During the summer I (David Haynes) worked with some amazing students and respected research colleagues in Brazil. I ran a short course on digital literacy and information security for two classes of postgraduate library and information science students at the São Paulo State University (Unesp) and the Federal University of São Carlos (Ufscar). Some of the students and fellow tutors are pictured above on the Marília campus of Unesp. Twenty-five students followed the one-week course, ending with team presentations on digital literacy strategies for online safety. The course was based on material from one of the modules in the Business Information Technology MSc programme at Napier and a planned, new module on digital literacy.
Brazil has an exceptionally well-developed library and information science university sector, and Brazilian academics play a leading role in research in digital literacy, knowledge organization and archival studies among others. This could be attributed in part to the requirement for all schools in Brazil to have a school library. I first got to know colleagues at Unesp when I participated in the ISKO international conference in Rio in 2016.
During my stay the Library and Information Science department at Unesp celebrated its 50th anniversary with a symposium on Transversality and Verticality in Information Science. There were several distinguished invited speakers including Professor Dietmar Wolfram (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Thiago Barros, the ISKO President. I was invited to give a keynote talk on the interface between ethics and metadata, with a paper due to be published in the Brazilian Journal of Information Science later this year – watch this space!
I am grateful to the Brazilian Ministry of Education for funding the trip and to my host Professor Helen de Castro Casarin of Unesp for her warm hospitality and Dr Chloe Furnival of Ufscar for her contributions to the development of the course material. This has been a great trip which provides a foundation for future collaboration in research and teaching. I look forward to one day hosting Brazilian colleagues here at Napier.