Information Literacy Awards

Information Literacy Awards winners revealed



We are delighted to announce the winners of the Information Literacy Awards for 2020!

Due to the unavoidable cancellation of LILAC 2020, this year’s award results are being announced online. However, the winners of both awards will be invited to attend a formal presentation at LILAC 2021 in Manchester.


Winner of the Information Literacy Award for 2020: Clare McCluskey-Dean, York St John University

The Information Literacy Award recognises an outstanding UK-based practitioner or researcher.

Clare McCluskey-Dean
Clare McCluskey-Dean

Clare is the Academic Liaison Librarian for the School of Education, the School of Psychological and Social Sciences and the School of Languages and Linguistics.

The judges Dina Martzoukou and Geoff Walton explained: “Clare’s work is in the ground-breaking category. The way in which she has created the community of practice is truly innovative and transferable to other settings. This work presents an area in information literacy which has been underrepresented in practitioners’ work, that of critical information literacy with an authentic focus on marginalised people, challenging racist and gendered practices. There is real advocacy in Clare’s work and the potential to share the approach with impact beyond the institution, via the blog, and detailed information of how this approach could be enabled on a wider scale is provided. The collaborative work between the librarian and other academics offers an example of excellent practice working across subject areas and schools with an interdisciplinary outlook.”

Clare’s response on receiving the Award: “I am very proud indeed to receive this award. There are many people with whom I work, at my institution and beyond, who make it possible for me to research and practise information literacy with a critical approach. We still have a very long way to go in tackling structural inequalities in information production, access and use, not least in our profession itself, but these people are vital in efforts to do this. Thanks to them all. And if anyone is interested in joining forces to do more research in this area, please contact me.”


Winner of the Digital Award for Information Literacy for 2020, sponsored by the Open University: Step Up to Masters (Jiani Liu, Dan Pullinger, Sunny Dhillon, Angela Newton, Paul Cave, Laura Fitch, University of Leeds)

The Digital Award for Information Literacy is sponsored by the Open University and rewards an innovative/high impact digital resource developed by a UK-based individual or group.

Step Up to Masters

Step Up to Masters was created by the Learning Services and Learning Technologies Teams at Leeds University Library, and is designed to help students make a successful transition to Masters level study.

The judges Maren Deepwell and Josie Fraser commented: “The judging panel had a very strong short-list of entries to choose from this year, exhibiting different strengths and an impressive range of impact in different contexts. We are particularly pleased to award the University of Leeds the winning prize as this entry was strong overall and fully demonstrated the importance of information literacy. It was particularly inspiring to hear feedback from learners as well as staff about the positive impact the project has had and the scale of the impact within the institution. This is a project which could be widely adopted across sectors and provide a blueprint for other organisations.”

The Leeds University Library team behind Step Up to Masters
(Clockwise from top left) Jiani Liu, Sunny Dhillon, Paul Cave, Dan Pullinger, Angela Newton (Centre) Laura Fitch

The team behind Step Up to Masters are thrilled to receive this prestigious award: “We’re delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Learning Services and Learning Technologies Teams at the University of Leeds. It’s very satisfying to be recognised by our peers for our work in creating a resource to support our large and diverse taught postgraduate community! We’d also like to thank the students and academic colleagues who contributed to the videos and provided us with valuable feedback.

Step Up to Masters was launched as part of our Skills@Library service at the University of Leeds in September 2019. The online resource supports successful transition to Masters level study, with a particular focus on academic skills and information literacy development, and is designed to complement departments’ own induction and transition programmes. Students also have the opportunity to explore key strategies for Masters study in more detail through an accompanying suite of face-to-face workshops. The project was prompted by a growth in Masters student numbers, and a heavy demand from this cohort for Skills@Library support.

“And finally, we’d like to thank the wonderful community of information literacy practitioners and researchers who never fail to inspire us with their creativity and their dedication to supporting students and society at large. We look forward to seeing many of you at LILAC 2021 in Manchester!”


Find out more about the Information Literacy Awards, including past winners

Full list of nominees for this year’s awards

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