I was fortunate this year to have the opportunity to attend LILAC 2017 in Swansea in April. LILAC is the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference which is a 3 day event which attracts national and international delegates. There are keynotes, workshops, presentations and networking opportunities on many different aspects of information literacy.
In my free time, I love taking photographs and reflecting on scenery and Swansea was a great place to do this. I went down to the marina on my first evening as the sun was setting and then the conference itself took place at the lovely Swansea University Bay campus.
Swansea Marina & Swansea Bay
I was really pleased to be able to discuss the findings of my recent MA in Academic Practice research which examined the digital literacy (use of digital tools and application of skills) of doctoral students with some colleagues.
My presentation can be found here
I have shared some of our discussion comments on Padlet.
I am also hoping this may lead to some future collaborative opportunities.
One thing which stuck me in particular about the conference was that delegates really care about what they do and they want to make a difference in supporting the learning, teaching and research of others. Also colleagues are generous in sharing their knowledge, skills and experience. This came through in the keynote addresses, for example that of Barbara Allan who spoke of her personal experiences of her career and becoming a senior manager and also of how to influence leaders and managers beyond library and information services. The take home message is be passionate and care about what you do and use both formal and informal opportunities to promote the value of your work and projects. Also, it is important to have success measures for assessing your project outcomes.
Some ideas I have to think about:
- Use Mentimeter to obtain feedback and voting during presentations, use Padlet to obtain post it note feedback or to gather questions.
- Some presenters spoke of making quick, low tech videos to answer enquiries or FAQs.
- Success in holding an event may take a lot of work but may generate a reputation and lead to future opportunities.
- Induction ideas such as augmented reality treasure hunts and team quizzes.
- Master classes to showcase dissertation research skills.
- Research based practice can be useful in experiencing the challenges of conducting research and increase empathy with students.
- Making it easier to find information that is high quality rather than just good enough.
After a busy conference programme, there was also the opportunity to enjoy some culture and a feast at the fine Brangwyn Hall
Overall, I have met some great people and while I think it is challenging to create and develop information literacy training and resources, it is the process of trying out new things and learning from and sharing with each other which is important. I also learned a few words of Welsh, Prifysgol Abertawe = Swansea University. I’m grateful to the LILAC Conference Committee and to my Library Leadership Team at CityLibrary for the opportunity to attend LILAC 2017.
Diane Bell, Research Librarian, City, University of London.