LILAC, thoughts and reflections

I attended the Librarians Information Literacy Conference at University College Dublin, from Monday 21-Wednesday 23 March 2016. I presented, alongside my colleague Andrew Walsh, on the collaborative workshops on various information and academic skills we are currently conducting within my School at the University of Huddersfield.

These are my reflections from the conference; they are not an exhaustive list as many thoughts will have come and gone throughout the three (long) days. Throughout the conference I kept a video diary, which you can watch on my YouTube Channel, giving more of a ‘as and when’ flavour of my thoughts and feelings throughout the conference.

Day One

I attended four parallel sessions, presented at one, and one keynote.

My take-homes for this day were mostly playfulness-related. The keynote was a highlight as it got us running around, however owing to being a swot I volunteered myself to play, and was also sat near the front. Did any of the vibes I encountered below transmit themselves all the way to the top of the room?

The thing I’m going to nick –  using music videos in helping students think about key concepts and keywords/synonyms-adapted from the talk by Eileen Wright.

The thing I’m going to do more of – creating places to ‘fail safely’ is obviously a Biggie, and I think may help with library anxiety. Suggestions on a postcard please.

The thing I’m going to read up on – ethnographic studies of library use and how to think critically about spaces. The talk by the LIU librarians was my highlight of the day in terms of making me think about Future Practice.

Day Two

I attended two parallel sessions, one keynote, and the Lagadothon

The Lagadothon was a brilliant idea and I thought all the ideas were very well thought out and presented. Going to think of something that doesn’t just involve post-its and hope to put in to it for next year.

Today got me thinking about reflective practice, information privilege (and privilege in general) and teaching ‘for the moment’ as well as thinking about The Big Picture-am I responding to the needs of the class in front of me rather than to some big theoretical ideal in my head. The keynote, Char Booth, was excellent, mostly because of her exceptionally polished performance and presence in the room. On reflection much of what she said I already at least attempt to do….however…

The thing I’m going to nick – thinking about reading in terms of how many students see it- a chore. This comes from Pamela Kessinger’s session on reading critically and reading aloud and making observations as you do so on how that makes you feel/the process you are going through-may do a vid on this in the future.

The thing I’m going to do more of –  three question reflection, and trying to be more ‘Mindful’ (hate that word, soz, brings me out in hives) in the classroom.

The thing I’m going to read up on –as m’colleague handily checked, we have three copies of Char’s book in my library (love the wonders of modern day technology, can you imagine reserving a book written by the person you were watching speak, whilst they were speaking, seamlessly, using your phone, ten years ago?) so shall be getting that out for Summer Reading.

Day Three

I attended two parallels and one keynote and drank about a litre of Club Orange. The Temple Bar is Strong in This One.

I was, to be honest, a tired a grumpy mare for most of this day, which started with me getting all ranty about power and gender and its role in information source selection, and ended up with me sitting behind a stag do on the flight home.

The thing I’m going to nick – encouraging my (mostly women-School of Education, innit) learners to take intellectual risks – through teaching them easy and quick methods of evaluating sources so that they don’t worry so much about what they’re including. And getting in on this from Day One.

The thing I’m going to do more of –  assess my digital capabilities and actually use tools such as our VLE to their full extent-which I am very guilty of not doing.

The thing I’m going to read up on – aside from Word for Dummies, I’m going to have another look at the FASCINATING statistics from the content filtering in public libraries research Daniel Payne presented and look for some individual stories I could possibly flesh out and turn into some sort of book. Because I think that would be an interesting project. Anyone fancy joining in on that one for funsies, not for any higher intellectual purpose?

And those were my thoughts.

Other reflections

  • I am really really rubbish at visual note taking. This is something I was trying out as a result of seeing lots of folks talk about it on the Twitters, and watching some lovely vids. I also did a mindmapping workshop a few months ago that stressed the importance of visual clues to memory and got me all excited about colouring in and felt tip pens. However, my notes ended up looking like this…

…and I have no idea what any of this means…

  • I do, however, LOVE making video diaries. And seeing as YouTube is the second most popular learning tool after Google for many many students I am going to continue to do so.
  • Conferences are a zillion times better when you know other people! The first time I went to LILAC two years ago I MET a lot of lovely folk, however this time I felt so much more confident in approaching people as I already knew some and in fact traveled with colleagues and presented with them. Conferences are sociable events and I can understand how bloody difficult it must be for anyone with social anxiety-could there have been more support for folks like this? Not for me to answer as doesn’t apply to me, but maybe something to think about in conferences I help run in the future.

Here is the marvelous Woodsie and me in our corporate sponsored hats and beards. Conference dinner photos are best left elsewhere on the net, but we all had a lovely time…

me laura lilac


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