Report on recent European conferences

Dr Jane Secker, Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City, University of London, recently attended two European conferences related to libraries and information literacy.

European flags in Strasbourg
European flags on display in Strasbourg

At the end of May 2018, Jane was invited to run a workshop at the EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference in Strasbourg on Copyright the Card Game, the popular teaching resource she co-developed with Chris Morrison, who is Copyright, Software Licensing and Information Services Policy Manager at the University of Kent. EBLIDA is the European Bureau of Library and Documentation Associations – so it’s

rather like the European version of IFLA. You can read a longer write up of Jane’s trip on the copyright literacy blog.

In addition to running the workshop, it was also a chance for Jane to meet representatives from European library associations, several of whom commented on how interested they were in the revised CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018 (pdf). The theme of the conference was “building bridges” and there were some interesting discussions on the challenges of running library services in border regions, but also how libraries can act as bridges to displaced people moving into a new community. There was a reception held at the European Parliament, the launch of the 60 Books for Summer campaign by the MEP Library Lovers Group and Public Libraries 2020, and a talk given by Jeremy Lachal, one of the founders of Bibliotheques sans Frontieres / Libraries without Borders.

Jane Secker with the German Informationskompetenz group
Jane Secker with the German Informationskompetenz group

Then, on 13th June 2018, Jane attend the German Library Conference, held in Berlin and known as Bibliothekartag107. On this occasion she was invited to run a workshop on copyright literacy, launching the German version of The Publishing Trap, another game co-developed with Chris. However, she also had the opportunity to address the German Information Literacy Group (Informationskompetenz) and present the revised definition of IL. The group were extremely positive about the revisions to our definition, particularly liking the context specific aspects of it and commenting on the value of including sections on “IL for everyday life” and “IL and health literacy”. A longer write up on the event is also available on the copyright literacy blog. One area where the German group have progressed further than in the UK is over the detailed statistics they are collecting on information literacy teaching in German libraries, through a voluntary survey they conduct every year. They now have stats going back 10 years, which show some really interesting patterns in how IL is evolving over time, the range of topics that are taught, how much time is spent on teaching, and the staffing levels that are involved. Some of this data is available via the SCONUL stats in the UK, but it looks like the Germans are collecting richer data than we currently have access to.

Were you at the EBLIDA-NAPLE Conference or Bibliothekartag107 this year? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the two events – please use the Comments box below.

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