Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Posts Tagged ‘FE Libraries’

Reader Development in FE

Posted by andrewey on June 16, 2009

The recent fforwm Learning Resource Managers’ network meeting showcased some of the reader development activities undertaken as part of a CyMAL funded scheme last autumn.

Particularly impressive were Swansea College’s book sack project with childcare students, who produced their own book sacks for use in encouraging reading amongst preschool children, and Coleg Glan Hafren’s use of a virtual reading group on Moodle.

More details on all the reader development activities can be found on the JISC RSC-Wales Moodle.

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Defining excellence in Learning Resource Service provision

Posted by andrewey on March 20, 2009

JISC RSC London and CoFHE held a very successful event to launch the FE LRS toolkit, produced by CoFHE and CoLRiC, at CILIP on Thursday 12 March.

There were over 50 attendees from FE highlighting the significance of the toolkit to the sector. The RSC London website provides details of the event and links to the presentations.

Collette Xavier, from CoLRiC, spoke about how they are updating their Peer Accreditation Scheme and how it will have greater synergy with the LRS toolkits developed in England, Scotland and Wales.

Feedback from the event was very positive although it highlighted  the need for clarification on some areas of the toolkit – which CoFHE will collate and put on the website with the toolkit.

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FE library update – February 2009

Posted by andrewey on March 3, 2009

The FE learning resources toolkit for English college is now at the printers and will be being distributed by CoFHE/JISC Regional Support Centres. I will be speaking at the toolkit launch at CILIP HQ on Thursday 12 March.

CoFHE will be publishing support material/clarifications relating to the toolkit on the CoFHE website so please post comments here if there is any aspect of the toolkit which is unclear.

One query raised was in relation to the CoLRiC benchmarks which are cited in the toolkit – these refer to the CoLRiC Peer Accreditation scheme. Copies of this documentation is available from CoLRiC, although there is a charge.

The CoFHE Bulletin issues for Autumn/Spring have been delayed owing to a lack of copy so if your are doing something innovative in an FE library service then I’d like to hear from you (to write a short piece for the Bulletin of around 500 words). 

A programme for the 2009 CoFHE conference at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh will be available shortly and plans are underway or the joint CoFHE/UCR conference in 2010 to be held at Exeter University.

There will be a FE/HE strand at Umbrella, 14-15 July, University of Hertfordshire (Hatfield). Umbrella is also an excellent opportunity to see good practice in other library sectors.

There is now a direct mailing service for CoFHE news (as distinct from the CoFHE JISC Mail discussion forum) – so if you’d like to be kept up to date with what’s happening in FE libraries then please update your contact details via the CILIP website.

The CoFHE JISC mail forum is an excellent way of asking fellow FE professionals for advice and information (click here for more information).

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Using social software to support learning in FE and HE

Posted by andrewey on February 27, 2009

Jisc have published some very useful case studies  , and a report, on the use of web 2.0 tools to support teaching and learning in FE and HE. Of the 26 case studies only three are from FE, including the CyMAL Inspiring Learning project that I’m engaged in at Coleg Llandrillo (which is also the only case study included from Wales).

The aspects of the Coleg Llandrillo project which have been highlighted are the use of the Liberaceblog to promote the library service, the use of this blog to promote our research findings, the use of wikis to share and collaboratively produce information and the use of social bookmarking to create virtual reading lists.

The other two FE college projects featured are Stockport College (with the use of Flickr for photosharing by students on a City & Guilds photography course) and Northumberland College (which features the use of wikis in portfolio building).

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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 »

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 »

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.

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Library 2.0 and English FE Toolkit dissemination events

Posted by andrewey on October 17, 2008

I’m doing a case study on our CyMAL Library 2.0 in FE project at the rescheduled ‘Sharing Made Simple‘ event at Bangor University on Thursday 6 November. There is a wiki with information on the previous ‘Sharing Made Simple’ event held at the University of Wales, Newport in September.

I’ll be talking specifically about the use of Web 2.0 in Information Literacy in FE at the ‘Developing Information Literacy – sharing good practice’ event at Cardiff University on Tuesday 4 November. Further details on this event can be obtained from Christine Clark, South East Wales RDO.

Steve Cropper from Wirral Metroploitan College and myself are doing a presentation on peer review and the new learning resources quality toolkitfor FE colleges at a CoFHE North West event at the Carlett Park Campus of Wirral Metropolitan College on Thursday  20 November. Details on this event should appear on the CoFHE NW webpages in the near future.

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Learning resources self-assessment quality toolkit for England

Posted by andrewey on September 22, 2008

The electronic version of the FE quality toolkit for learning resource services (LRSs) in England, mentioned in my August update, is now available on the CoFHE website.

The toolkit includes an introduction giving the rationale for such a toolkit and a vision statement on the role of college LRSs in the 21st century.

There is a brief section on how to use the toolkit – it would also be possible to provide blank proformas for self-assessment to be made available on the CoFHE website.

The toolkit itself consists of 5 Key Questions which have been mapped to the 5 Key Questions in the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.

Each Key Question is broken down into a series of quality indicators and key prompts. Each one of which is given a performance indicator, ‘who responsible’ and example sources of evidence.

For each Key Question there are also grade illustrations describing what a Grade 1,2 3 or 4 LRS would possibly look like. These are indicative as all colleges will differ in both their strengths and weaknesses.

CoFHE is currently working on producing a printed copy of the toolkit for distribution to all colleges in England and dissemination events are being planned – which will hopefully be delivered in co-operation with the JISC RSCs in England.

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August FE library news update

Posted by andrewey on August 29, 2008

I’m going to post monthly updates providing short library news items which may be of interest to other FE librarians:

The new occupational standards for the Library Archives and Information Services (LAIS) sector have been published (LLUK have indicated that the standards will also be published in Welsh – depending on funding). As an NVQ co-ordinator I’m hoping that we will have the new qualification standards in place for the start of the 2009/10 academic year. The new standards also mean that staff working in the archives sector will be following the same qualification as library staff rather than having their own distinct set of occupational standards.

There is now an international Information Literacy logo which can be downloaded and used freely.

The new edition of the CoFHE Bulletin (No. 113) includes a write up of the CoFHE/UC&R conference workshop on using podcasting in education. If you would like to submit an article for the Bulletin please contact me.

The Learning resources quality toolkit for English colleges (which I have been working on with colleagues in England) is due for publication in September. The toolkit has been a joint venture between CoFHE and CoLRiC and was based on the successful toolkits produced for FE library services in Scotland and Wales. The English toolkit will be made available electronically via the Centre for Excellence in Leadership as well as CoFHE/CoLRiC. CoFHE also intends to publish the toolkit in hardcopy and to distribute it to all colleges in England.

I have also contributed to the revised Welsh learning resources toolkit which is due for publication, by fforwm, before Christmas (again the toolkit will be made available free of charge electronically and in hardcopy, in both English and Welsh, to all colleges in Wales). 

Work is also underway to revise the Scottish learning resources toolkit, which will apparently make reference to the use of Web 2.0 technologies – I do not know when this is scheduled for publication.

Posted in FE Libraries, Monthly news updates | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »