Sunday, 9 October 2011

#libcampuk11 session 1: Managing the Transition between School and University

The first session I went to was run by Jo Alcock and Jean Allen. This turned out to be the most formal session I went to during the day, and was extremely interesting (not to mention topical, as we are still doing induction tours for new students at the library at the moment).

As we took it in turns to introduce ourselves, we also said what we hoped to get out of the session. There were a mixture of Further and Higher Education librarians, as well as librarians from other sectors and library school students who had an interest in  learning more about this area. Induction tours were mentioned quite often, and there seemed to be a general feeling that FE librarians don't know enough about what goes on in HE and vice versa.

The discussion can be pretty much split up into problems and suggested solutions (of which there were lots, which is always nice!)

  • Students arrive at university with few or no research skills.
  • Kids are often taught about the internet etc in primary schools and then at uni, but not in between.
  • When information and research skills are taught they are often taught in a vacuum, not embedded into the curriculum (this is sometimes the fault of the librarian if they are too protective over their info skills sessions!)
  • School curriculums don't make transferable skills explicit.
  • Teachers in schools don't realise the value of a qualified librarian as a resource, as they're trying to meet grade targets and cover the curriculum they often don't think they have time for wider skills. 
  • University students don't want to get lesson on induction when hungover - they only think about this when essay is due and they are in a panic!  However often induction is the only chance we'll get to hook them in.
  • Librarians, teachers and parents need to work together from the beginning - skills should be taught embedded in the curriculum not in a "library skills lesson". These are life skills.
  • Not just library staff, but teachers and management should be on board.
  • Librarians have to be in your face, WE CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND IMPROVE YOUR STUDENTS GRADES. Nab new teachers with cake and booze, get them on your side!
  • Start with what is readily available i.e. Google advanced search as they will most often turn to Google anyway. Then use Google Scholar as a stepping stone to library resources.
  • Practice inductions on local sixth form students. Encourage local schools to bring project groups into university libraries.
  • Don't be precious about info lit training, encourage teachers and lecturers to deliver sessions, to embed in curriculum. (Emma Illingworth - this is being done at the University of Brighton)
  • Sarah Barker - Interview with academic staff before start of term, what do you want from library? They usually say eresources, reading lists.
  • Important not to assume everyone has access to PCs/internet at home. Also important to remember that nfo literacy includes the physical library, not just eresources.
  • Children are only in schools for 15% of waking hours. Public libraries underpin whole process, beginning with BookStart.
Things to look at:

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