Monday, May 12, 2008


I am in Pamplona, Spain, shortly to give a talk at the Las VI Jornadas CRAI . I was invited by Rocio Serrano (pictured) who graduated from our MA Librarianship programme and is one of the organisers. She is now one of the deputies in the Science library at the University of Navarra.
Unfortunately my Spanish is very poor: I can follow some written words (e.g. on powerpoints) but not conversation, therefore I am not getting the most from the conference. A big theme of the conference is the Bologna Process (of harmonisation of Higher education in Europe so that mobility etc. is easier). Some countries have been making big changes to their university curricula and strategy because of this, though in the UK Bologna has been rather ignored (partly because it was closer the the model to start with and partly because hmmmm we're British ;-(
These curriculum changes have provided opportunities to raise the profile of information literacy and the role of the library. I did attend one session where I think I grasped a reasonable amount. Fransesc Xavier Grau Vidal talked about the strategy at his university, the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. He emphasised the increased competencies focus, with undergraduates being expected to acquire basic professional competencies, and Masters students more specialised professional competencies. His university is drawing up lists of transferable skills (with reference to various framworks etc including the Prague declaration on information literacy!) - examples are (if I understand correctly) "learning to learn" "Applying critical thinking, logic and creativity, demonstrating innovative thinking" "Ability to work independently, responsibly and using initiative".
These are similar to goals we have for our own "Sheffield graduates". Grau Vidal explained they also have core competencies, including ones relating to information and information technology, and (again if I've understood) there is cross tabulation between the two sets - so, for example, the skills and knowledge related to critical thinking and information work can be specified. The idea is that programmes should then apply these competencies to their own curricula and specifiy objectives specific to their subject, relating back to the university list. All programmes would either to have a dedicated module on information skills, or to combine them explicitly in core modules.
The work part of the day finished with an interesting tour of the Science Library (I will blog a little more about that). The second pictures shows part of the nice green campus.

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