Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Evaluating a training  programme
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Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Evaluating a training programme



LILAC 2010 Presentation - Dr John Crawford

LILAC 2010 Presentation - Dr John Crawford
Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Evaluating a training programme



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Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Evaluating a training  programme Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Evaluating a training programme Presentation Transcript

  • The Scottish Information Literacy Project: working with partners to create an information literate Scotland Dr John Crawford Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Evaluating a training programme Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference Limerick Strand Hotel 29 th -31 st March 2010
  • Who are we?
  • Project objectives
    • to develop an information literacy framework, linking primary, secondary and tertiary education to lifelong learning including workplace and adult literacies agendas
    • Advocacy on behalf of information literacy for education and the wider community
    • Working with information literacy champions both UK and worldwide 
    • Researching and promoting information literacy in the workplace
    • Identifying and working with partners, both in education and the wider community
    • Researching the role of information literacy in continuing professional development
    • Researching the health and media literacies agenda
  • Information literacy in the workplace study Dec.2007- Jan.2008 – key findings
    • The traditional ‘library’ view of information as deriving from electronic and printed sources only is invalid in the workplace and must include people as sources of information
    • The public enterprise with its emphasis on skills and qualifications is a fertile area for further investigation and developmental work
    • Advanced Internet training extends employees’ information horizons
    • A skill and qualifications based agenda is an important pre-condition
    • Most interviewees viewed public libraries as irrelevant for anything other than recreational purposes
    • Information literacy training programmes must be highly focused on the target audience
    • An understanding of what constitutes information literacy is widespread in the workplace but is often implicit rather than explicit and is based on qualifications, experience, and networking activities
    • Organizations which access a wide range of information, of high quality, including sources outwith their organization, will make the best informed decisions
  • Inverclyde
    • Inverclyde Council – existed since 1996
    • Third smallest council in Scotland
    • Population of 80,000 mostly in 3 communities: Port Glasgow, Greenock and Gourock, concentrated in one urban area
    • Relatively prosperous rural hinterland
    • Formerly dependent on heavy industry but now reliant on electronics and computing industries
    • Source : General Register Office for Scotland (2009)
  • Employment situation
    • Unemployment rate in March 2007 was 8%. Cf (5% in Scotland as a whole)
    • Above average proportion of 16-19 year olds not in employment, education or training
    • Youth employment and skills agenda
    • Areas of multiple deprivation in South West Greenock, East Central Greenock and Port Glasgow
    • Employability training focuses on the above areas
    • Source: The Inverclyde Workforce Plus Quarterly Performance bulletin January 2008
  • Employment forecast
    • The overall number of jobs in Inverclyde is expected to fall by 600 (-2%) by 2017, in contrast to growth of 4% in Scotland as a whole
    • The only sectors forecast to grow are financial & business services and health & education, while the largest decline will be in manufacturing
    • People will be required across all occupations to replace those that leave through retirement or occupational mobility. This means that, over the next 10 years, there will be more than 20,000 job opportunities to be filled in Inverclyde
    • Large numbers of jobs will be created in administration, customer services and sales, occupations associated with services
    • Nine in ten of these replacement jobs will require at least basic qualifications; while a quarter will require degree level qualifications.
    • Source: The Inverclyde Workforce Plus Quarterly Performance bulletin January 2008
  • Library services
    • Service has 7 libraries three of which are in the main urban area in Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock
    • Supports lifelong learning in the community through computing and other classes which take place at six learning centres located in the libraries
    • Computer based classes run in partnership with James Watt College, the University of the West of Scotland, Community Learning or the libraries themselves
  • The courses
    • Inverclyde Libraries ran two identical employability training courses in late Spring-early summer of 2009 funded by the Fairer Scotland Fund – ten weeks, two hours a week
    • Aimed at people with poor employability and ICT skills of working age
    • Basic computing skills taught and included an identifiable Internet skills component to help learners to meet their health, finance and employability needs
    • Course content designed by tutors and Community Learning and Development
    • Recruitment through local newspaper, outreach activities, open day, Job Centre Plus
    • 8-12 attended each course . Ages early 20s t0 80s – majority women
  • Learning life histories
    • It aims to situate and understand people’s learning in their life experiences including, personal motivation and ambition, family life, work experience, the environment in which they live and their previous education
    • Learning issues cannot be properly understood and addressed unless these factors are known
    • It is particularly appropriate to adult learners.
    • A flexible methodology – questions are based round the above factors. Can be compared with the CERLIM Longitude 2 Project for evaluating the People’s network
  • The questions
    • Approximate age
    • Where they heard about the course
    • Previous work and life experience
    • Current/recent job if appropriate
    • School/other qualifications
    • Why did he/she decide to do the course
    • Is he/she undertaking any other study/learning
    • What did you expect to learn
    • What did you learn
    • What do you think of the course
    • Have you become more confident about finding information and, if so, in what ways
    • Do you have any problems in learning
    •   What are you working towards – long term aims
    • Any thing the interviewee want to say/ask
  • Analysing the data 1
    • Five interviewees –all women and no younger people
    • Attracting young, low skill people an important issue
    • Previous work experience focused on service industries – catering, hospitality, laundries
    • interviewees were ‘people people’ who benefit from social interaction
    • Family and friends were the main motivation for joining the course
    • Personal social development is another factor which is closely linked to employability aspirations - not easy to separate the two
    • Recreational activities such as holiday planning and Internet shopping also figure
    • All the interviewees had left school with only basic skills and none has post school qualifications
    • Negative school education experiences
  • Analysing the data 2
    • Quality of the tutors a key factor
    • Time management an issue
    • Health issues were mentioned by three interviewees
    • Staff very willing to engage with the training programme - not always the case
  • Health issues
    • In Inverclyde the average male life expectancy is 70.3 years, this is almost 5% less than the Scottish average and is the second lowest male life expectancy in Scotland, (October 2005)
    • Alcohol related health issues are 25% above the Scottish average for Inverclyde and 126% above for the SIMD (Scottish Indices of Multiple Deprivation) areas
    • Deaths attributable to smoking are 28% above the Scottish average and 236% above in SIMD areas.
    • Hospital admissions for heart disease and strokes are respectively 65% and 56% higher than the Scottish average in SIMD areas. 
    • First hospital admissions for psychiatric treatment are above the Scottish average, by 37% Inverclyde wide and by 197% in the SIMD areas
    • Source: Inverclyde Health Working Group (2006)
  • Course content
    • Information literacy content – 30%-60%
    • Tutor feels emphasis is moving towards IL
    • Interviewees appreciated value of IL for both occupational and recreational purposes
    • Useful emphasis on health awareness and personal financial management
    • Need to introduce IPR and Internet safety issues
    • All interviews demonstrated an understanding of what IL is
    • Advanced Internet searching not well understood
    • Confidence building main impact - linked to sensitive training
  • Conclusions (1)
    • Clear need for employability training with an emphasis on information literacy
    • Adult literacies trainers do not know about learning materials developed by librarians
    • Librarians largely ignorant of valuable IL training work done by adult literacies trainers
    • Targeted recruitment is critical and Job Centre Plus should be more involved
    • Learners do not separate out vocational learning from personal social development
    • A need for more lifestyle orientated training with a focus on health and financial literacies
    • Training should be targeted on potential employment in financial and business services and health and education
  • Conclusions (2)
    • Health information training is very important for both employability and lifestyle training
    • Course schedule and planning – bite sized learning for men?
    • Introduce copyright and Internet safety
    • Sensitivity in training a key issue
    • Support from government policy – e.g. Digital Britain
  • Community Learning and Development
    • Strengths
    • Strong commitment to inclusion, equality and fairness with example of innovative and effective work with disadvantaged individuals and groups
    • Learning programmes that are flexible and tailored to meet the needs of learners
    • Good quality of youth work and the relationships with young people
    • The high degree of responsiveness to the needs of adult learners
    • The improvements made in community capacity building
    • Partnership working remains a strength in the sector
    • Aspects for improvement
    • Demonstrating the outcomes of CLD provision and tracking improvements over time
    • Ensuring that planning is needs-led and outcomes focuses
    • Source: Improving Scottish education report (HM Inspectorate of Education 2009 pp. 73-78)
  • Building on success (1)
    • Quality indicator 4 –Learners’ experiences recommends inter alia...
    • Public library services should promote and deliver learning in their communities...
    • The services to learners should be widely publicised and regular introductory sessions should be arranged.
    • Entitlements to the public should include:
    • Support for the development of information literacy and digital literacy to enable access and use of information services
    • Community learning and literacy classes, including taster sessions and progression through learning partnerships
    • Source: Building on success: a public library quality improvement matrix for Scotland (Scottish Library and Information Council 2007).
  • Building on success (2)
    • Questions to ask are:
    • In what ways does the library environment promote learning?
    • To what extent do staff encourage learning?
    • In what ways are the needs of various learners addressed?
    • What opportunities are there for progression through partnerships?
    • Clearly Inverclyde performs well against all the components of this indicator.
    • Source: Building on success: a public library quality improvement matrix for Scotland (Scottish Library and Information Council 2007).
  • Some further information (1)
    • Crawford, John and Irving (2008) Going beyond the ‘library’: the current work of the Scottish Information Literacy Project. Library and information research, (32) 102, pp . 29-37
    • Crawford, John and Irving (2009) Information literacy in the workplace: a qualitative exploratory study, JOLIS , (41 )pp. 29-38
    • McDonald, Natalie and Keenan, Peter (2009) The ‘stuff beyond Google: information literacy in a corporate setting .
    • Crawford, John et al, (2008) Use of information in the Scottish Government, Library & information update, Dec., pp. 48-49
    • Interview with Philip Pothen, formerly of JISC, 28.11.08 about the work of the Project
  • Some further information (2)
    • Irving, Christine. (2010), Collecting case studies / exemplars of good practice to enrich The National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland). Library & information research . Forthcoming.
    • Crawford, John and Irving, Christine (2010) The Scottish Information Literacy Project and school libraries. Aslib proceedings . Forthcoming.
    • Crawford, John and Irving, Christine (2010?) Information literacy in employability training: the experience of Inverclyde Libraries. Submitted to journal .
    • Review article on the work of the Project to be written
  • Contact details
    • Dr. John Crawford,
    • 21 Polbae Crescent,
    • Eaglesham.
    • Glasgow G76 0LW
    • Tel 01355 302851
    • [email_address]
    • Project website
    • Project blog
  • Questions?