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Conference: Speakers and their papers

Measuring Value: the impact of information literacy and its evaluation

Keith Walker and Stephen Robertson (Edinburgh Napier University)

  • Contextualising information literacy to assessment criteria and measuring the impact on students 

To develop the digital literacy skills of undergraduate business students, direct links to bespoke library resources were added to module assessment guidelines within the VLE at Edinburgh Napier University. The resources were developed with the academic module leader and made use of videos to illustrate the process of data collection as well as specific links to the relevant academic repositories. A  pilot of 270 students examined students’ use of the library specific tools with data collected through the VLE system logs. This information can be linked to student performance in the different assessments to establish if there is any link between tool usage and performance.

Keith Walker:
Keith has been the Business Librarian at Edinburgh Napier University for the last thirteen years, having previously worked in the City of Edinburgh Public Libraries.  Keith has a particular interest in developing information literacy in modules delivered online as he delivers online tutorials to students studying Edinburgh Napier’s Global Online suite of programmes.  He has also been fortunate enough to visit India, China and Singapore to meet staff and students who assist and are enrolled on these programmes.  Keith recently achieved Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, and is currently Chair of the Business Librarians Association.

Stephen Robertson: 

Stephen has been a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier Business since 2008. Prior to that he spent 18 years  within the Finance Industry  where he participated in a wide range of IT Project and Support roles. Blending his IT and teaching experience, Stephen makes extensive use of social media and audio-visual material as part of a very large cohort undergraduate Business Management module. The impact of this on his students can been seen in his four Student Association Excellence in Teaching Awards in the past four years. Stephen is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is manager of the University Football Club to maintain his professional practice.

Lorna Dodd (Maynooth University)

  • Supporting the development and assessment of critical skills in a new undergraduate curriculum 

Outlines the introduction of a new Information Literacy framework at Maynooth University Library, designed in direct response to the introduction of a new undergraduate curriculum which places a key focus on the development of ‘critical skills’ that will prepare students for work, life and citizenship. Central to the new curriculum is a fundamental emphasis on students developing skills that will enhance their employability. The University also produced a new set of Graduate Attributes which state that “graduates are expected to be… capable of gathering and critiquing information from a variety of sources”. This new curriculum created a significant opportunity for the Library to create a structure that supports the development, evaluation and assessment of information literacy skills for all students.

This presentation will describe the process of developing the new framework, outline why a blended approach was chosen and shows how the framework is designed to support both the development and assessment of critical skills which enhance employability and citizenship.

Lorna Dodd:
Lorna was appointed Senior Librarian for Learning, Research & Information Services at Maynooth University (MU) Library in January 2015. She joined MU from University College Dublin (UCD) Library where she held the position of User Services Manager.  Prior to this Lorna held several roles as subject and liaison librarian, supporting a wide range of disciplines. Lorna has presented at many national and international conferences and published widely in the areas of Library Service Provision, Information Literacy and Enquiry & Problem Based Learning. She has a professional interest in the impact of library activities on student learning and attainment and specific research interests in how information literacy is impacted by student-centred teaching. In 2015, Lorna was awarded a MU Teaching Fellowship for the GAeL (graduate Attributes e-Learning) Project. Lorna also currently represents MU on the CONUL (Consortium of National and University Libraries) Teaching and Learning sub-committee.

Sarah Taylor (University of Bolton)

  • Organic Information Literacy: supporting the developing researcher at the University of Bolton   

Explores the marked change in attitudes to finding online information from researchers at the University of Bolton following the launch of its discovery tool, Discover@Bolton. There is a direct correlation between subject enquiries made to librarians and recorded search terms from Discover@Bolton whilst the number of searches is significantly higher than the number of visits to the service suggesting that students come to Discover@Bolton and stay there. This presentation will explore the ways in which any student engaging in any research is encouraged to apply the information literacy skills they already possess.

Sarah Taylor:
Sarah has been Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Bolton since 2008, having previously worked at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Royal Northern College of Music. She has responsibility for all electronic journals and databases and led the project to implement webscale discovery at Bolton in 2015. In addition, she is closely involved with supporting researchers at the University of Bolton, and manages the University of Bolton Institutional Repository. Sarah’s interest in supporting the needs of researchers stems from her own research activities: she has an MPhil in music with a particular interest in the Victorian choral movement. Another focus for Sarah is access to resources, and the ways in which providers can ensure access is as simple as possible, and how access can impact on user behaviour and satisfaction. She is Chair of the UK Scopus User Enhancement Group.


  • Finding out what researchers “really, really want!”: the structured interview   
    - Mandy Smith and Mary Betts-Gray (Cranfield University) 

Used Qualtrics survey software to undertake structured interviews with Cranfield researchers to raise awareness of current issues, to find out how much researchers knew about the services and support offered at Cranfield, to identify gaps in the support offered and to reach researchers who never or rarely interact with the Library. Discusses how engagement and buy-in from colleagues was obtained, the benefits of doing the interviews and provides an overview of the results and gaps identified. Delegates will be invited to explore how structured interviews might be approached in their own institution.

Mandy Smith:
Mandy works for Cranfield University as an Information Specialist supporting the engineering subject area, as well as Research Support Coordinator working closely with the Cranfield Defence and Security Doctoral Training Centre developing and delivering research training, support and organising research events. She is part of the committee organising this year’s DARTS (Discover Academic Research, Training and Support) Conference and was the secretary for the CILIP ADLG (Aerospace and Defence Librarians Group). She is an active member of two cross-campus research support groups within Cranfield University and works closely with a small team to develop the Research Infokit. More recently Mandy has been tasked with coordinating a project group to produce online content to support the information literacy and research skills of taught students.  Outside of work Mandy enjoys music, sports and cycling.

Mary Betts-Gray:
Mary is a Business Information Specialist in the Management Information and Resource Centre (MIRC), of Cranfield School of Management and is also Freedom of Information Officer for Cranfield University.  She has a particular responsibility for developing library support for research within the School and also working with others to do so across the University and chairs one of the working groups. She was project manager for the JISC funded, EMBED project  and from its inception in 2010 has been a member of Cranfield’s Research Information System (CRIS) project team.  Mary has presented at both national and international conferences. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is currently President of The European Business School Librarians’ Group (EBSLG).

  • Demonstrating the value of information literacy for employability   
    - Maria
    Mawson (University of Sheffield) 

This presentation will showcase initiatives relating to employability and information literacy, including our collaboration with other skills providers in the University to provide joined up skills development activities. One example of this is our work with the Careers Service and University of Sheffield Enterprise to provide support for commercial awareness. We have developed and are piloting a workshop which has been delivered within and outside of the curriculum as part of the Library’s new information skills workshop programme. We will also refer to case studies on employability and information literacy. The case studies include quotes from various members of our alumni, who were interviewed about the impact Information Literacy skills have had on improving their performance in the workplace.

Maria Mawson:
Maria Mawson is the Faculty Librarian for Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield, managing engagement with students, staff and researchers in the Faculty in collaboration with other teams in the University Library. Professional interests include student information literacy, legal information and legal research skills, and staff development. She has worked in the HE sector for 15 years, and has previous experience in public libraries and FE. She is a Chartered Member of CILIP, and mentors candidates working towards CILIP professional registration. She is also an Associate Fellow of the HEA and a member of BIALL (British & Irish Association of Law Librarians)

  • Widening Participation and Transition to Higher Education   
    - Siobhan Cottam and Cat Taylor (University of Leicester) 

The University of Leicester Library is involved in several schemes whereby post-16 students on widening participation schemes are given a taster of University study. This presentation will focus on the development of the information literacy sessions, their impact and evaluation, lessons learnt and future plans and tips for delegates to develop their own interventions with post-16 students.  A blended learning approach was used with follow-up material available on a VLE for student use after the face-to-face session. Strategies for evaluation included formative assessment to gauge the impact on student learning and usage data of the physical Library and of the VLE.

Cat Taylor:

Cat Taylor is a Learning and Teaching Services Assistant at the University of Leicester, supporting students on taught courses across all three Colleges of the University.  She has worked at the University of Leicester since 2012.  Prior to this, Cat worked in a Further Education Library for four years, supporting students with using the Learning Resources Centre, developing information literacy skills and involvement in reader development initiatives.  Cat’s professional interests include developing information literacy support, teaching and training library users and the continued improvement of library services.  Cat is also currently studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education.

Siobhan Cottam:

Siobhan Cottam has worked as a Learning and Teaching Services Assistant in the Academic Liaison team at the University of Leicester since March 2014. In this role, she supports the Learning and Teaching Librarians in meeting the information needs of taught-course students. Prior to this she was a school librarian and started her career in libraries in the Acquisitions team at the University of Nottingham. In her spare time, she is one of the co-founders of the New Library Professionals Network (NLPN). NLPN organise free CPD events for new and early career library and information professionals.



  • Supporting our researchers via the ‘Doctoral Development Programme’, both face to face and online
    - Helen Moore and Jenny Pacheco (University of Sheffield) 

Sheffield University Library is fully embedded in the Doctoral Development Programme (DPP) offering a series of 9 workshops repeated throughout the year.  Workshops are continually evaluated via online feedback which is subsequently reviewed to inform future plans. The presentation will focus on the experience of delivering ‘fast-track’ workshops which bring related themes together; the results of student assessment of the value and impact of the DPP particularly in light of the online materials developed to support students who are part-time and at a distance; the experience of collaboration with Careers and the Research and Innovation Service to bring a collaborative approach to specific areas; and the co-ordinated approach to marketing the Library’s offer to its research students.

Jenny Pacheco:
Jenny is the Learning Technology Librarian for the University of Sheffield Library, a role she has held under various guises for 12 years. Prior to this, Jenny worked for Intute as a subject gateway specialist.  Her particular areas of interest are information and digital literacy, and technology enhanced learning, and she is responsible for the Library’s Information Skills Resource providing online information literacy skills support to both undergraduates and postgraduates. Jenny is working towards CMALT accreditation.

Helen Moore:

Helen is Faculty Librarian for Engineering & Science, a role she has held for 6 years. Prior to that Helen worked as a Customer Services Manager, also at the University of Sheffield Library, and as an Information Services Manager with Essex Libraries. Her particular area of interest is researcher development, not only at postgraduate research student level but also at post doctorate level (a group she views as often neglected). Helen sits on the University’s Doctoral Academy Committee and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

  • Taking advantage of Add+Vantage - library engagement with employability modules at Coventry University
    Holly Singleton (Coventry University) 

Coventry University Library contributes one module, Information: fact or fiction, to the University’s credit-bearing compulsory employability programme, Add+Vantage. This is an 11 week, undergraduate module that takes evaluation of information as a core theme. In 2014 the Academic Liaison Team was relocated into the Disruptive Media Learning Laboratory and the opportunity was taken to update the module so that it became a shared venture between the whole team. The module now emphasises employability with students visiting the Library of Birmingham to explore its Business Information Service and students making use of apps like Evernote to submit their observations for formative feedback. The module ran from September to December, it has been evaluated and feedback from both students and library staff will be incorporated into further changes for 2016.

Holly Singleton:
has worked as an Academic Liaison Librarian at Coventry University for Engineering, Maths, Physics, Computing and Architecture since May 2015. Prior to this she worked at London Southbank University and Anglia Ruskin University as a subject librarian in Health and Social Care. She is module leader for the credit bearing Add+Vantage module run by the library, and has a particular professional interest in teaching and learning.

  • How did the freshers fare?  Measuring progress using a ‘before and after’ evaluation of online compared with face-to-face library induction
    Erica Swain (Cardiff University) 

We undertook an evaluation exercise of an online library induction programme at Cardiff University with a group of Year 1 Dentistry students.  The full cohort completed a pre-test covering attitude statements and knowledge questions.  The cohort was then divided into two randomized groups.  One group received a face-to-face library induction and the other group followed an online library induction tutorial. The cohort then reconvened 5 days later and completed a post-test of the same knowledge. Data analysis revealed that the face-to-face group had improved slightly compared to the online group which has implications for future development of the online induction materials. The presentation will suggest how Cardiff University Library Service plans to make use of the results in future.

Erica Swain:
Erica has worked at Cardiff University for 15 years, and since 2008 has been the Subject Librarian supporting Language & Communication, Philosophy and Religious Studies.  Alongside this she devotes some of her time to working on Information Literacy-related projects, including helping to create and launch an online library induction for the University, and has recently become chair of the group which produces Cardiff’s Handbook for Information Literacy Teaching.  Erica is also involved in support and training for EndNote reference management software, and aspires to get to grips with copyright law more fluently.  Outside of work Erica quite likes walking in South Wales, holidaying across the Channel, seeing if anything will grow in her garden in Cardiff’s heavy clay soil, and playing the piano.


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