UoL Library Blog

Develop, debate, innovate.

EMALink Event On Subject Librarians Part 2

Posted by selinalock on 26 March, 2010

Developing the information literacy practitioner; the OU’s training needs analysis by Wendy Mears.

  • The context of Wendy’s talk was that the OU needed to know what training information literacy librarians needed in order to learn new technology, cut the time needed for course production, and deliver increased return on income for library resources.
  • Information literacy integration in OU courses is seen as a key indicator of library success.
  • Mary Auckland undertook a training needs analysis based on the current and future demands placed on information literacy librarians.
  • This included a literature survey, conversations with key thinkers, anonymous survey of the libs (using survey monkey) and focus groups.
  • Some of the skill gaps identified were: influencing & persuasion skills (for use in meetings), making a case for information literacy in pedagogic terms, marketing & advocacy skills, assertiveness and creating generic information literacy materials.
  • There were also gaps in technical knowledge with regards to Moodle, Word, Powerpoint, Elluminate, social networking, web2.0 and Excel.
  • A development plan was produced with ten recommendations, such as librarians taking OU courses, updating job descriptions, keep a watching brief in new technologies, develop key competencies and research support skills.
  • As with anything, budget was a major factor in responding to the training needs so some needs will be met through existing channels e.g. staff developement hour (hour for training every week), appraisal process, visit from external speakers and University internal training events.
  • New initiatives included: using internal experts, bringing in external experts to provide tailored training and supporting external events/qualifications.
  • Four months in it is difficult to tell if the new training initiatives have had much impact, but it helped define librarian roles as well as training needs.
  • It highlighted existing good practice and ways to use internal resources where possible.

Students, Librarians & Marketing the Library by Becky Laing, Loughborough University.

  • Becky outlined how the library became in a marketing module that is run by the Department of Information Science for their PG students.
  • The library was asked to produce marketing briefs for the students to work on, and the students had to present their marketing pitch to the academic librarians.
  • The briefs were for marketing the library journals, subject librarians, information literacy & study skills, Metalib (library portal) and Library space.
  • The students were also given a subject librarian they could contact for more information if needed.
  • The students came up with some interesting ideas that the library found very useful. (See Becky’s slides for more info).
  • For example, they suggested a leaflet and video to advertise the subject librarians, and more targeted marketing to encourage different groups of students to use the journals.
  • The library also learnt some things about how students perceived the library services, for example, the library had been thinking about rebranding their study skills sessions with a more exciting name, but the students thought study skills was the best way to get across what it was to other students.
  • Overall the module was a big success as the students found it useful to work on real briefs, and the library will be taking some of their suggestion further.
  • So, always good to get hold of tame students!

Overall I think the most useful part of the day was the reminder to continually review what we do, where we’re heading and how to show our worth.

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