LILAC: the view from a first‐timer Caroline De Brún MA DipLIS MCLIP Clinical Support Librarian, University College of London Research student, Coventry University Although I have attended many conferences, LILAC caught me by surprise. The passion, the excitement, the belief in their subject area, was exquisite. I have never been to a professional conference which was quite so energised and yet, comfortably informal. I felt so proud to be a part of this profession, where colleagues from all continents and sectors, enthusiastically gathered together to share their experiences, network, and learn. I attended the following parallel sessions: The roving librarian: keep taking the tablets, described how they used tablets to deliver library services in their university. This was really relevant to my current role as we are investigating how we can use tablets to deliver information skills to health professionals and medical students, and they shared a useful comparison of the iPad (Apple) with the Asus Eee Pad (Android). Reading lists – time for a reality check? was a project where the authors analysed what was on reading lists to see how accurate and relevant they were, and, as a result changed the design to make them more user‐friendly. This session made me realise how vital librarian liaison with faculty is for improving the overall student experience. Librarians and the teaching identity and “Real deal” information literacy were delivered by an American librarian, who focused on how to improve teaching and shared good ideas, such as the professional book club that that they have set up, where they spend work time reading professional books and then discussing how they can put their learning into practice. I thought this was a very manageable way to apply the evidence to improving practice. IL for research supervisors, suggested ways to raise awareness of library services, including “Mingling Mondays” where librarians go to places where supervisors meet, a great idea, because then you can teach them in surroundings they are familiar with. Embedded IL University programmes, described a successful collaborative model between faculty and librarians in Sweden, where academic directors review the whole curriculum before deciding where information literacy should be embedded. Does it make any difference? was about a project to evaluate existing training sessions in a Swedish University, using focus groups between students, faculty, and librarians, with a view to making practical improvements. Workforce information literacy was about the changing needs of librarians working in community colleges in America, which deliver library services to 18‐20 year olds, and now, because of the economic situation, older adults who are having to re‐train.
Information literacy in the workplace facilitated an interesting discussion on the phrase “information literacy”, suggesting an alternative, ‐ i‐capability – and found that terminology might need to vary for different sectors. This is particularly pertinent in the health sector, where we use the phrase “information skills training” instead, as “information literacy”, may not be positively received by qualified health professionals. In addition to the parallel sessions, there were some amazing keynote speakers. In order of presentation, Megan Oakleaf, who talked about how to collect the evidence to show the value of information literacy – my main learning point from Megan, was that if you are tired at the end of the session, then you are doing too much, and your students are not doing enough. Next, Lord Puttnam, who made the valuable point that no matter how much you fund the NHS, unless people manage to understand their conditions and their treatment programmes, the funding won’t make a difference. And our final keynote speaker, Tara Brabazon, who presented about information obesity and digital detox. Tara’s presentation was so logical and brave, asking us to insist that students read and write, because otherwise they won’t develop the necessary information literacy skills for life‐long learning. LILAC was full‐on from the moment it started to the time we got our packed lunch and were sent home, with ideas buzzing in our brains, and new colleagues from all around the world with whom to share experiences. It is a really inspirational event for any librarian who is involved in teaching information skills. Caroline De Brún was sponsored to attend LILAC by the CILIP CSG Information Literacy Group.