Our next event is about Information Literacy, and this is an example of how I’ve promoted IL in my personal life.
This story starts in April when a friend and I went to Liverpool for lunch with another friend who lives there. (We went to Lucha Libre, nom). On the way back my friend, let’s call her Emma because that’s her name, told me she was going to uni in September to study Psychology. She said she was worried about doing research at the library because she wasn’t familiar with academic libraries and how to navigate them. So in the car, I started explaining about journals, databases, ebooks, reading lists etc. It became clear that this wasn’t the best way to explain the ins and outs of academic libraries so I said I would do an induction for her (yes, I am a massive library-geek). I mentioned that there would be a specific subject librarian who would know the best Psychology resources and she was surprised! And this is a person with two friends who are doing the MA in Library and Info Management. That, to me, shows that we need to really advocate what we do and explain to people what being a librarian involves.
I had never made a Prezi so I decided that I’d take the opportunity to learn how to use Prezi (I may have been procrastinating from my last MA assignment at this point…).
I don’t love Prezi as a presenting tool, but I loved the process of describing different resources and giving advice about getting the most out of libraries. You can see the Prezi here. I don’t want to indicate which institution Emma will be attending simply because Manchester NLPN has no affiliation with that institution. I’ve taken all of the links out of the original Prezi (I hope), but there were links to the OPAC included. When we looked at e-resources, I used my MMU login details to demonstrate, and explained that MMU’s subscriptions would be different to her institution’s.
It’s fairly simplistic, I wanted to explain things clearly and in a non-scary way. We went to the university’s Open Day, had a look at the books and journals in the library then went for coffee and went through the Prezi. Emma said she found it helpful but I thought it was a bit detached from the research she’ll be doing because we didn’t search for articles that she might use to answer essay questions.
A couple of weeks ago we went for coffee again and I got Emma to do a search for possible essay titles. We used Scopus and she referred to it as a search engine, which I hadn’t thought of it as before but it is totally accurate. We looked at filtering results, and she said something along the lines of ‘Oh that’s good because I can’t read everything’ which I thought was another great message to take away: part of being information literate is knowing when you have enough information.
I like to think I’ve helped Emma to feel comfortable when she goes into the library and she knows some of the best resources to use. She will have an official library induction soon, and her institution’s Library really impressed me when I was looking at their website. They’ve got lots of fantastic help and advice, and I’m sure her subject librarian will do a great job.
I really enjoyed teaching IL on this small scale, and I’m really looking forward to picking up tips at our next event!