Maria used prize money for study visits within INGENIUM

It is more important than ever to be able to deal with false information. Maria Wickenberg, librarian at the University of Skövde, is passionate about teaching students information literacy. She was awarded the University’s pedagogical prize in 2023 and she used the prize money for study visits to two INGENIUM universities.

Maria Wickenberg has been visiting Hochschule Karlsruhe, University of Applied Sciences, HKA, and their partner Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, KIT, in Germany and also Munster Technological University, MTU, in Cork and Tralee in Ireland.

Why did you choose to go to HKA and MTU?

“I had met people from those universities during the 10 days of INGENIUM in Chieti Pescara, Italy, last summer. But I was also very curious to learn more about how they work with information skills at university libraries in both Germany and Ireland,” says Maria Wickenberg.

Current topics for all universities

“It is becoming increasingly important to be able to relate to false information and to know that generative AI is based on language models. What happens when people are exposed to false information and when false information is spread to create uncertainty in our societies? We know that insecure people, to a greater extent, turn to autocratic leaders and then the question of democracy comes into play. According to the Swedish Library Law, we have a mission to work for the development of a democratic society. These are current topics everywhere,” says Maria Wickenberg.

Libraries are extremely important for people and for society. Regardless of which university library you are at within INGENIUM, it is important to be able to search for information and that the staff can provide support.

 “At the university libraries, we face the same questions and we teach information literacy. No matter which library, we share this important mission. The libraries have a central role at the universities for both students and employees. The university library in Skövde is also open to the public. I learnt that is not like that in Ireland, so that is a big difference between our universities.”

“INGENIUM is fantastic”

Maria Wickenberg says that there were also a lot of discussions about what should be and what is included in the librarian task and how librarians could work to be more proactive about information skills. She also highlights the important work of guiding students in the right direction with everything from various forms of study support to the process of information search and source criticism.

“HKA, KIT and MTU have digital learning resources in English and this is something they talked about sharing with the University Library in Skövde. I really hope that all university libraries within INGENIUM can start a collaboration. Within the INGENIUM Alliance we have so much to learn from each other in different areas and we can use each other’s help, INGENIUM is fantastic.”

Important issues

MTU, has several campus libraries and Maria was both in Cork and in Tralee. In Cork she visited the MTU Bishopstown Library and the CSM Fleischmann Library. In Tralee she visited the MTU Kerry North Campus Library.

“I also had the opportunity to meet Catherine Carty who is the UNESCO Chair Project Manager, MTU and raise the issues of disinformation, generative AI and democracy with her. For me, it was important, to meet Catherine as I hope she can take these important issues to a higher level,”

Maria Wickenberg points out that she was very welcomed and that her study visits at MTU, HKA and KIT were extremely educational.

Media and Information Literacy | UNESCO