Happy new year!

2020 arrived, and after a slightly longer Christmas holiday than usual, it was a little hard to get everything in our daily lives rolling again. But – after a few days we were back on track.

In 2019 I had 11 postings on this blog, and 11 (oddly enough) on my Norwegian blog. I posted my remarks and notes from the excellent LOEX conference I attended in Minneapolis in May, and I wrote a couple of posts about teaching and stuff I read. The frequency of my blogging is a little up and down, but I write when I feel like it and have something to say – not just to keep the number of blog posts up.

I don’t have New Years resolutions, but I believe in small, incremental improvements in life – like reading something new, writing a letter (not just a text) to an old friend, going for a walk more often and being kinder to my self (i.e. not always focussing on all the things I didn’t do that day). This year, I’ll take a credit bearing class for the first time in a few years, and I look forward to it – and dreading it all at once. It looks like a very interesting course, and if I can pull it off I think it will be of use to me. The course is called Science and the media, and is a part of the Master’s program in Journalism at Oslomet university. The course examines the relationship between academia and the media, and it is certainly very relevant to the communications part of my job at the library.

Taking a credit bearing course will give me the opportunity (and mild pressure) to read something new to me, and outside the library field. That also means that I have to put a pin in the rest of my reading this spring. I’ll be lucky to get through the required reading list of my course, and it is with a bit of a heavy heart and a slight sigh that I realise I have no chance of getting through this stuff (see image) this spring. Well – it’ll just have to wait. And it will be all the sweeter when I get to it later. 🙂


Pile of interesting books on teaching that I will have to save for later.

Reading and thinking

I am having a rather unusual week this week. About five months ago I looked yet again at the rising pile of books and journal articles balancing on the edge of my desk in my office, and sighed because I never seem to get to really go into them. I decided to clear a week in November (generally a little less traffic in my office), to save up some of my dedicated research time, and to plan to read. And boy – have I read! My eyes are red, my fingers are numb with note-taking (I know, old-school). It has so far been wonderful to really dig in.

I almost always have to write to understand what I have read, and I write to organise my thoughts. Most of the blogging about the specific items I have sunk my teeth into will be written about on my Norwegian blog, but I thought I’d share something here, too.

These past years, I have been thinking a lot about standardising information literacy courses. I have thought a lot about pros and cons to these ideas, but I am interested in frameworks as maybe a good way to go. I have been digging into the ACLR Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education in particular, and I have been writing about it here and there for a couple of years. One of the criticisms toward this framework has been that it is difficult to understand, and much less concrete than the previous ACRL Standards that were widely used in the US. I have been having some difficulties, too. But as I have read more, I am starting to connect more dots.

I have been reading “The Intersection. Where evidence based nursing and information literacy meet” and “The no-nonsense guide to training in libraries” this week. Earlier this year I read more about Paulo Freire and his “Pedagogy of the oppressed”, a classic within critical pedagogy. I also read Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science, an excellent book, btw. If I am trying to connect some ideas together here, it becomes a bit of a pattern. “The Intersection” forced me to think more clearly about the overlap between evidence-based practice (EBP) and information literacy (IL). A big part of IL is to be able to get information and to know what to do with it. That is also a part of “Bad Science”. “The no-nonsense guide” gives you an idea on how to teach IL to a public that may or may not know much about IL, or even to be aware that they do not have enough skills in this field. In “The no-nonsense guide” I got a reminder to use different activities to aid the learning process of a spectre of students, and very practical tips on group work (for example). This goes well with Paulo Freire’s ideas on better power distribution to aid deep learning. And all of these ideas can be found in the ACRL Framework. In “Bad Science” and “The Intersection” I am reminded that authority is not enough to understand the quality of a work. This is a big part of the frame “Authority is constructed and contextual”. Including the student in group discussions is empasised in both “The no-nonsense guide”, “The Intersection” and in the frame “Scholarship as Conversation”.

Learning theories and the whole pedagogy field is a messy affair, with lots of theories pointing in different directions. I still love it.

Reference list:

Allan, B. (2013) The no-nonsense guide to training in libraries. London: Facet Publishing.

Association of College & Research Libraries (2015) Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Available from: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.

Goldacre, B. (2008) Bad science. London: Fourth Estate.

Phelps, S. F., Hyde, L. og Wolf, J. P. (2018) The intersection : where evidence based nursing and information literacy meet. Cambridge, MA, United States: Chandos Publishing, an imprint of Elsevier.


The books I am attacking this week:)

Some new research methodology books for librarians

review bøker bilde

My concentration is failing today, so instead of doing what I ought to do, namely reading some articles for my motivations study (oh, the irony), I am writing about some of the books I should have spent time on. It`s Friday afternoon, after all..

So, anyway..

Systematic reviews are popular with particularly the Institute for health sciences here at the university. So I thought I should really do one to gain a better understanding of the process and procedures to follow. One of the books I am looking into is a book called “Assembling the pieces of a systematic review: a guide for librarians” by Margaret J. Foster and Sarah T. Jewell (eds.). It is a very well-structured book with chapters covering everything step-by-step from what a systematic review is to summarising. The main points, such as asking good questions, designing a search strategy etc seems very well explained, and in orderly charts and tables, just as we librarians like it.

The next book I am going to dive into is “Systematic approaches to a successful literature review” (2nd ed.) by Andrew Booth, Anthea Sutton and Diana Papaioannou. This book is covering much of the same (of course), but does not look at it from a librarian`s point of view, but rather the scholars. It`ll be interesting to compare them.

The final book is one that I am embarrased to say have been on my desk for at least two months without being opened. It is not one of those books you read from A-Z, but rather a book to dive into when needed. It`s called: “Research methods in Library and Information Science” (6th ed) by Lynn S. Connaway and Marie L. Radford. I am particularly interested in the parts on grounded theory since I am looking into doing a study using that methodology, but I`ll certainly also be looking at their chapter on ethnographic approaces to qualitative data, which I find very interesting.

But before I really sink my teeth into any of these, I am going to have a weekend off, I think. Perhaps it will make me ready for articles on motivation on Monday morning. Have a nice weekend!

Journal of Information Literacy anniversary issue


I`m as happy as this girl right now:) (colourbox.com)

One of my favourite academic journals, Journal of Information Literacy (JIL), just celebrated its 10th anniversary, and took the opportunity to publish a special issue (vol 11, issue 1) with lots of great articles from some of the most well-known IL experts in the world.  I have already downloaded several, and I can`t wait to dive into them.

Amongst the authors are some of my absolute favourites, like James Elmborg, Sheila Webber, Bill Johnston, Sharon Markless, David Streatfield, Annamaree Lloyd and Alison J. Head. Even Christine Bruce has co-authored an article. I also had the pleasure of hearing Barbara Fister at LILAC (conference) once, and I can`t wait to read her article. It really is an amazing issue, with all these heavyweights in place.

Thank you, JIL!

So many articles – so little time

Businessman climbing the stairs to the success of knowledge

Illustration: colourbox.com

I always like to start my week by looking through my rss feeds and having a look at some saved items in my reader. Sometimes, that is all I have time for – just registering that there is something interesting there – and then putting it aside for later. Sometimes, I have the opportunity to look through things a little more thoroughly  (=btw, the hardest word I know of to spell correctly in English).

Today was mostly a “look through briefly” kind of morning, but I thought I`d share a few tips here. Maybe that will motivate me to look through more later tonight?

I haven`t read these articles, but I looked at some of the abstracts. Many of them are presentations from Creating Knowledge VIII, a conference that took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 2016. The abstracts and (some) papers were published in the latest edition of NORIL.

There were also some presentations from LILAC17 that were held last week in Swansea, UK.

If you are interested in information literacy (who could not be? :), and do not already follow Sheila Webber`s blog, you should consider putting it on your rss feed. Webber updates regularly, and often live blogs from conferences, so it is well worth taking a look at her blog.

Anyway, here are some items on my reading list for this spring: 

From Nordic Journal of Information Literacy 2016 8(1), special issue:

Eriksson, F. (2016) Constructive Alignment as a Means to Establish Information Literacy in the Curriculum.

Webber, S. (2016) Teaching the Next Generation of Information Literacy Educators: Pedagogy and Learning

Head, A. J. (2016) “What Today’s University Students Have Taught Us”

Nierenberg, E. (2016) How Much Do Nursing and Teacher Education Students in Norway Learn about Information Literacy in Their First Months of Higher Education?

Various items from LILAC17:

I would have loved to see this poster:

White, J. & Ball, C. ‘So you didn’t get your Hogwarts letter…’ Engaging muggles in the library experience (poster).

Will be watching Alan Carbery`s LILAC17 keynote, available here: https://videostream.swan.ac.uk/contentglobal/9231_4p~QjzwupJp.mp4

From ACRL17:

James, H. G. and Gibes, E. A.: Embracing Threshold Concepts: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Framework

DeSanto, D. and Harrington, S. Harnessing the Intersections of Writing and Information Literacy

Grant, R., Haywood, F. and Casper, D. The Proof is in the Worksheets: Tying Library Instruction Assessment to ACRL Information Literacy Standards

Gessner, G. C. , Eldermire, E. ,Tang, N. and Tancheva, K. The Research Lifecycle and the Future of Research Libraries: A Library of Apps

Well, I doubt that I`ll be able to read and watch all of this content this spring, but I will do my best to get through abstracts and bibliographies at least.

Teaching Information Literacy Reframed

teaching information literacy reframed

Teaching Information Literacy Reframed

I have been working on a small project recently. I think it`s about time that librarians in Norway discuss whether or not we should try to use a standard or a framework in our information literacy classes, and I have been working on translating the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education to Norwegian and tried to see if I could somehow find some practical uses, through describing learning outcomes and learning activities to match them.

The framework itself is conceptual and quite hard to understand, and I came across a great book that I would like to recommend to those who seek to understand the framework. It`s called “Teaching Information Literacy Reframed: 50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners” and is written by Joanna M. Burkhardt.

Burkhardt has analysed the six frames in the ACRL framework and has tried to find leaning activities to match them. The activities themselves are perhaps not easy to use in Norway, as quite a few of them are very adapted to American society and history, but as inspiration they are great. In my little project, I could not use any of the activities from the book directly, but they made me think more broadly on the subjects and activities that better match the classes that I teach. Many of the activities described in the book are perhaps easier to use in classrooms and smaller groups, rather than in a lecture hall, but maybe one could use this book together with the ideas of a book that I have written about before: “Hvordan engasjere studentene” [How to engage students]? Using ideas from both books might work in lectures. 🙂

Anyway – I`m often impressed by how much interesting and good literature there really is about teaching information literacy. Now if we could only take the time to read and to discuss the ideas with other teaching librarians we could make some real changes..

On my reading list

Books in a pileIt`s been quite a semester with lots, lots, lots to do. Being one short on the staff side makes a lot of difference, of course, and I have been running around the place even more than before, but now that we are expecting our replacement (new librarian arrives on Monday – yay!) I hope that I`ll get a chance to blog more (haven`t been blogging here since August – weird) and to catch up on my reading. I have been reading some very interesting articles on faculty-library collaboration, and I would like to recommend Li Wang`s (2011) article on team-teaching (and more). I found it very useful. Monroe-Gulic, O`Brian and White`s (2013) article on librarians as research partners is also worth the time.

I have so many interesting things on my reading list now, and I really want to get started soon. I am particularly looking forward to Ragains (2013), Pickard and Childs (2013), Bradley (2013) and Markless and Streatfield (2013). There are so many things going on in the profession, and I find it a little hard to stay on top of things, but by choosing teaching as my main area of interest it gets a little easier.

Bradley, P. (2013) Expert internet searching. London: Facet.

Markless, S. og D. Streatfield (2012) Evaluating the impact of your library. London: Facet.

Monroe-Gulick, A., M. O’Brien og G. White (2013) Librarians as Partners: Moving from Research Supporters to Research Partners.

Pickard, A. J. og S. Childs (2013) Research methods in information. London: Facet.

Ragains, P. (2013) Information literacy instruction that works: a guide to teaching by discipline and student population. Chicago: Neal-Schuman.

Wang, L. (2011) An information literacy integration model and its application in higher education. I: Reference Services Review, 39(4), s. 703-720.

Books that I have read

I came across this list from the BBC today (it was published a long time ago, I think) over books one should have read.

According to the BBC, the average person has only read about 6 of the 100 books. The idea is to paste the list, bold the books that you have read, italic the books you have started, but not finished, and leave the rest.

It was fun, and I now have a better idea on where to start the next time I am rummaging around in a flea market or on Amazon:)

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zifon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factoy – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

So – 22 for my part. Happy to say it is over average, but still.. lots to go. Phuh.. I am glad:)

Embedded librarianship

Bilde av bøkene jeg skal lese The pile of books that I should have read is now on the verge of toppling over. There hasn`t been much time for reading up on academic texts lately. And the books all seem so interesting that I have not the heart to return them unread either.

But today I got started on “Embedded librarians: moving beyond one-shot instruction” and it is very promising. This is a subject that is of great interest to me, and on one of the first pages I came across this defintion:

[Embedded librarianship involves]“… focusing on the needs of one or more specific groups, building relationships with these groups, developing a deep understanding of their work, and providing information services that are highly customized and targeted to their greatest needs. It involves shifting the model from transactional to high trust, close collaboration, and shared responsibility of outcomes. In order for an embedded librarian to achieve these goals, there must also be some long term planning between the customer and the librarian”  (Brower 2011, p. 3)

This is a pretty tall order for any academic librarian in a small academic library like ours, but I do think the principles should be followed. I look forward to the rest of the book – and the rest on my reading list.

Brower, M. (2011). A Recent History of Embedded Librarianship: Collaboration and Partnership Building with Academics in Learning and Research Environments In: Kvenild, C. and Calkins, K. (2011) Embedded librarians: Moving beyond one-shot instruction. Chicago : Association of College and Research Libraries