Tag Archives: library

Libraries of the future

Imagine a new Library of Alexandria. Imagine an archive that contains all the natural and social sciences of the West—our source-critical, referenced, peer-reviewed data—as well as the cultural and literary heritage of the world’s civilizations, and many of the world’s most significant archives and specialist collections. Imagine that this library is electronic and in the public domain: sustainable, stable, linked, and searchable through universal semantic catalogue standards.

Thanks to @ostephens on Twitter who pointed out this thoughtful article from Lisbet Rausing on imagining the future of libraries.

It’s an interesting observation when in the article it says

the question for scholars and gatekeepers is not whether change is coming. It is whether they will be among the change-makers. And if not them, then who?

We know change is coming, we can pretend that we can fight it, but the reality is that we need to be making that change.

100 ways to use a VLE – #20 Providing library information

One of the more traditional ways of providing information about the library is in the course handbook, via a poster or on the college website.

The VLE is one more way of providing learners with information on the library. Though with the extra tools and functionality that the VLE brings, the learners won’t only be able to access information on the library, but also engage with the library and library staff.

It’s not just about having information about when the library opens, services available, computer bookings, rules and regulations…

It’s not just about having lists of e-resources and links available…

Nor an electronic guide to the books, journals and newspapers that learners can borrow and read.

It’s not just about embedding library systems such as Heritage (or similar) so that learners can check their loans or reserve books.

A VLE has a lot more functionality, and library teams should really make use of that to ensure that the

Remember with a VLE that information can be video, or audio, or a virtual tour!

A VLE can have a discussion forum, a place for learners to seek help and ask questions.

A VLE can have quizzes; an induction quiz for example, or a questionnaire to solicit feedback from learners on how they are (or are not) using the library.

A VLE can be used for virtual inductions, reader development progammes, study skills, information skills, reading skills and other short courses or workshop sessions.

Curriculum teams will also be able to embed or links from the library into their courses, ensuring that the library and its wealth of resources are easily available to the learners on the course. Generally if learners use resources from the library (guided by their teacher) in addition to teacher provided resources they are not only more like to achieve on their course of study, but will gain higher grades or marks.

The VLE is not an obvious place for many library staff, but it makes sense to use it to support the core library function. In the same way that the VLE is often used as a supplement to the physical learning environment, the librar,y which is often a key area in the physical learning environment, to not have a similar area on the VLE would be depriving learners of an effective resource to enhance their learning.

Libraries of the future

So what is the Library of the future, JISC have been having that discussion.

“To move from the present library to what is required in the future will be an immense challenge.  JISC will use the outcomes from the debate to guide institutions in how to plan their futures.”

Watch the video.

More from JISC on Libraries of the future

Colleges, universities and the digital challenge

The JISC and the Guardian jointly published a feature on the digital challenge facing libraries.

Academic libraries are changing faster than at any time in their history. Information technology, online databases, and catalogues and digitised archives have put the library back at the heart of teaching, learning and academic research on campus.

There are some interesting articles in there.

My job role is managing both e-learning (ILT) and the Libraries in my college, something which is happening more often in FE, I know Trafford College has a similar position and another college in the South-West is advertising a similar position soon.

I do believe it is important that the e-learning and learning resources functions within an FE College if not managed by the same person, the relevant managers should be working closely together. Libraries need to embrace the digital challenge not try and fight it.

Colleges, universities and the digital challenge

And before you ask, no, embracing the digital world, does not mean getting rid of all the books!