Despite taking place in November last year, this event and the gems of inspiration from other attendees and the fantastic speakers have stayed at the forefront of my mind and helped me to implement some really effective changes in the college library!
Having handed in my last assignment of the term this week, after what has been the most hectic term of all, it feels incredible to devote some attention to all the things I’ve had to neglect in order to prioritise coursework- so please excuse these belated posts. Last term I had managed to stay really on top of the coursework and still have time to keep up with life and a few luxuries like drawing classes and writing the odd blog post, but this term it all went out the window and everything was coursework! It’s really interesting to reflect on why, from a teaching and learning perspective, and I think this was due to the nature of the assignments and tutors opting for a different method of delivery than that which we have become accustomed to.
For our Information Organisation module we produced a portfolio using PebblePad which we updated weekly with core tasks and optional extra tasks (for extra points) and learning reflections. The open ended nature of this wrecked havoc with my tendency for perfectionism and I struggled to know when to call it a day, and this combined with exploring a topic which I had very little background knowledge in (metadata, taxonomies etc), was a dangerous combination for time management. However, I was absolutely delighted to discover I had received my highest mark ever for my portfolio and a request from my tutor to use it as an example for next years students, making it all seem worthwhile! Our other assignment for the Information and Knowledge Management module involved a 3000 word essay exploring the differences and similarities and debates surrounding information management and knowledge management and applying them to our workplace, and at times myself and my fellow coursemates found this a slippery task, but I thoroughly enjoyed writing something more academic in style, and I feel like I learnt so much about the strengths and weaknesses of my organisation as a result.
My manager kindly let me take a day out to go along to the UKSG FE E-Resources day in London, where I had the opportunity to meet fellow FE Librarians from all over the UK, and to get some inspiration about accessing, promoting and making the most of E-Resources. Particularly inspiring were the iSkills modules demonstrated by Hannah and Lorna from Guildford College, and Simon Rice’s talk about ‘Moving upward and changing direction’, in which he shared with us how he had helped to transform Barnfield College library from a place where students go to eat and hang around, into a place where students go to learn.
Since the event I have focused on promoting E-Resources to our students, posting regularly on Moodle to raise awareness of what is available, creating E-Resources leaflets and guides for students, putting a physical catalogue of E-Resources out on the shelves for students to search physically, and putting up posters and signage. I’m really determined to focus on the information literacy aspects of making E-Resources accessible for students and using the quieter summer months to create some teaching resources for students ready for the next academic year.
But what was also incredible about the event, was that I won a ticket to the UKSG 40th Annual Conference and Exhibition, including accomodation, in Harrogate! Amazing!! Having applied for the student conference bursary to attend the event the previous year, it is wonderful to be attending this year, and I will also have the opportunity to do a write up of the event for the UKSG newsletter!