Prepped for university:
introducing academic library literacy skills to
secondary school students
Induction – back in the day
Students were told:
•How and where to find a book
•How and where to find a journal article
A library tour was incorporated into a 20 minute induction.
IT induction was separate.
Then students began asking:
• What is meant by an ‘academic’ book?
• What is meant by scholarly / peer reviewed journals?
• What does my reading list mean?
So we incorporated the answers into induction
• How to read a ready list.
Library and IT induction merged & attendance increased.
Author’s first initial
Author’s Surname or name
Date of publication
Zu, X., Fredendall, L.D. & Douglas, T.J. (2008), ‘The evolving
theory of quality management: The role of Six Sigma’, Journal
of Operations Management, vol. 26, no. 5, Pg. 630-650
• To be able to:
– Interpret Harvard or other bibliographic standards.
– Find, borrow, read appropriate chapters of texts.
– Find, understand structure and read journal articles.
– Source additional readings to support an argument.
– Evaluate web sites.
– Understand what a bibliography is.
• Academics’ expectations are not unreasonable.
• Induction is short
• Learning needs to be at the point of need.
• Academic library literacy is not part of secondary school
• A window has been discovered
– End of school term (level 13)
– After UCAS personal statements are completed (level
Research, evidence & interest
Secondary School teachers (Grammar and Comprehensive), (outreach)
Secondary School career teachers (outreach)
Secondary School librarian survey (outreach)
Queen’s Learning Development Services
Queen’s School of Education academics
Queen’s Library colleagues
Kvenid, C., Calkins, K., ed (2011) Embedded Librarians: moving beyond one
shot instruction. Chicago : Association of College and Research Libraries
Everyone is interested!
• Widening Participation Unit requested Library engagement
• Residential for 40 secondary school students
• “Unlock your skills and talent” workshop.
Search the internet for one or more of the following.
• A place in Ireland
• A famous composer or author
• Pantridge and the heart defibrillator
• Graphene - look at the BBC link for this
• David Brailsford and the Sky cycling team
Now ask yourself:
• Why do I believe these sites are telling me the truth?
• What does the web address (url) tell me about each site?
• Is the information current?
• Who wrote the web page?
• Who published it?
• Is the page well organised and easy to navigate?
• Is there a lot of advertising?
• Does it link to other sites that are reliable?
You are evaluating the website
Now, go beyond Google with academic sources.
A place in Ireland
Select JSTOR Ireland
A famous composer
Select MUSE or JSTOR
Pantridge and the heart defibrillator
Select Science Direct
Graphene - look at the BBC link for this
Select Science Direct or ABI Inform
David Brailsford and the Sky cycling team
Select ????? What is his theory?
Now ask yourself:
• What is different about academic literature?
Justification / benefits
Subject Librarian remit – induction talks.
University remit – outreach and marketing.
Students discovered something new .
– They read academic literature & encouraged by online resources.
Addressed academics’ expectations
– Plagiarism, copyright, why reference & email etiquette also
The workshop overran.
Follow up interview with new & established UGs.
Pre induction knowledge frees time for other content.
Students begin study with an expected understanding & ensure they
are ‘Prepped for university’