Posted by LibeRaCe on May 23, 2012
At the RSC North West ‘Want your learners to be more independent?’ event I felt I had my eyes well and truly opened to the benefits of, and dare I say it, the necessity of embedding information literacy skills into learning provision – whatever form that provision that may take.
Anthony Beal and Hilary Thomas (RSC) asked us to start thinking about what our definition of ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Independent Learner’ might actually be. Cue much head scratching and pen waving, but ultimately many similar ideas from a mixed group of tutors/librarians/learning support officers. Critical thinking suggestions included the ability to analyse, compare, contrast and assess information in a more in-depth way. An independent learner has a myriad of traits – motivated, self directed, responsible, reflective, engaged and (crucially) intrinsically motivated by making progress.
The term Information Literacy itself was queried – are teachers/tutors familiar with this term too – does it have meaning outside of the research or information professional’s toolkit? If you walked into a classroom and asked “hands up anyone who’s information literate”, would you be met with blank stares? And not only because you’re a raving stranger that’s just walked into their classroom……..
Deborah Millar and Joanna Neil from Blackburn College gave great insight into the uses and benefits of social media tools including Pintrest, Tumblr and Scoopit and how these sites help to support their learners to study, expore, research and reflect on the regular feedback they can offer as tutors. But their talk also gave us more to think about regarding the role of a tutor/teacher as ‘expert’ and the understanding of true collaboration within a students learning journey. It set us on the path to question our role titles and how that might affect provision (division of support) and also who ‘owns’ knowledge or information within an institution.
This insight paved the way for a talk by Jane Secker and Emma Coonan, which was a quickfire but insightful overview of ‘A New Curriculum for Information Literacy ‘ (ANCIL) project, which they had both developed during their secondment to the Arcadia Project -exploring the role of academic libraries in a digital age. While the main focus of the project was Higher Education, there were significant, transferable conclusions and new ways of thinking about Information Literacy that relate to the Public Library and Schools stream of the Welsh Information Literacy project. The Institution Audit Worksheet especially enabled the group to start discussing and investiagting who currently has responsibility for supporting students develop their IL skills in our organisations, broken down by strands including becoming an independent learner or resource discovery. When you really look at learner support provision in this way, it becomes clear quickly that in many cases several departments/staff groups are involved and not everyone collaborates to make it a seamless experience for learners.
I think this training day was the first opportunity I’ve had to really THINK about Information Literacy and make meaningful connections to help categorise or attempt to lasso all the different approaches in order to spread the word and support our advocacy activities. I feel it’s important to re-visit this question with a new WILP project team and also as we are approaching lots of new stakeholders who are encountering this for the first time.
Is it a concept, an ethos, a skillset, a scheme of learning, a framework? Well, yes to all – but also a pathway, a continuum, a cyclical process of learning, exploring and reflecting to enable people to cope with the demands of whatever information context they find themselves in. Before we get too metaphysical here, I think the point I’m trying to make is that the question should really be “Am I information literate right now?” – do I have the information skills necessary to help me to be insightful and successful for my challenges today? And to make sure we ask ourselves and ask this question of our learners regularly. There are a set of identifiable skills, yes but potentially infinite levels of skill development – there is no ‘end point’.
We need to move away from thinking about Information Literacy as a set of finite, tick box competancies – definable, yes, measurable, yes but continually evolving. However, when we start talking about accreditation, impact and measurement there is a danger of falling into the trap of “right, you’ve done the test. You’re information literate now, put that in your PDP and off you go”. Embedding information literacy into our services and user/learner support should be about enabling a generation of life long learners – is that happening in your organisation?
You can contact the Welsh Information Literacy Project Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @welsh_info_lit
Posted in A Levels, GCSE, HE Students, Libraries, PGCE, Welsh Info Lit Project | Tagged: information literacy, welsh information literacy project | 2 Comments »
Posted by LibeRaCe on February 4, 2011
Ok – many of these activities are happening in England tomorrow, but don’t think that our services in Wales are immune – referendum or no referendum next month.
Find out how to have your say and help support the communities, families and people who all rely on their libraries by checking out :
CILIP – Save our Libraries day
Twitter by checking out #savelibraries
Facebook and the Save Libraries Events
Voices for the Library blog
Phil Bradley’s Library Posters!
and personal stories like this one on why public libraries are so important….
Posted in Current Affairs, Events, Libraries, Library Online | 1 Comment »
Posted by LibeRaCe on October 29, 2010
FE News highlights the mutliple funding stream cuts that will effect FE institutions and their provision. How will the sector cope with the changes and what effect will that have on provision, on jobs, infrastructure and information services?
Posted in academic libraries, Current Affairs, FE Students, Libraries | Leave a Comment »
Posted by LibeRaCe on May 17, 2010
The Library World cup competition starts today 17th May until Friday June 18th. To take part, all you have to do is take out a book that has a world cup bookmark or any of the books on display. If you draw a team that wins its group stage (groups A-H) then you win one of eight prizes. The list of teams drawn out will be displayed the week commencing 21st June, when you will be able to follow the progress of your team.
For further information ask at the library counter.
Posted in Books, Libraries, New Stock, Uncategorized | Tagged: World Cup | Leave a Comment »
Posted by LibeRaCe on February 11, 2010
Congratulations to three Coleg Llandrillo Denbigh students for winning the reader development competition. Niame Traore is an ESOL student and used our Oxford Bookworms collection to practice her english reading skills. Mathew Thomas McDonald and Helen Williams are both on the STEPS program and have been reading as part of their classroom activities. Niame and Mathew both won an MP3 video player and Helen has won £20 worth of book tokens!
Niame Traore receiving her challenge prize!
All three students took part in the Six Book Challenge 2010. The challenge was to read and review six books. Students could choose any six books they liked (at any level) to enter the challenge and needed to send in all six reviews to the library. Coleg Llandrillo Rhos winners to be announced shortly!
Over half of adults (56%) have literacy skills below the level of a good GCSE (NAO, Skills for Life: Progress in Improving Adult Literacy and Numeracy, 2008). “Our stubborn national skills problems show we need new ways to tackle literacy issues,” said Miranda McKearney, Director of The Reading Agency. “We launched the Six Book Challenge in 2008, and I wish we’d started it years ago! It’s a deceptively simple, motivational scheme that has a tremendous impact on people’s lives.’
9,000 adults took part in the Six Book Challenge in 2009, up 25% on 2008. 70% of library services across the UK ran the scheme as well as colleges, adult and community education centres, workplaces and prisons. 90% of participants said they feel more confident about reading after taking part, and tutors say that the Challenge improves learners’ confidence, increases their motivation and helps them develop a reading habit.
Author Mike Gayle, who is Patron of the Six Book Challenge and a keen supporter of adult literacy initiatives, said: “Anything that encourages adult learners to get stuck into a good read has got to be a good thing in my book! I’m proud to be involved in this terrific initiative that is making a real difference to those who have felt excluded from the world of books.”
National Book Tokens
Posted in A Levels, Books, English, Events, General Library Info, Libraries, Reading Group | Tagged: reading challenge, six book challenge, winners | Leave a Comment »
Posted by LibeRaCe on January 27, 2010
The Six Book Challenge invites less confident readers to read six books such as the Quick Reads and record their reading in a diary. They are supported with incentives and rewarded with a certificate when they complete the Challenge. Most organisations run the Challenge from January to June but it can take place at any time during the year. Coleg Llandrillo’s Denbigh and Rhos library sites are both taking part in the challenge.
Posted in Libraries, Library Online | Leave a Comment »