Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Archive for November, 2008

Self Assessment toolkit for FE Learning Resource Services (update)

Posted by andrewey on November 27, 2008

A couple of corrections have been made to the toolkit – to standardise the title and to remove references to the Library Resource Manager being on the Senior Management Team of the college (now just reads College Management Team). The updated version should appear on the CoFHE website shortly.

Now that the toolkit has been finalised the printed version should be circulated early in the new year – the plan is to provide ample copies to each FE institution in England for distribution to LRS staff and other college managers.

Dissemination events are taking place. Feedback from the recent event in the north west (20 November at Wirral Metropolitan College) was very positive. There was a feeling that guidance notes and possibly proformas should be made available on the CoFHE website – this will be discussed at the next CoFHE National Committee meeting. Colleges also found that working through the toolkit with LRS staff from other institutions proved beneficial.

A dissemination event also took place in London on 14 November – I’ve not heard any feedback from that event yet. The next dissemination event takes place in Wolverhampton on Friday 5 December – organised by JISC-RSC West Midlands. An event is also planned for the south west (waiting confirmation of date/venue of that one).

If you have any feedback on the toolkit or if you wish to promote (or feedback on) one of the dissemination events then please leave a comment.

Posted in FE Libraries | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Using ICT to support the Continuing Professional Development of library staff

Posted by andrewey on November 21, 2008

As part of the Applications of ICT in Librariescourse, students look at how they can use ICT, web 2.0 and internet resources to support their continuing professional development (CPD) in the library & information sector.

The e-resources they evaluate can be grouped as followed (with some examples I’ve selected):

Discussion lists

Most of these in the UK use part of JISC mail. These lists invite you to sign up. You will then be automatically sent all e-mails sent to the list.

Many lists are sector specific eg for public libraries. Others will have cross sector appeal eg information literacy. Some lists will be closed (eg CoFHE and CoLRiC lists for FE) to members only.

 Professional websites

 Museums Libraries & Archives council(MLA) – information for library and museum staff in England

 Museums, Archives, Libraries Wales(CyMAL) –  includes details of free CPD activities for library and museum staff in Wales

 Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals(CILIP) – includes details on professional qualifcations and professional groups

 CILIP Cymru – details of professional activities in Wales 

 School Library Association – support school librarians and school library services

Information Literacy Website– website of the CILIP Information Literacy Group (actually a sub-group of the Community Services Group)


CILIP Bloggers– blogs selected by CILIP, part of the CILIP Communities web pages

UK library blogs– wiki of blogs by librarians in the UK

UKOLN cultural heritage blogs directory – links to blogs in the Museums, archives and libraries sectors

Online professional journals

Most of these have free online access to all or part of their journal

Wales Current Awareness Bulletin – professional updating service for library staff in Wales

Y Ddolen– CILIP Cymru magazine

CyMAL – magazine produced by CyMAL for museum, archive and library staff in Wales 

CILIP Update – leading UK library journal

Many CILIP groups e.g. Branch and Mobile Libraries group, CoFHE, Youth Libraries Group etc publish their journals on the web – see group pages on the CILIP website.

Journal of Information Literacy

Panlibus– library journal produced by Talis

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of CPD websites, if you’d like to recommend others please leave a comment.

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Information Literacy in Further Education

Posted by andrewey on November 11, 2008

I was speaking at an event ‘Developing information literacy’ at Cardiff University last week, which looked at how different sectors were approaching the issue of delivering information skills.

In FE although we do sessions on information skills which are very similar to those run in HE (particularly on what might be regarded as ‘research skills’) we also offer more general support in the realms of information skills.

Some of the areas I highlighted of relevance to FE were:

  • Raising awareness – learners need to know which resources are available (before being shown how to use them)
  • Finding sources of information – knowing where the resources are
  • Access arrangements – which can be accessed on campus, which require Athens authentication and how to get an Athens account
  • Using the library catalogue – how to search, how to renew/reserve online, how to find and access e-resources via the catalogue
  • Library Orientation – finding your way around the library, gaining a basic understanding of how material is grouped under Dewey and why material relating to a course may be in more than one location.

 These issues were echoed by the speakers delivering information skills to school pupils.

By contrast there were case studies of information literacy delivery at Cardiff University (which pioneered the Cephalonian method of induction). The definition of information literacy used there is based on the SCONUL 7 pillars model (derived from Bloom’s taxonomy) – which places the emphasis on ‘evaluating’ and ‘understanding’ information sources.

In most cases the average FE library user is at or below the lowest level of the SCONUL model in terms of their prior knowledge of information skills – hence the emphasis required in FE on awareness raising of the resources available.

Of course with the high number of HE in FE students that we also cater for there is the challenge of raising their information literacy to level 6 on the SCONUL model (assuming level 7 relates to research students). 

Cardiff University does provide an impressive range of resources to support information literacy including an excellent handbook on teaching information skills and good use of web 2.0 tools such as podcasting.

In terms of tackling information skills delivery there was an interesting post on Mark Hepworth’s blog –  ‘Information Literacy diagnostic questions’. Many of the questions Mark poses would also apply to information literacy with students in FE such as knowing which key words to use and how to correctly search the information sources available (and Mark gives many examples of search strategies). I also like the point about using informal sources of advice first such as friends, family etc. It’s noticeable that resources recommended by friends (as well as tutors) are the ones most often requested.

If you have found any particularly effective ways of delivering information literacy in FE then please leave a comment.

Posted in FE Libraries, Information Literacy | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

October FE library update

Posted by andrewey on November 7, 2008

CoFHE Conference 2009

Further details of the 2009 CoFHE conference have been confirmed:

‘E-libraries and green-libraries: exploring accessibility and sustainability’

Dates for your diary! Advance notice of the 2009 Annual CoFHE Conference, to be held Wednesday 17th June to Friday 19th June 2009 at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Please contact Jo Rowley ( to be kept informed of conference developments.

CoFHE Cymru Conference 2009

Owing to generous funding from the Kathleen Cooks fund it can be confirmed that the Welsh CoFHE conference will take place on Friday 24 April 2009 at Coleg Glan Hafren (Cardiff). The conference will feature speakers on good practice in FE and HE libraries. The conference will be free of charge to CoFHE Cymru members.

FE learning resources self-evaluation toolkit

Promotional events are currently being planned with JISC RSCs and regional CoFHE circles in the North West, West Midlands, South West and London. Please contact your local RSC for more details. 

Information literacy articles

The journal Communication in Information Literacyis available full text online and the current issue includes an interesting article on the use of Web 2.0 tools in teaching information literacy:

Patrick Ragains, ‘Web 2.0: Opportunities for Information Literacy Instruction’

Posted in CoFHE, FE Libraries | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »