Research Staff Interests

Dr Sarah  McNicol


Before joining the Institute as a Research Associate, I worked in research posts at the National Union of Students, University of Leicester, Loughborough University and Birmingham City University. I also taught in the FE sector and worked as a school librarian.

I have worked on a variety of projects funded by organisations including the European Commission, Wellcome Trust, AHRC, HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund), EEF (Education Endowment Foundation), HEA, JISC,Arts Council England, HEFCE and the Health Foundation. These have included research into learning across the school, FE, HE, training and community/informal learning sectors. Recent projects I have worked on include research into the use of educational comics with patients and their families; an arts-based investigation of the 'social haunting' of post-industrial communities; and a project creating life story comics with Bangladeshi migrant women.

Research Interests

  • Bibliotherapy
  • Health comics/graphic medicine
  • Oral/life history methodologies
  • Adult/community learning

Research Groups

  • Play & Learning
  • Youth and Community
  • STEM Education and Learning

InFlow (Information Flow): An integrated model of applied information literacy

InFlow (Flujo de información): un modelo integrado y de alfabetización informática aplicada

InFlow (Information Flow) : un modèle d'application pour la maîtrise de l'information appliquée


S. McNicol (2016) Critical Literacy for Information Professionals.

F. Van Assche, L. Anido-Rifón, D. Griffiths, C. Lewin & S. McNicol (2015) Re-engineering the uptake of ICT in schools.

McNicol, Sarah (2008) Joint-use Libraries: Libraries for the Future Oxford: Chandos Publishing

Refereed Journal Articles

S. McNicol (2016) Responding to Concerns About Online Radicalization in U.K. Schools Through a Radicalization Critical Digital Literacy Approach. Computers in the Schools 33(4) pp 227-238

K. Aillerie, S. McNicol Are social networking sites information sources? Informational purposes of high-school students in using SNSs. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

S. McNicol (2016). School librarians’ intellectual freedom attitudes and practices. New Library World 117(5-6) pp 329-342

S. Mcnicol (2016) The potential of educational comics as a health information medium. Health Information and Libraries Journal

McNicol, Sarah (2014) Freedom to teach: implications of the removal of Persepolis from Chicago schools. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics DOI: 10.1080/21504857.2014.943409

McNicol, Sarah (2014) Releasing the potential of Shakespearean comic book adaptations in the classroom: A case study of Romeo and Juliet. Studies in Comics 5(1) pp 131-154

McNicol, Sarah (2014) Modelling information literacy for classrooms of the future. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science doi: 10.1177/0961000614526612

McNicol, Sarah (2014) Humanising illness: presenting health information in educational comics. Medical Humanities doi:10.1136/medhum-2013-010469

McNicol, Sarah and Weaver, Simon (2012) 'Dude! You mean you've never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?!?' Nut Allergy as Stigma in Comic Books Health Communication

Dixon-Woods, M. McNicol, S. and Martin, G. (2012) Ten challenges in improving quality in healthcare: lessons from the Health Foundation's programme evaluations and relevant literature BMJ Quality & Safety 21(10) pp 876-884

McNicol, Sarah (2011) The shape and state of gaming in UK libraries. Library and Information Research 35(110)pp50-64

McNicol, Sarah (2007) Memories of reading in the 1940s and 1950s New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship 13(2) pp101-116

McNicol, Sarah (2006) What makes a joint use library a community library? Library Trends 54(4) pp519-34

Dalton, Pete, and McNicol, Sarah (2005) Balancing the books: emphasizing the importance of qualitative evaluation for understanding electronic information services Library Quarterly 74(4) pp455-468

McNicol, Sarah (2005) The challenges of strategic planning in academic libraries New Library World 106(11/12) pp496-509

McNicol, Sarah (2005) Investigating the provision of careers information in schools Library and Information Research 29(91) pp3-12

McNicol, Sarah (2005) Library co-operation in the inter-war period: lessons from history Library History 21 pp85-89

McNicol, Sarah (2004) Is research an untapped resource in the library and information profession? Journal of Librarianship & Information Science 36(3) pp119-126

McNicol, Sarah (2004) Incorporating Library Provision in School Self-Evaluation Educational Review 56(3) pp287-296

McNicol, Sarah (2004) Investigating non-use of libraries in the UK using the mass observation archive Journal of Librarianship & Information Science 36(2) pp79-88

McNicol, Sarah, and Dalton, Pete (2004) Broadening perspectives on the learning process in public libraries The New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 4 pp27-44

McNicol, Sarah, and Dalton, Pete (2004) Striking a balance: priorities for research in LIS Library Review 53(3) pp167-176

McNicol, Sarah (2004) Practitioner research in libraries: a cross-sectoral comparison Library and Information Research 28(88) pp34-41

McNicol, Sarah (2004) Access to higher education among lower-socio-economic groups: A historical perspective (Debate and discussion) Journal of Access Policy and Practice 1(2) pp162-70

McNicol, Sarah (2004) The evalued toolkit: a framework for the qualitative evaluation of electronic information services VINE, The Journal of Information & Knowledge Management Systems 34(4) pp172-175

McNicol, Sarah (2003) Developing a Self-evaluation Model for English School Libraries School Libraries Worldwide 9(1) pp16-32

McNicol, Sarah (2003) LIS: the interdisciplinary research landscape Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 35(1) pp23-30

McNicol, S., Ghelani, T. and Nankivell, C. (2002) ICT and resource-based learning: implications for the future British Journal of Educational Technology 33(4) pp393-402

McNicol, S., Shoolbred, M. and Ghelani, T. (2002) Children's development as Lifelong Learners: The Contribution of Libraries New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 2 pp5-27

McNicol, S., Ghelani, T., and Nankivell, C. (2002) Joined-up learning: meeting children's resource needs through partnership working Local Governance 27(2) pp77-88

McNicol, Sarah (2002) Learning in libraries: lessons for staff New Library World 103(7/8) pp251-258

McNicol, S. and Dalton, P. (2002) The best way is always through the children: the impact of family reading Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 46(3) pp246-253

Book Chapters

S.L. McNicol (2016) Reading health education comics critically, challenging power relationships in Critical Literacy for Information Professionals. Facet

S.L. McNicol (2016) Renegotiating the place of fiction in libraries through critical literacy in Critical Literacy for Information Professionals. Facet

C. Lewin, S. McNicol (2015) The impact and potential of iTEC: Evidence from large-scale validation in school classrooms in Re-engineering the Uptake of ICT in Schools. pp 163-186

McNicol, Sarah (2003) 'Creating effective information users', in A. Martin and H. Rader (eds) Information and IT Literacy: Enabling Learning in the Twenty-first Century London: Facet pp207-16

Other Publications

McNicol, Sarah (ed 2008) Forbidden Fruit: The censorship of literature and information for young people - Conference proceedings Florida: BrownWalker Press

McNicol, Sarah (guest editor 2009) Library Review: Web 2.0 and gaming in libraries 58(3) McNicol, Sarah (guest editor 2006) Library Trends: Dual-Use Libraries 54(4) Special Edition

McNicol, Sarah, and Dalton, Pete (guest editors 2004) VINE, The Journal of Information & Knowledge Management Systems 34(4) 'Library Evaluation in Practice: Electronic Information Services in Higher Education' Proceedings of the eVALUEd Conference, Birmingham UK

Research Reports

McNicol, Sarah and Dalton, Pete (2007) Digital Libraries in the Classroom: Evaluation and Support Study Final Report Bristol: JISC

McNicol, Sarah and Nunez, Monica (2004) Learning Resource Centre (LRC) Evaluation Mission, Final Report Santiago, Chile: MINEDU

McNicol, S. and Elkin, J. (2003) School Libraries: The Design of a Modelfor Self-evaluation Final Report London: DfES/DCMS Working Party

McNicol, S., Matthews, G, Kane, D., Lancaster, K., Thebridge, S. and Dalton, P. (2002) Collaboration Between Libraries and Education: supporting the Learner London: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries

McNicol, S., Ghelani, T., Nankivell, C. and Shoolbred, M. (2001) Children, access & learning: Resource-based learning and the impacts of environment and learning cultures London: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries


link to eSpace publications

Journal & Book Series Editorships & Editorial Board Membership

I am a member member of the editorial board for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.





Position/Post: Research Associate
Tel: 0161-247-5104
Location: Wilson 2.27, Crewe