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EMPATIC News No 5: January - March 2012

In this edition...

Information Literacy News
Conferences, Workshops and Seminars

EMPATIC Final Conference

In order to enlarge the audience of the Empatic recommendations and improve the dissemination of the Empatic results, it was decided to arrange the final conference of EMPATIC into two different events, with different target audiences.

The first event was organised in collaboration with the Department of Educational Studies of the Ghent University in Belgium and was addressed to the Education area of expertise.

The second event was organised in collaboration with IFLA SLRC, IASL, AIB, AIB Lombardia, Regione Lombardia, Ufficio Scolastico per la Lombardia, Goethe-Institut  and mainly addressed to the Library and Information Science area of expertise.

A detailed report of both events constitutes the last deliverable of the project, nevertheless a short summary of both the events is given below.

Ghent Conference

Literacy and Society, Culture, Media and Education, Ghent

Thu 9 Feb 2012 - Sat 11 Feb 2012
 Venue: Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

The impact of digitality has resulted in the necessity of and demand for new perspectives on literacy(ies). Participants in the conference were invited to examine and discuss EMPATIC's recommendations to policy makers in the schools, higher education, vocational & training and adult education/lifelong leaning sectors.

Parallel sessions additionally explored theories, practices, and applications for the study of the interrelations of digitality and contemporary society, culture, and pedagogy in thematic sections of:

  • Media and Society
  • Media and Culture
  • Media and Education 

Recommendations to Policy Makers by the Ghent conference participants: 

  1. The participants agreed that Information Literacy is vital for the today’s society in Europe and as such should be developed and promoted in different contexts and by various means. They also pointed out that there exist a few IL related projects going on in local communities in Europe under the names of “media literacy” or even “media wisdom”.
  2. The importance of Information Literacy needs to be publicized not only to governments, ministries and policy makers on the national or EU levels but also to local authorities, businesses, small social groups and all citizens.
  3. The strategy of IL development should encompass two main lines of action: IL awareness building among authorities and governments on the national and European levels
  4. Substantial, real work, “step by step”, “project by project” on the local level by particular schools, universities, libraries, etc.
  5. The most of participants expressed the feeling that “slow” strategy, based on “small projects” addressed to different target groups, communities, professions, etc. would be more effective than having a central EU body responsible for the IL development or the formal European IL policy directives.
  6. Thus, the “IL awareness building” and “central goals” approach clearly prevailed over the “central steering” one. Also, having clearly stated Information Literacy goals (national, European) may help anyone wanting to convince/influence local authorities to support IL development programmes.
  7. One of the tactical observations has been that “incentives work better than orders”, meaning that IL development policy based on incentives for those who introduce IL (teachers, librarians, businesses, local authorities) would be the effective one.

EMMILE Conference

EMMILE  was the final conference of EMPATIC project where all findings and recommendations were presented to stakeholders and participants of it.

The conference was successfully organized and funded from EMPATIC.

There were almost 100 participants and all EMPATIC project’s partners were there to present their work on all specific sectors.

Organization committee offered an excellent catering service (by the most famous School in Italy “Americo Vespucci”) and useful material and bags to all participants. The place of  the conference was a new modern building in Milan at Piazza Città di Lombardia, 1 (via Melchiorre Gioia) on 27-29 February 2012. The building had remarkable presentation equipment facilities and comfortable rooms.

All above services were funded by TUC.

After all presentations by the project partners there followed a very useful conversation with stakeholders where a lot of questions raised and answered by the EMPATIC team.

It is very important to rnote that people from different countries not only from Europe but also from America and Russia participated and gave useful information on Information Literacy that EMPATIC team took into consideration for the final report.

One of the main points that were remarked on was the fact that the EMPATIC project was a very important effort in drawing together and valorizing the results of previous Information Literacy initiatives and projects across the school, university, adult and vocational learning sectors, and using this evidence to influence policy makers’ perceptions and actions to support a marked increase in piloting and mainstreaming of Information Literacy  and to have a significant impact on validating new learning paradigms and strategic thinking on curriculum reform. This means that this effort has to be continued and a useful proposal to EU is to refund similar projects for the continuation of successful work that will be focused to above directions.

As mentioned, after the presentation of the EMPATIC project from the partners a conversation with stakeholders and participants took place and a lot of useful  questions, suggestions and comments were referred. All these were involved in Final Recommendations and Findings reports of EMPATIC. Specifically:

  • Information Literacy and its specialized fields must be promoted to society, decision makers, politicians and users
  • Ministries of education, departments of Library and Information Science at higher educational institutions and relevant libraries should cooperate with each other
  • School libraries are important and the impact of the school library function must be shown
  • National education policies are the power of national governments; it is imperative to implement IL in all school policies that recommend output-based learning
  • Information Literacy must be implemented within a curricular integration process in Higher Education courses of study, similar to the process already established for Computer Literacy (University policy level)
  • The learner must be more active and become a partner in the process
  • Lobbying for the integration of IL into Adult Education & Life Long Learning must be undertaken to the EU, national politicians, public libraries and all relevant institutions
  • The media is very important; this can include music, radio, local newspapers, and popular activities such as drama and local associations.
  • IL should be integrated into all Lifelong Learning activities that are run by various organizations in a practical way, this could be through financial information, health education, cultural information, etc.
  • Social awareness of literacy should be included within work culture and the way employers view it; VET provides a mobile work force and innovative economy within Europe

Finally, as decided from the Board meeting of Milan of EMPATIC partners, a permanent site for the project and its results will be established.

Information Literacy News

Information Literacy in the Wild: free book

The book "Information Literacy in the Wild" has just been published, edited by Kirstin Fontichiaro and built by his students of the University of Michigan. The publication is available on Smashwords for e-readers to the URL:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115254  or in PDF at: http://bit.ly/infowild .

The students have to observe a mentor's teaching practice on placement, do some of their own teaching and develop a teaching intervention or tool in a placement for the class.

There are 27 short chapters in which students reflect on their teaching experiences. The chapters are grouped by the educational context: school classroom, school library, college, university, public libraries and a couple of other contexts.

Information Literacy in the Workplace

The new issue of Education Libraries, the open-access journal published by the Education Division of the (US) Special Libraries Association, focuses on workplace information literacy.This is Volume 34, Number 2; Winter 2011.

Key articles are: Information Literacy and the Workforce: A Review ; by Sharon Weiner 21st Century Workforce Initiatives: A New Wave of Educational Reform Movements ; by Laura L. Leavitt From the Classroom to the Boardroom: The Impact of Information Literacy Instruction on Workplace Research Skills.

Infolit Policy

Library Trends, volume 60 issue 2, Fall 2011, focuses on:

"Towards policy formulation" on information literacy, a special issue edited by John Crawford .

This is a priced journal.

  • Introduction: Information Literacy Beyond the Academy: Towards Policy Formulation; by John Crawford
  • Information Literacy Advocacy-Woody's Ten Commandments; by Forrest Woody Horton, Jr .
  • Trapped Between a Rock and a Hard Place: What Counts as Information Literacy in the Workplace and How Is It Conceptualized? By Annemaree Lloyd  - How Information Literacy becomes Policy: An Analysis Using the Multiple Streams framework; by Sharon Weiner
  • Empowerment or Instrumental Progressivism? Analyzing Information Literacy Policies; by Andrew Whitworth
  • The Concept of Information Literacy in Policy-Making Texts: An Imperialistic Project? by Ola Pilerot and Jenny Lindberg
  • Is There a Right To Information Literacy?A Practice in Search of a Policy; by Catherine Haras  and Stephanie Sterling Brasley
  • Reconnecting Information Literacy Policy with the Core Values of Librarianship; by Heidi LM Jacobs  and Selinda Berg
  • A Framework for Analysing and Comparing Information Literacy Policies in European Countries; by Carla Basili
  • National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland): Pioneering Work to Influence Policy-Making or Tinkering at the Edges? by Christine Irving
  • Think Global, Act Local: Expanding the Agenda for Media Literacy Education in the United States; by Vanessa Domine

Teens, Virtual Environments and Information Literacy

In the new issue of the ASIST bulletin (free online): Beheshti, J. (2012) "Teens, Virtual Environments and Information Literacy." Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. EDITOR'S SUMMARY: As digital natives, the vast majority of teens are used to cellphones, text messaging, social networking sites and otherforms of electronic communications and technologies. 

Though rooted in the digital world for many of their daily activities, teens lack basic information literacy skills for academic tasks and other demands. Specific instruction through the educational system may not be feasible, but it may be possible to buildteens' information competence through interactive virtual learning environments. Game-style virtual environments are highly  motivating and engaging, providing opportunities for repeated practice and reward for persistence and achieving goals. A virtual reality library, VRLibrary, was constructed, collaboratively designed by youngteens and adults, basedon the metaphor of a physical library. Teens could wander the virtual space and browse links to age-appropriate websites presented as virtual books. VRLibrary was very positively received and succeeded atengaging teen users. A librarian avatar could be incorporated to provide help as needed with a user's information seeking"

Conferences, Workshops and Seminars

LILAC Annual Conference registration open

11-13 April 2012
Glasgow, UK

Booking is open for the LILAC 2012 (information literacy) conference. 

There is now a LinkedIn group, a Facebook group and a Twitter feed (they are all linked from the bottom of the LILAC home page ).

ALA Midwinter Meeting

20-24 January 2012
Dallas, Texas, USA

ALA Youth Media Awards- YMA

The eyes of the publishing world will turn to Dallas at 7:45 a.m. CT on Jan.23, 2012, when the American Library Association (ALA) announces the top awards in children’s and young adult literature as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 20 - 24.

The ALA Youth Media Awards honor children’s and young adult authors and illustrators, as well as producers of children’s audio and video materials. Known worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards are selected under a cloak of secrecy by national judging committees composed of librarians and other children’s literature experts.

The ALA will announce 18 awards, including the renowned Caldecott and Newbery Medals, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and Printz award.  The books honored serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing children and teens with the very best reading and viewing materials.

Contact the “ALA Public Information Office ” with questions about the YMA announcement.

The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy through a Digital Literacy lens

When it launched the revised Seven Pillars model of Information Literacy  (shown right), the (UK) Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL ) said they aimed to develop further "lenses" on the pillars. They have just updated the draft of The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy through a Digital Literacy lens and there is also the draft of an Open Content  lens. For more information see the website :

Digital Learning Day

1 February 2012

This national awareness campaign is designed to celebrate innovative teachers and highlight instructional practices that strengthen and personalize learning for all students. The Digital Learning Day campaign explores how digital learning can provide teachers and students with the opportunities they deserve in an effort to build or become part of a workforce that is ready to succeed in college, a career, and life.Celebrations and activities of all varieties are happening cross the country at the state, district, and classroom levels. In addition to the national campaign, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia are hosting their own statewide activities to support digital learning efforts within their states. On Digital Learning Day, a virtual national town hall meeting will be held in Washington, DC along with a live webcast starting at 9:00 a.m. (ET). By developing these tools and hosting the first-ever national Digital Learning Day on February 1, 2012, the Alliance strives to build momentum for a wave of innovation that changes policies, shifts attitudes, and supports widescale adoption of these promising instructional practices nationwide.

Sign-up  to stay connected, get updates, and receive exclusive information on what you can do to support this effort by taking less than five minutes to sign up and join the wave of innovation and momentum that is building for this groundbreaking event.

National Libraries Day

4 February 2012

4 February 2012 is the United Kingdom's National Libraries Day . This event is devoted to all types of libraries, libraries users, staff and supporters across the UK. For more information see the website

Information literacy meets E-learning: Let’s talk about interconnections and outcomes: deadline extended

The Call for papers for IFLA Information Literacy Section and E-learning Special Interest Group Joint Open Session is extended.This is a session at the IFLA conference to be held in Helsinki, Finland, 11-17 August 2012. The new deadline for proposals is 15 February 2012.

LOEX Annual Conference registration open

Registration open 10 February 2012
3-5 May, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Registration for the LOEX (information literacy) conference will open February 10, 2012 at 1PM USA Eastern time. 

For more information visit  www loexconference.org

Alaska Library Association Annual Conference

23-26 February, 2012
Fairbanks, Alaska

The deadline for AKLA 2012 program proposals has passed. There’s a wonderful variety of proposals covering a wide range of topics and we can look forward to a busy conference. The Conference Committee is working on the program schedule and will let you know the status of the proposal as soon as possible.

For more information, please contact Diane Ruess, deruess@alaska.edu

EMMILE in Libraries (and beyond)- European Meeting on Media and Information Literacy Education

27-29 February, 2012
Palazzo Lombardia, Milan, Italy

EMMILE in Libraries (and beyond)" / is a joint conference for three days, through a combined set of initiatives - organized thanks to the collaboration of IASL, SLRC IFLA / IL, AIB, AIB Lombardy, Lombardy Region, School Office of Lombardy, Goethe-InstitutMail and - with the collaboration of European projects and EMPATIC NECOBELAC, aims to explore the theoretical and practical training in information literacy and media in different contexts. Plenary sessions, workshop activities, visits to libraries, the MIL curriculum UNESCO for school teachers and the day of EMPATIC Project on information literacy in education are part of the intensive program of work.

Conference Chair: Dr Luisa Marquardt- Contact : marquardt@uniroma3.it ; emmile.2012@gmail.com

Information for Civic Literacy: call for papers

08-10 August 2012
Riga, Latvia

An IFLA pre-conference, taking place 8-10 August 2012 in Riga, Latvia, is Information for Civic Literacy . It is organised by the Access to Information Network - Africa (ATINA) & Information Literacy Section & Africa Section of IFLA. It is hosted by the Riga Central Library and the National Library of Latvia, in collaboration with the Education, Culture and Sports Department of the Riga City Council. The conference "will explore the role of information professionals, educators and public actors in promoting civic literacy and informed public choices by citizens.

Special areas of interest to the conference include the development of civic literacy in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, as well as increasing professional and public awareness of information control and manipulation in the Western democracies.

Proposals for papers should be submitted by e-mail (subject line "Riga 2012 proposal"), deadline 15 March 2012, sent to Frank Kirkwood , copied to Denise Rosemary Nicholson , Antonin Benoît Diouf , Dalia Naujokaitis , Franziska Wein  .

View  online conference registration form and other detailed information.

The Missing Link: making the connection between information literacy and an excellent student experience

19 March 2012
 Birminghan, UK

On 19 March 2012, Birmingham City University Library and Learning Resources has a conference on its City South Campus, Birmingham, UK: The Missing Link: making the connection between information literacy and an excellent student experience."This conference is for you if you are interested in Information Literacy and if you would like to take advantage of some professional networking opportunities. The presentations and workshops/seminars will be focussing around the three themes of the conference: Inspirations, Innovations and Collaboration. The speakers are practitioners in the field of Information Literacy or actively involved in student learning. They will be presenting their experiences on the various projects and collaborative efforts they have been involved in and will also be sharing with you some of their inspiring and innovative ideas."

View more information  or email libraryConferences@bcu.ac.uk

LibTeachMeet organised CILIP Sussex

20 March 2012
Brighton, UK

On Tuesday 20 March 5.30-7.30 there is a TeachMeet organised by CILIP Sussex. The venue is the Audrey Emerton Building, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK. They are looking for speakers willing to give a 5 minute or 2 minute presentation on the topic of Outreach, Marketing and Promotion .

Sign up if you are interested in attending.

For more information visit the website

Developing your teaching skills

23 March 2012
Cambridge University Library, UK

A CILIP Career Development Group East of England Division event: Developing your teaching skills ; 23rd March 2012 (afternoon); Cambridge University Library, UK. "Take your teaching skills to the next level with this stimulating half-day event. This participative course provides the opportunity to share teaching experiences, develops kills, and ensure you meet users' learning needs" 

Talks include:

  • adapting your teaching to fit different learning styles  (by Suzanne Griffiths and Clare Humphries, University of Cranfield)
  • engaging users with interactive teaching sessions using the Cephalonian Method  (by Isla Kuhn and Clair Castle, University of Cambridge)
  • developing practical teaching skills  (by Chris Powis, University of Northampton)
  • sharing best practice  (byJoHarcus, Cambridge Librarian TeachMeet Team)

CDG members earlybird special payable by 29 February: £20 + VAT = £24
Cost: CDG members: £25 + VAT = £30
Non CDG members: £30 + VAT = £36

For more information or to book a place email kathy.teague@rnib.org.uk

WILU registration open


23-25 May 2012
Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada

The WILU 2012  (Canadian information literacy) conference is open for registration. It will be held at Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada, May 23-25 2012. Keynotes include Michael Eisenberg and Adria Vasil. Registration closes on May 7, 2012.

For more information see the website

LOEX of the West 2012 registration opens 26th March

6-8 June, 2012
Woodbury, University in Burbank, California, USA.

Registration for the LOEX of the West 2012 Conference (at Woodbury University in Burbank, California, USA, June 6-8, 2012) opens at 9am Pacific time (5pm UK time) on March 26th. The theme is: Creative Landscapes: Information Literacy for all Terrains.  Esther Grassian is the keynote speaker talking on Occupy Their Minds! The Politics of Information Literacy.

For more information visit the website