Jul 09 2009
Information: interactions and impact – i3 Conference sessions (information literacy and schools plus the unemployed and information literacy boundaries)
My final posting about the i3 conference sessions I attended relate to information literacy and schools plus information literacy and the unemployed and information literacy boundaries. As most of you know the schools arena is an area in which the project is heavily involved in and the two session speakers are well known to the project. We haven’t however until now come across information literacy and the unemployed but then there is no reason why information literacy should play a major role in the unemployed or those seeking employment. In relation to the later we have and are working with the former Careers Scotland now part of Skills Development Scotland on career self management and decision making. Information literacy boundaries or where information literacy sits with and within other literacies is a discussion we have had on numerous occasions both within and outwith the LIS profession.
Professor Eero Sormunsen – Students request for help and the teacher’s strategies of suport in a secondary school working classroom working on a research assignment
I know Eero from a visit he and his colleagues made to the project in December 2007. For anyone who has seen one of the project presentations which includes a picture of ‘Our friends in the North’ then Eero is one of those friends and in that picture. Unfortunately I arrived late at Eero’s presentation as the previous presentation I was listening to was in another room / part of the building. Fortunately Sheila Webber was there for both presentations in this paralel session about two studies concerning schools in Finland and has posted about them in i3 schools 2 and i3 report: school libraries studies
James Herring – Students, question formulation and the issues of transfer
I didn’t manage to attend this session but Jim Herring has blogged about it himself
Jim is well known to secondary schools in Scotland primarily in relation to his research interest information literacy and his information literacy PLUS Model in schools those who studied Information Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (like myself). He currently teaches a range of subjects in Teacher Librarianship at Charles Sturt University in Australia but manages to do this both from Wagga Wagga in Australia and from his home in Scotland. Not sure if that is a first or if there is anyone else out there doing a similar thing. He is also finishing off his PHd studies.
Jim also reported back in the first of two plenary sessions regard emergent themes (which Sheila Webber has posted about) – as chair of the schools sector sessions he reported on the issue of ”engaging teachers in understanding information literacy: including teachers investigating it for themselves” and information literacy and teacher education / training. The later is an issue that the project has been interested in for some time and is currently pursuing in collaboration with existing and new partners. In relation to teacher training Ruth Stubbings informed me that Teacher Training at Loughborough University came to see them when they saw information literacy in Key Stage 3 of the English school curriculum. Which is great news and I look forward to hearing more about it from Ruth as she has said she wants contacts me later to discuss it.
My final posting is
Reiija Perttila – Information behaviour and coping functions of long term unemployed people in Finland
This a fairly unexplored area of research and the results in the accompanying paper show that
there is a connection between coping functions unemployed people use and their information practices. Based on the results it seems that high problem-focused copers, who use more concrete coping strategies, seem to tune in to news slightly more often than emotion-focused and mixed-focused copers. High mixed-focused copers, who use active interpersonal coping strategies then again, appear to seek more often information about issues connected with unemployment and health than others.
It is interesting to note the mention of unemployment and health which raises the question of a possible link between the two. Long term unemployed refers to unemployed for more than a year.
The information this research provides increases the overall knowledge of different factors that define a person’s information behaviour. It also contributes to the research of ELIS by providing information about the information practices of people, whose daily activities are not divided between work and leisure, but consist of coping with a special life situation and the challenges it brings.
ELIS stands for Everyday Life Information Seeking
Savolainen, R. (1995). Everyday life information seeking: Approaching information seeking in the context of “Way of Life”. Library & Information Seeking Science Research, 17(3), 259-294.
Savolainen, R. (2007). Tyota ja tietoa etsimassa [Seeking information about jobs. Unemployed people's perseptions of information sources and information seeking channels]. Informaatiotutkimus, 26(3), 66-75.
From my experience people’s information practices seem to reflect their present knowledge, past experience, current environment and availability of information resoures what I am currently referring to as the chameleon effect. I now need to add to that people’s sense making, coping strategies (problem based and emotional) plus their decision making practices.
For me this conference has truly made my head buzz and taken me into areas outwith my professional field but not my professional interest.
Before heading home after the conference finished I spent the afternoon with one of our project partners who is the Information Literacy Officer for Aberdeenshire. She has been busy working on some amazing things but I plan to blog about that another time.
Finally in case you thought the conference was all work then worry not we did manage some socialising at: a civic reception, the Grampian Information Fair (see Sheila Webber’s blog posting with a picture of me in the background), the 40th Anniversary of Library and Information Management at Robert Gordon University and the conference dinner at Norwood Hall Hotel. Kornelia Sliwinska has put a selection of the i3 conference photos on Facebook – for those who know me I’m in one or two of them.
I’ve just noticed that some of the conference presentations website are now online.