On 19th July, I took part in a LibTeachMeet at Royal Holloway University. A chance for Librarians to meet and discuss the topic of ‘Whenever, Wherever: Information Literacy Online’.
The first thing that strikes you when you arrive is the amazing Founders Building – it is majestic and right next door is the brand new Davison Building housing the library. The new and old come together beautifully.
The building is named after Emily Davison the famous Suffragette and alumni of the University. Part of the building houses the archive collection which was previously held in less than ideal conditions in the Founders Building. As the University was previously a women’s only college they keep an enormous Suffragette collection and on our tour we were lucky enough to see some Suffragette publications.
However the main reason we were there was to listen to five speakers (including me!) from different universities looking at an array of different digital tools for delivering information literacy.
First was Antonia Lewis from Goldsmiths, University of London who discussed the university’s Academic Skills webpage, GIST -Goldsmiths Information Skills Tutorial. She used information from various sources including InfoSMART by Glasgow School of Art and felt that, at the time, it was a good starting place but over time it contained too much information and didn’t really relate to the students. So, having identified that she needed to work closely with the Learning and Teaching department, she acquired funding to create a joint area which meant that a university wide resource could be created including skills on researching and using the library. Some of the resources she used included LibGuide and LibWizard.
The next presenter was Katrina Le Bihan, from Richmond University – The American International University in London who showed CoConqr. Katrina uses this for online and face to face quizzes. Other uses have been a card game at Middlesex University which embeds resources.
Then I presented on our unique position of being a 100% online university and how a variety of resources are used to engage our students including Powerpoint recordings, Camtasia recordings, and the most vital tool to use – the monitoring of forums.
Helen Gaterell and Josh Jenkin from University of Surrey took us through their journey of testing augmented reality (AR). They trialled the technology at their campus during the Sussex Community Festival using some pictures about the library, students, the buildings and some Sussex history! All the pictures had embedded information using HR Reveal. The main learning points from this exercise were: the need for fairly unique pictures so that the software is not confused about the information it sends, a good wi-fi connection, shelf-life has to be considered and good instructions are needed as clarification can’t be given. The potential usages are seen in areas such as information points e.g bookshelves, self-serve areas etc and possible induction activities around a treasure hunt.
Last but not least Emilia Brzozowska-Szczecina from Royal Holloway spoke about iorad, a tutorial builder making guided step-by-step screen directions. She used the free software to record web navigation as and when was required via email to students. This seems to be the tool that most delegates felt they could use after the event!
So as you can see a diverse amount of tools to use to get across Literacy Information in our ever changing world of higher education delivery.
As a reflection piece I was asked ‘What will you do as a result of attending Royal Holloway’s LibTeachMeet?’ to which I replied “Spending time looking at free resources to answer ad hoc queries but also using these to create quick access help features. But most importantly attend the next LibTeachMeet!”.
Thanks to the Royal Holloway University for an enriching day!!