Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Archive for December, 2008

CoFHE Cymru conference 2009

Posted by andrewey on December 18, 2008

The CoFHE Cymru conference 2009 now has a wiki. The event will be held on Friday 24 April 2009 at Coleg Glan Hafren (Cardiff) and is free of charge owing to generous funding from CILIP Cymru. Places can be booked through Dan Huws.

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MmIT Mobile learning seminar

Posted by andrewey on December 17, 2008

I attended an event yesterday at Liverpool John Moores University (JMU) on the use of mobile technologies in FE, HE and public libraries organised by the North West branch of MmIT.  

The event also included much reference to Web 2.0 tools, in addition to mobile technologies. The first talk looked at the use of training videos, primarily in Hospitality and Hair & Beauty, at West Cheshire College. The college has its own YouTube channelcontaining in-house produced training videos. The college library service also supports mobile learning through the loan of digital cameras, laptops and even Nintendo DSs.

 The second talk focused on the use of games consoles by Blackburn with Darwen public libraries – which were used as part of a programme of reader development by ‘stealth’ to attract more teenagers, particularly lads, to use the library. The library had also used ‘brain training’ software to encourage use of the library by over 50s.

Finally there was a talk about a research project at JMU looking at the use of mobile technologies and mobile learning within the university. This research project is only in its infancy but there were already some interesting findings on how students regard the use of mobile technologies in education. One of the researchers is keeping a blog on the project if you want to follow their findings.

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December FE library update – feedback on the self-assessment toolkit

Posted by andrewey on December 15, 2008

A somewhat early update this month owing to my being on leave for the next couple of weeks.

Self-assessment toolkit

There was some very useful feedback from the recent event in the West Midlands:

Merged services – The self-assessment exercise was seen as beneficial for library services which are likely to merge as a result of one of the many proposed mergers of colleges within the FE sector in England. The toolkit would aid two (or more) merging libraries benchmarking themselves against each other.

Strategic planning– the fact the toolkit is written in ‘management speak’ should enable content to be lifted directly from self-assessment using the toolkit into an institutional/developmental plan.

New builds– the toolkit was seen as beneficial to library services involved in new builds ie by helping to plan service development

Converged services– the toolkit was seen as beneficial to library and IT services which had merged or were planning to merge through improving the understanding of what each service contributes to the institution.

Aspirational – the toolkit was seen as something to be aspired too, which will hopefully make services more proactive and help measure the service’s impact on learning.

Inclusive– the toolkit can be used by the whole LRS team but is also relevant to college managers.

Quality systems– the toolkit should complement existing quality systems such as quality (service) standards, service level agreements, SARs and strategic planning.

Issues for future consideration:

Relevance of Quantitative performance indicators

Events needed to promote the toolkit with senior college managers

Support completing the toolkit – this is already being offered by JISC-RSC in the West Midlands, but is also a process where colleges can support each other informally or through the development of a peer review scheme (as is the case in Wales).

Further events on the toolkit include:

CoFHE Mid West ‘Know thyself, market thyself’ 4 February 2009 in Reading (also includes sessions on marketing, policy writing, surveys etc)

and events are also being planned for the south west and London.

Posted in FE Libraries | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Living books

Posted by andrewey on December 3, 2008

There was an interesting article in today’s Guardian ‘Taken as read’ about the use of living books by Dorset library service. This is where a person can be ‘borrowed’ to talk about social/cultural issues and subjects such as oral/social history.  

This seems to have relevance to education where academics/tutors could be ‘lent’ out to provide support to students. Although this sounds unlikely in effect it already happens in those institutions which provide drop-in support for study skills and basic skills.

Posted in FE Libraries | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

November FE library update

Posted by andrewey on December 3, 2008

No further news on when the English FE LRS toolkit will be published in hardcopy but the updated electronic version is available on the CoFHE website.

I believe the Welsh LRS toolkit should be published in the very near future and should appear on the fforwm (Welsh association of colleges) website.

Both toolkits will be promoted at the 2009 CoFHE Conference in Edinburgh

CILIP has published a supplement as part of JISC’s ‘Libraries of the Future’ campaign. The supplement includes some examples of JISC’s role in supporting FE learning resources and coverage of web 2.0 in HE/FE.

Posted in FE Libraries | Tagged: | 2 Comments »