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Update from the Library and Information Schools



Geoff WaltonGeoff Walton, Library & Information Schools Representative for the Information Literacy Group and Senior Lecturer in Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, provides an update on recent developments involving UK iSchools.


Apprenticeship for Library, Information and Knowledge professionals

Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Sheffield and UCL are involved in creating a Level 6/7 apprenticeship for Library, Information & Knowledge professionals. Initiated by colleagues in Library & Knowledge Services NHS, the Trailblazer group now includes employers from all sectors to ensure that the job specification developed fits the needs of information services in all sectors. This exciting development is in its early stages – we will be suggesting that the apprenticeship job specification and programme includes a significant section on information literacy.

Forum for Information Literacy (FOIL)

The Forum for Information Literacy (FOIL), led by Prof Annemaree Lloyd at UCL, is a group of high-profile leading researchers in the UK that aims to promote information literacy research. At present, it includes academics from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Sheffield and UCL. The group’s work is now well under way and they will be leading a panel discussion at the “FestivIL” (the mini-online LILAC) in July.

Using information science to enhance educational preventing violent extremism programmes

I have recently published an open access article with colleagues at Manchester Metropolitan University that shows how information literacy can be used to improve programmes designed to help counter radicalisation and prevent violent extremism. We believe it is a significant contribution to mainstream policy and also novel in its inter-disciplinary approach.

I hope you find the time to give it a read and I would love to hear your thoughts.

Citation:

“Using information science to enhance educational preventing violent extremism programs”  in the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology (JASIST).

Summary:

Educational preventing violent extremism (EPVE) programmes have had (to date) little if any theoretical underpinning. Such an absence is notable but not unexpected given the political sensitivities attached to them. These programmes remain an emerging policy area which is still “finding its feet,” around which their legitimacy and efficacy is keenly debated. This paper argues for adopting theoretical principles drawn from information science research based upon information behaviour and information literacy models to provide a framework for the design and development of such programmes and against which their efficacy can be tested. This article is ground breaking and of international significance, being the first to apply learning from information science to practice in furthering policy goals around countering radicalization and extremism in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions.

Authors:

Kevin Wong, Geoff Walton and Gavin Bailey.

The programme and evaluation were supported by the UK Home Office. They also gave permission for the article to be published.

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