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Showing posts from May, 2007

Sanderson at RIAO

Dr Mark Sanderson is presenting a paper at the RIAO (Recherche d'Information Assistée par Ordinateur) conference being held in Pittsburgh, USA, this week. The paper is co-authored with Hideo Joho (a former Research Assistant in this Department) and entitled Document frequency and term specificity

Reading promotion

Briony Train is visiting Portugal, to give a paper on Reading promotion in UK public libraries at the “Encontro Oeiras a Ler” book trade/public libraries seminar, and helping with various seminars on European cross-sectoral reading promotion.

Corrall at JISC meeting in Warwick

On Tuesday-Wednesday 22nd-23rd May, Sheila Corrall attends a meeting of the Learning and Teaching Committee of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the HE Funding Councils at the University of Warwick. The first part of this extended two-day residential event includes a joint meeting with members of the JISC Organisational Support Committee, to discuss shared interests and concerns.

Further details of work of the JISC Learning and Teaching Committee can be found at

Rachel Adams and Sheila Corrall at SLA Europe Dissertation Awards

On Saturday, 19th May, Prof Sheila Corrall travelled to London to celebrate the SLA Europe Dissertation Awards at a special teatime event at The Lanesborough hotel, along with former MA Librarianship student, Rachel Adams, who received the award for her investigation into Information Literacy and the provision of information skills training in the government sector (which was supervised by Sheila Webber).

Saturday’s event was attended by SLA Europe Board Members, Barbara Robinson (Awards Organiser), Rachel Kolsky (SLA Europe President) and Sylvia James (SLA Europe and SLA Main Board Treasurer), along with students and staff from Brighton, London Metropolitan and Loughborough Universities. Rachel Kolsky had previously visited Sheffield to present Rachel Adams with her certificate at the Department’s Graduation Reception in December 2006.

The SLA Europe Dissertation Awards were established in 2006, following a round table discussion with Sheila Corrall and other LIS academics, as part of …

Cuban information policies

On Monday Maykel Perez, Lecturer, University of Havana, Cuba will give a research seminar on Changing the subject: Conceptual frameworks, legitimisation strategies, andcontradictions in Cuban information policies. "The seminar concentrates on outlining the main characteristics of the Cuban model of information production, transfer, and consumption that shapes and informs national information policies and strategies. The emphasis is placed onthe conceptual frameworks, discourses, metaphors, and representations that underpin and legitimise information policies. The aim is to illustrate how ruling groups in Cuba proactively work through discourse to control the appropriation and use of information systems to promote their own interests and priorities. "

Kalnikaite wins Best Paper at Human Computer Interaction Conference

Congratulations to DIS PhD student Vaiva Kalnikaite who was awarded a best paper (in any category) award at the ACM Computer Human Interaction conference in San Jose, USA for her work on Memory Prostheses.

This is a real achievement for an experienced researcher, but especially for someone who is just 18 months into their PhD. The overall acceptance rate is about 20% and 5 awards were made in total making the paper one of the top 1% for a very competitive conference. This is a real achievement for her as well as bringing esteem to the department.

BIALL bursary winner

James O'Brien, a student on our MA Librarianship programme, has been awarded a free place on the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) conference taking place this June.

Academic Library Consortia in the Philippines: Current Practices and Future Needs

Nora G. Agustero

Friday 18 May 07
Room 204

The long tradition of co-operation among libraries and the resurgence of interest towards participation in library consortia in recent years presume that it is crucial to how libraries cope with socio-cultural, political, economic and technological challenges. However, a number of practitioners expressed concerns or discontents with library consortia on issues like cost in terms of travel and staff time, time delays in terms of license negotiation or renewal, inefficiency, or sustainability. Therefore the focus of this research is not whether or not libraries should co-operate, but how they collaborate and with whom.

The right 'man' for the job? The role of empathy in community librarianship

Briony Train - Principal Investigator
Kerry Wilson - Research Associate

Tuesday 12 May 07
Meetings Room 324

This talk will present progress made so far on this AHRC funded research project looking at public library staff attitudes towards social inclusion policy and disadvantaged groups in society.

The two year project (March 2006 - February 2008) has been designed to investigate the relationships between staff's own social, cultural and professional background and their capacity to make an effective, empathic contribution to social inclusion objectives. The project explores the concept of empathy within a professional public service culture, using a combination of research methods including a national survey, focus groups and interviews with a stratified sample of public library staff in England.

Specific research objectives include an exploration of the appropriateness of organizational structures and recruitment policies, particularly with reference to the traditional profess…

Students talk about their modules

Recently two groups of students have given presentations about their experience of learning in the Department. Two MA Librarianship students from the Information Literacy Research class gave an IBL cafe (Inquiry Based Learning) session on 25th April (see, talking about their IL project and the module itself. On 30th April, level 1 BSc Information Management students joined with members of the teaching team in the Inquiry in Information Management module, to talk at the CILASS Staff/Student symposium, held in the new Information Commons (see

Chemoinformatics conference full!

It looks like a successful Fourth Joint Sheffield Conference on Chemoinformatics is in prospect, since the conference is already fully booked with a waiting list drawn up. It will be held in The Octagon Centre, University of Sheffield, UK, from 18th to 20th June, 2007, under the aegis of The Chemical Structure Association Trust and the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society. The Organising Committee consists of Dr Val Gillet, Dr John Holliday, Dr Eleanor Gardiner, and Professor Peter Willett (all from this Department), plus Peter Gedeck, Novartis (on behalf of the Molecular Graphics and Modelling Society) and David Wild, University of Indiana (on behalf of the Chemical Structure Association Trust).

Whittaker at CHI conference

Professor Steve Whittaker presented two sessions at the Computer/Human Interaction (CHI) 2007 conference this week, taking place 28 April - 3 May, 2007 in San Jose, California, USA. Vaiva Kalnikaite (also from this Department) and Steve presented Software or Wetware? Discovering When and Why People Use Digital Prosthetic Memory. He was also copresenter with colleagues from IBM USA (John C. Tang, James Lin, Jeffrey S. Pierce and Clemens Drews) of Recent Shortcuts: Using Recent Interactions to Support Shared Activities. The abstract for this presentation is "We describe an empirical study identifying opportunities to support user work on shared activities through improved access to recently used computer objects and present a prototype to realize those opportunities."