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Double award success for University library staff

9 May 2011

Information Literacy Logo

The valuable contribution of two of the University's library staff to the field of information literacy has been recognised at the recent Librarians' Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC).

Sonja Haerkoenen, Subject Librarian for European Studies and Psychology, was named as the runner up Information Literacy Practitioner of the Year 2011, whilst Matt Harvey, Senior Library Assistant and IT Support Assistant at the Arts and Social Studies Library, attended the conference after winning a free delegate place.

Sonja's award recognises and rewards those who have made a significant achievement in developing information literacy skills in creative and innovative ways, and in raising the profile of information literacy within their organisations. It was awarded by the Community Services Information Literacy Group, part of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Sonja Haerkoenen, with judges Gayner Eyre and Liz Chapman

 Sonja Haerkoenen, with judges Gayner Eyre and Liz Chapman.

Sonja's professionalism and enthusiasm as demonstrated through her engagement with academics in the Schools of European Studies and Psychology were commended by judges Gayner Eyre (Aberystwyth University) and Liz Chapman (London School of Economics). 

In particular, they praised her dedicated work towards ensuring that all taught students in those Schools receive high quality, 'embedded' information literacy teaching.

Keen to promote information literacy through a variety of methods, Sonja has delivered presentations at high profile international events in Finland and Germany and has also incorporated information literacy into the programme she has devised for groups of ERASMUS librarians, who spend a week in Cardiff sharing good practice.

Sonja also manages the University's 'Ask a Librarian live' chat enquiry service, an instant messaging facility currently being piloted on the Information Services website. The service provides another platform for library staff to teach search methods and demonstrate information literacy techniques as part of their live chat sessions.

Sonja's achievement is accompanied by Matt Harvey's successful application to win a free delegate place at the conference. Matt, who is studying towards an MSc Econ in Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University, won a competition aimed at full- or part-time students studying for a qualification in library services.

His application included a statement about the importance of information literacy, and how attendance at LILAC would benefit his future career. The award was granted after the panel of judges voted unanimously in support of Matt's application.

Director of University Libraries, Janet Peters, said: "Cardiff University's standing and strength in the information literacy field has once again been demonstrated through these excellent achievements. Sonja and Matt are making a significant contribution to the development of information literacy techniques and teaching both within and beyond the University, highlighting their enthusiasm, hard work and determination."

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The term information literacy encapsulates the knowledge and skills of identifying when and what information we need, where to locate it, how to manage it, how to authenticate and critically evaluate it and how to use and attribute it appropriately.

Find out more...

Information literacy at Cardiff

'Ask a Librarian live'