Culture collisions. Emily Dott & Annika Davis (teachmeet abstract)
Emily Dott, University of Sunderland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Annika Davis, University of Sunderland, email@example.com
What began as a passing conversation about how a book from the art collection was essential
reading for a history module, developed into an opportunity to explore cross-curricular
promotion of the library collection and embedded skills.
The Academic Liaison librarians for Arts & Design and Culture embarked on a project,
Culture Collisions, which looked to use existing tools as a channel to showcase resources.
Using module descriptors, reading list and information gleaned from reference enquiries, the
librarians identified common research themes and interests, and developed a programme of
subject blog posts over 4 weeks to highlight resources, skills to access those resources
successfully and enhance research techniques. A theme such as the Holocaust or propaganda
was explored from different angles, the historical, political and visual culture. Bringing
together sources of information and primary research, literary works, art works and internet
resources, allowed the librarians to demonstrate how a diverse range of information can be
uncovered and used critically to build holistic research. Feedback from Faculty and students
showed common misconceptions about the extent and availability of library collections, with
‘not enough books’ being a problematic theme.
Undergraduate students may lack the confidence to identify themselves as subject specialists
or recognise themselves as researchers. While avoiding an instructional approach, the
librarians looked to embed the research process in the presentation of the blog posts and the
developmental nature of the theme each week. The programme was well received by students
and academic teams, with increased readership of the subject blogs.
Messages were amplified using social media promoting the posts and weekly theme. The
programme provided a liaison opportunity to strengthen relationships with academic teams,
reinforcing the importance of the collection, skills and support from the library service for
learning and teaching and academic experience.