This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 23 May 2019, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building, Campus West, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Information Services Lecture

Once upon a time, there was a world before our own: a land where the internet didn’t exist. It was a magical place... of playing outdoors, looking up information in books, visiting the library! An age when you didn’t know everybody’s bad opinions on every topic; where meeting people actually involved going to a physical place! That fabled land is a fading memory. Now it’s hard to go a day without using digital technologies.

In this new and confusing world, we can barely tell fact from fairytale. Trolls no-longer simply hide under bridges, while big bad wolves keep their big big eyes on us, recording our every action. Has something got lost in this digital forest? Have we traded the prospect of a happy ending for a handful of magic beans?

In our digital age the ability to effectively use, manipulate and produce digital content is fast becoming a requirement for participation in social, economic and political activities. It is therefore essential to develop the skills for this engagement: to become “digital citizens”.

In this lecture we explore opportunities and challenges presented by digital services and technologies: how have our perceptions of public and private changed? What is the impact on our security and freedom? Does technology present a threat to our democracy or open us to a global community of information-sharing and collaboration? Join us as we travel the utopian and dystopian landscapes of the digital world in search of the answer to how we might all become empowered digital citizens.

Susan Halfpenny and Stephanie Jesper

Susan Halfpenny has been working in libraries for the past 12 years in user education roles. She is currently Teaching and Learning Manager at the University of York; the team that she manages is responsible for user education for information and digital literacy.  In her time working in libraries she has led on a range of initiatives to develop staff and students digital capabilities, including the development of a digital skills framework, the rollout of Digital Wednesdays and the Skills Guides, and the creation of two online courses. She has an interest in digital creativity and the use of digital technologies to facilitate engagement with research.

Steph Jesper has spent the last umpteen years living in spreadsheets. She’s a qualified Librarian who moonlights in IT by being a Teaching and Learning Advisor in the Information Services Teaching and Learning team at the University of York, developing and delivering digital skills training for students and staff. Prior to that, she’s had fun at a range of educational establishments, as well as having had the less fun experience of trying to sell records online. Her role-model is Maggie Philbin, her favourite Doctor Who serial is The Stones of Blood, her Eurovision Song Contest of choice is 1977, and her preferred Treasure Hunt episode is Birmingham (series 2) – all things she’s been able to rewatch thanks to the internet.

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Hearing loop


Susan Halfpenny