Libraries play a critical role in fostering inclusivity. It could be argued that the mission of the Open University, to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, is actually a mission close to the heart of all libraries and one that we all should follow. The ideal library is one that supports welcoming, open spaces that encourage inclusivity. This presentation will share examples of inclusive approaches and highlight some of the tensions in a Higher Education environment.
A couple of disclaimers/ apologies to start – firstly for the accent and secondly – I stole the title of this presentation from an excellent podcast from my then OU team – who do a series called ‘completely shelfless’ I’d recommend that podcast in particular as it talks about all the OU’s support for accessibility So a bit about me Intro background How long I’ve been in libraries – the types of institutions Putting together today’s presentation was hard for as I’ve got lots of different angles to come at this from and lots of different hats to wear. The main point II’d like to make clear today is that Libraries play a critical role in fostering inclusivity – I’ll be looking at this from a HE and UK perspective but I think it is applicable to us all. I’ll also try to highlight tensions throughout my presentation.
SO inspired by Erik’s keynote yesterday and because I’ve wrestled with working out how much to tell you – I decided to change my approach to telling you about library’s inclusivity. I’m going to share my story – and talk about what I feel were major step forwards in inclusivity along the way. So I’ll touch on spaces, Information Literacy, University missions, workforce development and what are the boundaries of the library. And whilst I say this is the structure of today – what will inevitably happen is I will get over excited and go off an a tangent – so Samantha you’ll need to reign me in!
SO back in 2011 I became the Learning Commons Development Manager at Manchester University where I project managed the development of the Alan Gilbert Learnig Commons from a service perspective. We won the Guardian University awards in 2014 but in terms of inclusivity this was the university&apos;s first building to truly embed the student voice in its design from the outset. Students were involved in every decision, from grand concept through to technology choices, furniture design, interior colour, opening hours and even the type of coffee. Crucially, a student consultation group was used throughout every phase to understand modern learning behaviours, preferences and styles, and to hear ideas about the best use of space and the most appropriate application of ICT.
I won’t show you visuals – many of you will have visited – what I find amazing is that it has stood the test of time – still looks great.
Day 1 – students putting their feet up without shoes on in the library and we got responses like this
Held up as an example of best practice.
There were lots of ways the student voice was celebrated in the building but this is one of my favourits.
The images included were diverse from all subject areas, levels and varying artistic abilities.
http://youtu.be/EMuj_XzEQ7A For inspiration – here’s what our students came up with …
Liz – UDL and vibrant colours
So on with the story… I’ve held information literacy specialist posts and taken an active role in sector wide IL work for a long time now. Co-chair of LILAC conference and deputy chair of the Information literacy group. We launched the new CILIP Information Literacy definition at LILAC last April. Following consultation with our members in June 2016, we wanted the new definition to feel relevant to more than just Higher Education, and to be of real value to anyone who uses and handles information, not just to information professionals.
Let me begin with reminding you of the previous statement we used
This is the new top level statement from the definition. “Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to develop informed views and to engage fully with society.” Underneath this broad and encapsulating statement we have 5 different contexts or lenses which enable us to illustrate the breadth of what we talking about when we say information literacy. he importance of informed members of society it broadens its scope beyond the realm of academia and academic libraries, thereby addressing the needs of different audiences; with this in mind, efforts have been made to ensure clarity of language in the way that the text is set out related to the previous point, it defines and explains different contexts in which IL is applicable at the same time, it eschews the list of specific academic skills which characterised the 2004 version. Addressing these points meant that the new definition had to be richer, more widely-encompassing and arguably more complex than in 2004. In drafting it, a big challenge for ILG was to find a way of expressing this richness, whilst ensuring that the text and presentation of the definition remained engaging, understandable, relevant and – crucially – not off-putting. This has been achieved by setting out the definition in four parts: 1. A high-level definition, which provides a succinct headline and encapsulates the societal importance of IL: “Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to develop informed views and to engage fully with society”. In a few words, this statement sets the scene for the rest of the definition. 2. A secondary statement which expands on the headline by explaining briefly how IL goes beyond an enumeration of skills by addressing such practices as critical thinking and ethical behaviour. This section of the definition also situates IL in the context of democracy, participation and human rights, and draws attention to the relationship between IL and other relevant literacies – notably digital literacy, academic literacy and media literacy. 3. A set of contexts, which explains how IL relates to broad societal settings and situations that affect individuals and communities; and therefore how it can help to address a multiplicity of needs. This is the heart of the definition, and its most significant departure from the 2004 version. The five contexts are everyday life, citizenship, education, the workplace and health. These identified contexts are not intended to cover every aspect of life, but they help to emphasise how IL is deployed and adapts to different circumstances; and indeed how the nature and scope of IL varies according to the situations that it addresses. Thus for instance, the critical judgement deployed when reaching informed views relating to civic engagement is not quite the same as the abilities required to perform everyday online transactions; and within the realm of employment, the large range of different workplace cultures call for approaches to information know-how that vary according to particular working environments. There has been much research, these past couple of decades, into the context-specificity of IL, and it is important that the new definition fully reflects the multi-faceted ways in which IL may touch the lives of people. 4. A statement on the role of information professionals in advocating, supporting and enabling IL. This also stresses the different contexts in which librarians and other information professionals operate, and the ways in which they can support the needs of different users and communities.
Our first lens is that of every day life information literacy. Vital to everyone as the world seemingly, revolves around all things online. Government website, shopping, holidays, children and snapchat, those of us of certain age that are delighted that not only did social media not exist when we were at university, phones didn’t have cameras and actually we didn’t have phones.
In our second lens we look at the importance of IL skills when negotiating the murky waters of misinformation and fake news We want people to be able to make more informed choices in elections and referendums. I did think about flashing up a slide with Donald Trump and Nigel Farage on, but I decided that no-one needs to see that today.
Education probably seems a logical space for IL but realistically, higher education has the monopoly on IL educations and work, but even so students struggle to link skills learnt from one assignment to the next. School and further education librarians struggle to show how necessary IL is to their pupils’ lives and education because it hardly features in the national curricula of England and Wales. Our schools rep Sarah Pavey is currently doing tremendous job analysing the different curricula and her findings go someway to explaining why students find the transition to HE so hard, She’s also incredibly excited about the Scottish Advanced Higher curriculum. Apparently it’s wonderful. As far as she can tell, they’ve been advised by a librarian.
You train medical, nursing and allied heath students to become evidence based practitioners in a subject area that’s vast and constantly evolving. Adding to their graduate attributes and employability.
Finally the definition looks at health literacy, I’m going to come back to this a little later when I discuss ########## but I won’t be going into great depth. After all you’re health and medical librarians and I’m not, AND we have Ruth Carlysle sharing her expertise with us after break. (She’s so good that we asked her to be one of our 3 keynotes at the LILAC conference next month) So in terms of this new definition we discuss how having health literacy skills help people to make informed choices relating to the health and wellbeing of individuals and their families. And how finding reliable sources of information for management of health conditions, preventative care and ageing is vital for individuals or carers. It allows people to use credible and reputable healthcare sources when looking for treatment and prognosis. To be an active partner in their healthcare, patients benefit from information literacy, allowing them to engage in an informed dialogue with healthcare professionals.
Insert Jane video What do I mean when I say that we are working to mainstream IL? Well essentially our aspiration is that people leave school, not just with the 3 Rs but with information literacy skills too. So the 3Rs and an I Now we might not end up talking about IL – the terminology itself, but we want people to leave school able to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information they find and use. To be empowered as citizens to develop informed views and to engage fully with society.” (Yes I did just quote the new definition again… sorry) Nick Poole, Yvonne Morris, Stephane Goldstein Sarah Pavey and I met to discuss the future of IL and had a discussion about why IL needs to be mainstreamed: To avoid negative outcomes at a global scale and maximise the positive outcomes To restore public faith in democracy To restore trust in expertise To avoid social and economic inequality Because there’s need for a factual rather than an emotional response We talked about what whoour audiences were and thought about where we should be embedding IL or at least having conversations about IL :
We discussed Embedding IL further into the PKSB Library schools (via accreditation) Public librarians (via the Public Library Skills Strategy) School librarians Thinking externally to the sector we thought we need to access Education space in the broadest sense (formal, informal, lifelong learning, adult, HE/FE) Teachers; SLT; managers; governors Chartered College of Teaching Ofsted PSHE Association (Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education Assoc) Unions Government (DCMS/DfE) We talked about some of the ways we possibly could access these internal and external stakeholders Seek external funding to train school librarians to deliver information literacy and evaluate the impact of this. Seek to build IL awareness into QTS training. CILIP to approach contact at DfE and follow up with DCMS. Raise profile of IL through CILIP conference programme and Information Professional Magazine. (6) ILG to continue working with TeenTech Ensure IL is covered in the CILIP/SLG response to the OFSTED consultation. We want to engage with CILIP Special Interest Groups. So that we can see where if any crossovers may lie and seek to collaborate with them
Next phase on my story – was my move the Open University. A University like no other – a University where everyone there believes and values it mission and will defend it and protect it whenever and wherever possible.
Insert graduation video One of the most recognisable mission statements across the sector- only one that colleagues recognise across the UK 76% of directly-registered OU students work full or part-time during their studies 23% of OU UK undergraduates live in the 25% most deprived areas 34% of new OU undergraduates are under 25 We are the largest provider of higher education for people with disabilities: 24,709 students with disabilities studied with us in 2017/18. Our open admissions policy helps thousands of people who failed to achieve their potential earlier in life: 32% of students had one A level or a lower qualification at entry
35,251 views of OU Library Youtube since 2010
Student and library services takes an intergrated and holistic approach to student development with services ranging from academic skills to personal effectiveness, wellbeing and resilience. The department also offers targeted services for specific groups. Total number of students: 18,554 UG (degree and non-degree) – 15,984 PG – 2,570
We’ve invested over £270m in our campus over recent years and we’re investing an additional £300m over the next 10 years to further enhance the experience of all our students, staff and partners.
Through our on-campus business support services, our graduates have launched over 500 new businesses, creating 600 jobs.
The majority of our research was recognised as world leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework 2014
Teesside University is included in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 list of the top 1,000 universities in the world
The University is also ranked number one of 199 world universities for overall average satisfaction in the International Student Barometer 2018
The University received a silver rating in the Government’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework. As a result, it was rated 60th in the Times Higher Education rankings, one of the highest performing TEF Silver institutions in the country (17th out of 67)
93.6% of students surveyed in work or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016-17 survey, full-time first degree UK domiciled Graduates,1633 respondents) Recruits the majority of its students from the Tees Valley TU’s top ten feeder schools and colleges are within a 15 mile radius of Middlesbrough, accounting for 32% of FT UG students and the majority of TU students are recruited from the North East and Yorkshire. North East is the region where young people are least likely to access HE. The latest HESA data published in Feb 2018, confirms that the HE region also has the highest proportion of entrants from low participation neighbourhoods with a percentage of 23.4% compared to a national average of 11.4%, an 12% difference.
Spotlight on some of our services The Learning Hub in the library offers academic and employability skills development workshops and one-to-one support sessions, with direct referral links to and from academic schools. The Learning Hub is an inclusive service that is offered to all TU students providing a range of approached to enhance student skills. Last year a total of 1,202 students engaged with the Learning Hub, 18% of which were students with a disability. The majority of this engagement through the succeed@tees workshops, which are a series of informal workshops covering a range of topics to enable students to for learning and life. The majority of the students report a positive experience in attending the workshops. The Learning Hub website provide access to online tutorials on writing and referencing.
PASS sessions are delivered by student leaders who are supported in their work by an academic champion. Students are trained to mentor and guide student in lower years to develop their learning skills.
Services co-ordinated by SLS in partnership with academic schools and other services and provide support for TU students throughout their time as enrolled students at the University. Support is also identified for applicants who wish to apply to study at TU. Disability advisers, including specialist advisers for mental health and autism, produce individual student support plans for disabled student, identifying strategies and reasonable adjustments for implementation in academic schools. A network of school disability co-ordinators work in partnership with disability services to support the effective communication and implementation and review of appropriate strategies and adjustments tailored to individual students and their programme of study. Disability specialists also work in partnership with academic schools and central departments, such as careers, to develop greater awareness of issues for disabled students in order to support the student experience and the development of good inclusive practice for transition, learning, teaching and policy implementation. Specialist student skills tuition, specialist mentoring services and academic support assistants support disabled students in the development of skills for success for learning and life which strengthen potential future career progression beyond graduation.
TU is an approved assessment centre which supports disabled applicants and current students who are studying in HE. The service enables applicants from the Teesside area to have a needs assessment completed at TU to provide reasonable adjustments for eligible students at the point of presenting evidence. This is supplemented by the funding of full diagnostic assessments from an educational psychologist for all pre-arrival students holding a conditional-firm or unconditional firm offer, this ensures that these students have all of their support needs in place at the start of their learning experience. TU seeks feedback from users of its service to inform the support offered and to make adjustments as and when required. TU also has a team of specialists able to help staff who support students with disabilities and mental health challenges as well as providing continuing professional development opportunities, including training sessions on autism, mental health, disability, dyslexia and pastoral care and boundaries.
TU successfully secured HEFCE catalyst funding for a project aimed at tackling and raising awareness of sexual violence, hate crimes, harassment and bullying. The primary aim was to bring together multiple agencies to provide clear and seamless pathways to advice and support for TU students. The HEFCE bid submitted by TU was formally supported by the SU. Partnership led to the development of the project brand ‘Yes to Respect’. Joint development and delivery of multiple awareness raising campaigns and training sessions for student staff.
Staff from SLS deliver outreach funding sessions in local schools, 6th form colleges and colleges as well as on campus to deliver funding advice presentations to prospective students and their influencers. These presentations are delivered by specialist finance advice staff ot ensure accurate and clear information, advice and guidance is given. TU also offer one-to-one advice sessions to prospective students to support student in making the transition to HE.
New Student Life building which will be a single source of information, advice and guidance within the University, which will proactively reach out to students covering areas such as career guidance, financial advice, counselling and wellbeing. Running parallel to the build will be student life online offering to ensure that students can get access to information when they need it. These technologies will be integrated into the physical offering to ensure that learners have the very best experience. Clearly digital inequalities still prevail and TU pays particular focus on the digital upskilling its staff and students. September 2018 full time first year UG through Teesside Advance Scheme all receive an iPad, keyboard and specialist toolkit of apps. Digitally empowering students with meaningful technologies to enhance their learning experience. http://tees.ac.uk/sections/fulltime/advance.cfm John Smiths Aspire card provides a pre-paid card £100 which can be used to access books and learning materials via an online store
Everyone gets a library! Challenging and rethinking the library experience Rosie Jones keynote
Rosie Jones Director of Student and Library Services
Everyone gets a library!
Challenging and rethinking the library experience
Bringing the joy back into learning:
students, staff and space.
The quality of physical learning environments impacts
on student engagement and learning
(JISC, 2006; Jolly, 2012; UCISA, 2015; Arora, 2013).
Furniture, fittings and decor
• Flexible learning spaces
• Welcoming spaces (Student focus group)
• Inspirational spaces
• Spaces to accommodate different preferences
• Space for group work and circulation
• Comfortable learning spaces
• Bright colours are thought to promote mental alertness and activity.
• Green can have a calming effect
• Blue can nurture tranquility
• Good natural daylight can increase productivity and reduce absenteeism
‘It reminds me somehow of my favourite
childhood movie ..Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory when the doors open
to an edible world, it’s kind of magical
and at the same time festival! I think it
allows the mind to wander to ….. a little
world that you can create yourself.’
‘[student] also spoke about the
transformative nature of the space.
……………This resulted in him feeling
more confident about his learning and
seeing the atmosphere differently.
Instead of seeing the library as noisy and
busy, he started to see it as warm and
social. This transformation was such that
Dean completely changed the way that
he learned and on his next visit to the
library, actively sought out people to
work with.’ [Researcher findings]
It helps me and my friends during
our group project etc. It is visible
to everybody. So, anybody can
make a suggestion quickly within
There were people relaxed on the
bean bags in the corner that once
housed desks. The talk was of a
group presentation, but the
atmosphere informal, like a
needed break from the strict world
Importance of learning space design.
• Well designed learning spaces can increase levels of student creativity,
productivity and well-being
• Colours of walls, degree of natural light, furnishings and temperature of
the classroom influence motivation to learn, mental alertness and can
reduce absenteeism (Arora, 2013)
Deputy Chair: CILIP Information
CILIP Definition of Information
“Information literacy is knowing when
and why you need information, where to
find it, and how to evaluate, use and
communicate it in an ethical manner”
CILIP Definition of Information
“Information literacy is the ability to
think critically and make balanced
judgements about any information we
find and use. It empowers us as
citizens to develop informed views
and to engage fully with society.”
• Checking information online
• Online transactions
• Behave ethically online
• Social media
• Digital footprint
• How to understand the
world around us?
• Recognise bias and
• Fake news
• Critical judgement
• All stages of education
• School, Further Education and
• Critical thinking skills
• Transition from school to
• Equips learners with
and the Workplace
• Knowing when and how to
• To help achieve organizational
aims and adds value
• Interpret work related
• Contributes to employability
• Problem solving and analytical
• Using credible and reputable
healthcare sources when looking
for treatment and prognosis.
• Becoming active partners in
• Engaging in informed dialogue with
• Making it easier (NHS Scotland)
The Open Library
Director of Library Services, OpenLearn
The Open University
• Open to People, Places, Methods and Ideas
• The UK’s only university dedicated to distance learning
• Over 170,000 students
• 76% of OU students work full or part-time during their studies
• 23% of OU UK undergraduates live in the 25% most deprived areas
• 34% of new OU undergraduates are under 25
• 24,709 students with disabilities studied at the OU in 2017/18
• 32% of students had one A level or lower qualification at entry
34The Open University
As part of its commitment to access, the OU
freely releases educational materials into the
5% of OU modules released for free on
58 million visitors since launch in 2006
25 programmes with the BBC each year
(250 million views)
Views of OU Library
visits to the OU Library
to Library Search per
Likes on Facebook
Library Services: digital commsLibrary Services: digital comms
surveyed in the 2016
Survey agree library
resources and services
are good enough for
20/06/19 36The Open University
Large numbers of OU students with accessibility needs – 20,000+
• Library accessibility
experts working and
leading across institution
• Site audits and testing
• Working with developers
• Identifying solutions
20/06/19 37The Open University
Library Student Panel
Working in partnership with students to design new products & services
• Annual rolling membership of
~500 students (representative)
• Two intake points
• Representative sample of
9,000 students approached
• Preferences for engagement
• No more than four research
activities a year
20/06/19 39The Open University
Digital Skills & Capabilities
A groundbreaking OU
wide initiative to ensure a
fully digitally capable
20/06/19 40The Open University
• Facebook chats
• Non-social media
• Event tie ins
• Live tour of the Library for
International Women’s Day
• Zero-calories advent
• Student Hub Live
• Fake news Fridays
Director of Student and Library Services
Student Life Building Vision
Student Life will be a student-centred and student-led space,
providing information and support to inspire and empower
success in learning and life.
Core features of Student Life Building
• Information zone, consulting rooms, syndicate rooms and, a café.”
• Technology-enabled environment,
• Supporting a variety of learning preferences, activities and attendance patterns.
• A range of flexible spaces, enabling social and collaborative learning,