Working with partners

 JISC invited 11 sector bodies and professional associations to work in collaboration on supporting activities to realise the benefits from the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme for staff and students in further and higher education and as SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) is one of these partners I have been attending meetings of the SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy (WGIL) and have now been to two – Monday 7 November and Thursday 1 March.

At our first meeting I learnt that only 3 successful bidders mentioned working in partnership with SCONUL – Reading, The Institute of Education and Cardiff University and that is why Reading, Cardiff and the IOE are represented.

Gwyneth Price Acting Head of Library Services at IOE attends these meetings and Cathie Jackson who is secretary of WGIL represents Cardiff where she is Senior Consultant: Information Literacy. I am there to provide a link with what Reading is doing – especially in the context of relevant Library projects and activities.

We have been discussing the purpose and function of the SCONUL project, their own baseline survey and some of the implications for staff in academic libraries.

We exchanged views on whether people see digital literacy as a subset of Information Literacy and other academic literacies and whether that matters and acknowledged that the projects are a useful way in to discussing such wider and deeper literacies. The first meeting resulted in the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model being additionally envisaged through a Digital Literacy lens. This adds to the exisiting core model and the research lens. This Digital literacy lens document has been already been circulated to other professional organisations and another round of consultation of Library schools for example is now planned. Comments form anyone are welcomed. We may also look at case studies to expand on some aspects and attributes.

SCONUL should be able to use gap analysis from the synthesis of all projects baseline surveys and collective outputs from our projects to progress and improve (possibly in partnership with other professional organisations and interest groups) the digital literacies of its own constituent members.

 In addition its own baseline survey of Libraries suggests that WGIL’s next steps will include drilling down into issues of digital scholarship, Library priorities in the digital context and partnerships – formal and informal.

 We do not expect to survey our own Library staff competencies, but rather where our users are coming from and the important lessons to be learnt.  

As participants in these discussions Gwyneth, Cathie and other member of the group plan to note examples, anecdotes, small case studies of where teaching has changed because technology has changed and where Library staff have been consulted and involved in discussions about resultant changes to teaching – an example might be the use of a section of an e-book where previously a chapter formed the basis of a seminar.

We report on our own projects

1 Digidol in Cardiff  “Establishing an institution-wide approach for contextualising and embedding Digital Literacy into the development of academic staff, students, research students and administrative, managerial and support staff” ;

2 Digital Literacies as a Postgraduate Attribute at the Institute of Education  – “Investigating the needs post graduate students: doctoral; taught Masters; and PGCE and institutional readiness for change around digital literacies; in terms of processes, relationships, staff expertise and quality of developmental resources.”

3 Digitally ready at Reading

We are also aiming to make informal links with Library staff within our own clusters to exchange experience and I am making some progress on this.

More to come on activities in other institutions – in a less formal report writing mode!

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