 months with Information Literacy, and my study has changed the way I think about IL instruction (Process, not Product). More on this anon, I’m sure.

EDITED: to include HTML 5/ iOS accessible slides.


And so begins Edlibbs. A blog designed to look at issues of education and librarianship. Separately. But more often than not, together. I am an Irish librarian working in a third level academic institute, with a real interest in teacher librarianship, information literacy, “digital literacies” and how educational theories support and build on these ideas. I’m completing my studies for an MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and I’m writing up my thesis into the use of problem-based learning (PBL) and process orientated guided inquiry learning (POGIL) in information literacy instruction.

Alan Carbery