Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Information Literacy and researchers: 3

In this final post on the final post on the Information strategies for researchers conference (held in Dublin on 31 Jan) I will mention the talks by Angela Newton and Dermot Diamond. Angela Newton (University of Leeds) talked about “The challenges and opportunities of Roberts funding for Libraries” (“Roberts” funding was available to UK universities to support development of researchers’ skills)
Having an existing good relationship with the Staff Development Unit had helped them get their hands on Roberts money. They had got an extra member of staff to work for 18 months as Information Literacy Officer who had an input to undergraduate IL training, meaning that the subject liaison librarians could spend more time with research students. They developed workshops tailored to different needs. Cooperating with other parts of the university meant that they got better market intelligence.

The need to understand what the research students’ information literacy needs were was emphasised again. Newton notes at the end of her 2006 article (see below) “Where the information literacy of research students is concerned, one size does not fit all, and finding ways of responding to that challenge through flexible self-directed learning is critical.”

Professor Dermot Diamond, Director of the National Centre for Sensor Research at Dublin City University, talked about “Knowledge management in a Dynamic Research Environment; past, present, future”. He emphasised the role of key performance indicators: publications, citation counts, research income. He urged Irish libraries to bid for currently available funding and also encouraged librarians to be ambitious.
“Libraries need to be in the thick of the battle to manage and exponentially increasing knowledge base” Librarians should have “Involvement in the development of tools to enable researchers to easily find and download relevant information” “Involvement in the development of tools to enable the impact of research to be accurately assessed”
Note that he thought that librarians should be developing tools, not just helping people to use tools, although he still saw that as a role too. He also highlighted how bibliometrics will become increasingly a hot topic in the UK as the next national research assessment will put much weight on citation counts.

Newton, A. (2006) “Reaching out to research students: Transferable skills training in context“ Paper presented at the Creating Knowledge Conference, Copenhagen. http://www.ck-iv.dk/papers/Newton%20Reaching%20out%20to%20research%20students.pdf

Photo by Sheila Webber: Forty Foot looking towards Dalkey, Ireland, Februuary 2008

1 comment:

vivienne.bernath said...

Sheila, the latest issue, 1 (2), of the open access journal Communications in Information Literacy is now available online. It includes an article reporting further findings of the Monash University study on the information needs and practices of research students,
Research Students in the Electronic Age: Impacts of Changing Information Behavior on Information Literacy Needs
Kirsty Williamson, Vivienne Bernath, Steven Wright, Jen Sullivan
pp. 47-63.

The issue is available at http://www.comminfolit.org/index.php/cil/issue/view/Fall2007/showToc

Best wishes,