Sunday, November 26, 2006


On Thursday I was one of the participants in an event convened as part of the Library Information Management Employability Skills (LIMES) project. LIMES "aims to facilitate skills development by creating learning and teaching materials, that reflect current employability skills in the Library and Information Management sector, and embed them in the curriculum." As part of this they are encouraging the creation of material for lecturers to use in their teaching of library and information management students. LIMES has identified a few areas of particular interest, namely marketing, cataloguing & indexing and information literacy. The event I attended was aiming to create a Community of Practice for information literacy, and there were both lecturers and practitioners there.

We discussed possible areas where new material was needed to support both education in information literacy and education for how to teach information literacy. As part of the latter discussion, we debated the extent to which people can be taught about how to teach IL during their courses. I, and other colleagues in information departments, felt that there were limits to the extent to which we could cover this, at least in the compulsory part of the curriculum (bearing in mind there are only 2 semesters of teaching in our Masters courses). Obviously, though, we aim to make students aware that this is a key role, introduce them to some of the issues (e.g. we have 2 practitioner speakers, talking to our students about IL in a university and a corporate setting, in a couple of weeks time), and also address it directly to some extent (I already described the search/teach exercise in the blog). It's difficult though: there are so many skill and knowledge areas that librarianship and information management students are expected to cover in the compulsory part of the course. Students also come in with a wide variety of first degrees and experience, & a wide variety of career goals (IM students, in particular, mostly don't go on to work in "libraries").

The event was held in Birmingham central library, a very active library which is in a central square that currently hosts a Christmas market with a German slant (see photo above: actually this was the only sunny part of the day!). See for more about LIMES

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