Introduction to InformAll (formerly RIDLs)
Information is a fundamental building block for democratic and inclusive societies. It is therefore important for people to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence needed to search for, discover, access, retrieve, sift, interpret, analyse, manage, create, communicate and preserve ever-increasing volumes of information, whether digital, printed or oral. These capabilities, sometimes known as information literacy (IL), are critical for individuals to function as learners, employees, employers, and also as citizens – but enabling this requires a training and education effort at different life stages and in different contexts.
On that basis, InformAll’s aim is to provide a collaborative, multi-agency focus for promoting the relevance, importance and benefits of IL in the lives of individuals as they progress through education and beyond.
Informall brings together partners from different constituencies and professional groups which offer distinctive perspectives on the advancement of IL. It adopts a collective approach, by joint working which capitalises on these different outlooks to provide a widely-representative view on challenges to be addressed. It constitutes a pool of experts, for the benefit of different communities who wish to develop their interest, policies or activities in information-related knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence. The aims and objectives of the initiative can be found below.
InformAll is a membership organisation. The benefits of joining are set out here, along with an application form for organisations and individuals. InformAll is overseen by a steering group whose membership can be found here. It is managed by the Research Information Network.
Background and programme of activities
InformALL grew out of the Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs), which was established in June 2012 under the chairmanship of Professor Pam Denicolo (Universities of Surrey and Reading). The initiative was made possible through the provision of a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which was secured initially for one year (June 2012 – May 2013) to establish a proof of concept – i.e. to ascertain whether the advancement of such a partnership represents a useful and viable proposition for the future. This phase 1 of the programme has now been successfully completed, and full information, including a report of achievements over the period, can be found here.
In November 2013, funding was secured from HEFCE for phase 2 of the programme, which runs from January to December 2014. This is set out in detail in the attachment below. The renewed programme, which builds on the foundations laid during 2012-13, is articulated around four strands of activity:
- Strand 1 – sustaining and expanding InformAll as a viable coalition: this work is now largely complete. It involved reviewing the way that RIDLs functions and formalising its membership and accountability structure. The change of name, from RIDLs to InformAll, was effected as part of this, to reflect the broadening of the scope of the initiative beyond the bounds of research-related information. This strand also covers the running of InformALlls quarterly steering group meetings. Further details here.
- Strand 2 – using the RIDLs criteria to support the development of information and data literacy training resources: a key output of phase 1 of the programme was a set of criteria used to describe, review and evaluate information literacy training interventions. The aim now is to further promote these criteria across the HE sector, encourage their use and investigate whether and how they might serve as a basis for a service to help institutions develop their IL training capacity. Further details here.
- Strand 3 – transferability of information and data literacy beyond HE: this investigates and considers how information-related skills and know-how acquired in the context of HE might relate to the needs and expectations in realms beyond HE. Engagement and consultations have been initiated with organisations such as professional bodies, accreditation agencies and employers’ organisations, and a report has been produced. Further details here.
- Strand 4 – international outreach: identifying further opportunities for collaborations beyond the UK, and building on links established during 2013 with organisations such as UNESCO and IFLA. Further details here.
Updates will be posted on these pages as InformAll develops. In the meantime, please contact Stéphane Goldstein at [email protected] – tel: 020 3397 3647, if you would like further information.
Last updated: 11 September 2014