Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thing 4 (again): Power Searching with Google

Google has run a short MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) a couple of times. It includes short videos and short self-tests, all about searching Google. If you want to improve your Google skills, it is worth a look. The web address is and this is the first, introductory, video.

There are lots of tips, but it is good to complement those materials with extra tips (and a more critical perspective) e.g. from Karen Blakeman:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thing 10. Legal & ethical use

It is important for people to respect the law concerning intellectual property, particularly if you are librarians or information managers! There is international agreement about copyright and related laws, and the World Intellectual Property Organization is the organisation that aims to develop an international system that is fair to both creators and users of intellectual property.

They define intellectual property as:
"creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce." (WIPO, 2012) They identify two types of intellectual property: Industial property (e.g. patents, trademarks) and copyright (e.g. literary and artistic works, which includes digital works). This also includes the rights that performers have in their performances (dance, theatre etc.)

Some principles are agreed internationally, and there is harmonisation, for example, within countries of the European Union (although even then there are some details of difference between EU countries). Sheffield University Library has a copyright guide

The base line is that is generally illegal to copy things unless
- EITHER it specifically allowed by law (e.g. acknowledged quotations of up to a certain length are allowed for academic purposes or in reviews: "acknowledged" means there are quote marks and the source is clearly stated)
- OR the rights owner (author/creator) has said that it can be used. Creative Commons licenses have made it much easier for an author of a digital work (article, video, photograph etc.) to say how their work can be used. There are a series of licences that you can use, ranging from "anyone can do anything with my work" to (for example) saying that people can use them privately, but must not publish them publically or use them commercially. This is one of the presentations on the CC site on Sharing Creative Works:

"Derivative" works are works that change the original in some way (e.g. if you cropped a picture, or photoshopped it). Some people do not want their work altered, and since it is their intellectual property, they have the right to say you mustn't.

This is a useful page which has annotated links to sources of legal free images: If you can't find what you want there, then Phil Bradley has a list of search engines that search images and video: (but some of them might consist mainly or entirely of images that you cannot legally reuse).

When you search Flickr you can specify you want to be able leagally to reuse the image. Scroll down to the bottom of this advanced search page
and you will see that you can "Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content". They explain it clearly here:

In the advanced search option on Google Images you can specify the usage rights, e.g. only search for images that can be re-used.

Your task is to make sure that you are not copying text, videos or images illegally, on your blog and on your poster! (or indeed anywhere else)

- World Intellectual Property Organization. (2012) What is intellectual property? Retrieved 21 October 2012 from
- Creative Commons logo copied with permission; see

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thing 8: Communicating using posters

This week you will be starting to create posters which say something about the place of Information Literacy in your future careers. You will be using physical media (e.g. pen and paper) rather than electronic media. You also will not have very much time to produce them. However we have had some interesting posters for this exercise in the last few years.

There are pictures of all last year's posters on my Flickr account:
and this is a video from last year's event

Note: you are not being asked to produce a scientific paper, nor an online paper, so you do not have to read through the following advice before creating your poster! However, paper posters can still have an impact, and ones created electronically can be exhibited online and in print. It is useful to learn about techniques to communicate through posters.

Advice about producing posters:

Links to several useful resources with advice on producing academic posters:
University of Minnesota (2007) Creating an effective scientific poster presentation.
Glogster enables you to create online posters:

Some examples of "good" posters of different types:

Posters that won a best-poster competition for doctoral students in the midlands, 2011 (links are on the right of the page): and there is a Flickr pool of the 2012 event at
Winners of a similar competition for posters from doctoral students in Yorkshire 2009:
Posters about the major oil spill disaster in the USA, 2010:
Library posters created by Phil Bradley, based on old British wartime posters:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thing 7: Your Information Literacy in context

This is the activity:
1. Create your own map of changes, using the elements in the diagram "The information literate person in a changing information culture and society"
2. Share it with your team: are your maps similar or different? can you help each other identify ways of meeting IL needs?
3. Write a team blog post about a factor/ Information Literacy need that you are willing to share on the blog
4. Individually, note down a plan to address some of your Information Literacy development needs. Please finish this after the class, if you do not complete it in class. We will return to this in week 5.

Links to articles etc.

- Association of College and Research Libraries. (2012) Information literacy in the disciplines.
- Cheuk, B. (2008) Delivering business value through information literacy in the workplace. Libri, 58(3), 137-143. Retrieved 19 September 2012 from hCheuk, B. (2008) Delivering business value through information literacy in the workplace. Libri, 58(3), 137-143.
- Hoyer, J. (2011) Information is social: information literacy in context, Reference Services Review, 39(1), 10 - 23. Abstract
- Lloyd, A. (2005) Information literacy: different contexts, different concepts, different truths? Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 37 (2), 82-88. Abstract.
- Lloyd, A. (2009) Informing practice: information experiences of ambulance officers in training and on-road practice, Journal of Documentation, 65 (3), 396-419. Abstract
- Lloyd, A (2004) Working (in)formation: conceptualizing information literacy in the workplace. In Proceedings of 3rd International Life Long Learning Conference, 13-16 June, Rockhampton, Central Queensland University Press, pp. 218-224.

Please add any links below or (probably better) feature them in posts on your team blog.

Things 4 and 6 "Google" and "Database" secrets (Plan and gather)

You already had a session from Alastair in week 2 (on Google etc. searching) and you will have a further session from him this week (Groups 1 and 2) or next week (Groups 3 and 4)

What you need to do
Once you have had the 2nd session from the Alastair (i.e. this week for groups 1 and 2, next week for groups 3 and 4), make an individual post on your team blog, listing one new thing you learnt about Google or database searching.

A few of you have had a lot of experience in libraries before joining the course: so if you were already a search engine/ database wizard when you came to Sheffield, just say what your best searching tip is!

Thing 2: Information Literacy: additional material

Continuing and Professional Education and the University Libraries at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst have teamed up to produce this video which outlines the concepts and practices of the Information Literacy Standards as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thing 5: The New Information Universe: Preparation

In week 3, 9th October, you will have a class session on “The Information Universe” with Pam McKinney. This class will focus on Information Resources. Understanding the different types of information resources and their relationships will help you to use information in your assessed coursework.

The preparation for week 3’s information universe session is as follows:

1. Think about a time when you needed to find information – for yourself or for others (for example, for a course assignment or a library enquiry). Make notes on the kinds of information that you used in that particular search.

2. Review your notes and identify the different types of reference resources or sources of information found. (By types of resources, we mean categories of material – such as “blog”, “directory”, “report” or “textbook” – not specific titles.)

This is not a competition, so you can discuss it among yourselves if you wish, but you must produce your own list of types of information resources. You can use your own words to describe the types of resource; there is not one particular list of types we want you to use.

3. Please post your list as an individual entry on your team blog, by the end of Monday, 8th October. As you are doing this outside class time, you may prefer for each person to post separately. However, each person should be posting to the team blog.

We shall be looking at examples from different blogs in the class.

Ask Sheila Webber for help, if you have problems with your blog. If you have questions about the task, put them below, as comments.
Also Sheila will be in the Regent Court Lab RC205 4.15-5pm on Monday 8th October to help anyone who has trouble in making their blog post! What she cannot do, if it hasn't already happened, is invite you into your team's blog, so ask her about that before Monday.

Here are a couple of examples from last year's exercise. Your blog post does not have to be as long as these, but it gives you an idea of what we have in mind:
- From Hanan: who was in last year's Team W
- From Jen Fox who was in last year's Team I