LILAC15: day 3

Barbara Fister

Barbara Fister`s keynote

Even though I had enjoyed 7 hours of good sleep (total bliss), my head still felt a little muddled after two days of continuous input. (Images of empty wine bottles and rumours of karaoke bars explained some of the long faces I saw at the coffee table that morning☺) Still, I tried my best to keep my concentration and to take good notes from my sessions…

Academic Integrity

Clare McCluskey and Victoria Watt from York St. John University had started a module on academic integrity, emphasising anti-plagiarism. This was done after teachers expressed concern about the number of plagiarism cases. The module was based on SMILE – an online course in writing skills integrated at the university in 2012. The module developed by the library was designed to be flexible, and the students could choose which lessons to take, which tasks to do etc. The module was constructed around three main parts: Avoiding plagiarism, collusion and self-plagiarism. The teachers in the physiotherapy department wanted workshops in addition to the module, and McCluskey redesigned the module to make it more interactive (with self-tests etc). They have also added more graphics (music, images etc.) to make students realise what they can and cannot do.

They are still working on integrating this module and working on who should administer this module etc. Imperial college has just launched something similar, and perhaps lessons could be learned from them, too…? The initiative for this module at York St.John came from the Academic Integrity Group, and maybe they will have a role in the administration of the module, McCluskey and Watt concluded.


Karina Bradshaw from University of Bath talked about how the library has contributed with a session within a course on Cancer genes and development. The session included information on how to search for literature on the topic, and the session was placed right after the introductory sessions on how to use FutureLearn (MOOC platform used at the University of Bath). Bradshaw used Camtasia studios to record her Powerpoint and add the voice-over, and she used 2-3 days to complete the work on the session. Bradshaw found it challenging to work with this kind of teaching because you have to make it understandable to people of many different cultures, educational backgrounds, and people who do not have English as a first language. Still, Bradshaw also found that working with MOOCS meant that she could reach more people, and after some initial negative remarks on technical quality (sound etc) most people were satisfied with the session. 90 percent of those who entered the library session, completed it.

Keynote: The liminal library (Barbara Fister)

Students are “cherry-picking” information from sources, preferably from the first few pages. They use far too many quotations and are not good at drawing their own conclusions. We are embedded in the subject disciplines now, Fister said, and therefore we need to understand Threshold Concepts (TC).

Fister presented findings from the work done with the new ACRL framework, and two concepts that quickly emerged were Threshold Concepts and Metaliteracy. Fister also talked about the libraries as “liminal spaces” and talked about some of the same ideas as Ray Land presented in his keynote on day 1.

There is now a new definition on information literacy:
Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.(Association of College & Research Libraries 2015)

The old one was made in a time when librarians were trying to define themselves as scholars in teaching. The new one is richer in meaning, said Fister. Still, we cannot make students information literate, Fister continued. They can only achieve that by doing the work themselves. It is also much more interesting for students to be able to create their own knowledge in stead of having it handed to them. First-year students are both overwhelmed AND excited when they receive a new paper, according to Alison Head (2013).

We need to be more involved, finished Fister. It is not enough to get in with small fragments here and there in a casual manner. We need to use our time and skills to train the teachers so that they can train their peers and their students. We have to give teachers the opportunity to share their experiences in IL training, too, so that they can be more involved and included.

After lunch there were two more sessions, but my head was full and I had to leave for the airport, too. I went home so full of ideas and inspiration that I wrote most of my conference report (to be published in ”Bibliotekaren” – the journal from the library union) on the flight back to Oslo. Today, I have relieved some great moments at this conference and I had fun looking through my notes as I was blogging. I know these blogposts became very (!) long, but I hope that they`ll serve as an inspiration to others and as a reminder to myself. I really hope I get the chance to go to Dublin next year for LILAC 16. And to my fellow delegates: Thank you, all you lovely people! You inspire me!


Association of College & Research Libraries (2015) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. [online] ACRL. URL:

Head, A. J. (2013) Learning the ropes: How freshmen conduct course research once they enter college. [online]. URL: (07.02.2014).

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