Category Archives: Public libraries

Report on Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Library TeachMeet – 22nd January 2014

MMU LibTeachMeet, January 2014

MMU LibTeachMeet, January 2014

The organisers of this CILIP IL Group-sponsored event have kindly provided the following report:

Wednesday 22nd January was the inaugural CILIP ILG sponsored Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) LibTeachMeet. This saw a sold out gathering of 50 folks from around the country stuffing biscuits and snaffling the many freebies (kindly provided by numerous library suppliers) together in a room in the University’s brand new Business School.

Talks could be on anything related to information or digital literacy, and we saw a really good range of 10-minute presentations from a variety of brave souls!

First up was the sparky Ros Bell from the University of Manchester, running a super-quick Techknowledgy taster session. Ros’ Techknowledgy sessions are aimed at University staff and she took this opportunity to tell the LibTeachMeet about a few interesting resources to support group work, which many of us had never come across before: Yammer (a sort of ‘work Facebook’), Asana (recommended as a time management tool for groups and individuals) and Padlet (basically a blank wall to which people can post text, images, documents, etc.).

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LILAC 2014: Bursary winners announced

LILAC logoThe Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) takes place at Sheffield Hallam University on 23rd-25th April 2014.

LILAC’s bursary scheme was set up this year to enable access to the conference for librarians from sectors that traditionally struggle to secure funding from their employers. Each of the free conference places includes 3 days of attendance at all LILAC sessions and social events (networking evening and conference dinner).

Congratulations to this year’s winners, who are:

  • NHS – Ruth Jenkins, Librarian, Healthcare Library, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust
  • Public – Jacqueline Geekie, Information Literacy and Learning Librarian, Aberdeenshire Libraries
  • Schools/FE – Donna Gundry, Head of Library Services, Plymouth College of Art

We wish them a rewarding and productive conference!

The full programme of sessions for LILAC 2014 was recently published.  There is still time to book a place at the conference. Members of the CILIP Information Literacy Group received a discounted rate.

LILAC bursaries now available

LILAC logoThe Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) takes place at Sheffield Hallam University on 23rd-25th April 2014.  3 free conference places are being offered for librarians working in the following sectors:

  • Schools/FE
  • Public
  • Health (eg NHS)

Each conference place includes 3 days of attendance at all LILAC sessions and social events (networking evening and conference dinner).

To be eligible for a place, you must be a librarian or information professional working in the sectors mentioned above. A short personal statement is required that outlines your commitment to information literacy. You should also explain what benefits you would gain from attending the conference and how you intend to use your conference experience at your home institution.

If you would like to be considered for a free conference place, then please complete the application form and return it to the LILAC committee at bursaries@lilacconference.com by the closing date of 7th February 2014 at 17:00 GMT.

Please note that the bursary will only cover the cost of the LILAC conference itself. Accommodation and travel expenses will not be covered.

Welsh Information Literacy Project: Bite-sized best practice day, Cardiff Central Library, 1 August 2013

The following report is by Rebecca Mogg, Deputy Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group.

The day was opened by Mandy Powell from CILIP Wales who gave an inspiring speech about the value of librarians’ support of information literacy and provided some background to the Welsh Information Literacy Project (WILP).  The CyMAL funded project has been running since 2010.  It began at Cardiff University and resulted in the development of an overarching statement for information literacy in Wales and a curriculum framework and associated learning units for information literacy ranging from entry level to doctoral level.  The units are accredited by Agored Cymru who are responsible for developing and accrediting qualifications for learners at all levels in Wales.  Learners can work through the information literacy units in whichever context they are learning and, if they wish, go for the option of attaining Agored Cymru credits by producing evidence in the form of a log book.

In 2012, WILP re-located to north Wales to Coleg Llandrillo in Conwy where the focus has been on the implementation of the framework through working with schools and public libraries.

The aim of this best practice day was to share some case studies where the Framework has been put into practice.

Public libraries

The first half of the day focused on public libraries.  Lisa Thomas from Caerphilly County Borough Council told us about a project called ‘Get Caerphilly Online’ (@GetCOnline) where the library is working with a range of partners in the area, including charities, on a co-ordinated project to support those wishing to get online or use new technologies.  The project includes the ‘Digital Fridays’ initiative where library staff offer one-to-one drop in sessions aimed at enabling members of the public to learn how to complete whatever task they want to do online e.g. email, online shopping, completing online benefits claims forms or use technology such as eBook readers and tablets.  The initiative has proved very popular, with over 400 people in less than 6 months participating.  It’s ideal for those who just want to learn how to do a specific task and don’t have time to attend a full, organised, course.

The following presentation focused on how the framework has been used for public library staff development.  The learning units have so far been trialled by Gwyneth, Monmouthshire and Merthyr Tydfil Public Library Services where staff have been trained to levels 2 and 3.  The training has been based around real-life queries which have been received from members of the public.

Speakers from Monmouthshire talked about their experiences.  In particular Erica Sheppard-Aldecoa from Macmillan Monmouthshire gave a very interesting talk on how completing the units had helped increase her confidence in supporting users of the health and cancer information service she provides for Monmouthshire public libraries.  She focused her log book on supporting members of the public who wanted to know more about how complementary therapies can help cancer patients.  There are a lot of myths and research data around this area and Erica used the training to help her develop her skills in finding good quality information and identify gaps in the research so that she is better able to support and signpost members of the public.

School libraries

Given this event was in the school holidays, I was particularly impressed that the presenters at this part of the day had given up their time to speak at the event!

The first presentation came from Sioned Jones who is the Literacy Co-Ordinator at Holyhead High School.  Sioned talked about how the WILP framework has been used with year 7 students who have been identified as needing more support to improve their reading but do not have special educational needs.  Working with the School Librarian, Sioned developed a programme whereby students attend 90 minute sessions once a fortnight to improve their reading and research skills.  They were given the chance to select a topic to research and write a presentation about it.  Incorporating the WILP framework into this programme enabled the students to develop skills in evaluation of sources, finding information and referencing alongside developing reading skills strategies.  It built up their confidence to ask questions and to identify and talk to relevant people to find out more information about their chosen topic.  When re-tested 69% of students gained an improved reading score.  The School is now considering introducing the framework to Key Stage 4 students who are working on projects.

Alison Bagshaw, School Librarian at Llanishen School in Cardiff then talked about a project to embed information literacy into curriculum, again focusing on year 7 pupils.  The WILP framework was used alongside students’ learning about the crusades.  Alison conducted a pre- and post-self-evaluation audit with the students and interestingly found that many students rated their skills highly in the pre-test and then more realistically in the post-test, after completing the WILP framework.

Finally, Myfanwy Jones, who works for Conwy Libraries Service, described her involvement in a partnership project between Conwy Libraries and local schools to work with year 6 students who are transitioning to secondary school.  She organised a full day using the WILP resources focused on developing students information literacy.  Students worked in groups on a topic of their choice around the subject of castles.  After receiving instruction in the morning, students were then free to research the topic using the skills they’d learned.

As a higher education librarian, I was fascinated to hear more about the work which is going on in schools and public libraries to develop information literacy in Wales and was impressed by how much progress the WILP project has made since its inception in 2009.  The project is due to draw to a close in spring 2014 and so the focus is now moving onto how to maintain this momentum in the future.

The WILP web site is packed with more information including case studies and advocacy resources for school librarians.

Update on the Welsh Information Literacy Project

Update from Siona Murray, Welsh Information Literacy Project Officer.

This article is intended to provide an update on the Welsh Information Literacy Project (WILP)activities over the past year and highlight the objectives for 2013-2014. Phase IV of the project was awarded to the North Wales Library Partnership (NWLP) and Coleg Llandrillo Library in April 2014. The main aims and objectives of this next phase include:
• Facilitate the embedding of information literacy (IL) activities and skills in public libraries and schools, with the addition of extending support to end users.
• Supporting local authorities and selected schools to run pilot projects incorporating information literacy frameworks.
• Extending the case study and shared resource database to support other groups to incorporate information literacy activities into teaching pedagogies.
• Establish a network of FE and HE information literacy champions through a collaborative community of practice (CoP).
• Inform the development of Hŵb, specifically in terms of developing information literacy content for the all Wales Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
• Develop a sustainable exit strategy for the project and associated activities.

To see a more comprehensive reflection on Phase III and the planned activities for Phase IV, please see our recent guest blog post hosted by WHELF.

WILP at Umbrella 2013. Image courtesy of @KrisWJ via Twitter

Over the past few months, our project officers have been gathering evidence of the pilot activities from schools and public libraries involved in Phase III. Project officers have been working with Ysgol Uwchradd Caerbybi in North Wales and Llanishen School in South Wales specifically. Full findings will be available later this summer; however we can report that initial findings are very positive. IL activities in Ysgol Uwchradd Caerbybi indicate that 69% of the students involved in the pilot support group displayed an increase in their Standardised Literacy Scores (SAS) of 4.4 points on average. This is a significant positive result, with one member of the group increasing their SAS by 8 points. You can read more about the pilot in CyMAL magazine here. The project will be establishing contacts with additional schools for Phase IV and we plan to have at least 10 schools actively involved in embedding IL activities within the curriculum during this phase. There is a real interest from schools in providing accredited IL training for learners through the Agored Cymru qualifications. However there are some issues with internal/external verification responsibilities and costs which are proving to be a challenge to schools accessing the qualifications. Building links with teacher training departments throughout Wales will also be a feature of the project for Phase IV.

Project officers have been facilitating public library IL champions in Monmouthshire and Merthyr Tydfil to complete the Level 3 Agored Cymru qualifications.

‘Happy Faces’ Feedback. Image from Abergele Library IL Event

Library staff will be supported in these local authorities to complete Agored Cymru Level 2 in Phase IV. The project team have also been facilitating library staff in Gwynedd to complete the Agored qualification through the medium of Welsh. We will continue to support the roll out of the accredited units as the public library libraries involved explore further how to facilitate IL support with their users. Project officers also recent supported a schools IL activity day based in Abergele public library and are keen to facilitate further cross over events such as this. The project team are also currently organising an IL best practice sharing day in South Wales on the 1st August in Cardiff Central Library. Details can be found here. The project team will be developing a draft sustainability plan and exit strategy over the coming months which will be presented to the Steering group in September 2013. Please contact wilp@gllm.ac.uk to book your place at the best practice sharing day or to get in touch if you would like to know more about the project. You can also contact us on twitter @welsh_info_lit.