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Through the Looking-Glass. Judy Reading User Education Co-ordinator Oxford University Library Services.

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Presentation on theme: "Through the Looking-Glass. Judy Reading User Education Co-ordinator Oxford University Library Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 Through the Looking-Glass. Judy Reading User Education Co-ordinator Oxford University Library Services

2 “The emphasis will be on how we can collaborate more effectively as librarians to deliver information about and training for the skills Cambridge undergraduates and graduates need to support their work. “

3 Oxford comparison Useful because similar not because necessarily at forefront of good practice Hopefully will spark discussion

4 Oxford Libraries: we aim to: Ensure all our readers are given a clear and helpful introduction to the Library services as appropriate to their needs. Ensure all members of the University and its libraries are offered effective support and guidance in identifying and using appropriate information resources. Develop and promote information expertise as a general and transferable skill for students and researchers of the University at levels appropriate to their needs. see

5 Ideal user education? Online, self-directed Tailored to individual needs Relevant and embedded in course structure Academic staff involved Unnecessary because resources self- explanatory

6 Co-ordination at Oxford User Education Co-ordinator post established Nov Policy and planning documents agreed at OULS Staff Conference 2005 Induction, User Education and Guides W.P. established Webpages created for readers and in the staff intranet see

7 Various definitions exist CILIP: “Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.”

8 Or Information skills is the process by which a reader is able to find the thing for themselves next time after you have shown them the first time. [My working definition]

9 9

10 Co-ordinator post has facilitated induction Freshers Fair presence for Library services Induction events arranged for visiting students and contract research staff pan- OULS Undergraduate induction is organised centrally via a user education database – a boon for College Secretaries Library guides and maps distributed via Colleges for new students Information about new staff circulated to subject librarians

11 User education User education database created to identify gaps (still work in progress for postgrad courses and post-induction undergraduates), Co-ordinate Library staff teaching Refworks at the Computing Services Training relating to plagiarism for Library staff delivered by Co-ordinator and with Learning Institute for academic staff.

12 WISER: Workshops in Information Skills and Electronic Resources Popular courses include Keeping up to date, Remote access, Electronic resources …

13 WISER Central programme of training Subject-specific and general sessions (eg on French and also on Keeping up to date) Many library staff contribute Useful for library staff development both in working together to deliver sessions and also in attending sessions Feedback gathered which raises standards Shared archive of presentations

14 Future of WISER.. Would like to create more online, independent learning opportunities on the WISER topics Need to make the sessions more interactive and hands-on Some of them could be longer than one hour lunch-time

15 This very popular training event for research students was organised with Careers and OUCS– always over-subscribed – how roll-out to all? Make online?

16 Guides Collaboration over guides and sharing teaching resources Saves time and improves quality Gradually replacing paper with online guides?

17 Guides (Brief induction guides, guides to services, libraries, subjects and databases) see

18 Library staff training Exchange of experience days, plagiarism, reference management, electronic resources for front-line staff, voice coaching, tools for trainers, effective presentations, Word for guides, INFORMS and Weblearn …

19 Barriers to co-ordinating role? Subject librarians interpret skills and liaise with academic staff completely independently Protective of relationship with academic staff How can we improve standards across Oxford while preserving independence of subject librarians?

20 Our popular competitors – should readers have to learn to navigate round our complex systems?

21 Our readers, staff and students have new expectations from our services – and new ways of working and we risk losing relevance if our services are too difficult to use

22 Oxford students Are not homogeneous Prefer to find out for themselves On the whole find Library training and induction useful (if boring and long-winded) Feel confident in locating information in their subject Make very intelligent observations when asked for their feedback Do not necessarily understand basic things about how information is organised Gleaned from Freshers Fair surveys and feedback at our Research Students Toolkit EventFreshers Fair survey

23 Co-operation benefits Save time by sharing teaching resources and guides Improve quality by peer mentoring and team teaching Stronger voice within Library and University if work together

24 However Need to balance tailored provision with joint thinking about standards Need to balance creativity of individual approach with the benefits of harmonisation


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