Minding the gap


  • Mia Carlberg Uppsala University




The plan for the Round table session was to focus on organizational and social/cultural differences between librarians and faculty with the aim to increase our awareness of the differences when we try to find ways to cooperate within the academy or school. This may help us to sort things out, experience acceptance and take adequate actions, saving energy and perhaps be less frustrated.

 The questions that the workshop addressed were: What is in the gap between librarians and faculty when dealing with information literacy? How can we fill the gap?

Participants discussed this in detail with the aim of together finding ways to understand it better and make it possible to find ways to fill this gap. By defining it and thereby making it easier to work out a strategy for future action to improve the teaching of information literacy, including listing possible, impossible or nearly impossible ways.

The springboard to the discussion was extracted from some projects that the workshop leader has been engaged in since 2009.

The first example is a research circle where Uppsala University Library used action research to observe and understand the process when we had the opportunity to implement information literacy classes with progression in an undergraduate program. What worked well? What did not? Why? This work was described together with other examples from Uppsala University to an international panel working with quality issues. What did they think of our work? May this change the ways we are working? How?

Another example is an ongoing joint project where librarians and faculty members are trying to define ways to increase the cooperation between the library and faculty and make this cooperation sustainable. Recent experience from this was brought to the discussion.


There are an overwhelming number of papers written in this field. A few papers have inspired these ideas. One article in particular: Christiansen, L., Stombler, M. & Thaxton, L. (2004). A report on librarian-faculty relations from a sociological perspective. The journal of academic librarianship, 30(2), 116-121.


The method that was used was to:

1. Present these broad areas/challenges for the group to agree on or add another area

2. Discuss these challenges one at a time, and for each one identify specific aspects to pursue farther, using post-it notes

3. Make a summary of the different aspects to help and inspire further action.





How to Cite

Carlberg, M. (2013). Minding the gap. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.15845/noril.v5i1.191