Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic the annual Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) festival had to be postponed for another year. Stepping into its place was FestivIL, an online event organised by the LILAC Committee. The event aimed to bring the information literacy community together and allowed them to share their knowledge and experiences.

FestivIL took place virtually across three half-days, 6th-8th July 2021. I was lucky enough to be able to attend for the full duration, thanks to a bursary from YOHHLNet.

My event highlights …

On Tuesday I ‘attended’ an IL talk (the events version of a TED talk) delivered by Elli Narewska. Elli spoke about the NewsWise programme, a free UK-wide news literacy programme for 7-11 year olds run in partnership by the Guardian Foundation, National Literacy Trust and PSHE Association. Elli provided an insightful overview of the programme and highlighted the successes the programme has had in helping children (and their families) to understand the news and recognise when a news story may be false.

Wednesday’s main stage talk ‘Black Lives Matter, Brexit and Covid-19: Information literacy in a post-2020 world’ presented by Alison Hicks, Maud Cooper, Liz Fleetwood, Sae Matsuno, Eva Pickersgill, David Smith and Grace Troth highlighted how recent events and social movements have impacted on information literacy, from the ‘chaos’ of knowing when to stop looking for information to the digital divide highlighted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Another IL talk which stood out to me was ‘Information Literacy and Gen Z’ delivered by Heather Dalal, Art Taylor and Sharon Whitfield on Thursday. This session focused on the presenters’ previous research into millennial students’ evaluation of information (1) and the expansion of this research to students from Generation Z (2). It was interesting to hear about how these different generations use and evaluate different sources of information.

What I will do differently as a result of attending the conference…

The ‘Making online Information Literacy teaching engaging, interactive and accessible’ masterclass delivered by Hossam Kassem, Benjamin Williamson and Greg Leurs highlighted a number of key points which should be taken into consideration when planning and delivering training online; such as moving away from cultural references (such as Blockbusters) ensure the training is inclusive and making sure accessibility is a first thought. These are areas I will take into consideration when contributing towards the planning of training sessions, such as health literacy and misinformation.

Attending FestivIL helped to expand my knowledge of information literacy, which will be of great benefit for my future studies. I’d like to finish by saying thank you to the LILAC Committee for organising the event, and again to YOHHLNet for awarding me with a bursary to enable me to attend.

Natasha Craigs
Library Assistant
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1. Taylor, A. (2015). A study of the information search behaviour of the millennial generation. Information Research, 17 (1)
2. Taylor, Arthur; Dalal, Heather A. (2017). Gender and Information Literacy: Evaluation of Gender Differences in a Student Survey of Information Sources. College & Research Libraries, 78(1), 90-113