Advocacy

CoLRiC is a leading advocate for library and learning resources services across Further Education and Sixth Form Colleges. We are here to advise and support you in any capacity, with an Executive Committee comprised of senior librarians from across the UK.

We are committed to raising the profile of the sector and advocating for those delivering vital library and learning resource services. We offer opportunities to all students, teachers and professional services support staff. We want to celebrate the power of community, connectivity and co-operation. We want to celebrate the power of mutual support

CoLRiC Executive Committee

Recent successes include:

Reflecting on the legacy of two years of pandemic trauma on students – Implications for Library and Learning Resource Services

The Covid pandemic is being blamed for ‘cultural shift’ as more pupils skip school. The Guardian newspaper on the 14th January 2023 reported on absenteeism and the attendance crisis; heightened fears of illness and mental health issues compounded by problems in the NHS, outbreaks of strep A, scarlet fever and the cost of living crisis. What of the impact on Further Education?

Early in 2022 the alarming rise in Covid infections across the UK indicated that this debilitating pandemic was far from over and it continues to adversely impact the education sector. The Department for Education’s announcement of changes to Covid safety measures in April 2022 left staff struggling to deliver teaching, learning and a high quality student experience.

To explore the role that library and learning resource services staff are playing in supporting the wider Covid agenda, CoLRiC issued a call for feedback on the discussion forum and invited delegates to an online seminar in May 2022.

We asked four questions.

➢ Have you experienced any rise in student mental health and wellbeing issues?
➢ Do you have examples of lower levels of knowledge and skills that have impacted on student induction, reading, numeracy or information literacy?
➢ Have you experienced a deterioration in student behaviour and attitudes that have impacted on the ability to manage library and learning resources services? (Ambivalence to learning and non-attendance in the classroom has been cited as one adverse effect of the lockdown.)
➢ How are you managing with staff recruitment and retention? Do you think that the pandemic and lockdown have encouraged some staff to reappraise their life and careers, or seek opportunities outside of the FE sector?

Covid legacy
Covid legacy

E-books for FE

CoLRiC has been representing the community in discussions with Jisc on ‘E-books for FE’. We recently asked our members to share with us the lists of e-books they required to support vocational learning. We shared the data with Jisc, resulting in the negotiation of significant price reductions for learning resource bundles. CoLRiC is committed to finding affordable ways of ensuring you get the resources you need.

Visit Jisc’s Vocational Learning Resource support page here.

Unlocking libraries

CoLRiC’s post-lockdown guidance document Unlocking Libraries has received significant publicity and support in the national FE media. The first edition of the guidelines is largely based on members sharing their experiences and stories of what has worked and what has not as they prepare to re-open libraries and learning resource centres to students in readiness for the new academic year.

Due to considerable interest and queries from other colleagues, we have made Unlocking Libraries freely available. It has been acknowledged by Jisc, CILIP and NHS library services as a key contribution to post-shutdown guidance.

Amplifying messages

We actively seek to share and amplify our vision and strategy as well as championing the important work of other organisations, influencers and stakeholders across the further education sector. We are keen to build relationships with associations, networks, journalists and others to ensure that value and impact of library and learning resource services are recognised as fundamental to the student learning experience.