International sharing of expertise

International sharing of expertise

International speakers

To broaden the staff's knowledge, international speakers are invited to share their expertise with the staff. We focus on a variety of issues of interest to all staff members e.g. cultural competency, postgraduate supervision, academic writing and transition in early academic careers.


Some of the international experts who have already shared their expertise with the department:

Dr Rebekah (Becky) Willson – 2020

Ms Fiona Blackburn – 2021

Professor Hazel Hall – 2021

Professor Jenna Hartel - 2021

Prof Annemaree Lloyd - 2021

The following professor kindly agreed to address us in the near future:

Professor Abebe Rorissa


Prof Rebekah Willson


Presentation: International young academic: challenges of early career academics – transition

“I think her findings and experience as a young academic who has achieved a lot might help you to make sense of the challenges many of you are facing as young academics.”

Prof Ina Fourie

Dr Rebekah (Becky) Willson is a young and upcoming academic. She started as an assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at McGill University (Montréal, Canada) in 2019.

Before coming to McGill, Dr Willson spent three years as a lecturer in Information Science in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK.

Dr Willson’s research is in the field of information behaviour. Her research particularly focuses on the information behaviour of individuals who are undergoing transitions and living with uncertainty, including academics on short-term contracts, early career researchers dealing with COVID-19, and people experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one.

Dr Willson is the Chair of SIG-USE (ASIS&T’s Special Interest Group for Information Use, Seeking, and Needs), the Vice-Chair of the ASIS&T Research Engagement Committee, and an editor for JASIS&T.



Ms Fiona Blackburn

Presentation:: Cultural Competence: A core component in a professional's development

“When reading Fiona's chapter on ‘Moments of illumination: a personal experiencenarrative of cultural competence’ from the recent book I edited on Autoethnography for Librarians and Information Scientists I was deeply touched by her sincerity in addressing cultural issues and how she questioned her own understanding and behaviour.”

Prof Ina Fourie

Ms Fiona Blackburn worked in libraries and archives for thirteen years, retiring in 2020. She was generally responsible for Indigenous knowledge collections, or for driving engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the community.

Her first position was as Special Collections Manager in a public library in remote Australia. After working in a heritage library and a prison library, she finished as Manager of the Manuscript Collection in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

This experience raised questions about culturally appropriate provision of services; and management of Indigenous materials and collections within Western cultural institutions, by non-Indigenous professionals, of which she is one. She researched cultural competence as an initial response to these questions, publishing a number of peer-reviewed articles on the topic.

She has a BA (Hons), a Graduate Diploma in Information Management and a Master of Information Management with distinction.

She plans to produce further autoethnography, exploring her experience as a lens for decolonising the colonial archivist.



Prof Hazel Hall


Presentaion: Ten tips in twenty minutes to tighten your academic writing


“She is sharing with us her vast experiences in choice of words, formulations and tightening academic writing.”

Prof Ina Fourie

Professor Hazel Hall is a professor of Social Informatics in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University and Docent in Information Studies in the School of Business and Economics at Åbo Akademi, Finland.

She is an experienced academic writer with great skills in preparing/reviewing documents for various types of submissions. These include journal/conference paper manuscripts, grant bids, promotions, and job applications.

Her main research expertise and teaching interests lie in information sharing in online environments within the context of knowledge management. Other themes in which she maintains an active interest include information behaviour and use, online communities and collaboration, library and information science research, and research impact.

She is also an award-winning PhD supervisor of research students who undertake doctoral studies in these areas.


Prof Jenna Hartel


Presentation: Three pedagogical strategies that can be used with the Information Studies classroom and beyond

Professor Jenna Hartel, an associate professor from the University of Toronto, presented a talk to staff members of the Information Science department on 14 October 2021, regarding her work and research on creative teaching approaches.

For the festive season Professor Jenna has presented our students (and educators/researchers, too) of Information Studies with a gift. It's a (fun) information-themed activity book, featuring a "berrypicking" maze; a crossword puzzle about our field's values; and a word search for "information" in 50  This is especially useful for our AIM module on information literacy that is taken by all 1st year students at the University of Pretoria as well as our second year module INL 210, information seeking and retrieval.


Prof Annemaree Lloyd


Presentation: Exploring and discussing the practice of building a research and supervision culture

Professor Annemaree Lloyd, a social science researcher who is based at University College London, (UCL), and where she holds a Chair in the Department, presented a talk to staff members of the Information Science department on 14th October 2021, regarding her work and research on building a research and supervision culture.



Published by Joukje Geertsema

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