Snippets from our LILAC diaries

The Cambridge contingent at LILAC was HUGE this year – we had fun, we talked, we ate lots of cake and we learnt one or two things as well. Impressions of LILAC from attendees ranged widely:

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  • The profoundly situated, contextual and iterative nature of information literacy. Also how embodied the process is, posing interesting challenges for teaching it! How teaching practices are always evolving – you never actually arrive at being an expert teacher! How widely the term ‘community of practice’ is used and how little uniformity there is in its meaning and application.
  • Being at LILAC gave me the opportunity to spend much longer with my Cambridge colleagues and get to know them better. Usually I only see colleagues from other libraries at meetings and there is very little time to get to know them. I also found it useful talking to people from other sectors of librarianship such as schools and public libraries and learning about how Information Literacy is incorporated into their roles.
  • What LILAC reinforced to me is how everything we do in relation to information literacy comes down to communication. If we are to teach and support information literacy effectively, we must begin with these two basic questions: what am I trying to communicate, and how will I most effectively communicate it. Everything I learnt from LILAC – whether it was innovative teaching techniques, the right terminology to use when explaining information literacy to non-librarians, or big questions about inequality, privilege and authority – comes back to that central theme of communication. More here.
  • With my CILN hat on, it was helpful to hear about how other HE institutions have worked towards embedding understandings and applications of information literacy – it made me think we were doing pretty well, all things considered! Speaking more personally, I loved the sessions I went to on critical pedagogy and am really excited about trying out some of the ideas that were shared in our dissertation workshops later this month.
  • What seemed to be the overriding theme for me was letting go of your power as a teacher. Our students have plenty to bring to the table, and giving them the space to allow students to learn from each other, is something I think I don’t do enough. And this would be awesome in Cambridge. Being on the committee is brilliant, and I met so many more people than I probably would have as a delegate. And it was nice to be remembered by so many of the CILN Forum people. ( Emma Etteridge)
  • It opened my eyes to the wider meaning of info lit – the social justice issues covered by Sandeep Mahal’s keynote and the importance of health literacy in Ruth Carlyle’s keynote. I liked the idea of Teach Back that Ruth mentioned & can see how that would be really useful in our IL sessions here in the Faculty to establish understanding.
  • Reminder of how crucial it is to have parity across library ‘offer’. What can Cambridge libraries confidently tell ALL students they should expect from us? We have a unique position in Cambridge to offer a consistent, equitable and inclusive IL offer. Challenge – can we write 2 or 3 statements about what we, as a community, will commit to offering. Could we create a ‘handbook’ for the CILN Framework in practice which is embedded in every course curriculum?reid tweet
  • It is important to consider the pathway that users will take through an online resource such CamGuides. We have designed the undergraduate resource so that there is no set pathway (as with the Masters resource) but we need to consider whether students will feel comfortable finding their own pathway, with nothing to guide them through their learning. For the undergraduate resource we could consider giving a “suggested route”, if feedback during the review of the resource indicates that this would be useful.
  • Meeting and hearing from a wide range of attendees and speakers from a variety of sectors provided an opportunity to consider my role in higher education in the broader context of the role of librarians, libraries and information literacy in society.
  • And didn’t we do well with our nomination for CamGuides for the Digital Award!tweet re camguides runner up_1



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