We had another LIKE event on Monday the 24th June. This is an informal get together of library staff to share experiences of events or courses they have attended, or projects they are working on. Staff at all levels are invited, including those who are there just to listen and learn.
Experiences shared included:
A visit to Nottingham Trent and De Montfort University was for our staff to see how they deal with “Accessibility” for disability students. At Nottingham Trent, our staff were very impressed by the clear and user friendly website. They have dedicated spacious booths for Librarians to help the students. All study rooms are very well equipped with things to help disability students such as the adjustable height of the desk, all the software for all needs.
De Montfort University has a dedicated team to help disability students. They also have an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy. They have dedicated specious booths for Librarians to meet with students. All study rooms have all the enhanced equipment for all that needs. All software and all workshops are for everyone and are installed in all computers in the University.
A visit to Royal Holloway for “Collection Management Shared Experiences”: These include: – Some universities pooled their collections, with an integrated management system which reduces expenditure and saves space. Manchester University did customer journey mapping and found that 19% of students were unable to find anything at all and sometimes items were found on the trolley rather than on the shelves, so they now employ more shelvers and have new policy of 24 hours books back on shelves. We have the same problem at BCU, our “How to event” shown that many students do not know how to use the library. There is a suggestion that we should offer a tour of the library weekly. Other institutions print out the “How to use the library booklet” and given to all students a week after they start and it works but the timing has to be right.
One of our colleagues went to the Murcia International meeting in Spain and enjoyed networking and learning about how the libraries in different countries functioned. There are a lot of common things we do the same and it also confirmed that we are not doing badly here. Some libraries have a study room for parent with children where toys are provided.
A visit to Glasgow to attend the 10th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference by our collection management colleagues found that a very effective way to promote things is by using evidence base and storytelling.
The funding to go to these conferences are available through different sources and the application rate is low, so it is well worth trying to get funding.
The next Mercian conference is on the 10th September 2019 at the University of Nottingham and the theme is Building Bridges: Collaboration, partnership and community
An event at Aston University “Organising library events with a difference: Embracing wellbeing in a study environment”: programme included a series of talks and workshops: Study well, study happy’; Mindfulness; Inspiring tranquillity. Student activities included: bringing in animals, board games, colouring, exercise bike, Pods for quick sleep, students blankets, and energy-boosting foods. One university provided students leaving late at night with taxis to go home safely.
The Learning and Teaching team are planning the pre-sessional course for International Students this will include: How to use the library, basic things they need to know, library terminology and standardized terms we use. All these we should consider for home students too.
^ Posted on behalf of Nitaya Bion, Librarian, Customer Services.