The CILIP Information Literacy Group is delighted to announce that we have funded a number of new innovative and exciting research projects – see below.
Also note that the next call for project bids ends on 1st July. Please visit this website for more information: http://www.cilip.org.uk/information-literacy-group/sponsorship-and-bursaries
Announcing new research projects for 2016…
Prof Hazel Hall (Edinburgh Napier University): Information Literacy for Democratic Engagement (IL-DEM)
This project will investigate levels of digital and information literacy within Scotland’s Community Council system. The award has been granted to a team of three from the Centre for Social Informatics (CSI) at Edinburgh Napier University: Professor Hazel Hall, Peter Cruickshank, and Dr Bruce Ryan.
The team will explore how Community Councillors develop the skills required to inform and engage with the citizens that they represent, and how libraries support this work. It will build on two established research streams within CSI – Cruickshank and Ryan’s work on digital engagement in local democracy and Hall’s work with Christine Irving on information literacy and life-long learning – as well as the group’s track record in library and information science research.
Scottish Community Councils (which are analogous to parish councils in England and Wales) are a vital link between local communities and higher levels of government. Their membership generally comprises ordinary people who often face challenges related to their interactions with information. For example, some lack the skills required to disseminate information and communicate news in ways that suit their constituents, for example by social media.
The novel focus of this work will push the boundaries of information literacy research into new, interesting territory. It also has the potential to engage a wide audience: there are around 5000 community council members in Scotland, and since everyone in Scotland lives in a community council area, the research has the potential to reach a wide population.
Dr Marc Forster (Library Services, University of West London): Collaborative Information experiences of women and their midwives
How do midwives and the women they care for share information? Previous research has suggested Information Literacy, when experienced in health settings, can be collaborative, either between professionals or between professionals and their clients. How do midwives and women share information, both personal and documentary? In what contexts is information shared and what forms of knowledge are developed? What are the contexts in which women feel the need for information, or that midwives feel an information lack, both in terms of necessary knowledge (to feel confident; to feel competent) but also to maintain the sense of relationship?
The study will investigate and interpret the variation and range of those information experiences, through interviews with a purposeful sample of midwives and women who have been able to develop a self-defined ‘relationship’. It is believed that the study will be the first of its kind to investigate a professional/client relationship in this way and the first to investigate information experiences in the field of maternity care. Findings from the study could be used to focus and develop information sources for new mothers and midwives and inform midwifery education.
Emily Hurt (Library Services, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust): Facilitating research amongst radiographers through Information Literacy workshops
This project will develop a set of Information Literacy workshops that will seek to facilitate an increase in research output in a profession-specific group in an NHS Trust. We will be working with Radiographers, measuring their self-efficacy in relation to information literacy as well as looking at any research they produce as a result of the project. The research team has members of staff from Library Services and Research and Innovation, strengthening the collaboration between these two departments. The project will result in a set of workshop plans and support resources that will be freely available and could be used by other information professionals in a health setting.