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(I dream of) LILAC Time* – Reflections on the Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference 2012

Posted by LibeRaCe on April 25, 2012

It’s been a few weeks since WILP project officer Gina attended the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference – LILAC 2012 to showcase the new WILP Employability Infographic developed in Phase 2 of the project. We’ve been digesting all the information that Gina gathered at the conference (and the fudge, thanks!) to see how the seminars and best practice examples shared on the day could inform our approach to the project objectives. As we are still in the very early stages of Phase III, we feel it is important to reflect on  current trends and developments and how they relate to project actions. The scope and range of speeches and seminars available further highlighted the diverse behaviours and skills that developing IL competencies can influence:

Employability skills I CPD I Social Mobility I Enterprise

Creative Problem Solving I Critical Thinking I Collaboration I Communication

Diversity I Citizenship

Engagement I Attainment I Positive Attitude

Mike Mannion (in his keynote address) stressed the importance of “embedding IL within the curriculum” for its impact to be truly felt – this will be an important aspect of Objective 2 of the project. The majority of presenters highlighted the need for institution-wide change to adopt IL practices, so the advocacy and stakeholder networks we support will be crucial to reaching key influencers for each project theme – public libraries, schools and employers.

There was great interest in the WILP poster and the employability aspect of the project – crucially, asking how successful it was. One clear cross-cutting theme throughout the conference was that of collating EVIDENCE of IMPACT – is this being recorded? Can it be measured? Is your service able to ‘prove’ any positive influence on user or staff behaviour/attainment due to IL activities? While the project team are IL advocates, here to facilitate individuals and organisations to adopt and embed Information Literacy activities – we also need to be mindful of opportunities to measure the tangible successes of this approach. It was further noted that the Public Library and Schools sectors seemed to be under-represented at the conference (or is this a true reflection on current IL activities throughout the UK?), with the majority of participants coming from a HE background. The WILP Phase III is seeking to engage with both the Public Library and Schools sectors to support the development IL activities through advocacy and accredited training – could our achievements be measured in increased representatives from those sectors next year maybe?

If, like us, you were unable to attend the full three day event, you can now see all of the presentations from LILAC12 online and check out what attendees where talking about by searching for #lilac12 on Twitter.

– WILP Project Team can be contacted at wilp@llandrillo.ac.uk or (oi492) 542342 or  @welsh_info_lit on Twitter

* Post title from a gem of a song by Gene Austin “Jeannine,I dream of Lilac Time”(1928).

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