Conceptions and confusions of Library and Information Science

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 09:42

I participated alongside with altogether five colleagues from the department of ALM in the Conceptions of Library and Information Science (CoLIS) conference in London just before Midsummer. The Scandinavian and Nordic participation was also otherwise quite impressive. This was my first time at CoLIS even though I have had some kind of a general idea of the conference before. The discussion was lively and many interesting papers were presented, and as usual, it was a good occasion to meet old and new friends.


Some of the papers and general discussions attempted to tackle the old problem of what LIS is and should be. This is an important discussion, event though from time to time it seems like the self-understanding is based more on what other people do with information instead of focusing on that what LIS people do with information related things.


Theresa Anderson had a very thought provoking paper on creativity, Jenna Hartel presented interesting remarks on time in the context of information science, Melanie Feinberg discussed aspects of collection building and storytelling that were somewhat unorthodox within the information science context, but connects interestingly to that what collections are and how they function. Presenters like Sanna Talja, discussed important work on concepts and how they are and perhaps could be related to each other in LIS in order to provide better conceptual clarity and productivity. And yes, there was a bunch of interesting papers that should be mentioned here together with a set of fine posters presented during the poster session.


In addition,  a number of highly interesting papers discussed information literacy from different angles. Brendan Luyt's and Intan Azura's paper on information literacy as a vehicle for oppression was a very fresh one. On the topic of information literacy, the most significant undertaking in the conference was the information literacy research seminar organised by Louise Limberg and her colleagues under the auspices of the International Information Literacy Network.


All in all, the conference was very good and unlike very often, it would have been nice to be able to participate all sessions, even both of the only two parallel sessions in the programme.