Dec 14 2009
A couple of weeks ago (November 30th- 1st December) I attended an invitation only conference in Wales on the theme of ‘An Information Literacy Strategy for Wales?’ which was held at the attractively situated if geographically inconvenient University of Wales conference centre at Gregynog House.
All LIS sectors and Welsh education were represented and I was particularly impressed by the willingness of all sectors to work together and learn from each other.
The initial presentations were devoted to reviewing the various sectors and the familiar theme emerged of pockets of excellent good practice which were not being supported by an overarching strategy. I spoke about the work of the Scottish Information Literacy Project and the lessons which Wales can learn from it. After dinner there were sectoral discussion groups and I joined the public librarians and was impressed by their grasp of the role which public libraries can play in informal learning and the good work they are already doing.
The following morning Gareth Evans from Caerphilly Public Library spoke about the work he has been doing with the Open College network which could well be replicated elsewhere.
The conference concluded with a list of action points which included:
- The production of an overview/vision statement (urgent)
- The development of a strategy and Framework
- Making cross sectoral/partnership contacts including outside the LIS sector
- Developing a National Forum for Information Literacy in Wales
- Appointing an Information Literacy Development Officer for Wales
- Accrediting library staff information literacy training skills
- Include IL concepts in teacher training
- School librarian posts should be a statutory responsibility
- Pursue media literacy issues through Ofcom
However if these objectives are to be achieved funding will be a key requirement