Two conferences in Britain in a fortnight is hard work, especially with Easter and a few days back in Norway in between. But I am far from complaining. Both conferences were really good, and Britain is after all my favourite country to visit.
The reson for attending LILAC (Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) this year was that I gave a poster presentation together with my colleague, Torstein Låg. The presentation went well, I think, with quite a few attendants coming over to talk to us.
This was my first LILAC. For some strange reason, I've never been before, but I'll certainly do my best to come back. Since information literacy is one of my key fields of interest, this is really a useful conference. In adition to all the good talks, meeting so many like-minded people is really a value in itself. I particularly liked the focus on building up library competence in pedagogy, an issue which is not prioritised a lot where I work.
When looking at my notes, I see I attended 16 talks and presentations these 2.5 days. And almost all of them were interesting and well presented. I've struggled hard to pick out just a handful.
The first keynote speaker was Steve Wheeler who did an excellent job at getting our attention giving us an outline of what he called Learning 2.0: Digital pedagogy. Much of what he said about knowledge, libraries and transliteracy felt very relevant, but I wished for more depth in his presentation. (Which I suppose I can get my reading his texts.) (Video of the keynote will apparently be published on the LILAC web site.)
Lauren Smith's talk on critical information literacy was also very interesting, and I truly believe it is essential to adress the aspect of critical thinking to a much bigger extent than now when we teach students information literacy.
Andrew Walsh and Nicola Howorth gave an inspiring talk on their project '9 research things' directed at PhD-reasearchers. (I think.) Would very much have liked to try something similar back home! The same can be said for the induction activity 'Murder in the library', introduced to us by Olivia Else from the University of York. Maybe a bit too ambitious for a small university like mine, but absolutely worth having a look at.
Finally I have to mention Sheila Webber who gave (at least) two talks plus a poster presentation. Her enthusiasm made me very happy to be among the audience. I especially liked her talk about deep critical information behaviour. I found a lot of what she said about the library's interaction with users very to the point and relevant, for instance stop telling useres how easy everything is when we teach searching library resources etc.
The last name I want to mention is Lucy Collins, because she, and quite a few others, stressed the importance of us librarians taking some sort of graduate certificate in university teaching and learning. I think this is essential to raise the level of our IL teaching to a more theory based reflection on what it means to be information literate for today's students (and researchers).
There were a handful of other presenters I also liked a lot, and the fact that the list is longer than I have time to write about, is a good sign of the quality of LILAC 2013. I probably must bribe someone to get to visit LILAC 2014, but I will try anyway. (Or maybe I should write that it was an awful conference to make sure no one else from Tromsø wants to go there next year!)