Category: Uncategorized

International Digital Preservation Day Roundup

Last Thursday was the first ever International Digital Preservation Day. People from all around the world came together to celebrate the collections preserved, the access maintained and the understanding fostered by preserving digital materials.

Preservation

CC image credit: ‘Preservation Park’ by Flickr user torbakhopper

Throughout the day we shared some free chapters from some of our digital preservation books which we have gathered below in one handy reference post.

  1. An extract from Adrian Brown’s DPC Preservation Award-Winning book Practical Digital Preservation
  2. Digital preservation strategies for visualizations and simulations – a free chapter from Preserving Complex Digital Objects by Janet Anderson, Hugh Denard and William Kilbride
  3. Digitization in the context of collection management – a free chapter from Anna E Bulow and Jess Ahmon’s Preparing Collections for Digitization.

Finally, it didn’t quite make it in time for IDPD17, but Brianna Marshall’s The Complete Guide to Personal Digital Archiving is out today.

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Global Media and Information Literacy Week Roundup

Today marks the end of Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2017. The theme for this year’s event was Media and Information Literacy in Critical Times: Re-imagining Ways of Learning and Information Environments. Throughout the week Facet participated by sharing ‘look inside’ previews from our information literacy books, guest blog posts and video posts from our authors. We have gathered all of those resources together in one handy reference post below.

 

‘Look inside’ chapter previews

‘Decoding the Framework for Information Literacy’ by Joanna M Burkhardt from Teaching Information Literacy Reframed

‘Learning within for beyond: exploring a workplace Information Literacy design’ by Annemaree Lloyd from Information Literacy in the Workplace

The Introduction to Trudi E Jacobson and Thomas P Mackey’s Metaliteracy in Practice

‘Interpret and Analyze Images’ by Nicole E. Brown, Kaila Bussert, Denise Hattwig
and Ann Medaille from Visual Literacy for Libraries

 

Blog & video posts from Facet authors

Nicole E. Brown and Kaila Bussert shared a step-by-step exercise which could be incorporated into information literacy teaching to develop student’s visual literacy skills in their blog post Develop Your Visual Literacy

Trudi E. Jacobson and Thomas P. Mackey explored ways to advance critical thinking and learning in today’s world with their blog post Advancing Metaliteracy

Sarah McNicol asked Why should critical literacy matter to information professionals?

Joanna M. Burkhardt offered 6 suggestions for teaching information literacy

Phil Bradley’s short video navigates social media with A Guide for Checking Authority and Validity

Tim Buckley Owen showed us ways in which library and information professionals can learn from journalist’s techniques in his blog post Spotlight on Spotlight: What can library and information professionals learn from journalists?

 

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Why should critical literacy matter to information professionals?

Critical literacy is an approach to learning and teaching that has gathered momentum in recent years as it has become widely used in classrooms around the world. Critical literacy is not just important for formal education settings however. It is also relevant for libraries because it is an approach that can engage students (or other users) in more active forms of reading and more creative ways of critiquing texts, as well as equipping them with skills and strategies to challenge social and political systems.

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What is critical literacy?

Critical literacy differs from most models of information literacy because it is not simply about the ability to evaluate information for features such as authenticity, quality, relevance, accuracy, currency, value, credibility and potential bias. Instead, it addresses more fundamental questions about the nature of knowledge.

One way of describing critical literacy is as a process that, ‘challenges the status quo in an effort to discover alternative paths for self and social development’ (Shor, 1999). This description highlights two key components of critical literacy. Firstly, it has a focus on practical action and community engagement. Secondly, critical literacy is concerned with the social and cultural contexts in which traditional, digital, multimedia and other types of texts are both created and read. Critical literacy is not about studying texts in isolation, but developing an understanding of the cultural, ideological and sociolinguistic contexts in which they are created and read. It involves an explicit commitment to equity, social justice and inclusion.

Authors and readers

A fundamental notion of critical literacy is that all texts are constructed(by one or more authors) and serve particular interests or purposes. As texts are written or created by people, who all have their own views of the world, no text is completely neutral and objective. For example, when they write, an author makes conscious and unconscious choices about what to include and exclude and how to represent the things or people they depict.

However, it is not just the author who has an important role. Just like authors, all readers have their own experiences and knowledge whichthey bring to a text. This means that each person interprets a text differently and multiple ways of reading a single text are not just possible, but inevitable. In contrast to more conventional approaches to resource evaluation, with critical literacy there is no single ‘correct’ way to read and respond to a text.

This means that critical literacy can allow students to move beyond merely retelling information to become actively engaged with texts as they start to exercise their power as readers to interrogate what is written and question the ideological standpoint of the author to form their own interpretations. Critical literacy also helps students to see connections between texts they read and the ‘real world’ as they come to realise how the experiences and opinions of both the author and reader are integral in shaping any text.

Some practical examples

Critical literacy is a theory that is highly relevant to the practical work of library and information workers across all sectors including academic, schools, public, workplace, prisons and health. In the case of public libraries, it can support social inclusion activities and offer alternative ways of framing reading promotion. In healthcare settings, critical literacy approaches can empower patients and challenge stigma. When working with young offenders, or at-risk young people, critical literacy can help to improve decision-making skills. In schools, it can have a role both within subjects such as Communication studies and in extra-curricular activities. It can also enhance the school librarian’s role within the school as they become engage in debates around the use of new media and academic honesty. When working with both undergraduate and post-graduate university students, critical literacy can move the librarian’s contribution to the learning process far beyond the simplistic database demonstration session to a more active, questioning approach that can profoundly impact on how students interact with information. Critical literacy can also support librarians’ work with particular user groups. For example, in the case of international students, disabled users; or adult learners, critical literacy can help to reframe difference as an asset rather than a deficit.

There is no doubt that adopting a critical literacy approach in a library setting can be highly challenging. Teaching students that there is no single ‘correct’ way to read a text and that evaluating a resource is not a process which can be reduce to a simple checklist requires considerable time, skill and confidence. However, the potential benefits can be immense.

These are just some brief examples of the ways in which critical literacy can be used within libraries and information services. Is your library using (or planning to use) critical literacy approaches in any way? If so, please let us know.

Critical Literacy for Information Professionals, edited by Sarah McNicol, provides a foundation of critical literacy theory, as applied to libraries, combines theory and practice to explore critical literacy in relation to different user groups, and offers practical ways to introduce critical literacy approaches in libraries.

Sarah McNicol is a research associate at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

This blog post originally appeared on the CILIP blog in March 2016. You can view the original post here: https://www.cilip.org.uk/blog/why-should-critical-literacy-matter-information-professionals

 

The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management

Read an exclusive interview with Barbara Allan in which she discusses writing her new book, The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management, and offers advice on the skills needed for both small and larger, complex projects.

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What research did you do for the No-nonsense Guide to Project Management?

My earlier book on project management was published by Facet in 2004 and this provided a starting point. A lot has changed since then so I carried out a huge amount of online research in the academic and professional literature, as well as searching the websites of library and information services to identify good case studies. In addition, I researched the current professional project management literature to gain their perspective. Finally, and this is the most enjoyable part, I contacted library and information workers as well as people teaching project management to gain their perspectives.

What is your experience of project management?

I’m lucky as I have had lots of experience of project management and I have always gravitated towards projects and volunteered to get involved in them. Some examples include: closing a library; moving libraries; creating a new library and information service; introducing new ICT systems; designing and developing both e-learning and traditional courses; introducing new working practices and contracts; leading an institutional-wide programme with a budget of more than £2.3M.  Like most people, I have also experienced many projects in my home life: moving house; DIY projects; organizing celebrations and parties; organizing holidays. Basically, the same skills that are used in these domestic projects are essential for professional projects too.

Do you get stuck when writing?

Yes, I sometimes have so many ideas and examples buzzing about my head that it is hard to sort them out. When this happens, I tend to go for a long walk with my dog and think it through. Alternatively, I get out my Post-It Notes™ and takeover the kitchen table as I spread them about and work out the connections and contradictions between different ideas.

 How does the new book differ from your previous book on this topic?

There are many major differences. I think the first one is that standard project management methodologies such as PRINCE2® and Agile are now commonly used in library and information services. In very large and complex projects, library and information services (or their parent organisation) regularly employ professional project managers often on a contract basis and they use these standard methodologies which means that a wider group of people learn about them. Another difference is that a wide range of technologies are used in project management. For example, specialist software packages, such as MS Project, may be used to help manage the project and these provide a wide range of reports which come in very useful at meetings. Collaborative software which enable teams to work together and jointly produce reports and other outputs are very useful particularly in international projects where team members may be working in different geographic regions and time zones. In addition, social media has made a huge impact both in terms of supporting team working and also in publicising the project. Both crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are used by some libraries and I found this a particularly interesting topic to research.

Does this mean that all project managers need to use these technologies?

This is a really good question. It depends on the size of the project. If you are leading a small project involving relatively few people then you can manage it using everyday tools such as your diary and a spreadsheet. However, you may choose to use specialist software as a way of learning how to use it and gaining an additional skill for your CV. In contrast, if you are leading a large and complex project then I think it is vital to use appropriate tools as a means of managing and sharing the project information.

What has stayed the same in project management in the past decade or so?

I think the basic idea of following the project cycle and working through each stage in a systematic manner is essential. The detailed process of documenting each stage is important as it means any change in personnel can be relatively easily managed. In addition, making sure that you have considered all the risks that may adversely affect the project and thought about how to reduce or eliminate the risk is important too. Finally, following standard procedures for managing the project budget is vital.

 

The project life cycle

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Managing risks sounds a little scary. Is it?

I always enjoy the risk management side of any project. Basically, it involves thinking about five questions: What can go wrong? How likely is this to happen? What is the likely impact on the project? How serious is each risk? How can the risks be managed?Identifying the risks can be fun and sometimes teams come up with extreme examples which cause laughter. A key lesson is to allow time for unexpected events. For example, I was once involved in a library move and the initial movement of furniture resulted in an epidemic of fleas. Quite revolting and we had to call in professional pest control people to sort it out. Overall, we lost a lot of time but we had built that in as our contingency so the project still met its deadline.

What about the people side of projects?

Leading and managing the people side of projects is vital if the project is to be successful. It is particularly important in strategic projects such as merging two libraries or developing shared services where major changes are taking place. These strategic projects may take 2-3 years to implement and there needs to be a management of change process in place to help support everyone through the change.

In all projects, the project manager needs to identify and think about all the stakeholders who are involved in the project or may be affected by it. She then needs to work out (with her team) how to work with and communicate with this diverse group of people who will all have different needs, expectations and concerns. In the No-nonsense Guide to Project Management, working with different groups including virtual teams and also volunteers is explored with practical guidance on how to work effectively. Nowadays, many projects involve partnership working, e.g. working with local, regional or international partners, and it is important to pay attention to establishing, developing and maintaining the partnership if it is to be successful.

What is your advice to librarians entering the profession?

My advice is to gain as much experience as possible. Take up opportunities to be involved in project work and, if possible, sign up for training courses on project management. Project management is an important skill for all library and information workers and it is essential for anyone wanting to move into management and leadership positions. Finally, it offers very interesting opportunities to shape your library and information service and the services and products on offer.

 

Barbara Allan is an author and trainer. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus was on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization and employability agendas. Her qualifications include a doctorate in education (on the topic of e-mentoring and women into leadership). She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2008.Barbara is a Member of CILIP and the author of several Facet Publishing titles including, Emerging Strategies for Supporting Student Learning (2016), The No-nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013), Supporting Research Students (2009) Project Management (2004) Supervising and Leading Teams in ILS (2006) and Blended Learning (2007).

 

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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New book sets out a manifesto to make reading for everyone

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Reading by Right: Successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed.

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Literacy has been recognized as a human right for over 50 years in several international declarations and initiatives. Every child has a right to read and parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, campaigners and policy makers have a social responsibility to ensure that they are able to exercise that right.

Joy Court’s new book, Reading by Right, reveals the strategies that are proving effective in overcoming barriers to reading from birth to teens. The book looks at practices and projects from around the globe and highlights the common principles and drivers that have generated success. The book sets out a manifesto to make reading for everyone including the pledges, “Everyone is a reader – regardless of their background or what others might think or say”, “Everyone should have access to content to read to borrow, buy or keep” and “Everyone benefits from the social and creative opportunities tied to reading”.

Joy said,

“Because I am so passionate about the vital necessity of every child being able to read, I have become increasingly concerned about those children who either cannot or will not read: the reluctant, the disengaged, the struggling, the hard-to- reach. So when Facet approached me about editing another book for them, it was these children and young people that came to mind”.

The book features an illustrated foreword by former UK Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and contains a collection of chapters from international experts covering aspects of overcoming reading difficulties or reading reluctance in children and young people.

Joy Court is Chair of the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals Working Party. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the English Association and a Trustee and National Council member of UKLA. She is Reviews Editor for The School Librarian and author of Read to Succeed (Facet, 2011).

 Contributors:

Chris Riddell, UK Children’s Laureate 2015-2017

Rose Brock, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Sam Houston State University, USA

Alison Brumwell, freelance education and literacy consultant, Leeds, UK

Wendy Cooling, Head of children’s section, BookTrust

Prue Goodwin, freelance lecturer in literacy and children’s books

Mervi Heikkilä, Director of Libraries in Seinäjoki, Finland

Jake Hope, reading development and children’s book consultant

Teri S. Lesesne, Professor, Department of Library Science, Sam Houston State University, USA

Yeojoo Lim, adjunct faculty member, Hansung University, South Korea

Ginny Lunn, CEO, Beanstalk

Hilary Mason, education consultant, trainer and writer

Amy McKay, school librarian, Corby, Northamptonshire, UK

Alexandra Strick, specialist in the field of children’s books and disability/diversity

Sara Tuisku, Finnish-language, culture and communication professional

 

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Training researchers to manage data for better results, re-use and long-term access

To kick off Love Your Data Week 2017 we have made Heather Coates’ chapter from Dynamic Research Support for Academic Libraries available Open Access.  A PDF of the chapter, Training researchers to manage data for better results, re-use and long-term access, canhoffman_dynamic-research-support_cover be downloaded here. The PDF also contains the book’s editor Starr Hoffman’s introduction, A vision for supporting research.

We will be releasing more Open Access chapters throughout Love Your Data Week and publishing blogposts from our authors.  For a chance to win one of our research data management books, share a tweet about why you (or your institution) are participating in Love Your Data Week 2017 using #WhyILYD17. More details about the prize draw are available here.

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