Last Thursday I went off to Aberdeen to the Grampian Information Annual Conference - a half day event titled 'Information: Skills for Learning, Work and Life'.
Information Literacy is my research area of interest and expertise and it is important to network / attend events like this to meet other researchers and practitioners interested / working in the field. It's also a great way to hear about techniques which you may be able to replicate yourself.
The key note speaker was Cathie Jackson (Cardiff University) - Creating a structure without walls: the Welsh Information Literacy Framework. It was great to catch up with Cathie and to hear the progress Wales have made. Also to see how the work of the Scottish Information Literacy Framework (John Crawford, myself and our project partners) has shaped / influenced the Welsh framework. Like us they have gathered case studies and linked the framework to qualifications levels. It was great to hear of CQFW's ( Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales) enthusiasm and the units they have created at entry level 1, entry level 2, entry level 3, level 1, level 2, level 3 and level 4. I hope SQA takes note and doesn't ditch the Information Handling Skills & Information Literacy National Qualification we have at level 5. Also of note is that they have 'An Information Literacy Statement for Wales'.
The next speaker from the University of Alberta, Anne Carr-Wiggin spoke about 'Learning Skills for Research: Information Literacy Skills of Incoming University Students'. Her findings showed no surprises as it correlated with my own findings Irving (2006). However of interests was one of the research techniques used to gain a better understanding of everyday student life that of photo journals.
"In the photo journal activity, students were given a digital camera and a list of photographs to take, including views of work spaces, communication and computing devices, books, and favorite work/study locations. These photographs were then used as prompts in an interview that addressed the processes and tools students used to complete their assignments." ERIAL Project: Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries
Jeanette Yuile from Shell UK, Aberdeen treated us to a visual display of marketing yourself and your service in her presentation - Information Management (IM): Adding Value to the Business in Europe and Beyond. Her service does provide training business to use the right tool and knowledge where and how to find data but we didn't have time to gain detailed information from her. However some of the key messages I took away from her presentation was 'find the right imagery', 'being engaged', 'making associations', 'marketing - keep short and sweet', 'importance of cultural awareness and how your information will be received.' Food for thought.
The parallel session to Jeanette's was Sue Cromar, Aberdeenshire Libraries and Helen Adair, Aberdeen Library and Information Services 'Information Literacy - a practical toolkit for the future'. I have worked with Sue before on Information Literacy Projects but hadn't met Helen before. Following a brief conversation with Helen I wished I could have been in two places at once but will certainly be in touch to find out more about the information literacy work she has been involved in as not much is heard of the information literacy work carried out in public libraries and community libraries.
The event was a great success and provided useful information plus new contacts for the forthcoming book I am writing with Dr John Crawford based upon our research 'Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning: The workplace, health and public libraries'