A day in the life of the library: part 11

This is the final part in a series of posts offering a behind-the-scenes look at library work. A day in the life of the library team!

Name: Ihar Ivanou
Job title: College Librarian

Ihar IvanouThe last term-time Monday before Easter starts with an uplifting experience – seeing a tutor swapping several Easter eggs for the upcycled book flowers that my team colleagues, Cara, Fran and Zaheda, made for the charitable event in the Library. In few days’ time, these eggs will be taken to Glebe House and Nuneaton Food Bank for disadvantaged young people from the local community. Just as public libraries do, the college Library aims to engage in supporting the community we live and work in – libraries are rightly perceived as important community anchors.

Curiosity about all I do is probably the main driving force for me. It really helps being creative and not complacent. The first thing I do on Monday morning is to check our ebook usage stats from the past weekend. I cannot not smile seeing the Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition trending high this month. It confirms our recent observation that linking ebooks to the relevant course pages on Moodle makes all the difference: most of our students prefer using the resources recommended by tutors. This will inform the Library’s future activities in relation to curriculum areas, e.g. offering support with Moodle content development. Continue reading


Staff Conference

Some of the team tuck into samosas and pakoras from a local delicatessan

The Library team spent the college’s Staff Conference days doing various activities:

There were several peer-led sessions for the team including chapatti making by Zaheda Dadabhai, origami cards by Katie Hayes, Turning Point by Fran Heap and Hama beading by Cara Clarke. The team also had a guided tour of the library at De Montfort University which generated lots of new ideas.

The highlight of the library team’s Staff Conference activities was an equality and diversity themed tour of Leicester’s Golden Mile. Members of the library team had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture by browsing fabric and jewellery shops, eating locally produced cuisine and also trying on Asian style outfits.

Librarians Ihar and Cara model Asian outfits

College for the JISC E-fair

JISC’s e-fair, a major regional event in promoting use of technology in education, took place in Nottingham on 21 June. This was an annual event, undertaken for the last eight years. For the first time, our college contributed with two sessions: Debs Cairns’s ClickView for Video Collection Development and Lin Armstrong & Ihar Ivanou’s Blogging for Learning.

Debs Cairns, library’s Senior Learning Resources Assistant, gave a short presentation followed by a group discussion on the use of ClickView at NWHC and the innovative ways in which teaching staff are incorporating it into their teaching. For example, Suzanne Sharples asked her Foundation Learners to choose their favourite television commercials which were then uploaded to ClickView; the class viewed the commercials together in the classroom and discussed the relative merits of each one and why they were chosen. This was then taken further to compare and contrast the ClickView lesson with a previous round table discussion without the use of technology – out of which the ClickView lesson was voted most enjoyable. See the presentation slides at http://moodle.rsc-em.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=221#one, and listen to Deb’s post workshop interview at http://moodle.rsc-em.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=2045.

Lecturer Lin Armstrong and College Librarian Ihar Ivanou presented their experience of blogging for learning with 2+2 Childhood Studies students. This project started four years ago to develop a collaborative and more participative learning experience. Lin, Ihar and the students tried a number of different tools and finally settled for Blogger – a platform tightly embedded into the Google’s eco-system. Since then, blogging has been an important factor in supporting academic, information and IT skills, improving literacies (digital, traditional, emotional) and building an exciting community of learning. This presentation slides can be seen at http://moodle.rsc-em.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=222#blogging, and Lin & Ihar’s interview about the project is available to listen to at http://moodle.rsc-em.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=2021.

Students’ Work Published

 The final year students on the 2+2 Early Childhood studies programme have just published their research on ICT and Children. Tutor Lin Armstrong and college librarian Ihar Ivanou conciveved the idea of publishing a book of students’ work as an apt conclusion to the research  project carried out by the students.

Initally the project was to develop the student’s research skills and for many students this was the first experience of researching and writing on topics of acadmic interest. As the resulting research papers were so good it seemed only natural to take the project full circle and publish the papers as an exmple of emergent writing.

The book was produced through self publishing using the platform Lulu.com. It is available for loan from the library and can be purchased from here.

Blogs – do you have one?

The library here at NWHC has had an active blog since February 2010. Along with our Facebook page, we find it a useful method of communicating with learners, disseminating information and sharing news.

Blogging is growing in popularity and is now a recognised communication tool utilised by many; it is incorporated in various courses taught within the college (HND Art and BA Early Childhood Studies) where learners are expected to create and maintain blogs as part of their portfolios. In addition to this, the library facilitates an information skills session entitled ‘blogging for teaching and learning’, as well as offering a similar staff-only session as part of the college’s annual staff conference.

Several members of the library team maintain personal blogs relating to libraries and information science. Please feel free to browse them and leave comments:

College Librarian Ihar Ivanou – iLibrarian’s joys and toys
Systems Librarian Cara Clarke – Behind the bookshelves
Graduate Trainee Sam Philips – Blogging to success

Books by Members of Staff

A number of members of the College staff have written or contributed to books. Here are some of them:

Stephen Johnson, a teacher of sociology, has contributed to Teaching Thinking Skills, now in its second edition.

James Cunliffe, a teacher of photography, has had his series of photographs published in the Alaska photo almanach.

Ihar Ivanou, College Librarian, has published his MA dissertation, Baltic and Slavonic libraries in Britain: their place in developing group identity and the life of emigre communities.

Also Lin Armstrong, a teacher of Early Years, has published her MA dissertation, Dyslexia awareness in a college of further education, last year.

Ian Wynd from our College and his colleague, Steve Dawkins, of Coventry University, have written a textbook Video Production: Putting Theory into Practice. The launch of the book took place in the College library last July.