News from the school

Barbara Combes, PhD

BC GradThe School congratulates teacher librarianship lecturer, Dr Barbara Combes, on the conferral of her PhD. Barbara's thesis focussed on information-seeking behaviour of young people (aged 18-22) – the so-called Net Generation, Generation Y or Millenials. Her research investigated the Net Generation's personal perceptions of how they use a range of technologies and their emotional response (confidence levels) to using these technologies according to the Net Generation attributes as outlined in the practitioner literature and the popular press. It then examined closely how a group of young people were actually using these technologies to find information using the Internet and electronic resources, to determine whether the Net Generation attributes accurately reflect what young people are doing in practice.

RAILS Submission Deadline Approaching

Just a reminder that the submission deadline is Monday, 10 March, for the 2014 Research Applications in Information and Library Studies (RAILS) Conference with Australian Information Educators Symposium (AIES) and Doctoral Forum.  We specifically encourage budding researchers and potential HDR students to submit proposals and attend the conference.  See specific submission instructions and other information about the conference on the RAILS page

The School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University is proud to be hosting RAILS in Canberra this July.

New lecturer joins SIS

Lee FitzgeraldThe School of Information Studies welcomes a new lecturer, Lee FitzGerald, who joins CSU after involvement as an adjunct lecturer for some years. She has had a long career as a teacher librarian in primary and secondary school libraries, both independent and public.She brings with her a passion for school libraries, teacher librarianship, and an appreciation of the value of the Information Search Process of Guided Inquiry. Lee is a long time advocate of the teaching role of the teacher librarian, especially as it is facilitated by inquiry learning. She is also interested in applying evidence-based practice to confirm the growth of deep learning through inquiry. Lee works in Sydney, where she is maintaining a connection with Loreto Kirribilli, her most recent school, to further investigate the success or otherwise of Guided Inquiry. In recent years, Lee has also worked with the Loreto community in Darjeeling District in India to set up and maintain a small, manual library in the tea gardens district below the Himalayas at Loreto Panighatta near Siliguri. Literacy is crucial to children of the tea garden workers, to break the cycle of poverty, so endemic in the district, and to avoid the threats of child trafficking and early, arranged marriages. Lee will mainly teach in the Teacher Librarianship program.

Dr Williamson retires after 17 years at SIS

KirstyDr Kirsty Williamson, Senior Research Fellow, has retired after 17 years of part-time work for the School. Kirsty has made some very significant contributions to the School's research activities over the years, both individually and as a leader of various teams and groups. Her record of Australian Research Council grants and of highly cited publications has been outstanding. Of particular note is Kirsty's extensive work on every-day information seeking and her formidable methodological expertise. She has been a wonderful supervisor for a series of PhD students and a valued mentor for many faculty. A large number of staff past and present attended Kirsty's retirement dinner in February. Dr Williamson will continue to be affiliated with CSU as an adjunct senior research fellow.

Office for Learning & Teaching grant success

A team led by A/Prof Philip Hider has been successful in winning the commission for a Commonwealth Government Office for Learning & Teaching (OLT) project, entitled 'National Learning and Teaching Resource Audit and Classification'.  The OLT will provide $149,000 for the project, which aims to improve access to the OLT's resources through a systematic review of the metadata currently provided in its database (http://www.olt.gov.au/resource-library), and the development and implementation of a new schema, taxonomies and guides to support the use of the database into the future. It will also undertake an audit of the existing resources, so as to identify areas of strength and gaps where more work in the area of learning and teaching in higher education is needed. 

Lecturer wins ASIST award

Congratulations to Dr Waseem Afzal, a lecturer in the School, whose research proposal was selected for the Elfreda A. Chatman Research Award this year by ASIS&T's Information Needs, Seeking, and Use Special Interest Group (SIG USE).

Dr Anne Lloyd wins Uniting Care Innovate Community Grant 

Congratulations to Dr Anne Lloyd, a Senior Lecturer in the School, and Dr Jane Wilkinson of the School of Education, who have won a Uniting Care Innovate Community Grantof almost $12,000 for their project proposal, 'How do refugee youth use their everyday spaces to learn?' The project will identify, describe and analyse the information needs, literacies and learning practices used by Wagga Wagga refugee youth in everyday learning spaces. The study will inform the work of the Uniting Church, Centacare, the Wagga Wagga City Library and other stakeholders who support refugee youth's learning needs within the Wagga Wagga community.

New book from SIS faculty

illustrationSIS research fellow Dr Paul Scifleet's recently published volume, edited in collaboration with University of Sheffield iSchool colleagues Drs Angela Lin and Jonathan Foster, joins the list of books published by SIS faculty this year. Covering the topics, crowdsourcing, consumer-generated content, online social networks, electronic word of mouth and online consumer behaviours, Consumer Information Systems and Relationship Management: Design Implementation & Use, presents empirical research, theoretical frameworks, and models for supporting strategic management and meeting consumer needs through the use of digital and Web-based technologies. Further details at: http://www.igi-global.com/book/consumer-information-systems-relationship-management/73567.

PhD student presents his research from Seattle

Terry AslaOn Thursday 19 September more than 30 participants joined in celebrating the completion of CSU student Terry Asla's Ph.D. with a presentation of his research delivered from the University of Washington's iSchool in Seattle, USA. Terry's study, The Fourth Age: Human information behavior and successful aging, makes a significant contribution to LIS by examining how physical, cognitive and social losses in the final stages of life impact human information behavior (HIB). The research shows that information literacy nearly always declines in the fourth age, making it increasingly difficult—if not impossible—to use the Internet and other technologies. The findings show that it is possible to extend existing information literacy skills by providing the proper motivation and support in this age. Terry, a United States resident, was joined in the presentation by his supervisor, Dr Kirsty Williamson, from the SIS seminar room in Wagga Wagga. The event marks the first of our open online seminar sessions delivered using Adobe Connect technology; more to come! We wish Terry every success following the completion of this important Ph.D.

Innovation is key to a new degree offering

illustrationThe School of Information studies is pleased to announce the launch of a new degree, the Master of Education (Knowledge Networks & Digital Innovation). This new post-graduate degree introduces innovative options in postgraduate study in education, and provides flexible program options in knowledge networking, global information flow, advanced search techniques, learning analytics, social media, digital citizenship, game-based learning, digital literature and learning spaces design. Now more than ever, working in education requires a deeper knowledge and understanding of the diversities of information environments, e-learning innovations, e-literature, e-pedagogy, and participatory online cultures.

Courses Director Judy O'Connell explains, "The digital revolution has provided a plethora of flexible teaching tools for teachers, but using them can be challenging and at time intimidating. Teachers know that traditional approaches to learning are no longer capable of coping with this constantly changing world. So while the value of information as knowledge remains at the heart of learning and teaching, technologies and social media platforms are driving an unprecedented reorganization of the learning environment in and beyond schools. This new course provides education professionals with the opportunity to customise a postgraduate program of study that will meet their practical and professional needs."

Further information can be found at http://www.csu.edu.au/digital. Regular Webinars are also provided to allow educators to learn more about what the degree has to offer. Enrolments are now open for 2014.

Singapore Study Visit and International Experience

A group of 22 students have returned from a wonderful four days in Singapore visiting a range of libraries and information agencies through a structured program of visits at a diverse range of information organisations, including Singapore National Library, Nanyang Technological University library, Singapore Press Holding library, and Tanglin Trust School libraries. This study visit provided an outstanding opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how various information agencies function to service a particular clientele, and also an understanding of the career opportunities available within the profession abroad. Students in SingaporeThis four-day study visit was part of the requirements in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as the subject EEB310 International Cultural & Education Program, which acknowledges the students participation in an International Short term Program. Student Suzanne recorded her international experiences at http://studyvisit.weebly.com/, and reflected: "Singapore is a modern, successful and forward-looking city that strives to be at the forefront of the world in many ways. I feel this ethos is reflected in many of the libraries we visited on this tour, as they can be seen to be pushing forward with technology and innovation to create the libraries of the future." Students in Singapore

Prof Given elected Chair of ASIST Sig-USE

Prof Lisa Given has been elected Chair of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIST)'s Sig-USE, 2013-2014. Sig-USE seeks to 'promote contextual studies of human information-related behavior and provision of information services and to encourage the application of the study results to information systems design.' Prof Given will take up the position at the Association's annual conference in Montreal, Canada, in November 2013. Additional details about Sig-USE can be found at http://siguse.wordpress.com/.

SIS Student Conference Award winner attends CAIS

PhD student Rebekah Willson attended the Canadian Association of Information Science (CAIS) conference in Victoria, BC, Canada in June, presenting on 'Using transition theory in information behaviour research: addressing change in personal narratives.' In her presentation, Becky defined transitions from the research literature and discussed several aspects of transitions including bounded change, temporality, spatiality and liminality. She then detailed how transitions have been addressed in current information behaviour research and how transition theory could make further contributions. Becky's trip was partly supported by one of the first of two SIS Student Conference Awards.

SIS joins the iSchools

The School has been admitted to the international iSchools organization, which promotes the study of information in all its facets. There are over 50 universities represented amongst the iSchools, from all over the world. CSU is the third Australian university to join. The iSchools website is at http://ischools.org; the other iSchools are listed at http://ischools.org/directory.

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