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Annual report

Chair's annual report 2014-15

This has been another busy year for CoLRiC. Since June 2016 we have:

Welcomed new members to the Committee

  • Andy Eachus from Salford City College
  • Jon Hofgartner from Weston College.

We are now looking for a small number of new people to join the Committee to help progress our projects and activities.

Worked with other organisations

Along with other groups and individuals we have worked with CILIP on the project to create an Advocacy Framework for the profession. We have also worked with the Reading Agency as they progress their valuable work on literacy, reading for health etc. Our views have also been given concerning the opening of the resource ‘Access to Research’ to FE as this was only made available via public libraries.

Offered awards

The Committee took a decision this year not to sponsor the latest round of the Beacon Awards due to the increasing costs of taking part. We held our Best Practice Awards and attracted a high number of excellent submissions. We would like to thank all the entrants for their applications. We read about some very interesting projects. Our winners have shared their good practice at our events this year. From saving Beacon Award money, we will once again be able to award trophies and certificates to our Best Practice Award winners next year. Often, we have more than one winner and so unlike Beacon, more than one college may benefit from these Awards.

Run events

As we have done over the last few years, we have again run an event, this year called ‘Let’s Go Digital’. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our excellent speakers. We try to run our events in different areas of the country to help with travel distances and access to public transport and so we run the same event in more than one location. This year in London and Kirklees College, Huddersfield. Both events were well attended and delegates gave us some excellent feedback. We look at the feedback in detail not only to make improvements year on year but also to ask what topics might be of most interest to you for the coming year. We always try to ensure you are given an opportunity to network with others in the profession, and we know from feedback that this is very popular. All our events provide an opportunity for you to discuss various topics and give your feedback to the group of delegates. At our planning meeting in June we started to plan the arrangements and topics for our 2018 events.

Retained Sponsors

We have several sponsors who help with costs at our events and often have a display for you to visit. Sometimes they give a short presentation and feedback from delegates have told us that they find it useful to have time to speak to a range of suppliers while away from the workplace when time is so limited.

Published information about our activities and members' good practice

We use several means of communicating with you to do this:

  • Quality Impact is our newsletter – a brief read as we know you are always busy
  • Website for all kinds of information, copies of presentations and downloads
  • Our email forum on Jiscmail for questions, answers and opinions
  • Facebook for news
  • Twitter for quick messages.

We have tried LinkedIn but this did not really work for us; we are now experimenting with Instagram and Pinterest - more news to follow!

Continued to develop and promote the Peer Accreditation Scheme

Currently, 39 colleges have registered with the Peer Accreditation Scheme. Five colleges have gone through a full peer assessment; a further college will have an assessment day in September 2017. The key aims for the coming year are to promote the Scheme and to train more assessors.

Provided exemplar papers

Over the years, we have made regular requests to our members for examples of relevant documentation to develop our ‘exemplar working papers’ collection. This has proved to be a huge success. There are now over 100 job descriptions in the CoLRiC website members’ area, for example:

  • Library Assistant
  • Subject Librarian
  • Facilitator
  • Manager
  • e-Resources Librarian
  • Head of Service
  • Systems Librarian

We would now like to expand the collection into further areas. We hope this will benefit all our members.

Carried out benchmarking surveys

We feel these are useful for improving your services, benchmarking against others for such things as inspections. The more colleges who take part the better the outcome statistics are.

Last September, we published the findings of the 2016 Performance and Impact Indicators Survey and in February, we launched the 2017 Survey – our 15th PII Survey! The deadline for responses is 31st July 2017; we hope as many members as possible will take part.

This year we also carried out our second survey of library/learning resources services in sixth form colleges. This covered areas such as budgets, staffing, study spaces, facilities and services, resources, user education and technology. The response rate was rather lower than the first survey; nevertheless, we hope the findings provide a helpful benchmarking measure.

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to our surveys this year. Keep an eye on our website for the next round of surveys – to include our second general FE college survey.

On to next year.

The Committee has recently met to plan for the coming year. We all look forward to meeting you, if possible, or hearing from you using any of our means of communicating.

Margaret Phillips, Chair of CoLRiC, September 2017

Updated Friday 15 Dec 2017