Zotero and the e-book winner!

Today I made my mind up – I had to get myself a copy of Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers, and Educators.

Zotero is an important part of my productivity suite., and I wanted to grab a copy of the book to make sure that I was actually using Zotero to its full potential. This guide is written by Jason Puckett who is the the Communication Librarian at Georgia State University Library in Atlanta, where he teaches library classes on research and information literacy skills, bibliographic software, and library technology topics.

If you work in schools then you need to read what Stacey Tayor has written about  Using Zotero with Students.

Now it’s time for me to ‘fess up to my personal book trail, and how e-book services again won the day.

  1.  Read a post that reminded me that I want to get a copy of the book, and I really should get on with it.
  2. Check availability on Book Depository. Fail.
  3. Check my university library. Fail. (Amazing – so I placed a purchase request)
  4. Check Amazon. $32.40 for print copy.
  5. Whispernet to my iPad for $12.00.
Whose services are the winner here?  This time it was not my library!

Information literacy – and Second Life

If you read this in time – then I recommend attending the a mini-conference focused on Inquiry Based Learning on 26th June in Second Life (the virtual world) from 0.00-05.00 Second Life Time (this is 5-10pm in Sydney, for times in other regions/ countries go to

It is a free event, taking place on Infolit iSchool (Sheffield University’s island in SL, which is focused on Information Literacy and Inquiry Based Learning). The focus of the mini-conference is exploring the nature of Inquiry Based Learning (IBL), and its use in teaching in both Real Life and SL. The mini-conference is aimed at anyone who wants to discuss the potential of IBL, learn more about it and/ or exchange experience: you may be using IBL already (whether in RL teaching or SL teaching) or just be thinking about using it.

Note that delegates can attend one or more of the sessions – you can choose the ones that suit your schedule or interests. It is a SL track for a real life education conference taking place in Sheffield. It includes a “crossover” session interacting with the real life conference: Lyn Parker (a librarian at Sheffield Uni) will be leading that discussion in real life. Anyone who wants to attend in SL should email LTEA2008inSL@gmail.com including their real life and SL names. There is full info on the sessions at


(optional extra para) Inquiry Based Learning is basically like problem based learning but more open ended – more like learning through research – and several unis in the UK have a focus on it, hence the RL conference.

From Sheila Webber, Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield

Learning – research, resources, results

It’s been a busy week one way or the other…. We launched our e-learning initiative for the school, and I had the chance to talk for an hour to the whole staff about Web 2.0 and the imperative to adopt flexible approaches to learning online. Much of the material I covered was very introductory, but nevertheless essential to building understanding in order to move forward.

Teachers are no different to students in this regard.

Scaffolding and guidance are requisites for quality learning.

I was delighted to receive a message on Facebook from my colleague Andrew Hiskens, Manager, Learning Services Division, State Library of Victoria about their latest effort to support students and teachers.

I highly recommend a visit to ERGO. This site is fantastic! Andrew says:

Ergo took about 18 months to develop. It was designed to be a tool to assist secondary students in learning to research (hence pared back words, images with rollovers for visual learners and short video clips from writers, historians and scientists). We then coupled that with unique resources form our own collections largely around the history of Melbourne and Victoria.

The site is a practical guide to research, essay writing and studying and shows how to find resources, write great essays and prepare for exams. It also has a huge range of original documents and images.

The idea of the site is to help students make their work the very best it can be! And we know that that means excellent research, writing and study skills.

The site includes:

  • easy to follow guides to research, essay writing and study skills
  • over 500 digitised resources from the State Library’s collections
  • worked examples available at point of need, illustrating bias in primary sources, how to understand an essay question and much more
  • video interviews with prominent authors, historians and artists including Helen Garner and Nobel Laureate, Peter Doherty
  • teacher and student resources with a focus on critical literacy and thinking processes

Thank you State LIbrary of Victoria for supporting students and teachers in Victoria, Australia and beyond!

Information [R]evolution

This (rather fuzzy) video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively.

Excellent companion piece to the Machine is Us/ing Us.