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Latest news from the ILG chair, Jane Secker

Dr Jane Secker, Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group, has kindly provided an update of her busy summer activities.

I have not long returned from an exciting trip to Kyrgyzstan, after being invited to the EIFL General Assembly. EIFL (Electronic Information For Libraries) are a not-for-profit organisation who work with libraries to enable access to knowledge in developing and transition economy countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. If you are not familiar with their work you can find out more from their about page on their website. But they run a number of library related programmes and provide licensing agreements that allow their member countries to get affordable access to subscription resources.

Chris Morrison and I attended this year’s EIFL General Assembly from 7th-11th August in Kyrgyzstan. The EIFL General Assembly is a relatively small gathering of the EIFL staff, some of the board members and the country reps from the EIFL members. You can see on their website the impressive number of countries in which EIFL work and this year was their 20th anniversary. It felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity to go somewhere off the beaten track but also to take our game, the Publishing Trap to a really international audience.

Having the opportunity to meet all the country reps at EIFL during two speed dating sessions was really a highlight for me, if a little exhausting. Delegates came to our table in small groups (maximum of 3 or 4 people) and we got a chance to tell them about our work. We shared Copyright the Card Game, we talked about the Icepops conference and showed people the Icepops 2019 Annual, we spoke about a game developed by EIFL as a train the trainer session, which we’d first seen in Lisbon at the Creative Commons Summit. I also spoke about the CILIP Information Literacy definition launched in 2018 and its relationship to copyright literacy. Many of the delegates were really interested in finding out more about LILAC and information literacy and so I was really pleased I took a stash of our definition brochures to hand out.

During the trip to Kyrgyzstan I also caught up with Julia Barrett who is Head of Research Support at UCD in Ireland. She talked about their approach to developing digital research skills amongst researchers at UCD. She is helping EIFL put together a framework for digital research skills and we had a useful workshop considering how best to share good practice and resources between librarians in different countries. I was reminded of the UNESCO project, CO-PILOT that Nancy Graham and I worked on several years ago to try and develop a platform to share digital and information literacy teaching materials openly. It’s given me plenty to think about in terms of how the Information Literacy Group might best facilitate this type of sharing in the future. You can also read a longer report about the trip in the recent blog post on the website.

After my trip, last week I caught up with our Advocacy and Outreach Officer for ILG, Stéphane Goldstein, and we had a great discussion about the outreach work he’s been doing recently, including making stronger links with the RSA, since he became a Fellow, joining Ofcom’s new ‘Making Sense of the Media’ advisory panel and, along with Geoff Walton, attending an Encyclopaedia Britannica parliamentary reception in July on misinformation. Stéphane and I then had an excellent online meeting with our School library reps, Rebecca and Sarah from ILG. We were joined by Elizabeth Hutchinson and Darryl Toerien (who ended up having technical issues) as we’re hoping to draft a research proposal on measuring the value and impact of information literacy on young people’s learning.

Finally, I’ve been planning an ILG event for December with Catherine our training officer, and Laura the Secretary for ILG as a follow up to the highly successful panel discussion we held at LILAC on Open Access and Information Literacy: two movements, one aim. More details coming about that soon, but it promises to be a really good opportunity to consider the overlap between information literacy and scholarly communication/research support activities in higher education. We also have our ILG committee meeting on the 10th September, so I am starting to put together the agenda for the meeting and looking forward to catching up with everyone after the summer break.


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