Memories of ECIL 2017

Disclaimer: this is my personal blog. It’s my digital stream of (un)consciousness, my on-line wearing of mountain-bike shoes with rainbow laces, lycra, colourful buffs (headscarfs) and whatever else I like, where I can be the aging and raging hippie that I really am, and where my vegan cyclopath tendency raises bidigital salutes to the nonsense that today’s world imposes on the vast majority.

OK, with that out of the way (along with admitting that I wear buffs and rainbow laces almost all the time), here’s my patchwork-zeitgeist of ECIL 2017. Patches are in roughly chronological order, and some are about specific individuals. You know who you are!


  • driven to Brodick
  • ferry to Ardrossan
  • train to Paisley
  • bus to Glasgow airport
  • delayed flight to Paris CDG
  • RER train to central Paris
  • walk to Montparnasse
  • train to Rennes
  • late train to St Malo
  • walk to hotel


  • SG asking if the future was predicted in Brave New World, Metropolis and 1984, and what information literacy offers the precariat (Part of his answer is that it may help alleviate the worst effects of the gig economy.), and reminding us that ~25% of the UK population has no digital skills.
  • AK asking are journalists are witnesses, educators or experts? I’d say they’re all three, depending on context, and sometimes they’re scumbags – and I’m a member of the National Union of Journalists.
  • 3-D posters!

  • BJ rightly condemning neoliberalism, and using the phrase deep shit in a formal presentation. SG commented (if I heard correctly) that there are nastier things than neoliberalism. That scares me!
  • Omani parliamentarians former rarely use social/digital.

    In a session on IL and democracy, some research into Parliamentarians’ Perceptions and Utilization of Information in the Social Media Environment showing similarities between Omani parliamentarians and Scottish community councillors. The former rarely use social/digital. Both populations seem to be more educated than their countries’ averages.

  • A key question posed by Düren, Landoy and Saarti: How can libraries, an a squeeze between the demands for better services, find a way to train citizens in information literacy? I’m looking forward to reading the paper and finding out, but I read their concluding slide as ‘If you cut funds too far, bad things happen!’
  • GO and colleagues’ work on internet access in Brazil highlighting gender and racial inequalities, lack of IT kit. I ask: why does the world still suck in these horrible ways?
  • Social living labs to change contexts and workplaces. They’re about co-design/DIY around everyday problems, and informed learning.
  • OpenMolar!
  •, http://www.izi.dehabitus, and Bandura’s social learning theory/social cognitive theory are just a few things I need to learn more about.
  • Some slightly scary results about lack of research skills in the legal profession. Some participants in this research had no training on how to find relevant information.
  • Some work by HY and MH about information literacy in Australian politicians that sounds very relevant to our work.
  • Buying insulation tape to hold my slaptop’s power cable together


  • AW’s Lessons from the Borg Cube. Lesson 1 appeared to be Brexit pisses me off.
    • Drew, you’re far from alone. As an Austrian researcher I met later put it, Brexit is worse than Trump. He will be gone after 4 years, but Brexit will last forever. But if Trump and Kim keep on their current path, we’re not going to be around in 4 years’ time. Two buttocks of one bum, as far as I’m concerned..
    • A lot of AW’s talk centred on David Harvey‘s Justice, nature and the geography of difference (1996), and turning ‘spaces’ into ‘places’, where things actually happen.
    • Information literacy is always political, if I’ve understood AW correctly. It challenges the status quo, and liberates and empowers. I like this!
  • And, as if just to prove that, one of the following talks mentioned how libraries can set up websites to help people with their financial literacies, and so not get into such deep shit money-wise!
  • In case I garbled my presentation, here’s the slides on Hazel Hall’s slideshare.
  • SK’s slides about IL and academic libraries as working places were illuminated with Pink Panther stills. More seriously, SK says cataloging isn’t static, it’s an intellectual process (i.e. one that can’t be benchmarked); it’s a random process, needing critical thinking.
  • Is life just a universal pain?

    Annie (and Genevieve and Zara) flipped my Lickerts – do I now have actionable data, or just pain to be assessed? Here’s a real example.

  • GO’s Flashbooks can promote books and enhance our understandings of them. If I’ve understood correctly, Flashbooks are crowd-sourced teaching notes in Facebook format.
  • from information literacy to innovation literacy

    Today’s final talk was on The Changes from IL education to Innovation Literacy Education: the case of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. This talk included the concept of innovation literacy.

Dinner and dancing

Another patchwork:

tourist information centre

St Malo walls

turbo toilet????

music (movie)

music (movie)

going into dinner

St malo streets

dancing (movie)


  • meeting many too many fine folk to list them all (Do I sound like Donald Trump there?)
  • dancing like a dervish with many of them
  • If the call is ‘Listen’, the response has to be ‘Poo-tee-weet?’
  • talking about PlattdütschBairisch and Wienerisch, and the sadness of brought up monolingual by bilingual parents. (I’m not the only one!)


  • forgetting to set my alarm
  • GS’s talk on why mathematics should never studied alone. ‘Should anything?’ I wonder. This one is for Elly, too. If I understood correctly, students learn better when they mentor – and this works especially for non-traditional/minority students. But I remember a televised Martin Luther saying ‘I wanted to learn, so I became a teacher.’ Plus ça change?
  • A way to assess teaching: ask the students to
    • state one thing you learnt
    • state one thing you wish had been covered
    • state one thing you are still unclear about.
  • Workplace information literacy is not just about being able to Google.
  • The Information Literacy Self-Efficacy scale might be useful to my work – how well do community councillors think they can work with information?
  • Concepts of trust
  • Open government in Australia: there are digitally literate government employees. That one’s for Elly, too, and for Leah‘s search for unicorns! (Not implying that either of these are digitally illiterate.)


  • Taxi to Dinard, talking about access to research data, the need for meta-data (and maybe meta-meta-data)
  • Flight to Stansted
  • meeting a vegan touring cyclist who’s just back from 3 weeks in Romania. Bad dose of frame-bag lust!
  • Flight to Edinburgh delayed by an hour – got back to my wonderful Elly well after 10pm



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.