Library Network Support Services (LNSS): championing information literacy across the Shannon Consortium.

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1 Library Network Support Services (LNSS): championing information literacy across the Shannon Consortium. Jerald Cavanagh BSc Econ, MSc, MA Institute Librarian Limerick Institute of Technology Padraig Kirby BA(Hons) HdipLIS LNSS Librarian Project Coordinator Limerick Institute of Technology

2 Contents SIF, Shannon Consortium and the birth of the LNSS. LNSS- what is it? What s the timescale, Steering Group, Shannon Consortium partner. libraries and funding LNSS and Information Literacy. Why is information literacy important? Defining information literacy. Is information literacy a high priority in Ireland? LNSS and information literacy in the Shannon Consortium. LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6 th Why was Cranfield Online information literacy suite selected? Why was Epigeum Research Skills Online selected? The importance of staff Development for information literacy initiatives. Marketing the LNSS. Conclusion: what will the LNSS have achieved?

3 SIF, the Shannon Consortium and the birth of the LNSS

4 Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) In 2005 the Irish Government announced a 1.2 billion funding package for third level education in their budget. This was considered by many to be a landmark moment for the universities and Institutes of Technology. (Irish Times, 2005) This package was supported by a further 300 million Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) where colleges compete for finance. This new funding would be spread over a five year timeframe. The Irish Universities Association (IUA) representing the seven Irish University presidents called the Budget statement groundbreaking. (Irish Times, 2005) Minister for Finance Brian Cowen identified the need for colleges to help themselves- a deeper need for collaboration between them. Under SIF colleges will be rewarded for cost efficiencies and for meeting wider economic and social targets. (Irish Times, 2005) The Irish Government had made a pact with third level: it will deliver world class funding if the colleges deliver world-class performance.

5 The strategic innovation fund was established by the Government to promote collaboration, support change and enhance quality in Irish higher education so that it is equipped to meet the challenge of driving Ireland s development as a leading knowledge economy. It reflects the reality that for Irish higher education to attain world-class standards, we need to identify creative approaches that build on the collective strengths of our institutions, working together as a cohesive system. (Ireland, Department of Education and Science 2005) Minister for Education ( ) Mary Hanafin

6 (SIF)- it s main aims. Enhancing collaboration between higher education and institutions. Improving teaching and learning. Promoting access and lifelong learning. Supporting the development of postgraduate education.

7 The Shannon Consortium There were two rounds of SIF funding known as SIF 1 and SIF 2 The Shannon Consortium consisting of Limerick Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Tralee, Mary Immaculate College Limerick and the University of Limerick was formed in the context if SIF cycle 1 in The Consortium is an example of how various colleges formed regional alliances to build strong SIF proposals. The Consortium s vision is to transform the Higher Education landscape in the region. This integrated approach across a university, a teacher education institution and two Institutes of Technology is unique in the country (Limerick Institute of Technology, 2007).

8 Some examples of other Shannon Consortium projects Shannon Applied Biotechnology Cluster (LIT/ITTralee) SIF 1 funded. The Buildings Research Establishment for Ireland (LIT/UL/BRE UK) SIF 1 funded. Wired FM Student Radio Station (LIT/MIC) SIF 1 funded. Innovations in Teaching and Learning Support (UL, LIT, ITTralee, MIC)) SIF 2 funded. The Regional Workforce Up skilling Network (LIT, ITTralee, MIC, UL) SIF 2 funded. Library Network Support Services (LIT, ITTralee, MIC, UL) SIF 2 funded.

9 The birth of Library Network Support Services (LNSS) In order to avail of an excellent opportunity for funding the Directors of Library Services at each of the Shannon Consortium Libraries- Limerick Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Tralee, Mary Immaculate College and the University of Limerick came together to form the Library Network Support Services (LNSS) Steering Group. Following much consultation between the LNSS Steering Group the SIF proposal Library Network Support Services (LSSS) was submitted to the HEA (Higher Education Authority) in May 2007 as a Shannon Consortium project under the SIF 2 cycle of funding. The project submission was successful with Limerick Institute of Technology as lead institution for the project.

10 Why was our submission successful? The LNSS project submission- comprised of two main strands which are arguably the two most important issues facing libraries today that of: Information Literacy. Library Staff Development.

11 LNSS: What's it about? What s the timescale? Steering Group, Shannon Consortium partner libraries and funding.

12 LNSS : what s it about? Lead Institution Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) is the lead institution for the Shannon Consortium LNSS project What s the project about? LNSS coordinates the sharing of resources and expertise between the participating libraries in Limerick Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology, Tralee, University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. What will be the overall outcome? LNSS will result in innovative support services responding to the changing expectation of library users. It will also provide joint professional development opportunities for library staff working in the evolving information environment, through the establishment of a Regional Network for Staff Development.

13 LNSS: what's the timescale? LNSS Initiatives will be rolled out across the partner institutions (LIT, ITTralee, UL, MIC) over two and half years (August 2008-January 2011). The LNSS Project has 2 main strands: 1.Information Literacy (IL)- Under the direction of the LNSS Steering Group Select, develop, implement and evaluate a suite of IL initiatives to International IL standards for the partners libraries as a framework of support for learners over 2008 for rollout in 2009/2010. This IL initiative will consist of a web-based, self paced information literacy modules. 2.Regional Network for Staff development: Under the direction of the LNSS Steering Group and in collaboration with the Library Staff development Unit of the University of Limerick- Development of a Regional Network for Staff Development for sharing of professional development opportunities across the Consortium supporting skills development and innovative practice enabling library staff to manage the evolving information environment and to match the changing needs of users.

14 LNSS- Steering Group, staff, partner libraries and funding The successful LNSS project submission was the creation of four Directors of Library Services who came together to form the Library Network Support Services Steering group. The members of the LNSS Steering Group are: Jerald Cavanagh (LIT- LNSS Project Leader) Gobnait O Riordan (UL) Pat Doherty (ITTralee) Gerardine Moloney (MIC) Brid.Foster (LIT) Catherine Murray (ITTralee)

15 LNSS Staff There are 3 dedicated SIF Funded staff working on the LNSS Project: LNSS Librarian Project Coordinator (Grade VI)- Oversees and manages the LNSS Project- responsibility for coordination and development of Information Literacy initiatives and with the Library Staff Development at the University of Limerick coordination of a Regional Network for Staff development. LNSS Administration and Accounts Assistant (Grade IV)- Based in LIT and reporting to the LNSS Librarian Project Coordinator- provides support for the activities of the Library Network Support Services project. LNSS Administration Assistant (Grade IV)- Based in UL and reporting to the UL Library Staff Development Unit at the University of Limerick. Provides Administrative support for the activities associated with the work of the Library Staff development Unit in support of the LNSS Project.

16 LNSS funding Total funding = almost 1 million euros ( 990,000) This funding is broken down as follows: SIF requirement = 495,000 Matched funding= 495,000 = 990,000 Matched funding consists of staff time of non SIF funded staff in partner libraries such as time spent attending training courses and any other work which is not directly funded by SIF. Information Literacy: 658,490 Regional Network for Staff development 331,510 = 990,000 In 2009 funding was re-evaluated due to recent economic developments. Future total available funding has not been established.

17 LNSS and information literacy: What are the objectives?

18 Select, develop, implement and evaluate a suite of online modular IL initiatives to international IL standards for the partner libraries. This will involve developing a framework of support for learners over 2008 for rollout in 2009/2010 which will enable them to have: Improved skills in finding, using and evaluating information. Greater awareness of sources of information. A greater understanding of academic information resources as an important component in the learning cycle. Improved understanding of the risks and pitfalls of abusing information sources. Ability to retrieve information using a variety of media. Skills to critically evaluate information. Ability to access quality information. Enhanced transferable skills on completion of their studies. Ensure the IL initiatives align with and contribute to each partner library s existing IL programmes. Ensure each partner library s requirements are represented in the design and delivery of the new IL suite. Ensure library staff are aware of the IL suite and have the skills to deliver them;

19 What were the key outputs and outcomes for IL agreed with the HEA for the LNSS?

20 LNSS- Information literacy KEY OUTPUTS AND OUTCOMES AS AGREED WITH THE HEA A. OUTCOMES Thematic Area Project name Project Objective Project Coordinator Shannon Consortium Library Network Support Services Information Literacy (IL) Jerald Cavanagh, Librarian, Limerick Institute of Technology Interim targets Activity 2008/ Outputs Outcomes Appointment of staff (All partners) Two members of staff (1 Project Coordinator Grade VI, 1 Administration /Training Assistant Grade VI, (Grade VI to be divided between LIT an UL) Staff appointed Staff in place Project co-ordination (to be carried out by appointed Grade VI and Grade IV personnel) Project scoping exercise Complete suite of modules for participating sites. Inter Institutional Project Development Workshop Agreed development and rollout of Marketing Plan Agree Pilot Site Awareness and training of staff. Role out of IL modules across the sector. Continue IL rollout Assessment and evaluation of IL effectiveness Assessment of the effectiveness of the institutional cooperation. Statement of needs established. Pilot modules completed Project requirements identified. Project programs Clear plan for agreed. Staff modular trained and ready to training and deliver modules. rollout. IL ready for delivery. IL delivered across Institutions. IL ready for use. Customize and develop IL modules for pilot site Written report on Final Report the effectiveness of completed. IL across sector and institutional cooperation

21 Key outputs and outcomes 2008/2009 Appointment of LNSS staff Project coordination to be carried out appointed grade VI and grade IV personnel incorporating- Project Scoping exercise. Inter Institutional project development workshop. Agreed development and Rollout of Marketing Plan. Agree Pilot Site. Customize and develop IL modules for Pilot site.

22 2008- delivered. LNSS Staff appointed. (August 2008) Project scoping meetings held with senior library staff- from partner librariesbroad needs identified. August/Sept 2008) LNSS Stakeholder Workshop held- IL institutional needs clarified. IL suite reviewed and recommendations for IL suite selection made. (October 2008) Collaborative Marketing Strategy identified- Development of LNSS Website- Pilot site agreed (October 2008) planned deliverables. Rollout of IL suite in Pilot site. Awareness and training of staff in Pilot site- Training programme launch in Rollout of Collaborative Marketing Plan (LIT led). LNSS Website rolled out. Promotion of IL suite in Pilot site. Customize and develop modules for all other sites-

23 Why is Information Literacy important?

24 The idea of information literacy, broadly defined as the ability to recognize information needs and to identify, evaluate and use information effectively, has been of growing concern in the education sectors for a number of years. (Bruce, 1999) Information literacy has emerged as a central purpose for Librarians over the past decade. Macrum (cited in Clyde 2005) Recent years have indicated a phenomenal push toward librarians demonstrating their pedagogical skills. (Bloom and Deyrup 2003).

25 The development of numerous standards guidelines and reports denotes increasing importance of IL (well known standards in red) United States American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy report. (1989) Guidelines for Instruction programs in academic libraries. (1997) Information Literacy Competency standards for Higher education (Association of College and Research Libraries. (ACRL) (2000) Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction: a model statement for academic libraries guidance document. Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline. (Institute of Information Literacy) Objectives for Library instruction: a model statement for academic librarians. (2001) Assessing student learning outcomes in information literacy programs. (2002

26 Australia/New Zealand The Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework: principles, standards and practice ( ANZIL 2004) United Kingdom Information skills in higher education- Standing Conference of National and University Librarians (SCONUL 1999)

27 Defining Information Literacy

28 Sundin (2008) has noted that much has been written about IL yet there is no single undisputed definition of what IL actually is. Why is IL important? Information literacy is about people s ability to operate effectively in an information society. This involves critical thinking, an awareness of personal and professional ethics, information evaluation, conceptualizing information needs, organizing information, interacting with information professionals and making use of information in problem-solving, decision-making and research. It is these information based processes which are crucial to the character of learning organizations. (Bruce 1999)

29 Some definitions: 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. (Chartered Institute of Information Professionals 2004) Also the Society of College National and University libraries. (SCONUL)

30 Is Information Literacy a high priority in Ireland?

31 Is Information Literacy a high priority in Ireland? As with Governments internationally Ireland through bodies such as the Information Society Commission have also been concerned with information literacy and realise that the ability to think, and to select and use the information at our disposal will be the critical determinant of future success of the Information Society in Ireland. (Ireland, Information Society Commission 2000) The Conul Working Group on Information Skills Training (IST the term information skills is more commonly used in Ireland than the term Information literacy ) have been concerned with research into best and current practice in IST within Conul libraries. (CONUL 2004) They also investigate ways of integrating IST into institutional teaching and learning programmes with regard to teaching and learning developments and virtual learning environments/managed learning environments. Seeking out new development opportunities and developing appropriate promotional is another of their concerns. (CONUL 2004)

32 Is Information Literacy a high priority in Ireland? While there is concern in Ireland that there should be active participation and success in the global information society (Webber and McGuinness 2007) and if Information literacy is the fusing of different concepts, the integration of library literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, information ethics, critical thinking and communication skills (Parang et al., 2000 cited in Bloom and Deyrup 2003) the focus in Ireland has tended to be on information technology not information literacy. (Webber and McGuinness 2007) While some academic libraries in Ireland are developing institutional information literacy frameworks (Breen and Fallon 2005) there is there is no coherent approach to developing information literacy (IL) skills in Ireland and no cohesive national strategy (Russell 2008).

33 LNSS and Information literacy in the Shannon Consortium.

34 Information literacy in the Shannon Consortium- LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6 th 2008 The LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6 th 2008 Information Literacy component was attended by 14 senior library staff from Shannon Consortium Libraries including staff at Director of Library Service level. The purpose of the workshop was twofold: To identify the current level of information literacy practice in the Consortium; To identify suitable online modular information literacy suites for purchase by the Consortium.

35 LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6 th To identify the current level of information literacy practice in the Consortium. To address the first issue, of current situation, the groups from the various institutions were asked to reflect on a number of questions that they were required to answer to ascertain the position in their own institution. The purpose of this session was to ensure that when the group were reviewing the possible IL suites that could be used, that they would use the information gathered in this session to make sure that the needs of their own institutions would be met within whatever suite was chosen. The questions that each group considered were:

36 Current IL approach used in their institution? Key challenges the institution faces in IL? How the institution is marketing/ensuring a presence of the current IL offering? IL needs in institution? (any unique issues to be considered) Preferred direction of IL project for each institution, any specific requirements that the institution would like the model to include?

37 Summary of results: how is Information Literacy currently being provided in Shannon Consortium across Shannon Consortium Libraries? Provision of study guides online and paper. Information literacy guides/tutorials on the Library Website e.g. on plagiarism, referencing. Use of VLE s such as Moodle/Blackboard for online delivery. Subject specific tutorials- presentations delivered by subject librarians in Library Training Rooms. General orientation for 1 st years- e.g. library tours. Support provided by the Learning Support Unit. Drop in information literacy sessions for students. Source: LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6 th 2008.

38 Summary of results: What are the challenges facing Shannon Consortium libraries regarding information literacy? Overreliance on subject librarians- need for 24/7 online information literacy resource. Lack of coordination with regard to information literacy efforts. Fragmented approach to information literacy. Need for marketing of current information literacy initiatives to both students and staff. Lack of confidence of the staff regarding information literacy. Convincing academic staff of the importance of Information Literacy. The need for a more organised approach to Information literacy provision for students. Shortage of staff to deliver information literacy initiatives particularly hands on lecture based IL provision. Plagiarism is a big issue. Need to select an online modular information literacy suite from suitable providers- something which would require the minimum amount of customisation. Lack of facilities for IL training. Need for Library involvement in the institutional marketing strategy in order to promote information literacy initiatives. Need to cater for distance learners and international students. Source: LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6 th 2008.

39 2. To identify suitable online modular information literacy suites for purchase by the Consortium- before we answer this question perhaps we should first ask: Why did we choose to rollout online, modular information literacy initiatives in Shannon Consortium libraries?

40 The number of available electronic resources has skyrocked in recent years and the access to these resources has become more widely available and hence the demand for online support has also multiplied (Xiao 2004) This has presented libraries with a two-fold challenge: How to facilitate online support on a 24/7 basis? How to communicate effectively to address queries covering a wide range of topics from users differing in skills and learning styles?

41 Also stakeholders in Shannon Consortium libraries and particularly the LNSS Steering Group were aware that delivering information literacy online was fast becoming a popular mode of delivery. For example between one study of online information literacy modules between August and October 2004 identified that there were 31 Online information tutorials available through Scandinavian universities. (Sundin 2008) In another study over 200 Information Literacy tutorials were identified from the English speaking world. (Hunn and Rossiter 2006)

42 Why select information literacy content from suitable providers rather than design from scratch? Research into the cost of designing content in- house had shown that the LNSS could achieve better value by selecting e learning content from suitable vendors rather than design in house. Rumble (2001) estimated the cost of developing an e learning as between $6000 and $1, 000, 000. In a more recent study (Lee et al 2004) an e learning resource for 23, 000 students was launched at a cost of $1.1 million. While e learning must be successful in reaching learning objectives, have easy accessibility, have a consistent and accurate message, be easy to use, entertaining, memorable, relevant, and if possible result in reduced training costs (Angeliki et al 2005 in Steen 2008) it need not be developed from scratch and existing best models may be adapted and utilized.

43 Methodology for selecting online, modular information literacy initiatives Prior to the LNSS Stakeholder Workshop research was conducted across the Consortium coordinated by the LNSS Librarian Project Coordinator into online information literacy suites currently available worldwide. Using criteria influenced by research into current practice in Reusable Learning Objects (University of Cambridge 2003) and instructional design 20 potential suites were identified which were subsequently reduced down to 8 using interview and survey techniques. These 8 tutorials were subsequently reduced down to 2 using Workshop techniques involving the main stakeholders comprising of senior library staff in the Shannon Consortium. These 2 were selected for purchase.

44 LNSS Stakeholder Workshop October 6th 2008 Methodology for selecting online, modular information literacy initiatives These are the criteria agreed by stakeholders with which to evaluate the online information literacy suites. These criteria were used to reduce 20 online information literacy down to 8. Such criteria was influenced by research into reusable learning object specification (University of Cambridge 2003) and instructional design. Does it meet a variety of learning styles? What is the degree of interactivity? Does it promote active learning and hence is the pedagogy sound? Can the resource stand alone or is substantial customisation required? Can the resource be customised if required? Does the resource cater for different levels of IL needs of students What is the level of ongoing maintenance? How does the resource look? Will students find it appealing? Has the resource been created using learning outcomes based on information literacy standards? Is the duration a good estimate of the time it will take to work through? Is content factually accurate?

45 At the workshop the following criteria was agreed by stakeholders with which to evaluate the IL suites. Using these criteria accompanied by a demonstration of each 8 potential IL suites were reduced down to 2 for purchase:

46 The results were as follows: Each suite was scored out of 5 taking into account the criteria. Note to arrive at the arrive score; the total score for the suite was divided by the number of people who actually scored the suite. Where a member did not score against certain criteria in a suite, a score of zero was allocated.

47 The death of text based, online information literacy tutorials? Why were the Crandfield and Epigeum products selected? Perhaps the main reason why these were selected was due the fact that stakeholders and particularly the Steering Group felt on the day that all other tutorials were far too text based and lacking in active learning activities and interesting imagery and role play. All stakeholders were particularly interested in IL suites that used tools such as online video where experts speak about such topics as Research methods or, career planning or getting published. Epigeum Research skills online was particularly strong in this regard. Xiao (2004) emphasizes the importance of using online video methods: Text based tutorials offer little help when dealing with complex concepts or processes. Direct assistance from library personnel is only available when the libraries are open. In today s web environment, a more effective learning tool is required to facilitate the support and instruction of electronic resources in a manner that appeals to the user.

48 Why was the Cranfield Online information literacy suite selected?

49 Why was the Cranfield Online information literacy suite selected? As mentioned earlier the following criteria was used to select two online information literacy suites for the LNSS project:

50 Criteria 6. Student appeal but professional looking. Navigation effective. Always clear to the user where they are in the tutorial and where they are. Innovative use of metaphor and engaging learning activities. Why was Cranfield Online modular information literacy suite selected? The Cranfield Online Information Literacy suite was selected by stakeholders because it met the agreed criteria Criteria 1. Meets a variety of learning styles. Where possible Honey and Mumford learning styles; activists, pragmatists, theorists and reflectors catered for. (Hunn and Rossiter 2006) Criteria 2. Degree of interactivity At least two active learning activities provided in each of the 9 modules. Criteria 3. Ability to stand alone (no customisation required) Could stand alone if no modification required. Criteria 4. Ability to customise if required Some customisation possible but not all content customisable. Criteria 5 Caters for different levels of IL needs of students Caters for lower order information literacy skills, pillars one to four of the Sconul Seven Pillars Advisory Committee on Information Literacy, 1999 as well as higher order Il skills, SCONUL s pillars five to seven. (Hunn and Rossiter 2007) Learning outcomes for each tutorial written and reviewed by library professionals and then mapped against each of the SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy.

51 Cranfield Online information literacy suite

52 Cranfield Online information literacy suite- active learning

53 Cranfield Online information literacy suite- active learning

54 Why was Epigeum Research skills online Selected?

55 The Epigeum Research Skills online was selected by stakeholders because it met the agreed criteria Criteria 1. Meets a variety of learning styles. Honey and Munford learning styles; activists, pragmatists, theorists and reflectors catered for. Criteria 2. Degree of interactivity. Active learning opportunities provided in each module. Criteria 3. Ability to stand alone. (no customisation required) Could stand alone if no modification required Criteria 4. Ability to customise if required. Is updated regularly with regular Update Workshops run by the supplier. Modification can also be made within the organisation. Criteria 5. Student appeal but professional looking. Navigation effective. Always clear to the user where they are in the tutorial and where they are. Innovative use of online video, metaphor and engaging learning activities.

56 Why was Epigeum Research Skills Online selected? Epigeum Research skills online and research. As well as meeting the aforementioned criteria Epigeum Research Skills Online with its online research skills modules dealing with such topics as career planning, research methods and research planning fed into institutional and national policies with regard to research as this extract from FORFAS report The role of the Institutes of Technology in enterprise development explains: All of the Institutes have research strategies with the broad aim of enhancing their research competence Support for future R&D activity needs to reflect the individual Institutes current strengths, their identified potential taking into account their operating context and wider national research priorities (FORFAS 2007)

57 Why was Epigeum Research Skills Online selected? Epigeum Research skills online and research. The importance of investing in infrastructure for research such as Epigeum is stressed in the National Development Plan The active recruitment of top-level researchers from home and overseas, the development of career paths and mobility mechanisms are intended to grow our stock of researchers quantitatively and qualitatively. The investment in people will be matched by an investment in infrastructure. ( Ireland, National Development Plan )

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61 LNSS- the importance of staff development for information literacy initiatives. Information literacy skills training has, especially over the last decade, become a core function of academic libraries and librarians throughout the world. (Brown 2007)

62 As mentioned earlier the LNSS project as well as Information literacy also concerns: Regional Network for Staff development: Under the direction of the LNSS Steering Group and in collaboration with the Library Staff development Unit of the University of Limerick- Development of a Regional Network for Staff Development for sharing of professional development opportunities across the Consortium supporting skills development and innovative practice enabling library staff to manage the evolving information environment and to match the changing needs of users. LNSS Stakeholder Workshop: the workshop was also used to identify training needs for the purposes or rolling out a full programme of staff development courses all through 2009.

63 As part if the Library staff development component of the LNSS project an audit of required skills was conducted at the LNSS Stakeholder Workshop where staff in the Shannon Consortium libraries were asked to consider the development needs of library staff. Staff were asked to select their top 20 development needs loosely grouped under the following headings: Collection related. Web and System related topics. Basic skills for library staff. Management related. User support related.

64 As you can see the need for information literacy and teaching skills featured prominently:

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